…and that got me thinking. I have self-published five books in the last five years. Two books of poetry, two science fiction short stories and one 50k plus word science fiction novel. The sci-fi novel I started, more or less, some 30 odd years ago. One failure; not getting my books professionally proof-read or edited.
In the distance past, I was a voracious reader and an insatiable writer. I studied Journalism and Photography and worked for a couple of newsletters, magazines and newspapers. That is where I honed my craft. I always wanted to write the stories that bubbled within every dream I had as a youngster, though.
In my later years, I read more text books and books on how to write, stuff, and what I mean by stuff, books on how to write novels, articles, poetry, jokes, etc., etc. Lost in my life were reading novels, I just couldn’t get back into reading a good book. Maybe, that is where I think my writing, my sci-fi stories failed, or I should say I failed with my writing.
In the last couple of months, I joined a couple of writer’s groups and a couple of groups on poetry to find what I was doing so wrong with my writing. One of the reasons, I think, that I failed, I didn’t read enough, plus… I just being lazy?! Retirement kind of did that to me, maybe, it’s a possibility.
I took a couple of my poems to the poetry group and I read them out loud. I read, to the group, what I thought were my best poems. The group liked the poems, but…they mentioned that I had added words, whereas, I could have shown what those word meant or I could have conveyed my feelings throughout. That got me to thinking…
I sold 17 total books, since March of 2014 and 11 were returned. Why, I asked myself. Going over my stories I noticed that I had more tell and less show, more thought, and not enough feelings. The stories are on point but not as colorful as they could have been, I wanted them to be. That, in itself, would seem to be the problem, I’m guessing. Of course there could be more problems that I haven’t seen or found, as of yet.
What hurt, a tiny bit, my friends and family who read those stories, loved them. Of course, that isn’t really doing me any good. A solid review probably would have helped a lot, which is the least I could have asked for.
Yes, I know I am kind of rusty. Writing was a passion, many years ago and I still have that fire burning, now. What I do have to is figure out how to get back that passion, that mission back. I would love to say I don’t know what I am going to do, but that’s not my way. I must figure out something and implement it as soon as possible.
So, what’s my take? I have five rewrites to finish. I see what I didn’t do and what I must do now. I know writing is a long process. I just wish I had seen those lights years ago, or at least gotten better reviews. Another thing that has helped; my goal was, is, to read at least 50 books, novels, this year and I have gotten off to a good start, five so far and now I have seen what my stories lacked.
I have also read a book on how to make my prose more colorful (my word), recently. I guess I’d better re-read it, because I know I am missing something, everything. I have downloaded quite a few books, on the subject of writing in the last few months. Sometimes I feel that reading that much takes away from my writing. I have to get this done.
This shouldn’t be hard; it wasn’t, once upon a time, a long time ago. However, times have changed. I guess I’d better get off my butt, from in front of the TV, get back on my butt, sit front of this computer and start writing and reading.