My Writing Goals

As an indie author, I struggle with many things. Not only do I have to write the story, I have to find readers, find a cover designer that can see my vision, promote myself, edit, edit, and edit. A story is never done, really. Even at the end of the day after all the hard work put in, the story can always be improved.

My goals began as- write the story. Just write it, get it down, develop the world the characters, and forget the rules.

Number 2- learn the damned rules 🙂 and adapt the story, hoping it still made sense and I didn’t lose any of the personalities of the characters(that is harder than it sounds, really) Writing in 3rd person is keeping up with pronouns and coming up with descriptions, dialogue, and worldbuilding without writing he/she/they at the beginning of every sentence. Writing in 1st is more immersive and the character can have certain flaws-the internal thought process is different.

Number 3- find Alpha and Beta readers. Alpha readers come before the editing and can help you with your plot. They don’t need to be skilled in plot editing. They just need to be actual readers. Beta readers come after the editing, when you hope you’ve written a decent story. That is really hard. picking a place where the readership isn’t too young to understand the concepts in the story, or readers that absolutely hate everything. Those do exist. And when you read theirs in return, you wonder why they’ve judge you for things they do. Wading through comments trying to see the ones that are actually helpful and ones that are only intended to bash you is next in the process.

Number 4- the editing process is absolutely crazy. Writers are their harshest critics. There are things we hate about what we’ve written and things we love, but the readers don’t. Trying not to cry the first time you cut a whole sentence or paragraph you have fallen in love with is hard. Reading your own work and trying to figure out why something doesn’t make sense so you can rearrange the paragraphs is daunting. Remember that it isn’t perfect, but it also isn’t shite is key, but we sometimes forget that when faced with the whole thing. I edit by chapter. Small chunks make it much easier.

Number 5- promoting yourself. The best part about Facebook for me has been the groups I’ve joined for authors, writers, and self-promotion. It doesn’t drive traffic to my author page, but it has helped me a lot with interacting with others. I’ve finally hit 1200 followers on instagram, though. I am audio/visual, so I love images and wordplay. I can’t seem to make twitter work to my advantage at all, finding the same sort of mindset there as I do on Facebook. I am grateful for all the people on instagram that give me a chance, read my posts, like them, and follow me. It’s hard finding anyone to pay attention at all, and the fact that I am building followers at all amazes me.

Number 6- when that promoting pays off and you find your latest release on a Bestseller list on amazon. Last night I discovered Gaia’s Alphas: Renault as #92 for lgbtfantasyfiction-paid. The difference between paid and free, means that I didn’t promote it by making it free. On that paid list, my book landed on page 2 of the top 100. It continued to #83 and I was shocked.

I am forever humbled that anyone even knows that I’ve put myself out there and that I have stories to tell. I am forever grateful for getting to this point and for all the support I’ve gotten along the way.

Part of the reason I make these posts, is to help other writers, and to pay it forward. There are things it took me years of digging and wading through mean comments-some written in textspeak- to figure out simple things. Writing is hard. Writers don’t need to be slammed into quitting or giving up because there are things we don’t know. Developing a good plot is tedious, time-consuming, and frustrating. Being kind about a critique while still providing useful information is necessary. I’ve been told writers need a thick skin. That to me means being willing to slash that paragraph-not hurtful words or shaming them.

So as goal number 7- I’m gonna say always remember that writers are people, too. If we help each other, we get better. So I keep that in mind every time I read for someone else, because writers seeking readers need readers.

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