Hi, everyone. It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for a question from the Insecure Writers Support Group.
What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?
The titles eventually sort themselves out, in my experience. Heck, In The Eye of The Beholder was just Erik/Claire for the better part of a year, but then the title came to me. For contrast, Bayou Fire and The Rock Star in the Mirror came to me in the earliest days of writing the stories.
The blurb, on the other hand, requires actual consideration and may go through several iterations before I’m satisfied.
The short answer to this month’s question is that the only line I draw is about consent. Language? That’s just words, and there is no such thing as a “bad word.” But non-consensual activity is right out.
This also means that all of my characters who get up to sexy-times will be of age.
As for topics, sometimes difficult things need to be addressed. I’ve looked at prejudice a number of times (e.g., His Beloved Infideland Down on the Corner of Love, just to name a couple) and other matters of social justice, and will continue to do so. All art is about issues, at the end of the day.
Here we go: How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?
Way back in October 2016, I wrote a post called “Things Authors Should Know.” It was actually a re-post of a blog I posted on Goodreads in 2010. This was one of the items on the list:
As the question itself points out, there are numerous ways to define success. Some days, it could be “I got out of bed and put on some clothes.” Others, it could be “Wow, someone in Australia bought my book. I wonder how they heard about it.”
And on yet another day, as happened yesterday, it could be “I knocked out 1,000 words on the manuscript with which I’ve been struggling.”
In other words, it varies for me on a fairly regular basis. And I’m fine with that.
What happened was this: I was a newspaper editor, which was the job I had aimed for with my career since I was 18 years old. I had just written my first book, a work for hire called Born of War … Dedicated to Peace. I had been assured that my role on the military base was safe, but that had proven untrue; the organization for which I worked was being inactivated. The Dept. of Defense had found me another job, but it was one in a role I hadn’t held for well over a decade … and for a boss who turned out to be abusive. That’s a story for another time.
To make a long story very short, I stopped thinking of myself as a writer, because my day job no longer entailed developing stories, researching the news, and all of the other things that I thought made me a writer. I didn’t pick up the proverbial pen again for almost a decade.