Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Less Talk, More Action

I, like so many struggling writers, can be a lot of talk an little action. We tend to like nothing more than the sounds of our own voices talking about our writing (or, in regards to this blog, writing about our writing) versus actually writing or getting our writing out there in the world. We're notorious procrastinators and dawdlers. And I am no different.

Well, I finally decided to shut the hell up and get to work on my writing career this year.

While I always write, I am negligent about getting my writing out in the world where it can be read. Sure, I acquired an agent for my first novel. Sure, when she failed to sell the book, I worked up the nerve to attempt self-publishing. But when the Kickstarter campaign to fund the book failed, discouragement and self-doubt took over and I reverted back to my old scared ways of writing in secret. But something changed this year. Maybe it was turning 50 that jolted me into action. The thought that at least 2/3s of my life had been pissed away on nothing but talk and talk and more talk. Whatever the impetus, I somehow got my act together and decided to pursue that long dreamt of career.

I turned to play writing. I'm also not sure where that thought came from but for some reason I decided to adapt a long forgotten short story into a play. The first draft was shit, of course. I had never written a play so key elements to make a successful dramatic event were lacking but there was a kernel of something in it that kept me moving forward. I farmed it out to some actor friends who gave me their thoughts and I went back to the drawing board. One of those friends helped me get a reading together with actual actors so I could hear the play outside of my head (talk about a surreal moment!) which prompted another rewrite. And, eventually, through a bit more rewriting, I produced a pretty darned good piece of theater which got accepted into a couple of New York festivals and will make it's debut in January 2016. Action!

On the novel front, the desire to publish my first novel, now titled The Summer of Jenny Wade, never diminished. So, I decided to go the eBook route via Amazon (and B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.). I raked through it one more time to ensure it was up to snuff. I researched how to format for the various platforms (and eventually farmed this out to a professional when it proved a beyond my capabilities). I created a pretty nifty book cover in PowerPoint by watching tutorials online. I set a publication date for September 5th and put the word out to family and friends and Facebook and Twitter. I am researching the self-promotion methods and working to continue to get the word out and will continue to do so to ensure that the novel finally gets read. Action!

I created a Facebook author page. I created an author website (via Wix). I created an author page on Goodreads. I am creating an author life for myself. Action!

Ultimately, all lives are DIY and I finally realized that this year and, while my stress levels have never been higher, I've never been happier.

Come to find out action does speak louder than words.

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