Saturday, July 23, 2011

Under PRESSURE. . .

Hello Fans,

You've heard people say "you're only as good as your last!"  If you've seen a movie that truly let you down, more often than not, people will still go to see another movie of their favorite star, but may be a little hesitant, however, they will give them another chance.  If you bought a CD of your favorite singer and you find that you don't care for most of the songs, odds are, you'll probably buy another CD of that artist.  If you buy clothing or shoes from online and you get excited waiting for your purchases to come in the mail, only to open it up and it doesn't fit right, or the color may not be what it looked like from the site you were on, nine times out of ten, you'll probably buy something else from that site.  But, one thing I've learned, if your book disappoints your reading audience, they are quick to never read you again.

This isn't always the case, but readers are a tough group to keep motivated.  If you're a writer, you know exactly what I'm speaking about.  When you set the bar high for yourself, you have to constantly outdo what you did before, and it can be quite a challenge for yourself.

So you ask yourself, what next?  And, that's the million dollar question.  I'm struggling with this new book I'm writing, and I'm not exactly sure why that is?  Well. . .that's not entirely true, I know why, it's just that I have to keep my eye on the prize and that can be difficult sometimes.  When I find myself in a writing rut like this, I usually sit back and do nothing.  For me, I find when I stop worrying with my storyline, eventually ideas will filter through my mind.  So far, I've had one character reveal herself to me, and she's a weird one.  I'm not sure what she wants me to do, and I'm not sure about the people she's revealed to me.

Have you ever stumbled upon a character that was so out there that you have no idea just where the hell this character is taking you?  If not, consider yourself lucky.  I've written about 12 pages that I read out loud, something I very rarely do, to my husband and when I finished, he had this look on his face.  I wasn't quite sure what the look meant, and his silence scared me a little.  I suppose I got the wrong impression too quickly because he loved what I had written.  He asked me to read some more, but I explained that I hadn't gotten any further.  He appeared a little disappointed.  So I inquired, "do you think my fans would like something like this?"  And a huge smile crept up on his face.  He responded, "if they don't like it, something has to be wrong."

The reason I'm sharing this with you, my fans, is because I'm doing something so out of my element that it frightens me a little.  I'm going outside of my formula that I've mastered for my last two novels, and it's hard to tell if it will work or not, but I'm daring myself to write harder and stronger, and so far it's working.  The pressure is on and I can feel it and sometimes I put extra added pressure where it doesn't need to be, but that is because I'm a perfectionist in every sense of the word.  And I bet many of you who write, do that to yourselves.

Knowing that I'm competing with millions of writers doesn't bother me.  The only person that scares me is myself.  I compete with myself all the time, and she's the only person that I ever try to outdo.  I don't worry about what other indie authors are doing, and I don't bother myself with what works for them, I only worry about what it is I can do, and how to better my craft.  If you're just starting out in this game, you have got to stay focused and worry about what it is you can do to change the playing field.  I love competition, and when you compete with yourself, that's the ultimate fight.  It then becomes, may the better one win, and if you think about that, you will win all the time, because you're focusing on your abilities, instead of concerning yourself with what others are doing.

So, when you have moments where you're afraid of what it is you're writing, take a step back and regroup.  Try not to add too much pressure on yourself, nor take yourself too seriously because it's really not that serious.  When you take it easy, your story will flow, and that's all you should worry yourself with.

Until next time, Peace, Love and Write ON! writers.

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/International Poet
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