How to Survive in Publishing

This is from Jackie Ashenden’s tweet that’s 100% spot on. This is exactly what I needed today after almost giving up on my holiday story again last night. I especially love the one about failure being not just a possibility, but a certainty.

And that’s it. Now I need to get offline and finish that novella! 15k more words to go!

*Yes, I did not go beyond the original 8k words for the past week…


I could not resist.

On Writing: What’s Essential?

I found this Twitter thread that’s so valuable that I have to park it here before it disappears into the depths of my newsfeed:

Click on the tweet and read the whole thread. It was what I needed to hear after five months of agonizing over plot and story and everything else.

Hope your day is filled with lots of stories worth telling and writing about. As for me, it’s the kid’s first day of summer vacation and we’re staying home so far. I’m still nursing a cold and so outdoors stuff will have to wait until tomorrow.

What Is So Bad About Romance Novels?

I guess when I screenshot this last night, everyone at the offices of Bon Appetit were still tucked in bed, unaware that they’d managed to offend a pretty big (and vocal) group of people.

Needless to say, they received quite a number of responses to their tweet and Facebook post, and by morning, the tweet was gone and they issued an apology at the end their article. It’s so small I almost missed it.

Still, it made me wonder. Really? Are romance novels really that bad? Is this why I used to lower my voice when someone would ask me, “So what do you write?” and I’d answer (in that lowered voice), “Romance.”

But three years since hitting that Publish button, I’ve changed. I’ve seen some amazing things, like how my stories have changed people’s lives and made it easier for them to go through tough times. I’ve seen more than a million words written on my Ulysses app to the point that the middle row of my Macbook keyboard is useless. I’ve seen myself go from overwhelm mode while learning all about marketing as an author to being able to manage it and see a profit each month from practicing the things I’ve learned. I’ve gone from, OMG I got a 2-star review and they called my hero effeminate–are they blind?! to eh, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and that’s theirs.

I also started to believe in myself.

I trusted without any doubt that what I do is an honorable thing and not something to be ashamed of. It’s a life that I wouldn’t trade for anything else. It’s knowing that if I were to do this all over again, I’d write my heart out and not worry too much about family or friends watching and judging. They’re going to judge anyway and all I can do is adjust the way I deal with whatever judgment they come up with… and that in the grand scheme of things, what they think about my books doesn’t matter.

Still, seeing that tweet last night made me realize that while not much may change when it comes to the way people see romance authors (and by extension, their readers), what matters is how you see yourself.

And the way I see myself is this: I’m an author and a self-published romance author at that. And no way am I hiding my pulpy romance novels with someone else’s book covers, thank you very much.


Character Arcs Via #StorySocial

Today I received a note from my editor telling me that she’ll have my manuscript back a week early, which means I have to finish my current WIP by Sunday. It’s supposed to be 20K words only, something to tide me over while waiting to dive back into her edits and so now it’s crunch time.

With a 20K word story, that means you have to be efficient when it comes to your arcs. And I found the perfect guide to help me:

If you’ve never heard of StorySocial before, definitely give them a look. They do weekly chats like this and it’s a great way to meet other authors like you!

When the Master Speaks… You Listen #Writing

So today while finishing up my manuscript and crossing my fingers that all loose ends have been tied nicely in a hundred bows, I saw this:

And off I went searching for the following words on my manuscript. And sure enough, there were six instances of “for a (long) moment” which when I promptly removed them, made the sentences a thousand times better. Even perfect.

Why does he have to make so much sense?