All you can do is try…

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As you all know, if you have read my earlier posts, I am not the most confident person in the world. This has its upside, of course, it means that no matter how much I receive criticism it will never be as much as I give to myself! The downside is I often build my own ‘obstacles’ so that I don’t try because I am afraid to fail.

So on my journey through social media, I joined several ‘writing’ groups on Facebook. Some of these are really fantastic and I couldn’t have achieved what I have so far without them. Yet some of them give me a cold shudder.

There are often hundreds and hundreds of posts from people who say that they want to write but cannot find the opening line, or they ask for critique on a piece that they have written, or they ask for ideas for storylines – which all in all is fine if the advice that comes back is constructive, but alas, some is not. The typical response is;

“You shouldn’t be a writer.”

Whilst I am an advocate for ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion’, I often wonder how I would feel if I received this advice. I have always wanted to write, and as I have said before, I am by no means a ‘seasoned writer’ nor do I ever expect to wake up one morning and feel as such. I have a HUGE amount to learn and every time I write something I learn something new. It’s the doing that creates the learning.

I feel nervous every time I check my Amazon Report and see a number of downloads – I wonder what someone will think, I hope that they like it, and I panic. I could avoid all that of course if I just didn’t do it in the first place!

But if I didn’t do it, how could I learn? How brilliant would it be if we could ‘hatch’ from an egg and know everything and be at the level we all want to attain? Firstly there would be no programmes that featured people ‘Before They Were Famous’ if we could!

I worry that some people might give up on their ‘dream’ because they are told to do so by a stranger who lives millions of miles away, who may, or may not, have the experience to be able to make such a statement. I picture a forlorn figure packing away text books, pens and laptop because they have been told they ‘shouldn’t be a writer’.

I know that some people will hate what I write (shudder and sniff), I know that some people will spot mistakes that I have missed, I know that you can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can please some people some of the time. Most importantly I know that I enjoy writing. I enjoy creating characters and worlds from my head and then seeing them come to life on paper. It gives me such a thrill and I love it.

If you are passionate about something – go and do it. Always have your mind open to new ways and always be open to learning new things. Then even if you only achieve half of what you set out to do, at least you can say that you tried.

So when you feel like giving up it’s always best to have a quiet word with yourself and ‘try’ – that’s all you can do. After all, I have never met anyone who said;

“I am glad I never failed, purely because I never tried.”

 

 

 

Time flies – whilst I crawl!

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It’s Monday again! Can you believe how quickly the weeks roll by? Not even the weeks, the months even. Tomorrow it will be the first of August and then we only have five months left of the year (including August)! Where does the time go? Why is it that when you want more time you have less and then when you want less time you have more?

Looking back on this year I can’t believe we are eight months in. Waking up on the morning of the 01st January I had a list of items that I wanted to achieve in the year 2017. I had good intentions and I had a full twelve month year spanning in front of me…

Even at the half way point in the year, I knew that I hadn’t hit the half way point of my list, but I didn’t panic – I still had time. Now I am starting to panic – so much to cram in, so little time, only one of me…hyperventilate, breathe, hyperventilate.

And deep breath.

So I haven’t managed to tick off all my well-intended goals, but I have managed to hit goals I hadn’t planned for. So I have a choice.

I could try my best to cram it all in and hope for the best OR I could keep going and tick off what I can and not focus on whats left to do but focus on what I have done. So that is my ‘ponderation’ for this afternoon.

Perhaps if I only sleep for two hours a night…once a week…

 

 

 

Never give up on your dreams…

vamps cover

It’s the end of the week – I am still waiting for my invite to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party but have been told I have to wait until the Caterpillar arrives…

Anyway, I had promised that I would share some exciting news with you, so as promised…

The picture at the top of this blog was a book I wrote when I was nine years old (so please excuse the spelling and grammar – although I do still struggle with that…Also please excuse the green label – I write under a pen name now, back then I didn’t!)

Despite my wimpiness, I was always a fan of vampires – my first vampire book being ‘Gruesome & Bloodsocks’ – if you haven’t read it then you must!

I wrote it around this time of year – during the six week holidays –  and I wrote it using unused pages from one of my exercise books (probably Maths). I wanted to be a writer, I loved reading and I loved to write, but this was my first ‘book’. I even did the illustrations!

Blog pic 2

 

Now – ‘cough, cough, cough’ years later I have a publisher for my second book! I cannot believe it and am still pinching myself. I can’t go into too many details just yet but I can confirm contracts have been signed and we are discussing titles and covers!!!!

It goes to show that you should never give up on your dreams – no matter how impossible they may seem –  because sometimes if you work at them they can come true.

I will keep you all updated with the progress and give more information as and when I can, but in the meantime have a wonderful weekend whatever you are doing! Just off to pinch myself again!

 

Humps and Bumps

Apparently, they call Wednesday ‘hump’ day! I believe that this is because it is the middle of the week and once you are on ‘the other side’ you can see the weekend. I could be wrong – so please feel free to correct me!

This is a short post because as I make my way through ‘hump’ day I am not only getting closer to the weekend – I am getting closer to a deadline too (I know! How professional does a deadline sound?!?) Hopefully I will have some exciting news regarding this ‘deadline’ very soon…

So I have spent the last few days pouring over paperwork, writing and re-writing, deleting, adding, writing and re-writing again in order to meet my deadline and complete it as well as I possibly can.

What has been interesting for me is that I have done this before for other pieces of writing. I don’t have a ‘set’ way of doing it. I just read it, mark it, retype it, save it, read it, delete…you get the picture. It seems to have worked in the past but when I started this project I split it up into ‘parts’.

Each section is neatly stapled in the left-hand corner and I now have a large piece of work in easy bite size chunks and surprisingly enough I have found that it has been so much easier!

I kick myself as I write this – it’s common sense that when tackling anything it easier to break it down into manageable pieces rather than try and attempt to ‘eat the whole cake’ (which I am sure I could by the way).

Whilst I am a bit ‘miffed’ at myself for not trying this approach earlier, I am also quite pleased that I have now ‘learned’ a better way of doing something -and that makes me think…

When I was a child (which I can just about recall, and yet some would say I still am!) and I went to school I ‘assumed’ that once I bade farewell to the institution I would never need to learn anything ever again. My learning would be complete and I would be set for life.

I realised a few years after leaving the safety of the school walls that what I learned at school was simply a foundation, sufficient enough to get me through life, but a tool to build on should I wish.

Since being on my path of writing I have learned so much, and its often easy to forget about how far you have come when you are pursuing a goal that seems impossible or very far away. As I have said before in previous blogs I know that I don’t know everything, and it is very unlikely that I will ever get to know ‘everything’ in my relatively short time on this planet, but today I can congratulate myself.

I learned something relatively small which has had a big positive outcome.

And that is one of my ‘humps’ – OK so the road map in front of me looks like the Himalaya’s and what I stepped over today was a pebble – but it was something. And if I take note of the pebbles on the way to my mountains I won’t stumble and perhaps my journey will be a smooth one!

 

 

 

 

 

What do you do? Plus a free book promotion!

This week has been one of the most daunting and fulfilling weeks that I have had in a very long time! As the week draws to a close I want to say a big thank you to those of you who have read/followed or liked my posts – it means a great deal to me.

If you read my ‘Expanded Introduction’ post or my ‘About’ page you will see that I have been writing fiction for a while now. I was given the amazing opportunity to spend more time at home and immediately I knew that I wanted to use this time to write and follow my passion.

Yet when I meet people in real life and they ask ‘What do you do?’ I NEVER reply with ‘I am a writer or an author’ and I have often wondered why this is.

OK. So I don’t earn bucket loads of money from my writing (if I did I would have hired some clever, slick PR professional to write this blog!) I probably never will, and that’s fine. I didn’t start writing to become rich. I write because I enjoy it. I write because it gives me so much excitement and contentment to see characters and plots that originated in my head spring out onto paper and come to life.

I’ve often thought that it’s a ‘milestone’ thing. I will become a ‘writer/author’ after ‘x’ amount of books or ‘x’ amount of short stories have been published. The problem is I am not sure what the value ‘x’ is  – I knew I should have paid attention to algebra!

Whenever anyone poses the dreaded question my mouth goes dry, I shuffle awkwardly on the spot and force a smile, my eyes flit back and forth as I wonder if I am brave enough to say it. I am not 100% comfortable using the term in the virtual world but at least the outward display of awkwardness created by the inner turmoil is not visible behind a screen!

My friends and family all know that I write and they enjoy reading my work. They have belief in me…

Ah….another BINGO moment.

Could it all boil down to belief? Could it be that I need to have more belief in myself? But what is it I need to believe in? The quality of my work? My ability to write fiction? I know that I am not an ‘expert’ writer and I have huge mountains to climb before I even get quarter way to that – if I ever do. I know that I still have so much more to learn – and I may never learn everything I need to in my relatively short time on this rotating rock.

What I do believe is that writing is my passion and I want to follow that passion. I believe that I want to get better and better and I will do everything within my power to do so. I believe I want to write stories that people enjoy.

Can I do this?

I believe I can.

I am not naive enough to think that everyone who reads my writing will enjoy it, some may hate it and think it is the worst thing they have ever read (I shed a tear at this point) but that’s life and everything is subjective.

So next time I am asked the dreaded question I should be able to respond, quite confidently and without hesitation – ‘I am a writer!’

Hmm – watch this space!

P.S: My first book ‘Silence Pushed’ is available to download for FREE all weekend on Amazon. Please share and tell your friends – and if you like it or if you don’t (*gulp*) please leave a review to let other readers know your thoughts. Wishing you all a very happy weekend! 

https://www.amazon.com/Silence-Pushed-CJ-Riley-ebook/dp/B01KIFOMBE