How to Set Yourself Up in One Easy Lesson

Last night I was on the Facebook page of author, Kathy Reinhart. Kathy was the winner of the 2009 Brighid’s Fire Books  Fiction Manuscript Contest for her book Lily White Lies (great title btw). On her Facebook page she has announced the summer 2016 release of her new book, Cry Like a Girl

This got me thinking.  I don’t think I have mentioned that I am currently working on two collections – one is a collection of flash fiction and the other is a collection of humorous (I hope) haiku and tanka poetry – a collaboration with my husband if he would ever get off his butt and write some when he gets the time to write.  I only have some control over the haiku collection but I have total control of the flash fiction collection… it’s just a matter of putting my butt in the seat and writing.  

I have always intended to publish this collection independently so the date and time of the publication is completely up to me. On March 12, I’m heading up to Nanaimo (home of the ridiculously delicious Nanaimo bars) for a publishing and self-publishing workshop.

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So, here is my question: Do I announce the release of my flash fiction collection before it is done?  This leads me to a plethora of other questions. What do I name my book? Who will do the cover? Do I go with Createspace, Bookbaby, Blurb or some other publishing organization?  If I do this, am I setting myself up for gut-wrenching, hair-ripping, writer’s block-inducing writer’s stress? 

Stay tune for my decision after the workshop on March 12th.

Retirement and Other Ways To Find Time to Write (or not)

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Dear reader,  

I am a writer. I am a writer because I say I am.  And also because someone else looked at my writing and thought it was good enough to publish (Yay!).  The thing about writers is, well, we actually have to write to be a writer.  I am also a retired teacher & librarian.  My last novel took me five years to write because during the school year I found it difficult to get enough time to put more than a few sentences down on paper – or in my computer.  ‘Wait till I retire!’ I told myself.  ‘I will be writing my brains out! All the time.  It will be amazing!’ Well, I am now officially retired.  Three weeks into retirement to be exact.  Have I been writing my brains out?  Hardly.  I’ve heard from so many of my retired friends that they became much busier after retirement than before.  I can attest to the veracity of this. You would think that it would take a few weeks to work up to the “much busier” status.  Nope.  Literally the next day, I found my days were so full that I couldn’t possibly get everything done.  Those of you who haven’t yet retired are very likely saying to yourselves, ‘What could these retirees be doing that makes them so busy?’ I asked the exact same question.  Here is my answer.

  1. Volunteering at the local fair trade store.
  2. Taking time for meditation in the morning.
  3. Reading.
  4. Journalling.
  5. Attending a whole wack of 12 step meetings.
  6. Exercising.
  7. Doing housework. (Really?  You want to do housework instead of write?)
  8. Playing World of Warcraft. (OMG.  How old are you?)
  9. Planning meals and cooking.
  10. Facebook. (Worst reason ever to not write)
  11. Twitter. (Second worst reason ever to not write)
  12. Going for walks with friends.
  13. Going for coffee with friends.
  14. Going to appointments at the doctor/dentist/pension board/bank/accountant’s office
  15. Napping. (Best reason ever to not write)
  16. Binge watching Downton Abbey/Homeland/House/Grey’s Anatomy/Midsomer Murders/Friends/The Good Wife/The IT Crowd/Death in Paradise/Doc Martin on Netflix. (I can ‘justify’ this as ‘giving me plotline ideas’ which is, of course, a GBFL*)
  17. Watching Youtube videos on writing.
  18. Watching creepypastas on Youtube.
  19. Watching cute babies/puppies/kittens on Youtube.
  20. Reading Damn You Autocorrect. (This would be the third worst reason ever not to write if they weren’t so damn funny)

 

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What are some other excuses writers give for avoiding writing?  I did a little online research. 

  1. I have writer’s block.
  2. I’m too tired to write.
  3. I’m too distracted to write.
  4. I’ll write later.
  5. It’s too late.
  6. I need to do some research. (Oh, how ironic!)
  7. I’m more creative if I leave it till the last minute.
  8. I need to read some more writing tips online.
  9. I need to work on my author webpage.
  10. I should look for examples of possible covers for my newest book (that I haven’t finished-started writing yet).
  11. I just can’t find the right place to write.

In the interest of avoiding plagiarism… I found some of these at:

Better Writing Habits

Solitary Spark

Successful Writing Tips

So, having now shamed myself into getting off my butt and writing, I think I had better sign off and go and write something, dammit!

Diane

*Great Big Fat Lie