I am not dead :) Plus, a decision

I am not dead, though it may seem like it. I am simply getting my novella, Legs: Justice Werespider Volume 1 ready for release!

kayla al-shamma-jones(The “…” at the top is where the tagline is going to go. I suck at coming up with catchy taglines. And blurbs. Ugh. If anyone has any resources to help with either…let me know!)

Yes, this story is as ridiculous as it sounds. It’s a story about a college-aged girl…who also happens to be a crimefighting werespider. Yes, it’s kind of silly. No, it’s not a romance…or YA or New Adult or whatever the “industry” is wetting itself for these days. I honestly don’t know what’s “hot” right now. I don’t have time to read about the latest “trends” in indie publishing. I’m too busy writing, bitches!

I just wrote what I wanted to without really a thought to how it would sell. And why the hell not?

I’m not gonna lie – when I first started writing, I did it because I wanted to make a living doing something that I love to do. I was writing anyways–so why not make a buck? Who doesn’t want to be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling (or even, dare I say, the next EL James or Dan Brown?) Sure, I wanted to write…but I also wanted some cold hard CASHOLA, and…a little hunk o’ fame would’ve been cool, too. After all, I’d read enough to know that my writing didn’t have to be good to sell. Anyone who’s read Twilight has figured out that much. I didn’t have to write the next Great American Novel to be a successful indie author…I just knew it had to be good enough.

So I went home, punched out 30,000 words that I thought were pretty good, slapped a very slick cover on it, wrote a mediocre blur, and…hit the big shiny Publish! button.

Without hiring an editor. Because readers don’t care about great writing, do they? They just want good. And I could write good enough, couldn’t I?

Yeah. You see where this is going.

The novella actually did better than I expected, considering I didn’t hire an editor, didn’t format my book well, and…didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I made…about $25, when all was said and done.

But the damage that it did to my career as a writer wasn’t worth $25.

Because I committed one other big rookie mistake: I read reviews.

All of them.

Especially the bad ones.

And oh boy, the bad reviews. They were harsh. Some of them would’ve made me blush even if they weren’t left for my work. Don’t get me wrong–it wasn’t all crap-covered roses. Some of the reviews were good. Quite a few five-stars, even! One person said it was “the most beautiful thing she’d ever read” (I felt bad for that one, actually–she needs to read more.)

But oh, those bad reviews, those bitter one-star rangers. I focused on them with laser intensity. It’s a thing that humans do, you know. Look up negativity bias. Our brains are really, really good at obsessing over all the awful shit in our lives, even that shit is a teeny-weeny-tiny part of everything.

And you know what happened? I let those one-star reviews rule my life, and I spent the next two years afraid to write. Anything. At all. Because I sucked. At least, that’s what people on the internet think (or so I thought!) I retreated into my little cave and didn’t write anything…at all…for two freaking years.

Now that I’m writing again, I’ve promised myself that I will never, ever, EVER read reviews. Even the good ones. Because the good ones are even more dangerous. It’s easy to let good reviews go to your head, making you blind to your own weaknesses. Screw that. I want to improve. I want to grow. And dammit, I want to keep writing! And I want to have fun doing it! And if I make a buck with my writing…hey, that’s cool. If not…hey, at least I’m living life to the fullest! It’d suck if I made it to my deathbed without pursuing my dreams, ya know?

(Don’t worry, I do receive critique from beta-readers/editors…if you’re reading this and want to be a beta-reader ’cause, like, you’re into that sort of stuff, just e-mail me at kayla@alshammajones.com. I’m always in need of beta readers.)

Anywho. The novella is currently undergoing its (hopefully) last round of serious edits. Planned release date is sometime around the end of August. I won’t be putting a lot of hoopla out into the void about it, though. ‘Cause like I said. Too busy writing, bitches!


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2 Responses to I am not dead :) Plus, a decision

  1. Personally, I think writing for your own enjoyment is healthier than the alternative. I’m sorry you seem to have found that out the hard way though.
    I did want to offer that if you need any support, I found a great Independent Authors group on Goodreads you might like. They are very positive, which is normally not my thing, but I like these guys.

    Also, IF you still need Beta Readers, I wouldn’t mind reading about a teenage were-spider.

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