Amanda Hocking

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WoW #3: Return to Writing

April 6th, 2022 by
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This is the third week of my Writing on Wednesday (WoW) posts where I share the transcript of a recent writing vlog. You can check out the full video series: here, and you can read previous posts in my transcript series:

This week’s video was first posted March 19, 2022, and it’s titled: A Return to Writing on Wednesdays. You can watch the video below or read the lightly edited transcript beneath.

Hello, I’m Amanda Hocking, and I am back with a new video. I know it’s been awhile. I was kind of waiting to record, because I wanted to wait until I had more news about the next book in the Seven Fallen Hearts series – and I do have news, which I’ll get to in just a minute – but I’m still not finished with it.

But now I want to get back into Writing on Wednesdays, so I am going to talk about some writing advice and share some updates.

So the updates. I have been working on the Seven Fallen Hearts, and I have been loving it so much. It is so, soooo good. You all are going to have so much fun with this series. Like I’m having so much fun with it, so I’m assuming you will, too.

I have just been thinking, whatever is fun, let’s do it. I’m not second guessing myself very much, so we’ll see how that works out.

I had to step away from this project for a little bit to work on something else that I’m not able to talk about right now, but maybe someday, I’ll be able to. I mean, someday, I’ll definitely talk to you all about it, but I just don’t want to say anything until I know if it’s a good thing or a nothingburger.

But so I had work on this other thing for a little but, so that was a delay in writing Book #2, but it was a good delay – trust me. Sometimes life works that way. I feel so guilty because this book is going to be out later than I originally thought, and I am just getting back into writing and self-publishing again. Now that I can set my own deadlines, I’m figuring out what works for me and how longs actually take versus how long I project them to take. So my first few times back at the bat aren’t going to be perfect, but I am hoping to get better about release dates as I go along.

But it really just me figuring out how long it takes me to get things done. I am my main boss, now. I mean, the readers and me are my only real bosses, and so I try to take feedback from you all. But then I ultimately know that I have to make the choices that work for me and the stories I want to tell.

So, yes, I’m at hard at work writing the Seven Fallen Hearts series. I’m enjoying it so much, and I’ve been sharing mood boards on Instagram and TikTok. For mood boards, I take images that I find on Pinterest, and I put them together in a board with music to really set a mood or evoke an emotion. That’s how I get in the zone for writing.

I also did see The Batman (2022) a couple of weeks ago, and I absolutely loved it. I just adored it. I wasn’t sure about it at first. I have been so grumpy about it, and I have so many thoughts about Batman in general. I was so grumpy about the idea of a new Batman, but honestly, I loved it. It was so great. It reminded me of The Crow in a really good way, and I feel like after I saw The Batman, I was really thinking about how it made me love The Crow more and The Dark Knight a little less.

But I don’t dislike The Dark Knight at all. It’s still an amazing movie, but maybe not my favorite one anymore.

I have been really lucky, though, in that I’ve liked most of the Batmans (Batmen?). Not all of them, but most of them. I love Adam West, Michael Keaton Christian Bale, Robert Pattison, Kevin Conroy, Deidrich Bader, and Will Arnett. So yeah, I just really like Batman, and there have been a lot of talented actors who have gotten to play him.

But I have weirdly been one of those people who is like, “Do we really need more Batman stuff?” And the answer to that is apparently, “Yes, yes we do.”

The music is like the best thing I’ve ever heard. The music, oh my gosh. It’s Michael Giacchino who is the composer, and he’s already one of my favorites. He took elements of “Ava Maria” and also “Something in the Way” by Nirvana and kind of mixed them together. You can also hear influences from other Batman scores. Occasionally there’s a little note of Danny Elfman (who composed Batman 1989) and Hans Zimmer (who did The Dark Knight trilogy). It has subtle nods to them, and I really enjoyed it overall. I gave it a 10/10.

That’s my recommendation. If you’re not busy writing go see The Batman.

Onto my writing advice. This is actually something I just learned this week, and it’s embarrassing how obvious it is. I realized that a bit part of my problem with why my books have errors even when I edit and revise sooo much. People are like, “There’s errors in your books,” and I’m like “I know, I don’t understand it, but I know.” I have editors and I’m constantly reading and revising and editing it.

And therein lies the issue. I never actually stop revising. I am compulsively editing and changing things, and every time I change something – even something small – it can have a ripple effect.

So then when I go to fix those ripples, I change something new, and then create new ripples, and then it goes on and on forever. But I can’t stop myself. Every single time I read my books, I make changes. Every single time.

There has to get to a point where I am no longer making any revisions or changes to the story. If the phrasing is clunky, it needs to just stay that way, and the only thing I’m doing is correcting punctuation and spelling, nothing more. And I have never gotten to that point. Especially with self-publishing, I’m literally always making changes right up until publication.

I have gotten myself really stuck in a loop, where I am so obsessed with correcting any errors that I am actually constantly creating more errors, which is in turn making me revise even more, blah blah blah, the endless loop continues.

So, I am changing up how I do things. Once I am done with revisions, I have to let my edits just be punctuation and spelling errors, nothing more. I am going to go back and re-edit with this in mind for Virtue, so I should have a more error-free version of it up around the time of the second book’s release.

That is my writer’s tip. You have to stop revising your books eventually.

That’s basically what I’ve learned after doing this for over a decade. You can’t constantly write a book. You have to stop at some point.

People ask me advice, but I am constantly learning new stuff. I know more about writing and publishing than I did years ago, but I do still have more to learn. I am constantly growing and changing as a writer, and I am hoping that eventually I will be able to be exactly the writer I want to be.

There are some things that I do really well, and there are some things that I struggle with.

Not everyone has to like everything I write, and that’s something too that I have to remember. Sometimes I am doing something badly, but other times, this book might not be the right book for them or I am not the right author for them.

There are plenty of authors that I know are very talented, and they have written books that sound like I should love them. For some reason, though, I just don’t. That’s true with any entertainers – musicians, actors, comedians, puppeteers. Some of them I just don’t enjoy, and that doesn’t mean that they are doing anything wrong, or that I’m doing anything wrong. Their thing just isn’t my thing, and that’s okay.

I’m learning to accept that I may not be everyone’s flavor. Figuring out how to be a better author does not mean that everyone will enjoy my books, either. But I’ll figure out who I am and trying to better my self until the day. Or at least I hope so.

Next week I will be back with another Writing on Wednesday video. I recorded this one on Wednesday, which means I won’t have it posted until Thursday, but I was like, “That’s not an excuse to wait until next week to start. Do it today.” That’s what I said to myself, and honestly, that is good advice.

Don’t wait until next week. Do it today if it’s something you actually want to have done. Unless it’s something that hurts you or someone else. In which case, probably don’t do that.

It was a beautiful day here in Minnesota, and I hope wherever you, you are staying safe, happy, and warm, and that good things are coming you’re way. I always hope that for everyone, but right now, the world feels so tumultuous, and so I’m just putting that out there. I do hope that you are doing well.

I will be back next week with more updates about my writing and more advice on writing and publishing. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this, and I also like getting to know what people want to hear, what resonates with them, so I can give you more of the content that you’re looking for. So comment below and let me know if there is anything you’d like me to talk about it.

Until next time, stay safe, be kind, and happy reading.

Read on in the next post, WoW #4: Handling Controversy and Criticism

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