Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Tumbling Term~ Opposites - Yin Yang

Tuesday term for the indie writer is Yin Yang.

yin yang
(in Chinese philosophy and religion) two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin)  and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang)  whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

I often talk about balance as a writer. You can't really appreciate good reviews unless you've had some bad. You can't work all the time without some play thrown in. They are not mutually exclusive or inclusive. While form a perfect circle you balance it all in the whole picture.

I've often hears it said that Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, was a bad writer. In some ways he is. His characters never slow down or get tired. He refuses to let them. They'll run hither and yon for an entire three hundred pages.   Humanly impossible comes to mind.

I much prefer his earlier novels to his latter ones. And yes, I've read them all. The grammar is side-swept in the latter two than in his three previous novels in the publisher's rush to print. To my way of thinking, the editors just didn't do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

If you have a balance between good and bad reviews of say 25:5, I'd call that a success. You could learn something valuable from those negatives. Every reader will have a different take on your story. Not everyone will love it or hate it.  Realizing that the ones that hate it are just more vocal helps too. There has to be a balance between the black and the white.

As indie author we juggle a lot. Some balance issues as an indie author:
  • Writing versus promotion- If you spend all your time promoting and not writing your next book, or vice versa, you are putting all your eggs in one basket. The success due to any successful author is volume to be easier to find. If you have one book in a ocean of thousands of other books its like finding a drop of water in the ocean. But if you spend all your time in writing and not getting out there to promote, who will care? You're just an unknown author who writes a bunch of books. There are tons of these type authors in traditional publishing, but times are changing.
  • Work versus play- Without balance in this area, you will find yourself exhausted and unable to write. Too much play and you lack the will to write.
  • Volume versus quality- So you write a bunch of books but the quality is lacking (weak plot, 2D characters, and poor grammar and spelling). They might sell a few copies. Readers who buy indie authors come in two main categories: 1) the cheap thrill reader, and 2) the perfectionist. The cheap thriller reader doesn't care about the poor quality of what is written the proverbial dime store novelist. They will read anything so long as it's free or almost free. The perfectionist holds the all authors to a higher standard. These are honestly the readers you want. They will buy your book no matter what the cost and heaven help you if you tick them off.
  • Time versus no time- we all have excuses for not writing, but ultimately it's a choice we choose to make. Somethings we take as life and death issues are really not and some are. My husband stops breathing or is in pain that's life or death and MUST be dealt with. The pain due to my fibromyalgia and stroke need to be worked through and may momentarily stop my writing process, but it won't stop my writing. You may have spent five years writing your first book. Congrats, you did it! But the down side is readers have come to expect, thanks to traditional publishing, your next book in eighteen months or two years. That's a maximum of eighteen months to write the next one and edit it.
So do you have a Yin Yang in place? Do you know your balance?
Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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