Mysteries of Good Writing and Popular Blogs

The Zachery Saga has finally come to an end, meaning today’s post is going to be a bit different. I really want to stick to the normal flow of my blog and question society, but those questions just aren’t coming to me. What’s running through my head tonight is that book I am writing, the draft I want to finish by the end of the year and how long it’s been since I’ve had the time to really work on it.

I’ve filled out a substantial amount of pages in my notebook and have six chapters currently written (for the rough draft). For the most part, I know where the story will go and I’m doubting myself every step of the way.

This first book is the hardest. I don’t expect it to be my greatest creation and, as I write it, I come up with new ideas that sound far better to me. I have a special notebook set aside to collect all the ideas that pop into my head, but I don’t want to work on them. I am going to finish this first book even if it’s the worst thing ever written. How many people say they’ll write a book someday and never do? Finishing this book, I will be one step ahead of them. Finishing this book, I will know I can write that much. The next one will then be a million times better (and will hopefully be written a million times faster).

Maybe I’m selling myself short and all the things I think are cheesy or uninteresting will turn out to be loved by my readers. It happens at ChapterTK all the time. I don’t know if this is a trait of my writing style, or the blogging world, but when I write a post that I think is crap, everyone loves it. I almost didn’t publish some of my most read posts because I didn’t think my writing was that great. On the flip side, some of the posts I’ve poured my heart and soul into have been all but ignored. Clearly I am not a good judge of my own writing.

This year has been a great learning experience and I’ve nearly figured out my perfect writing process. My life became scrambled when I got laid off, but now things are stabilizing. It’s time to get back to writing. The fact this book remains unfinished haunts me. While my goal is to finish this draft by the end of the year, I’d really prefer to finish it before November. Then, for NaNoWriMo, I’ll type out the draft on a computer. If I stay on track, maybe I’ll be able to call it finished half way through 2015.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
This photo, β€œjust write it” is copyright (c) 2014 aliennation on Flickr and made available under an Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license

The question on everyone’s mind is what this book is about. I’m playing with a lot of ideas and, since the first draft isn’t complete yet, any summary I give is subject to change. Instead of spending the next half hour figuring out the perfect way to describe the story, I’ll give you this to chew on.

The working title of this first book is The Wrath of the Goddess. This title is based on myth that governs how the main character’s race/nationality is treated. That myth has a lot to do with the flow of events in the book, so I thought it would make a good title for now. I have no less than four other title ideas, so who knows what this thing will be called when I pronounce it done.

Do all writers go through these struggles? How many bloggers out there think they’ve written something terrible only to find the blogiverse loves what they had to say? How many others feel they’ve written the greatest blog known to man, only to find it largely ignored? I know writers go through title struggles. Richelle Mead once shared the list of titles she considered for her first young adult series. She had more than 25 title ideas in that list.

More importantly, how the hell do book writers get that first book out there. Between the full-time job, friends rightfully demanding my attention, grocery shopping and cleaning my apartment (which doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as it should) it feels like there is just no time.

I will make time though. This book is going to get written and then…. I don’t know. Can I post a free or freeish PDF of the book on my blog while actively seeking publication?

Have you ever written a book before? How did you find the time to get it done? Would any of you dear readers be interested in reading something written by TK? Should I use an alias or my real name?Β 

 

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59 thoughts on “Mysteries of Good Writing and Popular Blogs”

  1. Hi TK, writing a book can be overwhelming at times. I feel you on that one. I did it an hour or two at a time in the mornings… 500-750words/day on average. It was a slow process. You just have to keep at it until it’s done. I think most people do struggle with the process (all of it), I know I do and it is a doubt-filled one for sure.
    And, yeah, then there is the stuff you love and people are Meh with and the stuff you think is Meh and people love… I can never predict that one, a great mystery that is…

    1. Yeah, I’m getting that. I’m not sure how many words I’m writing per day since I’m writing by hand for the first draft. I always fill at least one notebook page (back and front) and sometimes near two pages. I estimate that probably equals about one page typed… it’s slow but it’s going.

  2. I found writing is not easy. I have some support in writing a book and it has been started, it is the finishing part. In my head I still write for me it is getting past a critical scene that could and will change everything. been rewritten so many time i cannot remember anymore. It is a process you have to break through I guess.

    One should not doubt your ideas. I wrote so much on my blog and I know I could have always done better but I am happy as it is.
    Be careful even a freebie is a published piece of work

    As for real name or alias, it depends on if you would like to write other genres, even Stephen King has an alias out there. Play with the letters TK who know what name you find that fits you just as well.

    1. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to hand write everything for my first draft. it’s not as easy to delete everything. When I do need to ‘delete’ something, scribbling it out is so satisfying. I just need to get the story out, then I can edit to my hearts content.

  3. I’ve never finished a book, other than a fan fiction one that I couldn’t really do anything with without violating a ton of copyrights! (Oh, what a nerdy admission). I also have sixteen chapters of a YA fiction book completed that I keep meaning to get back to.
    My husband, has written and self published six books. He’s also been publish several times in engineering journals. He can just sit down and crank work out. I’m easily distracted and find it more difficult to get things finished.

    1. You sound a lot like me. I’m jealous of your husband. Fanfiction can be tweaked to do well, just look at 50 Shades of Grey.

      It’s been hard this year. I keep going through busy periods where I get hardly anything written. Before this week, I was away from my book for nearly a month. It’s hard to stick to, but I’m determined to finish it.

  4. I always feel like my writing is lacking. πŸ™‚ my husband is an author and has self-published one book and the second is in editing right now. His website is chadrmitchell.com if you want to check it out. πŸ™‚

    1. I may take a look. I’m always a bit wary of self-publishing. I’d much rather get Published published. That said, I’ve read some great self-published stuff. I just don’t know if self-publishing shuts the door to publishing publishing (sorry, I don’t know what else to call that kind of publishing)

      1. Chad went to see an agent and she told him that self-publishing is much better monetarily (usually) and for book rights and such. Also if you can show that your self-published book sold a certain number than publishers actually look at your book more favorable. Who knows though, the book world can be so confusing! (To me at least!) πŸ™‚

          1. As far as I know (and I am not an expert by any means) it can open doors, as long as the book is well-edited! So many self published books are also self-edited, and that’s just a bad idea.

  5. I just finished my first novel last year and I’m currently turning it into a screen play. The trick is, I found, to sort your priorities. You seem like you have a lot going on, most of us do. When I was writing my novel, it became my number one priority.

    I was working a 9-5 I would finish work and write from 7pm til 2am most nights. My social life started to lag, but I was so taken with my work it didn’t matter.

    It’s a process and will take time. The time will pass regardless. So do it. Do it now don’t wait.

    Use your real name πŸ™‚

    Erik
    http://erikconover.com

    1. Oh man, I don’t think I could do that. For starters, the blog is now equal to my book. I need to write both. And I know my friends won’t take my absence for long without offense. I don’t even hang out with them very often. It’s the basics of life that take up time, grocery shopping, laundry, driving in traffic, etc.

      1. You can do more than you think! Something I have been realizing over the past year or so. I agree though, I find myself composing blog posts rather than working on my larger writing projects, internet to thank for that.

        If only we could find a way to cut out grocery shopping, laundry, subway rides, so much extra time!

  6. Great post – and yeah, I have a book that I have been working on for years. I wrote the first five chapters in a hurry, got stuck, set it aside, then rewrote those chapters a few months later and have been struggling to write more than a couple paragraphs at a time every since.

    More power to people who write books and get them out there! It’s hard!

    1. I know the feeling. I commit myself to writing at least one page every time I sit down. Sometimes, I get that in 20 minutes and sometimes it takes an hour. But, I figure if I regularly sit and concentrate on it, it will get finished someday.

  7. I identify with your struggles, TK. I would definitely read your book. If it were me (and really it is) I would definitely publish under my own name (I plan to do so,) unafraid of any stigma attached to the negative reception of my work. Fearlessly accepting the possibility of failure creates an internal environment that’s conducive to progress and improvement; not to mention that it sends out a positive message to others.

  8. Writing a novel is difficult. For me at least. I have written the first part of a novel, but it has stalled at this point. Good luck on writing yours! It has an interesting title and, from what you revealed, premise.

  9. “…when I write a post that I think is crap, everyone loves it. I almost didn’t publish some of my most read posts because I didn’t think my writing was that great. On the flip side, some of the posts I’ve poured my heart and soul into have been all but ignored. Clearly I am not a good judge of my own writing.” Haha, we’ve talked about this before. So funny how that works. Maybe that also means this first book is better than you think! Also, this was not boring. (Told you I would comment!) πŸ˜€

    1. That’s sort of what I’m betting on. Maybe the more I assume the book sucks, the more likely it is to be a hit. The day I write something and think ‘this is the best thing ever written with a human hand’ will be the day crappy literally spews from my fingers.

  10. I would totally read a book that you wrote but only if I can give constructive feedback as I’ve been told I’m excellent at it ;p I’m going to write a book about J and I when I get a bit older. It will be about our relationship, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to mix it with some fiction or not.

    I used to write TONS of Inu Yasha fanfics when I was 13-15yrs old and my readers loved every fluffy story. I stopped b/c I met J. When I realized I liked him in an earth shattering kind of way, my supreme love for Inu Yasha and all the inspiration it brought me to pour words from the overflowing well of thoughts that is my mind seemed to just blink out of reality.

    Kinda tragically poetic how one love can vastly overtake another that was at one point your whole sense of being :/

    1. I had a friend who also write great InuYasha fanfiction. She had this great story she combined with X-men. It’s too bad your inspiration left you, but I suppose you should write what you love, or about who you love in your case ^_^

  11. Like you, I’ve written most of my life. I had a newspaper column, wrote for magazines, and freelanced. Also like you, I always meant to write more. But with four kids and a full time job there just never seemed to be the time. So I wrote in the middle of the night while they were asleep. Sometimes I’d get a whole hour in. Usually, I didn’t. I never wrote a book until one day I quit my job, and that night I woke up just after midnight to write down the scene in my head. After that, I wrote every night until it felt done. An editor suggested that I send it to a new publisher, she wrote to me the next day, and bought the book. So it was really easy. It only took me four months to write that first book. Four months plus 55 years, that is…

    1. hahahahaha. That’s why I don’t fret about age too much. I mean, at 24 how many authors out there had a published book? I’ve got time, but I’m not about to waste it. It’s be cool if writing was my job. Maybe I’ll get there someday. Until then, I do a lot of writing for my job, so the inspiration keeps flowing.

  12. I swear you could have pulled many of these thoughts out of my own head! I tell my husband I’m my own worst critic because the posts I think are amazing are ignored. As for writing, the hardest part is to keep going, in my opinion. I went through periods every few weeks where I wondered what in the heck I was doing. There were days I had to force myself to write something, anything even if it was only a paragraph. When it was finished, the impossible became possible and after that, Doubt had lost it’s power. Once you get through the first full draft, it becomes so much easier.

    1. That’s what I’m counting on. Just finish this draft. Just get to the point where I can say I finished the first draft of a book. This is the hardest part. The rest will be hard, but easy in comparison.

  13. oooooohhhh. That title kind of explains why you read that mythology book. Was it research for your book?

    1. Nope, it just randomly came up in Goodreads one day…. I admit, I was kind of hoping for some inspiration. Too bad it was so dull.

  14. I wrote three novels before I finally had something I really wanted to release. Now I am left with something I am really proud of and can’t wait to get out there. I don’t think you even need to ask if your loving followers would want to read it. No brainer.

  15. Yep I constantly think my own writing is pretty awful, especially in the last month of the draft I just finished. However, finishing it was a fantastic feeling. I had to just accept the fact that parts of it (in fact maybe most of it) would be crap and I could clean it up in editing. Best advice : MOMENTUM MATTERS. Push through the crap days and keep writing even when you feel like you don’t want to.

    1. Exactly. I am 99% sure most of this is crap, but it won’t matter. The story is solid and I’ll edit it into a beautiful thing. I need to be careful with momentum. I’ve worn myself out trying to do too much too fast. Writing three days a week is manageable for me right now, so that’s what I’ll do. As life works itself out. Maybe I’ll manage to write more often. There’s still a lot going on right now. Writing at least three times a week at least moves me forward.

  16. I never think much of my own writing but I write anyway because I love doing it. I’m still new to blogging so I’ve never had an audience before, certainly not of strangers, so I must start to analyse which blog posts apparently work and which don’t. Ultimately I am writing for my own pleasure (and perhaps sanity) though which is not remotely the same as undertaking writing a novel or any other book.

    1. I only started checking which post get the most views a few months ago. That’s where the post on the left side come from. They’re the top six posts from the past month, with the most popular at the top. That’s been my sign. Few of the posts I think are the best end up there. That’s okay, though. It reminds me to always publish, even if I don’t think the post is that great. Blogging is one big experiment.

  17. I hear everything you are saying. I commend you, because you are on chapter six, I am still stuck on chapter one. I had to stop to do some research before I started writing again. I hope you reach your goal by November! And honestly, just the satisfaction of you know that you completed a novel is a prize within itself, imagine when people ask “what do you do?” And you can be all like “oh I’m a writer, yea I actually just finished a novel.” How cool would that be? But of course, ever cooler to get published, I hear ya. I think the way I feel about writing is that if I died and never finished a book, it would be the greatest disappointment of my entire life- because it is the greatest desire of my life. I am trying to discipline myself to write when I don’t feel like it. Have you heard of the book “the nighttime novelist?” I just recently browsed it at Barnes & Nobles and then ordered or for $1 + shipping on alibris.com. I found it really great at giving tips and exercises to work through your novel. And hence the title, it’s for people who are busy, so it’s not a lengthy boring read. If you haven’t looked at it, I would check it out!

    1. “I think the way I feel about writing is that if I died and never finished a book, it would be the greatest disappointment of my entire life- because it is the greatest desire of my life”

      Exactly how I feel. I’ll have to check that book out and see what it says. I admit, I did a lot of research when I first started. I wanted my character’s names to mean something, so I found a baby name site and searched for the definitions I wanted. After doing that for a bit, I realized I was spending a lot of time playing on the internet and not a lot of writing. I’ve decided not to do any research from now on, or at least very minimal research. I’ll do it after I finish the draft.

      I always keep the words of my favorite author in mind. She said she always wanted to write books, but never really had the discipline for it until her late 20s. I’m hoping that’s how I am. I just have to discipline myself.

  18. I have written three books, and they are just sitting on my computer. I know how to write but I do not know how or where to go from there. So please pay attention to that factor. I wish you success.
    And on the subject of doubt regarding the readers liking it. Just leave it to the readers. Genuine writers write in their own way. Readers take it wherever they take it. Writing to please the readers is commercialism or manipulation. So just write, and be pleased with it; leave the job of the readers to the readers.

    1. That’s what I usually do. I’m always passionate with my writing. I only wonder what readers will think when I’m nearly done. Blogging has helped me get a lot better at ignoring that voice that says something isn’t worth publishing. My blog is my experiment. It lets me take my creativity where ever I want it to go. It’s the only place like that.

  19. TK, The number and content of your comments says you have something good going for you. I’m at a similar point in my writing, struggling but determined to muck through and just WRITE IT!

  20. Hi there, new friend here. Just stopped in to say hi and wish you the best! I know I have a hard enough time putting up 2-3 posts on my blog per week so writing a book will be tough I’m sure. Keep believing in you, there is a lot of interaction on your site meaning that people seem to like what you feel is ok to put out there. SO keep putting it out there πŸ™‚

    1. Oh man, it’s hard to write a blog post every day, and here I am trying to do that AND write a book. Sometimes I think I may truly be a masochist. Who does this to themselves?

      Yet, even though I struggle, I love it. ^_^

      1. WOW!! I’ve kind of burned out after 6 months of writing only THREE times per week!! lol, I’ve stepped back to 2-3 depending how I feel, but yikes, I can’t believe that!! I want to start an ebook soon but I will grab a lot of information from the 70 blog posts I’ve already written. It’s just tough getting home from work and grabbing some inspiration to write. But I’ll keep on it, nobody said it was easy! You’re an inspiration TK, hope to stay in touch, do you have Twitter? Take care! πŸ™‚

        1. Woops lazy comment, didn’t even search for a Twitter πŸ˜› Found it! Have followed, I’m @zacharykreid let’s keep in contact (I’m a good cheerleader and positive vibes specialist) GO TK!! πŸ™‚

  21. The writer’s doubt has never left me; however, through perseverance I’ve come to thrive on writing so much so that the doubt doesn’t stop me anymore. It’s lost much of its power. πŸ™‚

  22. Looking forward to your book. πŸ™‚

    I can tell what’s well written and what’s not, but I have absolutely no idea what’s going to be well-received and what will be ignored. Blogging has actually been helpful for that because I can get real-time reactions instead of just slaving away at my manuscript in solitude. I’ve noticed that the longer I sit on a blog post the more likely I am to decide to scrap it, and I regret that because some of those things would probably have gotten a lot of traffic and engagement while maybe I’m posting safer stuff that not as many people care about. Food for thought.

    1. I think, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that what is well written and what is well received is not always the same thing. But, I have got a feel for the blogs that I like and the writing my readers like. I can usually find a good synergy… usually. And other times I just pull stuff out of my ass and say ‘to hell with it!’ Those post are the ultimate experiment.

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