Marsha Ward

Historical Novels with Heart & Grit

Category: Business of Writing (page 1 of 2)

A few more trip photos

Although I always resolve to take interesting photos when I travel, I usually end up with boring pics of my hotel rooms, which do have a purpose: I upload them to review sites.

It’s hard to take good photographs while driving. Because I had a tight schedule for covering so many miles on the out-going legs of the trip, I couldn’t stop on the way to get good shots of the spectacular fall foliage. I had a workshop session to get to on Saturday night, and I dared not be late.

I did get up at o-dark-thirty the third day out to have brunch in Weed, California, with a Facebook writer friend and her husband, and another writer in the area whom I had met previously at conventions for members of Western Writers of America. I had a lovely meal at Black Bear Diner with Jae and Roy Hall, and Gail L. Fiorini-Jenner.

Roy, who is, among other things, a farrier, gave me advice on the making of the horseshoe nail ring I mentioned in my novel, The Zion Trail.

The wind was blowing that crisp day, which I felt much more as I approached the Oregon Coast. It was interesting to observe the many moods of the Pacific Ocean during my stay.

Here’s a “selfie” I took from a balcony of the workshop room overlooking the beach:

One evening during the dinner break, I met and had dinner with a teenage friend and her new husband, who had previously booked a stay in Lincoln City, Oregon, my destination, as part of their extended honeymoon. We kept in touch, and were fortunate to be able to connect for a brief meal and conversation. Here we are, holding a few of my books that Leta Paine brought for me to autograph. Hubby Dale Whipple owns a bookstore in Burley, Idaho, and has always been an author booster.

I’m glad to be safe at home once again. Although I regret not being able to snap a photo of the huge Halos sign I saw coming and going, I had a wonderful time on my road trip and at the business workshop.







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Business of Writing Workshop

During the last half of October, I took an epic road trip to attend an 8-day workshop in Lincoln City, Oregon, hosted by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, two writers I count as mentors in the business of writing. I’ve learned so much over the past four or so years by reading their blogs regularly, but an opportunity came up to attend this workshop on the Oregon Coast and meet them in person, and I had to jump on it.

The venue for the workshop was the Inn at Spanish Head, a ten-story resort hotel on the beach built into a cliff. On the landward side, the reception area is on the ninth floor. The conference room is on the fourth floor. I wasn’t the only one who became confused about whether one went up or down when entering the elevator.

The overall theme of the workshop was Time, since it’s in such short supply for writers, whether indie, hybrid, or traditional. From 7 pm on October 21 to 9:30 pm on October 28, in three sessions a day plus late-night networking, I, and about forty-nine other professional writers, madly took notes on such topics as productivity, tracking output, deadlines, writing process for both linear and non-linear writers, health, separating the businesses of writing and publishing, making short- and long-term business decisions, structures of corporations, estate planning for authors, copyright, trusts, triage as a business plan, branding, virtual assistants, and the true meaning of hybrid.

Workshop attendees

Faces erased at the request of attendees.

Please note that we covered that extensive list of topics by the end of Monday’s sessions. There were a ton more each day, and I’m still working my way through the incredible amount of knowledge and information. I expect it will be a year-long endeavor.

One thing that was impressed upon us is that we must not make any business decisions and change up our plans for at least the two weeks minimum that it will take for our brains to heal from exploding with the input of all the new facts. Another was that “should do’s” and “supposed to do’s” are deadly, evil beyond imagination. We must choose to do only what works for our style and methods of writing and publishing.

Since I traveled for several days before arriving home, my brain still hasn’t adjusted to all the new knowledge. I have my work cut out for me as the holidays approach. I must not be pressured, though, by my inner panic to DO SOMETHING NOW! I have to study and decide what will work for me.

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Don’t Drink the Koolade

Some of you know the story of how I came to be an indie-published author (aka self-published). Probably more of you don’t.

The highlights are here:

  • Doctor said to put my affairs in order
  • Initial panic at thought of dying
  • I didn’t want my novel manuscripts thrown out by the kids
  • I sought out the best solution for me
  • I acted on it by publishing my first book
  • People liked the first, so I did the second one, too
  • I was Indie before it was cool
  • The doctor was wrong

That doctor actually did me a favor. I love what being in charge of my writing career does for me.

However, I see new and wanna-be authors making costly, unthinking mistakes in seeking traditional publishing for their book. I’ve done the careful cautions, but can’t save everyone from their dreams. They’ll sign the contracts, get badly burned, then ask around about how they can get out of those hideous contracts. Most times, they can’t. In a fraction of cases, they can, but only because the publisher already breached the contract.

I’m about to the point that I won’t open my mouth anymore. It’s sad.

Yesterday, one of my heroes among writers, Dean Wesley Smith, published a blog post that tells how he feels nowadays. Check it out here.

EDIT: I’ve fixed the link. I’m blaming the error on my fat fingers using the WordPress phone app.

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