Keeping Your Momentum

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Life is beautiful when your creative project is humming along. Ideas easily fall into place. You are the engineer on your “positive energy powered” locomotive. Work is actually fun for a change. Weeks fly by as you pursue your goal. You toot the whistle of your happy train with all you’ve got.

Then the tracks take an incline. The train starts to struggle a bit. Progress to the mountain peak slows. Your train is running a little low on positive energy. Maybe you’ve come across a difficult task or problem? Or you’re not feeling well. Sometimes unpredictable circumstances can put a damper on things.

I love my epic fantasy series – The Heart of The Warrior. The series spans five books, so my journey will take years. I won’t stop writing this story until I scribe the last “The End” on the last page of the last book. Currently, I’m working on edits for Book Two. It’s slow going. Why? Editing is the hardest part of writing the novel (in my opinion). I’m antsy to move on to the next book, BUT I can’t until I make sure the WIP is polished and accurate. Editing is a slow process. My happy train has dropped from 90mph to about 10. It’s hard to keep the momentum going.

Here are a few tips I use to keep my train chugging along (even if the pace has slowed to a crawl):

  • I take it one chapter at a time. If that’s too much to handle, I split the chapters into sections and do at least one section per day. The train doesn’t move very far, but at least it’s still moving.
  • I become my most enthusiastic cheerleader. Sometimes I’ll read sections out of my published novels to remind me that I can do this, because I’ve done it before.
  • I take time to find positive encouragers to motivate me. Online, feature stories on the news, positive songs, upbeat quotes. If you look for them, you’ll find the one you need to hear.

Remember: Any positive movement forward is better than standing still. Your funk will pass. I promise. Keep the momentum going!

 

A Special Holiday Sneak Peek

To My Wonderful Readers:  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season Greetings and my thanks for all the support you’ve shown me over the years. This special holiday sneak peek is for you!

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Coming the Summer of 2017

A new series from award winning Author, C.R. Richards: The epic tale continues. A new covenant has been forged in the chaos of war. Its price is nothing less than the Bearer of the Lion Ring’s soul.

The rivalry for dominance over the continent of Andara has taken a dark turn. Eternal enemies – the Jalora and the Sarcion – pit their forces against one another in bloody battle. Good weakens, betrayed by the very humans it has sworn to protect. Valdeon, its stronghold on Andara, falls to sword and flame. The fires of its destruction are set alight by barbaric invaders from across the sea. Their brutal hand conquers the land in a night, exiling the Lords of Valdeon – Sacred Guard of the Covenant. Cut off from the center of their power, the Jalora’s greatest heroes are helpless to defend their homeland.

Hope still lingers. Seth D’Antoiné, Bearer of the Lion Ring, journeys to the great Obsidian Citadel seeking a magical relic, the Book of Ancients. Its power could hold the key to Andara’s defense. He alone can open its pages, sparking the magic into life and restoring the Jalora’s waning power. Finding the book won’t be easy. Elusive Obsidian Gates – appearing and then vanishing again by their own will – keep the secret of the book’s location well hidden.

In the depths of the mountain fortress, he finds treachery and intrigue hiding within its walls. Can Seth open the Book of Ancients before the Sarcion’s men find him? Or will the power of Good leave the land forever? Andara’s future awaits behind the Obsidian Gates…

 

Haven’t started the adventure yet? Check out Book One.

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Authors Get to Do the Coolest Things

Writing a book is hard work is a hellish endeavor not for the faint of heart. It does have a few upsides too. Lifting my brand new book baby out of the box and plastering it all over social media is a euphoria all its own. I’ve never experienced a greater sense of fulfillment or righteous vindication.

My favorite perks, however, are the incredible and unique experiences I’m drawn to via my books. Getting to be part of Denver ComicCon and meeting a few of my literary heroes in the lunchroom. Or more recently, having the opportunity to be part of a local talk show located on the Auraria Campus in Denver.

The Nightly Met  airs each Friday at 7 PM MST. Avery Anderson, the show’s host, invited me to do an interview about my books. Always ready to talk someone’s ear off about my stories, I accepted. We laughed (a lot) and had a great time. Having never been in a television studio before, I had no idea how they went about shooting their program. It’s a pretty surreal experience.

Here is the Link to the program.

A DTJ October

The Scary Season is here at last!

I have some fun plans for the blog in October:

Me on a local talk show (absolutely frightening).

Ghostly encounters in the Denver area.

And “Witchy Week” – Get the skinny on some real life witches. A few of my amazing friends share some creative…well, you’ll just have to join us the week of October 24th!

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Does It Ever Get Easier?

Editing. It’s on my short list for “The Most Challenging and/or Annoying Things I Have to Do.” Rewriting the same piece of work over and over again would make the most patient of people want to slam their laptop against a wall. (Deep breath) Why do we do it then? Editing is critical to the quality and success of your work (novel, short story, non-fiction piece, poem, fill in the blank).

New Authors: I can hear you out there. You’re wondering if editing gets any easier. Yes and no.

Let’s take the “Yes” first:

  • The more you write, the more you get to know who you are as a writer.
  • You learn how your brain works and alter your habits to optimize your editing
  • You have more confidence. Hey, you made it through one book. You can make it through another. Right?

Let’s tackle the “No”:

  • Each book is unique with its own set of challenges
  • If your book is part of a series, then you have to make certain the tone stays the same while you increase the quality of your writing
  • Complacency is a constant threat. You have to keep your passion level up. Constantly challenge yourself. Don’t succumb to laziness.

I know it can be difficult staying the course, but your readers can tell when you don’t try your best. They instinctively know a bad editing job (whether you do it or pay someone else). Next time you want to half a** editing that chapter, remember this:

“Your many competitors are editing their fingers off right now.”

 

A Tale of Two Blogs

Ah, Social Media. That beast we love to hate. It sucks away our time with cat videos and political rants. Despite our misgivings, we post, share and blog. Why? If you’re an Indie author, you pray those posts lead to new readers and more sales. Do all those countless posts and shares really work? It depends.

Let’s take a closer look at blogging. Conventional wisdom suggests we blog in order to build our platform.  We set up our fancy blog sites on WordPress or some other provider we like. Publishing our first post gives us a little thrill. Then the readers start swarming the site, devouring each and every word. Yeah right. Reality: We post our first, second, third…tenth post to a trickle of views.

By the show of virtual hands – how many of us dropped from blogging once a day/week to maybe every four months or so? Inconsistent blogging is a waste of time. You’re better off deleting the site and focusing on a venue you enjoy.

I write two blogs. This one (Deep Thoughts and Junk or DTJ) and a corporate blog called, “Bright Spots.” One is very successful and one is doin’ okay.

Let’s look at DTJ first: I’ll be totally honest. I started this blog, because a marketing book told me I should. The first few months were focused on information about my books. While my friends and family may have tolerated boring introspections into my writing life, not many others did. Perplexed, I gave up on conventional wisdom and started blogging about everything under the sun. I came to enjoy blogging and have managed to post once a week for the past few years.

Now to the corporate blog: I manage a social collaboration platform for my organization. My team consists of marketers, communications folks, Techies and project/ community managers. These talented folks are experts in social media and collaboration. They know the ins and outs of pulling readers to sites. The success of my monthly blog, Bright Spots, came as a bit of a surprise to all of us. Each time I post this interview format blog, it gets an impressive amount of views, likes and engaging comments.

What’s the difference? I don’t have the magic answer to social media or blog success, but here is what I’ve observed:

Know your audience:

Bright Spots is a corporate blog. I share a common experience and interest with my readers. My topics are focused on our commonalities

DTJ’s most viewed posts focus on Indie Publishing stats and advice.  My “author’s wanderings about the world” don’t do as well.

Know the mission of your blog (in one sentence):

Bright Spots – “Highlighting new and creative innovations within the organization to promote collaboration and improve employee engagement.”

DTJ – “Provide encouragement and insight designed to help Indies become successful.”

How about you? Why do you blog? What is your blog’s mission?

It’s Coming!

Denver ComicCon is a few weeks away. This will be my first time attending and I cannot wait!

Check out the Guest list! Cary Elwes, Karl Urban, Kevin Hearne, Clark Gregg, Stan Lee…deep breaths. I’m cool.

Join me on Saturday, June 18th for our panel – Self-Publishing: Is It For You? at 1:30pm

I’ll be signing my books, The Lords of Valdeon and Pariah, in Author’s Alley (Booth PP15) on Friday, June 17th from 11:45 am to 1:50 pm. Just look for the giant lion and the hot looking elf!

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Want more info? Check out my interview on Groovey.TV