Some folks may think that I have some odd ideas around concepts like friendship and family. That’s okay; I probably feel the same about their ideas. It would be difficult to find an avid reader who did not feel a certain kind of connection with at least one author. Many of us feel that we owe a debt to several authors that could not possibly be repaid; I know I do. I joked about most of my best friends being dead, back when I was reading more philosophy than most folks thought was good for me. I didn’t really consider them friends, though; and they weren’t all dead. I held both the living and the dead in equal awe, if they were authors that had touched or changed me; and they were more distant god-like figures than buddies in actuality to me.
As an author, I have had to reassess this. When I first got into this, I knew I would have to dedicate serious time to writing and publishing my books. Any book on any business is going to address the fact that business owners often give up a lot in the beginning. It’s the same for the artist. One of the most common things that get put aside are old friendships. That hour or two or three that an employee can spend a couple times a week hanging out and shooting the breeze with a buddy often falls off the business owner’s much tighter schedule. Anyone looking to follow any dream has to assess the value of every hour spent, and whether their friendships are helping or hurting their dream. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #029 – An Author’s Friends”
One of the best reasons for writing this blog has been addressing the hard questions. They can be hard to find, hard to formulate, and hard to answer. I do my best with all three, and am pleased to know that this would have helped me tremendously had I read it one or two or three years ago. Finding and formulating and answering those hard questions got us from where we were yesterday to where we are today, and continuing to do so will make sure we are somewhere even better tomorrow. It’s rewarding, like nearly any hard thing.
Even if you don’t like my answers, you’ve got to admit these questions need asking. Find your own answers, and message me to let me know how much smarter than me you are…or tell me when I’m asking the wrong question, and help me get us all on a better track. Like I keep saying, I am just getting started here. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #028 – Where Do You Come Up With These Ideas?”
More than one employer has told me that they would love to find a way to clone me and send several of me out to do all of their projects. It’s always flattering to hear, but it never sunk in so much until it came time for me to do what is the equivalent of another full-time job after coming home from those projects.
When I decided to start getting my books written and published, it sounded like a lot of work. It’s a good thing I didn’t know then what I know now; it is a lot of work, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole lot of stuff that the author has to do if they want to be seen standing behind their books, and the work only begins after long hours sitting at a desk. (Or sitting on the porch, or standing up at a chic modern standing desk.) Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #027 – Putting Yourself To Work”
There has not been a lot of advice about balance on this blog, and there’s good reason for that: I have very little experience with balance. My idea of balancing is much more reminiscent of juggling, and my greatest talent is my ability to move pretty quickly. It helps with many important things, juggling being one of the most important.
Don’t get me wrong; time management is one of my specialties, and one of the reasons I can move so swiftly in so many different directions. But time management and schedule management are two very different things, and I have only managed to fail so miserably at one for so long because I really am quite good at the other.
It’s time for that to change. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #026 – Putting It All Together”
It’s pretty rare for a month to go by where I don’t make some kind of comment about the way all of our collective problems seem rooted in excessive propagation of our species by less than ideal propagators. There is one thing that explosive population growth is good for, though. On any given day, there are more people on this planet than there were the day before. On any given day, more children become adults than ever before. (The first should give hope to the YA author; the second gives hope to those of us writing for our worldly readers.)
We may be using up more oil every day than ever before, and more water and even precious air; there are all kinds of things that we only have so much of that are threatened by there being so many of us. There is one thing that some of us can’t get enough of, though; and the more people that make more people, the better our odds of finding them. They’re the Blessed Reader, of course; and it’s nice to remember that they are one natural resource that is very far from being endangered or extinct. Every generation seems to worry that the next generation won’t read, and that literature will die as they take control of the world.
That is so not going to happen. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #025 – A Million Friends”
If there is one thing that has always been important to me, it’s reading. When I did it for escape, it saved me from the reality that was trying to shape me into something other than I longed to be. Books show us that there isn’t just a whole other world out there; there are endless other worlds out there! Reading can give sweet escape to the overwhelmed, a fresh perspective to an old and tired viewpoint, and a whole new start to what may have otherwise been a dead end life. I should know; it did all those things for me. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #024 – The Blessed Reader”
Some philosophies are strongly based in gratitude, and it’s hard to argue much of their reasoning. Sometimes it really does seem as though the only way to get more is to be grateful for what we already have. Other times it sounds like these folks are telling us that the secret to having what we want is to want what we have. That’s all well and good if all you long for is contentment, but if you have dreams to fulfill it simply will not be enough.
It’s still something that is good to practice, if gratitude is not something that flows naturally for any of us. Gratitude can give us perspective, and show us that what we consider rock bottom may actually be several times easier than the best that other people ever get to have it. Comparisons are horrible things when we look up, unless we’re looking up to learn. They can be awful when we look down as well, unless the looking is done with compassion. Then we can see that no matter how bad we think we’ve got it, there are likely a lot of people who would be happy to kill you with their bare hands to have your life.
Way to lighten things up, hmmm? Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #023 – The Gifts of Gratitude”
There were some authors out there that I could never get into. The ones that I did almost always had something to say about publishers in general, and editors in particular. I’d quote some of them here, but I like to keep the swearing to a minimum on my blog. Suffice it to say that most of my favorite authors talked about picking their battles, resisting making long-term sacrifices for short-term gain, and questioning how most editors got their jobs and kept them. The happy ending comes after many books and fans have been amassed, and they finally get to tell their publisher to print the next book how they wrote it.
That’s all changed. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #022 – Edited to Death”
We’ll start this with my usual disclaimer. I’m not calling myself on expert on any of this author stuff, or anything silly like that. There are so many levels and layers of learning to writing and publishing, I know I’ll never put down my metaphorical pen and say, “okay, I’m done”. To whatever degree that might aggravate some folks who aren’t in love with the process, it delights those of us that are. We’re the writers least likely to notice when the books are or aren’t selling, and most likely to keep writing either way. I’m an expert only on knowing that this is what I was born to do, and experienced enough to know that the only thing between me and knowledge is more learning.
Hey, I can do that. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #021 – Building a World”
One of the best things about life is all the characters you get to meet along the way. It’s also a great reason to write books. As many authors will attest, characters in stories are not creations; they are people, with minds of their own. The fact that they don’t have bodies in our world is not relevant at all; some of my favorite people don’t have bodies in our world. What they do have is personality, and a startling amount of free will. They don’t always agree with how the story is going in your outline or in your head, and failing to listen to them can result in the most dire of consequences. They can turn from your best hope of a champion to your most clear antagonist with a swift act or comment. A good character will almost always take the author by surprise at some point.
You know, like people do. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #020 – The Characters”