IWSG April 2023

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this hop and this community. And many thanks to those helping co-host this month: Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

If you would like to sign up for IWSG, go HERE.

April 5 Optional Question (s): Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you’re at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

I remember my first childhood book, one that I destroyed before I let many people read it. My second start on a novel ended up similarly discarded. My third, written in my late twenties, came after a series of novels started without finishes, and it still resides as an extremely messy draft, a 1.5 version I had edited by someone from an editing class. 

Before I ever wrote a book, and while I wrote my first books, and still today, I wrote written and still write short stories and poetry. My first publication was a poem. My second, a short story. These short works kept me going as a writer, despite doubts, setbacks, and curveballs.

My first finished, edited, and published novel was Champion in the Darkness. I had so many doubts through the process of writing it that the before-editing final was the fifth or sixth draft. I thought if I could sell 100 copies a month, I would be doing well. 

I didn’t understand the way indie authors have to market their work or how much confidence I would need to have to keep writing even when my books sold far fewer numbers. 

While I don’t regret many decisions along the way, I can say I spent a lot of time learning. My only regrets include not believing in myself enough, not getting my work out into the world sooner, and maybe that one conversation I had with a fellow traveler who was interested in my writing at an airport years ago – in which I said I would never write romance and then I found out he was an agent for romance authors. (Yeah, that was embarrassing. He gave me his card. I was too embarrassed to ever send him anything, and again, back to regret #1.)

 I have learned that no matter the level of editing, a book will have typos. I have found that the amount of success an individual book has does not have an equal comparison to the amount of sweat I put into that book.

I have learned that the ideas I have are numerous, and I need to prioritize them as I go, because I’m still just getting started, even though I’ve published fifteen books, not counting serializations. 

My latest book 25 Impossible Tales of Survivors, Flawed Heroes, and Annoyed Villains is a short story collection because while short story collections often don’t market well, my short stories have kept me going as a writer, and I want to continue to honor them, so when I get a number I like, I collect them together and put them out there into the world. One of my ongoing projects this year is poetry collection, beginning with the poem that made me an “award-winning” poet. I plan to publish that collection next year. 

Where are you in your writing journey? 

Based on what I’ve learned, these are my tips for fellow authors: 

  • Have confidence in your voice and your stories.
  • If a fellow traveler asks about your writing at an airport, tell them briefly and then ask questions, and don’t say you will “never” write any particular genre.
  • Think about your legacy of books, even if you are on your first.

Writing News:

After my older daughter’s wedding (this event is worthy of much writing, but I don’t have time here), I had a week of exhaustion, but I am writing a poem a day for April and working on some science fiction projects. I have a few Kindle Vella serializations still moving along.

But, due to many events of the last few months, I am pushing back some of my timelines for publications. I had hoped to release Rayatana 3 and 4 this year, but… I will be happy to get 3 out in the fall. 

Likewise, I had hoped to take one of my Kindle Vella serializations and turn it into an ebook and paperback, then release it in June, but it’s already April and it’s not ready. 😦

So, I am continuing to write and work, but I have to recreate my goal schedule, and I think that’s okay. 

I’m sharing my poetry drafts for National Poetry Month at my poetry Instagram account and on Substack, but I’ll also share a few here: 

I haven’t written one today yet, but when I do, I’ll add it to my IG page, and maybe here.

3 thoughts on “IWSG April 2023

  1. Oh I understand having to shift goals and rethink schedules. I think we all have regrets from what we “should have done” or “could have done” earlier. My only regret is not pursuing my work whole heartedly earlier. I know if I had, I would have already had a book published, even if it was something I did myself. But, it’s through the journey we learn the lessons that make our writing sing. We have to go through challenges or our characters will seem flat. We write what we know, what we experience, even if our characters inhabit a world far different from our own. And it’s out own challenges and victories, agonies and joys that they carry in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, not pursuing the writing whole-heartedly with passion earlier in life… that is something I regret, but we can only turn it around now, right?


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