Am I Bored – Really?

Every writer dreads this feeling. Laying in more than 50 thousand words on a manuscript you really loved and then suddenly sitting in front of the keyboard – bored out of your mind.

Ok maybe not every, every writer. I’ve rarely heard of this kind of fear in anyone else besides myself, certainly not at such a late stage in the process. I’m sure that most can tell within just a few dozen pages that they’re losing interest in their book. So maybe this is entirely my own private fear, since I’ve written many books in the past that remain unfinished to this day.

There is light in this particular tunnel though. Every single time that I’ve ever grown “bored” with one of my stories, it usually has more to do with me knowing too much rather than me losing interest in the actual tale itself. For example, I know the ending – I was struck by a moment of such inspiration that I wrote the whole thing down even though I’m still a good hundred pages from getting to it. Now every page in between feels like I’m dragging razor blades out of my soft tender gray matter. Every time I approach the keyboard from the moment that I hammer out the ending to the moment that I’m actually done with the book will be an agony of boredom and avoidance.

Luckily that kind of boredom isn’t real and easily (hah) combated by doing the much dreaded sitting in front of the keyboard and typing furiously whether you want to or not. Lucky me, lucky you, lucky readers! In the end the effort will be much appreciated by everyone.

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The Writer’s 30

Today I’m going to talk about one of the most important and least discussed issues in the journey to professional writer: exercise. You see, a lot of people, even those who spend all day working at a desk before taking the leap to writing full time don’t anticipate the problems of keeping their weight in reasonable parameters when you don’t actually have to get out of the house every day.

So people leave their jobs. Start working at home. Get up and go to the computer in their jammies or in my case, work right out of bed in a handy dandy netbook. You don’t even notice how much weight you’ve gained until for one reason or another you have to go somewhere and you delve deep into your closet of mostly forgotten ‘clothes it’s safe for other people to see you in’ you go to pull something on – and it doesn’t fit.

Maybe it’s just a little tight around the middle but you can still close the zipper. Maybe you’ve gotten so huge that you can’t even get into what used to fit like a glove before. Maybe it’s just a slight change, somehow the clothes are tighter, tight enough to be uncomfortable but you dismiss it thinking that the last time you washed them they must have shrunk. No they didn’t shrink!

The worst part of gaining too much weight when you’ve dived into the wonderful world of writing full time is wondering where the hell you’re going to get the time and money to replace your entire wardrobe. Oh you can go back to the comfy pajama’s and sweats you’ve been wearing that hid the expanding expanse of belly from you for so long and so well. Except that at some point you’re going to want to go out of the house and you don’t want to perpetuate the myth that writers are all slobs sitting in the dark typing away in sweats while they munch on fattening snacks and gain sickening amounts of weight – do you? Of course not.

Of course there’s also the health risks to think of, gaining a large amount of weight can lead to a lot of medical issues including heart problems and diabetes. Expensive health problems you might not be able to combat on the pittance from your first five novels.

Best to combat these potential financial horrors early on by putting a little money and time aside for exercise. Every damn day. No I’m not kidding. When you worked your day job you didn’t workout everyday, I can practically hear you screaming. When you worked a day job you probably got a good deal more exercise than you’re getting now just getting to and from work. Add in the probability that you’re eating more and more extravagantly (no more sandwiches from the local deli when you’ve got time to slow roast your own chicken for dinner) and it becomes that much more important that you realize and commit early on to a serious exercise schedule.

I know, it’s hard and you don’t wanna. Well suck it up. If you can seriously commit to writing a couple thousand words a day, to immersing yourself in all the aspects of writing, marketing and business maintenance that being a writer demands – you can certainly find a way to set aside a single hour every damn day to get up and work that ass off. I’ll even be nice and let you have Sunday off – if and only if you manage to work out for an hour every other day of the week.

In the long run it’ll be totally worth it. I promise. All that sweating will totally pay off in the number of by reducing the amount of medical problems you encounter as you step away from the security blanket of company paid health-care. Just think of it this way, when you do find your audience and they’re hanging on your every written word, desperately awaiting your next book – not a one of them will be able to point to your picture and despair that you’re likely to collapse of a heart attack before finishing your magnum opus 😉

Alright, now go out and get on your bicycle it’s a beautiful day outside and you could use the exercise!

Second Guessing

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get back to a level that I can be proud of as a writer.

I keep trying though. All those years of sitting on my hands and hoping that I would figure out how to do it only made things worse. Second guessing yourself is the worst thing you can do as a writer or any kind of artist.

If you second guess every word you write none of them will ever be good enough. If you double check the placement of ever single comma, your sentences will feel awkward and clunky. If you doubt your punctuation non of your writing will flow easily to the reader. So always remember in the midst of your worst doubts and your worst cases of writing block brought on by those doubts, don’t guess just do.

When it’s done, that’s the time to analyze and pick it apart. Not before. Not halfway through. Never ever in the beginning.

Utilizing Your First Reader

My First Reader is my most valuable weapon in my war on my own sucky writing. I trust my first reader with a huge and terrible burden and she manages to come through again and again. That said, I’m always looking for ways to improve the feedback I get from my reader and I came up with a few questions to that end.

I’m going to share these questions with you and hopefully they’ll be helpful while you hone your craft as well.

  • Does the lead character have a clear goal throughout the story?
    • At what point was that goal dropped?
    • Why was that goal dropped?
  • Is the barrier between the lead character and their goal sufficiently compelling?
  • Can you feel the emotions of the lead character clearly enough at all times?
  • Too much: dialogue, introspection, description?
  • Is the dialogue memorable?
    • Five most memorable bits of dialogue.
  • What are your five favorite moments out of the text?
  • What are your five favorite sentences?
  • What questions remain after finishing the book?
    • Does the book conclude with finality?
    • If the book doesn’t tie up all lose ends that bother you, what are they?

I find it’s most helpful to hand your First Reader these questions with the first few pages of the book, so they can keep track of their answers as they go. These give a fresh perspective on the books strongest and weakest parts.

The Uncertainty of Death

Yay! Finally got around to updating both blogs with pages for my first book, “The Uncertainty of Death” book 1 in the Four Horsemen series! I’ve really got to find time to post more updates more often but today’s a start!

Till then, here’s a sample of the books page below.

Death

The scariest unknown in any one person’s entire lifetime. For centuries people have personified and anticipated the horror and the majesty of this unavoidable fate, even going so far as to invent legends of how to avoid it.

No one expects a harried, overworked and socially awkward business woman who loves her employees like the family she’ll never have. This Death has never been very good at games of skill or chance and is keenly self-conscious, always going the extra mile to make others comfortable around her.

Two mortals, Leo Kaylor and Jules Harper are about to meet a very different Death than they’ve ever dreamed of, and embark on a chaotic journey that will test the very meaning of friendship.
Available on Smashwords and at Amazon.