Looking Back…

party dogPhoto credit: Morguefile.com

Well, I’m a little off – by a week to be exact. I’ve had a countdown timer counting down the days for a year – set for today – when it should actually have been set for July 13th. I’m not sure how I managed that, but it worked out. I was taking my daughter and the baby home on the thirteenth … and watching as a nurse first gave Aria an oral immunization followed by three shots. Let me tell you, if you hated it happening to your own kids, you’ll hate it more when you have a grandchild. I’m not a violent person, but I kind of wanted to punch the nurse in the nose. Three???

Anyway, back on topic here…

I published my first books, The Stranger In My Head, A Fine Mess, and Reluctant Guardian on July 13, 2011. Of course, I’d written them well before that date, but it was still exciting. Well, maybe more scary than exciting. Still, I knew I was in it for the long haul – for better or worse. Looking back, it’s clear it’s all been for the better.

I’ve learned a lot since then though. For one thing, I honestly thought I was good enough to edit my own stuff. I could catch all of the errors, but what I discovered was this – authors tend to see what they intended to write, not what’s actually there. I’ve since learned what beta readers are, as well as other techniques to help me put out the most error free books as possible (thank you, Kathie and Shelley!).

That means some of my early stuff needs work. My goal is to start working on them – while still working on the new stuff – and cleaning them up. I’ll wind up changing the stories a little though because I can’t edit and not fix problems. And I’ve grown enough in the past few years that I’ll definitely find problems.

I’ve also learned that there’s so much more to learn about writing than I’ll ever be able to cram into my head, so I have to be careful who I listen to and what I read. I followed a few self-proclaimed experts for about six months in 2011. By the end of the year, I was so burned out doing everything they said I was ready to throw in the towel. The sad thing was, most of it was a waste of time.

And so I started giving the matter serious thought. For a while, the only thing I would turn to was Stephen King’s On Writing. I cannot read that man’s fiction because I’ll have nightmares for months, but he knows how to write.

Later, after checking out others, I slowly added to the list of people whose advice I’d find valuable. I took a few workshop, bought more books, and tried to determine what fit in with my vision for my stories.

At the moment, I have thirteen novels and ten novellas and novelettes. I also have no fewer than fifty books waiting to be written, and as I continue to write, more and more ideas pop into my head. There’s definitely no shortage of things for me to write.

So join me in a quick celebration of four years in the indie publishing business – and in hoping for many, many more productive years. Happy Anniversary to me!

Don’t ask me why I chose this video because I don’t know. It was just the first thing to pop into my head when I was thinking about songs. 😀

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