Demands Beyond writing – Promotion and Its Complexity

It’s More than Creative Writing

Did you know writing would be this complicated?

In olden days a writer found an agent and the agent found a publisher. Sure that’s a little simplistic, but it was broad stroke for how it was before self publication. When my wife and I wrote our workbook to help stepchildren adjust to their new family a good friend took it into Doubleday and they published it. They sent us on a national tour including an appearance on the Phil Donahue Show. Those days are gone.

How It Is Now

It seems publishers only talk to agents and agents don’t talk to—I don’t know who. In short there is no easy way forward to get a book published, publicized and marketed. It seems it is mostly up to the author. Of course there are predators out there who engage authors and charge incredible fees for doing things which are of little use. I won’t go into that mess. But we experienced it.

And Then There is the Promotion and Author Help Industry

There are books to help us write books, there are books to help us edit books and on and on. Advice pours forth from multiple sources and it is up to us to sort it and make sense of it. I’ve spent some years now reading sorting and in the end came down to trying it out. Some of the advice turns out to be dated, some spot on. 

The Best Advice

One of the best pieces of advice I read was to be patient. I’ve become quite clear that nothing works right away. It is said that there are 3500 books “published” each day. That comes down to a huge crowd and a lot of noise. It takes time to be noticed. The other things I got clear about was that things have to be tried and then we have to adapt.

Having a Thick Skin

Some things we have to listen to are writing related and some general publicity and advertising issues. But there is also reality. When the first of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy was published, the very first review on Amazon gave it one star. It was not to the reader’s taste, she thought the vocabulary was “too big” and she couldn’t write an effective sentence. Got that. And there it sat on the Amazon page all alone as I worked to attract other reviews. Who is going to buy a book with one star? It took some time, then the five star ratings showed up and the total climbed. Phew! The world is not an even, supportive place.

Being Fair With Each Other

One of the things I concluded immediately is that we need to be fair with each other. When I pick up a book and don’t resonate I have to be honest that the issue may be me and not the book. We don’t all like the same things. I’m not much of a fan of word heavy literature or that’s what I would term it. I want that book in my hand to be stirring and along with it my imagination and that essential thing in my life “possibilities” must call out to me. I’ll rate books but won’t rate books that are not to my taste. It wouldn’t be fair or reasonable.

Endurance

I guess in the end what I would say is that we have to endure and stay with our projects. Let’s face it, we like the creative writing process and some people accept it as a hobby and don’t expect to sell much and may not even try to promote it. It seems best if we weigh our goals and accept the complex noisy world in which we live. We learn to improve our writing skills and we have to learn what to expect and to accept endurance is essential.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Writing – Its a Personal Process

 

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What do you believe about writing fiction?

Differing Essentials

In creative pursuits there are some does and don’ts but one of the traps is to feel that there is only one way. In fact, we all have our own process. Our writing and the process of it is affected because each of our lives and stories are unique. That means it is useful to follow established practices which will serve us well but we must also give ourselves the space to be who we are.

And Then There Is Where We Are Led

I’m a clinical psychologist which means I have spent decades relating to the personal lives of people. Inevitably it has its effect on me. Helping people with the difficulties in their lives and how they manage them means, in part, attending to possibilities. In writing then that means to me the story as it develops may not be laid down in hard type. We have to find out what being inspired means and what the effects are. And so for me, the novel is a search because it is born of the author, not just what is brought in from what we call the real world.

Life, Dreams, and Myth

Our stories are often born of both our experiences in life and our dreams. And then there are the fundamentals of life which for me involves my love of myth. To me myth is riveting and more than merely meaningful.

That being said, I can see a melding process in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I’ve written. The three books of this trilogy reflect decades of experience and development deep in my brain. Often it seemed I was on autopilot as the characters and their stories wove together to bring the story to life. At times it felt overwhelming. I found refuge in music which runs constantly while I’m writing. I prefer women jazz singers, romantic piano and technodance. Yes, technodance. I refer to my brain as still adolescent because I can do my homework and listen to music. When I turn the music off I find my energy flags. In short it is energizing me.

The Real World

And then there is the world as it is currently around us. Over the decades I found the stories in my practice led to a particular high regard for women. And currently we are seeing women rising in the world. These elements were brought together with many others in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

The process fascinates me as I found myself bringing discipline together with inspiration. Some of it related to established principles and some of it reflected an idiosyncratic process. The stories are all around us and within us and bringing them out and together is fascinating and fulfilling.

What leads and inspires you?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page