Tag Archives: author

On Following the Trends

19 May

I’ve been feeling really crappy this week. My doctors have been tinkering with meds to try to get my blood pressure under control, and the side effects of the meds have knocked me for a huge loop. Which is my way of apologizing for this being a day later than it should be. AND is the best way I can think of to start this entry!
I’ve been reading magazines (writing ones, primarily) and Facebook posts quite a bit this week. Both meant I didn’t have to think. Both made me think, there’s irony in that, I think.
People pay a great deal of attention to what people say about the kinds of things they are writing. I have. For years I’ve looked at the fact that poetry really doesn’t sell so well unless you are a famous poet. But if they don’t sell, how do you get to be a famous poet? If people aren’t buying what I am writing, why is what I’m writing relevant and why do I see the kind of things that I’m writing in print? That seems to be the ultimate catch 22 conundrum.
I read an article in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest that speaks a great deal to this. No Reservations, in the inkwell column, suggests that, despite the fact that people seem to claim that memoir as a genre is a cheap overused hack of a writing venue. But it also points out that people are making money with it and is a great way to break into the writing life as a paid writer, often a well-paid writer.
Hot on the tail of that article, I read a post by Christine Schwab on Facebook that the publishing industry is in a state of flux (go figure, most of my attention right now is focused on being able to publish epub-mobi-ibook format to get my words out) but that the fact that it is in flux shouldn’t keep writers from writing and shouldn’t discourage any of us. Her quote seems to sum it up pretty well…
“it has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things come to them. They went out and happened to things”
-Leonardo da Vinci
This gave me great hope, this week, because what I’m currently playing with is a series of memoir kind of books, or maybe more to the point fiction based to a great extent on reality, a book with my son that is directly memoir, and my poetry. Maybe there will be a market for my work. Maybe not, but I’m certainly not going to let that doubt stop me.
AND you, dear writer/reader, should not let it stop you. Don’t kill your darlings. Follow your heart, chase your dreams, and maybe think about writing out your deepest darkest secrets or your biggest ugliest pet peeves and see if there might just be a market for your words. You can’t be the only one, and don’t we all, secretly, like to eavesdrop on other people’s lives? I’m not kidding myself that I will make ten thousand dollars (but I might, and why not take that chance), but maybe I can do something better, touch just one person who needed to be touched and leave a small mark on eternity.
Okay, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!!!

Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 1

10 Apr
Let me describe a scenario.
You’ve written something. A poem, a short story, a short fiction novel. You show it to a couple of people, and those people like it. Not quite sure what to do with the piece, you put it away, start working on something new. You don’t even really revise, not much more than a quick once-over, and then on to the next project.
Then, one day, out of the blue, you get a phone call. The caller introduces himself, and tells you he’s a representative for a certain publishing house. Somehow, through one of your friends, they’ve seen your work, and they think it’s some of the best material they’ve ever read . Cutting straight to the chase, the caller says they want to publish your work. “Don’t worry about a thing,” he reassures you, “we’ll take care of everything.
Sure enough, the publishing house edits, corrects, fixes and polishes your work, and they publish it a month later. Within a week, the published material is a complete hit. Thousands of people buy it, your name is a household fixture, and you and your publisher stride off into the sunset.
End of scenario.
Now. If you are a writer, put a hand over your heart and tell yourself you’ve never wished for this to happen. Be honest. We all have.
Back to reality. Statistically, if you’re a written-content creator, your shiny writing career isn’t really where you want it to be. You’ve written a lot of stuff, moving on from inspiration to project to whim, but most of it is either forgotten, dismissed, or languishing in a desk drawer somewhere. Taking up 143 kb of memory in one of the folders on your computer.
At this point, the question is – why. Chances are, it’s not because you’re a bad writer. You might have some pretty decent material. That’s not the problem. The problem is that we all sort of get on with the business of writing new stuff and wait for the above scenario to play out. That’s the mistake. We want to be writers, and have the rest take care of itself.
So what do you do? How do you get content out there? How do you move your actually-decent, hard-won, unedited work out into the real world of material which people have heard of? How do you turn it into something real?
That’s what this series is about. In the next few installments of this series, we’ll walk you through the whole process from ‘status quo’ to ‘where you want to be as a writer’. However, be warned. Don’t expect the work to get done just by reading this. Actual energy and work will be required. So if you really want to be a writer, if you want to make your writing career a reality, jump aboard, and we’ll see you in “Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 2”.
Nesher Ehrman is an author for The Writing Corp. To see mre of his material, check out his blog at nesherehrman.wordpress.com/
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