Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Just Do IT

Yeah, yeah, yeah--there's some sort of sports product that says that as well.

Just do it.

Now, the slogan is referring to getting out there and taking on the world in sports--providing you wear their gear ;).  I'm stealing it as a life quite (borrowing...only borrowing ;)).

Most of us live in a state of longing, "Life would be better IF...." fill in the blank: I could lose the weight, I made more money, I had a bigger house, better job, was better at betting on the ponies. A lot of these "IF"s revolve around things we'd like to do--but can't (usually because of time). Write a book. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

Pretty much it's a bunch of hooey. 

In the first grouping, those things aren't going to make you a happier person by themselves. You might have more things, but if your happiness is only based on external items or actions or perceptions of others--you are always going to be chasing the next thing. Gotta come from inside YOU or you'll never have enough to be happy.

The second group, the "I wish I had time to....." are also hooey. Massive Hooeyness.

We all have the same amount of time, and most of us are far more busy than we'd like. Yet, somehow we all think WE'RE far busier than everyone else and that's why we can't just do it--just go for our dreams.

Grand master hooey of epic proportions!

If you want to do something, you find the time. I've said it here many many times, but it needs repeating (as I again had someone say, "I wish I had time to write."). You make time, you find a way, you do whatever needs to be done to get your vision, your words, your WORLDS out there. Doesn't have to be writing, it can be anything that your heart needs. While I have not, nor do I want to--ever-- climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, my sister has. She's also gone to Antarctica and even kayaked there--why? Because she wanted to! 

You MAKE IT HAPPEN. Don't give into fear (Chuck Wendig talks about fear far better- and with more swear words-than I can- http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/02/21/writers-are-best-when-theyre-always-on-the-edge-of-failure/).

This is your life, if it speaks to you, find a way.

Just do it! And along the way, celebrate all the steps of the journey :).


PLUG! Okay, so in just doing it, I have ended up with a great book release party at the most awesome bookstore in the land, Mysterious Galaxy! http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/marie-andreas-signs-san-diego



AND if you can't be there- up through the 24th- you can order a signed and personalized copy and have it mailed to you! 

http://www.mystgalaxy.com/upstream-our-universe-marie-andreas




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#IWSG- Where do we go from here?

Welcome to another monthly installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group. A band of intrepid writers from across the land who gather monthly to share, hopes, dreams, and fears.

Join us! http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html



I've been thinking about the next step for my writing career. Just writing isn't enough, we also need to be marketing, be worried about ROI above all, and monetarily break up our time (so we know how much we're losing by doing certain things instead of others). There's also trying to figure out how to make ads and newsletters. 

It seems like everywhere I turn, there is something else that "must" be done. You HAVE to have a blog OR you shouldn't have a blog-it takes away too much time and therefore not a good ROI. I feel that at any moment someone is going to come up and tell me the secret to being a successful author is to be able to rub my tummy while patting my head and chewing gum.

AKA- there is ALWAYS something else to do to succeed (beyond writing ;)).

I'm all for goals, and yes, I would love to make more money at my writing--but it seems that as of late I've been spending too much energy on all of that. Or at least trying to figure that all out.

I need to find a way to balance, to move my career forward, but not lose what I love to do. If anyone out there has some clues to obtaining that balance, please share!

Happy IWSG Day!




Monday, January 30, 2017

CONTEST!

Hi folks!

For one week, and one week ONLY, you have a chance to win over 45 SF/space opera ebooks! Including Warrior Wench! AND a grand prize of a KINDLE FIRE!

Head on over and enter now, there are some awesome looking reads in this group:   bit.ly/scifi-adventures



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why I Write

I am lucky enough to belong to a number of writing groups and count many very talented writers as my friends. Being around all these writing folks has made to look at why we write. Why I write.

I've realized that just as no two writers write the same, no two writers write for the same reason.

Some of the groups I'm in are all writers-aka non-genre specific. So I see many of the "meaningful writers" on some of these groups, authors who write to make an impact, to change the way people feel about something, or express a deep secret of the human condition. They write heavier works with great depth.

Even though I hold a Master's degree in psychology, I'm not one of those.

Some writers are more business oriented. They love to write, but to be honest, the bottom line is more important. "Don't write the book of your heart, write what will sell." It's numbers and building a business for them.

Even though I deal with numbers all day during my day job, I'm not one of those.

Some writers are story tellers. They just love to find out what is going to happen to these made up people in their made up worlds just as much as any story they read--only in this case, if they don't write it, there won't be a story.

This is the type of writer I am. I am interested in the human condition, obviously, but I use it more as an accent for my stories, "What would someone feel if this happened to them?". Writing is a business for me, but the business aspect is second to the heart of it. I decided to go Indie after years of "Loved it, BUT--" rejections so I COULD get the stories of my heart out--not so I could become rich. Would I love to make enough to support myself without my day job? Of course I would. But it's a difficult road for any writer, and if I were writing stories that didn't speak to me--I'd stop within a few weeks.

I'm posting this for the other writers and creative folks out there. There are different paths for each person. And along the way other folks might try to nudge you to their side, to become like them and share their path.

Think long and hard before you do that--make sure it's where your heart is. There are no wrong paths, just paths that might not be the best for you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reader vs Character

Okay, not in a fight club, battle to the death with Original Star Trek fight music blaring in the background type of way--but still, a fight of sorts.

Writers need to always keep in mind what the reader probably knows from the real world. This can be a problem of focus: don't step by step me on how to start a car unless there is something new or unique about it, or the car is going to blow up, fly, or vanish. Most people know how cars work. When an author focuses on a mundane, everyday thing, I'm waiting for something NON-mundane to happen. When it doesn't, I become peeved. Peeved readers bad.

Another problem with reader knowledge is common and assumed myths. Even though the author has created a world different from ours, they can't shut off what readers know. I just read a book where the main character (who knows vampires) can't figure out why the vamps keep insisting she invite them in. This popped up four times--each time I kept saying in my head, "No, don't go there, author--everyone knows you can't invite a vampire in your home!" I was annoyed that something that is common myth to most readers was going to be a plot point.

And it was.

Now, first off, vampires don't exist--yes, I do know this. But, for folks who read or watch stuff with vampires--having to invite them in is fairly common. So, me as the reader "knew" what an expert in vampires didn't in the book.

Also to be fair, at nowhere in the book had that topic been introduced, and it appears to be limited to a type of vampire. Logically, the author was fine to do what was done. She didn't break her story mythos. But it still bugged the crap out of me as the reader because I knew what was coming.

The author could have found a better way to make the character be in the same pickle, without annoying readers.

Even when you make up your own worlds, you can't shut off reader knowledge.




Monday, January 9, 2017

The Sapphire Manticore is LIVE!!!

Okay, the eBook version is, hopefully there really isn't a manticore made of sapphire roaming around the countryside. That would be bad.

BUT, if you're a fan of The Lost Ancients fantasy series- Book four is ready and waiting! The print version will take longer due to proofs, mailing, and whatnot.




AND if you know someone who hasn't read the first three books yet, there is an ebook set of the first three for only $4.99! Just for a few days only!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

#IWSG-Hanging on to the good

Welcome to another monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! We gather once a month to post our hopes, dreams, and fears- join us!

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html


The beginning of a year is always a great time to look forward, figure out what awesome and amazing things you're going to do in the next 12 months.

For me, a big part of that is examining the good that has already happened. Writing is hard. Just plan hard. I can't imagine my life without it, but that doesn't make it any less brutal.

You are creating worlds from nothing, characters from nothing, EVERYTHING from nothing. You're forging a path that is both very well trod, but also unique to you. Even writers in the same genre, time frame, etc are not going to be on the same exact path as each other.

But there are always chances for celebrations. Last year I had some pretty awesome thing happen in my writing career. But, it could have been easy to discount them as "not enough". And in the past, I might have discounted them. I might have felt that I wasn't hitting the same goals and kudos as other writers.

Lately though, I'm holding on to each one--each good review, each time someone really loved one of my books, goals I've reached. I'm hanging on to all of them. No mater how small, each one is part of my path, part of my journey. Each one will help defend my soul from the sometimes brutal world of publishing.

So, whether you're a writer or not hang on to all the little rewards of your journey--they do count.

Happy IWSG day!