Bad Reviews- In My View They Ain’t So Bad! #MFRW

2019 badge blog challenge 640x640 Amerigo BT

So it’s Monday and like clockwork I woke up at 7.00a.m after snoozing the alarm a few times, with a list as long as my arm, with things I want to complete today, in order to have a productive writing day. For one we’re one week into National Novel Writing Month, I’m participating this year, while I have 20,000 words down I’m still not quite happy with all of it, I have emails to respond to, one half of a story for The Suspenseful Collection #2 to write…. before tomorrow!  And let’s not forget the ‘day job writing’ also… I’m a translator by day!

Waking up to this list,  I knew today would be busy, right on cue my five year old son moseys into my room, jumps under the covers…”mama, I’m sick.” I sigh, roll my eyes, peel his warm five year old body off me and look him in the eye, then ask what’s wrong? He  holds his legs in the air like a tent under the covers. When he was born he had complications with his legs, now it’s fine but  I take his complaints seriously. I roll over thinking ” no school looks like today’s a sick day then, some much for productivity.”

It’s lunch time, what is he doing as I write this writing response?  Dancing and singing (rather loudly) to the Lion King movie, before that it was Frozen the movie. What else has he done today, given me firm instructions to leave my desk, to play kick the ball in the garden , attacked the washing line then ran around the house with my bra on his head, pretending he’s a “pirate of the Caribbean.” Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the little shit, boy… whoops sorry. He just fancies a day off to watch Disney all day, and disrupt his mama!

So I may as well do a writing prompt as it’s clear I won’t get to focus on any manuscripts until this evening after bed time…. sighs #shoutoutallparents.

 Bad Reviews, How They Can Help?

So bad reviews? The question  and writing prompt this week is how to overcome them. In all honesty, I don’t think bad reviews are really that bad as you grow as a writer. You soon learn that you can’t, should not try to, and DO NOT EVER want to try to write to please everyone, it’s impossible. If you do that, you’ll lose who you are as a writer,why YOU WRITE and you’ll have no idea of who you actually please- your target market and actually create sales, and a readership.

I also say this as I personally feel as a writer you get to a point where a bad review, you realise does so much more than make you feel bad if you have done the best you can on your work. 1. a review is a review whether good or bad, and sometimes the odd 1 star or someone not feelin’ your work shows a genuine picture or balanced picture. 2. a bad review can cause other people to pick up your book, out of curiosity anyway. How many times have you read reviews on somethings you wish to purchase, or a new product you wish to try and noticed the odd bad one or less positive review but decided ‘I think I want to give this a try, and see for myself.’ 3. it can also allow you to see what someone did not enjoy, genuinely as  long as they are not just on a bitchfest for no good reason.

So… how could you overcome a bad review?

I feel there  is the difference between a ‘moaning’ review and a genuine less positive review that’s more like ‘ this is critique that’s useful.’ I also feel it’s our job as a writer to weed out the two. If you can do this, that’s half the job of ‘overcoming’ a bad review. If the person is just going on, and on, and on, and on about why they hated your work with no real depth to it just…. just “hatin”’ on your work, disregard it and see that they are ‘moaning’. Instead pay attention to those who seem to be more realistic in their less positive review, and see what’s of use for you to know. Even then, take what’s helpful and leave the rest and focus on writing the next book.

Lastly, try  recognise if you have just sadly attracted the ‘wrong reader’ I hate to say this, sometimes it happens. It has happened to me, and I have also been the wrong type of reader for other books. This is when the book calls you,  the cover, blurb, genre whatever…you dive in and the connection is not there. If you can recognise within less positive reviews if this is ‘the wrong kind of reader, not someone you’d hope to attract or genuinely  a target reader’ for your work, this helps you to overcome bad reviews also. It is also helpful to define for  yourself as a writer who is, potentially could be, and definitely is not a target reader for you. Within the less positive reviews.

This is my honest approach to this subject that so many of us writers lose sleep over… a bad review pifff… I don’t allow it to bug me out so much these days. I take what I need and leave the rest, and know that it’s impossible to please all, and I would not ever want to, how the hell do I stand out if I do that?

Take what’s helpful, leave the rest. Just like when your work is rejected by a publisher, or an agent or an editor requests your work …but asks you to make what you would call major changes….that you’re not really feeling. Leave it if it does not help or changes your work too much in your view in a way you’d not really want it to. There will be someone out there that will say ‘yes, gimmie that’ as it is, you just have to find them.

Lastly, don’t ever lose your confidence over a bad review, once you develop that thick skin, this is impossible to happen anyway. But on the way to getting to this place of thick skinned and unflappable, don’t beat yourself up if someone did not connect, as remember you write for those that do connect.

 

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Comfort Zone: What Are You More Comfortable With? #amwriting #writingprompts

 

 

img_20190314_104032.jpgI’ve got some time to kill before I leave the house, perfect to fit in a quick writing prompt right?  I opened up my 365 days of writing prompt book on today’s date. This seems like a very fitting topic right now!

“What are you more comfortable with, routine and planning or laissez-faire?”

Well, to be honest as a person, mother, and human being I do like planning and routine. If there was no routine in my life then the house would not be tidy, there would be no dinner made, and the bills would all be left unpaid it would be chaos. There would also be no fun times for me and my family…which is planned for. I think in life we all need some kind of routine and planning, if not it is very easy to lose your way, or destiny. How do you know what direction you are meant to head in, if you don’t have some kind of plan?  Also if I work on projects and do things with others the same applies, where are we going? In that respect I do prefer and think we all need it. Even those of us who like to fly by the seat of our pants, you can’t always take that approach you’ll probably achieve very little. Even down to minor things like how you’ll spend the day, what you will eat, what you will wear today, etc. There is no avoiding it, planning is needed.

Aside from that,  my personality generally is that  I do like to go with the flow, once I have a plan or loose idea about something which could be about anything.  My personality is more carefree, I don’t tend to be a stress head, as long as I have an idea of what’s going on I’ll go with the flow and know that, because I have some kind of loose idea ‘it will work out’.

I guess on reflection as I write this, my ‘comfort zone’ is to have a plan and routine of some kind. That’s what I think stops me from being a stress head. If I don’t have a plan no matter who loose it is, I would become very stressed, and my personality is to flow with things providing I have a direction.

You’re probably thinking, well what about as a writer do you like to plan or go with the flow. It depends on what I’m writing as a fiction writer  I do very much go with the flow while writing. Yes I plan characters, yes I plan my surprises and twists in a story,  yes I plan endings but no when I actually write I hardly, if ever look back at that plan. To be honest, I don’t think I have actually written anything that ended how I planned it to on paper. That’s because as a  fiction writer I tend to jump into the story and behind the character, which means I come out of myself if that makes sense. I am no longer ‘Kim writing a story line.’ I am the serial killer, the female lead, the drop dead sexy male whoever I am writing, and I’m at the location of the crime, the sex scene whatever I’m there not behind my laptop. It’s very strange my imagination removes itself from me, so half the time I go with ‘what the character would do’  or the situation that’s fitting for them, not me.

As a non-fiction writer, as in writing an article or ghost writing something for someone else, who has an idea of what they want. As much as it might a pain in my ass, as I may have other creative ideas I do 100% stick to what’s been asked of me to write about, or the style I have been asked to use. That’s the only time I will be ridged  with plans when I do non-fiction writing . It’s a lot more fact based and aimed at making a particular point more time, so I am kind of forced to plan to make that point by the end of the article, or whatever it is I’ve been asked to write that’s non-fiction.

So… I guess no as a writer my comfort zone is that I don’t like tooo much of a plan, just a tiny bit so I know where to run wild and flow. But in my own life as a person I need and do better with solid planning.

What about you to plan or not to plan that is the question? Where do you plan the most in life? Love to see what you all do! Also, does anyone know where we find the old WordPress daily prompts these days? Do they even still do them ?

 

 

 

 

Thirteen?- Service Resumed As Normal #amwriting

img_20190313_211101.jpgI’ve not logged into my author email account since the 13th September 2018, I’ve not blogged since the 13th September 2018. Today is the 13th March 2019, as I sat down originally and pulled up a new blog post to write, the time was 9.13 p.m. Many consider this an unlucky number, if you’re into numerology like me you won’t believe this. And, you’ll probably break down the number 13 to the number 4. 4 being the number of stability… which to means to me, today is a good day to write this and a very good sign from the universe that things are ‘stable’.

My original plan was to do a video and upload it and speak to everyone, but there’s been so many changes on WordPress, and for some reason my account ‘does not allow this access’. So what the fuck? May as well do what us writers do a write up y’all. I don’t know how many will read this but it’s important for me to write it, so it’s here. I want to let those who have contacted me, and had a lack of response know that now I am okay. Before I was not 100% and I had to withdraw and focus on my personal life.

The first thing I want to say is if you have sent me an email since the 13th September 2018, you’ll know I never got to respond. This is a heartfelt apology to all those 10,000 unread emails I logged onto today. If you are someone from what was  a Conscious Talk Magazine  member who emailed me, or has been emailing me asking what’s going on,  I will contacting you all directly speak to you ALL to explain, the ending of 2018, which resulted in my lack of response and absence. To everyone else I am so sorry!!

If you were waiting on a book review, interview, some kind of promotion and I never came through. I’m sorry forgive me I had a rough end to the year. But 2019 has started great. I feel that the end of last year, and most of the last two years for me personally, have been the ending of cycles, and karmatic things I had to experience  and deal with in order to be where I am now, which is a very good place.

I turned thirty-six in February and had a fantastic time, thank you if you did send birthday wishes thank you. Honestly, there are  good reasons for my absence.  I don’t really want to go into all that on a blog, I just want to let you all know I had to disappear for  six months for personal reasons, now I am the best I have ever felt. Living my greatest life! My family are well too.

That aside, I should start with the good news, and what I have been doing as a writer. The last time I wrote here  on the 13th  of September, I was in the throes of writing a  romance novel that has been requested by an agent. I was (and still am even more) over the moon. It’s complete,  yes! And I renamed that bitch after it took me so long to round it up. It’s changed from the very nice ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ title to ‘Sacrifices’ the story took on a meaning of its own, as I was writing. It’s now  on the way to that agent’s inbox.  I now await her response and I hope she likes it. While it’s shorter than my first full length novel , it’s taken me like since 2017 to push out just 72,000 words. I say just, as that’s nothing compared to the 90,000 odd I wrote before.

Now, I’m focused on a manuscript I’ve not finished, before I even published my first book. My very first idea,  it’s a crime thriller with a hint of romance! I keep talking about that, and need to get around to focusing on it. So yes, 2019 I have big plans in terms of writing personally, and finishing off The Suspenseful Collection part two, with my co-author bestie Didi Oviatt. That girl’s been so patient with me after I ghosted her in September. Tomorrow we’ll  meet on Skype and I am totally prepared for her to curse me out. I laugh as I type this as I know Didi very well, personally and what she’s like ( and she  knows me very well). I can imagine what tomorrow will be like. Thing is not only is our writing similar we have a lot in common as people, and get on really well. So I know it will be like ” what the fuck Kim? You bitch you ghosted me, I had the stories ready and blah blah blah” then, we’ll be back to laughing and joking, like nothing ever happened. After six months, I am rather excited to speak with her.

I’ve also been ghost writing too! Which is a great way to earn money as a writer,  if you are good, have talent and if you don’t mind signing non-discloser acts, and not being credited for your work…but paid instead, very well  indeed for all your work! I’ve written some very interesting topics and short books, to put food on the table and live. I have been offered another topic I’m considering, while I juggle my own work to publish.

Life has changed,  it feels like I’ve shed a skin, been to hell and back, come out smelling like roses and feeling good. I still have a day job that involves writing so I guess now, I am now a full-time writer.  I never actually thought I’d get the pleasure to say that, but I am! Writing my own work but also a variety of things that I never thought I’d turn my hand to.  I feel like I’ve got my dream job! So here goes  for 2019.

In terms of being present here, my vision for my blog is still to write short stories, do writing prompts which you all know I looooooooooooove, promote other authors, book reviews all the stuff I did before. And of course interact with as many of you as I can, and READ as many other blogs as I can. I no longer get emails sent to me for blogs I follow, why is that? Is this some major change on WordPress?

This is just a quick post to say ‘sorry’ to those who need to hear this, and update those who have just been like ‘ where’s Kim?’ I better try and make my way through this mountain of unread mail!

Thank you for reading, thanks to those who have sent me ‘hey what’s up’ emails. And if you have sent me an email cursing me out, which I’ve not got to yet, hey it’s cool I have no hard feelings.  I am yet to pull up all the mail and see what I’ve missed. But you have to understand I had no choice but to pull back and remove myself totally from everything.

I’ll catch y’all soon!

Ps. guess what the time is as I end this blog post 10.13pm…this is spooky!!

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts: What Astrology Taught Me About Writing… The Time Is Now

Love of writing

Before I started to write this post I had to step out into my garden and take a deep breath.  It’s late 11pm but I’m in a random reflective mood, I’ve not blogged in months so here goes some random thoughts…I can’t believe the journey I have been on this last year, personally and as a writer.  For a year in August I’ve been editing a magazine and writing non-fiction. During this time I’ve had the pleasure of going back to Astrology, as I have written to horoscopes for Concision Talk Magazine. I fell into Astrology, Tarot and all that good stuff when I was about sixteen, that’s another blog post. Anyway, as you read this now in June 2018 Mars the planet of action, determination, goals, motivation war and conflict has gone retrograde. This basically means moving backwards from an Earth’s perspective, during this time it’s when we are forced to revisit old ground, anger can come out for some depending on circumstances, it’s not a time to start new ventures things come to completion normally.  Also, it’s a time of focusing directed energy as Mars’ forceful motivation, determination and ass-kicking energy is in full force!

The interesting thing about a planet’s retrograde is that is happens in a ‘house of life’ for us all, depending on your birth chart where exactly. For me when I pulled up my chart on the 26th June the day the planet went into retrograde until the end of August, the retrograde is happening in my 5th house, the house that’s linked to creativity, romance, children, life’s pleasures and enjoyment.  This told me, this is the house I need to go back to creativity, what I love and look at old projects.

What is even more interesting about a Mars retrograde is that it happens every twenty-six months roughly, if you look back at the dates and times for yourself personally, you’ll have an idea of lessons you need to learn in your own life, or themes in your life etc. For me the retrograde from 2010 were largely based around my marriage, the home and family and creativity. You’re not going to believe this, I looked at my Astrological birth charts during the retrograde periods as far back as 2010, in 2016’s retrograde I realised I wrote my first novel, got my first publishing deal and that novel turned out to be an award winning novel, the retrograde took place in my 4th house of life which is connected to the family, home, recent past and your foundations.  ( Back then I was not following Astrology as I once did all my life, and had no idea this transit was happening in these areas). However, I was going through some shit! Massive changes which lead to me being free to write and so I did…  just before the current retrograde Mars almost two years later I started to write another romantic suspense, sent over three chapters to an agent who requested the full book from me, this was in late 2017 early 2018. I moved country  just as she come back to me, and had the magazine going so writing fiction slowed. If I’m honest, I never really could get into writing the fiction again I was loving the non-fiction of the magazine. Now, under this Mars retrograde in my 5th house of creativity, romance and life’s pleasures  clearly I’m being pointed to go back and prompted not miss the chance with the agent who is interested in my work…  write that damn book. I also, really miss my ‘home’ of fiction writing, you can take the editor out of the writer but you can’t take the writer out of an editor is how I feel. I found it so enlightening and awaking this week to study Astrology and notice  that during the last Mars retrograde, I wrote my first full 90k word novel during the exact three months it took place! Every day I wrote, like a crazy woman forget editing… and it showed LOL. I just wrote and later down the line polished the book.

Astrology teaches you so much in life! ‘As above so below’…. my break from fiction writing is clearly over as of this month. I’ve set the challenge, Mars’ retrograde will unleash the fiction writer in me again, and yes you better believe that agent is going to snap up my book like it’s the best thing she’s read this year!  I am I’m going back to that manuscript I feel a stronger writer… even if I was badass before *wink.

People check your birth charts see what this Mars retrograde can mean for you, if you believe in all that ‘mombo jumbo’ it really can move you to where you are meant to be! If you have no clue how to do it, I’ll do it!  It will take me like two seconds to pull up a chart using your birthday, location of birth and time of birth just email me! Don’t miss out on any opportunity or where you are meant to be when these cosmic changes transit, remember as above so below! The time is now!

 

2018 Blogging & Reading Challenge Sign Up: 20 books, What A Year It Will Be! #amreading #books #bookworm

blogger shame challenge.jpg

 

Good morning,

I’m still up reading at past 1am. I just received an email from Herding Cats about a reading challenge ‘the blogger’s shame’. Bloggers who are book lovers receive LOADS of author review copy books (ARC) that we don’t always get to read, the pile grows. Over at Herding Cats they are pushing us bookworms to whip through the ‘to be read’ pile in 2018, with a cool blog challenge. I thought why not? Sounds like a great challenge, and blog hop. I will continue to do read and reviews for Enchanted Book Promotions and Net Galley. I’ve gone through my TBR on my Kindle, ARC emailed books,  and Netgallery here is a list of books  to read for 2018, no excuses. Take a peek if you’re an author maybe you’re there! If you have sent me an ARC of your book and it’s not here contact me here I don’t want to miss it. If you’re a book lover head over to Herding Cats see what this is all about, sign up.

I hope to complete this list. I know I will get side tracked with other great books that come up, but the intention is to read them all. 🙂 #bookworm

  1. Snatch Girl- LJ Kane, thriller ( reading this now)- FINISHED 12.1.18 reviewed here.
  2. Alpha Male- AC Melody, paranormal romance
  3. Reunited- Tammy Tate, romance
  4. Kiss & Tell and Dead Man’s Hand- Luke Murphy, thriller
  5. The Professor & The Bird – R. Franklin, romance.
  6. Pearls of The Past, M Rajakumi, fiction, contemporary.
  7. Search For Maylee- Didi Oviatt, thriller, mystery
  8. When Black Boys Are Left Alone- K. Harry, African- American.
  9. Claimed by Vampires, Seduced by Werewolf- Krissi Fortune, paranormal/ fantasy
  10. Pure Hollywood- C Schutt, contemporary fiction/ short story anthology- FINISHED 13.1.18 reviewed here.
  11. Coffin Path- K Clemants, Mystery, crime.
  12. 19 Souls- JD Allen- Thriller, Mystery
  13. A Cold Day in Hell, L.M Redman, thriller mystery
  14. Riders- Jilly Cooper Erotica, romance ( 900 pages!! I stopped about 400 pages through such a fun old classic).
  15. Daddy’s Girl- Ben Burgess, African American fiction
  16. Love & Happiness – Ben Burgess, African American fiction
  17. Wounded- Ben Burgess, African American Fiction
  18. Alice In Wonderland- Lewis Caroll – The FRENCH version not in English 🙂 ( Just cos I feel like reading this book in French  to remain bi-lingual I’ll add it).
  19. Capital Crime- Lisa Wilson, crime fiction
  20. A Time To Kill- John Grisham, fiction ( I have had this on my shelf for too many years).

Update 30th December 2017… The list just keeps getting bigger!!

  1. Make that twenty one books! How can I forget Only One Women – Jane Ridson & Christina Jones!!
  2. Infatuation books #1 and #2 – Kandie Marie- Erotic Urban Novellas
  3. Be The Architect  Of Your Mind, Body And Soul- Lara Alexiou, mind, body soul genre.
  4. One Love-  Denna Cabinian, Fiction