Friday, 14 October 2011

Necessary Distractions

I’m a newbie, with much to learn, in the platform game. A few weeks ago I started my blog and set up a Twitter account. Now I’m contemplating getting a website up. Building a platform is time consuming and distressing for a shy writer who cringes at self-promotion. Spending most of your time with your head buried in a book or behind a laptop can make you an introvert.

I observe life and write about it. That’s not to say I haven't lived. Every day is filled with writing stimulus. Even the most mundane day-to-day actions can entertain a reader if written from a unique perspective. The writer’s pledge is to engage the reader in a world that keeps them turning pages with expectation and emotion. This is just a little of what I’ve learned from building my platform. There is advice from editors, writers and agents that can elevate your writing to a level that they are looking for. Two articles I found from creeping on Twitter this week; Roz Morris’s 2 misconceptions of new writers at, and Victoria Mixon’s 5 Ways to Make Your Novel Helplessly Addictive at, caused me to review and revise my manuscript.

I admit that I’m a perpetual editor. I have about 90-100 pages of Candyflip left to write, but how can I move forward knowing that the first 300 need to be altered to make them better? Reworking those already written pages can have a profound effect on the unwritten ones. I’m not making major plot changes or character revisions, yet the small nuances like wit and tone that make Candyflip special, get better with every revisit. I figure since this is my first manuscript, it’s going to take the longest to write. It took some time to find my voice, and when I did the words flowed like paint on canvas. My writing improved and I gained the confidence to go back and re-write Candyflip in present tense. With the manuscript almost complete, and social media’s distractions taking my focus away from it, there is fear that it will take even longer to finish Candyflip. Still, I think building a strong platform is necessary if I ever want to be published.

Since the first keystroke, I’ve dreamed of seeing my novel in the hands of readers whose facial expressions give away just how enamored they are with my story. I want a publisher’s logo on the spine of that novel, and the name of a super fabulous agent and their hard working assistant on the thank you page. Writing a novel involves a lot of hard work from not just the writer, but a support team of book worms who all do this because they are crazy. We are crazy in love with the written word and want to share it with the world.

BTW: did I mention I’m a painter too? Yeah, I know- more distractions, but this artist just can’t help her self. Check out the painting of my main character Lilly. It helped cure writer's block a few months ago.

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