Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG - The Writing and Publishing Journey

To get the deets for this great group, hop, awesome source of support, click here.

Today's post is a little different. This is my contribution to the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond in celebration of IWSG's 3rd birthday/anniversary/whatever, 3 years going strong. Being a part of this has been a plus in my journey to publication and continues to be a wonderful thing for me even as I continue each step along the path before me. So....here we go...

What's Good to Your Soul
(I give permission for this to be republished for the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond)

There's lots of advice for an aspiring writer. Honestly, I want to facepalm myself for not being aware of the scores and scores of tips and points available when I first tripped and fell headfirst into the ocean that is publishing. I allowed myself to be so blinded by...goodness, I don't even know what it was. Maybe it was the idea of being published or unrealistic hopes without doing what I needed to do to make it happen. That was back in 2007 when I first self-published Secret Lilies under the pen name Rayven Godchild and then life side-swiped me with a lot of necessary change.

When I came back to the game, I came back a bit more prepared though I still had a few things that still needed to be addressed to get where I am (where I am being a happier place as an author and not trying to be some other author). So instead of tips or advice, I have a few Hard Knocks to share.

Hard Knock 1. Accept the dream - For the longest time, I didn't want to publish my writing. As a kid I thought it was awesome. But the reality of things like rent or mortgage, groceries, and electricity took over. When the writing bug hit me, I wishwashed around, uncertain if I was worthy, if anyone would even care to read what I wrote. Which leads to...

Hard Knock 2. Get over yourself - Seriously. It's good to have confidence to help battle the monster that is Doubt. Inner Critic tends to have the power to draw more blood and cease more writing careers than any red-pen-wielding editor, critique partner or even the dreaded Goodreads Trolls. But having issues when people trying to help you point out ways to improve your work won't help. Talent is great. Being a gifted writer is very helpful, but it's putting in the work that will  keep you moving along the publication journey, leading to...

Hard Knock 3. Open your mind and do your research - Self-publishing via KDP, Nook Press, Smashwords or Draft2Digital. E-book publishers. Small publishers. Traditional publishing. Although there is no one right way to publish, there is one journey that is yours and yours alone. Do your research to weigh the pros and cons of the different ways to publish. Closing your mind to one way may be closing the door to an opportunity you choose to dismiss. That's a great segway to...

Hard Knock 4. Comparisons have their place - Whatever path you choose, or whatever twists and turns your various choices and decisions lead you on, keep the comparisons to the blurbs and sales pitches. I can't tell you how many times I've found myself first pleased with having a work compared to another author that is successful then found myself wondering why aren't some of those same good things happening to me. Why did so-and-so get a deal but I didn't? How did that other author debut and sell thousands of copies self-publishing their first work and my novels/novellas have flatlining numbers? These questions can lead to all things negative when that monster Doubt creeps in behind the personal inquiries. Introspection turns into rejection. And who's better at rejecting you than you? That's why it's important to...

Hard Knock 5. "Remember." (courtesy of Mufasa from The Lion King) - The desire to write started from somewhere raw, innocent and hopeful. For me, it was a passion as a child, hidden into my adulthood, then reawakened when I had my child and lacked the ability to honestly encourage my child to go for her dreams when I hadn't done the same for myself. Passion kept me attending critique sessions with some seasoned writers, getting shredded like a worked over muscle group so that I could repair and become stronger, better, improved. Passion and the support I get from great writers buds like those in IWSG kept me going when the monster of Doubt loomed over my dream, threatening to yank my dream, rip it to shreds and toss it to the four winds with all the care of a psychopath. Passion is why I keep going, step by step, on the publishing journey that is uniquely mines...and whatever your "Remember" is should do the same for you.

We live and we make mistakes. We learn and laugh at some of the stupid-silly-what-the-heck-was-I-thinking-moments. And we publish.

So keep writing and bringing what's good to your soul to other souls like yours waiting to hear from you.

Here's my short bio, if needed:
Angela Brown, author of YA, NA, MG and, under the pen name Rayven Godchild, some of the hotter stuff in write-life. My blog: Angela Brown in Pursuit of Publishness

28 comments:

  1. I'll join you in that facepalm. Number 3 has been the one to confound me the most. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Great contribution to the anthology!

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    1. There are so many things I look back on now and totally facepalm lol!!

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  2. Awesome post! Some great points to keep in mind. :)

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  3. Good points. I especially like number two.

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    1. Learning that lesson opened me up to receive some of the best writing advice I could ever get...just be getting over myself :-)

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  4. Wonderful post, Angela! The truth is in this business, hard knocks are a given. Well said.

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  5. Hahaha, they ARE hard knocks. Good word choice.

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    1. Yep, Catherine, some of which I'd paid attention to others to avoid lol!

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  6. It is a school of hard knocks no matter how well armed we are. Mmm hmmm.

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  7. Love this post! These are definitely the hard knocks I had to learn too.

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    1. I guess it's helpful to know we've learned many of these things the same way. Maybe someone reading this will take heed and detour from he Hard Knocks way of learing these lessons.

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  8. Get over yourself - that's awesome!
    If we forget why we are doing this, then we lose all of our enthusiasm.
    Thanks for contributing to the book.

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  9. This post was an inspiration to read and I am sure others who read it will think so too. Thank you so much for sharing your 'hard knocks' with us. I think your last paragraph said it all, "We live and we make mistakes," but we learn from them and grow.

    Great to meet you today as one of the co-hosts of IWSG.

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    1. So glad to make your acquaintance as well, Suzanne. :-)

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  10. Yup. Facepalm. If I only knew back then what I know now ...

    And I tell that to people who, in real life, ask me how to get started: Look for the information that is already out there! Almost every single one of them looks back at me with disappointment ... because that sounds like a lot of work and something that takes time away from writing.

    It is. It does.
    But you have to do it.

    I can tell them. I can't make them follow my advice.

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    1. It's interesting. When I got started, I don't think I had since enough to look for the things I needed to really make a difference in my writing journey. I did have some helpful people trying to give me guidance but I learned over time how much to appreciate them and what they tried to help me learn.

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  11. I have had those face palm moments too. If I knew ... so many things.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

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    1. Things we know now would have been GREAT had we known way back when :-)

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  12. I have a degree from the University of Hard Knocks and the bruises that go with them. :o)

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  13. Great advice. No two paths are the same and it's important to remember why you wrote in the first place. Hopefully for most of us it's because we love the craft.

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  14. I was nodding along especially with One and Two. There are hard knocks all along the way and the potential for the hardest to come from ourselves. We need to give ourselves a break and let ourselves breathe sometimes.

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  15. These are so true. Hard knocks are all over the place, many coming from inside us.

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  16. And so much has changed in the publishing world since 2007. It's important to keep on learning, keep on writing and don't look back!

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