September 21, 2013

Bloggerversary Part 7: The Good, the Ugly and the Entire Truth (My experience in the writing world) by E.L. Montes

at 9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
My experience in the writing world
By: E.L. MONTES (USA Today Bestselling author of the ‘Disastrous’ series)

When I was asked to write a guest blog post for Lisa's one year bloggerversary, I was thrilled! Then I thought, what do I write about? I've never written a guest blog post before! Do I write about sex? Books? Life? Oh heck...can I mention the word "cock" without offending anyone? (If you read my books, you would know that the term "cock" is used very often). What can I say...? I love cock, um, I mean, I love to use the term “cock” :/

Then it dawned on me. My one year anniversary for publishing Disastrous is quickly approaching. Within a year, I've learned and experienced so much. And I’ve met so many wonderful people, so why not take this opportunity to write about my first year experience in the indie publishing community? Not just all the fluffy crap, but the good, the ugly and the whole truth. (for what I've witnessed, of course). In order to tell all, I must start from the beginning...

Once upon a time ... ha-ha, just kidding! No really, once upon a time, I fell in love with words. Not only the bad ones. Yes, I was that child that tested the limits and slipped out a curse or two just to see if I would get in trouble. After I did, I kind of kept to myself, but I was also that child that had trouble communicating my thoughts and feelings. Even now as an adult I stumble over my words, and my thoughts run faster than my mouth. Before I know it, those around me have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, so then I sound like a complete moron. Yet, if you place a piece of paper and a pen in my hand I’m able to write it all down, pour out my feelings, fears, and my thoughts. It turned out that was a better way to make others understand me.

When I began dating my husband (at the age of sixteen) and we had our first argument I didn't know how to express myself. He was always good at conveying his thoughts and feelings, whereas I was left stuck. I knew what I wanted to say, but when I blurted it out it just sounded confusing and messy. So I wrote it down. I have no idea why. I would sometimes even write it down in front of him and hand him the piece of paper. He would look at me and say, "Why couldn't you just say that?" I don't know. To this day I truly DO NOT KNOW. Writing is in some ways therapeutic for me.

So it was no surprise that I fell in love with reading, poetry, and writing at a young age. It was also no surprise that my fingers itched to pick up a pen or fly them across a keyboard and just write.

What, in fact, was the biggest surprise to me was finishing my first full novel.

After earning my degree in legal studies while working full-time, I landed a job as a paralegal for a mid-size law firm. Everything was going great, well at least I thought it was. I worked eight hours a day and then went home and did…nothing. That’s right, nothing. Nada. Zip. Then I thought to myself, “Is this what I worked so hard for? Spent years in college to earn a degree, land that “perfect” job, and then work to just pay bills?” Well, hell. Life to me is boring. I need more. I need to feel involved somehow. I need to express myself, get my hands dirty, do anything else and NOT just sit around and rot.

My husband and I were going through a personal, difficult time in our lives. I was told by him and many others, if I try not to think and stress about the issue, it will eventually happen for us. So I started up my desk-top, searched old manuscripts, and read through them. I hated each one. Then the idea for Marcus and Mia’s story sank in and I couldn’t stop writing.

In the middle of writing I had no idea this indie community existed with self-publishing authors, bloggers and supporting readers. When it came to my attention I researched my butt off to collect as much information as possible. I began following blogger after blogger.

Then I contacted two self-published authors and asked for advice as to where I could find an editor or proofreader and even a cover designer. After the information they so kindly provided, I was well on my way to something I didn’t know would have take off as well as it did.

I began a fan Facebook page, twitter account, and a GoodReads site. With my loyal 30 followers on Facebook (all family and friends) I watched as my likes slowly began to go higher. By the time Disastrous was released I was at a whopping 200 likes! WHOO HOO! To most, 200 likes is nothing, to me? 200 likes was HUGE!

Then the ratings began pouring in. Watching my book being torn apart and bashed all over the internet was depressing and very discouraging. At times I felt like giving up. Maybe I wasn’t meant for this life. I ugly cried myself to sleep. Yep, it wasn’t pretty whatsoever.

Though something else was happening; people, who I didn’t know, were reading my work, messaging me, and writing beautiful reviews! I was even being quoted. QUOTED! I cried. Happy tears this time. I jumped up and down, showed my husband the screen and yelled “Oh my God, look! I’m being quoted!” He had no idea what that meant to me, but to see me light up the way I did made him happy for me. I felt overjoyed and humbled that my characters and writing were being shared and loved by so many.

And you would think that it all came down to just writing. Right? Wrong. There is so much more to the writing community than just that. All I wanted to do was just, write. But the deeper you sink into the writing world, the more you the truth. As much as there are many wonderful supporting fellow authors, readers, and bloggers, there is still that one group. The backstabbers, the ones that try to break you down, beat you up and leave you for dead. The group that makes you second guess your every move. Yes, in every profession there’s no getting away from them.

Networking and marketing began taking over my life. I was more wrapped up in what the writing community was doing than actually writing. I was brought into drama that I did not want to be a part of, but there was no turning away from it. Until one day I cracked. I began losing the sense of the reason why I began it all. Yes, I’ve made many friends. Yes, I’ve met many wonderful people. And yes, there was that part inside of me that wanted more.

BUT, the moment I stopped worrying about how successful others were, about the drama, and stopped listening to all of the rants and began focusing on me and what truly mattered the most (writing), it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. My mind became clearer and my writing improved.

This profession isn’t always certain, but I’m always learning. I will continue to grow and learn. The beauty in writing is that you can express how you feel in whatever way you like as much as you like. Who cares what others think? Don’t go in to write what you think will sell, what you think will be the next best hit. Just write what story lies in your head, and pour out your heart and soul into it. That to me is far greater than anything else.

I hope I was able to express a bit of my experience in a way that will help you in the future. Whether, it is writing, blogging, or simply following a dream. Don’t give up, don’t allow yourself to fall into the wrong crowd. Just simply keep pushing for your original plan. No matter how long it takes, just be patient, eventually you’ll succeed.

 And there you have it. Words from someone who knows what's what. Thank you E.L. for taking the time to write a little something for my blog. I really appreciated it. So this wraps up my bloggerversary week. I hope everyone gets a chance to enter all of the giveaways I'm throwing. To enter my main giveaway for 3 different prize packs!  click here!

For this particular giveaway there will be 2 winners. Each winner will get an ebook of Disasterious and Cautious. This giveaway is for peeps in the USA only.

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Carolyn J on September 21, 2013 at 8:01 AM said...

no I did not, I am a reader

Sophia on September 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM said...

I am a reader

Zandalee on September 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM said...

I've always really loved writing but I never thought, "Hey, I think I'll do this for a living". Now I dream of it every day!

Unknown on September 22, 2013 at 8:18 AM said...

No, not really I'm more of a reader. :)


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