Some of you are familiar with our good writing friend on WP, Roger Jacob of Woebegone but Hopeful, Heroically Bad Writers fame. As an author, he goes by R. J. Llewellyn, but no matter how you’re familiar with him, you might not have known his blog site had a disastrous issue over the last few months where the WP spambots couldn’t seem to see him as himself.
True to his persevering nature, of being woebegone but hopeful, he found his way back to the community by deleting his presence from WP and starting from scratch. You can find him here: https://writingwritingandmorewritinginspiteofcomputers.home.blog/
Of course I think Roger is a wonderful, talented, intelligent, helpful, encouraging, and all-around great bloke. He’s my friend from half way around the world, and I want to share him with you. Today his mission is to introduce himself and give you the encouragement you need (along with a good dose of humor) to keep writing, my writer friend.
A Writer’s Life of Perseverance: 6 Ways to Go About It
Guest R. J. Llewellyn:
Rachael has very kindly asked me if I would write something for a guest blog which is a bit of an honour, so here we go.
I’m sixty-eight, retired and live in NE Wales, UK. Writing has been part of my life for about fifty years but only the last six are worth mentioning; trust me on that! Fantasy is my genre, mixed with humour, romance, adventure and positive endings.
(And advanced warning: the very worst person to ask about getting your work publicised. This post is all about the writing for writing’s sake…. That’s me. ‘The Garage Band’ Writer. My role is to get people writing)
This has been, like thirty years in the making, but only the last … err … three are to be discussed. The books centre around three young women bonded together by circumstances in a world on the edge of possible apocalypse through misuse of a power known by several names.
The books are collected under a series called The Precipice Dominions.
- Volume I: Of Patchwork Warriors
- Volume II: Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire
- Volume III: is being put together under the working title Daughters of The Hard Road
- Volume IV is planned on being the conclusion (though the whole begs a prequel)
Two are out on Amazon Kindle. These are adult in content.
I also have a website dedicated to my work: The Precipice Dominions (It would have been a WP website, if WP had been behaving itself.)
1. Why Write?
As long as someone is not peddling Hate, Discrimination or Humiliation of the Vulnerable, then I am for their efforts.R. J. Llewellyn
Everyone who wants to write deserves the chance to put their words down on paper (or the cyber equivalent).
There once was this snide comment made by folk who thought they were ‘wits.’ It went: “Everyone has a book inside of them, and in most cases that is where it should remain.” This piece of trite, thoughtless posing garbage has done more to suppress books than an authoritarian regime. Have nothing to do with the naysayers and those who fancy themselves as kritiks (sic) but never write themselves. Away with all of this.
If you want to write. Write.
There is a creativity bubbling there within you, otherwise you wouldn’t feel the need to write. When this glorious feeling takes hold, take hold of it and ride the waves and the winds. Take yourself to the top of a mountain and shout out your words. You have that right. Embrace your creativity.
Whatever your genre, whatever you style. Put it out there. Make your words belong to the ages, for you do not know where or when those words will resonate. They may lie quiet for years, and then suddenly a group, a generation will latch onto them. Never assume that because you ‘just write……’ (Whatever) it will not take hold somewhere, some-when. Write and I will celebrate you.
2. Beginning to End. How do I get there?
I have respect for folk who can plan out a novel and stick with it. This is not my particular way however. I think I must be a panster. There may be a few false starts but when the narrative starts to pick up a momentum, then I just let it go and try to keep up, since Life is generally like this for most of us. One idea will lead to another and everything tumbles along.
Of course, the first draft will be ragged, but the general theme will be there, and I’ll work with that. It can be a great deal of fun, particularly when the characters start to have their own say.
There are internal conversations, along the lines of :
Me: Are you sure about that?
Character(s): Oh for Pity’s sake, Roger! Have you not read the sub-text? Gimme that keyboard!!
3. Writer’s Block. Dried Up Inspiration. What should we do?
Plug the earphones, tune into your music, then hit the keyboard, or pick up that pen and just let the words tumble out. Keep on at them until you are either out of breath or feeling good about your writing.
There is a very good chance you will have to go back and sort out everything you have written, but the important thing is you have ‘put words to paper’. The ideas are always there but there is often a bit of log jam twixt mind and fingers, sometimes you have to just knock away. It might not be pretty, but it gets the job done.
4. Re-writes and re-writes.
Yes, they will happen. Some folk dread the process, which is fair enough, however there is no getting around a re-write. There will be typos (thousands of ‘em), plot holes and inconsistencies.
Personally, I am happy to do them for there are hidden rewards. You will come across the ‘Wow! Did I write that?’ interlude along with the well-worth waiting for ‘Oh yes! It works!’ Another benefit of a re-write is if you are enjoying parts of it, then your book must be working. Re-writes are the test that will reveal if you are comfortable with your efforts.
5. Advice. Beta-Readers and Editors.
Now here is the thing, I am the worst person to discuss this. I work quite solitary. This is not to be recommended or praised as something ‘heroic’. It’s me, and if I do not sell triple figures of books, then I have no one else to blame but myself.
Normal people should seek out these folk, the beta readers and editors, though carefully. My only advice is: seek out advice on seeking advice. Not everyone who is willing to give out advice or edit is good at their self-allotted station.
As for publishing, if I write anything about that on my blog . . . do the opposite, it’s the best thing.
6. Writer’s Hide
No I don’t mean going under the kitchen table when it gets too much. I mean thickness of skin. Quite frankly, every writer needs a smidge of Arrogance, similar to cooking; too much ruins everything, none leaves things . . . lost.
You need this smidge when the rejections come, the kritiks descend like vultures and there is the dread silence when no one buys, reviews or even notices your book. (It’s going to happen in one form or another).
These are what I will call Roger’s Recommended Reponses; you should say to yourself:
- The Reject– Response: ‘I cannot be held responsible for the failure of the editor to recognise the worth of my work. It is their loss’.
- The Kritik – Response: Well actually most of my responses are not printable (although quite witty, in a coarse way).
- The family-friendly response is: ‘And you have written . . .?’ or as recently happened to me ‘What????? Are you reading the same thing as I wrote? Or did your computer slip you onto another page?’… I didn’t actually say that to them … that would have been vulgar and demeaning.
- The Silence – Response: ‘Ah well. Time will tell. On to the next project’
The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Noonan (pen name….Robert Tressell) was rejected three times in his lifetime. He was so depressed his daughter hid the manuscript away in a metal box to stop him burning it. It was published after his death and is now a classic…. You just never know.
Not the issue here. Professional writing is another facet and not one I feel qualified in any way at all to comment on . . . no way . . . no how! (I did warn you at the beginning)
Success to me is getting your book completed and out there. The rest, best ask someone else.
Write. Make me and above all yourself proud.
Roger Jacob of what was once Woebegone But Hopeful/Heroically Bad Writers blog is a writer of fantasy and a blogger of many topics. He always shares his insights, tongue-in-cheek advice, great sense of humor, snippets of his writing, and friendship. You can find R. J. Llewellyn at his
- blog: Writing, Writing, and More Writing In Spite of Computers
- and books’ website: The Precipice Dominions
Thank you so much, Roger, for sharing about your writing and some great advice for writers to persevere! Personally, I’ve got to get past the log-jam in my brain and just write!
And thank you for stopping by! Do you have any questions for Roger or me? We’d be happy to chat!