Writers of a different league

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I was recently reading an older issue of Writer’s Digest and I happened upon the article “Short Stories Big Rewards”. It was a pretty informative piece, so if you can find a copy of Writer’s Digest: Writer’s Yearbook 2017, I highly recommend it. But the part that I latched onto and couldn’t seem to let go, wasn’t really about the short writing format, or even how to use short stories to boost your writing career, it was the couple paragraphs mentioning Hugh Howey.

Of course, I’ve heard of him before and his famous “Wool” book, but what I hadn’t heard was the story behind the publishing of his book. According to the article Howey said, “That’s it . . . I made the work available and did zero promotion for it.”

Seriously?!

book shelf 2He just plopped his book onto Amazon Kindle and he’s insta-famous?! How on Earth is that fair? I slave over my books. I spend hours just plotting new ways to get the word out about my writing, and I get nowhere. Howey put his work out there and walks away and the reading world pounces on it like a half starved cougar.

And then a sneaking suspicion crept into my thoughts and I realized I’d had this same experience before. Back when I was studying for my Fine Arts degree, I remember meeting people like Howey.

In my studio art classes I did pretty well. Well enough to get good grades. I demonstrated the techniques taught and I used them as they were supposed to be used. My paintings and drawing were very correct. They were good, but not great. But every class had at least one student who’s work was truly great. It didn’t matter what they were painting, every brush stroke was mesmerizing. No matter how hard I studied or practiced, I could never match these students . Even with all my skills, there was always something my paintings lacked. The difference between them and me was a difference between skill and talent. Skill can make you correct, but it can never make you great. img_0235

I have a funny feeling that Howey has some serious talent, and unfortunately there isn’t any writing manual for that.

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A writer’s lifeline part 2: The resurrection!

broken heartI’m alive! As you know from a earlier post I had a small house fire and I lost electricity to my bedroom and computer. It was horrible, I wouldn’t write, I couldn’t work on my novel, I couldn’t up-date my blog, I couldn’t write. I seriously started having writing with-drawls. I started staring off at nothing and spacing out for hours. I would just sit on my couch and rub my fingertips, cause I missed the feel of my computer keyboard. I even started losing my words. Just a few days ago I couldn’t think of the word for toast. I had to ask my brother for a slice of bread that’s been heated until it’s brown!

I’ve finally found a spot in the kitchen for my poor neglected computer, so now I can write again. And heave a big sigh of relief. My fingers are so happy, typing away. Words, it’s so wonderful to use words again.

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I would write a longer post, but I have email to read and Goodreads to comment and review on and so many other wonderful things to do on my lovely computer. Really, you don’t know how happy I am right now to be able to do all that stuff.

Best of 2016!

broken heartTo ring in the New Year, here are some of the best posts of Odd Author Amanda McCoy.com in 2016, just in case you missed them!

I fought the tech and the tech won   This post is about my adventures with trying to up-grade my website. You can probably guess by the title how that turned out.

Could I have 35,000 words with you?    Wordiness it can be a gift or a curse, but mostly just a “How the heck did that happen” moment.

Life of a song   Music inspires me so much, and is vital to my writing. I even have songs just for some of the characters featured in my books!

Life of a song 2   This post was so popular, I decided to do a sequel!

Interesting, very interesting   I don’t do a lot of book reviews, but I really thought this book was worth posting about.

To catch a fish, you need a good-   I really think that writers thrive by helping each other. By sharing tips and asking for advise, we all get better at our craft.

A movie norm that needs to die   Die, and then be buried deep in the woods in an unmarked grave!

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