The best thing about reading something really good is that it inspires you to write something equally good. Well, maybe not “you” but the figurative “you”. Just like when I was a kid and I’d watch The Lone Ranger or Zorro and feel absolutely compelled to go out and try that jump onto the horse’s back my very own self, I’ve always felt a strong pull whenever I’ve really been able to lose myself in someone else’s creative exploits. Art, music, writing, action… it’s never really mattered. It’s as if the artist has somehow put so much of their soul into it that my own innards resonate with a kindred spirit. What. Okay, YOU find a better explanation for why I jumped off the deck knowing full well that saddle was going to crush my nuts. So, reading good things makes me want to write good things. Reading though, is fairly easy. I can lay in bed, falling asleep, and read. I can feed the baby, and read. I can sit on the toilet, the only completely alone spot in… Read moreReading and Writing.
I was a Junior in High School the first time somebody ever called me a writer. The reason that memory has always stood out for me is not because it was momentous at being called a “writer”, because I still figured they were tweed-wearing hermits who didn’t do it for the money. Nup, the reason I remember it was because it was the first writing assignment that I ever said, “Aw, what the hell” towards, and wrote from my heart. I was fairly used to “A”s because I toed the line (on my writing assignments, not when I duct-taped Mrs. Stabnow’s thermos lid from the inside) but the grade on this paper didn’t matter a bit to me. When I saw the “A” I felt more relief than anything, but when I read the next words my spirit actually soared. “Well done Judd. You are a great writer!” But writing a novel is hard. Years and years later and I’m finding it interminably difficult to sit down and work on my novel. I’ve got the goddam thing all written, all… Read moreWhy I’ll make it as a writer… someday.
Hanging out with writers on the forums and the email lists and the newsletters and all that, has taught me a few interesting things about the types of personalities that I’m drawn to. There is a certain level of disappointment that falls over me whenever I see the reaction when I’m saying something mildly inflammatory on Facebook. Sometimes I spout off about how gay people should be able to get married and it shouldn’t be a thing at all, or that I don’t mind if others believe that Jeebus went zombie and then took flight but don’t try to treat it as undeniable fact, and I will inevitably get an earful from the small-minded (usually folks from back home in Montana) that are quick to inform me that there is, in fact, only one way to look at things. Seems to be theirs. At the risk of sounding incredibly wanky and elitist, I’m really enjoying discussions that don’t devolve (too quickly) and the articles and blog posts that talk about industry changes and the way the world is changing in… Read moreA Slightly Different Crowd
Through my good friend Abel Keogh, author of “The Third” which I am currently enjoying very much, I found David Farland‘s Daily Kick in the Pants, and even though I had a hard time relating to a guy who’s mega-successful as an author and teaches other mega-awesometastic authors like Stephanie Seymour, I am positively loving him now. Like few others, he’s happy to talk about traditional publishing and e-publishing in the same breath, comparing the two in an unbiased way (or at least calling out his bias openly) and speaking candidly about his thoughts on it all. This is the latest “Daily Kick” that I got, and I tell you what, this guy is fkn Spot On. Last week I had my agent look over a movie contract, and in one clause that dealt with retained rights, my agent said, “We can’t sign this contract. It doesn’t allow us to sell enhanced books, and that is the entire future of publishing.” I’d been talking to a prospective business partner about starting a company that will make enhanced books (books that… Read moreFrom: David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—The Future of Publishing
It seems like it should go together doesn’t it? Self-publishing (“Indie Publishing” I reckon isn’t quite the same) on Teh Interwebs is eezie squeezie, and getting your book up and on Amazon or B&N is something that many a soccermom turned romance novelist is doing. But that seems to be where many end up e-stopping, when in fact they should be hitting the e-gas. I’m getting more and more active on the Kindle Boards, where I read almost exclusively the “Writer’s Cafe” forum, and about the average of what I’m seeing is folks having a blogspot.com account. Which is fine, really, if you have no idea what you’re e-doing and are afraid of getting screwed by unscrupulous web people (of which there are a few). And while I tend to use these two as my benchmarks, they are, so it bothers me that Joe Konrath and Amanda Hocking are both using theirname.blogspot.com accounts to blog and promote their books when there is SO MUCH opportunity out there for either of them. Let’s take one of them as an example… Amanda… Read moreE-Book Authors:The Internet Beckons
The Passive Voice usually has some great stuff, and it almost always tends to inspire me, but this morning I’ve got a cuppa, ALL of the older kids are off to school and it’s exactly one week until our baby is here. This may actually be my last chance for peace like this… so I shall write. Passive Guy wrote about how self-publishing and traditional publishing are both really just on a bell curve. The Amanda Hockings and the Joe Konraths of the Yay Self-Publishing World are on that high bit of the curve. There’s a few others up there, sure, but for the most part, the rest of us are towards the lower ends. The market is changing, and changing quickly. The entire publishing world is going through an enormous shift, and the World has never quite looked like this for writers. It’s pretty exciting. So, the little guys see their shot, they read the blogs and the media articles and the hooplah about the chubby girl from southern Minnesota that’s making millions doing this and they think, “HEY! … Read moreSelf-Publishing is a Marathon, not a Sprint
The book world, that is. The one where people write books and buy books and try to sell their books and talk about their books and talk about other people’s books. That one, it’s interesting. While I spent almost the entire morning reading various websites about all of the previously mentioned I was happily having my own opinions on things, commenting on a blog here and there when that opinion bubbled over, when it came time to write in my OWN blog about these opinions, I’m doubting myself. Not my opinion, oh no, I have a deathgrip on those. No, I’m doubting whether or not the World needs yet another blog waffling on about writing and publishing and e-books and all that other shit. Welp, at the end of the day, it IS my blog, so I’m just going to fart around as I do, and see what comes of it. Publishing – By the Big Kids It’s a commonly held notion that someone who’s “published” is to be held in some esteem. Even those who aren’t aspiring novelists know… Read moreIt’s An Interesting World Out There – Publishing
I think the biggest part of the fun of the creative process is actually being creative, because when you’re open to them, the ideas just flow. It’s wonderful. Unfortunately, until you’re creating full-time (with that full-time creaty income taking care of things), it’s hard to give time to every new idea. That said, I still try to capture them in their essence as soon as I can. Typically this involves waking up from a particularly and repeatedly disturbed night’s sleep and trying to write down the dream I had about raw eggs, raw fish and rocket travel to space with a teenage Keanu Reeves before I get tucked into emails and remember what actually pays the bills around here (barely). My dreams power a lot of my novel ideas, though in reality they’re probably not ALL novels. Short stories, I suppose, screenplays even, I have no idea. I know they’re stories, interesting ones, that I’d like to tell. The medium in which I do it isn’t as important right now. And like almost all of my other amazing and wonderful… Read moreNovel Ideas
See, the funny thing about writing a novel is that when I wasn’t ready to start revising it straightaway, I wanted to write another one. I dream a lot. A LOT. They’re usually quite vivid and sometimes pretty exciting. Some nights I have “movie dreams” where I feel like I’ve rented a movie and wake up very entertained. Unfortunately, I frequently miss out on the ending because I wake up with underwear problems that make me have to stand waaaaaay back from the toilet at pre-6am. It’s a bummer sure, but it gives me lots of great ideas. Not long after the New Year started, I had a really cool dream about a future where telepathy was fairly common (on a limited scale) and a World War had ended up driving the surviving society of Australia into the bush, where they lived for years thanks to skills learned from the Indigenous Australians. Well, waking up with a peeboner or not, I was bound to lay there quite awake formulating the rest of this story after that kind of dream. A… Read moreNew Novel
So there it is. My first novel. It isn’t like the old days where it’s a pile of papers that I can still chuck in the fireplace. It’s an e-pile of papers, and I’ve saved it and backed it up and all that (Dropbox.com is working pretty well for this). But, for as much as I celebrated, drinking too many beers at the in-law’s on New Year’s Eve Eve, I wasn’t finished. I’m not finished. I’m not even close. See, now I take the novel that I wrote, and actually make it something readable. Hell, not just readable, enjoyable. Sought after. SELLABLE. It’s not. Not right now anyway. I sound like I’m whinging a bit when I say it like this, but… it was my first try! It was my first try at this. I’d never written a book, let alone one that people might want to read or someday even *GASP* purchase. It’s a good story though, and it’s got a lot to it. I have a lot of work ahead of me though, in that I have to… Read moreNext Step: Revising