Motivation

It’s kind of one of those days where I find myself Googling “Ideas for Blog Posts” in order to figure out what to write about.  I know there’s no law that says I have to post every day, or even every week, but with the Halloween season fast approaching, I’d like to keep my head in the game as much as I can, especially considering I have ghost stories to share!  

Now, the last time I Googled “Ideas for Blog Posts,” I didn’t have very much luck.  I stumbled across a Blog Post generator that, while a brilliant concept, turned out to be a little, I don’t know, stupid.  So I quickly ditched that idea and went back to trying to come up with my own blog posts.  

Today, I actually stumbled across some pretty decent ideas.  The one I’ve decided to go with today is “Motivation.”

What is your motivation?  

As writers, a lot of our motives are probably pretty similar.  We want to tell stories.  We want people to read or stories.  Or maybe, even more simply, we just enjoy writing.  I know I do.  It’s so much easier than talking.  Plus I have a really weird sounding voice.  One of my teachers in grad school described me as a Southern Valley Girl.  He also told me he thought I was a flake and was surprised to discover I could actually write.  Awesome.  

I hated that class.

Anyway, it’s probably for the best that I prefer writing to talking. 

As I delve deeper and deeper into the writing business, I find my priorities have shifted drastically from the time I first decided I wanted to write professionally.  It used to be all about the storytelling, and above and beyond all else, it should be.  But I’ve come to learn there is so much more to being an author than simply being a “writer.”  Being an author means going out into the world, meeting people, being a spokesperson, being a salesperson, being a business brain, being a marketing brain, being a social media aficionado, being a reader, being a reviewer.  It’s like an entire business in just one occupation.  It’s crazy and it’s wonderful and it’s challenging and it will drive you absolutely up the wall if you dwell on it for too long.  

Now, instead of simply writing stories, I’m also interacting with readers and other authors.  I’m trying to get my name out there and trying to help others get out there as well.  I’m researching venues and reviewers in hopes of making one more sale, of getting one more review.  It’s not the life I imagined when I decided I was going to become an author.  But you know what?  I kind of love it.  

Now, is writing still my favorite part of the gig?  Absolutely.  But meeting readers, I’ve discovered, is a close second.  Has my motivation for becoming a writer changed?  Not really.  I still have a million stories inside my head that have to get out.  It’s not that I want them out.  It’s a physical need to write it down and share it.  Fellow writers, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s impossible to not write.  It’s as essential to our existence as eating and breathing.  It simply has to happen.  You can’t imagine a life where you’re not writing or telling stories.  

For me, writing is more than an escape.  It’s the driving force that pushes my life forward.  It’s an adventure, and there’s always something new to discover.  Writing is freedom, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I think freedom is what most, if not all, artists truly crave.  

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Stalking the Demon – Advance Review EBOOKS by Ciara Ballintyne

STALKING THE DEMON ~ Advance Review EBOOKS by @CiaraBallintyne #HighFantasy #FREEBIE

Available for a limited time

FREE Advance Review ebooks (Review Copies only)

STALKING THE DEMON

(Book 2 in the Seven Circles of Hell)

by Ciara Ballintyne

demon

Date of Publication – 22 September 2014

Genre:  High Fantasy (Adult)

About the Book

Alloran lost his hand to thwart his renegade friend–but the world is still going to hell.

Six months after Ladanyon’s defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret–the seven circles of hell are unstable. His worst fear is that the terrible mirror spell cast upon Gisayne has wrought some connection between her and the demon dimensions.

As everything Alloran loves races toward destruction, he does the unthinkable and refuses to obey the council of wizards. The only people who can help him are the two research assistants assigned by the council–but he knows he can’t trust them.

All the answers are locked away in the last place anyone wants to go: hell.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR here (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23156116-stalking-the-demon?from_search=true).

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Why Self-Marketing is Actually the Worst

As independent artists, musicians, and authors, it is up to us to spread the word about our work, our music, and our books. On top of that, we have to do so in a way that actually makes people want to invest in our products. Let me tell you right now, it is a huge pain. I’m a writer. I like to write. I’m a terrible salesperson. Yeah, I can recommend things to people, but for the most part, I like to let people choose what they want to buy on their own.

I’ve been published for about a year now, and I still think that self-marketing is awful. That’s not to say I don’t like talking about my books. I do! They’re one of my favorite things to talk about, along with dolphins, Harry Potter, and Scotland. I’m so proud of my books and I really think they’re awesome. But let’s be honest. Every author thinks his or her books are awesome. You’re never going to meet an author marketing his or her book by saying, “Yeah, I wrote it. It’s okay, I guess. It’s nothing great.” No! Every author is going to say, “This book is awesome!” And that’s good. Authors should be excited about their work.

Unfortunately, however, we authors tend to be very biased. An author is not going to think his or her work is anything but the best. And readers sometimes need more than an author’s word to convince them for that very reason. That’s why reviews and readers who enjoy your work are so important.

Personally, I’m not very good at playing the, “Are you ready for the next hot paranormal read? Check out Cemetery Tours by ME!” role. I feel like I sound like some sort of info-bot whenever I try. I’m a positive and overall happy person, but I’m also very blunt and to the point and I have an incredibly dry sense of humor. It’s so dry that I have friends who can’t tell when I’m joking. It’s not my style to treat my books like they’re something that needs to be hyped up.

Another reason self-marketing is the worst is that I always feel like I’m begging when I say things like, “Hey! Go buy my book, and if you like it, write a review! Please? I need reviews! It won’t take you very long! You have no idea how important this is to me.” Somehow, it feels like that translates to “PLEASE BUY MY BOOK SO I CAN EAT. I’M DESPERATE.”

Which, let’s be honest, in my case, it does.

The charade of confidence in self-marketing is an important one. But sometimes, I just really get sick of it. That’s not to say I’m not confident. I have the utmost confidence in my books. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have published them in the first place. My very first manuscript remains unpublished to this day because I know it’s bad and needs a LOT of revision. But Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds are good. That’s why they’re out there.

It’s also important, with self-marketing, to remember there is a fine line between good, honest self-promotion and HERE LET ME CRAM MY BOOK DOWN YOUR THROAT UNTIL YOU READ IT. Let me tell you it is hard to tread that line. As authors, we want to talk about our books and get people to read them. Furthermore, we want people to buy them so we can make some money! Maybe I’m supposed to say, “It’s all for the craft and I’d write for free,” which is true. I would totally write for the rest of my life no matter what. But come on. We all want to get paid for our work, and it’s not wrong to say so.

Here’s the deal. I want people to read my books and enjoy them. I want to keep writing. I finished chapter 6 of my new YA book last night. I’m also in the midst of writing CT3. I’m going to keep writing no matter what. And I will self-promote as much as I have to. I love my work, and I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m complaining. I know the path I’ve chosen and self-marketing is just part of it. I love my path. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On that note, go buy my books.

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