L.C. Wright

Author

Category: Writing Ideas

Fighting the Good Fight

You’ve done it! You finished that novel you always wanted to write. You’ve edited and stroked and prodded and you finally got it published. You know it’s what everyone should be reading. You know that if people had any brains what-so-ever, they would be lining up to read it. That’s what you know.

Now the truth sets in. People don’t know you. People don’t know your work. And the great novel you slaved over for of the weeks and months is barely being being noticed.

Hey…I’ve been there. I have the same issues that everyone has that isn’t well known. But, I’m not here to help you market your book today. Maybe I will get to that in another issue. Today I want to talk about you…the writer. I want to talk about what you need to do to keep being a writer. I want to help you keep fighting the good fight.

Life get’s in the way. 

One of the biggest problems for writers is that “things” happen. Life happens and is cruel and constantly works under the premise of bad timing. Every day it seems that we are being bombarded by pressing needs. Family, work, health, all kinds of issues want to stop you from being what you are…a writer.

Solution: Do what you do best. If life throws you a problem…write about it. If the kids are being a pain…write about it. Take out your frustration on your keyboard and not someone else. It will help you in two ways: 1) It will help you keep your sanity without hurting others. 2) It will keep you focused on the habit of writing. Write every day. Write something and things will work out.

Writer’s Block.

You haven’t written in a month. You can’t seem to get the story to work out the way you know it should go. You’ve got writer’s block, you say.

I’ve got bad news for you my friend. There is no such thing as writer’s block. You are just lazy. Ideas come to us every day from everywhere. Maybe a story isn’t going the way you think it should, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to not write. You could write about something else. You could write about me for telling you that you are lazy and what a mean person I am.

Solution: Get on your butt and write something. (Notice that little play on words?) Write a sentence, a paragraph, about anything. Ideas are are like water. If you cup your hands in a stream and lift it out, some of it always gets away. However, if you want some more water, just stick your hands back into the stream.

There are always going to be perceived reasons for you to sit around and not write. If you want, contact me and I can give you a few reasons you may not have thought of. Instead, get your thoughts together and start with one word. Make it a good word and then surround that word with other, complementary words. You will feel better for it.

Now here comes the sales pitch:

To help out another author that writes great mysteries, check out my books:

Castle Grey – A Katt and Mouse Mystery Click here for Kindle or here for paperback.

Long Shot – A Katt and Mouse Mystery   Click here for Kindle or here for paperback

Connections – The Devil’s Door  Click here for Kindle or here for paperback.

Writing As A Business

Someone came to me and asked what it took to get into writing. At first I thought she wanted to know about the process of writing a book and I politely told her to check out some of my other posts on the subject. She quickly stopped me and told me that wasn’t what she meant. She was pretty convinced that she could write a story (or a book for that matter), but what was more important was taking it to the next level. She wanted to know what it took to sell those books after they were published.

That, of course, is a whole different issue; one I’ll try to address here.

The thing is, there is no “set in stone” manner by which you can produce quantifiable, renewable results on a consistent basis. Maybe you don’t want to hear that. Maybe, when you read all of those articles, you think you will be different. Maybe you think that your work is somehow better than the next person’s and that puts you in the driver’s seat. You would be wrong. At least most of you would be. It doesn’t work that way. At least not for most of us.

So…unlike the people out there that are making grand promises about selling your books, what I offer is something better. I offer reality. If you can live with that, you have an opportunity  to make your writing something that has a chance.

First things first:

I’ve said this before and I will repeat it until the day I decide to get out of the business; get your work right. What I mean is, get your manuscript edited and then re-edited by people who actually know what they are doing and actually do it for a living. It doesn’t matter if someone tells you that they can get your book out cheaper or quicker or whatever kind of crap they spout. If you don’t have the book edited properly, you may fool your readers once with a great campaign, but they’ll never go back for seconds. Then all your great marketing will be a waste. So get it right.

I won’t belabor the issue, get it right the first time and you will improve your chances at a second (or multiple) time(s).

I’m not going to spend a lot of time in this article talking about the local marketing. I will do that later. What I want to discuss here has to do with social media. You need social media if you want to do anything with your books.

Personally, I don’t really think it matters which social media you decide to focus on. I use several of them myself and have had good success with them all. However, none of them will help if you don’t use them correctly. Signing up won’t help. Actually, the only way any of them will help is for you to be involved with whichever tool you decide to use.

For example, I use Twitter as my primary social media. I build relationships with people and get to know them. With some, we’ve actually become friends. With others, it’s merely discussing a topic that seems to be on their mind at the time. Either way, you get out there and talk to the people who are going to buy your work. Sometime it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. The thing is, before you talked to them, they didn’t know you. Now they do.

Select ten people each day and say something to them. Let them know that you are open and willing to have a conversation. Tell them about your books, of course, but more important, let them know that whatever they are discussing is also important. It’s about give and take. What they have to say may actually be useful to you. And if it is, let them know.

Do the math. If you talk to 10 new people every day, you will have met 3,650 new people every year. If you have a good product, many of them will actually check out your work and many of those will actually buy it. If you want to sell more, there are several ways to do that, but only two in which you have control: 1) talk to more people, and 2) write more books.

It’s a simple process to gain success as an author. However, no one ever said it would be easy.

To read this author’s novel Castle Grey – A Katt and Mouse Mystery, click (here) for Kindle or (here) for Paperback.

What Does It Take To Be A Writer?

That question was posed to me recently and I got to thinking about it…a lot.

The idea of being a writer is more than the simple task of putting a string of words together. And frankly, I think the question had more to do with the idea of what a person has to do to be a serious writer. So that is what I will attempt to write about today.

However, before I can do that, I must first dissect the issue of what the words “serious writer” means. Do you want to write stories to share with friends and family? Are you trying to write a book? Do you consider yourself the next literary genius to come down the pike? Do you want to get published? Do you want to sell a million books? What does being a serious writer entail?

If you can answer those questions then maybe my simple explanation will help.

Being a serious writer means work. You have to work at the craft. It’s learning the difference between “part time” and “spare time.” It is a rare person that has the luxury of writing on a fulltime basis. If you do, then consider yourself to fortunate. However, if you are like the majority of us, we have to write in addition to everything else that might be required.

Most people who want to write and fail, do so because they allow life to get in the way of their success. They start a story and then, as time goes forward, a spouse or child will ask you to do something that they believe is more important than what you are doing. They don’t—can’t—understand the passion for the written word that is boiling inside you. They consider it a hobby to be tolerated, not something to take serious. It’s up to you to NEVER accept their idea of what’s important. Learn to say no or not now.

Most important (drum roll please) sit down and write every day. Make it a habit. Accept nothing less than “X” number of words every day that you write. (For me it’s 500 words.) If you do that, you will accomplish more than you could possibly imagine. Give it try. Try it for one month—30 days. You will be amazed.

I wish you nothing but the best success. And if you have any comments or suggestion, please let me know.

 

To read Castle Grey – A Katt and Mouse Mystery, Click here (Kindle) or here (Paperback)

Hurry Up and Wait

Time has a tendency of moving forward whether or not we are ready. I know this because, recently, I turned sixty and I’ll be damned if I have a clue where all that time went. It seems longer than a blink of an eye, but not by much.

Being an author is kind of like that. I’ve come to realize that writing—being an author—is one of those things that just happens to go by and you don’t really know where the time went.

I just realized that I have been writing consistently for over ten years. I have completed six novels and have no idea where the time went. Don’t get me wrong; the work has been out of love and passion. It takes me to places and times that I could never enjoy any other way. It affords me the ability to dream and laugh and even cry instead of living a mind-numbed existence, watching television.

However, with writing, as in life, there are pauses that need to be managed. Maybe you just finished your first novel. Maybe you are waiting to hear from a publisher or editor or even an agent. If that is the case, what do you do?

Frankly, I never had a problem with work. Whether it was my day job or developing my writing career. It didn’t matter. Give me a job and something to focus on and I’m a happy camper.

But when something is done and the job is over, you need to have something else to fall back on. Get ready for another story to be told. Pick up a book that will teach you how to overcome an obstacle. Never give yourself the excuse that you can afford to take a day off from doing what you are passionate about. Never allow yourself the luxury of believing that tomorrow is a better day to get started doing something new.

Today is your day to begin a new project. Today is your day to learn how to be a better writer. Today is the most important day of your life and nothing…I mean nothing…will stop you from being a better person, a more accomplished author (or whatever your goals might be) than the one you are now living.

Be that one person in a million that decides to do what is right for you.

 

The read a L.C. Wright novel, click here (Kindle) or here (Paperback) I want to thank you for spending time with me today.

Building a Base

  I can’t believe how many thousands of writers there are in the world and how few are actually getting published. Why is that? Are the existing, published authors REALLY that good and everyone else that poor at the art? Do they know something we don’t know? Or maybe they know someONE we don’t know.

My thinking is…Yes AND No to those questions.

Some authors are much better than I am. That’s a fact and I certainly would be foolish to deny the fact. There are literary authors in this world that can express themselves in such a way I couldn’t begin to emulate. On the other hand, there are many, many authors that I see on the shelves in bookstores that I look and wonder, “How the heck did they do that?” Even I think the work is poor compared to what I write. Yet there he or she is, on the shelf, big as life.

Do they know something we don’t know? Or someone we don’t know? Of course. There are celebrities and athletes who can sell a million books just because their name is on the cover. That’s just a fact of the human condition. A lot of people are followers and will buy a book just because they like the person. It doesn’t even matter what drivel they are spouting. It’s just the way it is.

What I’m wondering is, what can WE do to give ourselves a better leg in the world of publishing? How can we make ourselves a better commodity and our work something a publisher would want to contract?

The answers are easy. On the other hand the work is hard.

1) Write a better story. I don’t mean tell a better tale. I mean write the story better. Be more concise. Don’t use repetitive phrases. Bring the characters to life even better than they are. Make the scene more vibrant than it already is. That’s the first step. Be a better author and don’t EVER think that a story you write is complete until someone says they are willing to publish it for you. It can always be better.

2) Make yourself someone people want to believe in and be around. We all have opinions. (You already know what that’s compared to.) On the other hand, does anyone know you? Does anyone care? If they don’t, shame on you. How can you get people to believe in you if you don’t? Introduce yourself. Meet or introduce yourself to at least ten new people everyday. You can do that in person or Facebook or Twitter or however you want. Just make sure you are being seen. I guess there have been a few famous recluses in the world. Just don’t think they became famous because they were. They were famous long before then. Stand tall and be that 1 person people can look to today and remember.

3) Pay the price. I don’t know you so I can’t tell you what the cost will be for you to succeed. However, I can tell you that there WILL be a price to pay. Just understand this. You don’t pay the price of success. You pay the price of failure. (Zig Ziggler) You enjoy the price of success.

No matter what path you decide, there will always be a cost. Today we are given 24 hours. If we’re lucky, tomorrow we’ll be given another. That’s it. No more. No less. The question comes down to what are you going to do with yours. How will you spend that asset you’ve been given? Video games? Fantasy Football? TV? I could go on, but why should I? You know what you’re doing with your day better than I do. It doesn’t matter to me and that’s the cold hard fact. Your failure gives me a better chance at success. I would much rather have you reading one of my books than me reading one of yours. The question is, are you doing what you can to get where you want to go? Do something that will make you proud of the person you are and the things you did TODAY.

I’m wishing you all the successes you dream.

Now here I am asking you to take a chance on this new author and try out my book, Castle Grey – A Katt and Mouse Mystery. Here (Kindle) or here (Paperback) is where you can find it. Thanks for giving me a try.

Counting Days

  This is the hard part. To be more accurate, this is the most difficult of all the hard parts of the journey called “getting published.”

It’s the time where you know that you’re good enough, but unsure if you are lucky enough to get the publisher to make a commitment. It’s that time when you’ve bled ink and sweat from the fears of uncertainty. It’s the void that leaves you wondering if you really are that good or blowing smoke up your own skirt.

I call it Counting Days.

The editing is done. I’ve gone over it a dozen times. My editor has finished it. My agent’s editor has finished it. The Agent has finished and has now forwarded it to the publishers. So now what the heck do I do? I’ve never been one to put my future in the hands of others without doing everything in my power to make a positive influence. The problem is, I don’t know any publishers and I don’t know how to make a difference that will matter. Have any of you had that problem? I would think so. So hopefully you can relate.

The thing is, I actually know the answer. So do you. The answer is nothing. Wait. That’s not true. The complete answer is that I can’t do anything about the one that’s sent. I have to trust that the agent actually knows what she’s doing and her abilities are good enough to help me succeed. And I do. She doesn’t make a dime off me until I succeed so she certainly has motivation to work the job. So what I have to do now and what you need to do as well is start over or keep working at the other projects you have going and get them ready for the next opportunity to arise.

This message isn’t designed to be positive or negative for that matter. It’s simply an affirmation of the things you already know. Keep doing what you are doing. It works.

Taking the Next Step

  So you’ve written the next, great American novel. You’ve labored for months–hell, years–to get it just the way you want it. Your best friends, your sister and even your mother have read it and swear that you’ve written a masterpiece.

So now what do you do?

That’s a really good question. One I’m not sure I can answer because I don’t know what it is that you want to do with it. If you are like me, there is no alternative but to get an agent and work like crazy to get published through a mainstream publisher. If that’s your objective, I may have some suggestions to share. However, from what I’ve been told and read, it’s also the hardest way to go, so it may not be your cup of tea.

Agents are very difficult to get. Agents are looking for any excuse to say no. And agents are so busy that even if they decide to take you on, you still have to fight for a spot to move up the ladder against their other clients.

For me, it took four years and close to 100 rejections before tweaking my work enough to get the attention I believed I deserved. However, what I’ve discovered over the last six months is that getting an agent is just the beginning to the process that still seems to be a long way into the future to get what I want.

I know my work will get published. I know it’s even good enough to do great. But if this is the route you want to take, be prepared to wear the many hats necessary to make it a reality.

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these messages. I wanted to share my thoughts–good and bad–with all of you that are interested. However, working my real job, writing, editing, re-writing, editing and doing my domestic duties takes a lot of time. I’m not using it as an excuse, rather an apology for no doing as much as I would like to help those of you I can. I will do what I can to improve the efforts soon.

Until then, stay in touch and lets kep moving forward together.

Lannie

Inspirations

  I used to wonder where writers got their inspirations for the stories they told. I loved the way they seemed to bring even the mundane to life. Once I started writing seriously, I realized that ideas could actually come from anywhere.

One important aspect of inspiration is that it could be ANYTHING. Seriously. As an example, I was walking one day and looked at the road I was walking on and started thinking about how I would describe it. What would my character see? How would he describe what that road looked like to him/her if they too were walking on it? It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but the inspiration of what I write isn’t how I see things, but rather how my characters see them.

This is an ah ha moment if you get it. Don’t look at things for yourself. Rather look at things brand new and describe them as if telling about something wondrous.

A road is no longer just a road. A tree, no longer just a tree. Each thing is seen anew with the eyes of someone who has never seen it before and needs to tell us what it brings to them as a part of the story.

A novel is not just a story about good guys and bad guys and their struggles. A novel is a journey the characters take. Look through the eyes of each and let them tell what it is they see to someone who has never seen it either–the reader.

The Business of Writing

  Now that people are starting to get to know me, I get questions that come my way. Questions that make me reflect on things that have taken me from a hobby writer to someone close to getting published. Mind you, “close” is the operative word her since I can’t yet claim to be published. However, I know that, in time, it will come to pass.

Maybe I have an advantage over some of you. I am really good looking. No that’s not it. It may be true, but it’s not an advantage.

The advantage I’m actually speaking of comes from my background in business. I’ve been a self-employed business man for the last thirty-plus years. The nature of the business is as relevant as the process of the business. Being self employed requires by its very nature to be self motivated, self disciplined and self critical. Being a writer takes a lot of all three.

Self Motivated: The definition is in the title so I won’t dwell on the concept. The reality is much more difficult than the description however. I hear it all the time, “I could do that.” “I could write a novel.” or “My family (insert any other quality aspect of a individual’s life) is a story that show be told. I think that’s something I could write about.” Everybody has a story to tell. It’s like the old saying, “million dollar ideas are a dime a dozen.” Whether it be fact or fiction, we all have a story to tell. However, the motivation doesn’t come from the story. It comes from the story teller. When you wake up in the morning and can’t think of anything but the story. You are a writer. When you drive down the road and turn off all influences because they are interrupting your thoughts on the story. You are a writer. So write it.

Self Disciplined: So let me ask you this. What’s your excuse today for not writing? Okay, so maybe that’s a little “in-your-face”. Never mind my lack of sensitivity. The question is still valid. What’s keeping you from writing TODAY. I know you’ll write tomorrow. That’s a given. You want to write. You need to write. And tomorrow you absolutely WILL write. I know that and so do you. You actually believe it. So what’s stopping you today?

Here’s the deal. Are you ready? If you can figure out how to stop buying your excuses. You’ll stop putting off till tomorrow what you really want to do today.

Self Critical: Boy this is a hard one. Nobody likes being criticized. So what do we do? We insulate ourselves from the outside world so it doesn’t happen. If we don’t feel the pain of criticism, then we don’t have to be weighed down with all those negative feelings that will keep us from being the best we can be. Right? Wrong.

I don’t like being critized any more than anyone else. I hate it as a matter of fact. But the truth is, without evaluation (self or otherwise) there is never an opportunity for improvement. Look hard at what you do. Open yourself to the comments of others. And if you want to know how I approach it here’s what I do.

I offer my manuscripts to a few select people and tell them there are two rules when reading my work. Rule number one is: When they are finished, I want nothing less than their honest opinion. No sugar coating. No glossing over things. I want the truth about their perspective. Number two: If they have a suggestion about what they think I should do to improve my work, they should feel completely free to express their thoughts. However, they should be warned ahead of time that about this, I will consider their suggestions, but make no promise of doing it the way they suggest. They should also know that if they want it done their way, they need to go write their own damn book. This one’s mine.

Writing is a business. It’s a dirty, cutthroat business that is hard as hell to get in to. I’ve been at it for years and I’m still trying. But it’s a business. As a business, there are rules and there are other things that will make it happen for me. I KNOW it will happen and you are here to witness it as it happens.

Good luck.

 

Writing is a passion. Check here to see how a passion can manifest into reality. Check out and get a copy of Castle Grey – A Katt and Mouse Mystery. Click here (Kindle) or here (Paperback). Thanks

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