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Where did all my motivation go?

That’s a serious question. I genuinely don’t know where it all evaporated to. Ever since I hit publish on The Fated, I’ve been seriously lazy. Honestly. I don’t mind admitting it.  

But the problem I have is that now people are actually reading the book and some of them, yes mostly friends and family so far, are asking if there’s gonna be a second and when’s it gonna be done. So I smile and explain that The Fated took 18 long months to get right, and yes there will be a second book but it will take a while, promising them that I’m working on it. Then I turn my back and pull a face to myself because I know the truth. 

And the truth is I haven’t written a damn word of that book in weeks. My laptop is sitting in the corner of my room, silently judging me for not writing anything and simultaneously mocking me for being useless. I can see it right now out of the corner of my eye. I might throw a towel over it!! 

I’m not sure this post has an actual point, except for me to vent my own frustration at myself for my current laziness. I’d like to blame writers block, but I’d be lying. It’s not that I don’t know what to write, I just can’t seem to find the will to write it. It’s ok to take a break though, right? 

And Breathe!

So this is just a short one to say I’ve only gone and finally done it! The Fated is now available on Kindle. I’m officially an actual published author. Feels kind of amazing!

Ive learned some very valuable lessons along the way which should make writing and publishing my next book a hell of a lot easier. Well, in theory. But I am still me so chances are it won’t be!

You can find a link to the book on my about me page: https://wordpress.com/page/clabramsblog.wordpress.com/3

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone that has followed and read my rambling blog posts along the way. I’ve no doubt that there will definitely be more of them in the future. 😀

Chantelle x

Things I’ve Learned About Self-Publishing Part 4

Or maybe it’s 5 by now?

Anyway. Last night I discovered that nothing is easy. Ever. I’ll set the scene for you… I finished work at midnight. Drove home super excited to review the final proof for my book and click that magic button to publish it. Got home, booted up the laptop and starting reviewing. Only to realise I’d uploaded THE WRONG BLOODY FILE! 

Excitement quickly turned to annoyance at myself. So, thinking not that big of a deal, I’ll just do it again with the right one. Go into word to double check which file it is I actually need, and here is where I’ll give you some advice. A) Clean up old files. I have so many drafts and revisions of The Fated on my laptop it’s no wonder I managed to upload the wrong one. And B) always triple check your changes have saved. Turns out that the upload to onedrive had failed and I’d already clicked the discard old files button when it prompted me to say it had recovered some stuff. Big massive fail right there. So two hours later, I’d had to proof read the whole thing again and find all the errors I’d picked up in my last proof, then upload the whole thing again! 

So now I’m impatiently awaiting the email to say it’s been approved so I can check the whole thing again and hopefully, fingers firmly crossed here, publish my book. It’s taken nearly 18 months of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and the odd sacrifice to the writing gods, so what’s a couple more hours?? 

So close…

Well, as the title says I’m so close to being a freaking published author! I’ve just submitted my files for review on createspace. Which is an insanely good feeling. In 24 hours time, I’ll get a response! However, in true ‘me’ fashion, it was harder than it should have been!

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll know I ran into a copyright issue. If you haven’t, I’ll explain briefly. Basically, I made the mistake of using some song lyrics within my novel. Later discovering that I needed a copyright licence to actually use them, I dutifully applied for one. Then I waited. And waited. Sent another email. Waited some more. I never actually got a yes or no response. But since I’m ready to publish, I decided to remove the lyrics and replace them with some (potentially terrible!) lyrics of my own. 

I should add in here that I had already formatted the entire manuscript and finally got everything on the right page without a single error. Then I changed the lyrics and reuploaded the manuscript onto createspace. And here is where I ran into trouble… suddenly everything had shifted onto the wrong pages! I could have cried. It took me several hours to format it the first time. I still don’t know how changing two lines managed to screw everything up so much. 

Another two hours later and I’ve mostly fixed the problem. Except for one tiny flaw that I’m not going to point out because I’m hoping no one will notice!!! The point of this ramble is to offer some advice for anyone who, like me, is completely new to this process. Format the damn thing before you start! Createspace have a template you can use. It will save a lot of time and heartache when you should be feeling pretty freaking epic for finishing the fiftieth and definitely final draft of your book. Lesson well and truly learned. 

So, to end this post, by the weekend, after I’ve finished having a mini panic attack about whether I should go through with it, I should be able to write a celebratory post about how I’ve done it. I’ve published a book. And I can’t wait to be able to say that.

When excitement turns to soul-numbing fear…

It’s the second you realise that you’re finished, and that means there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can prevent you from finally showing the world what you’ve achieved. That’s when all the excitement and anticipation of reaching this moment finally turns into a debilitating fear. Suddenly, you’re ready. It’s no longer a daydream used to while away the hours at work. It’s a reality.

It doesn’t matter what the ‘it’ might be. For me, it’s obviously my novel, but it could be anything. Anything that you have created and spent months of hard work on. The thing that keeps you up at night, the thing you have literally cried over. Up until this point, it all still seemed like it would never actually happen, that I was kidding myself. That I would never actually publish a book and what the hell was I thinking, believing that I was ever actually gonna do it?

Well, here I am. I’ve just finished the last few changes that needed to be made, and sent it back for one final approval from my lovely editor. Then it’s a quick proof read by some willing volunteers and it’s actually finished. I should be excited, right?

Then someone please explain the fear I feel. It’s such a scary thought, putting it out there for the world to read. For the world to judge. That fear has actually led to me procrastinating over finishing it for the last week. But I’ve come to realise that was actually ridiculous. Yeah, some people will hate it. Some people will probably write scathing reviews about how books have gone downhill since any Tom, Dick or Harry could publish a novel themselves. Or, possibly worse, no-one will even read it. (I’m not sure which of those two outcomes are the one I dread more…)

My point is, and I swear I actually have one, that life is too damn short to let fear get in the way of you doing something you have always wanted to do. I know it sounds like a clichĂ©, that phrase. But it is so true. You never know what is waiting for you around the corner, and I for one don’t want to regret being too afraid to follow my dreams.

The fear will always be there, but I have to just put on my big-girl pants and suck it up. Or spend the rest of my life regretting not taking the chance. It’s a no-brainer,  really.

Image result for fear quotes

 

Writing Problems 

This popping up on your laptop screen. Most. Annoying. Thing. Ever.  

I have twenty minutes before I need to leave for work. Twenty precious, quiet minutes where I am wide awake and feeling pretty focussed. Twenty minutes to finish searching for all those pesky ‘had’ words. No such luck. Instead I’ll spend the time writing this post, on my phone I might add, whilst checking the computer screen every five seconds to see if it’s finished doing whatever it’s actually doing. 

This is worse than writers block. And that’s pretty bad. It’s one thing to look at a blank page mocking you whilst you can’t manage to think of anything to write, but this blue screen with it’s stupid dotty circle is a whole other level of torture. I actually know what I want to write. I was motivated and inspired and ready to tap those keys! Ever feel like the universe is conspiring against you? I know I’m being fairly melodramatic right now but hey, I am a writer after all. 

I guess it will be another late night of editing after I’ve finished work instead. Good job I like coffee! 

Things I didn’t know about this writing/publishing thing part 3

Ok by now I’m starting to feel pretty dumb. Every day I seem to learn a new thing that I never knew before. Which means that this time last year I basically knew absolutely nothing about writing a half decent book or about getting it published. So here’s a round up of what I’ve learned this week!

Filler words are a big fat no no. See, if you’re like me, you never even noticed them sneaking into your manuscript, doing absolutely nothing useful except bumping up that all important word count. Words like ‘had’ and ‘that’ that just wriggle their way into every other sentence, sitting there innocently but contributing nothing to the plot. So just picture me now, abusing the search function on Word (good job I’m a big fan of searching haha) weeding out all those useless filler words to see which can stay and which ones have got to go. It might take a while….

The second thing I’ve realised this week is that just because you’re in a hurry it doesn’t mean everyone else is linked to your timeline. If you’ve read my last post you’ll know I had to apply for a copyright licence to use some song lyrics. And yeah, I’ll admit it took me a while to send over the files they needed, mostly because I thought my synopsis sucked and spent about a week trying to manipulate it into something resembling a decent summary of my book. I still think I pretty much failed on that. But that was over two weeks ago, and I’m still waiting for a response. Just in case you didn’t know, I can’t publish without it or they can probably sue me. Not that I have anything to give them. Patience is a virtue though, Right? Gonna have to admit I may not be very virtuous!

I’ve come to realise that when I decided to go down the self publishing route I was severely unprepared. It took many hours  of searching the internet to figure out what I’d have to do and what I would need. Once I got my little list together, I tried to do it all myself. Like a total idiot. Linking back to the last couple of posts I did, self-editing is impossible for me, and Photoshop is the work of the devil that nearly ended the life of my laptop. Luckily, some amazing people have stepped in to help me out with this stuff. (Thanks guys!!) So anyway, the next thing on that list now that the editing part is almost over is formatting. And boy, am I clueless!! It doesn’t help that there is conflicting advice everywhere I turn. Wonder if there is a Formatting for Idiots guide out there somewhere???
But, to end this ramble on a positive note, it’s almost finished! In the not too distant future I’ll be able to say I’ve published a book and this whole crazy learning curve will have been so worth it.