Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy 2018

Hello beauties! Happy 2018. I wish every one of you a fantastic year. May this be the year you make your dreams come true. I have decided that no matter what, I’m going to make this a good year for myself. I’ll finish book two once and for all, even if I don’t publish it.

I want to work on balance in my life as well. It can’t be all about writing all the time. So, I’ll be trying to find new hobbies too. I’m no longer in therapy. It just wasn’t working anymore, so I’ve decided that I’ll push on on my own. I can’t let my depression win. Certain days will be write offs, but there will be more good days than bad, and I look forward to enjoying the good days again. 2018 is the year I take my life back. 

As for hobbies, I’m a bit stumped. I’ve always wanted to learn to draw, so I’ve been tackling that. I’m terrible. But it is rather fun and soothing. I’ve been coloring too. It does calm me when I’m really stressed.

So, what are your plans for 2018?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I just have to do it my way

Today has been a pretty hectic day. I felt stressed and overwhelmed. But when I took some time to just calm down and deal with things, it struck me. Why Murees, are you stressing yourself out over a word count when clearly there is a lot of other crap you should rather be worrying about? The personal crap aside, I realized that I was putting pressure on myself to stick to a word count to make editing cheaper, and so that I didn’t have too big a book. But the truth is, this story is bigger. There’s more going on and it just won’t come in under 100 000 words as I’d hoped. It might even be closer to 110 000.

I’m the one in control of production (creation of my books), and I should give myself more freedom to write the book I want, even if it is bigger than what traditional publishing standards allow. This is my book and I can make it as long as I need to tell the story. Besides, I’m sure my readers won’t mind a bigger book. The stress and expectations were coming from myself, and nobody else. I was messing with my own head. So, I shifted focus once more and now my attention is on the story solely for now. That is why I loved writing and reading in the first place. The story is the most important thing for me. I’d forgotten that.

I had made myself a promise, that I would do things my own way. So why would that not apply to the length of my books as well? Why can’t I do this my way too? I have found that making mistakes, and taking risks is the only way I learn. Simply doing as others do or say is great for others, but it had only ever steered me wrong. So, yes, I will be going with a longer book and doing it my way, as Frank Sinatra had once sang. I have to trust my gut and follow the story.

So, do you always trust your gut and do your own thing, or do you go with the tried and trusted method? What is new with you? 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Just popping in to say what I've been up to

Lately I’ve had this urge to make life as easy for myself as possible. I’ve found that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with life and all the crap that goes with it. So, these days I actually say no if I’m asked to help, or do more than what I’m comfortable with. I always assumed others could instinctively know when I’m overwhelmed and thus, they would stop making demands. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I know my own limits, so I have to say no. No one else is going to do it for me. I’m getting more and more emails about people wanting to use my blog to post about their products or their own random motives, and I instinctively say no. Most of these people just want to use my blog to get more exposure. Not even I use it for that purpose, so no.

Aside for saying no a lot more, I’ve learned to close unnecessary accounts, or limit my involvement on social media. Social media has taken a backseat lately. I’ve unsubscribed from numerous newsletters as well. I’ve been driving myself crazy, worrying that if I didn’t keep my Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts updated that potential readers would forget about me, or won’t care if I release another book. Having worried about the above, my blogging and writing has taken a nosedive. I realized that my writing is the most important thing. If I don’t blog regularly, that’s okay. I have to focus on writing more. Though, I really wish I could get motivated to blog regularly again.

On the good side, I’ve actually been writing. I’m in the third draft of book two. It actually turned out to be more of a beast than I had initially expected. I ended up with 112 400 words after the second draft. I’ve been trying to slim it down, but ended up adding even more words. Oops! So now I’m at 113 000. I know there are certain scenes that have to go, or that the story can do without. Cutting those unnecessary scenes are the most important now. So I can see how the story reads without them. But, if the story is good and ready to be polished and I’m still at 105 000, I’ll have to accept that. I originally wanted a word count under 100 000, mostly because it would make the editing more affordable. But if the word count ends up being big, so be it. That’s what I like about indie publishing. I can make up my own rules and decide my own word count. I’ll just worry about the editing costs when I get there.

I had to send out my first dmca takedown notice  last weekend, when a few fellow bloggers alerted me that there was a site selling books without their permission. I had no idea my book was on there. But I wanted to check it out anyway, so there was my book being sold on this website for double than what I’m selling mine for on the major retailers. Once I sent the notice they were rather polite, and took my book down, but it still made me feel icky. So, my advice would be for everyone to go online and look for a dmca template and familiarize yourself with what it should look like, and have your own handy just in case you should need it one day. Most of the other writers had theirs at the ready, but I didn’t and I had to figure it all out, fast. But do you know what? This is all part of the modern writing life. Even traditionally published authors works was on that site. So if you’re an indie author or not, things like this will happen.
Lately I’ve been feeling like a bad person, or writer. If you check on social media most people are telling you of how awesome their life is, and how awesome their writing is coming along. I thought for the longest time that I was doing something wrong, or that I was a failure because my writing wasn’t coming along as fast, or easily. That I was a horrible person for not being able to do as much as others. So here is what I learned the hard way. Everyone is different. Everyone works at their own pace. I suffer from depression and anxiety. So, certain days will be more productive than other days. Some days may even be a total write-off in terms of productivity. I can’t always predict when one of those days will strike where I don’t have the will or energy to get out of bed. So, I no longer compare myself to others. I do what I can, when I can, with the time I have. I respect authors who can write for 16 hours a day. I applaud them. On a good day I can’t even do that. So yay, I’m happy for them. But I am not them. I am Murees Dupé and I’m lucky if I can write for 2 hours on a good day, and that is fine by me.

As for my previous post, about my custom domain, I got everything sorted. I can renew my current domain next year, or I can even transfer my domain to a cheaper service provider. There are other options out there, so I don’t have to feel trapped. I decided to not have a website. I love my blog and how easy it is to navigate. As long as people can find my books, I’m happy.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to. How are you doing

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The price of a custom domain

Hello my beauties! How are you doing today? I’m doing good. I’ve finally started with the second draft of book 2 in my Thelum series, which will be called The Executioner. I’m taking it slow, but I must admit I’m rather enjoying the whole process. A lot more than I think I did with book 1.

So, on to today’s post. I few years ago I had gotten a custom domain name. I went from The Daily Drama of an Aspiring Writer to To this day I think it was one of those wow moments for me. It was one of those things with which I proved to myself that I was serious about my writing. Back then I had bought my domain name on a whim for 3 year period. That means after 3 years I must renew my custom domain, and pay for a new term. I only chose to renew for one year this time. Do you know why?

The renewal of my custom domain cost as much as when I had initially bought it, if not more. And I could only afford to extend it for another year. If I extended it anymore it would've cost more than when I had bought the domain in the first place. When I had decided to get a custom domain, I didn’t think about the renewal rate. I didn’t think about additional features. I just assumed the renewal would always be less than the initial price, and I thought somehow that it will last forever. Man, was I wrong. Only when the custom domain expiry date came closer I finally decided to check how much the renewal cost actually was, and I couldn’t help but feel a little flustered and angry. Let’s not forget, with every custom domain you need the protected registration stuff too, so that no one can see your private info and that costs quite a bit too. Before you know it, you’re spending a fortune. Or at least that’s what I found happened to me. It's my own fault of course. I don’t have a problem with my current service provider. They’re always friendly and ready to help me, but the costs are high.

After all this I realized that I could actually just have gone with a website from the start. Sure it costs more upfront, but in the long term it would be cheaper, and to renew the website domain would be cheaper than updating my custom domain name. That is what I hope to do in the next year. Actually host my own website, and move my blog there. That is my new goal. Why? Because I just assumed Blogger will always exist. Well, that isn’t the case. They could close down and then all my content would be gone.

So what is the point? Do your research first before you do a custom domain. Look at that renewal costs. Looks at the various options and what you get for your money. Don’t rush things, like I did. Look for a service provider that works for you, or your budget. Don't just go with whomever Blogger recommends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my custom domain name. I just wish I hadn’t skimped on the details and had considered all the costs. 

In fact, I never even considered a website in the first place. I just wanted a blog. But now I realize I could still blog from a website. I could even sell my books from a website. It would give me more freedom. That I would actually own it. But that is at least another year away. 

Have you made a similar mistake? Do you know of another way to not pay a fortune for a custom domain? Or just share your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

R.I.P Chester Bennington

This post is a little late, but the passing of Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park is such a loss. Not just for the music industry, but also to people like me, who grew up with Chester Bennington’s voice vocalizing our fear, pain and anger. Especially giving a voice to my difficult teenage years. Linkin Parks music, especially Chester’s voice, had been the soundtrack to my life for so long.

Linkin Park may get a new singer in the future, but there was something about Chester’s voice that resonated with me. He was a talented vocalist and writer. When he sang his words hit home. I had the opportunity to have attended the first Linkin Park concert in Cape Town a few years ago, and it is an experience that will stay with me forever. Their music will still be blaring loudly in my room, though listening to it will never be the same again, knowing that the icon that was Chester Bennington, will never be heard in person again.

Linkin Park’s music has had a heavy influence on my writing. I can’t think of a time when their music wasn’t playing in the background. From Crawling to New Divide and so many more. 

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington. You will be missed. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Keeping things honest and an update

Hello beautiful friends. How is everyone doing? I hope all is well. I wanted to give you an update of what I’m up to, or explain why I’m not blogging, after promising I’d be getting back to a regular blog routine.

I’m currently in writing mode. Last week I started the second draft of book two and have been powering ahead full steam. I had a little bump in the road yesterday, freaking out about how book 1 and 2 differed in the Thelum series, and all sorts of other things like that. Reading book 1 again has made me feel like I want to go back over it again. Of course, it doesn’t really need it, but I have changed as a writer, and have to remember, book 1 is a product of its own. I have this tendency to always want to change things. Luckily I had two good people remind me that things aren’t as bad as I thought, and to keep my focus on my current work in progress. Yes, I still feel insecure after I had published my book years ago. And I probably always will be.

Lately I’ve been of the feeling and thought that I simply want to be working on my writing more. I have forgotten what my first priority is, aside for family and my fur babies, and that is writing.

I’ve been giving into the bad habit of reading all articles and posts all over the Internet about marketing, tips on why I’m not selling more books and all things in that kind of line of thought. I’ve been wasting too much time worrying about not being good enough, and the truth is I simply don’t have enough writing to promote in the first place. Marketing is a tough job already, but not having anything else to offer readers is a problem.

On why I haven’t been blogging. I simply don’t feel I have anything all that interesting to say, share, or offer anyone at the moment. I don’t want to blog simply to post. I also don’t want to post things like, “I’m down right now” anymore, because I tend to be down a lot and that’s hardly anything new and it’s not always because I struggle with depression. I’m simply moody in general. So, I feel I should only blog when there is something interesting to say, or if it might be of any use to anyone. That’s just my opinion on my own blog. I don’t really think there’s anything useful about me simply stating what I’m doing from day to day. 

Also, I’ve been feeling like an ass about not always having the energy to return comments. After all, that’s what blogging is all about. The interaction. Sometimes going around to return comments tire me out. But I always aim to return a visit. But I’ve been considering turning off comments on posts, if I know I won’t be around to return comments, or visits. It think it’s only fair. What do you think about that?

I’ve also been reading a lot. I devoured The Harry Potter series and absolutely enjoyed it. It was great fun. I just wish I could read more about what they got up to after they left Hogwarts. Did they go back to finish their final year at school? What happened after they saved he wizarding world?  Stuff like that. I have been reading some Kathy Reichs as well. Complete genre opposites, but I’ve really been enjoying it.

So that’s it from me. I’ll be getting back to my writing. What is your opinion on turning off blog comments all together, or just for certain posts? Let me know how you are doing.