Why I wrote Gut Feeling & why I keep writing
Dyslexia for a creative writer is a cruel disability. I carried a vocabulary in my head that did not match my spelling ability. I would find myself substituting words on paper in order to make my writing legible, unaware that this only detracted from my writing and the impact it had on the reader.
At the age of twenty, I was writing erotica poetry and also some general philosophy. Looking back, I can see the natural creative path I was taking myself on. Just like an artist, I was trying different genres and writing styles. At twenty-four, I sought help, determined to learn to spell. I found out that I also had a weak short-term memory. In short, it went in one ear and out the other! I worked on developing my memory with a therapist, which helped me go back to the basics and teach myself to spell. Towards the end of my program, my therapist asked me to write a diary to help develop my reading and writing skills. I explained that I did not like writing diaries but had written some romantic scenes. My therapist suggested building a beginning and an end to one of the scenes I had written. This was the birth of my first book, Gut Feeling.
Thats my how Is become an other, buts what is my why?
My why has an element of passion but mostly defiance. A teacher told my parents that I wouldn't amount to much, and I believed that teacher for a long time. Once I left school thankfully I listened to my parents positive encouragement's and thrived in the believe that I could do anything I put my mind to. Why did that teacher get the right to prophesize my future?
When I write I think about what I have achieved, I remember that I taught myself to, and the commitment it took. My why is why not!
What is your why?
Being a dyslexic in the world of creative writing will always leave you venerable to harsh criticism. My advice to dyslexic writers is this: never be embarrassed of your abilities, only proud of them. And never give up, keep teaching yourself and learning.
You are amazing.
So you want to write a book? You’ve bounced an idea or even ideas around in your head for years? Maybe, just maybe your ideas have even hit paper? But it’s still over whelming. You’re not alone- However, don’t be one of the many that stay in this cycle. Don’t be that person who tells your children or even grandchildren that you had an idea once. Because they will say “Why didn’t you write it?” As I am to you now!
So here is my process from idea to print. I hope it inspires you to write your story, no matter how long it takes. Even if you never publish- just write it.
When I get an idea for a story I think it out in my head first. I think about the main focuses points or any twists- what makes it unique or different. Then staying in my head I work though a rough plot, e.g. how the story will playout.
Idea to paper:
I personally use a word document to work out my plot line, but you may prefer pen and paper or even brain storming on a white board- whichever works for you. I write out each stage into parts, not chapter. Chapters come later. So at this stage the story needs to transfer from my head to paper the way I like or it develops in a different direction- either way is good. However, sometimes the story doesn’t work on paper and ends here.
I then work through the parts into rough chapter ideas. I make basic notes on what I want to happen in the chapter. I don’t spend too much time on this part, for me it’s more about organizing events and working out any time lines. I normally end up writing two or three drafts before I’m ready. But between each draft I let it breath for one day.
Let it breath:
I find by leaving a day or two between drafts it helps the story grow, or get clarity. Basically the saying “Sleep on it” works for me.
If my story makes it to a final plot- its ready to go. Also at this point it’s been between four to six days, and all I’ve done is think about this story and re write plots lines. I should be heavily invested by now, so if I’m not itching to start then the books not worth writing anyway!
My first chapter:
With my final plot finished I’m rearing to go I use my plot to keep me on track. Before each chapter I open my plot draft- Knowing what I want to achieve in the chapter all I need to do is add details and description.
Writing the manuscript:
So now I know what I’m writing I need to plan out when I’m writing. Currently I’m a full time writer but this wants always the case. I used to have a full time Job in London and after that I owned my own company. When I worked in London I would wake up early and sit in a coffee shop next to my work for one hour every day. And when I had my business, I used to get into the office one hour early and write. If you want to write you will, you just need to find the time and then invest the time.
First draft manuscript:
After I finish my first draft I “Let it breath.” I pat myself on the back and get ready to do a read through. I start at the beginning and work back though the manuscript making any changes I feel necessary. Then It is ready for the editor critiques.
The first thing I get my editor to do is a critique around. She points out incontinences, if any- and she points out sections that feel rushed or to draw out. She critiques the characters and their relationships to each other, story pacing and general tone of the book. I make the changes and send it back for another critique. Sometimes I have two rounds of critique’s.
The critiques are finished and the manuscript goes back to the editor for editing and proof reading. This is where the editor will correct grammar and spelling, typos and sentence structuring.
Once I have the final editing finished from my editor I read through the manuscript out loud for typos. You would be surprised what the human brain misses. Us self-published authors do not have the luxury of computer systems that big publishing houses use for checking typos, or the many editors that proof their books- but we do our best.
I’m now ready to print. I send my manuscript to my book maker for book layout, type setting and cover design. I then work with an artist to make a book cover. Once I approve the book art my book designer makes my book! He also creates my eBook files too.
Ready to print:
I can up load them to amazon and other online retailers. With the paper back I can order in bulk from my book maker to sell them myself to stores. And up load to amazon so that I can sell online too.
How to get books & eBooks online:
You will need an ISBN for your book. There are a few ways to do this. But this is a whole new topic in itself. Stay tuned…
I hope this has helped and please do me a favour- write that damn book :) feel free to message and ask me any questions.
I am extremely proud to announce the release of the Third Time Lucky
Notting Hill Gossip
Christmas is looming and Sarah gets the present of a lifetime when she meets a stranger in a New York Tea House.
Laura is still up to her old tricks and a celebrity New Years Eve party is the perfect platform for Laura to create a night Sarah will never forget.
Can Jess and Beth protect Sarah from Laura?
Or is it Laura who needs protecting?
When is it coming?
2015 saw the release of Third Time Lucky The Honey Trap and 2016 is all set for the release of Third Time Lucky Notting Hill Gossip.
So what can you expect from this sequel?
You can expect the same antics from the girls, Sarah, Beth, Jess and even Laura! Yes that's right, Laura is back. And she is still the bitch we love to hate. However, this time something about her is different- what is she hiding?
Sarah is finally happy and life is predictable and steady, just the way she wanted it- until now!
When can you expect the sequel?
I'm excited about 2016 and I look forward the months to come.
Feel free to message me or subscribe to my mailing list.
Who in their right mind would put me on the radio?
Someone who hasn't met me, clearly! namely Tom Cannon from #CroydonRadio
However, I behaved myself and was quit professional about the whole thing. We had a nice lighthearted chat about my books, my writing process, and growing up with dyslexia and I didn't swear once. My mum did call to tell me that I said 'Oh God' a few times. I don't remember, but i'll take that over the f-word on local radio. Sorry mum x
If you missed the show, don't worry I found their a pod cast :) yay! click the link below and you can listen to me being very professional and not embarrassing my friends and family like I normally do!
The show is two hours, so to hear my interview simply fast forward to the last 25minutes of the show and there I am :) enjoy x
Life is what you make it....
Failing is not weakness, giving up is!
Most author's have some kind of apprehension when it comes to bad reviews. My advice to any bad review is always the same, listen to constructive criticism and ignore negative opinions because you cant please everyone.
My worst fears came true in 2015 when I started to market a book that I published in 2012, as an achievement of overcoming dyslexia. Mixed reviews rolled in, some FIVE stars reviews some ONE stars reviews. I quickly realised that the book I had published in 2012 had been poorly edited, as you can imagine I was devastated, embarrassed and felt let down. I trusted the editor that I hired. He was aware of my dyslexia but unfortunately his editing skills where not much better than mine!
I wanted to give up and quit as a writer. I questioned my abilities and wanted to hide away disconnecting all my social media accounts. "Failing is not weakness, giving up is !."
I did not quit. I dug deep and forgave my mistake, I learnt from my mistake. I un-published 'Gut Feeling' immediately.
The support from my followers has truly touched my heart. I am re-writing 'Gut Feeling' and will re-publish an error free book.
I have found a lovely new editor who I do trust, but I will still try to proof any of my own work.
When I re-publish I will not fear the reviews, I will look forward to them because they will not be pointing out typos or bad editing.
So to all you authors worrying about bad reviews, just think of this story and rest assured it will never be as bad as this :) haha x
Life is what you make it....
I left school with the reading age of a elementary school child. I decided to take fate into my own hands and taught myself to read with the aid of a dyslexia specialist and lots of self-help school books, I did this at a ripe age of twenty-five. Part of my process was to practice writing. This is where my book 'Gut Feeling' was born. I originally published my first book 'Gut Feeling' in 2009 for my own self-accomplishment and for friends and family to read.
I want to encourage people with dyslexia to write their stories, but, to the best standard possible. So, I decided to un-publish 'Gut Feeling' because it was not a good representation of my current writing ability.
I originally didn't want to re write 'Gut Feeling' because the original story holds a special place in my heart due to where, and how it came about. However after some of my readers have emailed me asking to re publish I have decided to re-write and re-publish 'Gut Feeling'
There are a few original copies being sold on amazon in paper back but I hope to have the re-write finished for September 2017!
If you would like to read a copy of the original 'Gut Feeling' I would be happy to email you a free ebook copy for your private use.
Life is what you make it.....
First things first, have a clear plan of what you want to achieve, is it a mailing list, reviews, noticeability, book sales?
So where do you start? The answer is everywhere. Get set up on all social media platforms if you are not already, think about the image you want to portray to your readers and followers. Now comes the juggling act. There are lots of ways to make your social media life easier, like linking your pages so that you can pin a pin on Pinterest and it automatically posts on your Twitter and Facebook page, the same with Goodreads. Then there is Buffer, a handy app that lets you schedule tweets and pins in advance and posts them for you.
However there comes a time when you need to focus on what works best for you. The vast majority of successful authors will tell you that whilst they have mastered the social media juggling act, they focus their attention on just one or two social media platforms that work best for them.
Social Media Platforms
Twitter - Great for brand awareness and networking with bloggers.
Facebook Fan Page - Great for brand awareness and showcasing.
LinkedIn - Great for networking with professionals in your field and forums.
Instagram - Great to connect with your readers in a fun creative way through images.
Pinterest - Great way to advertise and connect with readers in a fun way. It is the latest BIG buz in the author world so make sure you have a business account set up and widgets on your website and blog.
But lets look at Goodreads and YouTube more closely.
Goodreads is the biggest book club out there. It has forums, groups, authors and bloggers and most importantly die hard readers. This is where you want to be spending your cyber days. Start to friend readers and follow authors, also make sure you are posting ratings and reviews.
Direct message - Message the people, who have marked your book ‘to read,’ you could offer a free down load in return for an honest review.
Goodreads Giveaway - Your book will be seen by hundreds of readers and the lucky winners of the Giveaway can be added to your mailing list. This not only helps build your mailing list but also builds it with readers who want to read your genre, and who will be interested in reading further books you write. They will also hopefully review your book and build on your review numbers.
YouTube is a brilliant way of getting you, the author, and your books out there. Create your own channel and set up a YouTube platform. Here you can showcase you and your book. Show people who you are with fun videos and book trailers.
Not confident in the art of video making? Click here and for $39 you can have SolaFide Publishing do it for you.
All you need is a storyboard and a YouTube channel. There are some great sites out there like Animoto.com where you choose a template video, add your pictures from your storyboard and out pop’s a professional video. Animoto.com. You can pay for one months use for around $20 and make as many videos as you like and for as long as you like. I would recommend about a 1 minute for a book trailer.
There are also sites like Flixpress.com were you can make video intros to add onto your book trailer. In the same way you choose a template, add in the words and out pops an intro trailer.
Now that you have an intro trailer, a book trailers you will need to cut them together. You can do this in YouTube editor. Just upload your trailers to YouTube, but remember to mark the clips as private so no one can see them. Then go to YouTube Editor and you will see the videos clips in your editing page on the right hand side. From there you drag and drop, and cut down the video as required. After you’re done you will need to select a project at the top of the page and wait for it to appear back on your YouTube Chanel, now your ready to mark as public and share.
And if you need help with the juggling act find a Book Publicist
Publicists like SolaFide Publishing will manage your publicity. If you want to go down this route it is important to choose wisely and work with a publicist that is well connected. A publicist will do a number of things for you depending on what you are looking to achieve, book tours, generating reviews, interviews, book cover reveals and social medial promotions. The larger publicists have a large list of bloggers to connect you with and even connections with online publications to further spared your noticeability.
Good luck x
It is very hard to describe to a non-dyslexic how I see the written word, however I think I hit the nail on the head today.
My husband and I were travelling, south on the M25. I was staring at the vehicles as they drove passed, and one read FS Contact. At first glance I read FS Connect, then I focused my thoughts and read the word correctly. I set about trying to explain to my husband, that I automatically guessed the word from my memory bank, but once I told myself to actually read the word I decoded it, and read the word correctly. My husband found this very interesting.
I sat staring at other vehicles for a while and realized I was still not automatically, registering a lot of the words written on them. I pointed to one lorry with lots of writing on the back. I did not register any of what it said until I told myself to read it, and then I saw the word 'Transport'. I thought, this is a perfect example, and so I pointed the lorry out to my husband.
I said "Do you see that grey lorry to the left of us?'
He said, "Yes."
I said, "I was staring at the back of that lorry but did not read the writing. It's as if it is written in a foreign language." I took a second look and focused my thoughts to read the words and then said, "Oh wait it is a foreign language." We both laughed a lot at this.
The only English word on the van was Transport! And it wasn't until I told my self to read that I decoded the other words and realized I could not decode them. Until that point it was all a foreign language to me, even the english word.
Maybe if I had decoded the word POLAND it would have helped. But the fact that worlds are written in uppercase is another issue. It adds to the effort needed to decode the letters into words.
So for me looking at the English language is sometimes like you looking at a foreign language. I have to focus my thoughts to decode the letters into words. But until that point it is all foreign to me.
So if you can now imaging what it is like for a child seeing words in this way, you may find you have a bit more patience with them.
It is tiresome for any adult to constantly focus your self on a task. Can you imagine what its like for a child to have to do this with a task that you, (a non dyslexic) finds relatively effortless, and then they have other distractions going on around them. Its no wonder dyslexic children get easily distracted. But shouting at them or losing patients with them will NEVER solve the issue. They just need a lot more of your time and effort to learn and store words. I left school with such a small amount of words in my memory bank this now makes decoding the English langue as an adult harder for me.
I hope this helps you understand a little more about dyslexia.
Having low self-esteem can be sole crushing. It is like an unbearable lack of confidence and some times even deep-set hate for yourself. Most people will suffer in silence, maybe even some of your closest friends and you don't even realize. This can give rise to anxiety, depression and other serious illnesses.
So it is understandable for people to think that if you can cure the world of low self-esteem you can cure the world of other debilitating illnesses. But lets first talk about what self-esteem is.
There are two types of Self-esteem, Trait self-esteem and State Self-esteem. Trait self-esteem is how you feel about your self the majority of the time; state self-esteem is how you feel about yourself at a given point in time. If you were to ask how you feel about your self at different times you will probably have different answers. Some days you may feel good about yourself, maybe you pleased your boss at work, other days you may feel low about yourself, maybe you did not hit a dead line you needed to or wanted to. Your state self-esteem changes due to your experiences day to day.
Self-esteem is like a measure. Think of it like a gage. We all have self-esteem, some high some low; we are all effected by it too. And it all comes down to how you think people perceive you.
It is built into our make up over thousands of years. Back when our ancestors lived in tribes, being excepted into a group or not was very serious for survival. It could mean the difference between life and death, so judging how others in your group perceived and accepted you was very important. This basic survival instinct still resonates in humans today.
It is basic human instinct to want to belong. If someone is rejected or not listened to this will lower their self-esteem. If their personality is different or odd they may be rejected from mainstream groups at school or in the work place, leading them to strive for acceptance in other groups with lower acceptance values, mainly the unsociable and delinquent groups. Unsociable behaviour will lead to acceptance from this group but further rejection by the original desired group leading to lower self-esteem.
So to understand your self-esteem look at your surroundings, and your past. Ask what has lowered your self-esteem and then change it. Surround yourself with positive people and don't give so much time to negative people. Do things you're good at, and do them often. Look back in your past and come to peace with the rejection or negatives, leave it in the past and look at changing your State self-esteem to a higher one more often, this in time will then change your Trait self-esteem.
The answer is curing the things that lowers your self-esteem
Hello, my name is Victoria I am an author. I would like to share with you my opinion & experiences and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.