2016 was an awesome year for writing! What have I been doing? What am I going to do in 2017? This is the post that will tell all!
(Well, no, not all. But it will give enough details to tantalize.)
I give you: A review of my 2016 writing journey!
Lie: Someone else has done it before.
Recently, an author in a writers' group I am part of asked (in so many words), "What authors makes you feel like you have nothing left to offer? For me, it's Tolkien. I feel like there's no way I can possibly measure up to him, and that he's already written what I am trying to write and written it better."
Others chimed in. For some, it was a specific author. For others (me), it was any author who wasn't themselves.
If you’re a writer, you could learn a thing or two from the Doctor Who creators about how to create effective monsters/villains. And if you're a reader or a fan, you might enjoy understanding exactly why your skin crawls when you see certain Doctor Who monsters.
This blog post includes a video and a downloadable cheat sheet. You're welcome!
A number of my friends have admitted to me that they do not feel comfortable writing book reviews. “I never know what to say…”
Well, fear no more, friends! I have written an outline for the perfect book review in just 5 easy steps. This review will be valuable to other readers, who might enjoy a book that you have just enjoyed, and it will also be valuable to writers like me, who want to know what is and is not working for readers.
So, here you go:
In April 2013, I self-published my first book, READY FOR HIM TODAY (a nonfiction book for Christian single women) and I started on my journey of authorhood. I thought I already knew a lot about publishing and writing. Well, sorry to my naive younger self, but what I've learned since publishing READY has been enough to earn my Bachelor's all over again.
You see, being a writer is not easy, particularly since the publishing industry has changed. Way back in your grandfather's day, if you landed a contract with a publisher, the publisher would give you a royalty and do all the work of publishing and promoting.
Not so today.
Let's face it: Authors face rejection. I've had my share of rejection, and I suspect that much more is to come. When I was younger, this sort of thing hit me hard.
"Oh no! People don't like me! What if they think I don't write well? Is it true? IS MY WHOLE LIFE A SHAM?!"
Now I just shrug, because I know better. There are many reasons why you might get rejected:
A confession. I've never done one of these before. Not publicly anyway. Why? 'Cause I like to look perfect.
"I am the author who has it all figured out. I work my magic behind the scenes and voila! I produce an incredible story that you enjoy forevermore. You're welcome!" (Glamorous smile)
But the reality is, that's not me. I'm more like, "I've got it all figured out. See? I... Oh, oops, don't notice that. Pretend you didn't see it. Take no notice of the girl behind the laptop." (Bet you can't tell where that's modified from!)
1. Keep a question or observation close to the response.
“I just don’t know how you write,” the young woman said. “When I try to write, my idea comes out like mush. It’s so much better in my head.”
In my following discussion with her, I realized that there’s a lot about writing that I just take for granted. It’s like any other skill: You get so used to doing it, that you forget all the steps that go into it, and you are hardly aware of the choices you make in arranging and creating your material.
So I had my non-writer create a list of questions for me to answer (as best I could). It was a much longer list than I expected. Here are my responses to the first four questions: