Sunday, February 9, 2014

Don't worry about the details...

I have a hard time being myself. The person who I was meant to be. The person who lives inside of the person who I am. I'm a rule follower. I like to research the 'correct' way to do something before I do it. I hate this part of my personality. Yeah, yeah, I know that it makes me who I am but it also stifles my creative side in a BIG way! So when I decided to become an author, I momentarily got caught up in the 'details'. How many words should I write? How many chapters should I have? Should I put my acknowledgments at the front of the book or the back of the book? Should I edit as I go or wait until I finish the book? I drove myself crazy with these kinds of thoughts (well, actually, these EXACT thoughts)for a week after I started writing. And you know what I discovered?

It doesn't matter.

The only right way to write a book is the way that it comes naturally to you. I'm not suggesting that you overlook good grammar and spelling, or completely disregard punctuation. I'm saying that the way that you write is uniquely yours. You may find other authors who write the same way that you do. I guarantee that you will find plenty who don't. My advice? Listen, learn a thing or two, and then do it your own way. Because that is the only way that it is truly your story.

Happy writing...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I am a new author...

Most of you have never heard of me...or maybe you have since you found your way to my blog.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Kristine Raymond and I am a newly published author. Very new. As in, three months new. I self-published my first novel on November 6th. I am getting ready to publish my third novel on February 15th. A lot of people told me that I was moving too fast. In some ways, they were right. But it was important to me to release on the schedule that I had created for myself. And I did it! (Well, on the 15th, I will have done it!)

It has never been my lifelong dream to become an author. I never really gave it much thought. I tossed the idea around once or twice, way before self-publishing came on the scene. And I always thought that it was too much trouble to find a publisher and find an editor. I never wanted it badly enough to do those things. My husband told me on and off for years that I should write a book. I'd laugh and say, "Yeah, right, someday."

So what made me sit down at my keyboard this past Labor Day weekend and start writing? I wish I had the answer to that question. And it's a question that comes up often in interviews. "What inspired you to become a writer?" I don't know. Honestly; I don't know. I've always felt that I was a creative person. I just had trouble figuring out exactly where that creativity lay. I tried music, crafts, jewelry making, crocheting; and although I enjoy all of those things, I never really had a passion for them.

So back to writing. I love to read. And I love to correct spelling and grammar. (I would have made a great English teacher! Well, except that I don't like teaching.) So over the summer I decided to start a proofreading business. I saw it as a chance to do two things that I love. My first 'job' was proofing for a friend of mine who had just self-published her first book. As I talked to her about the process, I started thinking that maybe I could write a book. It took me another month to talk myself into it and on Labor Day weekend I sat down and wrote my first novel. (Not in one weekend, mind you, it took me 18 days.) I hit publish nine weeks after that and I was hooked!

So now I am a published author. And though it's only been three short months, I can't believe how much I have learned and how far that I've come. I've met some truly amazing people along the way, people who inspire me and cheer me on, people whom I've never met face to face but who have become lifelong friends. And I've discovered that I LOVE to write. It took me 46 years to find my passion.

My advice to you? No matter what age you are, don't stop until you have found yours!
I'm in a weird place right now...

I have never done anything in my life up to this point that has taken me on such a roller coaster ride.  One day I am at the highest point that I think I will ever reach and the next day I want to scrap it all and hide under the covers.  And you know what?  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world (except Jason Statham.  Yeah, definitely Jason Statham!)

Speaking for myself, being an author is an emotional experience.  I never knew how much I loved to write... until I'm not writing.  Finishing a book gives me an incredible sense of accomplishment which is quickly followed by a let-down of knowing that I'm done.  It sounds silly I know but as soon as I finish one book, I want to start writing the next.  And with self-publishing there is so much more to do than just write the book.  So I'm not able to devote every minute to putting words on paper even though I feel like a part of me is missing if I'm not creating my next adventure.

I wonder if all authors go through this or is it just me?  Is it my dysfunctional, disorganized mind that craves to write?  Is it a hidden talent that until very recently lie dormant, hiding in the depths of my soul, and now, after seeing light for the first time, refuses to be locked away?  Is it a phase that will pass as all of my other creative endeavors have done?

All I know is, that for this moment in my life, this is what I need to do.  Write.  Just write.