Haters

No matter what you write, no matter how many things you publish, who you speak to or what you say, I can promise that there will be haters, people who cannot stand one thing about you, but that’s not important.

What is important is that you keep reaching for your dreams despite them.

There are so many people in the world that would rather you fail – turn away – give up your dreams, but it’s not something that you should do. Don’t let them win. Push past it, ignore them, and continue on your way. You’re worth it.

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Music

Many authors listen to music while they write. I do that myself. Something about having background noise while writing calms me, allows me to focus on my writing, but it has to be the right kind of background noise.

When I write, when I’m not listening to the background noise of NCIS, Dexter, or the various other tv shows I like to spam watch on Netflix, I’m listening to music. Now, this is easy. Most of the time you can go to Youtube and search for what kind of music you like, but for me, it’s usually the ones without words. The words get me all mixed up and I might just start typing the lyrics to whatever song I’m listening to at the time. Instead, I try to listen to the beautiful, instrumental music that makes me feel something – makes me feel anything that I can put into my writing. I used the ups and downs of the music to inspire me to write things that will turn people’s heads.

Try to find something that is right for you – because what works for me might not be right for you! Think on this!

More Advice from Bree

Writing is hard. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of concentration. You’re often lost, listening to too many characters at one time or you may not have any of your characters speaking to you. At times, you will want to give up – I know there are times when I want to – but when those times come, just stop, take a step back, and breathe. Think about those who are actually hoping for you to succeed. Think about the one person that you want to show that dreams really do come true. Think about all of that and spend a day away from the writing.

That’s what usually works for me.

Looking for a Cover Designer

I had made a post previously about cover designers and I had listed some of my personal favorites, but there are more to that list. I’m not adding them in this post, but I was asked what do I look for when looking for a cover designer.

Now, when I think about my book covers, I immediately go to the three people that have been helping me with my covers since I started, but it’s more than that. Lately, I’ve been working on photoshop, learning how to make my own covers, but besides that – there are some traits that I look for when I think about cover designers.

Do they design in the genre my book is in: You don’t want someone who only does romance books to design something that is meant for a horror novel. I’m not saying that it would be bad, but they’re completely different genres and it would be hard to tell what you were getting yourself in to until it is too late.

Do they have samples: Samples are a good thing. It gives you the chance to see what they can do before you buy it. For example, I wouldn’t go on Fiverr and look for a cover designer there. When it comes to covers, it’s something that you want to be up close and personal with the designer, working together to create your image.

Price Range and Messages: You probably don’t want someone who takes about a month to get back to you, but on the other hand, you don’t want something overly expensive (but hey, if it’s something that you love, how can you put a price on that?). I know personally that I want something that is decently priced for the amount of work put into it.

Now there are many other things to consider and once I get more sleep, I am sure that I will write them down and put them into another blog post, but for now, consider the above. Consider whether they will work with you for you to both reach a common ground when it comes to your book cover!

Write Often or Pace Yourself?

This is a question that is asked constantly by many people and  the answer lies within yourself, I believe. There are times that the characters speak to me and I cannot get them to shut up and when this happens, I tend to write often, but other than that, I pace myself. I make myself a daily goal, though lately I have been taking time away from that to deal with some issues in my life, but I feel like I will be getting back to that daily goal soon. My personal daily goal has been set at 1,000 words per day, but that’s something for me – a personal accomplishment for myself.

This is a question that I cannot answer for you. I do think that it’s a good idea to set a personal goal and try to reach that goal each day, but I know there are some people who cannot do that no matter how hard they try. As far as this question, only you will know the answer for yourself.

Software for Writing

One question that I also constantly get asked is what is the best software for writing. There are so many out there that the decision might be a difficult one, but have no fear. There are many alternatives that you can get to for writing.

One of the amazing programs I had run into has been something like Scrivner, if you can afford it. It’s something that has a $60 fee or something like that and you have to log into it and use it that way, but it has absolutely amazingly helpful devices. It has noteboards where you can plan characters and scenes – separately,  of course, and you can write one chapter at a time, keeping them separate until you compile everything you’ve written into one word document. This comes in handy and I’ve actually have met editors who prefer editing in a scrivner document over anything else (though to me, that’s more difficult).

So another clear option is Mircosoft Word, this being the one that I personally use. I use this one because of the clear format, the clear page breaks and the way you can do scene dividers. I also use Mircosoft Word for the formatting capabilities such as inserting pictures behind the words on the beginning of the chapters and such. It also automatically corrects common spelling errors, something that I am constantly thankful for, though I’m probably biased towards this one.

Another option so similar to Word is Open Office. Now to me, this is one of my least favorite options, but I believe it’s only because I haven’t had a lot of experience with it. This one is free and it’s close to Word. You can do nearly everything with it from what I’ve heard about it, but I have yet to figure out all the tools of the trade with this one.

One more option is using something like Google Drive and have the document private so no one but those you invite can see it. I always have an issue with this because if you’re anything like me, you use someone’s computer and then forget to log out and low and behold, you’ve left your Facebook up and they’re making a rather embarrassing post about it, but not only that, but you’ve left your book up to which point, they can edit it and save it to mess you up and there’s nothing that you can do about it.

The very last option that I can even hink about is using something like Notepad to write, though that is something that I don’t suggest at all. No publisher that I know deals with Notepad files and there is no way to set up indents, formatting structure, centering things and so much more. As an editor, I wouldn’t accept a Notepad document either only because it is so difficult to work with.

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Now, I’m sure that there are other options, but there will always be good ones and bad ones. This is just in order from what I would personally advise using versus ones that I wouldn’t advise using at all. Hopefully this list helps you with your decision of program use! Let me know in the comments which one you use and why!

Mind of Their Own

The one thing we all hate is when we’re writing and we think that we’re in control, but we’re not. The characters speak and they do their own thing – turning your story upside down and changing your plot.

My best advice when this happens is to let them – Listen to your characters and don’t fight them. Them changing your story might be for the better and when you’re not fighting with your characters, the words flow better. Changing your story to what your characters want could very well be just what your story needs. Remember, you created these characters – they’re your babies and like any baby, they do grow up and they decide that they want to make decisions for themselves.

BUT if you don’t want to listen to them,  not all hope is lost. You can still keep to your original plan and to do so, I would take a step back from your story for a day or two and start planning chapter by chapter for your book. Plan everything, the conversations, details, scenes, all to make sure that things stay the way you want. This is something that I don’t advise as your characters will push back (trust me, it’s happened to me) and it will make writing 10 times harder than it already is.

Using Emotions in Writing

So, the past week, there was something that happened that made things a little hard on not only me, but others around me. My step-mother’s father passed away and he was like a grandfather to me. It was hard seeing her, her children, and everyone else that knew him upset over it and trying hard to stay strong. At the funeral, there were many tears for a much loved man.

I will admit that since the funeral, I have been having a LOT of bad days, getting cross with people, having little patience, and even making so many mistakes at work. On top of all of that, I haven’t written nearly as much as I would have liked to. I felt like I was blocked and the words just weren’t flowing as easily as they had been before.

But it’s been more than that and I know what I need to do to move past this mental block that I have put on myself and that’s use my emotions and pour them into my writing – no matter what. I need to get the reader to feel what I am feeling and if I can do that, I consider it the only job that I have as a writer for what are we if not artists that use words? And how can we call ourselves writers if we cannot accomplish the one job that we set out to do.

We need to set out and put our emotions in our writing. If we feel like crying, make the piece sorrowful and give the reader something to cry about! Make them swell up with tears and sniffle. Make them want to burst into laughter until their sides hurt or make them hate another character more than anything else for their actions! SHOW EVERYTHING and using this method will make you a better author in the end. Details are everything to a reader, especially when it means that they feel it too.

I know that I have been bad at posting on this blog lately and I am sorry for that. I could make promises on how I will be better, but lately, I don’t know how it will turn out. I know that I will be posting some book reviews soon and go from there. I’m hoping that I can get some requests in for advice to post on here, but I haven’t as of yet. I will ask around and get a new list of fresh topics to write about and hopefully get back to posting a few posts a week for you guys!

I can only thank you all for being so patient with me!

Being Weird

Well, o get asked constantly how I come up with my ideas and I get stumped on this question constantly. I don’t know what to say to get them satisfied other than they just come to me. Some might be dreams and whatnot, but others just randomly pop into my head.

Now the other thing is that I believe being weird helps! Yeah, we’re all weird in our own way, but I put myself with people that make me laugh and get my creativity flowing – people who challenge my thoughts, ideas, and things I believe in – especially my boyfriend. 

When you’re writing, you need to think of everything. If you’re creating a world, don’t forget to mention some of their beliefs and laws and don’t be afraid to make it different than what you personally believe in. There aware no rules to writing, but challenge yourself. It might be hard, but it’s well worth it. 

Don’t be afraid to dance when people are watching. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and write what you don’t know. Above all – don’t be scared to be weird!

Lost Time

So, again, in the past few days, I’ve been not publishing on this blog here, but I AM TONIGHT!

In this lost time, I’ve added a symbol to Ophelia, but I’m not releasing information about it yet :3 I guess you’ll have to wait a little while, but here’s that symbol!

Sign

It’s ore than that though: I will be adding a new character to Ophelia soon! I will be publishing a character list that will also be in the back of the book! I will post some things about the characters as things progress!

For more information on Ophelia and myself, follow my author page: Author Bree Vanderland!

Promotions

So one important thing about being an indie author is promotions. You are everything when you’re an indie author. You write, promote, market, publish, review edits, look for a cover artist, and everything like that. Promotions are important.

In this endeavor, I am helping people with their promotions by posting them on my author page and my blog here. Because of this, not all of my posts will be all about me and my writing and advice here!

So, here is one of my promotional posts! Be sure to check out this rising indie author, Zara Elise Thelms!

Faced with Disaster

Okay, so the title is a little misleading as it’s not technically a disaster, but it is for a writer, I guess. Here, I’m faced with a problem.

I love to write and I want to write – ALL THE FREAKING TIME – as I have so many things listede in my “to be written” pile and so not enough time to write them all, but I hate the weather.

Winter weather makes me so sleepy and I hate ice, snow, cold weather, and anything else that has to do with winter. I hate it. It makes me lose my concentration and makes me not want to write or it makes me too tired to write.

Because of this, some of my books are coming along slowly until warmer weather when I can work harder on them, but no worries :3 I will push these books out for you guys so you can read them! Never give up on your writing and stay tuned for more updates!

Getting Back to Writing

So, there have been quite a few things that have pulled me away from writing and blogging more often, but I’m here to tell you that I’m going to try my best to get back to making on blog post a day AND writing a little a day (or at least editing). It’s good for me to get back into that daily routine and it’s good for you guys to read my blog posts and get advice on things.

If you know that you’re not going to be able to write for a while, please at least think about what you want to write about the next time you’re on a computer. It will help you gather your thoughts before you sit down and may even help your fords flow better! I know that it helps me to think about it first. Because of this, I have been able to put 1,000 words onto my work in progress and it’s only 10:15 AM.

I love writing and I love blogging. I love giving new and old authors alike advice on things that they request and I’m thankful for them all. I’m thankful for each and every like they give me and I’m thankful that I can help anyone. That’s my only goal here – to help and inspire – and as long as I do that, I feel like my mission is accomplished. I will be more than happy to get back to it!

Please expect more posts on authors, books, and messages from some of my favorite authors and people who support me. All over promotions can be requested in the Promotion Request tab at the top menu!

Thank you!

Conversing with New People

Okay, so I will admit that I am introverted and the idea of talking to new people and a lot of things in my life changing REALLY and I mean really scares me. The thought of talking to people that I haven’t known for years is something that gets me cringing and I would honestly prefer dealing with spiders (which I am also terrified of).

But sometimes it’s needed.

I’ve been involved with the indie community for three, nearly four years now and there’s a lot that I know and a lot that I could help other people with and at times, making friends is a good thing, but I hate when it comes across as forced because they you are all awkward and stuff.

But breaking out of your shell is a good thing too.

 

When I started this, I was shy and I was scared to talk to new people.  It after breaking out of that shell and getting to know more people, I’ve found the best friends ever!

Will I Ever Be Ready

In one of my groups, someone asked me a simple question that had me thinking back to when I published my first book. Samantha asked me,

Did you ever have a hard time feeling like your book was ready to publish? I’ve revised SOOOO many times. I don’t dare send it to the editor yet. I’m waiting on a couple of beta readers.

~ Samantha, Writing Rocks (Facebook Group)

Well, I gave her a reply that was true to myself and something that I feel the need to share with more people as I believe this question is asked a lot.

Yes. I always had a hard time hitting that publish button, putting my new book out there for the option of millions of people able to buy it and read it and judge and criticize not only the book, but me too. It’s a tough thing to do because that book is like a baby to you (yes, I felt that way too and I feel that way about all of my books). You poured your heart and soul into the book and there will be people who tear it apart.

My advice is to remember that you can’t please everyone. There will be people who absolutely hate your book and then there will be people who are jealous of your success and try to bring you down. With everything, remember that you’re not writing for them. You’re not editing for them. You’re not publishing for them. You’re doing everything for YOU!

You’re the reason things have gotten this far and I’m sure we all have people to thank for words of encouragement when we feel like we’re not doing things right, but that’s all a part of the process. I did go through this moment of doubt before I put my books up, thinking that they weren’t ready, but don’t let that hold you back! As an author who has been published for three years, I still feel like some of my books aren’t ready, but there are people who love them and think that they’re amazing.

The thing is, as authors, we learn as we go. We grow with each letter that we type, each idea that pops into our head and we have to write them down or the characters scream at us, building the story up in our minds until our fingers eventually glide over the keyboard as we tell their story (and if you think we have any control over our characters, think again)! As time passes and your book is out there, you can always go back and add to it and make it something that grows with you. Make it so that people see your progress.

Just remember that writing and publishing a book is all about YOU – not anyone else.