Doubts… what the hell am I doing?

It seems the closer I get to physically being able to publish my book, the more I’m doubting myself. Mostly I’m worried I am going to become some big laughing stock because EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD will think my book is dreadful. Just because I like it doesn’t mean anyone else will… just because my wife likes it doesn’t mean anyone else will…

My story deals with some pretty heavy stuff (past rape) and I’m terrified I’ve not done that aspect of the storyline justice, even though I have my personal experiences to go off. I know it’s a sensitive subject and perhaps I shouldn’t have gone there, not with my first book? I know that’s stupid though, because far more women than we’ll ever be aware of have some experience with rape and/or sexual abuse. It’s a reality I don’t think we should sweep under the carpet or put in the ‘we don’t talk about that because it’s not nice’ basket, and I guess I carry that day-to-day life belief into my writing.

Worse than the idea of EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD hating my book, is the possibility NO ONE will buy it! How dumb will I look then?
“How many copies of your book have you sold?”
“Oh… well, like… none.”

After discussion with some amazingly insightful community of self-published authors I have been assured it’s completely normal to feel this way, and it’s something you just have to do. Not everyone is going to enjoy your book. Not everyone is going to buy your book. But the important thing is taking that scary leap and getting your story out there.

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Taking a leaf out of Nike’s book… I’m doing it!

For months now I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to publish the story of Ines and Levi. It’s always been my dream to have a book out there in the world and I’ve finally came to the realisation it’s not going to happen unless I grow some lady-balls and just do it.

Last night I finished editing and rewriting, a process I’ve been through a few times with that story now. I managed to chop 10,000 words from my previous edit and am now understanding what my tutors have been saying about tightening up my writing.

I think my original version was all about meeting a specific word limit (100,000 words), but I’m now seeing lots of words doesn’t necessarily make for a smooth flowing story. Reading over this latest version, I don’t think I’ve lost any of the important content with the loss of those 10,000+ words, but I have cut out a lot of stuff that didn’t need to be there and was screwing with the flow.

The genre of the story is still a bit of a puzzle to me; it doesn’t stick to a traditional romance structure, where the characters don’t admit their real feelings until toward the end after almost losing their chance at happiness. But there is definitely a climactic event which threatens to steal away their chance of a happy ever after, at a point when everything is going so well in the relationship.

One of the hardest things for me is not comparing myself to other writers, especially established ones. The only person I can compare myself to is me; what matters is that with each story and each edit I see all facets of my writing improving… and that is what’s happening.

Part of me feels embarrassed about my previous writing efforts, work at the time I thought was so good, but now reading back is unstructured and often repetitive. At the same time, I am proud of myself for not giving up, and for striving to be better at my own form of the craft.

… now I just need to remember this when I’m doubting myself. That may be the hard part.

Jack and Ivy 1.0 (chapter 2 of 2)

This is the second chapter from the first version of the story I submitted for the #DareBlitz… because it’s being completely re-written there is no reason I can’t share here!

Enjoy xx

Chapter 2

Jack

Watching Ivy take in the surrounds of his bedroom, Jack wondered if the faded posters on his walls would change her opinion of him. Until that very moment he hadn’t given any thought to how a woman might react to the way his room was decorated — he barely even looked at the scantily clad women in raunchy poses adorning the four walls anymore — and wondered if maybe the slap he’d been expecting when he’d suggested they go to his room would come now.

Perhaps he should tell her they weren’t there to wank off to; he hadn’t used them for that in years. No, they symbolised a time in his life when he’d finally learnt what it was to be part of a family, to have your own room, to have someone care if you lived or died. Ivy would probably think he was making excuses and she’d think he was even more of an asshole.

Continue reading “Jack and Ivy 1.0 (chapter 2 of 2)”

Jack and Ivy 1.0 (chapter 1 of 2)

Because I am going to rewrite the story I submitted for the Dare Blitz, I thought I would share the first chapter… in a couple of days I’ll post the second chapter as well! Enjoy getting to know Jack and Ivy.

Please excuse the dodgy formatting…

 

Chapter 1

Ivy

Never had Ivy felt more out of place, or intimidated, than she felt standing in the vast room lit by too many fluorescent tubes. Around her complete strangers, all members or associates of the Melbourne chapter of the Hounds of Hell Motorcycle Club (the Hounds as they were known) were laughing as they reminisced about people and places she wasn’t – and probably didn’t want to be – privy to.

            Every single one of the big hulking men were dressed in black, not out of respect for the recently departed, but because it was their way of life. Beards and tattoos seemed to come as naturally to these men as breathing; Ivy hadn’t spotted a single member whose skin wasn’t permanently marked with ink, nor had she seen a freshly shaven face. Muscles, tattoos and beards flooded her vision, leaving her feeling as if she had been transported to the time of the Vikings.

Continue reading “Jack and Ivy 1.0 (chapter 1 of 2)”

#DareBlitz – it was a no, but…

As I expected, my submission for the Dare Blitz was declined. I would be lying to say I wasn’t disappointed, but I am so incredibly glad I entered because the feedback I received was very encouraging! The editor who read my proposal told me my writing was strong, and that I should submit to Dare again, either rejigging the story I submitted or with a new one.

Continue reading “#DareBlitz – it was a no, but…”