When is it time to quit?

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This post is for all those writers out there, or wannabe writers. Or anyone who is invested in the arts. So pretty much everyone artistically-inclined.

Quitting. It’s a disease that affects the best of us. And it can really hit you when you’re about to break.

There are many causes: Family issues, work, health degradation, etc. But let’s narrow it down a bit. It’s called Lack of Commercial Success in the Arts.

Trust me, it’s great how now anyone can become a writer. The gatekeepers no longer block hopeful writers who dream of publication.

But the onslaught of indie books has made the market more difficult to break into. Especially when you’re just starting out.

But what if you’ve been in the game and are still struggling to sell books?

Well you have two options. You can keep writing, or, you can quit.

If you decide to quit then that is your choice. Especially if other pressing matters take center stage in your life. However, if you keep writing, you should remember one thing. Do it for yourself. Don’t write for an audience, or fame, or a huge payout. If you do this I can almost guarantee you that the pressure to succeed will dissipate, and your love of writing will be the only thing that matters.

Take it from someone who has pondered quitting.

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When Writers can’t write

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It happens to all of us. Suddenly our fingers don’t want to cooperate with our minds, and our passion for wordsmithing evaporates faster than a desert mirage.

So what do you do when the well of creation dries up? Take a vacation? Catch that new movie you’ve wanted to see? Clip your overgrown toenails?

Well…yeah. Duh! Just make sure you something that doesn’t involving writing. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m taking my mind off resuming my next project-which has been a novel I started way back in 2012-by doing something productive. Writing a blog post about why I can’t write right now. Whew!

Sometimes taking a break can do wonders. The worst thing you can do to yourself is force the issue and write something that doesn’t flow from the heart. And let’s be brutally honest here, writing is something that always derives from the human heart.

Listen, unless you’re a big-time writer with a deadline, you shouldn’t be worrying about why you cannot write.

Most of us will never cash a seven figure check for our writing efforts. I say this not to be negative, but to ground everyone out there in reality, so you can focus on treating your writing as a hobby, and not stressing over it for whatever reason impeding you.

Eventually you’ll get back behind your word processor, and the time spent away will have done wonders for your creativity. Writing doesn’t have to be stressful. Quite the opposite, it should be fun, and when it’s not fun anymore, that’s your cue to pursue another interest.

How to recharge your writing life

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I’m always reading how writing seems to be the answer for every problem in the writer’s life. Can’t write? Then go write. Can’t find a topic? Go write. Well that’s great that there are folks out there that can write a lot. If you’ve got a deadline to make, or a huge writing contract that requires you to write 24-7, then by all means, please disregard this piece of advice.

But what if you’re an indie writer that’s just doing it for passion? Well, that’s why I’m writing this post. This is for you.

Writing should be fun. It’s cliche, but it’s also the damn truth. The minute you start stressing over every word count it ceases to be fun and becomes work!

This is surefire way to kill your creative juices and damage your writing mojo. The solution? Easy. You take a break. Take a few days, or even a few weeks to recharge your batteries. But don’t go cold turkey. Work on an outline or an idea. Take a break without cutting yourself off from writing altogether.

Now some of you might disagree with this approach. And that’s fine. It’s a free country, but if writing is becoming a chore then you may wish to try it. I’m on a writing hiatus right now after completing the latest draft of my upcoming YA novel Guns And Dogs. And trust me, I haven’t betrayed my muse by taking an extended writing break. Hell, I’ve probably empowered my muse.

So give it a go folks. Your writing will thank you.

What does patience and writing have in common?

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The majority of writers today do not make enough to support themselves. Yes. You read correctly. Sorry if I popped your unrealistic bubble that was based on a get-rich-quick scheme where writing is concerned.

Writing is an art. And you really should keep the unrealistic fantasy at an arms length so it doesn’t affect your ability to create the best possible book or short story.

Many newbies think that one book will propel them to fame and fortune. Look, if you’re doing this for those reasons, then I really doubt your overall dedication. This is something you do for love. Yes, there are hacks out there trying to chase the market, but why aspire to be like them.

Be like you!

Patience comes into play. Don’t plan on making it with one or two books. Have a long-term game plan where your writing is concerned. Network with successful writers or learn what you can to make yourself a more well-rounded person that is built for success over a long period.

Ok. Lecture over. Now go out there and start building a strong foundation that will set you up for long-term success. And remember, patience should be your watchword.

The most important part of publishing

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As most of you all know I am currently working on getting my next novel, Guns And Dogs, published. What you may not know is how it has been delayed publication due to the quality control aspect. Well, this is the most important part of publishing.

For me, writing is the easy part. I create an outline, and go from there, while adjusting the structure of the book as it takes on its own identity. But that’s just the beginning.

If you’re working to get your first book out there, you owe it to your potential audience to get the BEST book to market. This means, you don’t rush the editing process.

You then edit the living hell out of it. Then get a good editor to check your edits. A few back and forth exchanges will yield a better manuscript. Then it’s time for the beta-readers. You find 2-5 people whom you trust to help you weed out errors in the book that could take away from the reading experience. This included grammar and punctuation.

Again, it all about the editing folks. Yes, writing the book is important, but how well you edit it will determine its readability. Marketing can only do so much for a book that reeks of errors stemming from amateurism.

Guns and Dogs, my upcoming Young Adult novel, was originally scheduled to be released back in March. But I took a look at the book and realized it needed more work. Trust me, fans will wait for a book’s  release, and believe me when I tell you that it will be worth it in the end when you see how satisfied your reading audience is.

 

Helpful tips for a better Writing Life

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Don’t feel like Writing? Go Write. Had a bad day? Write. The dog pooped on your favorite couch? Write.

Get my drift? Like I tell people, I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. I do believe in pushing yourself to do it. But only if you want to.

Yes, there will be time when other events take precedence in your life: day job, family, friends, or whatever. But my point is there is never a “good” time to write, since anytime is is a “great” time to write.

Ya know?

Turning negative experiences into great writing

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Today was a great day for me. You’re probably wondering what happened. Well the day job sent me to a food convention and while the experience was a good one I had the misfortune of working with a total a-hole at my booth.

But hey, I’m a writer, so I seized this opportunity to use a real-life experience to enrich my life and my writing. Not every “bad” experience is really bad. Not if you allow it to ruin your day.

So the next time the Writing Gods put a total dickwad on your life path, make the most of it by using the experience to create even better villains.

And then after that, you can beat them up if it’ll make you feel better. But I wouldn’t recommend it. We’re civilized folks here, right?

The worst thing a Writer can do to their career.

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This is going to be a quick post. Not a lot of hooplah or paragraphs of advice chock full of detailed explanations.

Guys and Gals. I’ve been seeing more and more of this amateurish behavior from so many newbie writers. You know what it is?

Ok. Here it is. Plain and simple. If you’ve written one book, don’t stop there. Go on and start writing that second one, and while you’re doing that start planning the 3rd one.

I’m tired of seeing people spam their one book on social media and hoping to hit it big. Chances are, unless you’re Harper Lee or J.D. Salinger, you’re not gonna hit it big with that first one.

Call me negative, call me a misogynistic scribbler. I can take it. But if you’re banking on that ONE BOOK you really need a reality check.

Now, if you have written one book and it’s ranked in the top 100 on amazon.com, congratulations. In that case, you can disregard this post.

 

 

Why should Writers talk more?

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I always say a Writer is only as good as whom he/she talks to. “But isn’t writing what were supposed to do?” you ask. Sure. But talking, and more important, listening can do wonders.

Take my blog for instance. I love getting comments from people. It drives my blog. And when I respond I go over to their blogs and follow them. I learn more about them and build positive relationships in the process.

Yes I have some experience in publishing, but it’s always advantageous to see what the other Writer is talking about. You can usually learn valuable things from various sources. Fresh perspectives never grow old.

The same goes for people you meet in your daily life. Even someone you may not usually click with can offer you a new perspective on human nature. Great for character archetype construction.

And this is how you enrich your writing. By talking to others.

T.A. UNER is the Author of various novels and short stories. Please be sure to follow him on LeopardKingSaga.com, where he blogs about writing, publishing, and life. Please subscribe to his blog posts and have them delivered directly to your e-mail inbox. He will dance on his hands if you do.