Nails, railroad ties, and bulletproof glass

Creativity, writer’s block, success in finding a publisher, the marketing learning curve (and is it ever steep!), writer’s block, critics and haters, and some more creativity have all marked the path of my unexpected writing journey. There’s probably some more writer’s block in the near future which I will handle ridiculously well by procrastinating.

So, critics and haters – there’s always gonna be a few. Not everyone can like your work, your appearance, your life choices, your attitude, etc. When you’re a writer, people get to tell you crappy things on public forums. Also, you get to hear nice things. We all hear good things from people, the trick is to not let those good things be forgotten, don’t let the negative things people say make you forget why you are who you are and why you do what you do.

For me, part of the fun of being a writer is that I get to create characters I love (and some that I love to hate) and then drag them through doubt and difficulty, love, fear, tragedy, and triumph. The hell of being a writer is that some days I think everything’s all been done and wonder what there could possibly be to add into a sea of ideas already churning. Or the most fun question of all – what if I finish writing this chapter and it stinks? Or what if I go in the wrong direction? Then, in a few days, I remember that, yeah, the basics have all been done but I can still spin something completely new and wonderful. And if the chapter I’m writing bites, then I can go back and write another. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. Remembering this makes the words come a little easier for me.

The words don’t just come to me in a dream (though the ideas sometimes do). Sometimes creating a scene is like trying to breathe through a filter of water and broken glass. Other times, the sky is dark, the house is quiet, and I’m still writing, still trying to move my hand fast enough to capture the thoughts burning through my mind. Always, though, my intent is to weave some measure of hope into the stories I tell. I like to give the characters some reason to keep going. Hope is what so many of us need out of life, some reason to keep going.

Marketing an e-book? Yeah, I was clueless about that aspect a few months ago when my debut novel Wolf’s Challenge was released. Marketing on a tiny budget and tight schedule takes a fair amount of creativity, luck, and more creativity. Also, a lot of time. Fortunately, when I’m stuck on a scene for book number two, I can procrastinate by working on my advertising campaign and see how far I can stretch $20.

Some readers like what I write. Some people think my work needs to be thrown through the wood chipper then incinerated. For all the writers, artists, and entrepreneurs out there, don’t give up! There are so many curves even in the beginning of the journey but patience, time, and a heart fortified by nails, railroad ties, and bulletproof glass can help along the crazy road.