When you write a book, it’s amazing. Or at least, I find it amazing – a sense of rightness, of knowing that this is what I’m meant to be doing. I’m not really me if I’m not crafting a world, a story, pushing characters and polishing sentences.
It’s hard work, but it’s the best kind of hard work. You take the first draft, which I call a brain poo, and you hone it into something better. My favourite description for this is polishing a turd into a diamond. How much effort you put in determines how well it sparkles at the end.
The thing about writing, though, is that it’s not all writing. I mean, that sounds a little obvious I suppose, but when you’re indie – like me – there’s all the admin too. Designing covers, sorting admin stuff, keeping the accounts in balance. Have a blog (check), and a fun newsletter (check), and social media (check, check). Use them regularly and well, put yourself out there, build a brand.
When I first started out as an indie author, I hated that word… brand. Not gonna lie, still don’t love it. But the idea behind it is true. We’re no longer buying just the story – in this digital age, we’re buying an author too. Sharing my book is sharing an aspect of my heart, but I need to be more than just a book, I need to be a person.
As someone who’s happiest in her four walls and is horrifically awkward in social situations, this feels like the total opposite of me. However, given I’m not great at personal boundaries, it’s also not that weird to share, either.
These last couple of weeks I’ve been reading some books on the more technical aspect of being an author; making my newsletter better, sharing myself in a way that is comfortable for me and interesting for everyone else, looking at strategies to maximise my writing time so that I can produce a quality finished product a lot quicker. The more I write, the more I want to write, and the better I can manage my schedule the sooner the stories are spinning out into reader’s hearts. I’ve got so many ideas waiting for attention that I need to sort something out before my brain backs up and overflows!
This technical reading has stretched me in a number of ways but I’m hoping they’re all good ways, even if it’s a lot for me to process at once. I’m already starting to see some benefits, with the second instalment of the story that’s part of my monthly newsletter taking shape (feel free to sign up if you want to read it) and the remaining edits for Aislinn’s Shadow coming along at a good clip. Which is great, because the end of the year is sneakily sneaking up on me whenever I’m not looking!
What have you been doing this week? Have you stretched yourself a little? Bunkered down with tea and cake and glared at the world? Read, by any chance, a good book? Let me know!