Lost Writer Seeks to be Found

I keep putting marketing projects in front of me to avoid fine writing.

Writing fiction is HARD.

It’s the second hardest thing I’ve ever done beyond raising my kids, and husband.

Marketing, helping companies, especially startups grow is engaging. Working with entrepreneurs, especially engineers, to find their targets, and create campaigns that sell their stuff is empowering.

But it ain’t like writin fiction.

My muse comes out and plays with me when I write fiction. She and I intertwine, not just intersect like with marketing. We make love. We fuck. She drives me harder and harder…to THINK, imagine, create. One idea follows another, in rapid succession at first, then quicker, breathtakingly fast the story stings itself together, not like beads or pearls, but a continual stream of light energy. I’m riding it as it illuminates each character in their own dynamic colors, some blending harmonically, others clashing grotesquely.

I’m never bored, or lonely making it with my muse.

So, WHY do I keep taking on marketing projects when I passionately LOVE writing fiction?

It’s not a money thing. Not anymore. I spent 6 yrs writing fiction, produced four full length novels and a short story series, and haven’t made enough to pay for a family vacation to [pick your favorite vacation spot]. Marketing has always paid the bills. At this rate, at my age, money isn’t the driver preventing me from writing fiction like it was when I gave up fine writing to focus on my ‘real career,’ over 6 yrs ago now.

If it ain’t money, then I’m thinking it must be my ego preventing me from writing fiction. Beyond paying bills, making money is very validating! So is helping moms looking to become CEOs, or to coders developing their latest SaaS, it’s fun turning entrepreneurs onto the knowledge they need to make their marketing work to grow their business.

But it ain’t the challenge of writing fiction.

Fiction requires my full attention. Total immersion into another space, another place, not the real one I’m in. So the real world needs to be VERY QUIET, so it doesn’t pull me out of the world I’m creating. And as I write this I’m watching a truck back up on the street, BEEPING and BEEPING as it backs into our driveway to deliver drywall to the studio we’re building out behind our home. The dog is BARKING and BARKING cuz there are installers outside, crossing back and forth through her yard. Then there is our neighbor across the street cutting down huge cedars that take over properties here in the Great Northwest. And the tree cutters tossing branches into the crusher RUMBLING and GRINDING the limbs to mulch. And our next door neighbor installing a new fireplace, after drilling out the old one all last week.

Real hard to travel to virtual places when the real world is so invasive!

Yeah, I’ve tried noise-canceling headphones, and those squishy orange ear-plugs, but they both irritate, and are distracting.

Three months ago, we moved from the overcrowding and noise of East Bay, S.F. to Woodinville WA. The name perfectly describes this place. Densely wooded. Being far from towns and freeways, with acres between homes, I’m hoping once the studio is finished I’ll have a quiet place to write fiction. But I feel scared, anxious about committing to fine writing again. I’m afraid I won’t have the focus, the stamina I’ll need to create cohesive, complex story, and characters that will linger, stay with the reader long after the read. Quiet or not, writing fiction is HARD.

I’ve committed to January 2021 to begin fine writing again.

But between commitment to some future reality and actual reality is the Grand Canyon…

I would greatly appreciate all you readers and writers out there to help me begin! Should I write draft 2 of The Power Trip, or add another volume to Fractured Fairytales of the Twilight Zone?

#writers #writing #amwriting #authors #author #writer #indiewriter #indie #amazonpublishing #kindle #scribd

Emerging Authors BEWARE!

I finished my first novel almost eight years ago, and went through the process of contacting agents (before self-publishing was a reality) to represent me. After I carefully researched them, followed all their rules and made sure my query letter was up to their standards, most didn’t bother to respond. The few that did often sent slips of torn paper to “Dear Athor” (no joke, they didn’t even bother to spell check their xerox response), explaining in two lines that they weren’t accepting new clients, or my work didn’t fit their list. The agents who wrote me directly gave me advice on how to make the novel work for them, i.e. take it out of first person, and/or multiple voices, and then resubmit.
 
I spent a year rewriting the novel to their specifications. When I resubmitted, they didn’t bother to get back to me, or sent me a xerox slip of paper.
 
I then submitted to publishers, hoping they’d be a better bet than arrogant agents leeching off of authors. Self-publishing was still years off. I went through lists of many publishers before one of the last on my lists wrote me back with an offer. No advance. No marketing. Author’s cut was 20% for hardcover, 50% for an ebook. Publisher promised one editing cycle, to put on a cover of her choice, and hold the rights to my work from the time I signed the contract until two years after the publication date, at which time the rights would go back to me.
 
I researched her publishing firm and got nothing, positive or negative. I contacted some of her authors (emails she gave me), who all said she didn’t do much, but assured me most publishers don’t. A bestselling author friend published through a major house told me the same about his publisher. I contacted “Author’s Beware,” and asked them if they’d heard of any problems with this publisher. They hadn’t, but told me their information was not kept current for the most part.
 
Three years after I signed her contract, my indie-publisher emailed me to begin the editing cycle. It lasted about a week, where, through Google Docs for two hours a day she went through the novel and “edited” it with me online. She suggested a few minor changes, took out sections I felt important to the story regardless of my protests, and missed most of the spelling errors. When she sent me the proof version she was to publish, she left out chapters so the novel didn’t make any sense. She balked when I protested the cover “design,” done by her niece who was not a professional, but looking to change her career from a book store clerk to graphic designer. She refused to change the cover when I supplied her a new one done by a pro. She released the novel six months later without notice to anyone but me.
 
In the two years the novel was for sale through Zumaya Publications, the CEO never showed me sales records after multiple requests. She never paid me. Anything. Ever. But the worse part—this corrupt indie-publisher continues to sell my novel even though our contract has expired over seven months ago and she no longer has the rights to my work. I have a termination contract, as well as the original contract that states our association was over on December 31st, 2012. There is no clause in our contract that allows her to continue selling my work after our contract is terminated. She is breaking the law, and Amazon and other online resellers are not only helping her, but profiting from this illegal activity…