Sunday, September 18, 2016

Confidence In Writing

The ups and downs an author goes through can drive anyone to drink. Think of all the stereotypes you have ever heard about authors. How many of them involve drinking and/or smoking? These vices generally calm the nerves of people who partake in them. The battle that authors go through daily is a battle of confidence.

This battle of confidence is vicious within the psyche of an author. What if what I am writing is total crap? Should I let anyone see it ever? Should I burn this and start over? This self doubt helps drive us to perfect our craft. Without this doubt authors would just publish their first drafts which are awful. Yes they are, don't delude yourself. You can do better.

This is why letting go is so hard for an author. I never feel like I am completely finished with a story. There is a finality that comes with publishing and saying that a story is finished. It never feels that way to me. The nagging question of "What happens next?" always tickles at the back of my mind. There are loose ends that never get resolved for whatever reason. If I covered everything then I would never finish anything and my novel would be 8,000,000+ pages. Still we have to let go at some point and click that publish button.

This feeling of the novel never being good enough drives authors to pour their heart and soul into them. It feels like a contract signed in blood is needed to write a novel. This is why some authors take bad reviews so personally. When we are targeted by a hate group it is even worse. Bad reviews can tank a work of fiction by cutting off opportunities for promotion like a Bookbub ad. So please do be kind to authors. We torture ourselves enough while writing a book. A harsh negative review can be soul crushing. That doesn't mean you shouldn't criticize authors, we need that criticism to improve our craft. The trick is to make it constructive criticism and not a Godzilla sized foot stomp.

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Writing Progress Updates

Virtual Wars Initialization (currently in editing hell)
Final edits: On page 160 of 168
Putting edits into computer: On page 138 of 168
Custom Chapter Headers: 33 of 41

Virtual Wars Running (Book 2)
Outline: 20%

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Pump the Positivity

I was recently reminded of a principle that I try to live by, but have had a hard time sticking to in everything. It sounds like a simple concept. Stay Positive. Two words that sound like they should be so easy, but it is much easier to lose your way and find yourself in the forest of mushrooms. Trust me, nothing good comes from the forest of mushrooms.

I was reminded of this from a friend I ran into recently that I hadn't seen for a while. He had this energy and pure joy emanating from him. It was truly infectious. It made me wonder what drugs he was on and where could I get some. He wasn't on a drug of any kind. He was filled with positive vibes and the happiness of just being. I could see how everyone there was drawn to him and the energy he was putting out. Everyone wanted to be a part of this positive vibe.

Your Writing

I sat down today thinking about how I generally try to keep a positive vibe, but recently I have been slipping out of that. Little negative comments here and there have been slipping out. I don't want to be that person. The next thought I had was... How can I apply this to my writing? Usually everything is collapsing in a work of fiction and there isn't much room for positivity. Sure the characters joke around, but then Godzilla steps on Jimmy and everyone is sad again.

What I thought of wasn't about using that positive vibe within the actual work of fiction, but rather using it toward the actual work. An affirmation that yes what I am writing is going to be good, that the editing will fix the problems within, that the cover art will help consumers to click that purchase button, etc..

Over the time that I have been writing my first novel I have dreaded or even avoided working on it because I had negative feelings toward the busy work of editing or lack of direction toward a specific chapter. I wonder how much quicker it would have been completed if I had taken a more rainbow colored pixie dusted unicorn view of it.

I am prone to procrastinate or completely avoid working on a project when I have these negative feelings toward it. From now on I want to pump the positive view on things before sitting down to work on it. My hope is that it will squash the urge to pick up my phone or play video games to avoid it.

Progress Updates

Virtual Wars Booting Up (currently in editing hell)
Final edits: On page 146 of 168
Putting edits into computer: On page 116 of 168
Custom Chapter Headers: 29 of 41

Virtual Wars Running (Book 2)
Outline: 20%