Showing posts with label Stephen King. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stephen King. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Self-Publishing Struggles!

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

Sometimes I don’t care. I mean I just don’t give a damn. It’s not always and the feeling goes away pretty quick, but it happens nonetheless. I mean, devoting all your time and energy to positive thinking is great and all, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work. Sometimes you just have to say screw it. Forgive me if that’s blunt and crude, but it’s true. That negativity seeps in and takes hold; it’s like a poison. And in real life, every once in a while it wins. 

The trick is to make sure negativity’s win is only once in a while.
Right now, I’m struggling to get my book ready for publication. It’s a long, slow, involved, long, slow, difficult, long, slow, and stressful process. Anyone else who’s been through it can attest to that. And it feels like it’s going to take a thousand lifetimes to get finished. Keep in mind, the story is actually finished. Right now I’m just working on getting it ready for readers to actually enjoy. I mean, I’d love for you to read The Odyssey of Ryou Un Maru right now! But you can’t, because it isn’t ready… yet. Anyway, the point is, it’s hard and I’m struggling with the thought that even after all this, I’m still motivated to get it out there albeit much later than I originally planned.

Also, there are times when I ‘just want to write’, but that’s only a fantasy I indulge in periodically. Part of being a writer is marketing what you’ve written. It’s not the most glamorous thing but it is necessary. It’s a weird dichotomy but a necessary one for anyone that wants to make it as a published author. I know that, but it still sucks. In a perfect (read: fantasy) world, I’d just write the books and a legion of editors, proofreaders, and publishers would do all the grunt work of getting it to press. But that is just not the case, especially since my name isn’t StephenKing, JK Rawling, Dick Francis, Dan Brown, Jackie Collins, or any other best-selling author you could name off the top of your head. It’s when I compare myself to these successful folks, look at what they’ve accomplished and then look at my small body of work I get disheartened and just want to quit. A little guy voice in my head starts whispering negativity and cynicism and I start to believe him.  That ‘just screw it’ attitude sinks in and I want to quit. Man I Hate that guy!

I listen to him every once in a while and agree. It’s then I wish I had someone to smack me in the face (proverbially… or maybe actually). I hate failure; I hate not even trying waaaaay more. So I cry a little bit, sniffle, feel sad for a while and then do a ball check and suck it up. Because I just can’t quit.

I have found a few things to keep me going. The latest book I’ve taken the time to read is Self-Printed (3rd Ed.): The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard. It’s pretty much a how to combined with a personal experience book about how she managed to get through the whole publishing mess that is self-printing. There are lots of useful tid bits and it’s nice to read about others that struggle with the same issues.

Even though it’s taking a billion billion times longer than I want or could have believed, I’m still on my mission to be a successful writer. Hell, I might not ever make it, but I just won’t give up. Is that pathetic or perseverance? I don’t know, I guess maybe success is the only way to answer that for sure…

Thanks for reading. Questions and Comments are welcome!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let the Emotion Out

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

When it comes to fiction writing I've been asked why I don't write more happy stories. I receive comments from time to time that my stories are gritty, full of emotion, profound and a lot of times, dark. My response to that is, I always strive for an emotional response. You see to me, reading is about expression. 

My experiences in life taught me to engage those feelings and come to terms with them. I guess for some writers it would be easy to put aside all of their personal experiences and just write happy stories. After all, for some writers and readers literature is an escape from reality, finding a way to disconnect from troubling things.

I've always thought of literature as exploration of the mind, dreams, feelings, fantasies, and of course the ‘what ifs’. Many times I find I want to convey a specific feeling or explore a certain possibility that my characters need or should experience. Personal growth has always been important to me and I try to challenge my characters so they too can grow and in some small way my readers can grow too.

So why can't my stories be sweet and happy? I suppose if I purposefully wrote a story specifically focusing on the happy, I could. However I have found that life resonates and provides the most meaning through a range of emotions, positive and negative. There are happy and sad moments in my stories, interludes of joy and pain, bursts of recrimination or adulation, flashes of excitement and floods of despair. The lasting effect on the reader lies in leading them through a gauntlet of emotion ending at a resolution that is satisfying and reasonable.

I've read stories where it seemed very jarring and almost disturbing learning the fate of some characters. There's been a few times where I thought Stephen King might have been a bit too harsh, even on his antagonist. But that's my simple opinion. Considering all this, perhaps it is time to focus on a happy tale of joy and fun. I'm sure there is plenty to learn and experience from a straightforward heartwarming tale.

Now where should I start, children at play, a game of chance, friends reuniting, or a first love? You see, emotions come from just about anywhere and the stories will follow. Life is like that I guess. If you pay attention long enough you'll actually learn something. I for one am still learning after all these years and I don't plan on stopping, how about you?

Thanks for reading. 

Questions and comments are welcome.

Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...