Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

“Write Faster!”, Might Be the Worst Advice . . .


So much in our highly materialistic age is bad for us… Slow Writers can be Better Writers

I’m not denying the benefits that have come with mastery of the material realm; it’s just that, due to a certain denial of our higher selves, materialism has also bequeathed some very deadly things

One of the great benefits, for readers and writers, is all things Digital

All, that is, except the modern maxim from the self-professed “gurus” that the more you write and the faster you write it, the more “valuable” you are

There’s a certain blog that has posts from two writers—Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris.

Their blog recently had this article, Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?well worth reading and pondering; so, I’ll share a few excerpts to help you decide to take that last link (or, share it with writer friends...).

It begins with:

“…back in 2014…the indie superstar gurus were telling writers to grind out ebooks as fast as they could type to take advantage of the ‘Kindle Gold Rush’.

“Three years later, the Kindle Gold Rush is history; but there’s even more pressure to write fast—not only for authors who self-publish, but for traditionally published authors as well.”

Then, this:

“I’m afraid I’m in the tortoise camp myself. My plots morph and change during the writing process and never bear much resemblance to my original outline. That means I spend a lot of time rewriting and reworking.

“Maybe I could write faster if I kept to my outlines, but then I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun writing the books.”

And, a bit later:

“…much of the developed world seems to be engaged in some turbocharged drag race of the soul, hurtling our frenzied selves from cradle to grave, terrified of slowing for even a minute of rose-smelling.”

Then, further on:

“In an an economy where fewer people have steady jobs and many eke out a living with random piecemeal employment, working an absurd number of hours becomes something to be admired.

“In fact, taking care of ourselves has become something of a taboo.”

After engaging in a practice I use quite often (linking to a number of other articles supporting the theme), the author continues with:

“If we’re blogging, networking, sending out newsletters, and churning out books as fast as we can type, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important person in the publishing equation: the reader.”

Then, after much more valuable information, advice, and reasoning, this is said:

“Okay, I’ve learned to compose a little faster than I could a few years ago. I’ve moved from a snail’s pace to that of an arthritic penguin, but I still can’t write much more than 2000 words a day on a WIP, combined with an average of maybe 500-1000 words of nonfic for blogs and social media, another 1000-3000 on email and replying to requests, comments, and questions, plus a few hours editing or proofreading.

“Am I a failure? I don’t feel like one….

“I’m certainly not keeping the publishing industry afloat like those Duck Dynasty guys or the adult coloring book craze, but I have 10 published books, several of which have made bestseller lists. I’ve got several books in translation and audiobooks, and I’m being read all over the world.

“Hey, I even have haters, which might be the real mark of success in today’s snarky Internet culture.”

Well, with an article that has so much good stuff, I have to restrain myself from stepping over the boundary of “fair use”; but, I’ll just share this one last excerpt, ok?

“…remember there are other ways to make money from your books that don’t involve churning out 12 books a year. Go wide, get translations and audiobooks (You can find translators and narrators for no money up front at Bablecube and Audible.) And most of all—live a healthy, balanced life, remembering that you are part of a community, not simply a book-generating machine.”

Yes, I know, if the article is way longer than this blog post, lots of folks may not go read the whole thing…

Well, most of those folks will be missing out on something great

And, because this post was so long, here’s the link to the full article again:

Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Writers gathering at the corner of Forest Avenue and Main Street


Another voice from the Main Street Writers Movement…

Samuel Snoek-Brown

I’ve been a fan of Forest Avenue Press practically from the beginning (they received an Oregon Literary Fellowship in publishing the year after I received mine for fiction), and one of the things I’ve always loved about the press, publisher Laura Stanfill, and their authors is how mutually supportive they all are of the larger literary community.

main-street-coverNow they’re turning that general principle into a conscious movement, beginning with a pledge to join in the efforts. The official rollout of the movement is at this year’s Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Washington, DC, so if you’re at AWP right now, visit Forest Avenue Press at booth #272 (and tell the folks there I said hi! Seriously — a lot of their staff and authors are friends or literary acquaintances).

But if you’re not at AWP, you can still get involved by signing this pledge. And…

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Need to Think Like a Reader? Start Thinking Like a Librarian…


One of my good friends is a librarian.

Finding Books

Image Courtesy of Pawe Sobociñski ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/Sobocinski-40805

He’s also a writer—read his interview here

I think he might like today’s post :-)

So…

Melodee Elliott got a Master’s degree in Library sciences; then, she wrote a novel…

Then, she wrote an article on the Reedsy blog called, Using Tricks of the Librarian Trade to Market my Book.

And, as usual, I’ll share a few excerpts that I hope will entice you to take that last link and read her full article…

Early on, she says:

“…allow me to put on my librarian hat while I…explain how my Library Sciences degree helped me effectively market my book, and share learnings that will help you market your own book.”

She continues:

“While marketing is a multi-faceted process, I would say that part of my success was due to going back to basics and revisiting the four steps of information retrieval we covered in Library Sciences:

Find
Identify
Select
Obtain”

She gives fascinating commentary on each of those steps; then, says:

“Books remain in the virtual bookstore for a very long time. Every reader on a search for the next great read will go through the actions of Find, Identify, Select, and Obtain, and it’s up to me to make sure those steps lead them to my book.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Rotten Reviews and Terrible Trolls


Today’s re-blog is for writers; and, also, for friends of writers to share with their writer friends; and, also, for those of you who might have a small ember of the writing fire warming your heart…

Lit World Interviews

You will get bad reviews. It’s inevitable, I promise you. Take comfort in the fact that it’s a rite of passage all writers go through. Every – single – one of them, and after the first one has you on the floor, bawling your eyes out, and inexplicably trying to chew your own foot off for a while, they’re not so hard to deal with. Some are pretty funny, and some are just to be ignored. There are people out there who delight in trashing books, and sometimes the authors of books too, for reasons unknown to most decent humans. Sometimes it’s jealousy, and sometimes it’s just because they’re mean. Sometimes also these one star stabs to the soul are perfectly legitimate in their author’s hearts and minds, because they really didn’t enjoy what you wrote for reasons that do or don’t make sense to you. Whatever the reasons are…

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The Pen is Mighty


Ah, pens…

Today’s re-blog shows what can happen when you use one :-)

A Teacher's Reflections

Writing is a powerful thing.  And, so is reading.  To my surprise and delight, this is what I received in the mail recently:

imageYes, it is a postcard from author Kate DiCamillo.  It is even signed, “Your Friend”.  I sent her my blog post on ‘Really Understanding Children’, because Beverly, the character in her book RaymieNightingale,  is just like my Beverly at summer camp.  Well, it was really more than that; I truly understood both children.  I needed Kate DiCamillo to know that.  I think she does, as she wrote this on the bottom of the postcard:

imageThe words read, “P.S.  Thank you for sending on your wonderful blog about Beverly and Beverly.”

The pen most definitely is mighty.  It holds more power than typing the keys on a keyboard.  Handwriting seems to hold real feelings.  I remember the curves of the letters in my grandmother’s writing.  When I…

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