Writers Doubt

Writers Doubt  I am writing this post for the Writers Crushing Doubt Contest.

I have been told that every writer suffers from moments of doubt, and sometimes it is enough to keep us from writing. I have only begun to take my own writing seriously in the last few years. I spent years on the fringe thinking that I didn’t have enough education or experience to ever be taken seriously. I kept writing and as long as it was for a writing group or website I was confident enough. I could tell other writers what I liked about their writing or if they needed a little tweak and I got my ego stroked when they gave me positive feedback. It kept me going. I thought it was enough.

Now I have written a middle age, inspirational book that I have decided needs to be published. I believe I have something to share. Little did I know that first; qualifying it as middle grade; second qualifying it as inspirational would make it a difficult book to publish. Also, in this world of self publishing this book almost has to be published by someone like scholastic to get to the audience that it is intended for. I thought… you wrote it, you found a publisher, and Waahla… you were golden. Not so!

The anxiety in exploring, and educating oneself is daunting. I have read more YA and middle grade fiction than you can shake a stick at and I have felt more unqualified with almost each book. I definitely have a better understanding of teenage issues: bullying, social anxiety, and pubescent sexuality than I had as a teen. Heck, I think I know more about sexuality after reading these books that I know as a mother of three.

I have lain awake at night wondering, “What are you doing? You are a almost retirement age hairdresser with aspirations of being a published writer. What on earth made you think anyone would want to read what you have written?”

Self doubt is where I live right now. I just keep reading stories of writers who led lives that had little to do with mainline literature. I read true stories about peoples lives that wanted to contribute by telling their stories and I found flaws in some of the literature that I read and thought, “I can do better than this.”

I went back to the writing site where I have explored writing poetry and short stories and read the reviews and critiques and found my voice again. I googled  many on-line help sites and I found this whole process exhilarating  There are so many authors willing to help me make my book into something that I will be able to share. I have learned that I have to educate myself and invest in myself as an author. I have to earn that title by publishing and I want to call myself a writer.

My turning point was while I was exploring how to write a query letter and I had to fill out a detailed questionnaire.

What makes my story different than other stories dealing with the same topics? Is my protagonist believable. How is my book like successful books in it’s genre?

After reading and really trying to answer those questions I started believing in my book again and decided that I would do whatever it took to make it a book that young readers would enjoy. It may take time to develop my characters more or add a little more word count. I am already starting to write ideas for the next two books.

My handle on twitter is writerwannabe. I want to Be. I can write. I have lived life and I have a story to tell. I want to tell it in a way that young people can feel empowered to believe in God without hiding their faith and become real hero’s in a world of fantasy hero’s.

This is my new adventure. I think as one path ends we must find another to continue to be productive and positive in our lives. I believe this is the path on which God has led me. I will still have moments of doubt but I will Be a Writer. I know someone out there can enjoy my stories and poems and I will publish them.



The Process

Still struggling with some doubts but wrote my first draft of a query yesterday. Life is getting in the way and it is hard to focus on writing but I want to keep forward motion.  My editor will have time to finish the first edit by the end of next week and then I will schedule my coaching session with Mr. Malatesta.

It is difficult to put into words what I felt after reading after reading Terra Elan McVoy’s Pure and Nancy Rue’s Lily series. They are both masterful writers and are not afraid to write about faith. The difference is that I am trying to start with a younger audience and work up to the teen audience and I add a bit of fantasy with the protagonist being able to see angels. I hope by the time I am writing a YA book that I can be as straightforward as these authors.

Almost everything I write is inspirational and it is a little harder to sell. Your audience is smaller. I want to write to appeal to everyone’s spiritual side without compromising what I feel is the truth. A hard sell! So…I will leave it in Gods hands and pray that my writing is for his glory and let it go.





Peddling Air

That is how it feels today. You know when you have a bicycle that has several speeds and you shift and go round and round but get nowhere? Yep, that’s it.

I am waiting for a friend to edit and then I will have a one hour coaching call. I am still thinking that I might need to add about 10,000 words but I will cross that bridge after he checks out the first 50 pages. I recently read part of a book, (now I have to get it to finish it,) by Wendy Wunder, called The probability of Miracles and was blown away by it. The main character has so much depth and she is so real. It probably appeals to a little older audience but still makes me second guess myself.

I will follow the advise of my main character and pray about it…..and pray…and pray.



Do I need more words?

Sooo… today I am looking at books in the young YA Genre and trying to figure out if I need more words.  Maybe my book is too small, does it have way too much dialogue, is it marketable, am I kidding myself?

A day of doubts study, reading other authors, looking up word count for books in a series. I spent an hour or so just deciding that it is YA not MG.

I think I may have the word count for a middle grade book with Young Adult content.  I have read until my eyes are blurry and I have decided that I should try to get it to 30,000 words.  It is 24,426 words and 129,531 characters. I have tried to figure out how many pages that would be in a book. It is 106 in manuscript body only. I have read that kids read up so I am marketing to 12,13,and 14 year old kids. The characters are 14 going on 15.

My other concern is there is a lot of dialogue. Whew, glad I actually put this in words. It helps to define what I need to work on. I will pause and think about where I need to go from here.

I have written my synopsis and I am working on a query letter. Mark Malatesta says you should work at least a month refining your query. There is so much information and I have to pick and choose what is right for me. It is a process and an adventure!


Social Networking

I am getting up to speed on twitter and trying to decide if I need a separate writing page on Facebook. I know it is important to be connected and I am enjoying searching out fellow writers. I have a glitch in my open office program that I hope to resolve by Monday. My book is a story about three friends embarking on teenage life. Sela is an incredibly intuitive young woman who is unshakable in her faith, to the point of being overbearing. Emily is her best friend and faith partner. She is a bit of spitfire and sometimes has a little trouble controlling her opinions. Zach is their guy friend that often is caught in the middle. They are thrown into chaos when Emily loses her Mother. Emily decides that God is not real or important and her friends turn to God and Angels for help.



Still getting organized

I am still getting my social networking set up and finding how little I know.  I would like to share that it is impressive that so many authors are willing to help those struggling to get started. There is a world of information to choose from. I have learned a lot by reading articles from “thebestsellingauthor,” Authors Publish magazine, and Spirit Authors to name a few. It is such a time-consuming process. I am working on getting my manuscript ready to send to Mark Maletesta at “thebestsellingauthor” for a 1 hour coaching session and keep having trouble with my writing tool on my desktop. I have not decided for sure whether to self-publish or traditional but I am exploring all my options. I am going to approach the Christian Schools in my area next week to see if they would like to be beta readers. It is getting exciting!


Sharing the Journey

This blog is a journal of my adventure in publishing my first book. I hope to share my successes and failures along the way. I have found that writing the book is much easier than finding the path to publish. Publishing is a slippery slope and there are many pitfalls. There are Vanity presses which pose as self-publishing, Self publishing and of course Traditional publishing. You have to become an entrepreneur along with being an author. You have to be willing to invest in your craft. This is my intial post and will attempt to keep them coming!