I’ve been writing a long time. I won’t tell you how long, because I’d give away my age – but long enough to not care to admit it. J And over the years I attended many, many, many conferences, workshops, signings and speaking events where other authors, successful authors, authors I admired and read and adored talked about how they did this mystical, mysterious art known as crafting a novel.
Oh, boy, did I absorb every. Single. Word. I took notes. Lots of notes. Notebooks FULL of notes. I paid hundreds of dollars in membership dues, class fees, and bought books on writing. I joined clubs, went to monthly meetings (Thank You RWA!) and still struggled.
Thoughts chased themselves around in my head like a constantly beating drum. How was I supposed to do this? Why wasn’t I getting published? What was I supposed to do? How did I get good enough to be legit? To be worthy. Then self-publishing rose as an option, and I wrote, and I published, and I didn’t SELL. No one cared. So I took more classes. Read more books on writing. Listened to more talks and speeches and took more notes.
What a load of crap. Yeah, you heard me. It’s all crap. Lies. Frosting on a crap cake decorated with dead flowers. If you want the truth…read on.
Maybe there’s someone out there telling the truth about writing, but if there is, I didn’t stumble across this mythical and magnificent creature. Stephen King is about as close as I found (and he’s a genius, IMHO). Nora Roberts threw down the F-bomb three times in a row while I sat rapt and stunned in a ballroom at RWA. That was close. The closest I’ve heard spoken aloud. But even these two amazing authors have never, as far as I know, summarized. So, please, allow me.
Your words are crap. They will always be terrible. Your writing sucks. I don’t care if it’s your first book or your fiftieth…your writing sucks.
So does mine. So does Stephen King’s and Nora’s.
Get the F#ck over it and deal. Stop trying to spin gold. You are NOT Rumpelstiltskin.
No, I’m not on drugs. I’m not drunk. I’m high on reality, and making a very nice living as an author.
How? How you say? How did I do it? If my writing is terrible, how is this happening to me? How is it possible you are reading this blog post…right now…about my book? My amazing, sexy, make-you-cry and laugh and dream, book? Did all those classes and talks and hand-cramping note-taking finally, finally pay off?
Nope. I accepted the truth. My writing sucks. I sit down and type out a scene, and I shudder. I cringe when I re-read the pages. I misspell words. My grammar is severely lacking. But I keep going. I write more crap. The words pour out of me like vomit directly onto the computer monitor. It reeks of mediocrity. There are leftover chunks of ego and the melodramatic sandwich I ate for lunch in high school. But I keep writing. I write as fast as I can. Thousands of words a day, five days a week, and sometimes weekends too.
I believe Nora did say, “You can’t fix a blank page.” And that is the truth, but to really, really get it, you have to realize why she said it. She must think her writing sucks, too. Maybe two hundred books into the process, she has graduated from writer’s hell. I don’t know. (I’d love to ask her.) But if she’s like me, and a lot of successful writers I know, she doesn’t worry about being perfect anymore. Embrace the suck. Write as much horrible melodrama as you can, as quickly as you can…then FIX it.
Gather up all the crappy words, melodrama, bad dialogue, repetitive language, unimaginative descriptions, and every other BAD thing a person can put in their writing…and FIX it. One sentence at a time. Edit. Delete. Edit again. Add some stuff. Take it out. Ask yourself if every page has one of the five senses and at least one emotion. Analyze the market. If MMA books are selling in your genre, write MMA. If it’s Highlanders, write a freaking hot Scot. Write crap. Stop worrying about being perfect, being an artist, making a statement, or writing what you know…and worry about finishing the damn book. Then fix it…one sentence at a time.
My writing sucks. That’s the secret no one told me. Yours does too. Don’t worry about it. Your all-important ego will be happy in the end. Your theme, your personal beliefs, the YOU that wanted to be a writer in the first place, that had something to say, will sneak onto the pages when you aren’t looking.
But keep trying to spin gold and you’ll never, ever manage it. Now you know. Good luck!
~ Amanda Adams
Walker Brothers #1
Some love songs are just waiting to be written.
The guitar in his grip revives a childhood promise, but he needs sexy Erin Michaelson as his music teacher. When he sees her on stage using another name — and seducing an entire audience — she brings more back to life than just his music.
A single, sizzling backstage kiss will change both of their lives forever. Chance soon realizes that Erin is not just an itch, she’s an obsession he refuses to live without.
New Adult [Author Self-Published, On Sale: April 5, 2017, e-Book (reprint), ISBN: 2940157595661 / eISBN: 1230001625226]
About Amanda Adams
Amanda Adams fell in love with books at a very early age. Her earliest memories are of sitting on her mother’s lap reading Cinderella and Snow White and Rose Red over, and over, and over again until she had them memorized – she was too young to know the alphabet. Amanda started writing stories in big, sloppy handwriting in a wide-rule notebook when she was bored, during class (of course) in the fifth grade. Her favorite stories always include excitement, adventure and a handsome hero guaranteed to sweep her off her feet. Amanda lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband (her high-school sweetheart who proved the reality of “love at first sight”) and three teenagers whom she reminds, repeatedly–“If it’s not in my phone, it’s not happening,” because her mind is oh-so-often far away living a fairy tale. (That’s code for “if an alarm doesn’t go off, she forgets to pick up her kids from school”)