Why am I writing anyway?

I often ask myself this question. Why do I keep writing? It is on the days that I feel the self-doubt invading my mind. (It is an invasion, you know!) Why am I doing this? Is it worth the time (so much time) that I spend at my keyboard? The time I spend figuring out a scene to write or rewrite. Researching different aspects to make the story believable eats up a lot of time. So very much time each day. Is it a waste or is it worth it?

Writing image courtesy of pixabay.com

Down deep, I know why I write. It is because I love it. I love telling a story, I always have. From the time I first learned to read, I have wanted to write. So, it isn’t the actual writing that gets me down. It is the part that I love the most, actually. I am not sure that I could ever really stop, even if I never published another book.

I need to stop doubting!

Sometimes I am a doubting Thomas

So, why do I keep doubting myself? Sometimes, I think it has more to do with the unending task of trying to promote my work. There are days that I feel like I spend more time trying to promote than I do actually writing. I know that it is important, people have to know that you even have a book or two or three. They aren’t going to read them if they don’t know they even exist. Now, are they?

The self-promotion part of this journey bothers me. I am not very good at it. Promoting takes me out of my comfort zone. I like forming friendships but I don’t want to be one of those people who is constantly saying, “Buy my book, buy my book, please buy my book.” Even though that is kind of the point, isn’t it? Of course, I want folks to buy my books. More importantly I want them to like them.

Don’t let us down

The let down comes when you know that many have purchased the books but there isn’t much feedback. Authors need that feedback almost as much as we need to write. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that an author can’t go on without glorious words of praise. Sure, we like it but there is more to it. A little affirmation goes a long way for a writer. We need to know that someone found joy in what we wrote or it touched their soul or it reminded them of something they had lived. We need to know how our writing made you feel.

On the other hand, we also need to know if a reader didn’t like our work at all. I think that I get more out of a negative review than I do the nice ones. It makes me want to work harder on the next book. How will I know where I need to grow if no one tells me?

The lack of positive or negative feedback is what makes some writers give up, I think. So, maybe that is what I really want to say today. Take a few minutes after reading a book, any book by any author, to leave a review for the book. Let the author know whether they wrote something you enjoyed or didn’t. You never know but what your comment gave them the courage to keep writing….

Are you curious about my series? A Bundle of the first three books can be found on Amazon.

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Getting Started

My Beginning As An Author

In September of 2017, I decided to finally take the plunge and finally write that novel that had been on my bucket list since I was about 10 years old. We won’t go into the specifics of how long it took me finally address that item on the list; suffice it to say it was decades before I finally believed that I could actually accomplish it.

Deciding that it was an accomplishment that was attainable, I came up with a reasonable schedule for myself. I planned to write every day for at least a couple of hours. In other words, I approached my task as if I were going to a job. Writing is work and I knew that I needed to give it the same sort of ethic that I did when I still worked outside of the home. I will admit that some days I worked a good eight hours at it and other days perhaps only four. I did not miss one day as I began my journey.

Author’s fingers typing away!

In between the actual writing times, there was research involved. I needed to know what the parameters were for the genre that I was writing in. I had decided that I wanted to write at least one Cozy Mystery. Once I knew what the acceptable amount of was for the word count, I really started to pay attention to how many words I wrote each day.

The was also the dilemma of whether I wanted to try to find a publisher or if I wanted to go independent. My choice was the indie route and I don’t regret it one bit. On another day, I plan to discuss the format that I used to self-publish.

Working each day became a joy and didn’t really feel like work. I was surprised at how easily the book began to take shape. Finally, in October of 2017 my first book was ready, well, almost ready. There was the editing phase that had to be addressed. I read through it several times, fixing mistakes as I went. It occurred to me that I really needed to get another pair of eyes to look at it, too.

Being a novice at this whole process and not really feeling comfortable with hiring an editor, I went with an option that I felt good about. I asked one of my daughters to read it for me as an editor and not as a family member. That worked out well! She found more mistakes in typing and grammar and she gave me some thoughts on some areas that might need a little more definition or clarity. She was really quite helpful in the process. After going back and forth for a few days, I was finally ready to start the publishing process.

There was a bit of a learning curve involved in the correct formatting for a digital book and a paperback version but I muddled through it. Finally around the middle of October 2017, my book went live. I was ecstatic to say the least!

Once that first book was live, I decided this needed to be a series of books. By November book two in the series was complete and published and I am now working on book three.

I hope you will follow me in my writing journey here on this blog. I plan to tell you about things that I do in my off time (not writing) and I will also talk about authors who inspire me, my favorite books, my pool of inspirations for the actual stories I write, character backgrounds and maybe even some tips that I have found useful along the way.  Of course, there will also be announcements of book launches, too.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you will return on a regular basis and if you are so inclined…like my page on Facebook. Beverly Owens, Author 

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