Publishing Can Be a Drag

I’ve just been feeling “off” lately. Life is busy and it’s sad right now and fraught with lots of bad news and crappy vibes and people doing horrible things. And that is definitely part of it. But that’s not what’s really had me down.

Lately I’ve had to do my “chores”. My Publishing chores. If you’re a self published writer, then you know all about these “chores”. This is the stuff you gotta do, the business stuff, the letters and the queries and the promoting of your work. And I’m not gonna lie. It’s a drag.

I’m not a business person, not one bit. I don’t enjoy this part but I know it comes hand in hand with self publishing. I’d rather be writing. That’s the reason for my current funk. I’ve spent very little time writing and a whole lot of time promoting my book “Docia’s Diary”. I want it to get seen and read and shared, so I have to do these little things that traditionally published authors take for granted. There is no team editing my books or proof reading or playing around with layouts. There is no media department writing press releases and a sales department getting book sellers to stock my books. That’s all me. And I pretty much suck at it but I do the best I can.

Today I’d finally had enough of the business side of things and I WROTE. I finished a manuscript I’ve been struggling with for months and I felt so GOOD! Like a jolt of creative electricity had shot right through my heart and my mind. I realized THIS is what’s important. The writing. All that other stuff can get done or not done, whatever. But the writing, for me, HAS to happen. Whether it gets published or not, read by many or read by only me, it must happen. Because I could no longer stop writing than I could stop breathing.

So thank you, my creative subconscious, for reminding this girl why she still exists in this crazy world and just what her purpose is. I’ll try not to forget it!

You Don’t Always Need a Happy Ending

When I was little, I loved fairy tales. From the “Once upon a time” to the “And they lived happily ever after” and every bit in between. I loved that all so much that when I got married, Cinderella was our “theme”!

But in my writing, I’m not always content with the happy endings. I don’t know what it is really, maybe that little sadistic bent I have buried deep inside of me, but some stories scream out at me, “no, no happy ending for this one.”

Sometimes I just don’t want to let that evil go. Depending on the story, the characters, plot, feeling, I will either let everyone off at the end of the day or off everyone at the end of the day! (hee hee, see what I did there?)

It used to be in writing there were all these “rules” (gag). One rule seemed to be that you just could not end a book without a happy ending. Everything had to be wrapped up nice and pretty and tied with a bow. Then Alfred Hitchcock came along, and the rules changed, thank heaven! Hitchcock would let you think all was well at the end, then smack! Not so fast! The killer was still alive, or the main character discovers he’s now in a zoo for humans on another planet or some such thing. (okay, that one is the Twilight Zone, but you get my drift!)

I can remember watching that stuff as a kid, and my mom would get so pissed! She read mostly romance, where you do, of course, want a happy ending. She didn’t get my fascination with this creepy horror/mystery/suspense stuff, and when the show didn’t end up in that neat package, she’d go nuts. “That stupid Hitchcock! I hate that man!” she’d scream, then she’d stomp off to her room to read her latest happy ending book.

But I loved it! I will admit, there is this little moment of “noooooooo!” at the end of these things when the main character is not only on that cliff but pushed off to his death. But then it’s like, hmmm, interesting. Because it’s different. It’s not predictable. And it’s brave, and I sure do like writing with guts.

So the next time you sit in front of your computer to start that new story, ask yourself. Are you going to give your readers a tidy ending, or are you going to send your characters off that cliff?

Let your gut decide. It won’t steer you wrong.