His output belies that: his website is extensive, and makes use of some slick coding and mashups that I haven't figured out, yet. He also produces a paper.li called The Rush Report. He reads extensively, judging just by the scrolling display of books on his Kindle, and he writes a lot of reviews, comments and tweets. Just thinking about catching up with him leaves me breathless!
As for the training: his writing shows he knows what he's doing. Take it away, Ken!
There are moments in life when things may become surreal. Reality takes a back seat, and you find yourself in a situation where time itself crawls to a stop. Whenever this happens, my response is typically phrased in the form of a question; the utterance of a single word: seriously?
Scott Bury asked a question the other day, and it stopped me in my tracks. He wanted to know if I would write a guest post on his blog. Seriously? Me?
Guest posts on a blog are a spotlight. In another generation, it would be similar to five minutes on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. A stage like this is most often associated with, and reserved for people that have something to promote, or happen to be extremely talented.
So how in the world did I end up here? I have no books to promote, and as for the extremely talented bit, well... I once drove my car to and from school in reverse because the transmission was messed up. Come to think of it, this may have been the only time in my life that I actually drove within the speed limit. What does this have to do with writing though? Nothing of course. That's my point. And yet, Scott thought enough of me, and more importantly, trusted me to ramble away on his blog.
Without a body of work to stand on, the only platform I can speak from is that of an aspiring author with a dream. However, according to Kristen Lamb, I should probably drop the aspiring author part. She says that, "Aspiring is for pansies. Takes guts to be a writer." Those are words of wisdom, and lends a certain inspiration to people that dream of publishing the things they write.
For this blog post, I was asked to give an account of the best and worst parts of being a writer. Much like Johnny Carson would sometimes do on his show, Scott Bury has given an unknown talent the opportunity to stand in the spotlight. How can this not be considered one of the best parts of the job?
When I made the decision to pursue my writing dreams late last year, I had no idea of what to expect. Many times in the past, whenever this dream of mine would bubble to the surface, instead of writing or developing a story, I would read 'how-to' books on writing. This time though, I thought it would be different. I jumped in, head first, and quickly found myself drowning in a world of indecision and doubt.
The act of writing was not the issue. In fact, the story I worked on was at twelve thousand words in a short amount of time. The problem was the nagging little voice in my head that kept whispering words of discouragement. It also didn't help that I decided to document my writing journey on the website, with the goal of inspiring others to chase their dreams. How then could I possibly inspire others when I had serious doubts about my own ability to succeed?
In the age of the Internet and Google, it occurred to me that there may be resources available to help guide me. The last thing I wanted was to read another book on writing. What I needed were real people, with real experiences that faced the same doubts that troubled me. Two months of Internet research can be summarized in four words; you are not alone.
The best part about being a writer? Sharing your experiences, frustration or doubts with other writers. Without this community I seriously doubt whether I would have found it within myself to continue. Support from your family can only take you so far. Having a group of people that have been there, or happen to be going through the same things you are is worth a golden fortune.
The people that I've met online are, more often than not, supportive and willing to help. They offer advice and tricks of the trade. These are the people in the trenches, doing what they love, and what I would love to do. For some, having a book on the bestseller list has been a dream come true.
For many though, becoming a bestselling author is not the primary goal. A bestseller would be nice, but they're not delusional or egotistical enough to expect it. They write because they enjoy it. Some of them, including myself, are just insecure enough to hope that others will appreciate what we've written. Can I get an Amen from the comment section? (see what I mean about insecurity?)
It's people like Scott, and blogs such as this, that make the world a little smaller, more comfortable place to live. The best part about being a writer? Community.
What's the worst part about being a writer? I could sum that up in one word as well, and no, the word is not verbosity. However, I'll wind this down as I can picture Scott drumming his fingers on the desk. I think my five minutes are just about up.
As much as the community of writers can be helpful, it can also be a distraction. Social media, if you're not careful, can easily become an addiction. You have a book to promote? Fire up Twitter, make some status updates on Facebook... oh, and don't forget to update your blog with the latest reviews. Speaking of reviews, what's the latest info from Amazon and Smashwords? Wow, four new reviews and wait... more than thirty mentions on Twitter today! You can see where I'm going with this.
I have a problem with spending too much time on the Internet, and hey, I don't even have a book to promote... yet. Don't quote me on this, but I have a feeling that if Hemingway were alive today he would be on twitter writing haiku, or slumped over his keyboard in a chat room debating the merits of invading Iraq. The Internet is an addicting place, especially if you have an addictive personality. Be wary.
Much of the time that I could spend writing is chipped away by distractions. For me, there is no bigger distraction than the Internet. That's the worst. In order to get any writing done at all, the cable modem must first be unplugged. The most important piece of advice that I could offer to new writers (and some of the published authors as well), is to have a schedule and try to stick to it.
If you can't write every day, then write as often as you can. If you can do so in a coffee shop, great! If you're the type of person that requires seclusion, such as myself, then hang a sign on the door and lock it. Unplug the phone and the Internet then show us your imagination. The only thing better than reading a good story is writing one.
You can read my post about my experience with social media so far on his blog. But first, leave a comment, below!