Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: writer

Letter from A Neglected Writer


The letter I’m sharing today is constructed from a composite of people I’ve known.

To Whom It May Concern

I’m very grateful to Mr. Zoltai for letting me share my situation in his blog.

I’m hoping some of his readers will share their knowledge and experience in the comments.

I’ll begin with a statement that takes a degree of courage to reveal—I want to be a writer.

I can, obviously, write words and sentences—perhaps even a decent paragraph or two.

But, I want to be a writer of stories and books.

A couple of my friends say I tell good stories.

They look like I’m affecting them when I share tales from my grandfather or things my mother’s done—things I feel many people would appreciate or even learn from.

I don’t want to write just biographical pieces, though.

I would hope I could use my imagination and stretch the adventures my grandfather incited, imaginatively expand on my mothers unusual experiences—create other characters, based somewhat on other members of my family and some created from whole cloth…

I feel I have a few plot situations that would bring these characters to life on the page.

I’ve begun some experiments lately where I imagine some challenge, like dealing with a power outage, and try writing out what some of these potential characters might do (I usually have to invent a few more characters to finish the scene).

So, I guess I can write and I know enough to know that I’d need to find an editor to make sure things are done in a way most people could relate to them.

My problem comes when I think about publishing and promoting books.

Yes, I need to take the time to write and rewrite enough till the story is alive then let the editor, hopefully, help make it better (yes, I do have the fear an editor would savagely attack my writing…).

But, even if I took the years it seems necessary to perhaps have a traditional publisher create my books, I know enough to feel the dread of somehow promoting the books, since even folks like Harper Collins or Penguin make authors do social media and such…

So, what am I hoping the readers of this blog can do for me?

First, share their experiences, not only with publishing and promotion, but also with how they get raw plot ideas to work with characters and how they get characters to create their own plots…

I admit I’m basically introverted—it took me three days to finish this letter—but I’ve heard many (most?) writers are very internal creatures.

I just begin to quiver inside when I imagine working with an editor.

And, I almost want to cry when I imagine the strain from working hard at socializing on the internet.

I have 1500 pages of material that might be able to be sculpted into a story, if a rough sculpture can then have additional stone applied to smooth out its arcs and curves…

You might ask why I don’t just use the Internet to learn what I should do.

I’ve tried but become confused and disheartened by the conflicting hype.

Perhaps you, the reader of this blog, could share your experience with me?

Perhaps you could address some of my fears?

Perhaps you could throw some light on the process of the writer after they feel brave enough to contact an editor?

More—perhaps you could guide me to those on the Internet who aren’t slaves to the Internet?

~~~ N.W.

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A Blogger’s Best Friend & Why Fiction Writers Should Pay Attention To Poetry. . .


Not long ago I wrote the post Honoring My Best Friend

In that post I wrote:

“It’s been said a writer needs the companionship of other writers

and

“It’s been noticed that a writer feels better about the demands and tasks of their profession when they have a confidant

I am truly blest since my Best Friend is my confidant and is a writer.

What’s good for the writer is gold for the blogger; and, if they’re the same person, it becomes platinum :-)

Last year I wrote the post Can Writing Poetry Help An Author Find Their “Voice”?

In that post I quoted Dorothea Lasky:

“Logic and grammar are important. But for students to truly own the English language, they need to read and write poems.”

“A poem is not just a place to present a student’s grammatical knowledge (in fact, it is often the space to subvert it!). Poetry, more than any other form of writing, trains students to take into account the style of language.”

So, this morning, my Best Friend sent me a video poem from Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

I’ll share it here since I think it Speaks to bloggers, writers, and the rest of Humanity :-)

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So, How Do Writers Find Readers?


The typical traditional way of finding readers has writers finding agents who find publishers who find book outlets who attract readers

Self-published writers are playing in a different league.

Back in 2011, I published a post called, How Can Authors Find Readers?

In that post, I said:

“Some of the wildest relationships in the world are between authors and readers.

“Lately, writers have had a new horde of ‘experts’ yelling at them about how to hook-up with readers.

“Personally, I don’t think any two books (except the pulps in various genres) have the same history of attracting readers.

“It seems that, just as Mary wants Jim but Jim needs a wake up call and Mary doesn’t want to seem forward and Jim, well you get the idea; seems that authors need Relationship advice, not Marketing advice.

“Readers have relationships with authors, always have, and today’s publishing scene is begging authors to build relationships with their readers, like never before.”

I say more and direct folks to some valuable resources

But, today, I’ll introduce you to Omar Luqmaan-Harris and his site AuthorDiscovery.com because he seems to have found many methods for finding readers, a.k.a. being discovered :-)

There’s a particular article on his site called 12 Author Profile Sites to Boost Your Discoverability.

I recommend you go read what he says about each of these sites but I also recommend you check them out and use two or three for a few months to see if they’re a fit for you and, if not, try a few more for awhile till you find what works with your life style—trying to keep up with all 12 could drive a writer crazy :-)

So, for those in a hurry, here are the twelve sites that might boost your discoverability (I utilize the first four):

Goodreads

Amazon Author Central

Smashwords

LibraryThing

Shelfari

AuthorsDen

Red Room

Dailylit

Book Country

weRead

Published.com

AuthorLink

Are there any Discoverability Sites you can recommend in the Comments?

Any experience with finding readers you’d like to share?
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A Very Unique Take On Writer’s Block


I have an online friend from Lithuania.

Tomas Karkalas. Tomas

He’s an excellent photographic artist.

English is not his first language and some may find his writing hard to understand but I find it particularly Poetic—his use of English is not “wrong”—it’s Unique

I encourage your visiting his blogs:

Modus Vivendi

Art of Butterfly in Plaster

Art by Tomasportrait of my street by Tomas Karkalas from Klaipeda, Lithuania

But I want to reproduce, with his permission, the article, How to overcome the writer’s block:

“How to overcome the writer’s block puzzles many. So I dared to share my experience with you. When the world’s events look unpredictable and force us to dive into the guessing for the future I did not give in but look for my dictionary. I start writing in a foreign language.

“The difference between the phrases ‘I did not’ and ‘I do not’, for example, becomes just the healing experience then. Becomes something I am able to discover and claim for sure. The lack of self-confidence vanish from sight, the credibility gab disappears from view. My Lithuanian-English dictionary thus puts me into the gratitude. I know nothing more fruitful than the hearty Thank you.”

I would love to hear some of your interpretations of his unique view :-)

Don’t be shy—you can’t be “wrong”—do, please, share in the Commentsespecially if Tomas’ words give you a unique insight into breaking out of the cramp of writer’s block.
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Honoring My Best Friend


It’s been said a writer needs the companionship of other writers

I’m able to fulfil that dictum through my experience of Second Life—hanging out with writers from many countries

However, I am blessed through one of those writers being from Australia and becoming my Best Friend

It’s been noticed that a writer feels better about the demands and tasks of their profession when they have a confidant

My Best friend is my Confidant

Some of you know I recently had a major operation, left carotid endarterectomy (the little video is not what they did to me, that’s further down the page) , basically, a surgeon slitting my throat open, then my carotid, then cleaning out the gunk that was stopping blood flow to my brain

Naturally, I must take a number of medicines—one was messing with my kidneys—doctor told me to stop taking it

So the body takes measures for working with foreign drugs and, when they are removed, the body takes different measures—two days of roller coaster emotions ensue

My Dear Best Friend got hit with the result

At least, at the age of 67, I had some conscious control over the expression of my emotions—knew it wasn’t my soul expressing itself but the poor pitiful ego trashing around

So, while I was bitchin’ and moanin’, I was also engaged in a running commentary on the rotten state I was riding through

Still

Even though I had a “reason” for being so ill-tempered, I didn’t feel like my Best Friend deserved such treatment and said so

She said it was alright!

I went on a mini-rant about it never being right for her to have to put up with such behavior—even my “righteousness” was tainted by my emotional imbalance :-)

I calmed down

She sent me two videos

One I will keep to myself

One I will share—noting that a writer doesn’t have to be in emotional hell to benefit from it

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