The Writer's Desk

Writing, publishing & marketing notes from Jamie DeBree & her alter egos

Writer’s Notes: June 4, 2014

Writing Session 1: Under His Wing
Author/Genre: JD/contemp. paranormal romance
Words written:  626
Total words:  15,729
Time Spent: 30 minutes

Notes: Another slow starter (gee, can I whine enough about that lately?), but once I got going and focused, it just scooted right along. Just how do you explain the internet to someone who’s never encountered it? And will Thomas become an addict, or remain a luddite when he leaves Katie? Burning (um, no pun intended) questions, aren’t they?

I’ve been over-thinking lately, as I tend to do all too often, about writing. About falling sales. About not being a good enough writer, and not even really being sure if I know enough about what constitutes “good” writing to get better or not. I ponder that every time a bunch of writers is tearing apart a book I enjoyed reading…if my taste in reading material is questionable according to a vocal majority(?) of writers, how could I possibly know what good writing is?

I ask myself why I write if not to sell…and the answer is, because I can’t “not” write. I love the actual act of writing – the discovery of the story when I’m working my way through the first draft. If I don’t write, those stories swirl around in my head, errant fantasies and what-ifs with no healthy outlet.

Which begs the next question – if the act of writing is “enough” by itself, why try to sell? Why not just write, and be done with it? I still don’t have a good answer to that. I’ll let you know if I find one, but I do feel compelled to share my stories. Ego, probably.

Then while working through my feed reader today, I found this little gem buried casually in a Lifehacker post about Adam Roger’s workspace :

And then this, from my friend Matt Bai, on book-writing: No book sells. Your book will not sell. So don’t let anyone else tell you how to write it so that it will sell, because they don’t know. And when it doesn’t sell, and you’re looking at it on your bookshelf, you want to be able to say, well, at least I wrote the book that I wanted. Because otherwise you’ll think, well, if I had written the book I wanted, maybe it would have sold. 

It made me feel better about the books I write, at least. They may not be “good”, they certainly aren’t high literature, but they are the stories as I discovered them, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of writing them, whether I think they ultimately turned out well or not (some yes, some not so much). And they may not be selling well, but I wrote the story as I felt it needed to be told. More art than craft – which is normally a concept I rebel against, but here, I find myself embracing it.

Tomorrow, more discovery. And I’ll relish every minute of it. Whether it sells or not later on is…well…inconsequential, really.

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