It didn’t take long for the water to get rough, but no matter how bad it got there was no turning back. The clouds billowed upward on the horizon, their dark muscular arms stretching across the expanse of sky hiding the sun. I stood on deck watching the inky water churn ahead of us as the rest of the crew rushed around me readying the boat. A knot formed in my stomach and I wondered if it was possible to pass through this storm safely a second time. Flashes of jagged lightning scarred the sky in the distance. The storm looked even more ominous than it had before. This time it seemed determined to sink us. [Read more…]
I worked in the library in college. It was a natural place for me to be. Even before working there I spent a lot of my free time wandering the stacks looking at books. That was how I found most of my favorite authors. I’d notice a book cover or a title and I’d pull the book off the shelf and take a look.
I discovered some amazing books this way and also read some real clunkers. I won’t mention them because talking badly about other authors’ work in a forum like this is in bad taste. I tend to forget about the bad books anyway. The books that fed my soul are the ones that last in my memory. [Read more…]
We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be. ― May Sarton
About a week ago I decided to start blogging regularly again. I’ve missed updating this blog and putting thoughts and ideas out into the world. The funny thing is that since I decided to start blogging again I’ve been unable to come up with a post idea. I kept wondering what kind of things an author blogs about and trying to think of something that might fall in line with that idea. [Read more…]
I finished the first draft of my latest novel last week. Yeah!!!!
That’s cause to celebrate because there were times when this novel got so convoluted that I was worried that it would never get finished. Right now it’s long, longer than any book I’ve ever written, but that will change soon because next up is the revision process.
Different authors deal with this differently. I like to take a week or two off and not think about the book for awhile. Usually I use that time to write something else. I had an idea for a short novella so I’m working on that before I go back to start revising the first draft of my novel.
When I go back through the book to revise it the first thing I do is read it and take notes. I need to make sure characters stay consistent throughout the book. There tends to be a lot of changes in first drafts. I end up cutting lots of stuff out. I also end up changing some characters’ personalities and changing character names. As I’m writing a first draft there are aspects of the characters and the storyline that evolve. In the end I have to go back to look at these things and make sure they mentioned in the beginning of the book.
I normally do two or three read throughs and edits before I send it to my beta readers. My beta readers get it and they usually take about two weeks with the book. When I get it back from them I read over their notes and make appropriate changes. Then I do another read through before sending it to my editor.
Once I get the book back from my editor I carefully go through her notes and make corrections to the manuscript. Once I’ve finished that I do a final read through to catch any mistakes I might have missed. I always do this read through out loud. I find that reading slowly out loud really helps any mistakes stand out to me.
That’s the process I’ll be going through next month. It’s tough but worth it. By the end of the month I’ll be so tired of reading that book, but I’ll also be so excited to get it published.
Being a writer is great. If any of you have always wanted to write a book get started. Having the finished product makes the struggle of getting there well worth it.
I’ve been working on a new novel tentatively called Of Gods for the past couple of months. If anyone asked me why I have been absent from this blog or social media I always say it’s because I’m working on a new novel, but that isn’t really the reason why. In reality I lost track of things.
At some point along the way I stopped doing my morning routine and everything went downhill from there. I never stopped meditating, but I stopped doing the other stuff. I was lazy with my yoga practice. I stopped reading personal development books. A lot of my free time was spent on terribly negative thinking. It can happen so easily.
As you develop new habits for your success those new habits can get easier and easier. The momentum begins to build, but the old habits are still lurking in the background waiting for a chance to slip in like a thief in the night stealing away your progress. I let my old habits slip in.
I wasn’t writing as much as I should have. I could have finished this novel months ago if I were disciplined about it. Even as I approached the end, I found myself writing less and less. I was delaying finishing.
Why would I do this? Why would I let myself fall so far backwards after coming so far? Being able to peel back the layers and look at the real reasons why is key to figuring out what’s going on. A lot of times these problems come from fear. And many times if you look closely you’ll see that you are so wrapped up in yourself and losing something that you forget that by stepping into those fears you can contribute a great thing to this world.
I know that personal development people talk about making a giant difference in the world, and contributing something great, and changing the world all the time. Maybe that’s cliché or maybe in reality it does make that big of a difference.
Writing a novel is not going to bring about world peace. Telling the stories that I feel compelled to tell in the most honest heartfelt way possible could feasibly touch the heart of others who read them. Maybe my stories could affect the way someone thinks about the world around them and themselves. Sharing stories instead of keeping them bottled up inside affects how I interact with other people around me.
I still believe that we can affect this world in the small ways that can become mighty. We build momentum and force as we act much like dominoes toppling over one after the other.
I would like the momentum that I build to help others feel good and know that they are not powerless in this world. Even the small things you do can have a great consequences.
So in short, for a little while I stopped believing in myself. I was afraid that all of my writing was crap. I stopped believing in others. I let my fear of failure get the best of me. I’m done with that for now. It’s time to move on.