After my first book was published, I’ve had to work with my wife on “when” I’m allowed to write. The plan we came up with is that during the week I am allowed to write at night, but weekends I need to save for the family, including Friday nights usually. Sometimes I sneak in some writing time anyway, but with all of the holiday fun I’ve just been too busy. Also, everyone wants me to bake U.S. style cookies =D I usually do chocolate chips, oatmeal/raisin/cranberry/chocolate chips and peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies throughout the holidays.
I’m still working on that first romance chapter. It’s incredible how hard the whole process is, but it’s starting to sound good. I just find it frustrating that sometimes “regular life” comes into play. With holidays and family time half the week can just be nixed out before you can get back to working on the part you want to finish. Frustrating in one way, but also I’m glad to have the time with the family.
This week I’m going to try to get an email off to Leo Black about working on the cover for book two. Hopefully he can get it done by February or sooner. Last time he really liked the concept and knocked it out much earlier than expected. I just need to see what he thinks of the concept I want to work on for now and see if he thinks it’ll look good or not. He’s a great guy to run ideas past. I think it always helps to be open to suggestions from the artist you’re working with. Just make sure you have a good feel for their work though before going with any artist. Trust is essential to this process.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that it’s very hard for most people to take any criticism. Trust me, I understand how hard it is to hear that something is not as perfect or as good as you thought. Sometimes it can bring you close to tears, but the truth will also set you free … or at least if you listen to it from a good source help to make you into a better writer. You just have to seriously consider what’s being said and be honest with yourself. I say this because sometimes there will be those friends who just simply want to see you fail because for whatever reason they are jealous that you are writing and being successful. It happens, so just be aware of it. Unfortunately that makes it difficult to sometimes know what you need to pay attention too with the feedback you’re getting, henceforth the whole, being honest with yourself. I imagine most writers look at all the feedback they get and then do their best to look into their soul and the quality of their work.
I’ve seen some writers produce a good solid story, but then be unable to accept criticism to get the story cleaned up to be a good end product that people want to read. The worst part is that getting someone to give you “good criticism” is hard as hell. Most people want to not hurt your feelings and even if you beg them to hurt your feelings so that you can improve the story they won’t. Having that friend who is willing to tell you the truth that you need to hear is a rare and wonderful thing to have. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t make it hurt any less to hear the hard truth, but none the less you need to hear it. It’s the only way you’re going to get better. If you fight back or get snippy with this friend who has given you the gift of the truth to help you fix up your writing and story, then next time they are not going to say anything … or they won’t continue telling you what you need to know to get your story ready for production.
So if you’re writing, just remember to cherish these friends who are willing to tell you the truth as they see it. And once you hear it, work to get them to say more and be completely open and supporting. It doesn’t mean you have to change everything, but it’s a good point to work from. Also important is to make sure that if you’re writing a certain genre that the friend is into that type of story. Otherwise, you’re not going to get the criticism you need.
Anyway, I’ll make sure I get two posts in this month at the very least.