Sunday, January 7, 2018

Reflecting on my Writing Journey

 


  A Happy New Year salute to all my readers and friends, and all the best for 2018. I hope all of you accomplish your goals and resolutions for the year!

      Looking toward an exciting new year, I want to look back and share some reflections about my learning journey as an indie author:

      I can't believe I've made it this far! About four years ago, I felt inspired by a friend to put my ideas onto paper, and I still remember my first work- a twenty-page erotic short story. After my friend's suggestion to add more depth and length to what seemed like an interesting idea, it slowly wound it's way into a three-hundred page novel called Hooked.
     Since that point, I've written and published three romance novels and established this blog site where I write down my thoughts on life and relationships from time to time.

      The journey has not been easy. Don't get me wrong. Most of it wasn't necessarily difficult. Just rather, time consuming. To me, any job can be classified as either difficult, or time consuming. Recalling each process, from establishing a story line to writing, editing, formatting, getting a cover, uploading, promotion and sales...Virtually all of these aspects of creating a book I'd say are more a long, patience testing process. So often, people give up because they see the mountain instead of the small pathway to its top. If you break down the large task of book creation into small manageable chunks, and maintain patience, you can absolutely smash that target of creating your book and getting it out to readers!

      Have a sounding board! I have a few close friends who I bounce ideas off when I get stuck with writing or some other creative aspect of my book. No author I know of can pump out an entire work without any help. Besides, having friends who are voracious readers can offer some validation to your ideas, or help offer other ideas that can steer your characters or plot in exciting ways!

      A tip from a very good friend of mine. Keep writing. Write every day! Whether it be just a few sentences, or thousands of words on a sprint. My good friend sits at her computer every day and strengthens her "muscle memory" by writing constantly. As a result, doing this can refine your writing skill and keep the juices flowing. This can lead to an increase to the quality and quantity of work you produce. Just like fitness buffs who work out religiously...once you find yourself working at a goal every day, you subconsciously want to keep doing it, and avoid quitting!

      That last point said, it's important to understand that not everyone works at the same speed and quantity. That is totally fine. Some people produce their best work under pressure or deadlines. Some work best under little to no pressure. I've found results under both conditions, to be honest. Although I feel most creative with my writings when I have no pressure to write, it was under a self-imposed deadline to write a third book that I hunkered down and completed Tale of James. And it turned out just fine!

      Don't be afraid to ask for help. Fast forward four years, and I can finally tout my first author signing, back in September 2017. The Ignite Your Soul Event in London Ontario is where I met so many wonderful and caring authors and readers who welcomed a newbie writer and showed me and other new authors how to promote our work to eager readers in the area. Coupled with social media as a huge promotional engine, these same people in the literary world have been nothing short of helpful when it came to lending their talents and skills to helping other authors refine and promote their work.

      So as I look back at the past four years, I can close my eyes and whisper a sincere thank-you from my heart to all the incredible authors, designers, readers and supporters of the indie author community. I am confident that I have found more than just a venue for my thoughts on paper. I have found a fantastic group of human beings who share a common interest, and through that interest, devote time from their busy lives to help others bring their stories to life, for eager eyes to enjoy!

     Let's always keep the story going!