Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Author's Failure ... or is it?

I wish I had excellent words of wisdom oozing from my brain to share with you regarding my writing journey. Though my love is found in writing fiction, I often feel inadequate when it comes to my experiences with my career though I have experienced quite a bit!


I started out with a small publisher who simply extended her service under CreateSpace, though she is an excellent cover artist and formatter. I crashed and burned when I tried to get my books to book stores and though CreatSpace's distributors could get your books directly into brick and mortar stores, I learned the hard way that my books were NOT set up that way.

I had to bring my own box in and sell it differently than other authors at book signings. I have been taken advantage by these stores (not all, most have integrity). What's sad, is that this is a race of one as an author.

I understand that we are networked and support one another, but realistically, we are so busy surviving life with a regular job that writing is a side thing though it does NOT feel that way. How can we make more time for flailing writers who need our expertise? Oh, yes, there are many writers out there who are willing to mentor and share secrets, but those are very rare to find!

Needless to say, I lost all confidence in my career when my old publisher decided to restructure her company and everyone became Indie: we would utilize one another's expertise and help get our individual books published that way.

Though Darkspell was my first published, it was not my first written. I have been writing for over twenty years and decided to push that one the hardest. I became lost and eventually orphaned from my publisher, but I kept writing and writing.


Though I have stumbled much thereafter, I have not given up on my love of writing and have come across second chances that feel like a slow take-off, but I have been led where I am at for a divine purpose that only the future will tell.

As Emily Mah had mentioned, Cinderella stories are far and few and success is dependent upon the view of the beholder. For some, success is simply getting that book published. After all, that is a significant goal accomplished!


What valuable lessons have you learned as a writer?  (Every step is important, even if you're not published!)

22 comments:

  1. I had a publisher go bankrupt and another 'change their direction' in the middle of my first fantasy series. It was heart breaking and frustrating.

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    1. Oh no, that's horrible. :( I hope you've found a home for your series...

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  2. Since I haven't even begun querying, my learning has mostly been in the How To Do This Thing Called Writing. I've learned that reading makes me a better writer. I've learned that reading books on how to write make me a better writer. Each time I do one of these things my next pass through revisions/editing improves the story, the dialogue, that ever-important inner dialogue of the character. I struggle with all of these things. It has been exciting to watch the story crisp up. I love reading my own words and not cringing. I love thinking, "Now that was a great sentence. Paragraph. Chapter." Yep, I am really doing this.

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    1. Improving the craft is always exciting, especially when it shines so brightly afterward! :)

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  3. I think I am at the success-is-getting-that-book-published phase. I'm gratified that Snatched in Gullybrook is out there and I feel I did everything to ensure it is the best story it can be. Realistically, I know I'm competing against a slew of other great reads and that marketing is a process, not an overnight phenomenon (much like writing), and am not stressing out about getting the word out (yet!). And I'm working on my next novel. Gotta keep writing!

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    1. I love the premise of your book, Kim! And I am honored to review it. <3 I honestly feel that books like yours *need* to be blasted upon all rooftops for everyone to sit up and say, "this is real!" It so deserves that!

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  4. I'm sorry! Bummer your first experience didn't work out so well. I remember how hard you worked to promote that book.
    What I've learned - don't sit and wait. Keep working on the next book. Then you won't have these long stretches in between releases like I have.
    Fortunately we do have a list of authors willing to share with others at the IWSG website.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you had a long stretch between releases--that can be nerve-wrecking! You're such an awesome person, Alex, glad we're friends!
      I'm glad to know that IWSG is a reliable list of friends to turn to. I'll have to remember that. :)

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  5. That sounds like a tough time. I'm self-published, so I'm in the game of doing most of the stuff myself. I'm in the same boat that in order to get my books into brick and mortar stores, I have to go a different route. Lightning Source is what our local indie store tells me. In the meantime, we plug along and write, since that's what writers do.

    Best of luck finding your way as an indie!

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    1. You're right, never stop writing! I stopped by your site and left a comment. Thanks for yours! :)

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  6. I've learned that any glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is more likely to be an oncoming train :) Each major milestone seems to be followed by one even more terrifying.

    1. Lots of work to write a novel in the first place. "The End." Yippee!

    2. Oops...lots more work to get it to a publishable state.

    3. Then...lots more work to get it published - whether you query or go Indie or some mix in between, it's still lots of work. Finally published! Yippee again.

    4. Then the awful realization...lots more work to actually get the thing noticed...

    I've entered stage #4. My comfort is that my original goal was #1, and most people who set out on this journey will likely not get that far.

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    1. Buahaha! Great, GREAT comment! Yes, for sure! You've got it down to a science and it is SO true! There is a brave new world pushing the book around to get it noticed.

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  7. Great post ... it is a tough process. Writing and getting published is not for the weak. And I agree with what you said: "I understand that we are networked and support one another, but realistically, we are so busy surviving life with a regular job that writing is a side thing though it does NOT feel that way. How can we make more time for flailing writers who need our expertise? Oh, yes, there are many writers out there who are willing to mentor and share secrets, but those are very rare to find!"

    We are busy with our individual lives, and it's a challenge to take the time to support each other as much as we'd really like to.

    Hang in there and keep writing! :)

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  8. Hi Elizabeth
    So love your comparison to magical folk and muggles in the ISWG post. Illness has affected me the most these past five years but after nearly dying last spring I have found a new lease on life. I'm struggling and even though I'm published, the readers haven't found me. I read a blog that recommended flash fiction. It claims that people are so busy but they love to download short short stories to their phones over lunch. So I'm working on a series of faerie tales and I'm busy with creating the book covers as well. My target is October. Maybe that will help you. I'm a writer who loves to help others. If you need help, ask away.
    Nancy

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    1. ((hugs)) I'm glad that you're here and enjoying life in the ways you can--I have to remember that when I am knee-deep with kids and project sending me to the nut house!

      Flash fiction sounds like a terrific idea that will propel you!

      Thank you, Nancy! I'd love to stay in closer contact--I've sent you a friend request over on FB. <3

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  9. I'm sorry you've had such a difficult time. I'm going the Indie route and self-publishing my book. My main goal is just to get the book published and actually be able to hold the finished product in my hand. If it sells, that'll be icing on the cake, as they say. Lightning Source was recommended to me, as well, so I'll be going with them for distribution when the time comes. And I'll be going to all the local brick & mortar stores to drum up publicity. I don't know how far I'll get, but at that point, my main goal will already be accomplished, so I'm not going to worry about it. I'll just keep writing because that's what I love to do. My best advice: never give up!

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    1. Lori, I am proud of you! I know I weighed that option heavily for a long time and felt intimidated by it--even after studying up on it and been given sources. Whoa, you will succeed!

      Isn't holding your very own book for the first time ... heavenly?

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  10. Write for the story, not for the glory (or the publisher) - but then again, I've never even been close to publication, so what do I know? I'm probably being very naive here, but what I'm trying to say is that the fact that you still love writing is (IMHO) the real success. In saying that, I do hope you get the support and the deal you are looking for. Best of luck! :-)

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    1. Oooh! I love what you said, "Write for the story, not the glory". Well said! It is true, to keep writing even if one doesn't get published. Writing in itself is healing, I agree!

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  11. I know exactly how you feel, my friend! Keep your chin up. We'll both find our road. <3

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    1. You're such an awesome writer, Angie! You deserve the best! <3

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