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Try Something New (For writers) – Part 2

Hey, everyone!

Before we get into today’s discussion, I have a few updates for everyone.

  1. If you’re a reader and still want to read my work, you can find me here: https://tapas.io/Akaluv89. Personally, I don’t agree with how this site charges per chapter for certain stories, but my stories are FREE! I don’t believe in charging for first drafts. Love for an Angel and Clash of Tides are posted there, along with some short stories. Future online works will be posted there, too. The account WILL NOT be deleted. 
  2. I am going through contest submissions now, so the winner will be announced next week!
  3. I will respond to everyone. Many of you have messaged me to do reviews, comments, and awards; I promise I’ll get back to everyone!

I have many things going on in my personal life right now, so I haven’t been giving WordPress the attention it needs. However, the weekend it coming up, so I’ll be able to catch up on blog posts and stuff soon. Also, I got my ticket for Tokyo! I’ll be heading to Japan next month!!

Now, today I want to talk about:

Try something new

(taken from https://giphy.com)

In a past blog post, I mentioned that if something isn’t working, then try something new. I’m a big, big believer in not staying in just one place – which is probably why I don’t have a house – so if I see an opportunity to move on, then I’ll do it. I get it, moving on and trying something new is scary. As human beings, we want to be comfortable, but unfortunately, that isn’t how the world works.

As Lisa Nichols says,

74793ffcdbddd78786d47ec7063d927f--lisa-nichols-quotes-phoenix-rising

(taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/mcneilpamm/lisa-nichols/?lp=true)

This is so true, and it’s something as writers I feel holds us back. I’ve heard from many, many of you that using one website wasn’t enough to get traffic for your work, or even that your marketing for your self-published books wasn’t good enough.

If something isn’t working, move on to your next opportunity! Please, please don’t stick to the same places. I wanted to hold off on giving some good news, but recently, when I joined Tapas, one of my stories got featured. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it, but it made me glad I moved on from one website and tried something different.

Between Writing.com and Tapas, I gained what I didn’t after three years on Wattpad. I got noticed for my work. I want the same for everyone. Moving on did me good, so please consider that for yourself.

As the saying goes, “If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.”

Excuses don’t get us candies and nuts, they just slow down our progression, or halt us in our journey.

Question: Have you ever tried something new for your writing or writer’s platform? Did it work for you?

 

Contest Reminder!

Hiiii

This is a reminder that contest submissions are due tomorrow night, PST!

The prize is a $25 Amazon gift card. If you want to enter, leave me a comment in the comment section or email me. You can read about the contest here: 1500 Followers Writing Contest!

I can’t wait to read all the stories!

Once all the contest submissions are in, I’ll post a new blog post. Some upcoming topics are:

  1. Issues in the writing community – Do writers need to rewrite their work?
  2. Round 2 – If something isn’t working, then try something new. 
  3. Showing your personality to your readers

If there are any topics you want me to post, please let me know.

If you are looking for my stories, you can read which sites I’m on here: Where to find me (akaluv99).

Updates and Life

Today’s blog post is just some updates on me, as some things have changed recently. I do plan to post a new topic soon about world-building and balance.

Here are the updates:

If you haven’t already noticed, my Wattpad account is deleted. After years of unhappiness there, I ultimately decided to let the account die. I wanted to pass it on, but I felt it’s best to have a clean slate. Over the years, there was too much drama, bad blood, and my fanfictions were always overshadowing my original work. Though I’m sad about deleting the account, it needed to happen.

If you read my stories on Wattpad, thank you for the support! I do have good news for my readers. I’ve joined a new website, and I’ve uploaded Love for an Angel there and my horror stories. In the future, I also plan to post the Clash of Tides ending too (and the unedited chapters). However, please know the story is going through a rewrite (that won’t be posted online), but any feedback I can get will be appreciated. If you want the link to the site, you can contact me here: Email Me. I’m still on Writing.com for improvement, but this new site is to build readership. Trust me, I won’t be moving sites anymore. I’m done now. Where I am, is where I stay.

I also have some new stories I plan to post in the future. I may post 9/Nine Realms there and Dawning Dragons.

If you want to know what sites I’m on, just email me or post a comment.

2. I got my first rejection a few months back. I didn’t say anything because I was too upset and busy, but I’m good now. Rejections happen, but you have to keep going. I’ll be submitting short stories again to magazines soon. 🙂

3. Writing contest!! Please submit your story! We want to read them and offer feedback if you request it =)

4. I’m taking a break from Twitter right now. I stretched myself too thin with so many social media sites. A smart writer told me once, “Don’t get so caught up in social media that you forget the writing.” I was forgetting the writing, so I’m taking a break.

That’s it for me! Recently, one of my readers reached out to me and encouraged me to keep on writing. I wasn’t fair to the loyal readers who supported me on Wattpad, and I apologize for that. There were many things happening in the background with other writers, so that added to my annoyance and frustration, but as I said before, I won’t be moving sites again.

Lastly, life is a journey, and none of us are perfect, so I ask for your forgiveness.

Other than that, I don’t have any updates right now. There are only five months left in the year, so let’s make them great ones!

Question: So far, what have you accomplished this year, and what left do you want to do? 

1500 Followers Writing Contest!

I still can’t believe it! This blog has reached over 1500 followers, and as such, I want to do something fun for everyone. The focus of this blog is in writing, reading, and the writer’s journey. So to celebrate all things related to writing, I’m holding my first writing contest!

Happy

(Taken from giphy.com)

The prize is a $25 Amazon gift card for the winner. My hope is the winner will find new stories to read and check out some of Amazon’s indie’s writers who need support.

What is the writing contest you ask? Well, I decided to do a novel writing contest based on the first three chapters of a story.

I’ll be looking for the following:

Do your first three chapters engage the reader?
Does the writing flow well?
Do you have a hook, established a hint of backstory and a specific setting?
Is the writing free of many spelling and grammar errors? 

When writing a novel, it’s important to ask those questions. The first few pages of a book are critical in getting readers interested, and if it doesn’t capture the readers’ attention, then it’s hard to grow a readership.

For the contest, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing or what genre you write in. I’m just looking for those four criteria.

If you want to help judge the contest, please let me know. Of course, if you decide to help judge the stories, you can’t submit your own work.

If you want to join the contest, please comment with the following:

Your Name
The title of your story
Summary
URL where we can read it

I know some writers don’t post their stories publicly, so if you want to keep it private, that’s fine. While judging the stories, I can also leave you a review if you’re looking for feedback.  Please let me know if there is a passkey to access your work. You don’t have to post the passkey in the comments section. If anyone wishes to email me with a link to their work, that’s fine too. You can email me here: Email Me.

I’ll announce the winner on August 26th!

I hope you’ll join my contest! Submissions are accepted until August 12th. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Let’s get writing (or editing)!

Get writing

(Please note: I know some of you have given me awards, and I’ll posts those next! I’m just so swamped with things on here! But I promise I’ll do it.)

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

First and foremost, this post isn’t about the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. There are already plenty of blog posts, books, and articles about the various methods of publishing.

Today, this post is about which path I should take for my stories. As Clash of Tides goes through beta, rewrite, and then editing, I’m getting ever closer to the publishing phase. For the past few weeks, I kept thinking about what route I want to take. Honestly, I already know the benefits of both, but the scary thing is knowing which one will work for me.

With self-publishing, I’m in control of everything, so I do like that aspect. When I originally wrote Clash of Tides, it was for New Adults, especially for other black women who don’t see diversity with lead female characters. I know for a fact that publishers will have writers change their stories to fit more of a Young Adult audience. For Clash of Tides, I want Elena to be in her 20s, period. Personally, I don’t like how publishers will force writers to change their work, but I get why they do it.

Then again, maybe I’m just scared. Submitting a query letter to an agent isn’t has nervewracking as self-publishing. Sometimes, I wonder if I want to spend all that money myself – cover design, editor, marketing, etc.

Basically, all the below:

publishing

(taken from giphy.com)

Right now, I’m tired of feeling the disappointment and failure with my work. It feels no matter how hard I try, I never get a payoff. The thoughts of self-publishing and then barely seeing any reviews on my work would probably depress me, especially after all the money I spent. Then again, I know other writers go through the same things all the time. However, there is just something unsettling knowing that writers who write fanfiction online get paid more than a writer who actually tried to self-publish decent, original work. I mean, I know for a fact that some fanfiction writers get $300-$600 every three months from ad-revenue for stories that aren’t their own. And yet, a self-published writer who got betas, paid for cover art and an editing service won’t even crack $50 a month. Maybe that’s just the age we live in, but it doesn’t make me want to jump on the self-publishing thing. Mostly, it makes me want to quit writing and just learn something else.

Also, with how readership is these days, most readers don’t want to buy books. They want everything for free. I question how I would feel posting my hard work for only .99 cents and not getting one purchase. Sadly, readers rather pay $5 for a Starbucks drink than a writer’s story.

Ultimately, it’s a tough decision, and me, and you, as a writer have to decide. I’m at that point where I don’t even want to post my work online anymore. I mostly just want to write the stories I want to read and then store them on my hard drive for my eyes only.

As a writer, I know it’s not good to think that way, but the road taken has already broken me, and the road not taken may destroy me. Decisions Decisions. Well, at least with traditional publishing, if my stories got accepted, I would be overjoyed!

Now since Clash of Tides is almost put to rest, I have so many new stories I’m working on. All characters will be in their 20s, so New Adult to Adult stories. I don’t want to change that. There is already enough YA stories, and sadly, I feel most of them are the same. They are pretty much different settings, different characters, and the same storylines. A special teenage girl snowflake goes on a journey, meets a hot guy, defeats the villain, and then has a happy ending. I feel it’s time for something new to come along.

Whoa! That was longer than I thought it would be. Sorry if this came off like ranting, but I felt these are important things to consider. Thanks for reading, and I want to know,

“Do you have any fears about self-publishing or traditional publishing? If you already have done either, what was it like?”

 

Burnout (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! I’m trying to get back to my normal posting schedule, so please forgive me for not being on track. To give you a quick update, I’ve been working on plotting out 9/Nine Realms and doing some world-building. For my past stories, I didn’t do enough world-building, so I want to improve that with 9/Nine Realms. Once I get the world and lore done, I plan to start writing the rest of the story!

For today, I want to discuss “Burnout.” I’m sure that everyone knows what burnout is, but if you don’t, here is the definition:

“Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.” – Google.com 

This is the definition I’ll be discussing today. As writers, we’re always writing, always thinking, and most importantly, we want to grow our readership. If you focus on everything we have to do as writers, it’s easy to burn your mind out.

Hell, there is:
Marketing
Character Design
Author (writer) Platform
The Actual Writing
Blogging
The Actual Writing 

Editing
Cover Design
Finding Beta Readers
The Actual Writing

That’s a lot, and really, we don’t want to do this to our manuscripts:

Burnout

I can add more to that list, but I feel this is enough. Basically, there’s a lot of stuff to do. In a way, being a writer is a job, but sadly, a job you don’t get paid for, yet.

If you look at the list and oh, let’s add “read other writers’ stories too, then it’s easy to burn yourself out. Remember, take a breather and relax. We want to write, publish, and get our stories to our readers, but burning ourselves out won’t help.

In the past, I spent every waking moment writing. My only focus was to get better, to make my readers happy and grow my readership. However, in the end, it was kind of pointless. So yeah, I improved my writing skills, and some readers enjoyed my work, but sadly, my writing obsession hasn’t paid off for me.

Maybe I was rushing it, or perhaps I didn’t take the time to breathe. Once in awhile, do this:

realx.gif

The important thing is, don’t burnout! When you burn yourself out, you can’t write, you can’t focus or think, and you’ll be miserable. If you find being a writer is overwhelming, take a step back and relax. For me, when I get super stressed about my stories, I lay down, close my eyes, and imagine the world I’m writing about for fun. Maybe closing your eyes and spending time with your characters will relax your mind. What I mean is, don’t work, just shut your eyes and go into the world of your imagination.

Question: When you’re overwhelmed with your stories, how do you relax?

P.S. 1,428 followers!! Thank you so much for following me!!
All gifs are from giphy.com

What Makes a Good Writer?

Hey, everyone! So, I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I do have an excuse. Last week, well, that just wasn’t my week. I’m hoping this week will be better, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

To summarize, I was having issues with the house, my debit card information got stolen, again, and my car window stopped working, so it’s been crappy. However, I am going out of town for Memorial Day weekend. There won’t be any new posts or chapter updates, but I’ll be sure to update when I return.

Now, onto today’s topic! I want to discuss what makes a good writer. This subject goes back to my own writing journey and wanting to build up my readers online. As I was walking through the city, I thought about the following questions:

– What makes a bad writer?
– What makes a good writer?
– What makes an awesome writer?
– What makes an excellent writer?

I feel like every writer will have a different answer to these questions, but for the purpose of this post, I will start with only the first two questions.

Back when I was trying to build my following online, I often wondered if I was a bad writer. To explain further, I didn’t have a huge following compared to other writers, so I just assumed I was a bad writer. When I thought about it some more, I realized a bad writer is more like a writer who gave up. Now, there’s nothing wrong with leaving writing behind, but it’s never a good idea to quit something before you try every option (if you’re trying something new, it takes about 6 months to a 1 year to see any signs of improvement).

To me, a bad writer isn’t one with grammar errors, plot holes or undeveloped characters in their work, it’s a writer who gave up too soon.

In the words of Neil Gaiman,

Don'tgiveup.gif
That takes me to the next question, what makes a good writer? Well, to me, it’s simple, a good writer is one that:

burce
If you’ve been discouraged in the past but kept on writing, then you’re a good writer. Why? Because you didn’t give up, and you’re still trying to improve your craft. You may not be an awesome writer, but you’re on your way there. It’s sad that it took me so long to realize this, but it’s import to focus on the writing. Everything else may let you down – fellow writers, readers, and various social media sites – but your characters will always be there for you, waiting for you to tell their story. 

So what do you think? What do you think makes a bad writer and a good writer?

Also, I will respond to everyone’s comment! And as always, thanks so much for reading and supporting my blog!

(images from https://giphy.com)