What’s so hard about writing?

If you are a beginning writer, you may be asking that question.

Books in Heart

If you’ve written and published books, you already know the answer to the question.

You have this great idea for a story. Maybe it’s even a true story that you believe others would benefit from you sharing. Or maybe it’s pure fantasy fiction. Whatever the case, you want to write. And write you should!

Typewriter
Of course no one uses outdated typewriters anymore. 🙂

 

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Instead we have modern computers

I get approached often by new writers looking for advice and direction. I always tell them the same thing. If you have a story to tell, go ahead, take the leap of faith and get started. From my own experience, I can tell you that when you look at a story as a whole picture, it is overwhelming. But, when you focus on one line at a time, one paragraph, one chapter, it becomes doable.

Chapter1

Of course, you need to outline your story, build character arcs and plot sequences. But, when it comes to actual writing, you must focus on each word. Then, as if by magic, the story begins to unfold one little word at a time.

Sounds easy, huh?

If you have a story burning inside, you will find that it won’t let you rest.

Three things come into play. First and foremost, you must have a story to tell, secondly, you must be committed to telling the story and thirdly, you must persevere. A story can’t be written overnight. It takes time, effort, commitment and dedication. While you are writing your story, practice on growing thick skin and be ready to accept criticism. Then once your story is complete, has been professionally edited (not by a friend or family member unless they are professional editors) and polished to perfection, reveal it to the world and get ready to work harder at marketing your story than you ever did writing it. And that’s the truth.

So, what’s so hard about writing?

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The differences (however slight) between CreateSpace and Lightning Source paperbacks

This is a comprehensive comparison, if you are on the fence about whether to publish through CreateSpace or Lightning Source. I personally have published through both and will add that CreateSpace is a more “user friendly” site than Lightning Source. It is basically your choice and preference.

The one big difference, as she points out in this blog, is that Lightning Source does offer the return policy, which CreateSpace does not.

 

Source: The differences (however slight) between CreateSpace and Lightning Source paperbacks

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OUTLAW MUSIC

Merriam Webster’s Definition of Outlaw:

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a person who has broken the law and who is hiding or running away to avoid punishment

1:  a person excluded from the benefit or protection of the law

2a :  a lawless person or a fugitive from the lawb :  a person or organization under a ban or restrictionc :  one that is unconventional or rebellious

3:  an animal (as a horse) that is wild and unmanageable

Hmmmmmmm…gives pause to really consider the meaning of the word.

Merriam Webster’s Definition of Music:

  • sounds that are sung by voices or played on musical instruments
  • written or printed symbols showing how music should be played or sung
  • the art or skill of creating or performing music

Put the two words together and you get a definition of music that is outside the law, unconventional, rebellious, wild or unmanageable.

Outlaw country

The first picture that comes to mind when I think of Outlaw Music, is Waylon Jennings. He dared to buck the Nashville suits and make a stand to play the kind of music he heard in his own soul, not what they expected

Waylon

Texas music artist, Tommy Alverson, depicts the outlaw attitude in the lyrics of his song, My Way or The Highway. “Well he told ‘em just what he thought. Didn’t give a damn if they bought.”  That says it all. This song is recorded on Tommy’s Heroes and Friends CD.

Then there’s that famous picture of Johnny Cash shooting Nashville the bird, although he recorded on some of the biggest labels in Nashville through the 90s.

JC_Flipping_Bird

They dared to speak out – dared to be different. I won’t attempt to list all of the music artists associated with the Outlaw Music movement. Instead, I want to go back farther; back before anyone ever heard of Waylon or Willie other than a few scattered songs here and there.

I’m going to get personal with this and tell you about a man most of you have never heard of who was a true and original pioneer in the Outlaw Music movement in Texas starting back in the early 60s. That man was Rick Sikes.

He drew hippies out of Georgetown and cowboys out of Round Rock together in one place with no fights and no problems, to hear his brand of music. Why? Because it was outside the law of how music was supposed to be played at the time. And folks were attracted to it, partially due to the social climate of the time and partially due to the value of the music itself.

Rebel Rick Framed

 

Rick had been a rebel and walked to the beat of his own drum his entire life. So, when it came to making music, he saw no reason to change.

He often performed at Big G’s club in Round Rock, and commented often on how each time, he had requests for the old Fred Rose song, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, which was originally recorded in 1945. It was not uncommon to be asked to play it several times in the course of a night.

Rick and Band with Dean

In 1971, Rick was sentenced to a total of seventy-five years behind bars for alleged bank robbery. That ended his rising music career, at the same time when Tillman Franks promised to promote him.

Rick and Rhythm Rebels Framed

By 1972, Willie Nelson, left Nashville and moved back to Texas. He began regularly performing at Big G’s where Rick had been a regular. Rick wondered if Nelson’s decision to record Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain in 1975 came from his time of playing there. Even though he visited with Nelson a few times after he’d been released from prison, he never remembered to ask him.

Willie and Rick

We often assume the stars we associate to a certain genre of music were its originators. But, I dare to say that events way before they ever turned down a certain road helped pave the way and give them vision to see things in a different light.

This is just one example. If you’d like to know more about Rick Sikes and his two separate music careers, I invite you to read the books I’ve written about him, Flowers and Stone, The Convict and the Rose and Home At Last, or visit his website and preview his music.