I’ve been blogging on WordPress for FOUR years. Four years? That’s what WordPress says. It’s a WordPress Anniversary. Woo hoo! Let’s all celebrate with jazz hands. Should I be taking WordPress out for dinner, or should WordPress bring me flowers? Maybe we should let this anniversary slide, like Flag Day or Washington’s birthday. It doesn’t feel like four years have passed. It seems shorter, much shorter. It makes me think, what have I been doing all this time?
I started this blog to promote a series of books I planned on writing. If you read anything at all about self-publishing and Indie Authors, that’s where the road to self-promotion starts. Blogging. Tweeting. Facebook. The road to Hell. It all starts with social media. There’s a bazillion different media platforms out there, and as a fledgling writer trying to pull yourself out of the muck of obscurity, you’re supposed to be somewhat fluid in all of these and more. In reality, it reminds me of high school French. Four years of learning, and all I can say is, “Bonjour!”
More than four years ago, I had a plan. I had dreams. I was going to write at LEAST a novel a year with some short stories in-between. Ha! No big deal, I thought. I poured through books like I drink my coffee, the carnage of empty mugs and dogeared paperbacks overtaking my modest home. If all of those authors could write novels, so can I! I’m a reader with a small margin of talent and an abundance of snark. How hard can it be?
Here’s the deal:
The actual WRITING of the novel isn’t nearly as difficult as getting your BUTT in the CHAIR! I think just about ANYONE could write a novel if they could just do that. In my mind, I’ve made a thousand excuses for my lack of writing productivity. Work. The weather. Laundry. Dishes. The cat needed me to throw his ping pong ball across the bathroom again. You know, the usual, just…STUFF! Some of it has been legitimate. Most of it is a matter of not being disciplined enough to keep my butt in the chair long enough to get my words written for the day. “I’ve got a mortgage, not a muse.” Yes, Jim Butcher. You’re right! But then, something shiny comes along and I’m plodding down a road paved with Kitten Videos and Facebook advice. It makes me want to scream! I’m the only one keeping me away from my goals. There’s no one to blame. I’ve got a hubby who asks me almost daily, “Did you get in some writing today?” He’s not a writer, but he gets it. He gets me. Butt in the chair: that’s what makes the words pop out. One flipping word at a time.
Have I learned anything else during these four years? Any pearls of wisdom to share? Sure. I’ve learned I don’t like reading books with this formula:
Don’t do this!
- Girl meets boy.
- Girl drops everything and falls in love with Boy.
- Gratuitous sex.
- Conflict. (Perhaps a love triangle.)
- Boy realizes that, YES, he must rescue said Girl. (Afterall, she did drop everything for her hunky, hunky guy. Or an anvil dropped on her head. There was gravity involved somewhere.)
- Even More Conflict.
- Resolution with lots of gratuitous sex. (And jazz hands?)
- We all live happily ever after and skip off into the sunset.
I know it’s all be done before. EVERYTHING. Original ideas are hard to come by. But if I read one more I-need-a-hunky-hunky-guy type of story, I think will take up darts just so I have something to throw.
That’s it! That’s all I’ve got. Happy Wednesday! Time to celebrate with a package of saltine crackers and jar of peanut butter. JH