Where, and How, to Find Your Story: Ignore the Experts

Watch your potential clients breed and give birth to new prospects. Court and woo and look and forget. And then remember.

Every single “expert” on writing has been feeding you a lie.

Maybe they are just ignorant, though I imagine they are just evil. To share the secret of living is to give away a piece of your own, they think.

And so they tell you, “just write every day.”

No.

Ask a business owner how to write.

When you find the perfect potential client, do you spend each second courting them? I’ve asked.

No.

Why not?

Because they’re going to disappear, and I better have 17 more perfect potential clients lined up behind them.

They all disappear? I ask, ‘cause I’m an instigator.

This is when I get the “are you seriously that dense” look.

Of course not, they say, but most will. And time is finite. I court and I woo and I am always looking for the next love.

“Your wife must love that approach.”

And then they show me the door, but their lesson has been heard.

My life as a writer will end. I must keep the pipeline full. There have to be stories in every moment.

And this is how you do it.

Don’t write.

When they tell you to write even if you have no inspiration, tell them to pound sand. Do you know what you write when you are not inspired? Uninspired writing. When was the last time you read something that wasn’t inspired? Well, when was the last time you read for more than 30 seconds something that wasn’t uninspired?

So, find inspiration. Find conflict, and love, and love lost, and pain, and pain salved. Find a laughter that drops you to your knees, and the phone call that turns that mirth into horror.

Get out.

Look at someone and imagine that they are your lover. Your father. Your teacher or son. And imagine that the worst possible thing happens to them at them moment. Wherever they stand, whatever they are wearing. However they walk, or eat or dream. And then imagine that as you go to hold their hand, the worst possible thing happens to you.

And then write that down.

And then forget it.

And then rinse and repeat. Every day. Every moment. Every trip to church, to the bar, to your children’s school. Catastrophe at each corner.

You are looking for your next love.

Now you can write.

Which horror do you start with? The one that tells you to.

And then add in the lover, or father, or teacher or son from another moment to that same tale, and watch your inspiration grow.

Watch your potential clients breed and give birth to new prospects. Court and woo and look and forget. And then remember.

Okay. Now you can “just write.”

This post is contributed as Guest post by  C. Mijares Devane

New authors, learn from my mistakes.

The power of preperation

It is almost embarrassing that I learned this entire process the hard way. Maybe I can help you by learning from my mistakes. I only completed the eighth grade. Not my fault, just a fact. I am a story teller, a very good story teller. I am NOT an English major. Publishing a book isn’t only having a good story or a great story teller. There are technicalities that MUST be addressed first.

Ten or eleven years ago, I got in at the very beginning of the self publishing era. If you were fortunate enough to have found a publisher then none of this is for you. I am talking to self published authors. Today everything is different than back then. I only had a couple of choices to go to for self publishing. It cost quite a bit to have this done back then. Now you can realistically self publish for almost nothing. Here is my best piece of advice to all. Don’t rush ahead of yourself, and don’t edit your own book unless you were an English major.

I did just that. I was so anxious to get my book done that I didn’t spend the time, or the money to help myself professionally. I was so sure that a great story is all I needed. I thought people would overlook editing errors because my books were so good. WRONG, I received all 5 star reviews on Amazon. My covers were great, the stories were great. Interest was high and things were moving right along. Until I got my first one star review on Amazon, and it said, “I couldn’t finish this book because of the lack of editing.” Well that was that. I had to stop promoting my books. I just couldn’t sell an inferior product. After spending all that money to publish three of my books, and all for not. At the time I didn’t have the money to completely re-do my books. A few years went by and things happened. Finally my publisher called and said that a Hollywood production company was interested in one of my books. “ENTER” they paid to have Hollywood coverage done on all three of my books. That is where a professional reader does an in depth review of the book, then it goes on a list of producers, actors, and film makers. So anytime these movie people are looking for new content for media, my books are on that list to choose from. Well once I got the reviews back, everyone (including my publisher) was shocked at how good the reviews were. One of them actually said “Could be an Academy award level film.” Soon after that I was contacted by a real publishing company. They wanted to completely re-publish “ENTER” They didn’t want my other two books, just that one. New everything from editing to a new cover and all. I jumped on that and now “ENTER” will be out as a new book next month. After having that happen, I realized this was my opportunity to fix my entire mess. I hired a professional editing company and had both of my other books Edited and re-formatted. I am also going through Amazon (create space) to publish these new versions. Through Amazon, I will make twice as much on each book, and the only cost is to purchase books.

If you need anything from editing, cover design, e-book formatting, or anything you can’t do yourself, Create space has someone who will do it for you at an affordable price. If not, they will walk you through almost anything your books need so you can do it yourself.  Once I got rolling, I went through APEX reviews and had trailers done for all three books for under $300.00 total. They turned out so good, I decided to get “ENTER” done as an Audio book. It too will be done next month. I truly believe that Audio books are the future. Go to Amazon (ACX) and get your book made into audio for free, if you are willing to give up 20% to whomever does it. If you want to do it yourself, you can learn how at ACX also.  If you are not computer savvy, it is worth the 20% to have it done right. Or you can flat out pay for the read and not give up any percentage.  I truly advise that you give it a try.

So here I am, ten years later and it looks like I am going to get another shot at this. Next month my three, edited, books will be out, my audio book will be out, my trailers are done and I have my Hollywood coverage.

I have a good web site and now, if you google my name, I come up first. I am going to use everything I have learned and do this right. I hope through this post, it helps even one new author keep from making just one of the mistakes I made. Maybe it will at least give you some ideas on things you hadn’t thought of. I hope it helps someone.

Thanks for listening

April O’Brien