Thursday, August 21, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know"--August 22nd, 2008

"PS: We Wanna Know" is my dedication to responding to as many readers and fans as possible. I believe as a writer I owe it to the fans to make myself available, whenever they want to learn more about how I came to write the stories they love. And from an independent/self-publishing standpoint, I owe it to the countless other writers out there trying to "make it" to offer insight into my success as a self-published author, whether that be in guidance, inspiration, approach or simple tips & tricks to help them succeed.

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Jennifer A. of Azle, Texas asked the following questions:

Q.) How do you find time to balance writing, work and a family?

A.) That is one of the hardest parts about "being a writer." Recently a new friend--host of AngelLesa's BlogTalkRadio--commented on my article: "Old Sneakers, A Borrowed Car and a Fresh Watermelon" where I detailed the discouraging events of my most recent book signing. The day started off bad and got worse and in the end--I sold one book! Her comment to my article was, "See and we think all writers are rich and famous..." She couldn't have said it any better. Being a writer is more than just being a writer--it's more than being a simple story-teller. With the power of endless information at our fingertips we have to our disposal more outlets to market our work--but the downfall to that is time--the amount of time it takes to market and research your niche on the web.

I spend an average of five hours per day working as an independent contractor in the IT field. I then spend anywhere from 1~2 hours per day writing new material and then another 1~2 hours per day researching marketing concepts and venues for my existing novel, blog strategies for better search engine optimization and market trends to help promote myself as an independent author. So, in an average work day for most people, I have worked one job and then clocked-in to work my second job--my work as a writer.

It isn't easy balancing all the things I want and MUST do as a writer on a daily basis. I would tell any aspiring author out there point-blank: IT IS HARD! Besides being a baseball coach and a husband & father, I recently bought a new house so my duties have increased and in order to keep the family happy with my "hobby" (though that term does not fit a writer) I have to limit myself to how much time I spend behind the keyboard or in front of one of my writing journals. In the end, you learn to balance what free time you get--and it's usually late at night, when all my world is asleep...
Great question!!!

Q. When did you first realize you were a writer and what was your first story about?

A.) Honestly Jennifer, I don't remember the first story I ever wrote on paper. I have been writing stories in my mind since I was a kid (many teachers can testify to my lack of interest in their classrooms) and it wasn't until I was in high-school that I first wrote anything on paper. But if I had to isolate a story and say: This is my first (ever) story...I can't recall at the moment. My first "published" work was "Corrido", which was released as part of the Scribes Valley Publishing short-story anthology: "Mind Trips Unlimited." That particular story will be available as a free .PDF download soon for all my fans. My first "notable" story was "From God to Texas" which won second place at the local community college Spring writing contest in 2003 and Top-20 Finalist in the Gather.com short-story contest online in 2005.

To answer the first question--when did I first realize I was a writer???--well that would be the day I faced myself in the mirror with enough confidence to tell the world I was indeed a writer. I struggled with that concept so much early on in my writing career. At the time, I thought I was the only one. As corny as it might sound, I suppose I was waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder, or perhaps some angel to pop out of the sky or maybe even another writer to knight-me and tell me I was one of them. It wasn't until the year 2001 I think I came to terms with what I was doing in secret...and overcame the fear to let people know who I was and what I was born to do.


Q.) Do you ever want to give up?

A.) Yes, every day. I battle with the notion of quitting often and I believe that's a common thing for artistic people. We put so much of ourselves into our projects--because unlike a skill we use at work--it's the very core of our existence, our soul. And because we put so much of ourselves into refining our abilities as artists...we are open for more criticism, rejection and upset than most people. I think Paulo Coelho (my favorite writer) said it best when he said we can't use the old excuse when things don't work out that "we didn't want it anyways." We do want it and we stake everything to have it. And the people closest to us seem to suffer the most because we are lost in our own worlds so much--thinking of trendy ways to captivate an audience--that we miss the moments around us. It isn't intentional, but it does happen.

I think I struggle with quitting whenever I am tired and I realize how much (counted) time I put into my writing--my blogs, new material and money to market my book--and the return is limited and low. That is just part of being new in any business, like an actor or musician--but it does not make it any easier. It is however people like yourself Jennifer that remind me I shouldn't quit--ever.

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If you have questions you would like to present as part of this blog, send them to: bobby@bobbyozunaonline.com with the subject line of: PS: We Wanna Know.
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I want to thank Jennifer A., of Azle, Texas for her questions. In my next blog segment of "PS: We Wanna Know" I will answer the questions of another reader.

Stay tuned for more insight into how I have successfully published my own novel, "Proud Souls" along with marketing tips and tricks, and last but not least, my mental journal of writing my second novel: "The Other Side of Glory."

Thanks,

~Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"
www.BobbyOzunaOnline.com




2 comments:

jjttarroyo said...

It amazes me how much work is involved with writing a book and making it successful. I had always thought that if you write it and send it to a publisher, they would take care of the rest. Thank you for taking the time to answer me and for keeping us, your fans, involved in the process. Don't ever stop writing !!!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Jennifer:
First off, thank YOU for taking the time to send me those amazing questions.

There are so many hidden responsibilities involved in creating a novel. Yes, once upon a time I thought the "writing" was hard enough...but looking back...that is the easy part. I can tell stories all day, its what I do best. Proofing the novel, editing it, etc...is hard but not as difficult as the vast array of things a writer must do AFTER the book is published.

Its a daily grind...not for the faint of heart...that's for sure.

The reward is the fans...and the feedback...and the feeling that my time spent working online isn't time wasted.

FUND a School Project today!!!

"Proud Souls" on Amazon.com

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