Sunday, September 27, 2015

Book Giveaway

I'm giving away five paperback copies of my book, Outspoken.  Click on this to enter!


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Outspoken by Lora Richardson




          by Lora Richardson


            Giveaway ends October 26, 2015.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

    Enter Giveaway

Sunday, September 20, 2015

On Writing and Not Letting Self-Doubt Win

It took me two years to write my first book, Outspoken.  The biggest reason why it took that long was self-doubt.  I'd hit a place in the writing where something in the plot eluded me, or my dialogue was crap, or I was just sure it was never going to come together.

What I did during those times was to put it away.  I'd close the file and go watch tv.  Or read a book that somebody better than me had actually finished.

Two weeks or maybe even two months later, I'd get back to it.  I'd go along merrily for a while, until I came to a place, again, that challenged me, and I'd quit for a while.  Repeat until the first draft was done.  That took eighteen months.

Then I discovered the joy that is revision.  I'm not being sarcastic, I love revision.  Reworking the words, plumping up the words, building the words into something I loved.  Revision is where it's at for me.

For six months, I worked nearly every day on the book.  I had a little self doubt during those months, but instead of being discouraging, that particular self-doubt was borne of a reader's eye and let me know when a scene wasn't working.  So I listened to it and revised until I had it right.

So, that book is done.

Which meant it was time to write another book.  

Before I began, when I was just at the stage where ideas swirled around my head and my fingers itched to get started, I thought about what would make the first draft less painful this time.  I wanted to ensure that I didn't take two months off because I was discouraged or simply couldn't think of anything to write.

I decided to plow through the tough stuff so I could get to the golden delight of revision.

I set the goal of writing 1,000 words every single day of July and August.  I printed out a calendar to cross out the days when I succeeded.  I used a purple marker.

There were days when I wanted to skip it, there were days when it took me more than two hours to squeak out those thousand words, and there was one day I decided to skip but then at the last minute decided I couldn't and came in under the deadline at 11:54.

I haven't taken down those calendars yet.  I may leave them up forever.  At the end of August, I had 65,000 words written.  I probably won't leave the ending where it is, and it's messy.  Very messy, even for a first draft.  But it's a mess I can clean up.  I can do the organizing and the scrubbing and the tidying.  

It will take a long time, but it won't take two years.  

In writing my first novel, I learned not to take the first draft too seriously.  I learned that personally, I need to power through the first step so that self-doubt doesn't have a chance to grow roots.