An Insecured Writer’s Rambles: Will My Writing Have Meaning?

 

*Note: Am participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like to participate.

 

Just celebrated a birthday last month. My 48th one. I’m finding it difficult to believe that I am almost the big 5-0 when most of the time my mind thinks I’m still in my 20’s.

Where on earth did the time go?

I can clearly remember my parents saying the same thing to me when they were in their 40’s.  The sad reality is, my father’s no longer with us. He passed away in 2014. He was only 67.

In my eyes, he was the true steward of God using his carpentry skills (he was so gifted with his hands especially in woodworking, crafting beautiful things) and his time for the church.  Those who knew my father always commented on how cheerful he was, all smiles and loved to whistle tunes from the 60’s as he worked.

Now, I’m looking at myself and wondering, what will people remember about me when I am gone from this earth? How have I used my talent/gift and time to reach others?

After a lifetime with disabilities (hearing and vision loss), I still struggle with my self-worth and whether my writing has any value (especially when most of what I write, both poetry and fiction, tend to be dark). It doesn’t help either when my husband and son think of my writing as just a “hobby” or “fantasy writing.”  And it also doesn’t help when my husband have discouraged me from ever publishing books since I am on disability benefits (there are other factors for his paranoia other than this one reason) when I have many, many stories and poetry within that I wish to share with the world.  So, I have resorted to having my short fiction and poetry published in non-paying zines a few times each year with the remaining items posted on this blog.

Is this me experiencing the dreaded “mid-life crisis?”  Is this me being vain as I worried if all that I’ve written will be lost forever once I am no longer here? How will people remember me? Just a woman who is so and so wife and mother?

I have been given this gift (writing) for a reason, and I don’t want to squander it.  So, no matter what, I will continue to write what’s on my heart and mind through whatever means I can find in the hope of reaching those who need reaching.

 

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#Writerslife How Does A Writer Survive Now-A-Days?

by rawpixel via Unsplash

 

You’d think with all the technology we have on hand, as writers, we’d find a way to make a living. But the truth is, technology has made it so that anyone can publish therefore flooding the digital world with stories, poetry, how-tos, comics, etc. it has become nearly impossible to make any kind of a living.

So, how does a writer survive now-a-days?

  1. Community. Being a part of a community of writers and authors (guilds, groups, tribes, followers, link-ups, etc.) helps you through times when you’re feeling alone and overwhelmed. Plus, through a community, you’ll have access to opportunities to further your career/dream (a community tends to be filled with people from various creative/professional backgrounds).
  2. Diversify. I’ve noticed that many successful authors these days are also teachers, coaches and mentors, working with those just beginning their journey as writers. Others speak at various conferences, summits, and events spreading their knowledge as well as promoting their published works. For those who dislike public speaking of any kind, there are other opportunities such as writing guest posts for blogs, journals, and magazines with large subscribers, or content writing/freelance writing, etc.
  3. Exposure.  With so many ebooks or print books in the market these days, it’s nearly impossible for any potential reader to find your published novel.  You need to find ways to get your name/brand/written work before as many eyes as you can. A few ways to do this: publish shorter works in ezines, journals, and magazines; set up a blog and write regular posts; guest posts on other blogs that have a high number of subscribers; set up interviews with various media outlets (popular blogs, podcasts, book reviewers with their own websites/blogs, etc..)

What about you? Can you think of other ways for a writer to survive in this highly competitive creative industry?

Author Interview: David Cedar

 

** This week we have a special guest with us to share about his debut scifi-mystery-thriller novel, Anniversaries.

 

 

Tell us what first drew you to writing. 

I have a creative mind and an Art background and in lieu of expressing myself in paint on canvas (like my father did), I chose the written word.

 

Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what kind of music? 

Sometimes. If I do, it’s mostly 1960s pop and rock or Classic Rock. And it’s always on in the “background” to keep me company.

 

Who is your favorite author? Why? 

I have read novels in the past but, I mostly read magazine articles, so I don’t have a “favorite author”.

 

Do you have a favorite magazine or two?

I have, in the past, subscribed to two magazines: “Hemmings Classic Car” and “Collectible Automobile”. And have hundreds of back issues. But, I no longer like either publication anymore, I’m sorry to say.

 

You’ve just published a book. Tell us what your book is about. 

ANNIVERSARIES is about Darren Prescott, an ex-drug dealer/pimp who discovers a way to travel back in time to specific events on specific days in his past (and other people’s past too). He plans to parlay this ability into a money making venture, but gets side tracked when he discovers (while Time-Traveling) something horrible his father did years earlier.

 

What inspired you to write this book?

When I was very young (maybe five years old), my mother gave me a slice of Swiss cheese for a snack and as I was about to bite into it, she said, as a joke, “Don’t eat the holes”. Well, I believed everything my mother told me, so when I was finished eating, on my plate were several Swiss cheese “holes” all with bite marks around their perimeters.

This little memory, this quick “snippet” of my life, has stuck with me all these years. And there are dozens and dozens of other “snippets” in my memory bank. One day, I got to thinking that these memories, although insignificant, all have anniversaries. Let’s say that the “Swiss cheese” incident happened on July 10, 1966, that means that every July tenth, it has an anniversary. My novel is loosely based on this concept.

 

You write under a pen name, what prompted you to do this?  Is there a story behind this pen name (on how you came up with it?)?

I decided to use a pen name because, my late father (Albert Swayhoover) was an Artist and his artwork is all over the Internet. If one were to Google “Swayhoover”, the result would be thousands of websites that sell his work. I was concerned that my book and I might get lost among all of that.

The origins of my pen name are: “David” is my middle name and “Cedar” was part of the name of the street in which I grew up, Cedar Point Drive. Then I searched Author names and didn’t find any other David Cedars, so that’s what I went with.

 

Where can we find this book? 

Amazon

 

What are your writing plans for the near future? 

I’m considering a sequel to ANNIVERSARIES. And there are two or three articles on one of my favorite subjects: American Automobile History that I am writing.

 

Where can we find you? 

www.davidcedar-author.com

 

******

 

About the Author:

David Cedar (aka Robert Swayhoover) was born and raised on Long Island, New York. He graduated from Chamberlayne College in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1984 with a degree in Advertising Design. In 1997, he married Patricia Townes-Swayhoover. The couple lived in New York City before relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2003. Writing has always been something David was interested in, but never gave it a try until seven or eight years ago. Besides writing, his interests include: Automobile History and World War II History.

 

Click on image to purchase

 

 

 

 

#Book #Review: Plan Your #Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It!

 

*Please note – I received a free copy of this book by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

 

Having been a writer for a number of years, finishing a novel is still a Herculean challenge.  I don’t consider myself as a true plotter nor am I a true pantser.  I suppose I’m somewhere in between.  The challenge that always stopped me from finishing a book is not figuring out its plot, but with the characters.  I can work with one or two characters, but when I start to juggle more than three, I hit a mental block every time which keeps me from reaching the end of the story.

Then, I read this book.

Filled with applicable writing exercises geared to help the writer create the core blueprint for the book, I came away energized and well, hopeful.  Hopeful in that I now believe I have the tools in hand to help me complete the current manuscript I’m writing.

Through this book, Beth and Ezra Barany share tools and exercises on developing real characters that readers can relate to as well as creating plots and subplots that will keep them glued to each and every page.  They also give tips and ways to effectively create a world for your story that seems real and complex. And these are only the tip of the iceberg!

There are hundreds if not thousands of how-to-write-a-book manuals, but this one actually gives you specific step-by-step techniques that you won’t see in most of them.

So, if you’re struggling to finish that novel then this book is for you!

 

(You will find this book over at Amazon )

#IWSG: New Year’s Goals

 

This month’s question: “What are your writing goals for the new year?” 

 

My writing life is so out of sync at the moment as I’m searching for some way to get back into a routine of some sort. So far, nothing is working.

Hubby was furloughed when the federal government shutdown on December 21st (well, technically it’s only a partial shutdown, but still) which means he’s been home 24/7 since.  I have the only computer in the house, and of course, he’s been monopolizing all my free time on it to keep up with the news as well as other things.  I might be able to get on for maybe 30 minutes each day, not nearly enough time to do much of any real writing. The rest of my time has been spent juggling bills when we have no income coming in, and “spring” cleaning.  He thinks that my sitting at the desk for several hours each day is a sign of my being lazy.

Writing…lazy?   Really?

Yeah, I have a husband who really doesn’t get me as a writer, but I forgive him for this. Still, it doesn’t make it any easier.

Okay, my rant time is over.

I gave up on setting resolutions as I’ve never really been successful with them.  Instead, I prefer to set goals. For 2019 I do have a few goals I hope to attain:

  1. Take at least one writing workshop (poetry especially)
  2. Finish Draft One for novels: The Hidden Avalon, Terror From the Deep, and Hope Falls
  3. Write every day (min. word count: 250)

I believe these to be quite reasonable with ample room to add more goals if I wish.

 

What about you? What are your writing goals for this year?

#IWSG #Writing Life: Here We Are, December Already

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Our tree-mostly decorated by my son.

 

Question of the month is: what are your writing goals for December? 

 

November is over, and the tree is up! Now, it’s time to think about Christmas shopping. Yeah, I know, I’m late in starting, but that’s how I roll…every single year!

 

Well, NaNoWriMo has ended and I finished just shy of 14k. I am a bit disappointed that it wasn’t way higher, but progress is progress, right? I set another goal for the story I started with this and that is to reach 75k (or if the story feels complete before that) by Feb. 1st, 2019.  This I believe is a reasonable goal.

 

From there I plan to set it aside for a few weeks to work on other projects. I hope to go back to it around March/April and begin the editing/revision phase. After this I’d like to see about gathering a few Beta readers to help me make the story even better.  My goal is to have as polished a manuscript as possible by the end of 2019. Around this time, I may even attempt to take part in the Pitch Wars.

 

What about you?  What are your writing goals for December? I love to hear them!

 

***IWSG stands for Insecured Writer’s Support Group.  Want to know more? Click here.

#NaNoWriMo: Midpoint

 

 

November is already half over–can you believe it?

And what’s even crazier is that one week from today is Thanksgiving!

Heck, I haven’t gotten a turkey yet much less planned a menu for it.  I’ll work on it over the coming weekend…maybe.

I’ve been writing away on a story for NaNoWriMo currently sitting at about 7,200 words for the month. Yeah, the word count is quite low provided that I didn’t start until the 5th day. I’ve set up a goal tracker for this novel that by February 1st 2019 to have written a total of 75,000 words. This will be more realistic, but that won’t stop me from trying to get as many words done for November as I can. At that point (after November 30th), I plan to go back to writing my other projects.

So, what is this story I’m currently writing?

Click on image to read

 

Brief synopsis:

Nyssa Mann found herself in a zombie apocalypse that claimed everyone she cared for.  In search for a safe haven, she met a stranger who promised just that only to be tricked into a fantastical world where she will face a new kind of terror.

There are currently eight chapters up on Wattpad if you’d like to follow along Nyssa’s adventures. I’ve been trying to write about one new chapter per day. At the moment, a total of 30 chapters are slated for the completion of this book (possibly there will be additional chapters).  This may also be Book One in a series or saga for the overall story but for now I’m taking this one day at a time.

What about you? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If not, are you currently working on a writing project? I’d like to hear about it!  🙂

 

#IWSG: Should You Use #NaNoWriMo To Write Your Novel?

 

The question for this month’s #IWSG: should you use National Novel Writing Month to write your book? 

Click on the image

 

 

My answer?

Why not?

I think NaNoWriMo is a great way to get that first draft written.  As part of this community, you know you’re NOT alone in pursuing a common goal: 50,000 words in 30 days.

50,000 words may not finish the book, but it’d make a darn good start.

This year, I’ve decided to write my NaNoWriMo book on Wattpad as an added incentive to complete the first draft especially since I’m terrible at finishing anything I start.

What about you?  Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?  Do you think it’s a good way to write a book?