Don’t Let Negativity Ruin Creativity

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This goes with my previous post Being a Writer and a Perfectionist. While it’s hard to get reviews back, especially any that may have negative feedback (which is what can help us grow as authors if we take it in stride), it’s important to realize that not everything they say is necessarily correct. Write. Create. Live your dreams. Don’t ever give up.

Being a Writer and a Perfectionist

One of the most difficult things for me as a writer is my perfectionist side. It’s one of the reasons I edit and edit and edit, hoping to make it perfect. You would not believe how many times I’ll edit and rewrite a book until I deem it even remotely worthy of publishing. Even as I hit the publish button in the back of my mind, I’m screaming: “It’s not perfect! There’s bound to be mistakes in there! Don’t do it! Edit it one more time.”

Another thing I’ve struggled with about being a writer and a perfectionist is when I receive a review and if there’s something in there a single reader doesn’t like, I want to go back and rewrite the entire book to correct the non-perfectness of it. The feeling eventually passes. The reason I don’t go back and rewrite is because the rational part of my brain knows that not everyone will enjoy my writing or like my books. That part of me is okay with it. The perfectionist part makes excellent arguments though. Arguments I have to shove aside if I’m ever going to make progress in writing all the books my brain dreams up.

If there is just one thing I am proud of that my writing has done for me is it’s made me a little bit less of a perfectionist. It’s made me more willing to accept mistakes from myself and in others. Of course, there are so many other things writing has done for me, but I will always be thankful it has softened the edges around my perfectionism.

In addition, my wonderful and amazing husband has helped me deal with flaws as well. Making a mistake, or several, is not the end of the world. It is a valuable lesson.

Cover Reveal for The False Gods

It’s taken a while to get to making the cover for the fourth book in the Hartland series. After some debate with my husband and a few others, we have finally decided on one! It is with great excitement that we reveal the cover today. In about a month, maybe less, depending on what the last few beta readers tell us about the book, The False Gods will become available on the market.

Be sure to let us know what you think about the cover.

The False Gods Cover 2

Writing Update

Hartland, book 4, The False Gods, is finished. There is just one more quick edit and then it’s off to the beta readers. We’re so excited it’s finally finished! In fact, we’re so excited, we’ve already started on book 5. We’re about a 1000 words into it. More to come tonight!

Book 5, whatever the title may be, will probably be the last in the series, unless something unexpected happens. That is always a possibility with our writing. You just never know what kind of idea will snatch us away. It’s one of the many, many, many reasons we love to write.

Gotta get back to writing. Book 5 won’t write itself, but how cool would that be?

 

Stop the Excuses

Even if you only write a paragraph in a day, or a sentence, you still wrote something. Those paragraphs and sentences add up. If you keep at it then eventually it becomes something real. Something that’s alive! It’s the writer’s persistence that makes a writer. Without it, nothing would ever get finished. For a writer, it’s our passion for the story that keeps us going, even when we’ve written ourselves into a corner. We want to see it through to the end. Sometimes, the story even surprises us.

The thing that bothers us the most is when people say “Oh, I can write a book” as if it were an easy thing. When people say this, we ask them “Well, why don’t you then?” And this is where all the excuses start piling up. I’m too busy. I don’t have enough time. I would if I could only find the time. I just haven’t gotten around to it.

The thing is, writer’s make the time. We give up something in order to have “time” to write.

For us, we give up time from our social life and sometimes our reading life (it depends how deeply involved we’ve become in the current project). Writing is more important to us. Few understand this. Other writers do, but non-writers don’t understand why we would give up on social events. We’re not saying we don’t go out and do anything, but we go out a lot less than other people. We value the time we do have for writing and we often make the time to do it. Life is hectic I understand that. We’ve even asked a few people what they do in the evening. When they say what it is, we ask them why they don’t cut into that time a bit for writing. And then more excuses pile on. We’ve come to the realization, it’s because they don’t really want to write. That’s okay. Just admit it. That’s all us writer’s ask for. Just admit that you don’t really want to write a novel. The fact is not everyone can do it. That’s okay. We’re not all born the same. If we were imagine how boring that world would be!

If you don’t want to sacrifice things from your life in order to “find” the time to write then you’re not really a writer. You’re a person who dreams about writing. So write! Even if all you can do that day is a sentence or two. It adds up over time and helps you define yourself as a writer.

Words are Powerful

We all know that words are powerful. They can create or destroy. Cause hope or crush dreams. Heal or harm. Words, even mean ones, can motivate someone into doing better, pushing themselves into what they’ve always wanted. Sometimes, words can even mend a broken heart.

When we turn these powers into our writing, we create worlds and tangible characters. We create places the mind can see and dream about. Authors are lucky, whether they’re published or not, indie or traditional. Authors have this ability to turn these powerful words into something special. Something that when the reader reads it, they take something away from the book with them. I’ve even taken away special means from books that weren’t written or edited all that well. The point is, authors use words to create something only they can see in an attempt to share it with others.

We, Jeff and Jess, are a bit reclusive. We admit that freely, but by sharing our work with others, we allow strangers to see into us, even if it’s just a little bit. We connect with others through our writing whether we want to or not. Through words we have created multiple worlds and so many characters, each with a little part of ourselves in them. Even the darker characters have a little bit of the author in them, after all we did think of them and flush them out until they were “alive”. It’s a little unsettling sometimes to know what our minds are capable of. Of what our thoughts and imagination leads to.

With these wonderful things we call words, we get to share these creations with the world (or at least anyone willing to spend a dollar or two to read them when they aren’t free).

Words are powerful tools indeed. It’s one of the reasons, we try to bring kindness with us when we do get social enough to go out into the real world. It’s as simple as carrying on a small conversation with the person ahead of you in line, or telling someone something you like about them.

Updates, Writing, and Control

Although we are still very much into Mass Effect: Andromeda, I decided I should do something a little more constructive than playing a video game. It hasn’t been all play though. We’ve worked on book 2 of the Magna Luctus series. Book 1, The Hunt, isn’t out yet, it’s still being edited and changed a bit as book 2 progresses. We’ve also been editing Hartland book 4 and have come up with a name for it finally! It’s called The False Gods.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about how writing allows the author/writer to be in control of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Sure, your characters can go off and do something you didn’t expect, but it’s your choice to go with it or change it to something else. More often than not, we go with it, even if it works us into a bit of a corner. It’s at these moments, your writing gets real creative.

The control comes from being able to add anything into the story you want. Someone wronged you in the past, you can put that in a book. Although we do recommend caution with that! Be absolutely certain it’s something you want to put in there, and be absolutely certain to include something like this at the beginning of the book: This is a work of fiction and a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or situations is purely coincidental. As authors, I believe a lot of our characters and things are based on real life. Experiences give us things to write about, even the unpleasant ones. If someone didn’t want that experience to go down in writing, they should have treated you better. At least, that’s our opinion.

We love that writing gives us control over things in our books that we don’t necessarily have control of in our lives. We can create people and make them act how we think people should act; with kindness and forgiveness. We can also create people on how we’ve experienced others acting. There’s a lot of cruelness going on in the world right now, which can give writer’s plenty of fuel. I choose to try to see the good in people. Try to see the reasoning in why someone would do these things. Sometimes it isn’t pretty, but it helps as an author to understand characters which may end up in one of your books. Evil is a perspective.

Just remember, when writing, you have control over everything that happens. I find it therapeutic. I also think it’s why there are sooooooo many romance novels out there… Just saying.