Walking away, persistence and writing what you know.

Writing is really the only thing I've found I'm any good at, and I'm basing that on the reviews my work has received so far. That's not to say I don't have other talents. I'm  a woodworker with a fully equipped wood shop in my basement. I even have a wood lathe. I'm also an experienced carpenter, but at fifty seven my days of swinging a twenty two ounce framing hammer all day are behind me.

I want to get back into making things with my hands, spending a little time each day in the wood shop building little projects for around the house. I also work a full time job in retail which gives me a limited amount of time each day to do the things I love.

I've noticed lately that I have been spending an inordinate amount of my time on Facebook and Twitter as I try to get my sales moving again, nothing is working, leading me to finally come to the conclusion, for me at least, that Twitter and Facebook are time sinks that offer very little in return.

I'm really more of a lurker anyway, scrolling down the page checking out what my writer friends are up to , maybe liking this or that status update and not much else. I once said Facebook was such a time sink because it's human nature to scroll to the bottom of the page, has anyone else noticed there is no bottom of the page on facebook, it just goes on and on indefinitely as long as you're willing to keep scrolling down.

This isn't to say I'm leaving FB forever, or even Twitter for that matter. I'm just working to curtail my time spent with either one, I'm walking away in a sense, refocusing my priorities.
With the holidays behind us I can now focus on getting back on track with my writing. Last year was not a good one for me writing wise. I only managed to release one book for the entire year, though I had planed to release three. As a result my sales for the year were abysmal, but from what I've read I'm not alone, sales for many other writers in the horror genre were also flat. It's just one of those things we have very little control over.

It has been said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result each time. Following that line of reasoning it would be a safe bet to assume that writers are an insane bunch.We keep putting our work out there hoping for a different result each time.

I'm not going to quit writing though.

I still have a multitude of stories percolating around in my head waiting to escape onto the page. I just have to work smarter with what time I have available to get more writing done. Which goes back to wasting less time on those activities that are not moving me forward. I will keep the blog going, posting new releases and the Fridays 5 interviews. But I'm going to quit beating myself up over not publishing a personal post every week. I'm reducing my personal goal to one post per month which  will naturally be about my writing and this crazy journey through the publishing process.

I recently read a blog post from a new writer who was expounding upon the need to break the rules of writing. To me there is only one rule to writing. You write, a rule I have repeatedly broken this past year.

This writer went on to explain that writing only what you knew would restrict one to writing only about those things one knew about. Plumbers only writing about plumbing, so to speak. I believe he and many of the other writers I've seen lately going on about this little caveat are missing the entire point.

Write what you know, means exactly what it implies. If you grew up as a fan of science fiction, with little interest in romance or spy thrillers, why as a writer would you attempt to write a romance novel? You wouldn't, you would write what you know. As a fan you know Sci-Fi, so it's only natural that you would write in that genre. Seems simple enough to me, but what do I know, I'm just an old guy with a passion for the horror genre.

Tell me, what do you think Write what you know, means?


  1. I've seen debates over "Write what you know." I think means drawing from what you know to write. Or something like that. I'm tired since I've been up since 5:30am due to my day job so my brain isn't functioning well. LOL

    1. Thanks for stopping by Patricia.
      I agree that the new writer is drawing from what they know, we were all readers before we became writers, and each of us had a favorite genre. When we take those first hesitant steps into writing we naturally emulate those that inspired us. As our confidence grows we expand out horizons, dabbling in other genres. But in the beginning we're best served by writing what we know, or in other words, working in the genre we are most familiar with. I believe that is what's meant by writing what you know.

      Way too familiar with the early morning ritual of a day job. I work full time too, so I feel your pain.