Posted in Blog, Self-Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

S&S — Scatterbrained & Self-Publishing

Scatterbrained: — adjective. — (Of a person) disorganized and lacking in concentration. — Absentminded, forgetful, disorganized, unsystematic.Β 

This is me! Wanna know why?

Self-publishing. πŸ˜‰

Seriously though. When I first set out to write books, always sorta just assumed I would be answering to other people. Whether that be agents and editors, publishers and the like. I just assumed someone else would be calling the shots.

Guess who is calling the shots? Yep. That’d be me…. over here managing myself. — *points finger at self* — πŸ˜‰

There is so much to do. I sit down to do one thing and my brain is like, but you need to do this, this, that, this, and the other. And I’m like… Ahhhhhhh!

What I really need to do, for the moment, is focus on one piece of the puzzle without letting my mind wander about all the other pieces. Then work on one of the other pieces… all my focus on it, for the time I’ve carved out for it. And so on & so forth with the rest of the pieces.

While all that is incredibly overwhelming… I am super excited! A little terrified, a lot of scatterbrained, but super excited.

I know sometimes Indie authors are treated as second-rate. They’re judged through a different lens. A lot of people assume your work is no good if you self-publish. Which I believe is a common misconception. I’ve read a many a good self-published works, as well as not so good. I’ve also read a many of not so good traditionally published books, as I have good ones.

And I had a decision to make. Which road did I want to take? I’m a regular ol’ Robert Frost over here. I remember that poem. Had to memorize it in the 6th grade and recite it for the class. Couldn’t recite it now, but I remember its meaning clear as a bell.

I did research. — still doing research. I weighed pros and cons. I read what other authors had to say. I looked into what was required of me either way.

And do you know what? I chose a tough path for an introvert like myself. I chose to manage myself, to market myself, to push myself.

I’m someone who has always preferred to blend into the background. I’m quiet, I don’t say much — Okay, clearly a blogger can’t claim such a thing, but I just did it anyway. πŸ˜‰ — I keep to myself and tend to lurk more than converse.

But I chose a path where I have to put myself out there… and with that comes growth. Which is what’s so beautiful about it. There is a learning curve for everything and I am still finding my footing, and I will make mistakes along the way.

But I’m excited! And I’m exploring this brand new world that has become my life, and while it seems daunting some days… what’s up ahead of me is an adventure that will undoubtedly change my life in so many ways. — So, scatterbrainedΒ or not, I’m super excited guys! πŸ˜€

Heather!

Posted in Blog, Life, Randomness, Uncategorized, Writing

Consistency… Is A Swear Word… Isn’t It? :D

With publishing… comes a lot of hard work. Which includes, but is not limited to, consistency and community building.

I’ve had this blog, for what? Going on about five years now, I believe. That’s a long time. But if there is one thing I am not… it’s consistent. I have a platform here, I just don’t utilize as well as I should.

We can chalk that up to laziness or my lacking social skills… we can call it ignorance, as I didn’t realize how important and helpful blogging consistency can be to an author.

I started this whole thing to sort of hold myself accountable when I decided to double down on writing books. I felt like if I told the world about it, that would put pressure on me to make sure it happened.

Well… that didn’t work quite like I thought. But I did find a lot of value in this blog, even when it didn’t serve its original purpose as I had intended it too.

I used to vent a lot on here, because as a writer, it’s sort of what I do naturally. Write when I’m upset or angry. Now I exercise when I’m upset or angry and I no longer use this place for that. Which, if I’m being honest, is probably a good thing. πŸ˜‰

So now I’m on here even less because of that. Well guys… that just won’t do. — It’s time to quit neglecting the blog.

So I’m going to attempt.. let’s see if I can manage without failing drastically… blogging daily. Once a day.

The biggest issue with that, I can tell you now… sometimes I will have nothing to say. I’ll just sit here staring at the screen. On those days, heaven only knows what I’ll share on here. Probably a bunch of boring nonsense. — I apologize in advance! (Psst.. feel free to read it anyway. πŸ˜€ )

Also, for some randomness that you didn’t ask for! It’s quiet in my house right now and I’m writing to the hum of a refrigerator, the neighborhood kids playing basketball out front and one of the neighborhood kids playing the tuba out back somewhere. This is my life… welcome! πŸ™‚

Seriously though. I have a bunch of stuff to do. There’s not enough time in the day. I have two scenes that need to be written as part of the editing process for my book. My kitchen is also a disaster. And that is not an exaggeration. — It’s a disaster.

So write and clean the kitchen it is! Oh, and I guess I’ll have to make some supper in there somewhere. There is much to do!

Talk later! Wait! Not later, tomorrow! πŸ˜‰ (Which is technically later, but… you catch my drift.)
Much love, guys!Β  πŸ˜€

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Life, Personal Growth, Uncategorized, Writing

I Did It! :D

Y’all wanna know what I did? Hang tight… I’ll tell ya. πŸ™‚

It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. I haven’t typed up a blog post since about September, October-ish. The last time I did, it was to tell you all that I was finally doing it. Like for real, it was happening.

If you read that post… you know I’m talking about my book. I’ve struggled to get it off the ground for years now… but this was the year. It was finally happening.

There were times I almost popped on here to give you updates, talk about word count, and regale you with tales of my writing escapades. Part of me wanted to share it with you guys… another part of me was tired of sharing all those things and then letting you all down… letting myself down.

I knew this time was different, but that didn’t mean you guys had any way of knowing that. So instead… every time I got excited, or hit some small milestone… I shot texts off to my best friend, called up my Mama, or talked my husbands ears off… because believe me, I was excited. They were all probably sick of me at various times along the way… but they were with me, all the way.

My mama read intimate scenes so she could inform me whether they were classy or not… she said I wasn’t allowed to embarrass her.. πŸ˜€

My best friend… read, I can’t tell you, how many snippets of text and provided feedback, which she wholeheartedly demanded credit for, mind you, and all the while complaining because she wanted to read the whole thing and I was moving to slowly for her. Apparently, I needed to speed it up.

My husband… who, let’s face it, understands things like alien ants taking over the world far better than he does two people falling in love… soldiered on head first into sounding board mode and engaged in countless plot point discussions, despite his disappointment at the lack of sci-fi. πŸ˜€

God… well… that almost speaks for itself doesn’t it? If He hadn’t turned my life upside down and inside out this past year, in the best possible ways, we wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be typing this and we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all. He kick-started everything and He gets all the glory.

As for myself… cause I did write the thing after all… πŸ™‚ — I stuck with it. On days I didn’t wanna… on days I did wanna… and every day in between. I believed in myself, and for the first time ever… I didn’t care what anybody else believed.

There is so much freedom in that, I can’t even tell y’all.

So… In September, on the 14th. I sat down and started working again. I had roughly around 7,000 words. I now… Four & a half months later… have a completed, 80,000-ish word novel.

Say what?! Yeah… I did it! — I didn’t do it alone! But I definitely did it!

Now what? — Well, Gotta edit the blasted thing. But we’re gonna dive right in. Then I’m gonna turn around and dive right on in to the wonderful world of publishing…. (Y’all pray for me… I thought writing it was scary… eeek!) — At the same time… we’re gonna get started on book 2! Keep on rolling!

I started on this book 2 years ago… and couldn’t get it off the ground. — Well, y’all… it’s off the ground now… we’ve taken flight… and it’s only just beginning. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Life, Writing

The Search History Of A Writer…

Ya know what you learn writing a book?

Things you think you knew… you did not actually know as well as you thought. — And sometimes it’ll make you feel like you are especially dumb. πŸ˜‰

You will spend a ridiculous amount of time researching and googling things you thought you knew enough about. — Turns out there’s a lot you don’t actually know about simple things you thought you knew and sometimes what you know slips your mind altogether.

When you are trying to be descriptive and accurate…. there’s a lot you don’t realize you need extra help with.

I have examples!

Tonight alone I’ve googled… Japanese Maples, types of sweaters, plaid scarfs, kitchen decor, various shades of green, the definition of the word rich, how to describe the color yellow, words for describing a kitchen, the name of the silver refrigerators, (It’s stainless steel by the way, I own one! ) what outdoor furniture looks like, synonyms for… bright, dark, muttered, perfect, colorful, exasperated, capture, proud of, and emotion.

Y’all that’s just tonight. & I assure you it’s not just a one night thing. It’s an every day thing.

Anybody ever stumbles across my search history and they’re gonna think I’m an idiot. Like… next level dumb.

That’s okay though… as long as I nail descriptive and accurate. πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Randomness, Writing

When Showers & Construction Paper Collide…

As all my fellow writers probably know… sometimes inspiration strikes at a moments notice and you get something really good & you’ve got to write it down immediately. — Sometimes that happens at just the right moment… and other times…. at just the wrong moment. — This is a story of just the wrong moment.

I was going over scenes & dialogue in my head. So basically I was talking to myself… as if I was imaginary people, cause that’s not weird at all..Β  the whole back & forth… when I got a really good exchange. — I was like, ohhhhh! That’s good. That’s so good. I’ve got to write that down.

Except I was in the shower.

My laptop was in the living room. There were other people in my house. So I couldn’t very well throw on a towel dripping wet all over the place & run go get it. — I was like I’m going to just finish my shower & then do it. — But y’all…. I was antsy. I was like that exchange was so good and if I forget I’m going to be so mad. — So I moved on to plan B.

Find a notebook.

Now you would think… as a writer… I’d have one stashed in my bedroom somewhere. But no. I couldn’t find one. — I got out, wrapped up in a towel, dripping water all over the place while I engaged in a frenzied search for a notepad of any sort. Any would do. But, alas, nothing.

I found one piece of yellow construction paper & and an orange colored pencil. (Don’t ask, I don’t know. πŸ˜€ )

Anyhow. So there I was. Soak & wet, dripping water onto the bathroom counter and floor, after having dripped it all over the bedroom, and writing out dialogue with a pencil on a piece of construction paper.

To top it all off… the orange colored pencil was dull and wasn’t really showing up well on the yellow paper, so I had to re-write over several worlds multiple times. — It took a bit.

I did eventually manage to get it down and hopped right back in the shower to finish up.

But it wasn’t without an adventure first. — You can be sure from now on I’ll have a laptop, a notebook, or something within reach while I’m showering.Β  — I learned my lesson. πŸ˜€

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Life, Personal Growth, Randomness, Uncategorized, Writing

It’s Happening!

Another day down in the books. (Insert thumbs up here.)

Wrote 3000 words & finished a scene I’ve been working on for like 3 days now.

It’s flowing, it’s smooth, it’s good. (Ignore that I’m biased because, I, of course, think my own work is brilliant. πŸ˜€ )

I even sent a little snippet to my best friend/sister-in-law & I was like, “I don’t think I’m half bad at this.” And she was like… “Yeah, you have a knack for it.” — Yes, we talk like this… kindly, don’t judge us. πŸ˜‰ ) — Then she told me to hurry up so she can read it in its entirety and not just the little teasers I keep sending her. πŸ˜‰ — I mean… the snippets & the teasers are good… it’s all good, amiright? πŸ˜€ — If you don’t think I’m right… please don’t burst my bubble. Everybody has the right to bubbles!

Anyhow… progress is being made… we’re moving along.

Y’all… it’s happening.

There have been moments along this journey where I very much thought it would never happen. — It’s happening. Right now.

I’d kick myself for all the time I wasted… but I genuinely believe that I wasn’t ready until now. I couldn’t have done this before…. because I wasn’t in a place where I could do it.

I’m in that place now & it’s happening.

I know that there were a whole host of people who didn’t & maybe even don’t now, believe me or in me. That used to bother me so bad. I mean turn my world upside down bad… because I already didn’t believe in myself.

Y’all know what is beautiful? I believe in me now. — I have a confidence that I didn’t have before… That God has given to me… that has changed everything.

Nobody can undo what He has done. No amount of disbelief in me… can shake my belief in myself. You can’t shake my foundation… because God built it… it’s quake proof. πŸ˜€

But I’m sure there will be people who read this & think… Yeah. Right. Okay. Here we go again.

And y’all wanna know something…. That’s alright. I don’t do any of this for any of them. I do it for God first and me second. — But once upon a time…. I would have felt that to my core. I needed people to believe in me… in an effort to convince myself to believe in me, and when they didn’t… it just reinforced my disbelief in myself. (What a hot mess that was!) — & now…

If you aren’t #1 or #2… that’s God & me… & you do have an opinion that is one of doubt… that’s okay… you can have it, it’s yours to have… but it’s irrelevant. — You can’t tear down what God has built… and He has built me up.

Y’all…. It’s happening. — & I’m excited! πŸ˜€

 

 

Posted in Blog, Reading, Writing

Feel Free To Read This In Your Spare Time… :)

PSA: The grammar here is atrocious. I’m going to strongly suggest… πŸ˜€ … that you kindly disregard it. Ya see here… I was writing for hours on my book before this & that requires being grammar conscious.. and it’s a royal pain. I’m all grammar’d out and I don’t have it in me. — I will start sentences with and, put commas and periods where they do not belong and……. all sorts of other nonsense that is frowned upon. — Please, ignore my sloppiness. You guys are the best. πŸ˜€

 

I learn a lot from other authors. I learn from reading… which I truly believe is one of the best ways to learn about writing.

The other day I tried a new author. And it was this author’s first book.

As someone writing a first… it pains me to read first books by new authors and pick it apart. Because I know… I knooowwww… the work, the time, the sweat, and tears… all of it. I live it. It’s heart wrenching to know people are going to pick your work apart and find flaws in something you’ve created and come to love very much. — But that’s the name of this game. People will read your work as an author and they will judge it. Good or bad… one way or the other… they’ll feel some sort of way about it and that’s their right. —

But as a writer… it makes it much more difficult for me. I feel bad judging someone else’s work when I didn’t like something. I want to like it all. But that’s just not the case. That’s not how it works and at the end of the day… I can also learn a lot from books that I didn’t like or that I found flaws in. — Sure… I know people will find flaws and issues in my work… and that makes me feel like a hypocrite… hence the reason I probably feel so bad when I don’t like something. —- Which is what happened with this book.

I tried it because it was suggested and I knew it was a first time author and I wanted to see what that read like… because typically I’m reading books by authors that have published a multitude of books… and that’s always going to be a different kind of read.

So throughout what I read of it… the author kept telling me that the main character was sarcastic and was a bit of a smart mouth. There were several times where that was expressed and eventually I went.. You keep telling me, but it’s not in the dialogue and it’s not in her thoughts and it’s not in her actions. It’s not here anywhere. — She wanted me to know her character was sarcastic but if she had never told me that… I would have never known.

And I immediately thought…. don’t do that. Make sure that if I tell readers something about my character and it’s a huge part of their personality…. that they’ll see it throughout the book. They’ll see it in the dialogue, actions, and inner thoughts. If my character has sarcastic tendencies… let there be no room for doubt. If one character doesn’t get along with another…. make sure the reader can see the tension and that it doesn’t come across like they’re best buds. Things like that. Making sure everything matches up and balances out… Everything has to carry over just right all the way through… it can be a fine line! Lemme tell ya! —

Now I didn’t like the book. To be fair… I don’t think I was the right target for it. I really don’t. But at the same time… it really did help me to pay attention to things I don’t want to do with my own work. — One of the other things was that it moved very fast and didn’t really go in hard. I didn’t feel like I got enough information or got to know anything about anything before we had moved on to another scene. — and I immediately said, don’t do that. Don’t linger too long… but also.. let my readers get to know my characters and what’s happening and get a feel for each and every scene. Even short ones. Create depth… I want people to turn the page having known exactly what I did about what was happening. Clear & concise… not just sort of brushing over it where you feel like you kinda missed something, but you aren’t sure what. —

& y’all I feel like a jerk for saying that about some one else’s hard work. I really do. & I know she was trying to move the story along to get to the good stuff… but I believe that all of the smaller parts in between the big ones matter just as much as the big ones. If you gloss over them quickly and with very little depth you miss out on so many opportunities for character and story building. You also run the risk of leaving readers like me… feeling like they’ve missed something.

There’s so much to learn from the work of other author’s… even when it’s mistakes or problems. And as much as I hate to find issues with a new authors work… because I know the tides shall turn someday… y’all.. ya girl ain’t no fool. πŸ˜‰ — When there are issues… those are things I can learn from. So I do.

I feel like a jerk when I’m doing it though… so there’s that. πŸ˜‰

Posted in Blog, Personal Growth, Writing

Y’all…

I gotta tell y’all bout what just happened…

About a month ago I started writing every day.. I still write every day, just so ya know.. that hasn’t stopped.

Because of that I write way more often, obviously, and I’m better at it. I genuinely believe that writing, in a lot of cases, is a God-given talent. It’s no different from the singer or the painter or the musician. It’s art, just like all the rest. Anyone has the ability to write, and that’s great, but I do believe that God gives some people an extra special ability to do so.

Just like I can sing… but you probably don’t want to hear it. While I’m capable of it, I was certainly not gifted with the ability to do it very well.

My husband can paint and he has real talent. Me? Ha! He’ll show me sometimes, like early on in the painting and try to explain what it’s going to be and how it’s going to come together.. and I’m like… I don’t get it. — He’ll say, you have to envision it… and I’m standing there like… Nope, I got nothing. — Because I’m not a painter.

I’m a writer.

I’ve struggled to stay consistent with writing and that has affected its quality. Writing is like any art. If you don’t do it very often, you’re going to be rusty at it and it’s going to show. With any art, not just writing. The more you do it, the better you are at it.

Here’s what happened…..

I downloaded a book earlier and started reading… I was stumbling through paragraph after paragraph because my brain was thinking like a writer, not a reader.

All I could see was sentence structure, the various tenses, how the author wove her words and sentences together, and the detail in her work. All I could see was how it was strung together…. and I realized it was because I’ve been so immersed in writing lately that my mind was reading like a writer, rather than a reader.

I have a God-given talent that I haven’t utilized the way I should have over the years. So it’s been pretty rusty when I did bust it out sporadically.

However because I’ve been using it so much lately it’s improved in a thousand different ways. One of which means I’m going to have to make an effort to put aside thinking like a writer when I’m reading.

I’ve never had that happen before. Sometimes stuff would jump out at me and I would think, oh that’s good, I like what he or she did there. — This was different.

This was…Β  I didn’t even know what I had read because all I was seeing was how it was put together. So I’m going to have to figure out how to shut that off, cause ya girl here likes to read. πŸ˜€

I just thought I would share that with you guys. Every day I feel moreΒ like the writer I’m meant to be… and I like it. And since this blog was always intended to be about my writing journey… seems fitting to mention it.

With love,
Heather.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Writing

Wash, Rinse, Repeat… ?!

Ever have one of those writing days where you don’t really wanna but you know you should, so you do? But then it’s like you have to push & shove & pull & fight to get 2 sentences on the page… and those 2 sentences sound like utter crap.

So then you begin a cycle of writing a couple of sentences, reading it, shaking your head, back spacing.

Writing a couple of sentences, reading it, shaking your head, back spacing.

over & over & over again.

Yep! One of those days.

But I will say that I did manage to get a page or two written despite all that & while it may be a total mess when I have to edit back through later… that’s okay. Something was written & that’s always better than nothing. Gives me something to edit in the future if nothing else.

Or who knows? May edit back through & find it to be an outstanding couple of pages. Future Heather may be like this is literary gold. πŸ˜€

So here I am blogging about my writing woes. But really if that’s all I have to complain about I must say I’m doing pretty good. πŸ™‚

Talk to you all later.
With Love,
Heather. πŸ˜€