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Muse a while on this post then write with no fears.
I am a writer. But why?
It’s certainly not for the money. Some people have said I could make more money cleaning houses.
It’s not because writing is easy. You have to choose to do it–i.e, self-discipline. And sometimes it messes up your mind for days when you are dealing with the problems of your characters–lots of problems because if your characters don’t have problems worth solving, the story isn’t worth writing.
And writing can be lonely–because it must be done alone. There are things you miss. When you are writing, you must focus only on writing. And what happens then? Well, for sure your house does not get cleaned!
So why do I do it?
Maybe because I’ve always been someone who likes to “get to the heart of the matter.” I like to know why and how we human beings love, have compassion, understanding, peace and joy. And…
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Please note I have my special quirky hat today, well actually I usually do, but it is necessary to state the matter in case folk might think there is a tinge of self-pity here…Nope!
Truth be known this another of those posts in which I heroically show how not to do things.
One of my volumes is
this book contains a dedication to one of my grandson’s Jim. It is in memory to the long talks we used to have over history whenever he came to visit. The realisation dawned he did not know about this, so off went an oblique text and the said book was made ‘free’ for a few days so it wouldn’t ‘cost’ him. He was happy, I was happy he was happy and all well and good.
Then came an e-mail from Amazon about royalties which usually indicates in the last quarter someone has downloaded a kindle copy of one of the three volumes out there. Curiosity was piqued.
The Report page indicated on the 1st day of the above mentioned free period some 40ish copies had been downloaded, this was instructive as no mention had been made publicly and my grandson been a couple of downs before he downloaded.
So conclusion was made that folk must check for free books on Kindle. How do they do that?…..errr…..dunno. One of the many aspects of marketing etc which remains a mystery to me. One of the many which I have never bothered to check on.
Maybe there will be one review out of it. You have to be realistic. Folks sell thousands of books, but don’t get thousands of reviews; that would look odd, if you ask me.
Anyway, dear readers the moral of the post is as I and many others have mentioned:
If you want to have your work known to the public, if you hope to sell copies, you have to do some work in these areas, you have to have some sort of knowledge as to how ‘things’ work. Whereas producing a book is hard work, having the final product in the public arena is a whole different matter. There is more sweat, there are hard knocks if you have an editor, there are costs if you wish to have a professional cover, there is much to be done on social media, and there’ll be more except this raggedy writer doesn’t have much idea what the ‘more’ is, other than even after all that there could still well be disappointment; it is a fact of writing.
One day….One day, I keep telling myself, matters will be approached in a stern, mature and semi-professional way….. One day. After all I am retired. I worked in an office and was counted as reasonably good at organisation (and as a servant of H.M Queen Elizabeth II had to churn my way through UK Income Tax law). So what is the problem…. One day it shall be attended to and the world will be aware of my works.
By now you should have a notebook out with comments such as:
‘Must not be like that!’
‘Do the opposite of whatever he has done’
‘There’s hope for me yet!!’
‘Find serious blogs on being published,’
‘Find out how Kindle Works’
‘Find out how anything works’
‘A taxman/revenue agent- spawn of darkness- does not deserve to succeed in writing, there will be hidden apocalyptic messages bringing forth The Beast’
And thus dear readers journey outwards, remembering if you wish to become published and recognised writing the book is only half the work. Th rest will be hard; there will be no easy paths. This cannot be sugar-coated
In the meantime, on reflection I may be content to be a raggedy writer, maybe I am not just cut out for that extra push, thus maybe my work will stay forever in small forgotten corners. Maybe that is good, maybe it is bad, maybe it is neither. After all there are more types of writers than are dreamt of in anyone’s philosophy. That sounds familiar.
Just in case folks
This is a scam that has been going around lately. I received this email yesterday, but have checked it out on the AskNetSec site as these scams are getting more sophisticated, especially as he had an old password of mine (AskNet gives the answer to this as being from an old site where I had an account that had been compromised), so don’t worry if you receive an email like the one below. As for the porn sites… well, I think he was definitely groping in the dark there, if you’ll excuse the pun!
My nickname in darknet is ryley58.
I hacked this mailbox more than six months ago,
through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by me and have been monitoring you for a long time.
So, your password from firstname.lastname@example.org is …(he gave an old password that I had used last year).
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Here is another heart-warming one of Jill’s ‘Good People’ posts. Reminding us once more there are good folk out there
Good people … they are everywhere, but sometimes we fail to notice them because they are too busy to toot their own horn, and they are overshadowed by so much noise on a day-to-day basis. I recommend you grab your box of tissues, Gronda, for I needed a box just to write these stories.
Luis Ocampo is an Army medic currently serving with the National Guard in North Carolina. Naturally, his services were much-needed last month in the wake of Hurricane Florence, and Luis was called out to help those in need. He was on duty for several days without returning home, and when he did return home, it was to find that his home had been ransacked and robbed.An aside here … what kind of a person does it take, in the middle of a disaster when thousands are suffering, to do this?
His girlfriend and one-year-old son…
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So after all your hard work. After all the time invested in the writing, the re-writing, the self-editing; maybe the paying for an editor, The Book Cover ‘thing’. You’ve found it’s even harder to publicise the book than write it. You’ve done it all and what?
You are too intimidated to do anything else with it.
The book doesn’t register double figures in sales.
The book does well, only you can’t figure out how to write another.
The book does well but after all that effort…you can’t be bothered to write another one, and you cannot figure out why.
The book does well, the reviews are fine, until you get the ‘nasty’ one. And you naturally pay more attention to that one.
Who’d be a writer eh?
Suddenly all the drive has gone. All the perverse energy you got from writing under the Flag emblazoned with the motto ‘So What? I’ll write it ‘cas I want to!’ seems so far away now. Your flag lies forlorn in a puddle.
Who’d be a writer eh?
You swear the next cheerful pep-talk post(er) you come across is going to get real piece of your mind.
From now on, every time you see a post with a list if helpful hints, you are gonna ‘unfollow’ that blogger, faster than someone who blogs with political opinions you don’t agree with.
And you do not. No, you certainly do not, like ever again read about someone else’s book being published.
And then you think
‘Oh dear (or whatever else fits). How did I get here? What is going on?’
Yeh. Who in their right mind, looking for an easy uncomplicated life would be a writer?
(While we’re about it. Easy uncomplicated Life? Is there such a creature?)
Yeh, I ‘get it’ brothers and sisters.
Y’see the problem is, Writing comes with a price. All of the above. The effort, the energy spent, the ups, the downs, the desolations, the disappointments, the worry, the emptinesses. All the sly subtle draining. The folk who are seemingly successful, worrying about where the next book comes from, or what the public will think of it. We shouldn’t forget them either. If you are going to take up the pen, or tap out the keyboard, be ready with an allegorical pocket or two full of allegorical coins.
Yeh, I ‘get it’ fellow writers. You are feelings are nothing to be ashamed of, nor frightened of. This path is a rocky one. Even us Crazy ‘What-The -Hell’ ragged-style aficionados have tripped up over our own wild feet and fallen into a patch of Reality. Some of us have even wondered if it’s our weird nature or just us in Denial about our lack of talents which keeps us bouncing along with folk scratching or shaking their heads as we pass on by. Us on our faux-Captain Beefhart,/ ‘Pretend I’m a Frank Zappa of Writing’ trips.
I can do nothing for your pain, because it is yours and I would not pretend to have some long-distance answer, that would be insulting to you. Your despondency is a familiar feeling and easy to trace, origin so common in the writing world. I wish it were within my remit to incant something to take away as your fears and your woe.
Within my remit though is to understand the feelings, not to denigrate them or insult them with a Happy Mary Poppins approach. The dust, the dirt, the chill winds of doubt, I understand, borne witness to them, experienced them on my tongue, breathed them in and they settled on my heart.
The thing is.
You will shuffle, you will ease up your weary bones, feel about for your allegorical pen, hitch up your pack of ideas onto your back and belt, you will stare out across the battered landscape and move out. There does not have to be a squaring of the shoulders, nor some end of John Wayne War movie tough, determined quote (cue music & credits), nor my favoured style of ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ rendition out of full Metal Jacket. You will move on, because The Writing Calls, exactly why, for you will be personal. You will. Just because.
‘Not me! I’ve had enough! I’m tired through. Scared, scarred and scattered. Done all I could. It’s got me beat,’
To you I say. It didn’t beat you. You did as much as you could and found this was not for you. Well, who doesn’t do that? How do you know, if you don’t try? Don’t sell yourself down. You tried. End of chapter. Now go and do something else. It is for you to choose. No disgrace. You were there, you took a stand. Now move onto another place.
We are Human. We have weaknesses. We have strengths. We have pain. We have Humanity.
And you may write once more. Or never write again, turn your back on the whole thing.
In neither act is there is futility.
There is however in both Life.
Light your torch with it.
Now here are some very wise words and useful information from Audrey on the question of book covers.
Okay, authors are advised not to do this — design your own cover images, especially for the printed versions of your books. But I did it. Maybe it was the allure of the forbidden. Or maybe it was inevitable, because this whole writing and publishing adventure started with me telling myself, “Think of it as an exercise, not a commitment. Try it and see what happens.”
When I published my first ebooks, almost a decade ago, my home made cover images were indeed lame. After a couple of years I commissioned excellent professionally designed images, which still grace the four books of my Herbert West Series. They were not inexpensive. (“Good, fast, cheap — pick two!”)
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