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.

Advertisements

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!

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.

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!

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.

Authors Against Bullying

I know, I know! I’ve been so bad as I’ve been gone again – FOUR DAYS! But I caught something that made me sick and dizzy and eww!

Well, today, besides sleeping and noming on chicken stew, I pulled together with Kate Marie Robbins and Zara Elise Thelms and pulled together the next TWO Authors Against Bullying anthologies! One will be on bullying, but we are also expanding and partnering with another author to bring awareness to another cause – Human Trafficking.

Attached, I have both promo banners for the anthologies and I am proud of all we have achieved with AAB. Our first volume  went as far as #13 in its category! I’m so thankful for all the hard work and dedication people have put into the anthology and while Volume Two is now with our publisher, I hope to see more people participating and sharing the cause!

AAB

??????

Breaking You Mold

When I first started writing, my first book that I released was a Fantasy book and at that moment, I thought that would be all I wrote. I love reading Young Adult books and I love the way that the Fantasy genre pulls me away from real life, making anything possible – literally anything. The thought of magic, elves, dragons, and so much more,gave me relief from the troubles that I had been facing. I read for an escape and I write for the same reason.

But as I grew as a writer, I felt like I would be letting people down if I didn’t take risks, experiment, and pull myself out of my comfort zone. Now, not everyone likes an author who writes more than one genre, but why should you limit yourself? I’m not good at writing things that are horror, but does that mean that I will give up trying?

NO!

Why would I want to limit myself? In my opinion, everyone should experiment and try to push past their comfort zone. On the other hand, why be limited to just one genre?

Personally, after I published my first book, the ones that soon followed were also all fantasy book, which was why I considered it the only thing that I would write. But that turned out not to be true. After a few anti-bullying short stories that I put out there, I worked more into my ideas and Tempting Fate was thought of – a hot and steamy romance that I wrote and will be publishing on March 27th under the name Brianna Vanderland (oh, yeah, I’m actually using my birth name)! But after that, my thoughts also progressed and I’ve been working on Goddess Becoming, a more mature Fantasy book that has things twisted all around with some science fiction thrown in (or is it science fiction with some fantasy tossed in… hmm…). Anyway, the thing is that I have LOVED stepping out of the zone that I originally set myself in. I have even begun planning a paranormal book that has to do with someone being haunted!

The thing is, I think stretching myself and testing the waters on all of these new books and genres have also helped me improve my writing. It has taken me to places I couldn’t even dream of and many people say that they all love everything that I have put out and then there are some who don’t like any of it (which is so not my problem, just saying). I guess the thing is that I’m still looking for the genre that I fit in and all of my writing is only for me. I don’t write for other people – I write for me. If other people just happen to like it then I am thankful and I am glad that I have those people in my life who support me with it.

I’m guessing that my main thing here is to write for yourself and if you want to try something new, go for it! Don’t confine yourself and make yourself think that you have to write in one genre or you have to fit in somewhere. It’s okay to stick out and to be whomever you want to be!

Dance with Darkness Preorder

It took Amazon.com long enough, but of course, being Amazon, Dance with Darkness is FINALLY up for preorder! The ebook will be $0.99 for the duration of the preorder 🙂 After preorder, it will be put at its regular price for $2.99, so get it while you can!

PREORDER LINKS FOR DANCE WITH DARKNESS! ON SALE FOR $0.99 for preorder sale 🙂

Amazon US – http://tinyurl.com/AmazonDWD
iTunes – http://tinyurl.com/iTunesDWD
Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/KoboDWD
Barnes and Noble – COMING SOON

Paperback links coming soon as well!

Minimizing Distractions

As we’re writing, there are many things that would pull you away from actually writing – I’m someone guilty of spending way more time on Facebook and on their games than writing or paying more attention to whatever is on netflix at the time. I’m so guilty of all of the above, but when you really want to get cranking on that word count, try a different approach.

When I’m really trying to bust out some more words to meet a goal that I’ve set I make sure I’m in a rather peaceful place (like that exists for some of us) or as peaceful of a place that I can find. Instead of turning on the television or opening facebook, I open my music player (usually spotify, but youtube and everything like that works as well), and put on something soft and quiet – for me, it’s usually classical piano music or something epic that has many highs and lows as far as trying to emote and something WITHOUT WORDS (I don’t even know, but when trying to listen to something with words while writing, I end up writing what is spoken to me instead of what is in my mind). I use the tone and vibe the music gives me while writing and it actually helps me personally by improving my writing as far as emoting goes.

Now, I know the urges to check your inbox or check your facebook are strong, but don’t give in to them. Don’t give in to any of it! Keep them all closed and focus on the words before you and most of all, listen to your characters.

I know that this won’t help everyone, but all I’m suggesting is to try it at least once before you bash it! If I can find at least one other person this helps, then my goal would have been accomplished!

 

Now, what in the hell are you doing reading this? Turn off the internet and get to writing!

Writing with Emotions

So many people have told me that they can’t write because something happens and their emotions take over and they just can’t – their boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with them, someone passed away, job promotion where they’re too excited, or they get distracted. If you’re the last one, please wait until the next blog post is uploaded which will be all about dealing with distractions!

Now, I’ve been in the same position! I’ve had my share of the emotional roller coaster, riding it on its ups and downs, but do something with it. I’m not trying to come across as someone who is saying, “oh, let’s ignore everything and we will write instead of going to a funeral or being with someone who is sick,” but take those emotions and make something with it once you have the opportunity to sit at a computer.

Write it down – write anything down and remember the way that you feel because it can make your writing ten times better as the reader would be able to connect with you if it was something that they had felt as well. This is an important part about being a writer – making someone else feel what you feel and want what you want. Use it to your advantage because if you write while you’re feeling emotional – even if you don’t want to – it will help you beyond belief and will help people want more of whatever you’re writing. Use the emotions as your inspiration and mold them beyond that.