2017 covers

The Black Tide
The Black Tide
Cloud Door
Fate in the Sun
Chasing Taz
Silver Reaper
The Starman's Arrival
Ashes Reborn
Beta’s Mark
Secrets at Wongan Creek
Freeman's Choice
Blood Chance
The Years of Voyage
Just a Dinosaur
Necessary Alpha
Fighting Mac
Exclusive
Taken by the Desert Sheikh
Alien Resistance
The Stars to Guide

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Darklight On...Jodie C!


Today's Darklight On... is with Jodie C. Welcome, Jodie!


The Pen, The Paper and the Paranoia 


I have to admit, doing my first post about writing is more than a little daunting. It’s like asking someone to write an article on sex when they’re stuck on second base. Yes, I do write, but I don’t consider myself a writer. You see, I’m a newbie. I can’t even complain about my pile of rejection letters because to be honest I’m yet to finish one of my stories.

So today I’m not going to be writing about the hunky, executive type with the Midas touch and the killer eyes – who I’m currently writing about – instead I will write about the rollercoaster ride I have already taken....before publication, before submissions, before the painful synopsis writing and before even finishing a story.

It all started about five years ago. I was pregnant, already on maternity leave and remember cringing when my sister in law handed me a copy of Twilight to read. What the hell was Twilight?? And why the hell would I want to read about teenagers and blood suckers with sparkly skin??

I haven’t stopped reading since – and it’s not the occasional read, a book or two every month – hell no, it quickly grew into obsession. After devouring the Twilight series, I read everything I could find and five years later I am averaging about fifteen books a month.

So, the reading turned into reviewing on www.goodreads.com, the reviewing turned into blogging and the next step after that was to start my own writing.

I have always had an overactive imagination. Like many writers and women in general I fall asleep in the arms of a different man each night. No my husband doesn’t mind – he has no clue. Each night there is a new scene, a new man, a new first kiss, a new climactic event that makes my heart ache. And all these scenes continued to overtake my mind. I started not only living them in my mind, but narrating them as if reading a book. How would I describe these scenes? What words would I use to explain the intimacy of that first touch? The first caress? The first brush of lips?

It seemed only natural to put my fingers to the keypad and start typing away. And it was easy. I wrote page upon page, scene upon scene, the words flowing like a torrent trying to escape my teeny, tiny mind. Then I came across RWA – should I join? Should I take the next step? I ended up finding a competition set to end in only two days time and decided to bite the bullet. Here goes nothing. I tried my hardest to read over my work, had a few friends read it to help me out then submitted it with a chest filled with hope.

Six or so months later and the email came back telling me in subtle terms that I sucked better than a Hoover. Ok, a little over dramatic, there were some great comments, some good comments and a whole heap of depressing comments. Not being the most confident person I took it to heart. I seriously suck total ass. So I pulled the piece back out of the depths of my computer and read over it. HOLY HELL, they were right. It sucked!! No, really. It sucked. In such a short space of time and with a lot of help from a recent RWA conference, I had learnt enough to realise my piece was truly horrible. And I had let my friends read it? It really woke me up to the realisation that you shouldn’t let friends read your work if you are looking for an honest opinion.

But I DIDN’T give up. I agreed with the majority of the comments. It made me grow even more as a writer and almost a year later I am still plodding along.

For me the biggest hurdle with writing isn’t the creativity. I can get words on the page relatively quick – they aren’t polished or perfect, but the story is always flowing – my problem is the paranoia, the confidence, the drive to continue even though the words may never be read. The hours spent perfecting a character all gone to waste if no one wants to read it.

I start a story then get half way and decide....”Hmmm, that isn’t good enough. I need to start something else.” I think it’s a coping mechanism. If I don’t finish anything, I can’t get rejected right? Or I will get into a good writing groove, putting down a heap of words each day then decide to pick up a book by one of my favourite authors – then BAM, I take a detour to Suckville. How could my writing ever compare to the likes of Cindy Gerard, J.R. Ward or Kresley Cole? It’s pointless! I’m never going to be that good.

Thankfully I have a few great friends who keep poking me with really large sticks. They remind me of my goals, they encourage me to continue and they always have my back.

So my goal for this year? Finish ONE piece. Get to the point where I can write ‘The End.’ Bite my tongue through the negativity and reach that coveted finish line. And I am determined to do it. I haven’t set my goals high. I have realised I’m not Super Woman, no matter how much I wear the costume. My goal revolves around a small story and I’m already averaging 500 words a day, so I will get there....I will.

And that’s when all the fun and games will begin...submissions....competitions....rejections....world domination.

~~~
Thank you, Jodie.







33 comments:

  1. You crack me up. You'll get there. I have one rejection under my belt. Good news is that a received a full submission on it from another publisher. Don't ever give up. I didn't when it came to my first story. I'm working on my next piece for a contest due in March.

    Great post, too.

    Marika Weber
    maw1725@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marika.

      One rejection and one full submission is good odds! Well done.
      Good luck with the contest in March.

      Delete
  2. Sucked better than a Hoover? Hilarious!

    I think that all beginning authors struggle with their confidence. I've heard tons of stories from authors about the stress and emotional turmoil that writing can cause. A lot of people think that they'd be able to write but when they sit down to try it they draw a blank. I applaud your efforts! IMO I think that you need to continue to push yourself. How else would you achieve your goal? I'll be happy to grab a "really large stick" to poke you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I did suck better than a hoover, Megan.

      Thanks for preparing the stick, You are always good at poking me.

      Thanks for commenting :)

      Delete
  3. Great post, Jodie! All writers have been in your shoes at one point in their career and the hardest part about writing a book, is finishing it. I will say, once you write those two little words, The End, the sense of accomplishment (whether the story is a master piece or a flaming bowl of dog poo) will be so profound, you'll feel invincible.

    My own euphoria only last a day or two but it just proves to me that I CAN do it, and you will too. Just keep at it. You'll get there and have a great many rejections slips to wallpaper your room with (that's what we're supposed to do with them, right?) before the contracts start rolling in. *wink*

    Good luck and keep writing...you're a WRITER whether you think you are or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lily. Hearing those words from someone I admire is extremely motivational.
      You are always so sweet to me even when I send you random emails about synonyms for the naughty words ;)

      Delete
  4. Lily is correct, Jodie, you're a writer. You might have room for improvement, but you're a writer. If it's one thing I've learned it's that everybody approaches writing with their own individuality. One of the girls in my writing group is like you, starts one manuscript after another. I've been working on the one ms for the last 3 years. Doesn't matter what you hone your skills on, just that you do.

    So hear you on the romantic trysts your husband doesn't know about - although I think mine has an inkling by now. :)

    Good luck with your endeavours - and don't give up. Although you can if you like, I've done it about a dozen times so far. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sandy. Saying 'I am a writer' is something I need to work on.

      And the thing about my husband not knowing I go to bed with a different man every night...yeah - he knows now. lol.

      Thank you very much for your kind words.

      Delete
  5. Jodie, I loved reading this. It definitely opened my mind...I've had book club friends tell me I should write, I just don't see the "it" they see in me. However, reading about you going to bed with a different man every night. I do that same thing, I am constantly running scenarios through my head. I thought it is just maybe, I'm a bit lonely, but maybe my friends were right and I should start writing ideas down. In my free time.....

    Best wishes on all you do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should give it a try DiDi. It is a lot harder than I anticipated, but I love it. And joining RWAustralia was the best thing I could have done. Not only has it made me grow, but the women are fantastic.

      Thank you

      Delete
  6. Jodie you know how much I love this piece and how I can totally relate to what you are saying. How many nights have we gone passing sections of our work back and forth because we are looking for some insight from each other. And you are right, you shouldn't let your friends read your work. Most of the time friends love you too much to tell you the truth. While I am your friend I also know how important it is to have someone be honest. Your writing is really good and you have the determination going right now to get those pieces finished. Until you do I am right here for you. And when you get to "The End" we are going to celebrate, long distance style.

    And while you might not consider yourself a writer, you most definitely are. You wrote this piece and it's fabulous! I'm so proud of you!!

    And Megan, prepare the sticks if we need them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The celebration if i get to 'THE END' will be enormous. All the better for you helping me get there. Your kind words, constant motivation and unwavering confidence in me is one of the main reasons I keep plodding along.

      Delete
    2. Hey! Friends can to tell you the truth! Ask Jodie lol. I've already picked at a piece she was writing. Before we met you Jodie used to call Nissie the cheerleader and me the butt kicker.

      Delete
  7. We all get to bite the bullet of fear, Jodie -- even me and I guarantee I am not going to be getting any rejection letters, since I kind of own a publishing company :-) However, just like you, I procrastinate on completion because of fear. Those what ifs can make us crazy. But those same words can turn a dream into reality: What if I write something and people love it? What if they want more? Well, I've read some of your writing, Jodie, and I can tell you that you have a gift you need to share with the world! I'm looking forward to seeing you write the words "the end" because I know for you that will only be the beginning.

    Great article, btw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda. I think lack of confidence is a huge factor for a lot of authors. Even some of my favourites that I have chatted with, who are on the New York Times best sellers list, say they think their writing is crap until they hear back from their editors.

      I appreciate all the kind words you have said to me - not only today, but back all those months ago when I was hitting rock bottom.

      Delete
  8. Loved the post Jodie,

    And you will get there too, you sound very determined =))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel. I appreciate it.

      After reading all these comments I am 100% more determined than I was when writing this post. I'm itching to get back into it tonight :)

      Delete
  9. Great post Jodie! I've read your work as a writer and you already know what I think! Keep up the great work! World domination is only a few taps of a keyboard away!

    Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Annie.

      I hope you are listening to your own advice and making time for your own writing too. I look forward to seeing your name on the front of a cover one day.

      Delete
  10. Fantastic post, Jodie! Even though it's been a while since I've read anything you're working on, I do remember loving it. It seems to me that everybody in the world wants to be a writer these days and a lot of folks just don't have what it takes. You definitely have what it takes. Don't ever give up on your dreams! *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nis.

      It does seem like everyone wants to be a writer - but I think it is also the circle of people we surround ourselves with. It is such a friendly community, people are very supportive and helpful...it isn't until your writing is actually out there that the criticism begins - which is very scary to think about.

      Delete
  11. Jodie...you know an author friend of mine told me that if you blog/review you are a writer. The difference between her and me? She gets paid and I don't. Never give up and keep writing... :)

    Marika

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks again Marika. The problem with me is that I want everything NOW, NOW, NOW. I'm not a patient person and reading about the years upon years it took some of my favourite authors to get published is also another reason to make me crawl into the fetal position.

    I have a lot of learning to do, not only in the craft of writing but also in patience.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post Jodie. It's cool reading about your journey. I wish you will and much success!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congrats on you post. I wish you much success.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just loved reading your blog post, Jodie. Thanks for letting us learn more about you. Good luck with getting that piece done this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eleni, I appreciate you commenting. Fingers crossed we might get to meet at this years RWA conference :)

      Delete
  16. Go Jodie! Go Jodie! Great post babe!

    Can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angela, but don't go holding your breath. Still got a long way to go before even finishing a piece.

      Delete
  17. I had NO idea that you were an aspiring writer, but I can't say I'm surprised. You have a flair for the written word in your posts and a humor and snark that is imminently entertaining and fun. I have every faith in the world you will succeed and I can say I knew you when....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you honey. I really appreciate your faith I will be printing off all these comments and putting them on my cork board to keep me motivated.

      Delete
  18. what a great article! you're very inspiring, Jodie, and many other writers can take note :)

    ReplyDelete