Category: Writing Woes

Nov 30, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Best Laid Plans

Like most people, I’m a busy guy. No doubt, countless others — like any working mom with young children — are busier. Frankly, that’s a contest I have no desire to win. Less busy is my goal. Being an author is a full-time job. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to give my writing career the attention it deserves — a fact unlikely to change before I retire from the day job. Until then, writing takes a backseat to other priorities. This is my first year without a new release since 2012. I blame a self-induced identity crisis. Getting all up in my head about who I am as a writer kept me from writing another word. Sage advice from Mom, Charlie Cochet, and Tali Spencer got me through. …

Jul 27, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Change is Gonna Come

There’s more to being an author than writing books. Writing new stories is the fun part. The publication process is a sometimes painful learning experience, but the real torture comes around the release of each new novel. I’m talking, of course, about marketing and promotion, Even for an attention whore like me, the amount of self-promotion a writer needs to do is a little off-putting. Sometimes, I feel a little cheap. The effectiveness of the various marketing strategies, techniques, and practices I’ve tried is difficult to measure. I know the number of comments my posts get on other blogs and the number of visits to my web site per day. Once a quarter, sales figures come with my royalty checks. A careful analysis …

Feb 23, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Selling Out?

Should authors write for the market? Is catering to what readers want selling out, or a smart business decision? Opposing camps are more deeply entrenched than Republicans and Democrats. The conflict stems largely (but not entirely) from differences in opinion about whether writing is a business or a craft. Initially, I sided with the craft faction. I’m an artist, dammit! Never mind what is or isn’t popular — I’ll write what I want to write and let the chips fall where they will. Writing historical gay fiction floats my boat. My writing demon is appeased, and showing how life has changed over time for the GLBT community taps into the educator in me. Lack of interest in this type of story, however, starves my inner attention whore. If …

Nov 24, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Social Network Fatigue

Once upon a time, the only social networking options were snail-mail, rotary dial telephones, and face-to-face. Travel costs and long distance telephone charges made letters the preferred means for keeping up with out-of-town friends and family. When not in class or hanging out with local friends, I spent hours on the telephone talking with them. Yeah. I can be kinda catty chatty. I got my first email account in the 1980s through work. In those early days, all messages were business-related. Spam hadn’t yet been invented. Gradually, folks stopped worrying about nosey employers. For family and friends with an addy, email became the preferred means of communication. My first home computer, purchased in the 1990s, came preloaded with AOL. Dial-up access ruled out …

Oct 27, 2014
By Michael Rupured

My Writing Demon

In honor of Halloween, I’m dedicating today’s post to my demon. He’s possessed me for as long as I can remember, compelling me to write, whether anyone reads my words or not. Over the years I’ve sacrificed vast quantities of time, ink, and paper to appease him. My demon makes me write for an hour or two every day. Fortunately, he’s easy to please. As long as I’m writing something, he’s happy. Letters to friends, email messages — even making a list counts. Waiting for replies annoyed the demon, and one can only make so many lists. Eventually, I had to write something else. The personal journal I started in 1979 to appease my demon fills twenty volumes. The quantity is far more impressive than the content. …

Oct 13, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Writing: Career or Hobby?

Getting the contract for my first novel was like winning the lottery. Rather than the years-long, rejection-filled path traveled by most writers, I’d found success right out of the gate. Until Thanksgiving was going to make me rich! My preconceived notions about publishing a novel were a tad off. Two years, two more novels and a short story later, my vast fortune has yet to materialize. Turns out, getting published is the easy part. With hundreds of new titles coming out every week, catching the attention of book-buying readers is a much bigger challenge. Good thing I kept the day job. I’ve loved to write for as long as I remember — at first mostly letters to friends and family, and later, in my journal. …

Sep 29, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Taking the Bull by the Horns

Novels are an author’s bread and butter. Yet, for most of this year, I’ve made little to no progress on a trilogy based loosely on certain events from my life. Other commitments have been part of the problem, but the bigger issue has been my inability to separate fact from fiction. Writing pure fiction is a process of adding to a blank slate to define characters, set the scene, and advance the plot. Inspiration may come from many sources, but the events and characters are made up. Add more details, throw in plot twists, rearrange a few things, perhaps cut a bit here and there, and voila, a novel. Basing a story on something that really happened, whether an historical event like the Stonewall Uprising …

Aug 26, 2013
By Michael Rupured

Back in the Groove

Events in the last half of 2012 changed my life forever. Losing my father, splitting up with my partner of twelve years, becoming a published author, picking up two new titles at the day job, moving to a smaller house and other changes disrupted my comfortable patterns and routines. I focused on the positive and, though I wasn’t always sure where the road would take me, kept moving forward. As a creature of habit, the collective changes to my daily rhythms stressed me out at least as much as any single event. With my system for keeping up with stuff in shambles, things fell through the canyon-sized cracks in my routines. So I’d make an adjustment, vow to do better …

Aug 19, 2013
By Michael Rupured

What’s In A Name?

One of the first critiques of an early draft of my debut novel was that the names of the characters seemed random, like they’d been pulled from a hat. The comment surprised me. You mean there’s another way? The right name is a beautiful thing. That’s why parents spend so much time thinking about what to call their little bundle of joy. As a writer, I have a huge advantage over parents. I know how my children turn out in the end. My only rule had been to avoid picking names starting with the same letter. Telling James’s story in After Christmas Eve did lead me to add another rule. No more names ending with the letter S. The possessive is just too …

Jun 17, 2013
By Michael Rupured

A Slight Miscalculation

Since at least September, I’ve looked forward to settling into my new normal. Living alone was supposed to mean more time to devote to my writing career. Those extra hours haven’t materialized. Apparently, I miscalculated. Knowing the transition to the bachelor lifestyle and moving would take time, I took a break from my writers group. From mid-2010 to a few months ago, all I did was write and work the day job. Just ask my ex. I never missed my biweekly Saturday night writers group meetings, critiquing thousands of words ahead of time for every meeting. A break was in order. The time went toward getting everything at the new abode the way I wanted. Other than selected yard projects, my do-it-yourself days …

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