Book Shelf Motivation

I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration and motivation these last few days. I guess inspiration is that air-fairy feeling of ideas and moods and wanting to write and knowing what to write about while motivation is what makes us put our butts in the chair and our fingers on the keys and makes us write stories instead of Facebook posts. They go hand in hand and one without the other causes all sorts of problems.

I’m a writer who rarely lacks inspiration but who often loses motivation.

Sometimes I’m a distracted writer. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Blogging. Answering emails. Some of it is legit marketing and networking. Some of it, a lot of it, is time wasting. I know this but it’s just so much easier to keep scrolling than to go back to work. And I often tumble down the rabbit-hole of related links and further reading.

And I’m not alone if the Memes out there are anything to go by.

But sometimes it’s not distraction that keeps my fingers from the keys. Sometimes it’s an overwhelming sense of … well, being overwhelmed. Deadlines and word count goals and the whole process of coherent thought and thoughtful story-telling just becomes too much. It’s this huge process and it’s easy to forget that it’s nothing more than one word after another – one letter at a time.

Every writer has that something that motivates them. Rewards are popular. So are editors or agents who stand there demanding deadlines be met. Sometimes I use rewards but I’m my own boss so I find it easy to ignore me.

For me, the greatest motivation I have is my book shelf. I inherited a lot of my mom’s books, like these Stephen King hardcovers:

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This doesn’t even include all the paperbacks I own by Stephen King and there’s a lot of books here. 34 here, plus On Writing which is one shelf up, plus the paperbacks. Mr. King has written a lot of books.

And then there’s these classics, also part of my inheritance:

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17 paperbacks by David Eddings, plus one hardcover a few shelves down.

Now David Eddings and Stephen King are both prolific writers and really, they take up the largest chunks of my book shelf. But here’s another, an author I didn’t inherit:

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I don’t even have this full series, and it’s not her only series.

So why am I showing you these snapshots of my book shelves? Because I walk into my room and I look at these shelves FULL of books by other authors and then I look at this shelf:

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6 books. Okay, the latest 2 are missing. I’m ordering them soon. So 8 books. That’s it. Compared to the other sections of my shelf it is LEAN.

I walk into my room and I see this and I think “I want to take up an entire shelf in someone’s room some day.” This is what puts my butt in the chair. This is what renews me and spurs me to finish the next book. Or one of the things, anyway.

I know I CAN have that many books on the shelf, I just have to write them. I just have to finish them. I just have to ignore the distractions and the doubts and the overwhelming big picture and write the books. They’re there inside me, all these stories just waiting to come out. All I have to do is get them down. And get them edited. And get covers for them. But I’m not thinking about that now or I’ll get overwhelmed again.

Right now I’m thinking about writing.

What motivates you?

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Intermission

I apologize. There was supposed to be a new review up today and there won’t be. I’ve been swamped with personal things for a week, I’m behind on sleep, my kids are behind on sleep, and I’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it.

So, I would rather the reviews be bumped back a week so I can give the books the time and attention they deserve than try to rush them. As such, there will be no review on Saturday either. There is a post scheduled for Sunday and hopefully next week we’ll be back to reviews.

Thank you for your understanding.

Stop F*cking Up Halloween

I live in a rural area about 3 miles outside of a small town. I mean one main drag and two bays small. I mean a mile worth of pavement small. And I love it. We chose to go around the bays with our kids for Halloween because it’s the same small town where my husband trick-or-treated when he was a kid. This is our third year celebrating Halloween in this small town.

This year there were A LOT of dark houses. A LOT of houses with their cars parked horizontal across the driveway blocking visitors. When you’re already walking up to a quarter mile between driveways, to have multiple dark houses in a row is a real bummer for the kids. I know it’s a small town. I know it was rainy this year. But can we keep Halloween? Please?

I’m all for the youth group Halloween parties and the Church run All Saints Day parties and the safe trick or treat at the malls, I really am. Their was one year when it was frigid cold and blowing sleet on Halloween and the local mall offered safe trick or treat so Halloween didn’t have to be cancelled, this was about twelve years ago and the idea caught on. It’s great for bad weather or for little kids who can’t be out late or can’t walk far yet. But for those 4-14 year olds (hell let ’em trick or treat until their 30!) going door to door is an experience that should be had at least once.

My kids love it. I don’t want to go to another town, or into the city. I don’t want to go to the mall (though we did when the kids were very little). Of course I love Halloween and dress up and everything. I don’t say trick or treat at the door, I’m too old for that now, but I don’t turn down a treat from people who offer.

And to top it all off, now there’s an epidemic of pins in the chocolate bars! Seriously people!! WHAT THE SERIOUS FUCK!!!

This is a holiday that has become a celebration of the other. We can be anything or anyone we want. We can be cute or sexy or scary. It gives teens the chance to flirt with their own sexuality. It gives kids the chance to be super heroes. You get to run around in the dark and eat too much junk. AND YOU WANT TO RUIN THAT JOY BY STICKING NEEDLES IN CHOCOLATE BARS??

WHY!!!????

I just don’t understand why you would want to do this. Does it give you perverse pleasure to see children in the hospital? Are you trying to end traditional Halloween for everyone by making it “unsafe”?

Halloween is a simple joy. It really is. One year my son was Bob the Builder. He wore his own denim overalls and his own plaid shirt and his dad’s hard hat and carried a plastic hammer. It cost us nothing. On year he wore his rain jacket inside out with a pair of overalls and his dad’s ski goggles and went as a minion.

Please. Can we keep Halloween? Can we not muck this up for our kids? Please?

AuthorAuthor Fantasy Anthology

August 19th is the due date for short stories for the AuthorAuthor fantasy anthology, the first anthology being released by the Facebook group AuthorAuthor. If you missed the post on who/what AuthorAuthor is you can find it here: https://casiaschreyer.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/authorauthor/

We are hoping to have the book edited, with a cover and blurb, by September 19th, the proposed release date. We have 6 or 7 writers participating in this anthology: myself, Rebecca Palmas, Neil Burke, Chris Ticehurst, Marie Price, Melissa Velez, and Martin van Houwelingen. Each writer is aiming to provide an 8,000 to 10,000 word short story in the fantasy genre. These may be stand alone stories, prologues, prequels, or novel excerpts. Each author will be able to include a bio and links to their blogs/Facebook pages/websites/Twitter. I’m even hopeful for an author photo but that’s just me.

The book will be released on Amazon Kindle for certain. We’re still discussing other venues and formats. The book will be FREE. Always. The writers are not making a profit from this but we are hopeful that people will download the book, check out the stories, and maybe come looking for our personal projects. If we release a paperback it will be at cost, no profit to the author.

Buying a book is always the biggest support you can give an author. 7 writers are giving you the chance to sample their writing risk free. Please support indie authors by downloading this book when it becomes available and leaving a review. If you like a particular author look them up, follow their blog or Facebook page, look them up on Twitter, and if they have a book available you could always buy it.

In a few weeks I should have a cover design and story blurbs to share with you.

AuthorAuthor

As I discussed in my last post on self-publishing, marketing and self-promotion can be hard. Readers won’t shell out ANY money for a novel unless they hear good things about it, or know the author. But marketing can be expensive – buying ads, printing book marks as give away items, it’s all out-of-pocket expense that may not pay off.

Well, here’s one idea for you to consider.

AuthorAuthor is a free and free-of-charge short story publishing platform, through which anthologies will be published by topic, at cost price rate for the reader, through the Amazon self-publishing service. For each book Martin van Houwelingen, the founder and directer or the group, hopes to find 12 authors who will each deliver 6000 words, be they complete short stories or story snippets from published or yet to be published books. To gather these stories he is using the Facebook group AuthorAuthor to bring authors together and get the word out about their existence and the books they published at no to low cost. In the first 12 hours of posing the idea of collaboration books, the member count has increased by 600% and is still climbing, though slower now that the first burst is over.
The writer will pay no fees to be published but will receive no profits from book sales as there will be no profits from sales. The book will cost only the printing costs and the Ebook version will be shared freely and for free where ever we can plant it.
Currently the topics consist of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Crime Noir and Erotica, but any topic can be brought into the mix by the writers themselves and start a collaboration. We’re hoping for more specific topics within these as more people join.
The purpose of this is for the writers to get a lot of exposure for their writing and to get their names out. Exposure to the market is the biggest problem writers have to face and I hope to break through that wall in this manner.People interested in their style or story snippet are then able to find the author via any contact information provided (an author facebook page, the author’s actual book on Amazon, or a personal website for instance)
Martin had this to add:
If others want to copy this project they are free to do so, but I do wish to warn that getting 12 authors to write something decent on the same topic and deliver their work on time is proven to be strenuous to say the least, and so I hope people will not set up their own plans, but join this one to create one big flourishing group that can turn out books by the bucket loads instead of a multitude of little struggling ones.
You can find Martin’s group here if you want to join or if you have questions:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/authorauthor/

Now, the reason I am supporting and promoting this project is because of two facts. ONE: FREE STUFF SELLS. and TWO: A reader won’t invest in your work if they don’t already like you.
My mom read everything at the library, and if she liked something she’d go out looking for that author, even if it meant buying their work. I’ve done it to. But getting your work to the library can be hard. So put a sample story, the prologue for your novel, a sample chapter, whatever, into a project like this. People will download it for free, no risk of lost money, and hopefully read it. Then they’ll come looking for you because now they know they like you.

I’m not yet at the stage where I can make use of a platform like this since my novels aren’t finished. But I will be helping out as a line editor and format editor. They’re looking for cover artists on the same terms. If you’re an avid reader I’ll be posting release dates here so you can pick up the free books and support indie writers.

Remember, us creative types are all in this together. If we promote each other and support each other we can make indie publishing better.

Edit: For an update on the first AuthorAuthor project see my latest blog post: https://casiaschreyer.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/authorauthor-fantasy-anthology/