Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gee, This Writing Is Hard Work

When I took it into my head to write a romance, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Maybe that's why I did it. I can't imagine working this hard if I had known how much effort writing is.

I love romances. I've read lots of them and when I finished one, there was another in endless supply awaiting me. Until I ran out. How could I keep myself in romances? Why, I could write my own. So I decided to give it a try.

The secret is: it takes more than a try. It takes lots of tries, and I mean lots. Writing is not for the lazy, the procrastinator, or the person who lacks perseverance. Especially the last. When someone asks me to describe myself in one word, I say persistent--that's French for "too stupid to give up".

I've spent a lot of time warming my desk chair as I write and rewrite. Someone told me most writing is rewriting. I believe it. Sometimes my stuff comes out pretty good, and sometimes it's pretty terrible. So I rewrite. A lot. And I find that even the parts that sounded pretty good to begin with improve with rewriting.

So I write and I rewrite, and in between I try to think up an idea for a new story. I've taken courses on writing and on the Regency, which is the era I set my romances in. I've entered contests and lost them. I just lost another one. I doubt I’ll ever win.

I sent my first story, Lady of the Stars, to The Wild Rose Press. Lady started life as a contest entry. I lost--no big surprise there. But the editor who read it told me how to improve it and said to resubmit. I resubmitted twice before she gave me the contract. Like I said, persistent. Or maybe, stupid.

Now that I have a contract (I have three: Lady of the Stars and Pumpkinnapper are currently available, Mistletoe Everywhere comes out on November 3, all from The Wild Rose Press), all I have to do write some more stuff. Right? Wrong. Now the dreaded PROMOTION rears its ugly head.

If you think writing is hard, wait until you try promotion. I have a website. I contribute to nine blogs. I'm on myspace, facebook, twitter and those are only the big three. I'm almost up to triple digits on the number of yahoo loops I belong to.

The bottom line: Is anybody reading my story? I have no idea.

OK, after all this, why do I continue? Because I think my stories are good and someone else may like them, too. I'm probably fighting an uphill battle because I don't write much sex. But I'll continue. At least for a while.

Like I said, persistent. Anybody for stupid?

Thank you all,



Kaye Manro said...

Wow! great post, Linda. I can so relate to all this and more. And I don't do the promo as much as you do. It is all hard. So why do we do it? I think it's because something in us pushes us to write.

Toni said...

Wow,thanks Linda! Your post was just what I needed to hear to know that I'm exactly where I should be.

NinaP said...

This is a great post, Linda, very honest, and you pose a vital question that is so easy for writers to forget: Is anybody reading my story?

If I may, here’s a slightly different version of the same. Where are the people who like the kinds of stories I write? What are their demographics? Where do they hang out on the net, and who do they talk to when they get there?

Answering these (target marketing) questions will focus (and likely pare down) your efforts while making each move more effective.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Kaye. If I had thought to ask writers about writing, they probably would have told me they had the same experiences. But, of course, asking the question never occurred to me.

Hi Toni, the only thing we can do is keep going.

Nina, finding out the right places to promo is the question we all want an answer to. I've heard authors say they promo only a half hour a day. Really? I wish I could do that. After a year, I've discovered the loops don't work for me. I'm going to try the social networking sites now, and see how they work out.

StephB said...

I can totally relate. #1 - It DOES take a lot of tries. It took me a lot of tries and a lot of stories to master the art of telling a romance.

#2 - Promotion. Trust me, this is on easy. Especially on a limited budget. Ebooks especially provide a challenge because you can't go to a bookstore and "sign" them. Mastering Internet promotion can be challenging.

Book Trailers, I think help. Just getting out there, blogging, visiting other blogs, being social. I think it helps, but the socializing aspect of it takes time away from the writing. I can only suggest to keep seeking out reviews - if you can get into the Amazon Kindle store, I think you'll be pleasently surprised.


Linda Banche said...

Hi Steph, nice to see you here. I haven't had any trailers made. Maybe I should try that. As for socializing--I try, but as you say, it takes time, which we all have so little of. The Wild Rose Press will now send all the new books, except for the shortest books (mine are long enough) to Amazon in Kindle format. So, maybe I'll have a chance of finding some readers without killing myself. *g*

Anonymous said...
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Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i agree - it is hard! Thanks so much for the follow! Love having new blogger buddies! :)

Linda Banche said...

You're welcome, Shelli. Nice to meet you.