The Writing Trap by Chloe Adler
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Chloe Adler as she shares with us “The Writing Trap.” Enjoy!
Take Years to Perfect Your Novel or Publish Now?
I listen to a lot of podcasts, podcasts about writing, podcasts about marketing, and podcasts about business. First of all, I highly recommend that you listen to a lot of podcasts too.
I have learned more about the business of writing, more about sticking together as writers and sharing our knowledge, and more about what to do and what not to do by listening to other people’s experiences.
After six books under my belt I fell into “the writing trap” with whisperings in the back of my head that said over and over, “It’s not perfect yet;” “Just one more edit;” “You suck,” etc.
There are two ways to go about this writing business:
1. You can study the art of writing, you can take classes, you can read books, you can practice, you can even get a degree! Or – –
2. You can write, self publish, make mistakes and learn from them.
I’m going to talk about the latter camp even though I’m from the former camp.
My quick story is that it took me 15 years to write my first novel, and it sucked!
During the next year I wrote two more, and they sucked!
And during the past year and a half I’ve written another four, and they’re better.
I spent years studying about writing. I learned about the hero’s journey, beats, outlining, character arcs, the black moment, where every single thing should happen, and what page it should happen on and so forth.
What’s funny about this is that I have my degree in screenwriting already, and most of it transfers, but even if I didn’t have that background – if I had to do all of this again, I wouldn’t. I’d just write the books.
And the reason is that we all know most of this already.
We know the hero’s journey. We know what’s supposed to happen and when it’s supposed to happen in a story, because we consume books, we watch movies, we watch TV shows, and the same exact formula is everywhere.
Jami Gold has these great beat sheets for authors and they’re free.
When I asked her about it, she said that after she wrote her first book she realized she’d hit all of the moments that she was supposed to hit at all the right times.
And Jami is not the first person who has said this.
TS Paul started writing a year ago. He published a book every two weeks. In a year, he has made over $100,000. He never took a writing class or formally studied the “art of writing,” or read a book on what to do and what not to do. He was, however, a voracious reader – consuming eight novels a week.
Are you going to make mistakes? Of course.
Should you hire an editor? If you can afford one, definitely. Your editor will help you with filter words and other newbie errors.
But don’t let your lack of knowledge in the formal art of writing hold you back.
Don’t let naysayers hold you back.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
I even know a couple people who have done all of those things themselves (including making their own covers which I do not recommend unless you’re great at design).
Some of these authors are doing really well and others are not.
Either you’re writing because you can’t not write or you’re writing to make money.
Most people want both, so what are you waiting for?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For the past undisclosed amount of years, Chloe Adler has thoroughly bucked the system. She lives in foggy Northern California with her dead fish Larry and a bouncy bunny rabbit named Fred. After selling her rock collection, she amassed enough money to buy and move into a small motor home where she developed a strange fondness for striped socks.
Prior to her infamous writing career, Chloe was an overachiever, amassing a slew of unimpressive letters after her name. The trouble is that the five people who know what the letters mean, don’t really care.
When she’s not writing, she can be found picking trash up off the beaches, offering rides to the homeless, and roasting her own coffee beans.
Chloe is nearing completion of her first paranormal romance series, Distant Edge, which is a genre mishmash guaranteed to rotate heads. If you sign up for her newsletter, not only will you find out when they are released, you’ll also make her jump up and down with joy for at least 3.5 seconds. Wouldn’t that be nice?