Why am I writing a blog... about writing?
I thought it would be a good way to start, to explain why I’m even writing a blog. To begin with, I love to write. It’s therapeutic and a great way to clear out my cluttered mind. Sometimes you just need to empty it out, put it all on paper and enjoy a clear head for a little while.
I have no formal training or education to write, as some of you may pick up on. I've never been published but am working on that piece of my journey currently. I have been so busy writing the past three years that I have not had time to prepare and market more than one novel so far. And with that, I have only just begun to search for an agent. That in itself is an interesting exercise. More on that in a future post.
I am writing this blog because I wanted to share my experience with other debut novelists, those who are unsure of parts of the process. I’m sure there are more of you like me out there than those actually making a living with their writing. This blog is aimed at you, at us, the ones who are giving their best shot to get their works published. I have been figuring out what works for me and maybe it will also work for other new writers. Can’t hurt to try to help my fellow new authors. I am always looking for advice from those who are experienced but much of what I have learned comes from newer writers and their experiences. Trying things, learning how to maneuver through this landscape. We’re all in this together and can learn from one another. I read what I can to continue to learn about all the different pieces to this giant, complicated puzzle.
Writing a book is quite an event but it is only the very tip of the iceberg. If you think once a book is written (first draft) that the hard work is done, you're in for a big surprise. The journey will just start from there with more work ahead than there ever was in writing your novel. These are the things I want to explore with those of you who have found your way here, to this website. Once written, the never-ending editing and rereading is enough to make you tire of your own work! But it’s exciting at the same time because you are continually making your work better with each pass. We’ll look at editing more in a future post.
I was not an English major in school. As a matter of fact, English class was never a strong suit for me. But that's why there are editors! These people are miracle workers and for me, are the most helpful people I have had the pleasure to work with. To clarify, I have only worked with my daughter, who is a published author but who has also worked in the capacity of a professional editor on a few successfully published novels. Her perspective has been invaluable to me and I realize how extremely fortunate I am to have someone in my circle with the skills to help edit my material. She can be a little tough with her comments of my work but that's okay with me. I’d rather be hit over the head with brutal honesty than coddled. That would never get me where I need to be to one day be successful in this endeavor.
I am going to cover as many topics as I can, in no particular order. I have always been a writer but never tried to tackle much more than short stories and a few sing songy poems here and there. Until I wrote my first novel, I did not believe I had it in me. Now I do and would love if one day I could make a living with my writing. If I could do this for the rest of my life, I would die a happier man!
I read a lot about other authors and there is such a difference in the way people write. Some people put out multiple novels per year (James Patterson) while other put out a novel once every so many years or only two in their entire career (Harper Lee, one posthumously). I feel fortunate to have had so many ideas for stories running around my head and for finding the inspiration for other short stories in my everyday life. I sometimes read a professional author’s work and know I could never match how intelligently they write (Donna Tarte). It’s impressive and at first, made me feel very inferior as a writer. But I have read many other authors, successful commercial authors, whose writing I think I am on par with, so that helps to maintain that mental balance.
Always remember that you are your own writer with your own style so do not try to write like your favorite authors. There are so many factors that come in to play with how an author writes. You have no idea the process they have been through to get their book as polished as it is when you buy it. I guarantee that what you buy is not their first or even their tenth draft. Hopefully one day, we will all have the chance to see our work published in one way or the other (traditional or self) for the world to read.
Thanks for taking a look, I hope you find something helpful in the coming weeks and months as new topics will be blogged about by this novice. The professionals have great advice but they all started right where we are, at some point. If I had the opportunity to interview a famous author, I would want to know the trials and tribulations on when they started in their craft. The pitfalls, the lessons learned and the best advice they would give a new writer. The landscape has changed so much since writers like Stephen King, Thomas Wolfe or Clive Cussler got their start but some of the process still remains the same.
I will give my experience and my two cents on the craft of writing, as I understand it thus far. I’m sure I’ll be chastised by some who feel I do things the wrong way or due to my lack of experience or expertise but if it works for me, is it really the wrong way? What is right for one may not be for others so tackle it however it feels right for you. I am open to advice and feedback so please speak up and send me a message.
I hope you make your mark on the world of writing, in whatever capacity you choose. If I can help guide a new writer in the smallest way, that would make this little blog all worthwhile. I hope to hear from many of you to learn how you handle the different parts of the writing process, agent submissions, editing, social media and your own PR.
One last thing; I really would love any feedback or ideas any of you have on these post topics. As I have mentioned, these are just my thoughts and what has worked for me to this point. If you agree, disagree, have a different way of doing something or can share what works for you that differs from what I have written, it should be shared. We can all use advice and since many of us have different approaches and processes, sharing them here so others can try different approaches to their writing would be great.
Happy reading, happy writing!