In self publishing some of my work I’ve been reaching a wider audience with my writing and I’ve been interacting with a lot of new people and it made me think.
They say your story is your story and everyone has a right to write theirs, if the people you encounter on your journey want to feature well then maybe they should treat you better.
As a writer you should be true to the facts but there are always two sides to every story, or maybe its three, yours, theirs and the truth, there are few situations in life where 100% honesty is achieved.
To be able to write, first you must experience. The truest writing comes from the things you know well and you build on that with a healthily developed imagination from reading anything and everything that passes your way.
I always find it strange when people think a story I have written is real. I write characters and put them in situations, some I’ve experienced in part others I’ve only imagined and then I watch to see what happens and write what I see. When I’m sitting in front of the blank page I close my eyes and let the words roll out.
I hear the characters talking in my head and experience their emotions through myself, I ask how I would feel in that situation or what I would say in response and when I’m done and the words stop coming I sit back, read it all through and edit out the bad bits. It always amazes me at the end the things I’ve written.
I guess it could be seen as a compliment that people think the writing is real, in some ways little parts of the characters and situations might be based on real people and places but none of it is ever completely autobiographical. You have to respect the other people on your journey and some things are important not to share. Sometimes you write difficult scenes you feel fit as part of the story and then it can be weird when people think it happened to you.
I got hurt so much in the past I always wanted to use my words and experiences to help people. That was why I started writing about myself in this blog. I was confused over the changes in my life and thought I probably wasn’t the only one to experience those sorts of problems.
That turned into depression and when the Doctor told me it was more common than I thought I decided to write about my experience to show people they are not alone. I’ve always tried to offer people help and advice wherever I can as we all need someone we can rely on and sometimes it’s hard to ask for help so I always try to let people know I’m there if they need me.
Writing stories that people enjoy was always something that made me happy but I haven’t written anything new in weeks and my writing voice has gone quiet. I have notebooks full of ideas but no heart to pick them up and write. I’m sure my voice will come back, I just need to let it rest and recharge for a while.
Maybe publishing those books has served the purpose of my writing dream and it was as far as I was ever supposed to go with it. Maybe that’s why I can’t write, I went as far as I could.
It’s a lot of hard work to find paying customers for your books, they seem happy to download it when it is free but paying a couple of pounds is beyond them. It’s hard to get reviews too and I don’t know if they really matter anyway. If someone wont pay £2 for a story then are they going to care if it got 5*’s?
I have made sales, I have had many more free downloads, one book has gone past the 100 downloads point which would have been over £100 as I had originally marketed it at 99p.
I rarely download books but when I have they have always been books I paid for, it never occurs to me to look at the free books as I am quite happy to pay for good entertainment. Not many authors can afford to write for no monetary return.
I self published through Smashwords as it is free but as I am unable to create covers I had to have them made, they were a minimal but necessary cost but it means I need to sell at least 40 copies of each book to clear my costs.
I didn’t think that was a bad target when you consider a few of my stories have been read online collectively over 50,000 times. 80 people out of 50,000 seemed a reasonable market to attract!
I need to work on advertising and marketing strategies, I should be able to find loads of information about it online. The writing community seem very keen to help each other out from what I have seen so I need to tap into those resources.
It just takes time and effort and right now I have some time to spend on it so I need to do as much as I can before I go back to work. Maybe then with a steady income selling the books won’t be so important.