Little Update

Rough couple of weeks with ‘The Pepper House’.

For one, and this will sound weird if you aren’t a writer yourself, but Kate and I had a disagreement.  I had finished up this glorious scene, or at least I thought, where she and Jacob connect for the first time.

With another chapter under my belt and feeling like I was cresting the hill of writers block that had been torturing me the last couple of weeks, I decided I’d go for a walk and get some fresh air.  Put my earbuds in and listen to music and allow the camera to bounce on my hip.

I was ecstatic.  My two love interests had finally met, and it was looking good.

Then Kate decides she doesn’t’ want to meet Jacob at her work, but his.

Damn if it didn’t make more sense.  After all, their relationship is centered on photography and as such, should be the catalyst in their meeting.  It also finishes out that first act so much better than a typical meeting in a café.

So…back to the drawing board on that, but I feel pretty good about it.

Sometimes, listening to the voices in your head isn’t such a bad thing.

On another note, I’m editing and polishing a short book on advice for single parents.  The purpose is two fold.  Based on my own experiences as a single parent, I wanted to dispense come sound advice for other single parents.  I’d recently come across someone that was fresh out of a marriage and had no idea how to handle what they were going through.  We had a long talk and I found myself talking about how to go about everything other than the legalities of it.  From handling the break up to dating when they’re ready to how parents are supposed to put their kid first and work as a team…but at arm’s length.

The second reason behind taking up the side project is to practice exposure.  When I met this person, I was researching how to promote my work once it’s finished.  Being an indie author, marketing is all on me.

With the Pepper House, I want to get it right, so I’m going to be doing short stories and ebooks as I go and publishing them using various tactics on getting noticed from blogging to listing them on websites that promote independent authors.

This way, if I haven’t landed a publisher by the time I’m ready to release The Pepper House, I’ll have enough experience under my belt to do a better job selling my novel.

As always, thank you for your time and support…

Speaking of which, my next post will be about how to support those creative people you know…

Thanks again!

Much love,

-jb

Jacob Took A Picture

Little over a week ago, I was standing in the living room, staring at the floor.  There, spread out on index cards was a complete story.  By complete, I mean that there were three acts with plot points, twists, and a resolution that left me satisfied that it was now time to start writing the manuscript in earnest.

I posted a picture of myself with my babies to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook then kicked the Keurig into second gear.

It was time to write.

That first sentence can be a real bitch.  It’s the one that gets readers to move onto the next sentence, and it can be absolutely intimidating to write it.  I spent several hours going over ramblings and scribbles from the past five years that I’d been incubating ‘The Pepper House’, and still don’t have a first sentence.

Why?

Because I need to write an entire book, and I can come back to it when the time comes.  This has been a huge obstacle for me throughout my years and attempts to write.  It’s getting off the blocks once the gun has fired.  I have this unreasonable need to obsess on perfection when it comes to telling a story, and knowing the importance of those first few words can be paralyzing.

I did the opposite.  I wrote the worst sentence I could think of that conveyed what I was wanting it to say.  “Jacob took a picture of the Pepper House.”

Looking at it for a time, I was at the point of picking my laptop up and flinging it across the room.  Who reads the next sentence?  No one.  Who buys that book?  No one.

And I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.  It was so absurd to me that it was nothing to write the second sentence and within an hour, I had chapter one.  A really rough chapter in need of a lot of red ink, but that’s a different issue for me than that first sentence.

Editing is a completely different demon that I’ll conquer later.  For now…just keep writing.

A handful of chapters and act one is done.

It’s Sunday morning, ten days in…

I got this…

-jb

Writing The Novel: Day One

Let’s try this again…

Writing the Novel: Day One.

If I counted every day that I spent thinking, conjuring, doubting, and procrastinating this, today would definitely not be the first day of writing the novel.

I chose today as Day One because today I am writing the first chapter that I intend to use as Chapter One of my upcoming novel ‘The Pepper House’.  Everything I’ve written thus far, over the last five years, has been content, brainstorming, and mistakes.  And I plan to make a lot more mistakes as I go, but that’s okay.  I have to accept them, learn from them, and correct them.

In essence, today is the first day that I’m correcting a huge mistake I made in 2013 when I started to allow doubt and indecision pull me away from what I had been focused on in the fall of 2012 with my first attempt at writing the novel.

It’s the concept of fear.  Not feeling like I am good enough to write a novel, whether or not it hits any bestseller lists or even sells at all.  For the last four years, I let the idea that writing HAD to make money rule how I approached writing.  The constant need to justify my writing by promising others that this would somehow solve all financial problems when the truth of the matter was that I had never, ever considered writing from a financial gains standpoint.

The truth in the philosophy that the moment one starts to write with financial goals as the reward, there will be no financial rewards.  I made the mistake of second guessing myself because I would hear the question ‘but how much money will it make?’ when in truth…no one knows, and I really don’t care.

I have been writing since I was a child for no other reason than my own entertainment and sanity.  Yes, I love feedback and the excitement of people who support me when they get to read what I’ve written.  In fact, it drives me to keep going.  The questions about plot, character, story…and the anticipation in friends, loved ones, and strangers who barely know me who plead with me to get them the next bit…next chapter…

Yesterday, I finished what is as complete an outline as I needed in order to get started with established goals to keep me driven and ambitious enough to proceed.  It’s a very malleable outline, leaving room for movement, but it’s also set in plot points and resolutions that I have to adhere to.  This means I have something to reference when I start feeling lost.  I’d never worked off an outline before, and believe this is the best way for me to stay motivated and on task this time.

That said, today is Day One of ‘The Pepper House’.  A story inspired by a moment in my own life as a father that I will never, ever forget.

Let’s hope I do that moment, that scared single dad…some justice.

Thank you,

-jb