Am I Published?

Jen Nipps @ Open Mic
(c) 2017 Richard R. Barron Used with permission

If you’ve been on this blog any at all, you know the answer to this.

The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: Yes, and I have 10 books (including 2 novels and a book of poems), 3 short ebooks, and 3 short stories available under Jen Nipps (nonfiction) and Kat O’Reilly (fiction). I have another book in the editing process with a publisher and at least two more in that series. (One in progress, one in planning stages.)

I’ve had multiple articles and other short pieces published in WritingforDollars, Ada Magazine, the Ada News, Writers’ Journal, World of Myth Magazine, and 4Health Magazine. This doesn’t include various anthologies and other websites and blogs.

Some of the articles that were published in WritingforDollars have been republished in short ebooks through JEN Enterprises Presents and are: Bop Your Way Through Writer’s Block, 3 Keys to the Kingdom, and Why You Need a Writing Practice.

The short stories I currently have available are “They Call Me Malak,” “Sex, Politics, & Vampires,” and “This Is Your Karma.”

I’m keeping track of other things I want to write, so this is not all that you’ll see from me.

When Did I Start Writing?

ecrireHere’s another one that could probably go in the FAQs.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this. The answer is…complex. My creative journey started when I was quite young, though I can’t put an exact year to it.

My mom used to be a babysitter. It was my job to help entertain the kids. I would make up stories for my brother and some of the other kids. Growing up, my mom encouraged my creativity. Telling stories was just one way she did this.

I think I could say I probably started writing around 12 years old. That’s how I remember it anyway. When I was in high school, my tenth grade English teacher required us to keep a journal. She would collect them once a week. She wouldn’t read what was written, but she would just check to see if we were writing in them every day.

I wrote my first poem in that journal.

When I was in 11th grade, I got brave and showed that poem to my English teacher. She liked it. From then on for the rest of the year, she would find student contests for me to enter.

I never really called myself a writer, though. I didn’t have “permission.” Even into college.

Then, during my fourth semester of college, I was waiting in a hallway for a class to end before my next one started. A classmate walked up and saw me reading Writer’s Digest and asked, “Oh, are you a writer?”

I hesitated. Then I said, “yes.”

In that moment, something in me shifted. Something clicked.

I had permission to call myself a writer!

That made all the difference in the world. After that, it didn’t matter if people thought I could or couldn’t do it. It didn’t matter if they liked what I wrote. It didn’t matter if they thought I was a “real writer” or not.

Why?

Because I KNEW I WAS!

I had given myself permission to call myself a writer. To be a writer. To tell anyone who asked what I did. That is when I really started writing.

Researching Books

Thinking
Image used courtesy of The Public Speaking Project under a Creative Commons license.

This could probably go into an FAQ section. A lot of times, I’m asked how much research do I do for my books.

The easy answer is: It depends on the book. Some require more research than others do.

Here’s the thing.

I like to research things. I can easily get lost in Google searches and following tangents until what I’m looking at bears nothing to the original search. So what do I do?

Honestly, I start writing. When I need to know something, I look up that thing. For example, in Navajo Rose, I needed to know some police scanner codes. I did a Google search on that phrase and got a pretty good list on various scanner codes used in law enforcement.

Doing research like this keeps me on track and I don’t go off on very many tangents.

It should go without saying that if I’m writing anything historical/semi-historical, I do a lot more research up front, but I do enough to get going and then look up whatever else I need to know.

I’m still hoping to find an old map of Ireland, the older the better.

We Interrupt Your Black Friday Shopping…

… with this reminder.

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone is free on Kindle through Tuesday.

Click the cover image to get your copy now.

Creatives and the Comparison Trap

Sarra Cannon is a multi-published inde author with a YouTube channel called Heart Breathings where she talks about various aspects of her writing career and how she uses planning to support it.

Right now, she’s in the middle of a series about lessons she has learned in her eight years as an indie author. In her first video, she walks about how comparison can steal your joy as a writer. I would add as a creative person in general.

That’s why I share this here. I think it has a broad message for everyone of you reading/watching.

Spotlight on Devoted to Creating

devotedtocreating

Several years ago, I had friends who were writing for a small publisher’s imprint — AWOCBooks.com/Devoted Books. Devoted to Truck Driving, Devoted to Quilting, Devoted to Cooking, just to name a few.

I decided I wanted to write one too. Mine would be Devoted to Creating. Some people argued that since I don’t paint, I couldn’t write a book about creating/creativity. They didn’t share the same broadness of the definition that I do.

In 2008, Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone made its debut. Several years after that, the publisher retired and it went out of print. I had requested the rights revert back to me, so they did. I won’t go into why or how it took me so long to re-release it, but here we are!

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone is available on Amazon. The Kindle edition is $4.99 regular price. It will be free Friday, November 23, through Tuesday, November 28.

The print edition is available for $11.99.

Sometimes the Struggle Is Real

redpenBut in the end, it’s worth it.

I worked all weekend on a project. And I got aggravated when it didn’t go according to how I expected it to. I thought the problems were all on the other end.

Nope.

It was a major mea culpa. If the computer would have generated an error, it would have been ID 10 T.

Or, rather….

ID10T

There were a couple settings that I KNEW I had right. I had followed the specifications to the letter.

Or had I?

As it turned out, no, I hadn’t. My paper size wasn’t right even though the margins were. That made a huge difference.

Sometimes the struggle is real. And it’s made all the worse when it’s our own doing.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you a little more about this particular project. In the meantime, take care and be well.