☆☆☆ Wear your author badge with pride ☆☆☆
I call myself an author.
Many men and women do this, whether they’ve published one book or several. Putting your books out there has earned you your author badge, so wear it with pride.
I am no stranger to the problems of self-doubt, lack of motivation and the fear.
The fear that no one will give my stuff a second glance, let alone buy it and read it. I’ve always said, “I write for me, because I want to”. I don’t want to get rich and/or famous off the back of my books, but if it comes, then all well and good, but it’s not my main aim in life. Along with the aforementioned quote, I’ve always said, “I believe in my stories, my characters and my ability to produce decent material”.
I have recently been struck with ‘writer’s block’, a huge lack of motivation and self-doubt and I’ve been trying so hard to claw myself out of this hole, with the help of friends, readers and my family. It’s happened before, but not as severe as recently. I’ve tried not to force a word count past 4-5k in one sitting and I’ve tried to just think about my work, how I can improve my craft, and create something that could wow the socks off anyone who reads it.
Many authors will tell you to write daily, even if it’s just a few words to keep the creative juices flowing, and my advice seconds that sentiment. If you stop, completely, for just a few days, it can be really difficult to come back from that drought, and giving up becomes easier. I have been close to the brink of removing all my books from sale, and hanging up my author badge for good. But I’m not a quitter, and the thought of letting my small fan base down, is abhorrent to me.
I keep telling myself that I have much more to give, and there are many more stories to be told that people would love to know about.
I guess getting married next year and my new job are standing in the way a little at the moment, as I’m trying to adjust to all that I have going on in my personal life. But making excuses just seems ridiculous, when I could spend just half an hour writing something, even if it’s a huge pile of crap. Some words are better than no words.
One of the things I find helps with the block, is looking for inspiration, something topical to talk about. Whether it’s politics, religion, sex, family, whatever your particular taste, then write about it and put your thoughts ‘out there’. Don’t keep it all hidden away, emerge from the shadows with a desire to put your point across, and this may just help with producing something extraordinary. I’ve found that spending time on different sites on the web helps too. For example; I load up Pinterest, put something random in the search engine and find an image, blog post or topical statement that appeals to me, then I write about it, even if it’s only 500 words.
I find Pinterest a big help with writing material, and I have a board that may just interest you https://uk.pinterest.com/J4N3H3R0N/writing-help/
I also use a dictionary and a thesaurus to try and improve my vocabulary. If I don’t like a particular word, then I search for a synonym, find its meaning and use that one instead (as long as it fits within the context of the sentence). Like most things, being creative takes time, patience and effort, so improving your particular craft needs all of these things and much more.
Since I published my first book over two years ago, I have learned a lot, especially the following:
· Lean on friends and family
· Make new friends in the book community; someone, somewhere will be able to help you. Contrary to popular belief, there are some friendly and helpful people out there, you just have to find them
· Write, read, edit… repeat
· Ask for help. If you don’t ask, you don’t get
· Look up a new word, then use it in a sentence. Knowledge of your particular language will improve
· Make use of bloggers; they’re the backbone of the book world
· Try something new
· Don’t give up
There are many more points I could list in bullet point form, but these are the main ones that are important to me, and you just might find them useful too.
My word count is slowly increasing each day, and I finally feel like the drought is almost at an end.
The phrase ‘nothing lasts forever’ certainly rings true in this situation.