Monday, July 18, 2016

I get distracted easily

When it comes to my writing, I like to think that I'm cool, calm and collected. I take my time. I don't rush the experience. That's all fine and well, but that attitude has done nothing but made me lazy.

For the past couple of months I told myself "Don't worry, you will get to your writing. Finish binge watching old Sex and the City episodes. You will get to writing, eventually." Do you know what? I didn't get any writing done.

Unfortunately, I'm  not one of those writers, if left on their own, that will just keep on working on their novel when there's a TV close by. Just like with food I gravitate towards burgers, pizza and soda. The bad stuff, I guess.

So in order for me to stop picking the wrong things (writing wise), I've decided to go back to a writing schedule. I had one before. However, I've never been able to use a schedule for blogging. I'm just random like that.

Discipline has worked for  me before, so hopefully, it will work for me again. In my defense, burgers are great and can I help that there are so many great movies and series out there to watch? A girl gets distracted . . .

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Because I like a challenge

I am thirty years old and I’m not financially independent. While I do get the regular “Why aren’t you married yet? You’re not getting any younger,” comment, I couldn’t care less about getting married. I’m more shocked at the fact that I’ve only ever lived with my family (holidays don’t count) and that after thirty years, I’m still financially dependent on them. Shocking right? Do you know the weird part? Even if I had the money, I would still be living with my family. They’re also my best friends. Not many people get me in the real world, in person. So, I hang on tight to the few that do:)

I’ve never had jobs that earned so much that I could survive on my own salary and the one job that made living alone possible, back in 2013, wasn’t the kind of job I could do long term. When my boss told me to “Do as I say, or you won’t be working here long,” I handed in my resignation and mentally told him to shove his job where the sun didn’t shine. Then my brother came to the rescue of course. Since then I did little things here and there to get an income but I haven’t been able to hold down any other job. Pathetic I know.

So, because I’m such a loser, I thought I would start, from today on, to make becoming “financially independent” my new life goal. I love being a writer. But I don’t want my fiction to be the reason to make money. I want it to be the fun part. I thus have to come up with another means of income. Several actually. I’m embarrassed to mention it, but I’ve actually signed up to various online survey sites and they offer cash, or shopping vouchers in exchange. Of course there’s a payout threshold, but it’s one form of income. So, I just have to figure out another few too.

I’ve always wanted to write freelance. Though, I have been warned about how tough it is out there. I understand, but, most people also warned me that publishing a book is almost impossible and I actually did do it, even after years of struggling, but I did it and hope to do so again. A challenge doesn’t scare me anymore. To prove it, I bought a website for my freelance business. You can check it out here and tell me what you think. Yep, that is my real name. Though, that is another post. 

Because struggling to write fiction isn’t difficult enough, I will add struggling for financial independence to my “to do” list from now on. Stay tuned if you want a good laugh. I’m rather excited about it. The worst that could happen is that I stay broke, right?

How long did it take you to become financially independent? Got any advice for me? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July IWSG 2016

IWSG Question: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
I think my writing is still at it's infancy, but someone mentioned that I had a great imagination. Also, a few people have mentioned I'm a good writer. Because I have a hard time accepting compliments, I'm not so sure about being a good writer:) I hope to just be a competent writer someday:) 

This week I'm feeling a little insecure about my writing/ publishing future. I had underestimated how expensive self-publishing can be (or at least for me it is, because I don't have a full-time job). Even if I finish my second book, I might not be able to publish it for another year. But on the other side, it will give me more time to finish book three as well. 

It's my own fault that I'm in this situation. Nobody told me to not have a full-time job. I had decided to quit the job I had and help my brother with his P.hD 3 years ago. I have nobody else to blame for not being able to have all the funding I need. Hopefully I can remedy that soon. After all, you don't need money to write. All you need is a pen an paper really. Publishing can be expensive, but writing isn't. 

So, how are you doing? 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I'm tinker crazy

First, let me start off by saying “I’m sorry,” to anyone that has bought a copy of my book. I read it this weekend to tie up any loose ends from book one in book two, and I found one plot problem, which I have fixed. I am mortified. But I really am sorry. It is not my editor’s fault. She did a superb job. The one mistake was something I had changed after she gave me my final edited manuscript, so only I am to blame.

Secondly, I have not done audio for this post. In fact, I’m not sure if the audio is such a good idea anymore. I didn’t think about how much time it would take. Today one of our neighbors kept revving his engine like a racecar driver and I just couldn’t clean up the audio enough to block him out, so I gave up. I literally spent four hours trying to make a recording for one post. I might do a few more audio posts in the future, but maybe not one for every post. I’m sorry if I am disappointing anyone.

Okay, on to today’s post.

I am not only my own worst enemy, but I can also be my own worst distraction.

I have the bad habit of writing the same book over and over.

Meaning, I tinker too much with it. A normal person would write the first draft and a few days or weeks later, start on the second draft, which means adding more detail, or taking out the unnecessary words, if you had over written.

Not me. No. I feel the first draft is in too bad a shape (which it’s supposed to be) and start over. Keeping the main plot, but just rewriting everything else. That would explain why it took me over 5 years to publish my first book. I kept writing the same book over and over. You don’t even want to know how many drafts I have of the first book. Okay, I will tell you, over thirty drafts.

The bad news is that I have done it with the second book too. Luckily, I really like where the newest draft is going, and I’m almost halfway through. I actually intend to keep this draft and clean it up, I swear :) Then it’s just a matter of adding more detail and then my rounds of self-editing will commence. I think that will take quite a while too.

The good news is that I now know that I tinker too much on my manuscripts. I should write the first draft and make improvements from there. Don’t write the same damn book over and over. I feel like I can kick myself. Now it’s just a matter of stopping myself when I want to keep changing things.

Do you tinker a lot too?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trying Something New

Don't be shocked, but today I'm trying something new. I have added an audio version of my blog. I have been thinking about it for weeks now, to make things more interesting. I've been attending the Self-Publishing Summit by Chandler Bolt and I really warmed up to the idea  of using audio.

But don't worry, I will still be doing my written posts, so the audio is just another option for those who want it. I have found that if you can listen to a blog post, the time goes faster and it doesn't feel as tiring when you have to read 20 blog posts, say, for a blog hop.

What do you think? Is it a good idea?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

You. I. Us. Blog tour with Annalisa Crawford

Hey Friends. I'm so excited to have Annalisa on my blog today. I love her passion, stories and personally, I just think she's awesome:) Welcome Annalisa!

You. I. Us. is a collection of vignettes, small scenes which hint at the story beneath.

Annalisa has taken that idea to another level, because she asked 15 bloggers to ask her one question each, creating small insights into her life and writing.

Here is my question:

How do you stay motivated to exercise regularly, live healthy and still manage to write and have a family? Seriously, you're Superwoman.

Oh Murees, thank you! I don’t feel like Superwoman, but it’s lovely I give that impression. Usually, if everyone’s got the correct underwear in their draw, I think it’s a good day!

I’m lucky that my kids are slightly older, 16 and 12, and happily self-sufficient. The youngest is always busy with clubs and friends. I rarely see him at the weekends or during school holidays. It was different when they were small—they probably watched a little too much telly, and played a little too much PlayStation…

And I’ve been exercising for so long, it’s part of my week now. Working as a gym instructor helps, because I figure I can’t instruct properly if I don’t work out myself. Also, working out and/or taking the dog for a walk helps to inspire me. I’m forever scribbling notes on the back of my workout card during my cardio, or standing still in the middle of the field trying to work out a plot point.

You. I. Us.

Publication date: June 10, 2016

Genre: Short Stories (Single Author)

In You. I. Us., Annalisa Crawford captures everyday people during  poignant defining moments in their lives: An artist puts his heart into his latest sketch, an elderly couple endures scrutiny by a fellow diner, an ex-student attempts to make amends with a girl she bullied at school, a teenager holds vigil at his friend’s hospital bedside, long distance lovers promise complete devotion, a broken-hearted widow stares into the sea from the edge of a cliff where her husband died, a grieving son contacts the only person he can rely on in a moment of crisis, a group of middle-aged friends inspire each other to live remarkable lives.

Day after day, we make the same choices. But after reading You. I. Us., you’ll ask yourself, “What if we didn’t?”

About the author
Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of Cat & The Dreamer and Our Beautiful Child.