My poor literary blog has been calling me in my sleep, in my dreams, and it has screamed for attention. I have been so busy with my work, writing some 5000 words a day most days. I write for clients in my copywriting business, three personal blogs, and I am working on my next book, “Twisted Ride.”
Don’t Rush Creativity
This book will be my first attempt at a fiction novel. I’m very excited about it, and yet, I have learned the hard way as a writer to not rush things. That is what is on my heart today—don’t rush anything as a writer.
I’m speaking primarily to creative writing, but most certainly, this also applies to academic writing as well. The biggest mistake I made in my very first published work, “Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems,” was that I was in such a big hurry to be published! My book Apples of Gold was published as an eBook. It did very well in spite of grammatical errors and the horrible cover it had. I changed the cover on that book about four times during its availability on smashwords.com.
That was a lesson in itself—a book is judged by its cover! I finally came up with a cover for the book that was a hit, and it made a huge difference in the daily downloads of my book. At one point, I decided to make the book available for free on Smashwords because I wanted my name out there. I wanted readers to get to know me and not have to take a chance on an unknown author with their money. The book began to show an average of eight downloads a day, some days as high as fifteen, and never less than five. Then I experienced another hard lesson, one I had heard other authors speak of but had not yet experienced personally. I had heard other authors speak of purposeful “bad reviews” given to their work by competing authors. There was even a story in the news at that time about a very well-known author, a best-selling author, who had himself done this to another author (I wish I could remember the names but I cannot). I remember thinking to myself how childish and weird this was.
As I said earlier “Apples of Gold” was flying high. It had several five-star reviews from readers and had over 2000 downloads on Smashwords. The book was number one in the “free” short story/poetry genre for over 6 mos. It was in the top ten (I believe it was at number two or three at the time) in short stories/ fiction/ poetry on Smashwords, period—then it happened.
Someone gave the book a horrible, and obviously inaccurate, review. Now, I know I’m biased because I’m the author; however, I can assure you that I’m not the mother bear protecting her cub here. The review was so off base that it was obvious to anyone who had read the book that the anonymous reviewer had not even read the book—it was a purposeful hit to knock the book’s ratings down.
There was a short story in the book called “The Vase.” This story (also available in my paperback “Voices from the Heart” on Amazon) was a metaphorical portrayal of a woman and how, like a precious and beautiful vase, a man should be careful to never break the vase because even though it can be glued together—it will never be the same again. The reviewer went into some kind of neo-feminist rant about comparing a woman to a possession and gave the book two stars.
The book fell down the rating list like a rock. I think it landed on the tenth page of the listings, as I recall, because of one horrible and unfair rating. Smashwords would not remove the rating. I took the book down altogether.
What does that have to do with hurrying our work—I don’t know—I just wanted to tell that story for some reason (laughing).
As to my advice about slowing down in the writing process—this is vital to your success, believe me! Don’t rush yourself to publish a work; take the time to get it right. Allow the creative process to fully bloom. Take the time to write, re-write, and edit. And finally, DO NOT self-edit! Let another pair of eyes or two look at your work.