On Getting Your Work Noticed (Just an Observation)

The end of an edit / re-write beckons; approximately 11.5% of some 248,000+ words left to ‘listen’ to and ponder over. Word is not happy with the weight I have placed upon it, pretending to lose the Dictionary additions, altering margins and spacing at random intervals, changing the Spellcheck to another language, failure to comprehend any literary constructs apart from business speak; the usual protests against an unprofessional artistic use of its programmes. BUT my trusty memory stick is ever at my side reminiscent of a faithful hound, lest Word pulls its most evil of tricks and crashes the whole work (which it dallied with back in July).

Thus this will conclude a work in three parts which will in total tally up 600,000 + words and has taken somewhere around six years to complete. A time in which edits, proof-reading and re-writes were all done within my own bubble. Thanks to Amazon Kindle and the free-book promotions I guess about 30 folk have Volumes I & II downloaded and a big thanks to those kind folk who also purchased copies (probably about 10 sales). If Volume III bumps the totals up by 33% that might be in line with my expectations (based on the previous performances). Sometimes those figures were disheartening but were unlikely to be the sole cause of the low mood, more symptomatic of a general lassitude, my late father used to refer to this as ‘being at the bottom of the wheel’. Outside of the central character of a mid-twentieth century swashbuckling or ‘happy’ musical film, who does not experience these times?

At this stage a writer facing such results will have reached a crossroads of some sort of another. Their outlook will be dependant on amount of the effort they have previously put into their marketing, networking, assistance, outside editing and beta-reading to name but a few of the preparation and research strategies available to them.

For some despite their very best and diligent efforts in these areas, their work still fails to gain recognition and a despondency sets in. This is very understandable. They may well decide writing is not for them and seek other paths. Whether this was the right choice or another promising writer was lost to the caprice of the market, we will never truly know; this sort of judgement belongs as it were ‘to the ages’.

For others there can be an analytical response, they shrug (after a period of flushing out the disappointment) and ‘go back to the drawing board’. Maybe, they think, the work needs some tweaking, nay complete overhauling. Records of advice: friendly, editorial and beta will be consulted, the work re-read (a painful process at times) and the writer returns to the battle carrying out that very delicate balancing act between others input and how they, the writer, wishes the narrative to go.

Some will decide, they do so love writing, but maybe they chose the wrong genre or wrong style of narrative. They start again, maybe using the very bare bones of the first work. This happened to me, twice. First attempt was grim, bloody (and also unreadable). The second attempt, set in the world of my current books at an earlier time was comedic satire, the volumes are now a source of folklore and history in the current works. This third is a mix, one might say real as can be found in Fantasy. 

I stood at the crossroads and looked back over my shoulder. Had I utilised any of those aforementioned strategies and resources in my journey. Yes, but due to the vagaries of life met with three sources whose advice or commentaries were not to my liking, and hereabouts there are some strong opinions retained on their competencies and ability to use perception, but we shall move on. I was glad of the observations and reviews by Audrey Driscoll https://audreydriscoll.com/  Berthold Gambrel  https://ruinedchapel.com/  and Rachael Ritchey https://rachaelritchey.com/ Each gave support, advice incisive and constructive and was taken on board in future efforts. Those who indulge in throwaway criticism would do well to stay away from me, their comments get analysed, critically…yes one is not supposed to indulge so in kicking back at a bad review…. I have nothing to lose, there would be ramifications for the throwaway reviewer.  

And there came the decision. If my work was currently not surfacing into public attention amongst the many thousands of efforts by unknown writers and my approach to all the strategies and resources was idiosyncratic, nay even shambolic and I was using the massively populated medium of Amazon Kindle, then what was there to lose in going my very own way? The books could be recorded for the public to find, there would be some gratification there, and at the same time all creativity, imagination and experimentation could be utilised just for their own collective sakes. Thus I gave vent to all manner of writing about varied circumstances, maybe some had no business being in a book seriously put together with sales in mind as a benefit; some might send editors and beta-readers into much head-shaking or saying ‘WHAT???’ Let it be so. I have enjoyed this veering off at tangents, exploring issues narrative, and it is all mine.

At this juncture let me say this is not an attempt to mask vanity with an air of assumed artistic superiority or the self-indulgent woeful stance of someone ‘suffering’ for their art. No this is just me, writing as I write, for a particular  purpose, and because the whole project will not let me be until it is concluded this way. To put it another way for those starting out or those having doubts:

Writing about my approach as one you should follow is not the reason. It would, quite frankly be irresponsible for me to contend this is worthwhile way of ‘doing things’. Not so, the above words are tailored to illustrate my position and current view of my own work. For advice on the matter of publishing, please, please seek out others. Going Complete Rogue is generally a bad idea. 

As long as the writing does not mask an agenda promoting Hate, Intolerance or questionable politics I wish everyone well with their writing. Published conventional or self-published, the writer’s efforts are to be celebrated, another record in the great endeavour writing, another statement ‘I was here’.

That you strive at your work with the conviction you have as much right as any to do is enough for me.

Meanwhile, nearly a year after the original narrative of Daughters of Circumstance. Arbiters of Consequences was completed, still working on the final ‘publicationable’ document? But of course.  

And Thus Is Completed The Narrative

Another Launch (Persistence Doesn’t Always Pay, But It’s Satisfying)

Musings on Writing (Another series). Important Reactions to Use on Suitable Occasions

19 thoughts on “On Getting Your Work Noticed (Just an Observation)

  1. I’m glad you’re making good progress, Roger. But Word has to stop acting up. Lately I’ve heard from a few other writers who are also having trouble with Word, and it makes me wonder what in the world is going on. We have enough troubles, as writers, to deal with; we don’t need Word acting up in addition to any of that.

    I’d figured you were head-down in rewrites and/or edits, as I hadn’t seen you comment lately at my blog. (Plus, I’ve mostly been talking about non-writing and non-editing things, though I did have a good preview of a book called STAND AGAINST THE LIGHT I thought you’d like. The heroine, Eclipse, actually stands _for_ the light, but I think the writer — George Phillies — picked this title because she is so bright, it’s almost as if the light is shining through her. And perhaps he wanted a bit of irony there.)

    Why didn’t you tell me your books were out there already, though? I would’ve been glad to say something, especially when you were having a free or reduced-price promotion. (Surely my ten readers will be willing to give your work a try. I can’t see why they wouldn’t, anyway.)

    Please do let me know when you have another one, if you would be so kind. I’ll help you all I can. 🙂

    Anyway, enjoyed your blog immensely. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • At home my tirades at Word would suit a Military Drill Instructor. We shall not go into details. My theory is that Word is geared to suit The Commercial World first, The Academic World second and couldn’t care two bytes about writers, in fact writers confuse it.

      Yes, I am apologising around WP to folk for not keeping in contact. In part there has indeed been a lot of work put into a mammoth write over three volumes, also Summer drains me a bit so there’s not ‘much’ left over after a re-write. (Also I got side-tracked on FaceBook with a group working for a coalition amongst the Opposition Parties in the UK to tactically vote out the current government – that’s a long story, I’ve kind of had my say there). As with other folk I know on WP, will have to back-track through the posts and seek out yours- get my head cleared by reading other folks thoughts.—STAND AGAINST THE LIGHT does sound interesting, must find your post on that.

      Annndd my trilogy. They are basically fantasy adventures, with comradeship comedy, romance, LGBT, intrigues, violence (mostly of the derring-do sort) built in with observations on this-that-and-the-other. Overall the theme is feel-good because the three central character, young women pitched into events come out on top in every situation and each book has an upbeat ending. You’ll find posts on this blog and its sister blog -‘The Precipice Dominions’: (that’s the overall title of the trilogy- )
      The first two: “Of Patchwork Warriors” & “Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire” are on kindle at 0.99 (whatevers) under by pen name R J Llewellyn (And to folk I know if they like by e-mail on PDF-free).
      I hope to have the last Volume ‘Daughters of Circumstance. Arbiters of Consequence’ out by October (Halloween- yeah- good time for a Fantasy Book).

      Thanks for your encouragement Barb; means a great deal to me

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Barb Caffrey's Blog and commented:
    This is an excellent summation of the various things writers think about when they put their work out there. (Especially when they work hard and don’t get noticed. I have to admit a lot of my writing has fallen into this category as well.)

    The best point here, IMHO, is that what you do is meaningful not just to you, but to posterity. (No, it’s not vanity if you want to make your mark. Even if your mark gets lost in all the other marks out there.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the reblog Barb.
      It is a very long hard road for writers starting off, or working away not seeming to be getting anywhere. Even those of us who have gained thicker skins and/or have gone off on tangents are prey to feeling discouraged from time to time.
      I agree with you all the way, once you complete your work and ‘put it out there’; therein is your contribution. And who is to say that some day later down the years the book will not achieve a belated success. IT does happen.
      We keep on keeping on

      Liked by 1 person

      • This is what one of my best friends, an excellent writer in her own right, keeps telling me. There’s no saying our work won’t have its day, sometime.

        In music, for example, Charles Ives loved composing and had a gift for it. But his day job was as something like an insurance agent, I believe; he was not able to make a living (or felt he would not) as a composer.

        When he retired as an agent, he was able to get more of his work out there. He did have other composers who loved what he did, including Aaron Copland. But he wasn’t able to compose in retirement, at least nothing new; he did work on things that were already extant.

        Anyway, much of his life his work was ignored, except for other composers (who knew a good thing when they heard it). But in his old age, his work was known, and it’s become arguably much better known after his passing in 1954. (Leonard Bernstein was another aficionado, and he was partly why Ives’ work got a much better reception. That, and maybe time had changed enough to appreciate experimentation…because make no mistake, the best of what Ives does is experimental at its heart.)

        So, while there are also people like Eudora Welty who sold books (their first, and sometimes only book, in their late 70s or even in their 80s), I resonate more to the story of Charles Ives.

        IOW, the only thing we can do is keep working on our craft. If the world needs to catch up to what we’re doing, so what? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I embrace the sentiments in your post wholeheartedly Barb:
        Robert Noonan (writing as Robert Tressel) died disappointed his book The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists was not a success. Now a classic.
        And for those who had a number of rejection letters here’s an interesting little list:
        https://lithub.com/the-most-rejected-books-of-all-time/

        I love those concluding words of yours…’If the world needs to catch up to what we’re doing, so what?’- inspired. It’s now included in my personal list of quotes, along with to name but a few Kipling, Whitman, Lewis Carroll, Churchill & Eleanor Roosevelt (‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Congrats on getting that work done! That is not easy, especially in our modern world of distractions. Being a writer is definitely all about frustration…LOL….but then again, if you love the process of writing, that is the main and most important thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks.
      I have a few things going for me.
      1. Retired in 2013 for more time than most folks.
      2. Feverish imagination (or possibly in metaphysical contact with the folk who are these characters but live in some other location and/or time- it’s a big universe)
      3. The sneaky idea and guilty enjoyment that if these books were ever to get out into a wide public, their structure, underlying themes and agendas would annoy the heck out of professional critics and folk who don’t like feel-good, rom-com, romance, (of all sorts) and happy endings in their fantasy novels and believe that is the true and only way.
      4. Yep. I do love writing and as you say that is the main and most important thing.
      Thanks for stopping by, and all the best with your own projects.

      Liked by 1 person

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