Monthly Archives: August 2013

Writer’s block

I thought I’d talk a bit about something that all writers struggle with from time to time. Writers block! If you follow writers on Facebook or Twitter sooner or later you’ll see one or more of them talking about their tangle with writers block. I’ve struggled with it myself, although not in the way that you might think.  There are two types of writers block as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to break both of them down here.

Writers block type 1: Being stuck creatively.

I have struggled with this one from time to time. This is when you get stuck in the details of your story. For me it’s not that I have a lack of ideas, but sometimes when I’m attempting to execute the idea I get stuck as to how I’m going to get the characters from point A to point B. I know what A and B are, I just can’t figure out how to bring them together. This type of block is usually remedied by going back to the beginning and re reading to see if you can open the story up a little wider from the outset. Sometimes you just need to look at the situation your characters are in and make it broader or give them another problem. I can usually cope with this type of block in a few sessions of brainstorming or going for a bus ride. When I’m blocked creatively the best place for me is on a metro transit bus. I’ll put my earphones in and ride around for a few hours while I think about it. This will usually lead me to a solution

 

Writers block type 2: Being stuck emotionally.

This one is harder. I am struggling with this one as I work on a stand-alone novel in between books for my vampire series.  It’s a hard book for me to write emotionally. There’s no creative block, but there’s an emotional block. What do I mean by that? Being blocked emotionally when writing means you are second guessing the material, or worried about people’s reactions to it. I’ll be lucky to have a draft of this book that’s anywhere near ready for sale by next summer. I have to go slow. Whenever I pull that one out to work on it I get emotionally drained. It’s an issue I’ve dealt with and one that’s painful for a lot of people to acknowledge. It’s an important book for me to write because it’s so therapeutic, but I can’t help but wonder what people will think of me when/if they read it. The one word I’d use to describe this type of block is fear.

Fear is life’s great motivator. We are all motivated by fear. When fear of standing still becomes greater than the fear of moving forward that’s when we make changes. With this project I’ll have to have the fear of not doing it be greater than the fear of letting people read it in order to move forward. I’m determined to get there, but it won’t be easy. Some people have wonderfully written books sitting in their hard drives or desk drawers that we’ll never see because the writer just can’t bring themselves to release it emotionally for whatever reason. The fear of having others read their work is still greater than the fear of never having let it out in the first place and so they are at a standstill.

 

So if you’re a writer (or any creative type really) what type of blocks do you struggle with? How do you overcome them? I think it’s good to swap stories as you never know what might help or inspire someone else.

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One Crow Sorrow eBook is LIVE!!

The paperback will be a few more days but the eBook is live right now. 😀

http://www.amazon.com/Vampires-Soldiers-Cove-Sorrow-ebook/dp/B00ET9W97U/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377698355&sr=1-4

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August 28, 2013 · 1:59 pm

The Vampires of Soldiers Cove – Book 2- One Crow Sorrow

The Vampires of Soldiers Cove - Book 2- Once Crow Sorrow

Here is the cover to the next book in my vampire series. Due out in the next few days! 😀

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August 27, 2013 · 3:07 pm

Why I don’t care if you don’t like my books!

So I’ve been a published writer for almost six months now and I’ve learned a lot. Not just about writing and promoting but about myself as a person. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that while I’m not Shakespeare (I never thought I was) I’m a pretty good writer. Does it come across as arrogant to say that? Perhaps. Writers aren’t supposed to express any confidence in their abilities for some reason. It’s like an unwritten rule we all have to follow. I think it’s stupid.

I’m always open to learning and getting better. It doesn’t insult me when people point out typos or mistakes (all books have them, even the ones put out by big name publishers) and it doesn’t make me feel bad if you think what I’ve published is tripe. I don’t care.

I’ve published a full length novel and two novellas in the last six months and I’ve had enough positive feedback, from people who don’t know me and have no reason to be nice, that it affirms my decision to keep publishing and moving forward.

Reviews fluctuate from one star to five stars. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Well, everyone is. You didn’t like my character development? Oh well. Thought my ending was bad? That’s unfortunate. Didn’t enjoy the type of sex I portrayed in my erotica books? Well, we all like something different sexually so too bad, so sad.

People love to ‘Monday morning quarterback’ you. But where is their book? Most doing it don’t have one, and if they do, you could stake your life on the fact that it’s not perfect, not in the least.  I’ve had a couple of writers who’ve given me ‘constructive criticism’ which made me shake my head. Then I’ve gone and read their books and realized that any advice they’d give me is probably best ignored!

I know a few people who are very critical and consider themselves writers but have yet to even put one book up for sale. They say they want it to be ‘perfect’ before they put it up and nobody has any business putting a book up for sale that is less than perfect. Ha! You know when your book will be perfect enough to put up for sale? NEVER! Although perhaps perfection is not really what’s holding you back…maybe it’s balls!

Sorry to be blunt here, but perhaps what you lack is not literary skills, perhaps what you lack is the balls to just put it out there. It takes huge gonads to let your work go out into the world. People WILL rip it apart and it WILL hurt you, but never mind that. What do YOU think of it? When you put your head on the pillow at night do YOU feel you’ve told the story you want to tell? If the answer is a yes then that’s good enough.

Now, it’s time to move on. As the Foo Fighters say, “Done! Done! On to the next one!”  Go write the next story. The process will be the same. Some will love it, some will hate it. Do YOU like it? Dave Grohl once said, “The next time somebody tells you that you can’t sing say, fuck you!”  This applies to writing as much as it does to music.

Be different, be ballsy, be yourself! Say what you want in the way you want to say it. Today you are one day closer to your death bed. When you are lying there, staring at the ceiling as the light goes out in your eyes, what will you want to say to yourself? Personally I know I’ll want to say, “I had the balls to do the things I desired to do and I didn’t care what anyone else thought.”

How about you?

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WARNING! There’s No Warning!

So I’ve been seeing this argument on quite a few groups lately and I thought I’d jump in and give my 2 cents worth. The question of whether or not there should be a warning on books with strong language, sex and violence.  I don’t know if people have noticed but this particular argument lately is mostly aimed at indie writers. I don’t hear people hollering and complaining that there are no warnings on Stephen King, or George R.R. Martin books. God knows, they run on sex and violence and there is nary a warning to be found. So why the double standard for indie writers?

Look folks, if you’re an adult and you are browsing the section of the bookstore or website with books written by adults for other adults you need to be prepared to have any type of language or situation pop up in the books you read. Yes I can hear some people now saying, “Well I appreciate a warning because I don’t like those things.”  Fair enough if you don’t like that type of thing, but honestly, when was the last time you opened a book by a big name author that had any kind of warning at all? I mean for god sake, the entire plot for the Game of Thrones books is based on incest, and the language used by the characters is true to their nature, and in a lot of cases, that means swearing.

There are many things you can do if you want to avoid strong language, sex and violence in a book.

  1. Read the first few pages. Usually this will give you an idea of what the story is about, especially on Amazon where they have the whole, ‘look inside’ feature. I know for my eBook, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove, you can read right up to chapter 4 if you click on that feature. There’s been adult content up to that point and if you don’t like it don’t read it.
  2. Read the reviews. Chances are if there is adult content and the book has a decent amount of reviews someone has mentioned it.
  3. Look at the genre! I can’t stress this one enough. If sex and violence really make you that uncomfortable you are probably better off sticking to the YA section of the bookstore or website. I know lots of adults who read YA exclusively. That would never be me because in most YA books things are sanitized and it annoys me. It annoys me in the same way sex and violence annoy some others, so guess what? I DON’T USUALLY READ THEM!  I’ve seen some reviews recently on erotica books that rated them low because there was ‘too much sex’. Seriously?? The darn thing has EROTICA stamped on the genre!! Erotica = sex. Don’t like sex? Don’t read erotica!

 

So I have to say that even though my books contain sex, violence, and strong language you will NEVER see a warning on them. Not unless they come up with a book rating system similar to that which is used to judge movies that would be legally enforced. Why?  Because I’m an adult, writing about adults, for other adults. If you get that bent out of shape over certain situations, perhaps reading is the wrong hobby for you all together. God forbid you be offended! May I suggest pottery or knitting?  I have never done either but they seem like G rated activities and won’t get your blood pressure all sky high.

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Life After Discharge

I was finally discharged from the hospital today after three long weeks. You would think I’d be feeling glad about that but I’m not. Something that is very common, but not often talked about, is how difficult life is after being discharged. It’s a rough time for most people, and I’m no exception.

Right now I’m sitting here watching the kids play the Wii U and writing this You would think that would make me feel all warm and fuzzy, but it doesn’t. As my grandmother used to say, “I feel like ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag”. And yes, she really did used to say that.

They never keep you until you are well, they keep you until they figure you can go home and continue to recover on your own. Can I continue to recover on my own? God, I hope so. I don’t want to end up back in the hospital, but if I’m being brutally honest, it wouldn’t surprise me. The adjustment is always hard, but it’s especially hard this time because of the nature of what happened. I feel kind of like I am being expected to run a marathon on two legs that only just now had the casts removed. Does that make sense? The things that happened this time have never happened to me before and I’m still trying to process it all.

All I know is I am off to Cape Breton for a book signing. We are leaving tomorrow but the signing is not until Monday, so I’ll have the weekend to kind of see people and maybe relax a little. That will be nice.

I have to say that I absolutely hate the fact that my illness has progressed and it makes me very scared. I’ve never really been unaware about what was going on around me until this last go round with this pain in the ass called, Psychotic Depression. So now I feel like I could drift off into that other world again. Quickly and without warning. I don’t like this, not one little bit.

I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say here, perhaps I just felt the need to vent a little about my fear of the future.

Take care minions! And to those of you coming to the book signing, I’ll see you soon! ❤

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