Sunday, July 29, 2012

This Stuff Ain't for Sissies! by Lori Leger

Self-Publishing and Promoting...A quick trip to Insanity, but what a HELL OF A RIDE!
As a self published author, here are just a small portion of the questions running through my "Abbie Normal"mind on a daily, if not hourly, basis... (feel free to ask if you don't get it and I'll explain...)

When should I release my next book?
Should I spend money on an editor or keep rolling like I have been?
Do I want to think about submitting to an agent/editor or keep rolling like I have been?
What should I name the next books in the series?
Should I start a new series?
What do I want on the cover this time around?
How am I going to find time to blog?
Can I really afford another writer's conference this year, both time and moneywise?
Should I drive or fly to Atlanta in October?
Should I enter contests?
Should I volunteer to judge contests? If so, how many?
Am I posting enough to Facebook...Goodreads...Twitter?
Should I start Pinterest? Would I even have the time to start something new?
SHOULD I blog more?
Am I doing enough to promote my books?
Should I start my own publishing company? If so, what does it take?
Should I make it exclusive to Amazon to take advantage of free days and the lucrative lending library income?
How much is too much to spend on ads or promo packages?
Trading cards or book marks?
Do I have enough humor in the new book?
Do I need more conflict?
Did I miss my turn at blogging on the Ass Cheek Angels? (Uh...YEP!)

Okay...I know I'm not special...I KNOW all of you ask yourselves some of these same questions. Right? Or is it just because I'm self-pubbed? I've never been traditionally pubbed so I don't know. But, it can't be just me losing my mind, right? THIS is why I resigned my job. No way...No way in HELL could I continue the full time job and the publishing end of the business. Writing was one thing, but the time it takes to publish...the rewriting...over and over...the tedious task of endless rounds of editing...over and over and over again (and I still miss the obvious, sometimes). All so time consuming.

So I get it's OUT to promote it. Good God Almighty, I only THOUGHT writing was time consuming. Promoting is the real time thief. And distractions...I'm like that dog in the movie "UP" ... SQUIRREL! and I'm off on ten different tangents. I've checked both of my emails..twice...pulled up facebook and goodreads...updated the website...updated my Amazon author page, and answered two tweets--and STILL haven't researched police procedures...the entire reason for connecting to the internet thirty minutes ago. Honestly, how does one succeed when one has the attention span of a gnat? Sigh...

Getting a book published is like having a child...nobody tells you how difficult it's going to be. But in the same's totally fulfilling when you can pull up a website and see your books out there...or hold the copies in your hands, and you're getting messages from real fans (not your family or classmates) and they love your stories and thank you for wasting their day because they couldn't put the book down.'s like Kellie said just a couple of days ago...What a difference a year makes!

Writing and ain't for sissies, ladies...but it's a hell of a ride if you've got the stamina for it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Writing First to Vent, Then to Create

When I'm stressed from the day's events, writing can be quite therapeutic for me.  Yet at times, there's too much craziness when dealing with the chaos in the world; so fulfilling my creative outlet can become quite daunting.  Honestly, those are the times which I would love to crawl into a hole and hide away.  Thank goodness my inner voices reel me back into focus.  If those fail, I also have the encouragement and support from my fiance to help get me back on task.  Ironically, sometimes the one thing that assists me with writing fiction and riding myself from the black despair of a "creative dry spell" or "writer's block" is actually writing about the day's crappy events.

You see, when I pen down on paper about the rude lady in the check out line or pound away at the keyboard about the asshole who cut me off in traffic, those little 'vent' sessions unclog and drain away all the nasty sludge from the day.  In turn, once it's left my brain and entered the writing pad, my mind has become free to explore the unknown and drift into the world of fiction without feeling guilty.  I don't need to continue examining my feelings because I've dealt with the issues of eating that second piece of chocolate cake once I typed my regret out onto the keyboard.  There's no need to beat myself up over and over again.  I've released any feelings of pain, anger, regret, or sadness out into the universe.  Those feelings along with the hurt from past or present relationships; such as from an ex-boyfriend, a parent, or a former best friend, can all be used on paper to heal your heart.

When times I've hurt the most, writing in a journal gets rid of the bitterness and anger.  It also aids me with getting my creative juices flowing once more because I don't have all that mess cluttering up my thoughts. My subconscious can truly roam free without the extra baggage of all the unwanted visitors.  Plus it's always a great way to twist those vent writing sessions into a new plot line for your next story.  Just remember to change the names. Lol.  Seriously though, what techniques do you use to help get rid of the world's nasty bits and focus on the fictional side of life?