Monday, May 19, 2014

How I Found the Write Path ...

It's here! The week of epic writerly advice from writers across the globe at every stage. Please join Carrie Butler and myself as we journey around the blogosphere to read what some amazing and talented writers have to say about how they found the Write Path. 


Dear New Writer,

I know how you're feeling: Fired up and bubbling over with ideas. Eager and Motivated. And maybe a little freaked out at the same time.

I welcome you to the ranks of writer-dom. 

I wish I could say it gets easier as you go, but the truth is, there are only different degrees of difficulty. But it's important that throughout all of it, you lock a way a tiny bit of that passion you're now feeling in a safe place deep inside you, because you will need to unlock it again and again to remember why you started this journey.

Let me start with the bad news:


  • There will be rejection.
  • There will be readers who don't get your work.
  • There will be missed opportunities because you can't do everything.
  • There will always be some other writer with a better book deal, more sales, faster production, etc.
  • There will be other writers who don't consider you the same caliber of writer because of your unique path.
  • There will be insecurity because you missed a typo, or ignored sage advice, or published or submitted too soon.
  • There will be days when you don't know what to write, or how to make your story work.
  • There will be days when you don't know why or how you ever thought you could be a writer and be good at it.
  • There will be days when everything feels like crap.
  • You can't, nor ever will be able to, please everyone. 


Welcome to writer-dom.

But don't run away screaming yet. Remember that little treasure chest of passion you locked away? Good, because you will be able to access it whenever you want. It's all yours. And no one can ever take that away.

It will remind you of everything good:


  • You're a creator.
  • You have unlimited access to your imagination.
  • Every word, sentence, and paragraph you slave over will make you into a brilliant writer.
  • You spun an intricate tale out of nothing. Like magic!
  • You've laughed, and cried, and got pissed off all because the characters in your head came to life--a life that YOU gave them, and now they're as real to you as your next door neighbor. Others will find them real too.
  • You can spend hours alone, creating, and never once feel lonely.
  • The feeling of accomplishment that gives your body a full rush after typing THE END is all yours. You did it yourself. 
  • Total satisfaction when a critique partner, beta reader, reviewer gets your story--and maybe even sees things you never realized before. That's because something magical and inexplicable happens when you create a piece of art--like casting paint over canvas, from blank page to finished story--each person will see something different.


The ups and downs of being a writer elude no one. So I warn you now, if your vision consists of sitting in sunshine while putting your feather plume pen to parchment, wake up and smell the coffee stains. Then, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get dirty in your own blood, sweat, and tears. And above all, remember the three Ps:

Persistence
Passion
Patience

  • Never give up--because you'll never be able to tell how close you are to getting there.
  • Remember why you started writing in the first place. Always and forever. Remember it, and revisit it. Matter of fact, write it down right now and tuck it away or post it over your desk.
  • There will be so many times when you think you're there--when you've worked so hard--but the truth is, you're just not. You won't see it. You'll be frustrated. You'll want signs you're moving in the right direction. There's a reason why they say it takes a million words to become a decent writer. Remember your passion, and remember that no matter how much of a failure you feel like, KEEP WRITING. 

Always keep writing. Use your emotion to create new stories.

And read, read, read.

A writer MUST read. After every story you write, read a bestseller. Figure out why it's a bestseller. Take notes. Then go back and re-read your story. How can yours be better?

Find reliable, honest critique partners and hold onto them as if they're gold. They are. Don't fall into a trap of negative partners. The only negativity you should have to endure from a critique partner, are their polite suggestions for improving your stories. And that's not negativity--that's growth. Don't fall into the trap of partners who are TOO polite either. Honesty is key, and always have at least one writer who's more skilled than you, read your work. At every stage of your writerly path, find someone who knows more, and who has been at it longer, to critique your work.

And in conclusion, I'll leave you with my favorite piece of advice to writers at all stages--advice I came to on my own, from years and hours of trial and error at the keyboard:

Not every story will turn into something great, and that's okay. Write it anyway. With all your heart and soul, write it. Because although it may not be the masterpiece you'd hoped, it's a necessary step along the path to making YOU into a great writer, and looking back on those stories that amounted to nothing, will show you how far you've come.

In the end we regret most, the chances we do not take. 

Now go ye forth and write! Create! Unleash the passion!

Peace, love, and inspiration,

PK Hrezo
Author of the Butterman Travel series
Join my email list here : http://eepurl.com/O0s5b

"I give permission for my entry to be included in the e-book compilation without royalties and/or separate compensation."

For more letters like this one, please head over to Carrie Butler's blog for the list of participants. And there's still time to sign up. All week, writers of all stages will be sharing their advice and encouragement. And you are most definitely welcome!

Did you find any of my advice relatable? Do you have any of your own to share in the comments? I love hearing from you ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG - Wednesday .... Treading Water

Happy May, friends! And it's that time again when writers around the sphere come in for a virtual group hug.


Click on the pic to get to IWSG HQ at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog.

So now that A-Z is over bloggers are getting back to their regularly scheduled programming. I took most of the month off to focus on finishing the first draft and first round of edits on my sequel, which is due out late August. Plus I was on a special assignment at the other job.

And now here I am, still treading water to stay afloat. I'm not feeling insecure about my writing lately, but now that I've taken the leap from writer to published author, I'm feeling insecure about juggling the marketing aspect with productivity. Which is a conundrum of sorts, since from what I've learned, writing more books IS the best way to market.

That's where patience comes in. I don't want to burn out, so I'm limiting myself on social media while I'm writing, but I can't help feeling I'm not doing enough. Rationally, I know that's not that case, and I remind myself to go easy. Yet, those insecurities tend to sneak in sometimes. I'd love to know what you all do to keep a level head.

Aside from that, here's what's been going on ...

Last week, I revealed my brand spankin' new cover for the Butterman Travel sequel,
INDUCTION DAY! I gave the folks on my newsletter mailing list the first peek, and if you haven't signed up for my newsletter already, I hope you will. The form is right over in my sidebar and it's the number one way I'll be sharing author news and events, as well as sneak peeks and prizes. Not that I'm forgetting about my blog buddies here, but just that the newsletter will be my first and foremost form of communication.

If you missed this last one, not to worry! I'd love to have you get in on the fun and help reveal my cover.


Add this to your GoodReads shelf by clicking right HERE.

The year 2069 is coming to a close, and eighteen-year-old Bianca Butterman's pilot license is finally official. She's ready for the Induction Day she’s waited for since she was a kid—the one that will secure her name on the Butterman family tree of time travelers. But ever since the media discovered Bianca is pop superstar Tristan Helms’ latest new honey, everything Bianca does or says becomes a target of criticism. Having her professional credibility topping the gossip sites across social media is an open invitation for the government to step in and regulate Bianca’s Induction. Now she will have to ask herself if saving 1500 people from drowning is worth losing everything she’s ever worked for, including the Butterman family biz.

I'm trying something different for this cover reveal--a sort of free for all, to make it easier. I have no idea how it'll work, but I'll let you know. All you have to do is share my cover any time by the end of the month and tag me or email me to let me know, and I'll include your name in a very special acknowledgments page of the book. You can share on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, Google +, you name it! Just let me know that you did so I can record it. If you want to include the blurb, be my guest! Even just the cover is great for me. 

Now, for some more great news! Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. was nominated for Best Debut at the upcoming UtopYA awards! What a surprise that was. And I'm so looking forward to being in Nashville for the event. You can vote HERE. I'm in some excellent company, so the nomination alone is a treat. 

Also, I've been listening to my audiobook for Butterman Travel, Inc. all week and it's almost ready to go into final edits. It's been so amazing hearing my book narrated back to me. The narrator did such a fabulous job. If you've been thinking about listing your book on ACX and have any questions at all, feel free to email me and I'll tell you what's in store. 

Enough about me, let's see some good news from around the blogosphere:

SJ Pajonas just released her contemporary romance, Face Time, and it's available now:


After the best first date ever, Lee thought Laura was funny, intelligent, and impulsive; a whirlwind of bright laughter and happiness. Laura loved Lee's sweet smile and the way he expertly filled in every awkward pause. He held her hand and then pulled her in for the most perfect kiss she’s had in years. What could possibly be wrong? Just the 7000 miles that separates them the next day.
Even though Lee has gone home to Seoul, Laura can't stop thinking about him. What starts as an innocent text thanking him for their dinner date becomes something much more: someone either of them can't live without. But Laura's got a live-in mother going through a midlife crisis, and Lee's stressful traveling schedule means they'll be apart for some time. Life, family, and a complicated past also get in the way, and they're both going to need actual face time to figure it out.
Told from both Lee and Laura’s point of view, FACE TIME is a funny, romantic, modern-day story about two people who connect across the world.

More links on SJ's website HERE

Also, Margo Kelly's debut cover reveal, Who R U Really


Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.

Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a real-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.

Add to your Goodreads shelf HERE
Find Margo on her website HERE

And last but never least, Brandi Hall is revealing Tempted:

A Sweet Upper YA / NA Paranormal Romance.

What if the very thing to save you—is the one thing beyond your reach?

Torn between the two men who have fallen for her—and the evil who wants to possess her—twenty-year-old Chloe Bishop can no longer remember the fatal vision which threatens her future happiness. But when the magical link is severed between Chloe and her Wiccan family, they must find a way to save her before temptation leads her into darkness—and into the welcoming arms of Mr. Wrong.

Add it to GoodReads HERE
Find Brandi HERE

Thank you so much for stopping by here today! Don't those books look and sound great?? Are you feeling insecure about anything? How do you remind yourself you can't do it all? Did you sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar? Don't forget to tag me when you share my new cover!