Baby Steps

We all have those moments, where we want something so bad we can almost taste it, feel it, or smell it. Whatever desire you may want now, it is always a long road to retrieving it. The question I always ask myself when I want something is, what am I doing to get closer to that goal or that item I want? Am I working twice as hard to get it, or am I simply looking for short cuts that will eventually get me to my ultimate goal?

I browsed through a few books the past year about authors trying to inspire and teach people how to write. A lot of the advice was great advice. The only problem is, these writers took the plunge and decided to write full time. Now, that is an awesome story, but we all can’t be those writers that get handed a fancy check and a deal that’ll send us to the promise land. No, no, no, these writers did not just one day say, “Yup, I’m going to be a writer and I’m going to be a bestseller by the end of the year.”

There’s a difference between hard work and short cuts. For instance, I was hiking up Stone Mountain with Nadine a few months ago and we decided that it wasn’t going to be that long of a hike up the mountain. We brought two bottles of water, but they were only half full. (Big Mistake!) We climbed halfway up the side of the mountain, and we were exhausted. Now, I haven’t climbed up Stone Mountain for a long time, but we reached almost the peak of the mountain when we had almost no energy left to push forward. At that moment, I couldn’t remember if there was water at the top of the mountain because if there wasn’t, we were going to have to take the lift back down the mountain. We actually thought about cutting our hike short and walking back down the mountain from where we were because we were so tired. We ended up sitting down and talking about it. We decided to take the chance and continue forward up the mountain and to our surprise, there was a small concession stand at the top.

Now, if we had decided to give up when the mountain was getting steep, rocky, and tough, we would’ve missed out on the reward at the top. Our walk back to the car would have been torture without quenching our thirsts and feeding our bellies. Now, the reward for our trek up the mountain may not have meant much for some people, but to us, it was like gold pouring from the bottles.

When I think about this experience in my life, I think of what it’s like as a writer. We sit down at our place of meditation. Our fingers cramp up and press through the words. Our mind eventually becomes exhausted at a certain point because writing is a tough task for a lot of people. Especially when there are distractions that invade your writing time like Facebook, twitter, a spouse, television, events, friends, and family. We all have different responsibilities that interfere with our writing, but do we let it bring us down or aggravate us? No, most of the time it doesn’t. That is why, baby steps are the key to creating a piece of work that holds value to its readers.

I heard a story once about a woman who wrote twenty-one books within a year. She had them all published and now, she is just reaping the benefits. Now, I have many questions about this story because I want to know how many pages the books are, how well written are they, and how is the character development? Did she take a few short cuts in her writing to the point where her points were lost?

Also, I talked to an author once who said they wrote for eight hours a day and wrote at least 10,000 words a day or more. In my opinion, this is an awesome feat. Someone writing 10,000 words a day is a tough task, but it was a lot of dedication on her part. She ended up quitting her job and wrote full time. This caused her to sit down and have to write everyday to be able to provide an income for her family. Now, she’s doing very well with her career and continues to write professionally. She didn’t take any short cuts cause she spends a lot of time on outlines to be able to create these worlds in her head. Her outline, just like with any other author, is the life of her story.

These are just two stories I’ve heard over the last year and they are wonderful stories. Now, my type of writing is in baby steps now. I use to attempt to write at least 6,000-10,000 words a day back in February, but I was burnt out when the next month rolled in. I actually took a week break and didn’t get much done after I hit a spot in the story where I was lost. I did everything the author suggestion: create an outline, keep notes of all of your characters’ descriptions, draw maps for your world, and keep writing. The last part I kind of ignored with the keep writing part because I didn’t know which way I was going with my story after I had stopped writing for a week. That’s why writing is a lifestyle.

I currently have brought my word counts down to 500-1,000 words a day. I promote my work occasionally on social media, but I’m finding myself writing more through my blog. I actually enjoy doing this and writing books. Maybe one day I can finally reap the award of becoming a New York Times Bestseller, but even if I don’t reach that goal, I can at least say I made a few people happy with my writing. That really is the ultimate goal to spread the secret to happiness and inspiration.

Happy Blogging!

Rant About Writer and Editor

This goes both ways, finding a good writer and editor are like trying to nail Jello to a tree. You’re going to have writers that believe their work is the next J.R.R Tolkien or J.K Rowling. Then, you’re going to have editors that believe they can turn your work to gold of you take their advice. Okay, here’s my experience with editors, they know they have more experience and knowledge of writing. My experience with writers as an editor, they know they are more creative. Now that we’ve laid that out what to expect when working together.

I know for sure that if I need an editor I don’t expect the sugar coated, over exaggerated, and pleasing critique of “oh this is fantastic. You are professional and your words speak to me ” If I hire you as an editor, you better turn that paper into a mess of red, blue, green, or yellow scribbles. That’s what I expect. I hear enough praise from my motherĀ  and father just because I actually wrote a book.

On the editors side, if you hire me to help you, listen to my critique. Lower cases at the beginning of the sentence, jumping from past to present tense, and losing me before chapter one even begins, is unacceptable. I will tell you what to fix and turn your manuscript into a maze of rainbows. I do this to help you and teach you. If you decide to whine and not take my suggestions into consideration, don’t be surprised and blame me for your low sales.

Now that I’ve made that clear, writers and editors work together to create a story. We both try to bring life to the story so or readers don’t struggle and work to hard to understand what the story is about. Please hire trust editors. Don’t tell your mom to look at it and fix the simple errors and then publish. Have a professional look at it because family and friends sugar coat everything.

Editors remember to not get frustrated by a writers lack of knowledge when it comes to grammar. That’s why they need you. Both have to be on the same page for the success of a novel.