Two Vital Questions to Ask Yourself About Writing

Thought for the dayWe are all looking for our path to success, but our paths are drastically different. We all don’t get to success the same way, and we don’t all identify success in the same manner.

In my years of reading about marketing and writing, the same questions pop up, and by answering these two questions, it makes us better able to plan our writing careers. In fact, the answers to these two questions are vital in making important decisions in our publishing journeys.

Last week, I posed these two questions to members in my writers’ group. They have a month to think over the answers, but I’ve been thinking about my answers for much longer.

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A Hard Lesson Learned

Hard Lessons LearnedAlthough it’s tough to admit it, six years ago, I made a horrible mistake in my publishing journey. After publishing the first book in my Castle Keepers fantasy series, Shadows in the Stone, I should have buckled down and completed the draft to the second book in the series, Scattered Stones.

However, feeling the pressure to get more books on my publishing shelf, I wrote a few short stories that were not in the fantasy genre. They were quick writes, quickly edited by my editor and quickly published. I soon had four books on my shelf. It looked impressive.

I was following the advice of those who believed the more books on a shelf, the more a writer gets noticed because they have a larger footprint.

However, those giving advice didn’t stress the vital fact that the books written should all be in one genre. Readers sometimes stick to one genre, so those who loved my fantasy novel might not like my contemporary stories about death, domestic abuse or a cranky neighbour.

Sigh.

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Wandering Slowly into YouTube

My Wandering PathI’ve been taking photographs since I was 11 years old. Over the past 39 years, I’ve felt comfortable behind the camera, but I’ve never overcome my discomfort of being in front of it. I’ve seen other authors bite the bullet and create videos on a regular basis and post them to YouTube. It helps get their names and books out there.

They don’t always talk about writing or their books. They create a following with interesting videos on a variety of topics.

I had shared a few videos in the past, but I want to do more. I’ve convinced myself the only way to do that is to gain experience making videos – because I like a challenge and my world isn’t crazy enough.

My first step was to watch videos by different people to see how they went about creating content. There are a wide-range of styles and subjects on YouTube, so it is easy to find something to pique your interest.

When I began practising with my phone to shoot videos, the first issue I noticed was the audio. I saw YouTubers often had a mic clipped to their shirt, so I did a little investigating.

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6 Things to Improve Your Success in Life and in Writing

I arrived ten minutes early for my doctor’s appointment, hoping I’d get in and out quickly. The appearance of only one other vehicle in the parking lot supported my goal. When I walked into the waiting room, there was only one guy there. Sitting in the dark. Alone. The receptionist office window was closed with a sign that read: Gone for Lunch; Back at 1:15.

I knew it was around 12:30. My appointment was 12:45. I started to think I had made a mistake. I questioned the only person in sight. “Are they still taking patients even though everyone’s gone to lunch?”

“Yeah, they are,” he said. “But instead of the receptionist, I saw a doctor come out and take in two patients.”

“Good. I was worried.”

“Me too until I saw the doctor.”

I sat and looked up at the TV screen and saw a show I had never watched before. After fifteen minutes, nothing had changed. I was still in my seat, the man was still sitting a few seats away, the room was still dim and the doctor had not yet emerged.

More TV Watching

After another 15 minutes, other patients started to trickle in, and another show I had never seen came on the television: the Marilyn Denise Show. I only watch one show—Agents of Shield—now that Corner Gas no longer runs, so almost every show is one I’ve never seen or heard of before.

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Write Your Little Hearts Out

NOVELmberIt’s November 1st, and from my wee corner of the world, I can hear pens and pencils scratching on paper and anxious fingertips striking keyboards. It must be NaNoWriMo!

November is National Writing Month, a month set aside during the year to encourage writers to write up a storm. They might write something completely new or finish a work in progress.

The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

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Write a Novel in 30 Days

NOVELmberWe are two weeks away from NOVELmber. Are you taking the plunge? I have considered it many times, but not until this year did I actually make plans to do it.

Never heard of this month before? You’re probably not alone. Here are the basics:

Commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

That’s it. That’s really all you have to do. If you want to take it a step further and be both held accountable to your commitment and share your success formerly with others, you’ll have to register with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

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MIA Somewhere in Nova Scotia

April seems so far away yet it was only four short months ago. Since April 2nd I’ve worked non-stop…practically every day; in some cases twice a day for two different employers. When I set out to find a part time job this spring, I had no idea I’d end up working fifty to sixty hours a week and using seven to eight and a half hours of my week driving to and from work.

That chews up a lot of life…a lot of writing time.

The only writing I’ve accomplished in the past four months is a few blog posts and my weekly genealogy column. I attempted to edit a short thirty thousand-word novel but failed when my weary schedule got the best of me.

Now with my seasonal job slowing down slightly, I am more likely to get two days off, which means I work only 45 to 48 hours a week. This gives me time to tend to the garden, start a new pasture for the goats and upgrade the chicken coop…but it doesn’t allow me time to absorb myself into fiction writing, which is what I need to accomplish anything.

On the bright side, my job ends in October, leaving me all winter to write, edit and catch up on many things I’ve missed.

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