That twisted knife of self-doubt…

What is it about doubt? As a writer, actually I am going to assume anyone, but especially in the artistic field, we have this doubt that is always creeping in.

I write my books with the full understanding that not everyone that reads them will love them. There will always be someone that just didn’t get it and that’s fine, right? Hmm, yes… but no!

Logically, of course, it’s fine. Logically, I think, who cares. Its just one person’s opinion, right? But here’s the thing that I never knew existed before I embarked on a writing career, that one person’s opinion becomes the only opinion!

Like, you can have 50 reviews all stating how much they enjoyed the book. The characters were like real people and they felt like they were right there with them… but none of that matters anymore, because you have one person’s opinion staring you in the face. Telling you how you failed to deliver. Using your own words to twist that knife of self-doubt. Making you really consider whether or not to bother finishing this next book that your 50 thousand words invested in. Damn it, half the time you consider pulling them all from the shelf.

And the thing is, they never meant for you to feel that way. Did they? But it’s that honest appraisal that we focus on…

So what can we do? What can we change that makes us stop doubting and just go on…Because 50 other opinions loved what you wrote!!

I always go and read another author’s reviews. Pick any successful author in any genre you like and find their best selling book. That one book you loved so much that you left a review! Find it, read the reviews for it and I can guarantee you… they got a shitty review on it. That brilliant book that left you feeling like you’d just read something wonderful, that left an imprint in your heart… You and thousands of others all loved it but…someone else thought it was crap! Only then can you start to understand that it’s not just you… every author has that one person’s opinion.

Marvel’s Stan Lee…RIP


I have spent the best of my life being entertained by this mans imagination.

I was never a fan of comics, but the films made from Stan’s creations, have given me hours of entertainment. Just recently, my wife and I, watched Venom at the cinema. We have one of those membership cards where we can see any film, anytime, so there was no question that we would watch it in 4DX. It was amazing. Thrown back and forth in our seats. We laughed, we gasped and we came out with an impression of WOW!

And that’s how I usually leave the cinema having watched a Marvel creation.

As a kid I grew up watching Wonder Woman, I had no idea where she originated from, I just knew that I wanted to be like her…she was also my first crush. So, I have a lot to thank Mr Lee for 馃槈

His passing is a sad moment for all of us that are fans, but his legacy will live on, with generations more to come who will find themselves sucked into the world of Marvel and all of its wonderful Characters.

Thanks, Stan!

Christmas j贸lab贸kafl贸冒?

Well, that’s a word to get your tongue around, huh?

I had never heard of it until recently, when a friend told me all about this beautiful Icelandic tradition, that she insisted that we do this year. I thought it sounded like a brilliant idea.

Just around the start of December, every household will receive a compilation book (b贸kat铆冒indi)聽that list all the newly published books, and then everyone gives each other a book on Christmas eve (j贸lab贸kafl贸冒) or translated as Yule Book Flood.

Isn’t that just a great idea?!! and if you really want to make it special then contact your favourite authors and ask if you can buy an signed copy, most of us are happy to send them out.

BTW, we are adding chocolates to our book gifts.

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Muddled words…

So, I am reading fanfic mainly at the moment. Its easy reading and just what I need while I am trying to write my stories. I’ve noticed something that reoccurs quite a lot though and it got me thinking about things… Do we write more in the style of how we speak and what we hear, rather than the actual way that we are supposed to write, and is there anything wrong with that.

When I read the wrong word, my first instinct is its just a typo and I can gloss over it with little concern. I understood the word the writer meant to use and it doesn’t lessen the story for me. However, I recently read three words in various stories by various authors (one a published author) and noticed they weren’t typos as they reappeared in various forms.

Shutter and Shuttered, when the word should be Shudder and Shuddered.

Mettled and Mettle, when the word should be Meddled and Meddle.

Drug, when the word should be dragged.

cropped-alphabet-1.jpgI know that there are several words in English that don’t translate to US English, like Leant. But that’s not what this is…This feels for me more like the writer is using words in the way they heard them. Of course, they pass the spell checker because they are real words and most likely, Fanfic, isn’t being edited often.

So, my question is… does this bother you as a reader or are we moving into an age where writing stories are just like a text message? Language is evolving and meanings are changing.

I’m not a literary snob. I use text spiel often, so I’m quite open to an evolving language, but I can’t quite get my head around wrong words!


Blog Hop-Writing my first novel!

I never set out to write a novel. I鈥檇 been reading fanfic and fancied giving it a go but I didn鈥檛 think I could do justice to the characters. (Jane and Maura from Rizzoli & Isles.)

So, I did the next best thing and wrote out the What ifstory that had been floating about in my head for months as I drove around the Southern part of the UK delivering blood. I had a broken leg and was bored just sitting around with my leg stuck up in the air, so I grabbed my laptop and started to write it out. If anything, it took my mind off the boredom.

I thought, like most things in my life, that I鈥檇 get bored about 20 minutes in, but no! It just kept flowing. All these words tumbled out of me and when I finally finished months later, I had this story in front of me and no idea what to do with it. So, it got left in a file on my laptop and forgotten about for a while because then I had this idea for another story. Before I knew it, I had several first draft stories written out. Full of mistakes, typos and terrible grammar, but still it was something! (that鈥檚 still the case today without the help of Michelle ArnoldOUT (1), my friend and fellow author who edits all my books for me.)

I then spent months debating with myself whether to put them out there for people to read. I knew I couldn鈥檛 ever publish them, not without someone reading them and fixing them, but what was the point of going to all that trouble if they were a load of rubbish anyway鈥o, eventually I plucked up the courage and I uploaded to one of those sites for free fiction. And people liked it!!

I re-wrote it and re-wrote it. And they still liked it!

Of course, every review started with a comment on the grammar issues and whatnot, but the consensus was that it was a good story. So, I uploaded some others and by the time I鈥檇 finished I had ten or more stories on that site and never got a bad review. So, I re-wrote it again before I let my friend Michelle read and yep, you guessed it鈥 she pointed out the grammar, but then she said let me fix it!

Before I knew it, she had convinced me to publish it!

The most nerve-wracking thing I have ever done. Now, I have five books published and the sixth is coming very soon and I finally feel like I can officially call myself an author!

So, I say to anyone with an idea in their head鈥 Give it a go!!

This post is part of the WLW Author Blog Hop Series entitled聽Writing my first novel聽each blog post will link to another author so you can discover more about how they wrote their first novel.

Learn how Kit Eyre鈥檚 attitude to office politics and procedures resulted in But By Degrees becoming her first published novel.聽Kit Eyre is an author with a proclivity for Yorkshire women (despite her wife being a Lancastrian). She likes her romance with a huge dollop of 鈥渟omething else鈥 and has so far published two novels.聽