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.

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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Happy Halloween!

Hey everyone! I have a special Halloween gift for you. It’s a new short story fresh off the presses called A Ghost Haunting. Sounds spooky, right? I know I said I would write a story with the title Into the pumpkin, but the title was so good I couldn’t write a story small enough to be considered a short story. Sorry! But this short story is really good, I hope you like it. You can find it by clicking on the Short Stories tab at the top of the home page, or just click here! If you would like to read last year’s Halloween short story, Looking Glass, click here. As always, these short stories are completely free!

Happy Halloween reading.