S R Silcox - Author

Blog updated 2-3 times a month.

Tag: publishing

How Hugh Howey changed my mind

Sunday - fish

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short story in less than a day. I had a title in mind, and was mulling over what sort of story would go with it. I’d used the same title quite a few years ago with a short story I wrote for a competition that will never again see the light of day, but I really loved the title and wanted to use it again with a new story.

So, I discovered a new writer’s festival was coming up, and they had a short story competition. I vaguely thought I should write a story for it, if I found the time.

That same week, I was heading to bed late one night after a long day of writing and plotting when the title popped into my head again. Maybe it was my sleep-deprived brain doing the talking, but I let my mind wander and within an hour of going to bed, I had come up with a character and a setting I thought I could work with.

Instead of getting out of bed to write down those first thoughts and ideas, I slept on it. Lo and behold, the next morning when I sat down with my coffee and began to write, the words flowed. It was a fantastic feeling, and the fact that I actually liked what I was writing made it all the better.

I got to around 2,500 words and still hadn’t finished the story when I decided to stop and take a break, because the competition had a 2,000 word limit. I re-read it that afternoon, wrote it until the end, and then cut mercilessly at anything that didn’t belong until finally, exhausted, I got it down to 1,997 words.

As soon as I finished it, I wanted people to read it, but I knew I had written it with the competition in mind, so I sent it to my beta readers for feedback. I filled out the entry form, printed out the story, and then….

And then I didn’t post it. I’m not sure what stopped me, but something did, and I’m glad. Because then I read this facebook post by Hugh Howey –

 

Hugh Howey - Facebook

That post made me reassess what I want from my career as a writer. I asked myself what I wanted most from my writing. The answer?

I want people to read my stories.

I want to write stories and I want people to read them. It made me think about whether that competition would help me move forward with that one goal. It wouldn’t. Entering that competition would lock that story up until November, when the winner would be announced. If I were lucky enough to win or get selected for inclusion into the anthology, it still wouldn’t allow people to read my story. Why? Because that anthology most likely wouldn’t be available to people outside the festival or the organisation that was printing it. It certainly wouldn’t be available on amazon, where people who bought the anthology to read other authors could discover me.

That one post by Hugh Howey made me remember why I do what I do, and what I love most about writing. It’s the sharing of stories that I love. The sharing of characters and thoughts and ideas with people who might enjoy them and connect with them.

Last night I commissioned an ebook cover and started getting the file ready to compile and upload. This morning, after some final checks, it’s ready to go.

You can buy my new story, Sunday – fish, from amazon. The other stores will follow on the weekend.

And by the way, I bought and read that short story Hugh was referring to in his facebook post, Promises of London, and highly recommend it. You can buy it from amazon for 99c here.

 

‘Tis the season…to go a little bit crazy

Today marks the official start of the Christmas Season, which for me means organising a visit home, booking our dogs into suitable digs for their “holiday”, and trying to find new hiding places for my wife’s Christmas presents.

It also means I’m a few weeks off my promise to have “something” published before the end of the year. Although I’ve had 12 months to get stuff finished, it’s taken me that long to get into a good routine, work through the ideas I have and to find my voice.

I’m still struggling with a few things but I’m getting better. I have some short stories I’m happy with so they’ll get published but more likely in the new year, and after I have some longer books out.

I have managed to get a lot of work done in the last week on a new project that’s been marinating for a few months. I have a very short time-frame, but I’m planning on this one being available for Christmas – a great time for publishing a debut work I think.

I’m also working on a project for a good friend of mine, which I’ll reveal when it’s ready to go (in the next week). It’s a very special and exciting project that’s been almost 2 years in the making, and it’s something that I’m proud to be a part of.

And that brings me to the ‘crazy’ – since the production schedule is so tight, I’ve been working late nights and early mornings just to get my own special project done. I have a few days left to get the first draft to my Beta’s, I’ve commissioned a cover that should be ready in the next week or so, and I’ve got all the back-of-house stuff ready to go – smashwords and amazon accounts, links, business stuff etc – so I’m hoping once the actual book is finished, it will be a smooth transition from unpublished writer to published author (famous last words, I know).

If  you want to hear about the progress of both of these projects, sign up for the newsletter. Subscribers get to hear about stuff first, and as a bonus, subscribers who sign up before the end of December get a free copy of my short story ‘The Breakup’.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing about today – it marks the day I get to open the first flap on my Advent calendar.

Flat rate shipping on all books: $3/book for Australian purchases, and $5/book for anywhere else in the world. Dismiss