I have found out quite a bit about myself this week, or at least about my writing self.
Part of this came about from listening to a podcast on the fabulous Creative Penn. I have mentioned this fantastic resource of a podcast before here but the specific episode that helped me this week was Self-Publishing 3.0 And How To Build Success As An Indie Author With Orna Ross.
Just going to find this episode, so I could link it for you today, has reminded me that I should really listen to it again. This link above will take you to the transcript of the episode as well so you can read it if you prefer to, or if you don’t listen to podcasts.
Needless to say I haven’t followed any of the advice given in it thoroughly or properly, yet. However, I have felt a little lost in this writing world recently. I’ve questioned what I’m doing, and why, for example, and this episode made me jot down a few things about what I want as a writer and I have to say it has really helped clarify my thinking in several aspects.
When you know what you want out of something it helps in the decisions you make from then on in getting to that goal.
So to give you an idea here goes:
I don’t want to be an author who is turning out several books a year (which is just as well given my poor performance in that area so far!) If I could produce one book a year that would do me fine.
I don’t want to be famous. Nope, absolutely no interest in that.
I don’t want to be a speaker. Ditto.
I want to write what I want to write rather than what is required of me by someone else. Which rather confirms the next point.
I want to be indie! It suits my character and I like the control.
There is also something in my list about how much I’d like to earn a month from my writing, but I’ll keep the actual figure private, for fear you might injure yourself falling off your chair laughing. It might not be possible of course, and given all the things I don’t want to do it makes the likelihood of success in that area all the more remote, but the goal is there and now at least I’m clear on what I do, or don’t, want to do to get to it.
However, this sudden self-awareness doesn’t stop me getting a little frustrated at times. I got feedback from a reader this week. She is reading Parallel Lies and told me she is loving it. It is so interesting, she added, a thousand times better than a book she’d just read by an author everybody knows. Gahhh, the frustration of struggling to get your work out to a wider audience!!
The other part of finding out about myself came from my actual writing because I have really put the pressure on this week. And I have loved it, mostly…
I have realised that, much like my heroine, Emma Grayson, I am an all or nothing kinda girl. I had tried to fit in doing my writing in dribs and drabs around my day job, with poor results, as long time followers of this blog can attest to. I had to spend so much time simply remembering where I was in the story (or even what story I was telling!) each time I came to it the process was painful.
No, for me, I now know I have to set a deadline, a daily word count and I have to stick to it. Bum on seat, fingers on keyboard – there is nothing else. That is the only way I can fully absorb myself into what I’m writing. This has therefore been something of a ragged week in all other aspects of my life. However, just look at the numbers 😀
Project B – Hill of Beans – previously 5532 words – still 5532 words.
Project C – Parallel Lies sequel – previously 40,537 words – now 55,037 words.
Getting there guys! Another mammoth week ahead though… wish me luck!
I’m with you, Georgia, in having no desire to churn out numerous books a year, or in becoming famous! I bought a book a while back on marketing (online) for “busy” authors and it began with a chapter about identifying your dreams, followed by a check-list of things that, as a writer, I might be striving for. But most of them were along the lines of: I appear on TV, I have my own TV show, I am on a reality TV show, I speak at conferences, travelling 50% of my time…. Wot? No way! My writing aim is simply to write good books (without being under pressure from someone else’s agenda) and build a loyal readership.
Perhaps it’s a British thing!
I read once (and wish I could find the quote so I knew who to attribute it to) that becoming famous will ruin your writing. I assume because you simply no longer have the time to put into it. So there’s that, but also I would just hate everything that goes along with ‘being known’. I find it enough of a faff to leave the house, let alone to do so looking half decent! Like you say, maybe it’s a British thing, but I’m with you on your aims 😀
My goals are very similar to yours, Georgia, so I am going to watch Joanna’s podcast and see what I can learn there. Thank you for posting it for me (and others like us!)
Thanks for letting me know you found this useful, Jaye, and I hope you get a lot out of the podcast.