Category Archives: Perseverance

(Almost) Average August Recap

It’s finally August 31st and I can back down from posting a bit. If you’ve been following along this month, you might’ve noticed I went on a post frenzy, sharing a new post every day.

I decided in late July to give it a try and I’m proud to say I’ve made it to the end. I think instead of my normal once a week posting schedule I adhered to prior to August, I might up that to three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

calendar-159098_960_720During this past month, I’ve had the most visits, views, likes, and comments since I’ve started this blog several years ago. I was blown away by the response I’ve had and hope to continue offering interesting posts going forward.

So in case you missed it, here’s a rundown of the last 30 days.


New Release: Twilight Madhouse Vol.1: My post about a new horror anthology featuring 10 stories, including my short piece “Achievement Unlocked.”

“Gate” Crashing: My rant on using the suffix -gate for scandals.

Writing Ideas: My tips and tricks when trying to get the creative juices flowing.

Reality Bites Book Awards: I was nominated in four different categories.

Rough Writing: I reminisce about a difficult lesson learned.

Morning Routine of a Non Best-Selling Author: It’s exactly as it sounds.

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews: I discuss the latest reviews for my book The Selection.

Review Circles for Authors: I’ve started a Facebook group for authors to give and receive reviews.

Tools of the Trade: A nice discussion about the hardware and software I use to write.

Forgetting to Remember: My terrible problem with remembering names.

Dirty Dish Philosophy: Lessons learned from washing dishes.

5 Posts for Indie Authors: 5 blog posts I thought were informative to the indie authors of the world.

Flash Fiction – “Zombie Says”: I offered a free story for you the reader!

Author Spotlight – Greg Alldredge: An interview with scifi author Greg Alldredge.

Review – “Fire Eyes Awakened”: My review of R.J. Batla’s new book.

“Self To Younger Self, Come in”: Words of wisdom I’d share with my younger self.

Review – “Twilight Madhouse Vol.1”: My review of the horror anthology with my story “Achievement Unlocked” in it.

10 Things Learned Since I Started Writing: As the title implies, 10 lessons learned since I started this journey.

Reality Bites Book Awards – Final Round: I made it to the final round in the category of “Sci-Fi Author.”

Giving Back: I strongly believe I need to give back to other writers in any way I can.

Eclipse Comic Con Recap: I attended an awesome event and met new friends.

Upcoming Events: A list of all the places you can find me in the next few months.

Just Finish Already!: Get that story out of your head and on the screen.

Indie Comic Creator – Todd Black: A super talented creator of indie comics I met at the Eclipse Comic Con.

Musical Inspiration: How music inspires my writing.

Sacrifice for Greatness: What are you willing to sacrifice in order to be great?

Choose Wisely: Important decisions can lead to lasting consequences.

Author Spotlight – Pamela Morris: My interview of Pamela Morris, an excellent horror author you should know.

“The Selection” – Chapter 1 Preview: I offer the entire first chapter of my novel The Selection.

Youthful Dreaming: When I was younger, I really, really wanted to be Spider Man.


 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my month of madness. When you have time, please check out the posts from this past month and please consider clicking “like,” commenting, or sharing whatever interests you.

Thanks for your support!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rough Writing

This post is one I originally posted on Facebook at the end of July and was one of my most viewed posts ever! It’s a deeply personal account of a tough moment in my writing “career.” I’ve posted about it before but this seemed to resonate with many writers and readers. Here ya go!


Last year, I learned a valuable lesson in regards to my writing.

I wanted to turn one of my four NaNoWriMo novels into a publishable book. I choose what I thought was the best one and revised it then hired an editor to look it over.

When I got the edits back, I was also given a brutally honest assessment of the work. It wasn’t something I wanted to hear, but man it was so helpful and so spot on. I cannot thank that editor enough for opening my eyes to the problems it had and how far from being ready it was.

Then, a few days later, I attended a writing conference where they were doing a blind reading of submitted stories with a panel of agents and small publishers. Anyone that wanted to could submit a three page sample of their story and they’d read it out loud for the entire conference to hear. Once it got to the point in the story where that agent or editor would’ve rejected the submission, they were to raise their hand. Once a majority of the panel rejected it, they’d stop and offer a critique of why they rejected it (or if it went the entire length, why they would’ve asked for more).

I submitted my three pages. So did about a hundred other writers. They only read five submissions but guess whose got read? Yeah, this guy right here! It was the same story I had my editor work on. Already feeling bummed about the comments received so far, when they started reading mine I was in shock but also curious.

boy-859364_960_720When they got to the second page, hands started flying up. I sipped my Diet Coke like nothing was going on but inside I was crushed. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. Their feedback was brutal. Much like the editor I worked with, they didn’t hold back, however this was in front of a room of over a hundred writers! Fortunately the only person that knew who’s story they were critiquing was myself.

Those combined experiences with that draft made me question everything I was doing. Was I good enough? Do I have a clue about what I’m doing? Was I mistakenly claiming the title of “writer?” Should I give up?

My drive home from that conference was a dark, lonely drive. However, when I finally pulled in the driveway, I determined to use this for good.

I vowed to get better, to try harder, to continue progressing in my craft because I love it. I enjoy writing and it’s a part of me now. I chose to take their criticisms not as a personal attack, but as my alarm to improve my writing. I had skill, but it needed work.

It was a tough lesson to learn, but in the end the most valuable thing to happen to me.

Publish, Promote, Repeat

I am so pleased to present a new book by author Lucinda Moebius. I’ve known Lucinda for about a year now and she moderates a fairly large Facebook group I belong to. Her new book Publish, Promote, Repeat is out May 13th and I wanted to share it with you!

Her newest book is a non-fiction Self-Help book for authors. She created the book based on lessons learned about creating an effective book marketing plan.

 

Publish Promote Repeat: Preparing to Launch your Book Workbook

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KQDRMS

Promotion is a process. There is no magic formula for selling books. Hard work and dedication are required to create, publish, and market a masterpiece. This workbook guides you through a three-phased process of bringing your book to a broader audience. Following the steps outlined in this workbook will streamline your prepublication, publication, and post publication marketing process, delivering to you the potential to not only achieve, but maintain, an improved ranking in the sales market.

 

About the Author

Lucinda Moebius has been a writer since she was a child and was first published in 2010. Since then she has worked hard to create unique visions and stories. Her work includes novels in multiple genres including: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Children’s Books, Screenplays and Non-fiction. Lucinda has a Doctorate in Education and loves teaching, but her greatest desire is to help others understand how literature and writing can bring enlightenment and understanding to everyone. She offers book coaching and advice to everyone, whether they want it or not.

My favorite part about writing is the magical shiver I get up my spine when I read something really good and I realize I wrote it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the one who wrote my books or if there is someone else taking over my thoughts and fingers and weaving a spell over the computer. Part of my writing process is to set aside a project once I complete it for at least two to three weeks so when I pick it up again I am looking at it with fresh eyes. When I come across those little gems of word magic in the pages I get goosebumps all up and down my arms and I feel like I can feel a Muse breathing secrets into my ear. I believe in spirits at exactly that moment.

 

What is your chosen genre, and why?

I don’t really have a chosen genre. I love the written word and write in whatever genre I feel most inspired to write at the time. Currently I have published Science Fiction, Paranormal, Literary Fiction, Self-Help Nonfiction, Poetry and Children’s Concept books.

I have two series in progress right now. One is a Science Fiction Family Saga and the other is a paranormal thriller series.

 

What inspired you to write it?

I write because I have to. There is no other reason. I need to have the creative outlet to let the voices play and evolve. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me if no one else ever reads my writing. I love to watch the words spill out onto the page and weave themselves into the magic of a story.

 

Books

Echoes of Savanna: Book One: The Parent Generation

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006RM66QM

 

Raven’s Song: Book One: T1 Generation

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006YJ92GO

 

Write Well Publish Right

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product

 

Publish Promote Repeat

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KQDRMS

 

Feeder: Chronicles of the Soul Eaters Book 1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615968325

 

30 Days Stream of Consciousness V. 1

http://www.amazon.com/30-Days-Streams-Consciousness-1-ebook/dp/B01BW8JXBU

 

A Haunting

http://www.amazon.com/30-Days-Stream-Consciousness-Haunting-ebook/dp/B01D7T9CFY

 

Abduction

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F1DMOBI

 

Fire and Ice A Love Story

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GGL8QUM

 

Raising Grandpa

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OPP1FCI

 

I Know I am Awesome

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QYAQBZI

 

Oh Brother!

https://www.amazon.com/Oh-Brother-Baby-Coping-Kids-ebook/dp/B01A1PC5YM

 

Firefighter Jeff

https://www.amazon.com/Firefighter-Jeff-Dr-Lucinda-Moebius-ebook/dp/B06ZZ41W6N

 

Where can we find you online?

Lucinda Moebius Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lucinda-Moebius-Fan-Page-136358979707547/

SFF Promo Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1132459036786385/

Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/LucindaMoebius

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4176363.Lucinda_Moebius

Website: www.lucindamoebius.com

 

Blogs:

Your Next Favorite Author: http://mynextfavoriteauthor.blogspot.com/

Moebius Musings: http://moebiusmusings.blogspot.com/

 

Dear Writer

Dear Writer,

Hi, my name is Jason. I’m not special. I’m not an authority. I’m not a collegiately trained writer (well, sort of). I’m an (almost) average Joe. But I have something to say.

You know that story you keep meaning to write? Remember that idea burning a hole in your skull? Can you picture those characters that feel so life-like to you? Yeah, that. Do you remember?

Why aren’t you writing?

I met many writers this past weekend that said “I don’t have the time” or “I keep meaning to get back to the story” or some other lame excuse. I’m not gonna sugercoat it for you–write the damn thing!

Your first draft will suck. It will. No amount of “revision as you go” will do it any justice. Be ok with this. Embrace it. You must write a first draft in order to edit and revise.

The time excuse doesn’t fly. Do you have fifteen minutes a day? No? Find it. Put the game controller down. Set your phone to “Do Not Disturb.” Wake up fifteen minutes earlier. Eat a faster lunch to leave time for writing. Instead of watching that tv show in the evening–write. You can always find a quick fifteen minutes of your day to set aside for writing if you evaluate what you’re actually doing with your time and decide what can be cut from your day in order to give your dream a chance. You decide what you do with your spare time, not someone else. Pretty soon, that fifteen minutes will magically expand to twenty. Then to thirty, and then till you’re too tired to make any sense at all (remember, the first draft will suck!)

I’ve got a secret for you, and unlike a magician, I’m gonna share. Do you know how a novel gets completed? By stringing together pages of words. Those pages are made up of paragraphs. Paragraphs are made from sentences. And those sentences are made from words. Write one word. Add another. Add a couple more. That’s progress kids. Keep typing. E-V-E-R-Y word you add to your story is progress. When your time is short, just remember every word you write is one step closer to completion. Your story is moving forward.

Get the words out. If you really want to write, don’t say “I want to.” Do it! Add a couple words at a time. Soon enough you’ll have a sentence, then a paragraph, then a page, and so on.  Be ok with the first draft sucking. Just get it done. Then go back and fix it.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m not an expert, but I have gone through this process. All it takes to go from “I want to write” to “I’m a writer” is putting down one word at a time.

You got this!

 

Your friend,

-Jason

 

Franken-script

Franken-script was a poorly written manuscript forced on readers who in return gave kind advice and suggestions. This flawed yet loved manuscript was lightly revised to eliminate the ultra-yucky parts and considered to be a prize winning student.

It found an editor to love it and whip it into shape. And that’s where the fun begins!

The brutal editor claimed a skeleton lay underneath the ragged body of a manuscript but would take a whole lot of work to add muscle and skin. Deep sorrow followed. It wasn’t the prize winning student after all. It was in fact a poor-mans representation of what a manuscript should be. A body created with inferior parts.

Two days later while playing at a writers conference, the grotesque manuscript found its way onstage in front of an auditorium filled with other writers in a slush-pile exercise. Out of almost a hundred manuscripts submitted, it was chosen at random to be one of just 6–6!!! manuscripts read out loud for all to hear. A panel of New York agents, editors, and small publishers judged when they’d reject it and move on. Followed by commentary. A slaughter ensued.

Fortunately it was anonymous and no one is the wiser. To protect the innocent I will not reveal the name of the bloody manuscript.

On the hour drive home from the conference with the tattered remains of the manuscript oozing in my car, I had a revelation. Or something.

Patchwork repair was no good. Severe trauma isn’t fixed with duct tape. This required reconstructive surgery.

Not long after arriving home, the new plan was set in place. I could rebuild it. Make it stronger. I had the tools. It would take time but in the end the skeleton will hold up to the new body created for it.

A new manuscript began. A new direction was created. New life emerged from the once monstrous manuscript. No longer would it be known by it’s former shell. It lives! It lives!

So let the lesson be learned. Out of hubris do not force an ugly, rotten, disgusting manuscript on the masses. Rebuild it. Gut it. Strip it to the gleaming white bones and layer strand after strand of new vibrant muscle until it beats again with life.

And when you’re forced to see the awful truth under the bright light of scrutiny, don’t run and hide. Use your tools and make it beautiful.

Doubt doesn’t belong in the lab.

 

*Note: The brutal editor is in fact an excellent editor and held nothing back for which I am grateful. 

The Art of Change

Change is inevitable. It can be intentional. More often it’s forced on us from external sources. How we cope with that change can help determine the outcome of the situation.

Changes in our lives happen daily. Life is nothing but a series of events that change us and those around us. All news stories we listen to or watch on tv or read about deal with change. It could be a crime or event or action taken by someone but it’s about change. Sometimes we’re caught in a routine where change feels difficult or impossible but change is unavoidable. It will occur.

Intentionally changing your circumstances is a difficult move to make. We get comfortable where we’re at. Complacency sets in and to move from the known which is convenient to an unknown full of endless possibilities requires energy and determination. That’s not easy. Dreamers like musicians, writers, and other artists have a challenging time with this. I know, I’m in that group.

OldwayI enjoy writing and when I get the opportunity to put words together for a story or essay and it comes out right – pure bliss! But taking that to the next level where I share it with others through my blog or book is not easy. And once I do, then what? How do I pursue this dream to its fullest? I want to make a change in how I pursue this goal of writing and sharing my work, of creating novels and story collections. I dream about being able to share my work with people I don’t know yet. How do I intentionally make that change from sales rep. with a dream to writer with a career? That’s the change I consider daily. There are so many steps I could take to get from point A to point B. I want to take those steps. It’s not like the path has never been taken. I have to force myself to accept and take that willful direction.

Change is often forced on us. Decisions out of our control dictate our response or at the very least force us to adapt to them. Policy makers, life situations (loss of job, death in the family, etc) and other events out of our control bring unwanted change in our lives.

When I was a junior in high school, my parents made the bold decision to move our family from Cleveland, OH to rural Southern Illinois. It was a situation out of my control. I went from the city I loved to farmlands I hated. I was a punk rock/heavy metal listening skateboarder that found myself living not in a concrete jungle but in the midst of cornfields and soybean fields. That was a change I didn’t handle well at first. It was forced on me and instead of seeing the opportunity for growth all I could do was focus on the negative and fell into a depression.

I’ve lived well over half my life in Illinois moving from the farmlands to a small town and I enjoy life here very much. I have a family and friends I would never have known if it weren’t for this change in my life. I understand now why the change had to occur but at the time like most people forced to deal with such an upheaval, I responded with negativity and anger.

Looking back at it, if I were to deal with the situation in a more positive way I could’ve enjoyed my time and the transition so much more. I could have grown instead of turning inward in a childish attempt to ignore the situation.

Change in our lives is inescapable. We like to think we’re cozy where we’re at. But how likely are you going to stay comfy in your current situation? Taking steps to confront and accept that possibility I think are key to creating a positive outcome. Planning for change rather than reacting to change is a much stronger stance. Working towards a goal and calculating the way towards it is a worthwhile pursuit.


Saturday May 7th I’ll be at the Indie Book Fair in St. Louis selling my book and doing a reading from it. Come on out and meet me and close to 40 other local and regional authors. Should be a great time!

Nearing the End

As I write this, I’m just over 34,000 words into my latest NaNoWriMo attempt. I intend on getting to the end and completing my fourth novel. With the upcoming long weekend, I should find enough time to power through and hit 50k by the end of day on the 30th.

You can actually read what I’ve written so far. I’m using the Tablo writing platform and I’m quite impressed by the experience so far. I’ve had someone comment and I’ve received over 120 reads. You can find the story here. I do caution you to read it with a certain amount of understanding. It is a very rough draft with all sorts of problems. But, you can still read the story and get an idea where I’m going with it. I’m open for suggestions and critiques as well.

What I’ve discovered over the years participating in NaNo is something that correlates to my day job of sales rep.

Writing daily and uploading my word count on the NaNo site gives me instant visual verification that I’ve accomplished something. It shows me how many words I’ve written since the last time I uploaded my word count, my average word count, my expected completion date if I continue at the current pace and many other quantifiable bits of data to help me push on.

In sales it’s very much the same. I have monthly and annual goals. Every order counts. Every dollar adds up. I can break down my goals by week and day if I want to. Small orders eventually add up to larger totals. I could have a weak sales day and counter it with a spectacular day that covers for the shortages. Daily I can check my totals and watch as I get closer to my goal.

That attitude and ability to be patient when the days aren’t going the way I’d like have helped. Of course I’d rather make the goal as soon as possible but knowing if I stay the course I’ll eventually get to the end is a comforting thought.

Writing a novel isn’t easy. Heck writing short stories and essays isn’t easy either. But with determination, patience, and a willingness to trek on when everything seems against you, you can get to the end. You can make the goal set for you. You can do something amazing.

If you are writing this month, I wish you the absolute best. Don’t worry about editing or if your story is going where it needs to go (see the link to my story in progress for confirmation of this) Use this time to write. Editing comes later. Fixes can be made when the month is over.

I know I write about NaNo a lot. It’s something I get excited about. It’s a month long sprint to 50K and there’s nothing like being engrossed in your work so much that it’s the only thing on your mind. Characters become good friends. Settings seem like memories of a real place once visited. Plot lines intermingle with one another.

If you’ve never tried it I challenge you to do so. If nothing else, it will get you in the mindset of writing. It will give you an excuse to put your story down on the screen or paper.

Good luck to all the writers this month. You’re almost there! If you failed and won’t make the deadline, don’t worry. You’ve started something wonderful. Keep at it. One word added to another gets you that much closer to the goal. You’ll finish and that accomplishment is more meaningful than you know.