Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stuck in the Middle

You’ve finally committed.  You started writing your novel. Everything is going great. The plot is coming together the characters are awesome and connect with each other and you. Then the unthinkable happens.  Nothing at all.  That’s right you’ve spent weeks months or even years and now you’re stuck right in the middle of the story. You know where it should go, but you can’t see how to get it there.
This is not really the same as writers block though you could say they are cousins. You keep writing, but it just feels like you are spinning your wheels. How do you combat being stuck in the middle?
1) Keep writing. The end may be closer than you think.
2) Skip ahead. Movies aren’t shot in order so who says you have to write that way.
3) Realize you aren’t alone. The middle is usually the make or break part of a novel. Not because it is the most important part, but because it is where most writers give up. The beginning of a novel is easy you go in all revved up and start strong. The ending is easy as well as you can see the finish line. The middle is that bleak spot where you can get lost and lose sight of the prize at the end.
4) Don’t give up. Recommit yourself to finishing. You’re in the middle of the forest now and the only way out is to continue forward.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I’m Not Looking

You’ve promised yourself you won’t look anymore. That is easier said than done considering every time you click the link it is the first thing you see.  It is also everywhere you see your book like a shining beacon right next to your cover. And every time the number grows your stomach clenches tight and you hope the news is good. I’m talking about book ratings and reviews. 
There is much debate amongst authors as to the proper to way to respond to these ratings and reviews. Some think responding to the reviewer is good. Some think having the more flagrantly negative reviews removed is a good idea. I’m in the crowd of no response is the best response. So why am I writing this post?
1) Reviews whether good or bad positive or negative can say what they want. It can be inaccurate, mean, and spiteful. It can also be eloquent, thoughtful, and heartwarming. Or any combination of the above. So yes there can be a good negative review and a bad positive review.
2) Authors can feel however we want about the reviews and the ratings that come from them, but very rarely if ever should we respond to the criticisms and reviews whether good or bad positive or negative.
However, not responding does not lessen the sting of the negative reviews nor does it contain the elation at the positive reviews. Being that we're a human (at least the last time I checked I was) we tend to focus on the negative. We can only hope that the positive reviews will balance out the negatives.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's Not About The Money

I’ve been debating about what my first blog entry of the New Year should be. I wanted it to be something inspiring but real. I just couldn’t come up with anything until a conversation with my husband.
We were talking about finances. Not an uncommon topic after spending a little too much on the kids at Christmas.
He said (jokingly), “You need to hurry up and make me rich.”

My reply, “It’s not about the money. Money is just a perk.” As I heard the words reverberate in my head it struck a chord. That’s when I realized how true those words are for me.
I know some people go into different field with dreams of making it big whether it be a lawyer, doctor, or writer. For them it is what motivates them to excel at their chosen profession. This is not me.
I am motivated by the occasional quiet thank you or you did a great job. As an author this comes in the form of fan mail and positive reviews. It also comes from those quiet moments when I feel that I accomplished something wonderful no matter how small.