Recovery

I’m not sure if I posted anything about this, so I’ll just talk about it to cover my tracks.

On December 1, 2015, my stuff was stolen due to my carelessness. I forgot to lock my car door, and my laptop, flash drives, writing guides, camera, and tooth brush was stolen. What hurt the most was the stolen writing that I worked two years on.

It was devastating.

But I recovered.

Currently, I have a new laptop and two more flash drives (one containing some of the rough draft stories I wrote over the two year period).

For the past couple of days, I’ve been reading, editing, and proofreading these stories. Somehow, I’m working faster and more efficient than before, so I guess the setback wasn’t really a setback. In a strange way, by having my stuff stolen, it made me appreciate my work more than ever.

And I’ve noticed my work, my writing is getting better. I wish I had this mind when I left college. But hey, we live and learn, right?

Advertisements

Using FictionPress for Exposure

Writing fiction is my passion. It’s the one thing, I wish I could do full-time, but work and bills are two babies that won’t let me get any rest.

Every day, I have this grand idea, which I never write down. When I finally get time to write it, I get distracted with gaming or TV. Procrastination is such an ass.

In between writing projects and two jobs, I get inspired to write stories on FictionPress. If you’re not familiar with FictionPress, check it out here.

FictionPress is a neat website where writers can post their literary work. Its totally free to read each story. Criticism is welcomed by some. And prepare yourself, some of the writing is bad. Trial and error, I suppose.

I have not written any stories over 1000 words, I think. I want to reserve those extensive stories for publication.

If you’re interested in reading or posting stories visit FictionPress.

To read some of my original flash stories visit my FictionPress profile page.

Also, for those that enjoy soliloquies, a YouTube video reading of my horror flash story, “Seaside Hunger”, is located here.

A Scribe’s Worst Enemies

1) Putting hobbies over reading.  This applies directly to writers who are also gamers. Instead of picking up a book to read, gamers pick up a controller. I know it’s tough especially when the new map packs are available the week we’re supposed to bring something groundbreaking to the page.

2) The tongue lash of Nay Sayers.  There are plenty of these. Like my previous post said, some writers and non-writers see unpublished authors as people wasting their time on a dream that’s not likely to happen. If a writer listens to this poison, it can break his or her spirit.

3) Life Conditions.  Published or not, bills can choke inspiration right out of writer’s heart. Depression. Sadness. Break-ups. Anything in life that stops the fingers from moving to produce content.

4) Over confidence.  Oh yes! Arrogance does three things: it makes a writer look stupid, lazy and unskilled. How? When pride rests on the page, the vain writer may not edit or proofread their work. “I don’t need to edit.” Edit and proofread! Entertain the reader, don’t run them off.

I wanted this list to be longer, but it’s all I could come up with on short notice. Bottom line: A writer’s work is hard. Writing is only half of the work. Editing and proofreading is equally important.

Keeping it short

For the past few days I’ve experienced a burst of inspiration. What can I say–it’s been a long time coming. I found some time during this Mother’s Day to let everyone know what I was doing, which is pursuing my short story collection(s) getting published. My initial plan, if you’ve not read my previous blog posts, is to publish through Create Space; however, some advice came my way, and I’ll try a publisher first.

In the meantime, I have written several flash fiction stories for my Facebook friends. Sorry Word Press users, some of the content posted is strictly for those who are on my FaceBook friends list.

In case a publisher rejects my book, I’ll sell the books on Amazon. I don’t have definite release date, but I hope to have something by the end of the year. If Santa doesn’t deliver, I’ll have to punch him.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

 

 

Elijah

The question that needs to be answered…

Image

Creative writers, fiction or non-fiction, have to hear this question a lot. If a writer isn’t prepared for this question, it’s possible that writer will be offended. That’s good. Hurt feelings equal ammo for progress and success. At times, a writer will ask their inner self this. I know I do. Currently, I have six short stories completed. I want these six stories to be my debut book; however, I need to develop these stories into near-perfection. After doing my edits, I’m faced with the question, “Why should the reader care?”

I read a few help pages to brush up on what I learned in college but nothing. The only answer to this is reading other short stories and asking myself why I care about the story in question. In other words, I must read so I know what my story needs; in addition, I plan on showing others the draft’s I’ve created. Someone with hard reader and writer sense would be most helpful.

I tried asking myself: “Why should I care about this story?” It’s different. I’m going to care because I produced the content. I need to be fair to the story and let someone criticize my talent. If I’m truly writing for my reader, I have to take criticism, which I am prepared for.

Self-Publishing: Hard-copy or E-Book?

I’m so close to finishing my first book. For those of you who just found Black Board, I have a book, a collection of short stories not published yet, entitled Foot in the Door. The book follows various young black men whose inner strength grows as they toil through the challenges they are expected to crumble under. My target audience is young black men; however, I want to make these stories interesting for all readers. Besides, what writer narrows his audience down to one group. I want everyone to enjoy my literary illustrations.

The challenge: I have to decide if I want to take this to a publisher or self-publish through an entity like Amazon Kindle. I’ve read several eHow, About, and other FAQ pages about what my next step should be. Also, I’ve followed the Writer’s Digest on Twitter to get a sense of what my next move should be. At the end of the day, it’s my decision. I discovered that there is no right path to take. Everything instance is different. The only for sure thing is to try everything as many times as possible, in regards to a publisher.

With self-publishing…I will be in control. From price to promotion–it’s all up to me. I enjoy that concept. There is some hard work that follows. Getting people I DO NOT know to like the content I produce is going to be a challenge. Let’s face it. People are critical. Only a few will tell the truth, and the rest just don’t care. Pushing out content on my own is a ego-risk. The question arises: “Is this good?” Of course, I’ll feel that it’s good. I’ve worked hard on it forever. But what will others say? I want to give them their money’s worth.

So what’s better publisher or self-publishing?

Reasons why we chose the writing profession

I say “we” in the title because I’m sure writers other than myself have heard, “there is no money in writing.” At least that’s what I’ve heard while I was attending Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC. I chose to be an English major to become a writer, professionally and creatively; however, writer is often narrowed down to author by the people who do not realize that writers do assignments other than books and poetry.

We’re in every profession. We’re the force that ensures clear communication between marketers. We’re the fixers of the rough draft speeches in politics. We’re every where. Some of us choose our professions not by the measure of how much cash we can potentially make, but because we like what we do. My philosophy: When you like what you do, career wise, you will eventually come into the pay grade that you want.

As for me, my writing career hasn’t given me a salary. Not yet anyway. Do I give up and choose another profession? I don’t think so! I can’t throw in the towel because I’m frustrated. I understand that careers take time, talent requires attention, and writing takes more than a Coke and a smile to be excellent. I got into writing for the reader’s enjoyment. I want to write something that brings forth debate or discussion. If money follows that vision, so be it. Sooner or later, books that I author will sell. It’s something I like to do.

That’s just how I feel about it. How about you…?