Slow Down and Take Your Time

After publishing my first book, Rest in Piece, I almost immediately wanted to write and publish another book. I think in a lot of ways, that’s a good and positive thing. Writing something and putting it out there for the world to see is exciting and if it doesn’t give you a taste for more, what’s the point of doing it in the first place? Writing and publishing should be exciting so it’s no wonder that we want to continue the process over and over again!

The problem is that writing and publishing are not things that happen overnight – that is, not if you want to do it right. When working on a story or really any type of writing, it’s important that you take your time and not rush. I know it’s hard to not just breeze right through and try to publish something as soon as possible, but it’s not just writing that’s important, but it’s writing well that’s essential – and really what the craft is all about.

Let me give you an example. On my first few short stories for the short story collection I’m working on, I didn’t rush. I just let the stories take me where they did and wrote everything at the right speed. However, with this last story I’m working on for the collection, it’s going to be longer. As much as I want to do a good job with it, it can be difficult to take my time and not want to rush through the writing process. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing (I really do), but I can’t deny that the thought of publishing my second book is pretty exciting! I can’t wait for that day to come! Therefore, it’s tempting not to speed the process along.

I realize though that in order to continue to write my story well, I must slow down and take my time. It’s not like I’m in a hurry. The best results are going to come from writing patiently, not simply writing as quickly as possible as if I have some kind of due date to meet.

So remember, if you want to be successful when writing, take your time. Make sure everything is how you want it before you rush to get it published.

I wish you all the best in your past, current, and future projects!

What It Feels Like To Accomplish Your Dream

The day I published my first book ever, I felt amazing. The day someone purchased my book, I felt even more amazing. The fact that people who love to read are choosing to purchase something that I wrote is literally a dream come true.

However, it never felt as real as it did yesterday. Yesterday I received the paperback version of my book in the mail. I got to hold my own published work in my own two hands, feel the texture of the cover, and display it in a way that makes me truly proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m officially a published author and it feels utterly incredible.

Seeing my work as a real paperback novel made me so happy; so thrilled. I seriously shrieked out of pure joy. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever become a real author, but I did and I’m so happy that I had enough faith in myself to continue the project that lead to my first real book ever.

If you have a dream that you’re afraid that you’ll never accomplished, rest assured that if you work hard and never give up, chances are that you will succeed. It may take some time, but it’s worth it when the effects of your hard work are so wonderful.

I’m so proud of myself and I think that if anyone out there has succeeded at accomplishing their dream, then they should be proud too. You deserve to be happy and excited that you made your dream a reality.

I’d like to take the time to thank some people for making my dream come true. First, I want to thank my dad, for he is the one who constantly pushes me to write and have faith in myself. I’d also like to thank my mom for designing the awesome cover. I have, and want, to thank God because I truly believe that He had a hand in making my dream of becoming an author come true. Additionally, I’d like to thank all my family members and friends, along with all those who have supported my writing! Last, but not least, I’d like to thank myself. Without doing the actual writing and thinking of ideas, let’s face it, I wouldn’t have written and published my first book!

puzzlecover1112-copy
Cover Design: © D. Ginsburg

 

Imagery & Getting Graphic

Imagery is a very important tool in writing. Imagery helps readers feel as if they’re part of a story, instead of just reading one.

In my opinion, I think few books really do a great job of incorporating imagery. I’ve read countless books where I find myself having a difficult time really seeing what I’m reading. However, there are writers like John Saul and Stephen King who come along and prove their ability to incorporate imagery in a successful matter.

After writing my first novel, Rest in Piece, I found that, while I had several good reviews, a common opinion was that I tended to tell more than show. While I do think I did a good job at using imagery in some areas of my novel, I agree that I could have done better.

As I’m working on my new writing project – a collection of short stories – I’m trying my hardest to use more imagery. In some ways, it’s difficult. One of my stories is a bit grotesque at times, dealing with a murderer who goes after mostly women. While I do think that the imagery is necessary to show how sick and disturbed the character is, it’s difficult for me to be so graphic.

I’m a person who prides herself on kindness; on not being gross or disturbing. The fact that I’m writing a story that would probably upset my mother does bother me. However, I know as a writer, you have to be strong and realize that some of the best books are detailed – even if the details make readers squirm.

Oftentimes, the best stories are the ones that put readers on edge. Simply stating that a man killed a woman isn’t enough. Readers will just read that and think, “Well that’s sad” or “That guy’s horrible!” and continue on their way. As a writer, you want your readers to really stop and think about the character’s actions – to really understand just how good or bad that character is!

So if you’re a type of person who doesn’t like to incorporate grotesque scenes and feels guilty doing so, please realize that sometimes, in order to write a good book, it’s necessary to be a little disturbing. That is, if the story calls for it. I’m not saying that you should throw in gross scenes willie nillie, but if you’re trying to convey someone doing something heinous or wrong, getting graphic might just be necessary. Don’t feel guilty for being a good writer.

 

Writing: So Many Ideas!

So as I mentioned in a couple of posts, I’m currently working on writing a story. My ultimate hope and plan is to combine a number of short stories into a collection!

I am very happy to say that I already have another story idea in mind in addition to the one I’m currently writing. The crazy thing is that my ideas for the story I haven’t started yet are intense. I’m super excited to get started on the new story and haven’t even finished the one I’m currently working on!

I think it’s super amazing that my ideas are flowing the way they are. For a while, I felt stumped and wasn’t sure that I’d come up with another good story after Rest in Piece. I’m really proud of my accomplishment of publishing my first book and I didn’t want my good writing to end there. Now I can hardly contain myself!

At first, I planned on just finishing the story I’m currently working on (which I’m also excited about), but then I decided that I’m going to start writing the other one as well. The ideas are fresh and who wants to lose something as wonderful as a fresh, exciting concept!

So my point is this: if you find yourself exceptionally excited about a story, WORK ON IT! Work on it when you feel like you’re in the mood for releasing your creativity! If you’re working on another story at the same time and still love the idea of the current one, DON’T STOP working on that one! Write them both when you feel it’s a good time!

How about you guys? Any writing projects in the works?

Taking Your Time And Leaving Pressure Behind

I recently started a new story. My hope is that after writing a few short stories, I will compile them into a short story collection. However, since I don’t really set limits to how long my stories are, it is possible that one of these stories will be longer than a ‘short story’ or of course, I may start a story and it may not go anywhere. That’s besides the point though. The point is that I’ve started a new story and a new writing project.

As many of you know, I recently published the e-book and paperback version of my novel, Rest in Piece, which I must say I don’t regret for a moment. I have had a good amount of sales so far (though there is always room and hope for more!) and I have had pretty good reviews. I will say one thing though, having a book published puts pressure on you to write another one that’s just as good, if not better.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to pretend for a minute that I’m some amazing writer or that my book is a bestseller. Still though, it’s out there and people have read it. I loved publishing my own book and I love that people have spent their own hard earned money on something that I wrote! I worry though – what if that’s the only book I can produce? What if it’s the only good book I have in me? I think it’s something that every writer and author worries about – no matter how many copies you’ve sold or how ‘famous’ you may be.

I think the most important thing is to take your time while writing. It can be difficult, but don’t worry about publishing your work right away. Try to concentrate on writing a good story and that’s it. Also, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. I know it can be hard, but putting too much pressure on yourself just takes away the fun of writing and that’s one of the best parts of putting words to paper – to be creative while having fun!

So next time you’re writing, try not to worry about whether or not your work will be good enough to publish. Instead just enjoy yourself and write the best you can. Then after that, you can decide the best route to take!

 

 

Using Reading To Become An Amazing Writer

As you’ve probably heard if you’re a writer (or a reader, for that matter), the best way to become a great writer is to read. Reading gives you insight into how writers are able to move their readers with words and what’s better than taking advantage of that?

Stephen King said that if you don’t have the time or tools to read, then you don’t have the time or tools to write. This is absolutely true! While I admit that I don’t read as much as I used to, I definitely see the value in reading a lot and I want to start to do so. Not only is reading fun, but it’s informational and helpful in becoming the best writer you can be!

Speaking of Stephen King, I’ve been reading his series The Green Mile and let me tell you, it’s full of some fantastic writing. I’ve already added tons of quotes from the book to my Goodreads account and I can’t get enough of his excellent writing. When I finish The Green Mile it will have been the first full length Stephen King novel that I’ve ever completed.

Reading The Green Mile is not only enjoyable, but it’s helping me see how powerful the right choice of words can be. Stephen King has a way of making you feel as if you’re part of the story, seeing and feeling the action of it all. He makes you feel real concern and anger towards the characters and that, is a very powerful thing.

I started writing a new short story last night and I already feel like my writing is going really well. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I kind of doubt it. It’s not that I don’t trust my own ability to write, but there’s something beautiful about writing while you’re reading a really good book – it puts you in the mood to move your readers with words. In a way, it’s almost like you feel the need to compete with the book you’re reading. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be as good as Stephen King and I’m not trying to ‘beat him’ in that way, but I do believe that reading a book that is wonderfully penned really does inspire us to become better writers ourselves.

So if you really want my advice on how to become a better writer, read really well-written books. Hell, maybe even read one while you’re writing your newest story. You may just find that the author you love has a way of rubbing off on you!

 

Book Decisions: Titles and Covers

While the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, I think when it comes to a literal book, we tend to judge. Let’s face it, if we see a book cover and it’s something that doesn’t intrigue us, chances are we won’t even flip to the inside or to the back to see what the reading material is all about.

Believe it or not, Rest in Piece was not my first idea for the title of my book. In fact, upon just counting, I had ten other ideas! Ten! Finally, after resting (no pun intended), it just kind of came to me – Rest in Piece!

I really do think that the title of the book is important. After all, it’s the first thing the reader sees along with the cover. The title grabs your attention and it makes you curious about the rest of the book. Maybe when you saw the title Rest in Piece, you thought ‘Hmm, this story must be about death in some way. But wait, peace is spelled ‘piece’. Well, that’s interesting…’

Another important aspect of a book is the cover. You probably notice the cover design even before you notice the title. The cover should, like the title, draw the readers’ attention and should make them curious about the plot of the book. It should make them pick it up off the shelf or look deeper into the description. Without a good cover and good title, the reader will most likely just pass the book on by.

When I was done writing my book, I probably sketched out (poorly, mind you, I’m not the best artist) about four or five ideas for the cover of my book. Eventually I got a pretty cool idea and asked my mom to draw it for me. I must say I’m very happy with the cover she designed.

I’ve never really been one to buy a book just because it’s cover looked nice or cool, but I think we all have to admit, that it helps if we like the cover and find it interesting. The same thing goes for the title – you want to look at the title and say, “Hmm, I wonder what this story’s about”.

If you’ve written a book, or plan on doing so, remember that although it’s not the most important thing, the title and cover design do matter. Yes, readers care most about the content of a story and nothing is better than a good book, but titles and covers still need to catch their eye.

I wish everyone the best in their writing journey!

Rest in Piece title and cover design. Cover Design: © D. Ginsburg