A little bit more.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

What do you wish you had an unlimited supply of?

Mostly, time. And biscuits. But there are other things.

Time to finish all the half-written stories that I can never seem to get around to. All the sequels, prequels and spin-off adventures that I can see in my head. By some cruel twist of fate, every time I make a promise to myself to get on with them, I will do a bit of research or have a glimpse of what’s going on, then WHAM! A new idea, prompted by what I’m trying to achieve in one story, will spring to the foreground and demand my attention as a new project. The new appear faster than I can finish the old. In their turn, they then become the old faster than I would like.

Motivation. As a consequence, I look at the list of things I have to write and feel overwhelmed. The sheer scale of the task I have set myself makes it hard to get started on anything. I’ll scroll Facebook, gaze for hours at YouTube videos, write blog posts. In fact, I’ll do anything to avoid getting on with what really needs doing.

Patience. With marketing. I know it’s trial and error, testing and losses until you hit upon the thing that starts to push sales. I also accept that you need time to find your market and tribe and became visible. I just wish it would happen a bit sooner. I’ve spent a lot of time and money testing various types of advertising and have yet to find the one that really works. I can break even, but actually getting the push past that into profit is proving tricky. I just hope I can crack it before the money (or time) runs out.

Optimism, in the face of setback. When people don’t do what they’ve said or suggested they will. The times I get a bad review, or someone returns an eBook or audiobook for a refund. Sometimes it feels like I will never get anywhere, as a result, I get despondent. Then a good review or act of kindness from one of my real friends will perk me up.

Enthusiasm, for the validity of my work. So many people have said that they’ve bought my books and will review them. When it doesn’t happen, I begin to question whether it’s because the book is rubbish and not even worth a one-star comment. Enough said. Self-doubt and imposter syndrome are not pleasant companions.

And finally,

Biscuits, especially digestive ones but any will do. Sometimes I make my own, other times I just buy them from Aldi (other supermarkets are available). My writing output is directly proportional to the number of biscuits consumed. And they make me feel better, in the face of most of the problems mentioned above.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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12 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      If only. That was my plan at the start. The voices in my head had other ideas. Far too many of them.

  1. Daryl Devore

    I can relate to each of your points in more ways than I can to admit. Especially the biscuits one!

    Sorry I’m a day late. My Monday got very busy.

    P.S.Your math captcha questions make me laugh- math was soo not my best subject and I still panic.

  2. Amy Miller

    I love ALDI. Also, that was a great list of things to have more of. I felt ya on every single one of them.

  3. phil huston

    As an accomplished baker, you must understand the concept of content, something this entire group of hoppers is in denial about. All the marketing in the world, all the money, all the time all the insight won’t push burnt or sodden or underdone biscuits off the shelves. The ideal would be to embrace the critical reviews, the returns – ask direct questions, get pointed answers and address them. A good review is useless unless they come in droves, a bad review is an opportunity. Unless you’re a Nobel darling like Ishiguro who got widely basted for the flawlessly bland, voiceless and cataclysmically boring “Nocturnes” but still has a contract. I say to this you because you have some great content, and with a little work you could turn those returns into $ if you’d simply listen to your detractors.

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks for replying, Phil. And thanks for your kind words. I’m still surprised that I can write anything at all, given my lack of qualification and training in the art. I’m always willing to listen to constructive criticism, plus I accept that not everyone will like what I do. What I wasn’t prepared for was the vitriol and destructive nature of some of the “advice” I’ve received. Tell me honestly and without malice what you think is wrong and where you think I could improve and I’ll appreciate every thought. Tell me you will hack my website if I don’t stop writing or that I’m a racist/misogynist without providing any justification or context and my interest evaporates. And yes, these are things that I’ve been on the receiving end of. Unfortunately, there are those with whom you can not engage in rational debate. I’ve learned that it’s hard to differentiate and that it’s better to err on the side of caution. Which doesn’t mean that I surround myself with sycophants either, because I know that too will do me no favours.

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