It seems like every time I hop onto social media or some other corner of The Writer Internet (patent pending), I see some version of the traditional-versus-self-publishing debate. People ask seemingly anyone who will listen which route they should take, and authors on either side of the debate state their case.
These debates can turn heated — it is the Internet, after all — so heated that sometimes, those on either side of the debate act as if their position is the only right answer and people who believe otherwise are…whatever the current Internet insult du jour is.
It’s been quite the journey since Bounty went live on Amazon in 2015.
I call it a journey because of how much I’ve learned in the six years I’ve been able to add the word published in front of author. Not just about the craft of writing, of storytelling itself, but the ins and outs of publishing. Self-publishing, to be specific.
See, the stereotype among the “self-publishing is bad” crowd is that we crank out any old dribble we please and upload it to Amazon without any care for spelling, grammar, or human decency. …
On June 1, 2015, I became a published author.
That’s when my debut novel, the superhero mystery Bounty, went live on Amazon. Six months later, I hit Publish on the follow-up, Blood Ties. Six months after that, Behind the Badge hit virtual bookshelves and I had a full-fledged series on my hands.
On October 2017, I published Notna, a fantasy standalone that reads like Indiana Jones and Buffy the Vampire Slayer stumbled upon each other and discovered the world was coming to an end. Again.
To date, I have six novels to my (pen)name — to say nothing of a…
Don’t let that random Facebook post fool you: Reading is absolutely vital to being a writer.
Don’t believe me? Well, then you’re also on the opposite side of this from none other than Stephen King — who, in his book On Writing, wrote, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to be a writer.”
But how, exactly, does reading help? Is it as simple as taking in someone else’s words and a story idea pops into your head as if it was sent down from the heavens? …
I gotta go home, my batteries are low.
This life is a lockdown.
It’s amazing to me how many creators I know of are introverts.
Not every creator, obviously. Everyone’s unique and there are some people who are genuinely outgoing and enjoy constant human interaction and make friends easily…but I’m not one of those people. I never have been.
Last week, my favorite band, Jinjer, released a new song called “Wallflower” that coincided with their new album Wallflowers. It’s not only one of the most musically mature and lyrically intense songs they’ve ever done, it’s also an anthem to introverts.
Not every writing slump is created equal.
Sometimes, writers are blocked — certainly, you’ve heard the term “writer’s block” before. Depending on who you talk to, writer’s block can be any number of things (if it even exists). In my experience, writer’s block is less about not knowing what to write and more about a lack of motivation.
You know you want to write. You know what you want to write. Yet you can’t quite bring yourself to get started. You lounge about and binge whatever’s on your streaming app. …
Followed by my rebirth as an author.
I first created the superhero Bounty when I was 15. I was in high school, and while I would never be confused with the popular kids, I was definitely one of the most creative. Even among my art class peers, I was one of the most talented.
One day, Bounty was going to be every bit as popular as Wonder Woman. Notna, my other original property, was going to be the next Spawn.
I was that rare breed: a teenager…
Those of us of a certain age remember when Tumblr had a thriving adult community. It wasn’t just porn (though there was plenty of that, too) — it was a community of people exploring and embracing their sexuality, through connecting with others, through posting explicit content, and for some, using the community to grow their adult brand.
Tumblr axed that and is now a shell of its former self. Apparently, Apple got scared and didn’t want an adult platform available on its app service. …
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend of late: people practically demanding they receive the fruits of people’s artistic labor for free.
They want this book for free. That painting for free.
People want commissions, but they don’t want to pay for them. A self-published author charges $2.99 for a book they wrote and people accuse them of being greedy.
It’s like people want the fruits of creative labor, yet they have no respect or appreciation for those who work and plow those fields.
(NOTE: I’m not referring to people who simply cannot afford to pay for books or pieces of art…
In some ways, editing a manuscript can be even more stressful than actually writing it in the first place. It’s no coincidence that a lot of writers I interact with say editing is, by far, their least favorite thing about being an author (particularly the independent variety).
(My least favorite part is marketing, but that’s a completely different essay).
On its face, editing can feel utterly daunting. A massive task that needs to be tackled, yet feels never-ending.
It was one thing to churn out 100,000 words the first time through, but to then traverse through those caverns of literature…