If you crammed a bunch of authors into a room together, it might be hard to see the similarities. We range from shy and quiet to loud and boisterous, from young to old, and from ridiculously simple-minded to brilliantly complex. There are more possible differences between individual authors than there might be in any other field, which is exactly what literature needs. But we’re not here to talk about our differences; we’re here to talk about an author’s life, and how it is similar to other authors’ lives. Without certain lifestyle choices, it is not possible to be an author. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #031 – An Author’s Life”
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?”
Making it a point to think deeply on what I will be writing before I sit down to write each day is important to me. It helps me to be able to sit down and type without the fetter of constant over-thinking. (Not that I don’t overthink: I just over-think it first, so I can let things flow later.) Everything I write gets edited to some degree, by me a couple times and then by my editor and proofreader; but there are some things she never sees, because every once in a while I’m just not happy with a piece. Sometimes it’s a scene or a chapter in a book, and other times it’s a blog post or newsletter message. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write Bonus Post – ‘Original Introduction’, or ‘#000 version 1.0’”
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”
There’s a phrase that I have heard a number of times since publishing my first book. It’s one of those phrases that people think sound profound or impressive when they say it; to me, it sounds a little strange. A peculiar thing happens when you become an author, and start letting folks know that you wrote a book or three. You get to find out how many other people there are out there that have always wanted to write or publish a book. We talked a little about that in last week’s bonus post, ‘One in a Million?’; we learned or were reminded that between eighty and ninety percent of Americans want to write a book.
Want to have a little more fun with precise numbers, and hear what some author hopefuls say to explain why they should be what they want to be? Here’s the first one, and the worst one in my opinion. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write Bonus Post – Writing My Whole Life!”
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”
For awhile there I had a newsletter and didn’t even know it. When I started listening to author interviews and reading more current news on writing, I told Dawn I needed a newsletter. She told me I already had one. She had put it together awhile ago, and tried to keep folks abreast of what was going on with me through it. I told her that I needed to be messaging these people directly, consistently. She reminded me that she had brought that up many times; I had brushed it aside, and said nobody cared. Well, of course nobody cared. I wasn’t doing anything with it.
I apologized, again, and asked her to help me get it figured out. We already had a handful of subscribers, and she showed me the list. It was pretty much her, my mom and me. There were a few others, and bless them; but you get the point. It was time to let people know who I was, and what I stand for, and that I was ready to take my subscriber list seriously. Hmmm…how do I do that, again? Continue reading “Why I Love To Write Bonus Post – The Newsletter”
I love to talk about how good writers have it these days. We’re super lucky in so many ways, simply to have the calling that we do. Some authors may feel like they chose to write books; many of us feel that writing chose us, or that there was no choice. There’s a part of us that has to write, to get those stories or ideas out there in the best way we can, and not stop no matter how many times we type ‘The End’. It’s nice to realize that the thing that chose you has so much flexibility and longevity built into it, and that those things are getting better every day.
Did you ever dream of being an athlete? I didn’t. I knew back then what they’re finally telling us now: the most rewarding sports are the most dangerous, and success still means minimal brain damage and constant pain for the long period of your life where you can no longer compete with others. One season of football in junior high taught me that smacking into someone or something full speed gave me headaches and an inability to focus. That’s American football, by the way. There was no organized futbal (uh, soccer?) going on in high school when I was a kid, and even those guys retire awful young; so I withdrew back into drawing and reading. Like public school programming, I realized pretty early on that eager participation would result in the loss of some precious part of me that I would need later, so I withdrew for the most part from both. Continue reading “Why I Love To Write #017 – In It For The Long Haul”