I strive to implement levels of professionalism in everything that I do whether it includes monetary compensation or not. In which case people who know me are already familiar with my level of organization and from that end, professionalism. However, I do not consider myself a professional author in the traditional sense of the word. Here’s why:
I’ve heard my share of advice from author blogs, books, tweets, Facebook, Twitter, articles, the list goes on and on (and on). I’ve taken valuable advice under my wing and even incorporated some into my day to day schedule and strategic writing techniques since it is, after all, wise to consider the advice of others. But the truth is that I will never be a professional author because my writing process is not the same as what is perpetuated in the mainstream.
The professional says:
- Use the same business name across all accounts. This is the easiest way to brand yourself and to get people used to associating you with that name.
Makes sense, but I totally transgressed this rule! My blog, author website, and social media sites, for the most part, all have different names which I heard is bad. To balance this, I have taken to using one picture to represent every account. This photo you see associated with this blog will probably never change because it’s attached to all of my accounts: My personal Facebook Page, Twitter, Blog, IG, You Tube, LinkedIn, etc. I believe images are a strong form of communication and that many people have already become used to seeing this picture and associating it with Yecheilyah Ysrayl. I have also taken to using the same email address to represent these accounts across the board (with a few exceptions).
The professional says:
- Plan out your book before you write it. Create an outline for your new masterpiece.
Umm, I think I’ll just go ahead and skip this step. I do not write outlines before each book. I just write and organize as I go along. Once I start to build on a story idea and start to write and develop some kind of form to the story, then I know what it is I need to research or the books I need to read for better clarity of this particular genre. It only makes sense to me that you write something down first and get an idea of how the story will develop, only then will you be able to clearly see what kind of information you will need for this story and can thus move on from there. For instance, its not until I start writing the story that I am able to create a Family Tree of my characters.
I know, I just said something else different didn’t I? Yes, a family tree. I found it easiest to organize my characters (after I’ve written about them) using a Family Tree. I’ll speak more about this in a separate post, but after I’ve written the characters into the story to some extent, I sit back and think about how to better develop them as real people. Not just by way of physical attributes (ethnicity, hair, eyes, relationships, persona, etc.), but also lineage. Where did this person come from? I do this by using a Family Tree, which can be created easily using Microsoft Word. The reason I choose this method is because the one rotating around blogs and professional websites is boring to me. (You know, that long list of questions you ask yourself about the people in your story: Hair:__________ Eyes:_________ Nose Shape________ …just kill me now). Not to mention I’m a visual learner. I have to see it to better understand it and laying out the family in this way helps me to accomplish this. Far as outlines go for the entire story, the first draft is the outline.
The professional says:
- Stick to one specific genre.
I write in whatever genre the story that just popped into my head falls in. I heard this is a no no. According to the rules, in order to brand yourself it’s important to stay within a certain genre because it’s easy to become known for it. But in my opinion, brains don’t work like that. Well, at least mine doesn’t. What am I gonna say, “Sorry totally awesome story idea, I can’t use you right now because your Sci-Fi and I only write Romance”. That’s like telling me to write one kind of poem. Yea, that’s probably never going to happen. I mean sure, every idea is not meant to be built on. Some of them should just stay ideas until it is time for that idea to be brought forward. However, because the creative mind is not one dimensional, I find it hard to believe that I can force my thoughts to only create stories that appeal to one category.
The truth is that I will probably never do exactly as the professionals say do. If the world says this is how it is to be done, you can rest assured that chances are Yecheilyah’s over here doing something completely different…and maybe even a little weird. 🙂