05 May 2016
Writing is one of my favorite things. And now that I have discovered the secret to writing I do it all the time. The secret? Write all the time.
Part of my personal writers dilemma is that I want to share what I have written with the world. I want people to read my words and enjoy them. I don’t try to write anything with a deep message or attempt to change the world. I just like telling stories. I am sure that I am not the only one with this dilemma.
Thanks to the internet sharing your work is easy. Anyone can get use medium to share their stories and starting a blog isn’t that hard. But getting your writing to rise above all of the nonsense is hard.
Since I started writing fiction I have made about $1 from my writing. This is largely because I am not a marketer of my fiction. In fact I am horrible at marketing in general. I don’t know how to sell my work as a product.
This is the same problem I have when it comes to being a professional entertainer. I am really bad at selling myself. I would rather just show up and perform, or in the case of writing, write my stories and have people read them.
I think this is a common problem for writers. And from my extensive time spent reading writing forums, this is because most authors hate being around people. But I love people, so that can’t be it.
The problem with marketing your writing is that you are trying to get people to buy something that doesn’t hold any value. Books are not something that have the same meaning they did when I was a kid. I used to love going to bookstores because it meant I was going to get a new book.
Now with eReaders you don’t have that anticipation of shopping for books. You just go online and buy what you think you might like.
Also with the ease in which anyone can publish it is hard to make your book be seen through the murk. The best way to be seen through the murk is to shine brighter then the rest. But that is hard. And it is also no guarantee of success.
I don’t know how to stop being invisible. I don’t want to be the kind of author who just constantly hammers on his friends to buy his books, or to read his serial and like it, or tweets only about his books. But I do want to be read.
If I am lucky I will be able to sell a story or two this year. That way someone else can tell me how to market and what best practices are. Plus that will, in theory, open up some more doors.
If you want to support me on Patreon you can!
The Correspondent also on WattPad. Buy my book.
05 May 2016
I have been busy writing and rewriting, so blogging has taken a backseat. I want to blog more but if I am going to let one form of writing slip it will be blogging. Fiction writing is much more personally rewarding and I enjoy doing it so much that it is hard for me to justify writing random thoughts down when I can instead move a story along.
You may remember my NaNoWriMo triumph. I was excited because I had written my first novel. I was pleased with it, I let people read it and received positive feedback. Going through what I had written, I removed some things, but otherwise left the manuscript unchanged.
Thanks to Harper, I was able to get in contact with a couple authors as well as an agent. Through these connections I learned a very important lesson. Writing is easy, rewriting is hard.
I had been planning on releasing Calliope and the Rogue Biologic for the Kindle on April 1st. After my discussions I decided that rushing the release would kill the book and I didn’t want to do that. So I shifted focus.
I read Calliope again. And made lots of notes. I studied story structure and plotting. I outlined my entire novel and laid it out in scrivener. I then went through my original manuscript and found where I could plug in the scenes that I loved.
Camp NaNoWriMo happened in April and that is when I decided to rock out my rewrites. The concrete goal of finishing by the end of April help motivate me and was a positive step forward.
And guess what? My story is better. I found an editor who I am actually paying to edit my manuscript to make it as perfect as possible (and you can help pay for it). I now spend my time waiting on the edits to comeback and am reading a lot of new books.
Part of my writing practice has been The Correspondent. This project started out years ago when I wanted to write a superhero story. I had almost an entire notebook full of ideas of what I wanted to happen but felt that I would never complete such a large project.
I even attempted to do it a while ago and failed.
This attempt has gone a lot better. I built up a buffer of posts )and set them to auto-publish. Once I finished the first arc I edited it and have put it on Amazon so you can read the whole Origin on your kindle.
Reading the early posts vs. the more current ones is interesting because my writing ability has grown.
In fact, I should be writing the next episode of The Correspondent right not… But I am suffering from a little bit of fiction burnout. I pushed so hard finishing the rewrites that I am now unable to think in terms of story. It is pretty sad.
Here is hoping that I start blogging more often and with more interesting things.
Thanks for reading.
If you want to support me on Patreon you can!!
07 Dec 2015
You may have noticed that things have changed around here. I, in my infinite wisdom, decided I need to divide things up a little bit. As I attempt to write more and possibly sell those writings I felt like I needed a place to just write whatever. So that is here.
I moved all of my posts from dylanreed.com (I of course mean that Harper did this) and will be blogging here from now on. Dylanreed.com will become a more professional type site that will hopefully lead to people buying my books. I thought having a author like presence on the web would be good since there is an erotic fiction writer name Dylan Reed on Amazon, who is much more prolific then I.
I have also decided that it is time to really focus on writing. I currently have momentum in my daily writing so the trick will be keeping it. This is a common problem for me, I get momentum and then peter out as time goes on. There was a time where I blogged everyday, it was fun and hard at the same time. I would like to get back into that.
Part of this is trying to get paid for this. I have given up on ads. This blog is never consistent with content, I write about what I want when I want, so ads that were served were always dumb. So instead I am going to try out Patreon. I have done my best to come up with fun rewards but honestly I just want people to join if they are interested in what I am writing.
I am also using jekyll for both websites which means for now there will be no comments. On the plus side jekyll is super slick and easy to use. I have been able to rebuild dylanreed.com to by an author site. Oh and The Three Fs is currently on promotion for free on the site.
Another thing I am going to be doing is not posting as readily on medium. I will instead post writing here. I may cross post to medium if I can figure out an easy way to do that.
04 Dec 2015
I won NaNoWriMo this year. Finally. I think I have attempted it two other times and both times failed to make it past 10,000 words. This year I had a plan and I followed it. Along the way I learned a couple things and found some neat tools.
I know this because of a neat website that analyzes your writing. I am not sure if I actually write like H.P. Lovecraft or if it is because my story has some horror elements. But I thought it was pretty neat.
H.P. Lovecraft’s stories freak me out. I typically read before bed and reading Lovecraft before bed is a horrible idea. I normally have awesome dreams about being a secret agent or superhero, post Lovecraft I dreamed about being stuck in a dark cave with an unknown creature. Which I then murdered.
I am a planner. Or at least when it comes to writing I need to be. I used a simple worksheet: 9 Questions to Plan Your Novel to plan out my book. This worksheet caused me to look deeper into my idea and make choices. I was then able to lay it out into 25 sections which I assumed would be 2,000 words each.
The best laid plans of Dylans oft go awry. I wrote my heart out for about 18 days. I was kicking ass. I was ahead of my goals everyday, it was awesome. Then I ran out of steam. I was worried I was going to fail to finish again. Then I found Aeon Timeline. This awesome program let me layout all of the events in my novel as they happened. I noticed that I had nothing happening for a long span of time. I added the missing elements, adjusted my outline and was able to push through NaNoWriMo.
I am lucky. My wonderful wife was super supportive of my efforts. She helped me make sure that I made my writing goal for the day. I couldn’t have done it without her. I also had support from my friend Jon, my writing buddy and the person who got me thinking about writing fiction.
I made and reached a goal. I have never been very good at setting goals, or more accurately I am not very good at reaching goals. I was quite good at self sabotaging any goals I had. But not this time.
I probably learned other things, but these are the six that came to mind first. There are so many great tools for writing available on the internet that I could make a list of just those. If you are thinking about writing anything I would recommend just doing it. There is no time like the present to start. If I, a kid with ADHD, can write 50,000 words in 30 days then so can anyone.
And I just finished outlining the second book in the series. Writing another 50k in December is my new secret goal. Wish me luck. If you want to talk writing or anything at all please let me know: @dylanreed.
02 Jan 2015
So… remember that post where I said I was going to stop blogging and write more… That didn’t happen.
I meant for it to happen and I did alright for about a month. Then life got busy, a new job happened and writing time disappeared. I have been trying to get back into writing again but it is tricky to find time. Which, I know, is the lamest excuse ever.
But I am back to blogging. I seem to produce the most consistent amount of writing when I blog. It gives me a chance to say what I want and clears my mind for other projects. For instance: I am going to sew a lot more this year. And the focus of said sewing will be craftsmanship. Also Sarah and I are starting The Pie Project, which is making one pie a week for a whole year.
I am going to keep writing as much as possible and probably have too many projects going at one time as usual. My plan is to write a short post (like this one) every day. Something that is less then 500 words and nothing to crazy or profound. I will then spend time writing something longer and posting it on medium.
I think this will allow me to use this space for more personal reasons while allowing me to focus some energy on producing quality writing elsewhere. Not that I am going to give up on quality here, I am just not going to be writing any long form pieces on this site.