Monday, April 29, 2013

What if you could go back in time?

How many times have we asked that question in our lives? That whole thing about "knowing then what you know now" has a tendency to crop up every so often. You are just cruising along, and then you have something crop up that makes you think, Damn, if I knew now...I would have never gotten on that bus... or something else along those lines. We all have events in our lives that we can trace back to a certain moment that, had we only turned left...or not said "hi" to that girl or guy.

Well, I doubt we will ever see an honest-to-goodness time machine, so maybe we can settle for the next best thing. Many of you are writers, or trying to carve out your niche as you begin on the journey. Some of you have been on the path for a while. So...what sort of advice do you wish you would have been told earlier on that would have perhaps made things a bit easier or smoother?

Now before any of you "non" writer folks think you have nothing to contribute...actually, you have a big role...

As a reader, what are you looking for in your next book selection? What are some of the things that really bring you in? What will get you to walk away?

I figure that I would start the week off on a positive note...and what better way than to lend a helping hand to my fellow authors. No matter how far along you are on this have SOMETHING to offer here, so let the comments fly.

My own little insight would be this...

Always have a new project in the hopper. The early days, I was so excited about finishing that first story, I would take this nice long break between projects. If you want to make a name for yourself (at least in the Indie scene) you need to be coming out with something on a regular basis. Sure, George R. R. Martin can wait two or three years between installments in his series...but I am NOT him.

I decided it would be a great idea to write an installment from Zomblog, and then one from DEAD. much as I would like it to be different, not everybody who reads one will necessarily read the other. If I could go back, I would finish one series BEFORE diving into the other.


  1. Yes... If only I had a do-over...

    I'm pretty early in my novelist journey, and I really hope I can parlay this into something I can sustain for the rest of my life. My goal isn't to be the 'next big thing' but I would like to be able to make writing my full time job.

    The advice I can give pretty much pertains to me, and what I needed to hear 15 years ago. I will say it, because I know there are plenty of people out there like me.

    Find your motivation, your inspiration, and never let it go. Make the time to write and just do it.

    If you're a writer, and I mean REALLY a writer, you can't escape it. Even if you aren't putting words on paper, you're still always spinning stories about something. You might not have a book or article or blog outlined, but instead of counting sheep at night, you're putting yourself to sleep with the stories you weave in your head. You can’t shut it down, and you’re always thinking to yourself… Someday.

    If this sounds familiar (this was me) then that “Someday” was yesterday.

    For nearly 20 years, I never wrote anything down on paper, but I wrote and rewrote the same novel probably 100 times over from cover to cover in my head. The fear of rejection, hell, the fear of success even, was enough to keep me from even trying. Then, two years ago, I was faced with my own mortality, and, as egotistical as this sounds, I realized that when I do go, not all of me has to die. I can leave my memories, my thoughts, and my stories behind.

    That was the motivation that I needed. Like I said, I know it sounded egotistical, but the book I started writing then was not for the world, but for my daughter. To be able to pass my stories on to her, and her children, and her children’s children means more to me than just being published. She’s the reason I keep going.

    I work a full 40 hours a week, have a 14 year old daughter, a 2 year old son, and not only do I still manage to get all the family time in, but I find the time to write. It’s not always easy, but I refuse to use the excuse “I don’t have time to write.” In reality, I really DON’T have time to write, but it’s something important to me, so I do it. I make the time.

    So there’s the advice I needed to hear. It also might have been helpful if someone chained me to a chair with nothing but a notepad and pencil, but I’ll be realistic. Hopefully someone can find inspiration in this convoluted blurb.

  2. I agree... but as a reader... I always have a Goal to achieve or work towards...

  3. I wish I had started off with a better pseudonym. Needless to say I've made up for the lack of pseudonymage since then by having several. :)

  4. If I could go back in time? What would I do differently? How about START writing a lot sooner and not waiting until I was a grandfather. I'd have started when my mind was still sharp and the creative juices were still flowing rather than just oozing in short spurts like the death throws of a slug as it tries to avoid the salt.
    Could I have published then? Probably not...but when I think of all the wonderful ideas I've had over the years that I either never saw through or simply didn't start...I almost want to cry.
    If writing is your passion then by all means GO FOR IT!