I feel I have succeeded

DebE —  June 8, 2013 — 6 Comments

Hey yous fellas… and fella-ettes…. is that how it works? I must ponder on that… (perhaps “fellas” is asexual… sure… I’ll take that).

I’ve been quiet.

Basically, I’ve been writing, or working, or mothering, or (heaven forbid) tidying and cleaning… (shudder)

Sometimes I think to myself “My blog is part of my “author platform” (I quote because I totally understand what that means), I should make it interesting so people will want to read my book”…

The thing is, I may be published, but I am an amateur. I have no guru-spec-tac-u-lar to spill over you and imbue you with the magic of “you can do it too” (although, by the way… you can do it too).

I have me. My book exists in digital and paperback formats…

But I still need to work so that we can barely afford to cover bills. Yeah. Really. I think it’s called: “The NORM”.

(shudder)

However, when I sat down and began penning (and I mean that literally… when I first started HEALER’S TOUCH it was always by pen first) my intention was to write about characters that I would love as much as I loved Garion in David EddingsTHE BELGARIAD and the follow-up THE MALLOREON. When I decided to start reshaping the story to publish for public consumption, I still held that vision… I wanted people to finish my book feeling as though they’d just hung out with a really cool character, or maybe a bunch of great friends…

Well, the reviews are starting to come in, and do you know what? On the whole, those who feel like taking the time to write a review are saying just that: they fell a little bit in love with Llew (and maybe others).

Sure, I know of one reviewer who has opted to withhold her review to date because she didn’t click with Llew. That’s fine. I may have failed in getting Llew on the page properly. Or, perhaps I over-editted her in the end… I know I was wondering over some of the internalisations I deleted… Or, perhaps, it was just an incompatibility issue–those happen, you know. And then there was the reviewer who had nothing but negative things to say… except that she couldn’t stop reading… no matter how much she disliked the book… and that’s fine. HT is not everyone’s cup of tea, or coffee, or spring water… (but it may be a little addictive… like nicotine–I’m less proud of that… but only slightly).

And that’s what us authors have to remind ourselves. Every day. People are gonna think your book SUCKS! (gasp!). I know! You wrote a masterpiece for the TIMES and it’s gonna change the WORLD!

OK… yeah… I knew I wasn’t producing some stunning piece of literature with HT. I knew it’d get ridiculed from some quarters… although, I must admit, I’m surprised by some of the reviewers who have enjoyed it… Totally didn’t expect that. Not complaining. No siree.

My favourite books by some very successful (in my eyes) authors get totally rubbished by some… I go back to HT and I cringe… yes, true. Not that I wish to lessen the experiences of those who have loved it… I spent four years trying to hit a certain target… I think I got the line between bullseye and the next ring.

That is part of creating. We have a vision in our mind’s eye (visual artists), or ear (musicians), or internal narrator (storytellers)…

You are never going to hit that mark. Sorry, but it’s more than likely true (if it ain’t, um… hmmm… if it ain’t then I can’t help you ‘cos you probably think you’re awesome-sauce in a crystal goblet).

Generally, whatever you aspire to will forever be out of your reach. You know why?

Because the day you gain the skill to attain your goal, you’ll shift your own goal posts…

Writing and publishing is a matter of “near enough”.

Aim high. Accept little less. See where it gets you.

Did I manage to attain my purpose with this post? Does it matter? I did achieve procrastination from writing the next book… sorry guys, but I need to do that sometimes…

I guess what I’m trying to do here is be transparent. If you’re a writer who has yet to publish, I’m trying to make the landing a little softer… I know, we all go in with a veneer of realistic hopes and dreams… but we also all have those underlying dreams of breaking the mould… Being the next… I don’t know… who do we want to compare ourselves to? J K Rowling? GRRM? Meyers? James? (perhaps not in quality of writing, but success… yes?).

It’s normal.

Your writing will strike a note with someone else out there. Maybe (hopefully) several someone elses. Several million someone elses? Well… no one can predict that.

Does it matter?

I don’t think so.

No doubt, a few million sales would make the living easier… but at what cost? Might it lead to average, less heart-felt writing down the track? Who knows?

Maybe it’ll free you up to throw off the day job, get a nanny, and really delve deep into your literary (and FANTASTIC) worlds… maybe… maybe…

I think the only thing that really matters is that when you put something out into the world your gut tells you it’s good (some part of you might still have doubts… but if you have a certain standard of “taste” you’ll always get that, or you’ll never put anything into the public realm.. it’s the gut that matters).

Of course, if you’re hoping to leave the day job behind, gut instinct isn’t enough. You need outside affirmation, and lots (and lots, and lots, and…) of it.

I can’t promise you that.

No one can.

.

.

I still haven’t decided which scene I should add to tonight…

Um…

(sigh).

Since it’s playing on my playlist right now… here’s a video (or not, since there isn’t one… here’s a song):

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DebE

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Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

6 responses to I feel I have succeeded

  1. 

    You’re right, not everyone will connect with your style of writing. And that’s perfectly okay. We can’t control what others like, or don’t like, but we can control what kind of stories we tell. As long as readers keep reading, you’re doing something right, right? I always thought the second book would be the hardest to write because when you’re unpublished you have all the time in the world. Then you’re discovered! Life is grand…until you have to deliver book number two. Gasp! We have a real, concrete deadline. People are counting on that second book. Fans may even clamor for it. They need it like Gollum needs his precious.

    But you know what? You did published a book once and you can do it again. Most readers, and fans, would rather have a quality product than a rushed one no matter what they say. All you can do is stay true to yourself and tell the kind of story you’d like to read. Unleash that passion. If you write it, they will come. At least that’s what my gut tells me. And I always listen to my gut. 😉

    It felt like you needed a little pep talk. If not, forgive me. I often ask published authors for advice. Mark Lawrence, author of Prince of Thorns, once told me not to quit the day job. Jay Kristoff, author of Stormdancer, told me to always believe in myself, no matter what. While I don’t have a published book and am not as successful as either of them, I would say tell the kind of story you’d love to read. Sprinkle that same love throughout each chapter and trust your skills. They’ve gotten you this far and you’re only getting better. And what those two guys said. 🙂

    • 

      Everybody needs a pep talk now and again.
      Thanks for that.
      I am trying, and hope I’m succeeding, to tell the kind of story I’d like to read. It’s much harder this time around with so few moments to have truly coherent thoughts (even now… I’m trying to reply while my son is awake so I can keep more of my writing time for, well, writing thoughts/actions, and every few words he calls my attention away… sometimes I only get the time to reread and add one word… sigh). It makes it very hard to judge my own work properly. I’m out of practice at concentrating on things for a long time, and losing myself to the moment… that is what I miss most. I lived HEALER’S TOUCH… I truly think WARRIOR’S TOUCH *is* a better story, but it’s hard to know for sure, as I’m less *in* it…
      I may have more to say, but I forget. Better go.

  2. 

    Yes, the rule is “do what you love, but keep your day job.”

    I read you because you’re interesting. 😉

    • 

      I guess I just wish I had a different day job… Unfortunately, we went and invested in the comapny my husband works for, and it was more cost effective for everyone involved if I took on one of the admin jobs… But I’ m not the best person for the job, and really suck at it a little bit…

      Well, that you for reading. I also check out your blog because you interest me, even if we have differing views on some things!

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