I kept my goals for May light since I was worn out by the A to Z Blogging challenge.
I'm not sure how productive June will be for me. The 16th is my brother's funeral, and while there's not much I have to do other than show up that weekend, it's going to be emotional to say the least and that alone will be exhausting. It'll probably be wiser to keep it simple again.
This past Tuesday as I was browsing on Twitter, I saw a tweet about writers not being machines. It was part of a thread that was inspired by James Gunn.
I'm not a daily writer. I tried at the beginning of this year and managed (aside from the days where I was in NC helping with my brother's death) but found it sucked the joy out of writing. I can sit down and write when I'm not feeling in the mood. Doing so often gets me in the mood. The problem here was, that never happened. I was tapped dry and hating it. (I blogged about it here.)
Plus, I have chronic illnesses and fatigue I'm trying to find a cause for (so far, no luck.) There are days when I'm in so much pain that writing isn't an option. There are days when the pain killers I take make it so I can't keep my eyes open. There are days breathing is a chore. Writing doesn't happen. I quoted tweeted Mr. Gunn saying on those days I would love to be writing instead, but it just wasn't possible. I said write every day only seems to work when you're 100% healthy.
Then Naomi Barton, a twitter buddy, quoted tweeted it as well.
I offered the suggestion that would you expect an athlete to train when injured? We both agreed the original tweet was about people who were able sitting around and waiting for their muse instead of just doing it.
But still, I'm not a fan of write every day. In the original tweet, accountants was brought up. Sure, they go to work every day, but they also have days off. They clock out and don't think about their job.
Why is writing different? Why are we expected to spend every day and every waking hour writing words? Why are we guilt tripped for taking a day off? Do other artists have the same expectations?
Yes, it is good to sit down and make yourself write when you don't feel like it. Discipline is not a dirty word. It can motivate to the muse to start working. But writers aren't machines. We are human and sometimes we just need a day off to watch Netflix and not feel guilty that we aren't writing.
Normally, I don't get into internet drama. I watch from the sidelines, munching popcorn, but I rarely comment. Usually, it's to be snarky or silly. Today, though, I'm wading into the recent kerflufle of #cockygate because it has reached far enough to affected me. Not by much, but enough that I think it's good to talk about and show why this matter is important for all authors to take note.
First, the backstory
For anyone not following this, it all blew up when a romance author trademarked the word cocky. Other authors who used it were getting cease and desist letters, and one even reported being skipped that step and had her books yanked for sale. The romance community was freaking out. And for good reason. Cocky is a pretty popular word and a bunch of books use it in the title.
So, how did this affect me?
Given that I write young adult and new adult that is either paranormal, urban fantasy, or sci-fi, you'd think this would have no bearing on me. (No, I do not have an upcoming book title with the word cocky in it, but a friend and I did joke about changing the name of The Incubus and the Asexual to Cocky Incubus.) But I received an email from my editor pointing out that she noticed the blurb to Incubus had the word cocky in it. She wondered if I should swap that for arrogant.
I wondered too.
That right there shows you how far reaching this trademark fight is. Now, the trademark in question is supposed to only be in the romance genre, and there's a certain font included in the trademark, but it's also solely for the word cocky.
Here's my questions: if a book has romantic elements, is that breaking trademark? Could this author claim that a book is paranormal romance and therefore falls under the trademark? Urban fantasy often has romance in it. Could they fall victim to cocky? What I'm concerned with is ways to make little loopholes that stretch this trademark into other genres and stifles 'competition'.
Now, more than likely, I will be fine, but that small percentage is enough to niggle into my brain and settle there. Also, there's some lawyers on the case and looking to cancel the trademark. Not to mention apparently the creator of the font did not give permission for the font to be used as part of a trademark. It really doesn't look like this will hold up. But this is an important conversation to have. I saw another blog post say that words belong to everyone and I have to agree with that sentiment.
My friend Jess cued me to this youtube series by JA Huss about how authors can create the perfect year. She said it was really helpful to her and check it out. It took me a while because I'd watch one video then it'd be another week before I got to the next one. I took notes as I went.
The first video is just an introduction and talking about what to expect from the series. There wasn't anything to really take note, so I didn't write anything down. The rest of the series had lots of good information. Some of it I already knew, so I was writing down mostly because they were things I'd forget to do until it was too late. Other things, like ARC lists, I had never heard of, but sounded like an interesting concept to try. I made lots of notes then.
The last video was how to put it all into motion. Examples of how to release anywhere from two books a year to six were given. It dragged on a little, but over all, it was a good wrap up to the series.
Jess was right and it is definitely worth checking out. JA Huss is a romance writer, but you don't have to be one to get ideas from what she does. It's nice to see graphs and examples of what she's talking about. She's a bit blunt at times, but also doesn't just lie and say, "ANYONE CAN DO THIS!" It's work and she lets you know right in the beginning and that results will vary from person to person.
* Marie Landry
* Story Dam
* A to Z Challenge
* Alex J. Cavanaugh
* Larry Kollar
* C. Lee McKenzie
* A Book Lover's Playlist
* Cherie Reich
* M. Pax
* MJ FiField
* Melissa Barker-Simpson
* Christine Rains
* Heather M. Gardner
* George McNeese
* Lexa Cain
* L.G Keltner
* Sarah Foster
* Chrys Fey
* Liana K (Youtube)
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