Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Why Writing Beats Riding

You may want to get out and go for a ride. See the world. Dip your toes in the nice cool water. Last night, I went to a concert: Earth, Wind & Fire. You can probably guess my age.

Getting out is good. In order to write right, a writer needs to spend some time out of doors, riding if you will, to other places. A writer needs to see things.

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

But if that's all the writer did - soak in the sun - he/she would not be a writer at all. A dreamer, yes. A discoverer of beauty - for sure. But a writer, no.

Writing beats riding for all of the right reasons.

It allows you to travel without leaving your chair.

You can go through writing therapy without having to pay a penny to a therapist.

You can choose your own schedule to write. A rider (at least in my book, and while riding a bike for example) usually travels when the weather is good and preferably during the day.

Writers love what they do even if they don't make a lot of money. They continue to write even though the money to be made is slow and the comments to improve are always in front of them. Perhaps riding is the same in this regard. Put out some money and get your wheels. 

But what happens when you grow old?

This brings me to the next reason that writing beats riding. One can still write when one is old. In fact, usually, writers write better with age. Getting out there whether it be by car, bike, or boat, is much harder as the age creeps on. And some things may just have to be shelved forever.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Writing is like a best friend that grows old with you and sticks by your side until your last breath. Even if your sight dims and your hands don't work as they used to there are ways to yet record your thoughts, your dreams, and your stories.

The stuff of your life.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Writer's Quiz - What's your IQ?

I get asked questions all of the time about writing, publishing, and marketing, and these questions keep coming up. So today I decided to put the most frequently asked questions here. Take the short quiz and see how you do.

1. When writing a picture book, an author must send their illustrations to the publisher along with the text. True or False?
2. One great thing about a traditional publisher is that they will do all of the marketing for you. True or False?
3. Great editing is just as important as writing a great story. True or False?
4. If you're an artist as well as an author, save some money by doing your own book cover and/or illustrations. True or False?
5. Market the heck out of your book after it comes out. True or False?
6. Book stores are the best places to sell your book. True or False?
7. It's a good idea to write in different book genres. True or False?
8. Getting your book in libraries is easy. True or False?

Have your answers? Take a peek below the books.

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

1. False. Never send artwork with your manuscript unless the publisher asks for it. They have their own illustrators on staff. If you're not going the traditional route, ask before you send them.

2. False. Traditional publishers may have you on their website or in their catalog, but most of the marketing will be up to you.

3. True. But a great story is also paramount. If your book is well-edited but your story is poorly written, you will not sell it either.

4. False. If you are just starting out, find a professional to do the artwork. Don't invite your mother or your brother to do your artwork unless they have extensive experience. People do judge a book by its cover. If you can't afford a professional, see what you can find in the way of stock photos that usually come at a cheaper price.

5. False. Market the heck out of your book before it comes out, and continue to market it after it comes out. The first thing you need? A website with a blog.

6. False. Books stores are okay. The best places to sell your books are where readers are less likely to expect them. Consider craft fairs, children's toy stores, and hair salons.

7. True. At least from my point of view. I write in different genres and have various types of readers. Writing in one genre would limit sales as well as connections to different readers. 

8. False. Getting your books in libraries is tough. Have your friends and family make calls to your local library requesting your book - they won't put your book in the library just because you, the author, ask them to do it. Try libraries in small towns. They are much more open to having your book on their shelves, especially if it's self-published.

How did you do? 

7-8 correct. You know your stuff. You could teach a class.
5-6 correct. You're learning the ropes. Lean on an experienced writer friend to make sure you are jumping through all of the hoops.
3-4 correct. Check out some writer's books. Take some notes. 
0-2 correct. Just today you thought, "Hey, maybe I should be a writer!" Now, take the next step above. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

When it's rough...

Photo by Pete Willis on Unsplash

It's been a rough few days, and when it's rough, my writing bug drops off the planet. Though I've thought about writing, I just haven't been able to do anything about it.

Have you been having the same trouble?

When your personal life outside of writing needs a first priority, what do you do to make it back to writing? What do you do so that you can think again? Do you just wait it out? Or do you plunge ahead despite the huge wall? If so, how do you do it?

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Would love to know your thoughts.