On The Other Hand: Things I’ve Done Right By Keri Kruspe
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Keri Kruspe as she shares with us “ON THE OTHER HAND: Things I’ve Done Right .” Enjoy!
In my last article , I thoughtfully discussed (okay…I whined) about my frustrations on what I would have done differently in launching my writers’ career. Having admitted my mistakes and oopsies, it’s only fair I switch gears and talk about what I felt I’ve done right.
A Brief History
To give some perspective, here is a brief history of how I got here.
Ten years ago when I finally got off my keister and wrote my first full-length, it was a long one, around 100,000 words.
I poured my heart and soul into that story.
While it was a “sci-fi” romance (the genre I currently write in), I took out my frustrations on the devastating thing that happened to me in my secular career in the banking industry.
I had been laid off from a company that I had worked for 21 years. I’d grown up at that bank, rising in the ranks to end up a VP in charge of the retail department. I had 300 employees reporting to my direct line.
Then unexpectedly I was laid off.
Depression hit me hard and heavy.
To make matters worse, those who I thought were close friends either betrayed me or dropped me like the trash took out itself.
Through the shake-up, I learned who my true friends were and found love and acceptance within my family.
But the best thing that helped me overcome my depression was to write that book.
With my novel in my hot little hands, I just knew someone would snap up my masterpiece and I’d be on my way to working as a writer full time.
Long story short, that didn’t happen. I had no idea what was wrong or where to turn to make it right. It took another ten years for me to try again in a more serious vein.
What I’ve Done Right
With a clear hindsight, I can now share what I’ve done right since then to launch my career as an independent author:
THE JOURNEY IS BETTER WITH FRIENDS
When I started again in 2016 to write my novel, I realized going it alone was not the thing to do.
As with many authors, I’m a solitary creature who likes to rely on myself and not depend on others. I thought I could do everything on my own.
But, it didn’t take long to realize what I had done before wasn’t going to work (remember the definition of insanity…). I needed help from other people. I’d been a member of Romance Writers of America association since 2008 but didn’t do much with it. Using that as a starting point, I reached out to some of my peers and begun to explore and develop contacts.
Indie publishing was starting to hit its stride when I wrote that first novel in 2008. From what I understand, there wasn’t a lot of help around for writers to find their way into self-publishing. Today, there are numerous tools and assistance out there just for the asking.
When I gathered up the courage to ask someone to read my novel, she let me know it needed a lot of work. Especially on Point of View (POV).
I couldn’t understand it. I was an avid reader (my average is 100 books a year and counting!) and writing came second nature to me.
After pulling my conceited head out of my rear end, I admitted I needed to dive deep into my chosen craft.
To do that, I had to spend the money to get an education.
While some classes were “free” with RWA, to get a better handle on what I was trying to do, I needed something more. I needed a mentor or mentors. That’s where the deeper training comes in. For a personal touch, I found the Barany School of Fiction’s Group Coaching for Fiction Writers. Their courses as well as the bi-monthly online meetings are a godsend.
The other training I did correctly was to find a course that went step-by-step on what to do once my novel was finished. I needed to know how, when, and where to create and market my book. There are numerous paths to choose from. All you have to do is a little research to find what works best for you. I encourage everyone to go out and look for it.
EXTRA WRITERS TRAINING: DONE RIGHT
I call this section “extra” because it involves using your “down” time to your advantage.
For me, that meant using the time where I couldn’t be on the computer but had “free” time to listen.
An example: it takes me half an hour to get ready for work in the morning (putting on makeup, doing my hair, getting dressed). I used to listen to the TV or music, but now I’ll tune in to a podcast, a class, book, or anything audio that involves being an author.
I do the same when I’m in my car going to work. Here is an extra hour a day that I can continue to listen to what I started that morning.
FARMING OUT WHAT I HATE TO DO
There are certain things in my new career I’ve found I didn’t have time or talent to learn in the beginning.
I wanted to spend my time learning how to write before figuring out Photoshop.
So, using my contacts, I’ve found someone to do my covers.
I also hired a writer’s admin to “tweak” my website and to format my novels. (I did learn the preliminaries on creating it and do the upkeep myself.) I can format, but I confess I hate doing it.
I also don’t think a writer should have the final edit on their work. That is a no-brainer for me. While beta/advance readers are wonderful, you still should hire a professional editor. I did and even though it was expensive, having the polished novel was well worth it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: ON DONE RIGHT
One of the best things I’m doing as a new author is writing this guest post. I love how I can take a subject that’s bugging me and put it on paper. I hope I’m allowed to keep doing it for a while. After all, writing is my profession of choice.
So…look out world! I’m in this for the long haul.
For more of Keri Kruspe’s posts on Writer’s Fun Zone, go here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keri Kruspe has been an author since the age of twelve and has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end in Happily Ever After. Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures, Keri’s first series is An Alien Exchange trilogy. An Alien Exchange is the first book in the arousing Alien Exchange sci-fi romance series. If you like sexy aliens, feisty heroines, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Keri Kruspe’s steamy space adventure.
Keri now resides with her family in the wilds of Northwestern Michigan. An avid reader, Keri enjoys good wine, good food, and watching action/adventure movies. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world of writing or traveling with her hubby in their RV, discovering intelligent life here on Earth. For goodies, news of upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter at www.kerikruspe.com.