Blog Hop, Insecure Writer's Support Group

What the People Want

Insecure Writer's Support GroupSomething I’ve been thinking about a lot, is writing to market. This is when an author either picks up on a current popular trend, or predicts an upcoming trend, and specifically writes for that market, to, hopefully, hit upon a bestseller by simply writing what the people want.

Among authors, it’s actually something of a controversial issue with accusations of writers ‘selling out’, or not being true to their craft. Honestly, I feel conflicted myself. So often, the act of writing books, of creating worlds and characters, of giving flesh to your dreams, so often, that feels completely at odds with the actual business side of selling books. The marketing, the numbers, the accounts. I know many writers for whom, once their hobby became their income source, they lost all joy for the act of writing.

Creativity and business seem to be uncomfortable bedfellows.

But, at the end of the day, it is a business, and it has to be run as a business if it’s going to succeed. Last year, I published a collection of short stories set in a post-apocalyptic world. I largely wrote it just to get it out of my head, where it was like a niggling thorn in my brain. And then I didn’t think much more about it. Until it started selling. And it sells well, and regularly. And my business brain said “You need to take advantage of this.”

So, yes, I’m now writing to market. A full-length post apocalyptic book I’d never intended to write. It’s a different thing for me; both the specific genre (although it’s not that far from dystopian fiction), and writing to market. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all turns out (especially as the story and characters seem to be insistent about taking it in an interesting new direction!)

Do you write to market?

This post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? I’ve Been Camping

Big Goals BloghopAll of April has been focussed on completing Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m totally on track to hit my 25k wordcount target. I set my goal there because the first two weeks of the month were taken up with the Easter holidays, and with two young boys to entertain, I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking I could manage 50k.

But it’s been a good target for me, I haven’t been stressing, or having to push really hard to keep on track, and I haven’t had to let the rest of my life fester in the shadow of my complete abandonment as always happens for NaNoWriMo in November!

I’ve taken a break from my Memory Trader series, while The Sister has been out with beta readers, and so Camp NaNo has focussed on a new book, tentatively titled While We Were Waiting, but that may well change. It was meant to be a post-apocalyptic book, but it’s turned into something of a magical realism piece, so I’m going to let it take me there. At the end of the day, I can clear all of that up in editing.

Have you been doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month? Or have you been working towards other goals? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Running Full Pelt

Big Goals BloghopLast month saw the release of The Smudger, The Memory Trader book 1, and March has seen the completion of its sequel, The Sister, the first round of edits completed, and the book sent out to beta readers .

I can’t believe how quickly these books have come about. It was one of my goals for the year, to increase my writing speed, to produce more books, but I’m totally awed by how fast it’s happened.

And I’m not slowing up. I’m already plotting my next book, and I’m signed up to Camp NaNoWriMo with a 25k wordcount goal to make a start on writing it next month.

I love being so busy, so crazy busy, so in the zone. It is tiring, and I need to remind myself to slow down now and again (although the flu forced me to for a couple of weeks earlier this month). But I’m excited, and I’m gonna make the most of that feeling.

How’s your month been? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Blast Off!

Big Goals BloghopI can hardly believe that we’re only two months into the year; 2018 has been crazy busy, and crazy productive too.

On Tuesday, the ebook version of The Smudger, the first book of my Memory Trader series, is released (the paperback is already available) across Amazon and other retailers. This will mark the first release of 2018, and the first of a dizzying planned publishing schedule for the year.

The Memory Trader series has come about in something of a whirlwind. I spent a full month developing the world and the story, before writing The Smudger as part of NaNoWriMo last November. It was edited, beta read, and edited again over just two months before the paperback was published at the end of January. And it’s follow-up, The Sister, is on an equal pegging speed-wise. I started writing it on February 1st, and the wordcount is currently pushing rapidly towards 40k.

It’s been so easy to write, with the story simply flowing out of me. I’m so excited about this world, about the characters that inhabit it, about the stories they have to tell. I wish I knew why, I wish I had discovered some amazing secret method of writing, but all I can say is that it was just the right book at the right time for me. If only I got bottle this somehow, and drink it on the days the words come like blood from a stone.

So, overall, February has been a great month, just like January was. I’m really looking forward to seeing what March will bring…!

How are you going with your goals? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Blog Hop, Insecure Writer's Support Group, Twitter

You Don’t Need Socks to Write!

You Don't Need Socks to WriteOne morning, I was desperately trying to get my five year old to do his homework, and he, as usual, was coming up with every excuse he could think of, ending with “I need my socks on.”

“You don’t need socks to write!” I replied, chalking it down as yet another one of those sentences I never imagined I’d ever have to say to another human being. But it got me thinking, and, actually, it’s very good writing advice.

Some people wait for the perfect conditions to write. Whether that be an active muse, a quiet house, a private space, the right weather, the moon in their star sign, whatever their particulars are. I’ve done it myself. Put off writing because I didn’t feel right, or the house was noisy, or the table was messy.

The truth is, as with most things, there is no perfect time, and if you sit around waiting for this magical moment, you’ll never write a word. Sometimes, you just need to sit down (or perch somewhere, or stand, or whatever) and get some words out of you. They may not be perfect words, they may not be any good at all, but the more that come, the better they will get. Who was it who said you can’t edit a blank page?

So don’t fret over the particulars; don’t worry if the sun isn’t right, or your chair is a little uncomfortable, or your coffee is a little cold, just write. Get some words out. Wonderful, imperfect, foolish, misspelt words. And remember: you don’t need socks to write.

Insecure Writer's Support GroupThis post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? Ready to Go!

Big Goals BloghopSo much has already happened, and we’re not even a full month into 2018 yet. It’s definitely setting up to be a crazy busy year!

I’m currently on track with my goals for the year, with The Smudger already up for pre order on Amazon and other retailers, ready to release on 27th February. It’s still more than a month before its release, but it’s already garnered some fantastic reviews from early readers over on Goodreads. I’ve got some exciting plans to really boost its release, and it really feels like I know what I’m doing this time, like I’m not just fudging it as I go. I like that feeling.

The plotting is going well for book 2, although a little slower than I would like. But I’m just impatient to get started on writing it. These books, the characters, the world, I’m just so excited about them. I want to dive into the story again.

Today, three days earlier than I expected, I received the paperback proof of The Smudger, and it is a truly beautiful thing. It’s so sad that all the fonts get lost in the ebook, because the paperback is stunning both inside and out. That’s why I’m a lover of hard copies, of actual books. The spine and the back of the book are gorgeous too, and you lose it all with an electronic copy. So, all in all, January has turned out pretty great.

How are your goals going? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

The Smudger Paperback Proof