I can’t see it anymore

I’m editing.

Yay me.

But as I edit, I’m finding something so easy…difficult. When I write, I write the way I hear it in my head. The more I write the better I get at it. That is great but when I go back to rephrase something, take out all the “was” sentences or just some weak words or sentences, I’m finding it difficult. When I read someone else’s work, it is not difficult for me to rephrase. What makes my own words more difficult?

I don’t know the answer to this. I’ve been sitting here thinking about it. I want to edit as much of my own manuscript as possible, partially for me to learn to develop my writing skills and partially so there will not be as many mistakes even after an editor hits it.

Just in case you are wondering, I am not editing Surviving, like I said I was going to. I can’t get into it. I know, I know. Bad author. But it is what it is. And finally I have time to write. Summer will officially be here (for me) tomorrow and I have a schedule made out for myself.

So Finding Rapture….Here I come.

J.L. Sprague

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Stuck in a Rut

Currently, I’m finally coming out of my rut. A major rut. *Shew*

I go through these ruts where I just can’t write. I come up with ideas and story-lines but I just cannot write the story. I like to believe it’s my mind helping me along my journey of being an author.
I’m not like other people or other authors so the fact that I haven’t gotten a single thing accomplished since late February in my “author” world is frustrating but okay with me.
What have I been doing since February?
I have been working on my writing technique, reading, working at my day job, and taking my son to baseball nearly every day of the work week.

I will admit, even if I hadn’t been in a rut, I wouldn’t have had much time for writing. But, today is Mother’s day and I finally felt like writing and editing.
Unfortunately, my computer must hate me being away from it for so long because it keeps giving me the dreaded ‘not responding’ message.

SO…
Something major happened a few days ago. I read a book that I want to RAVE over!
I randomly chose a book on my Kindle and started to read.
I fell in love over this book.
It Had to be You by Susan May Warren.

It Had to be You captured my attention, captured my heart and took my mind through the most remarkable ride I have been on in quite some time. At the time I started reading the book I had no idea that it was in a series, I just started to read. There are some hints that it is not the first in the series…and it isn’t, but it doesn’t matter thankfully. Reading this book – I believe – finally gave me back my moe-joe (or however yall spell this (; )

There are some christian values in this book but it never pushes it down your throat. The story gives encouragement and while doing so, takes you on a crazy ride. I don’t want to tell anything about the story, only that it has stayed with me and I wish I could write as powerful of a story. This is going to be my goal. I don’t care about anything else. I want my words to have influence and to be remarkable. Whether or not it sells, doesn’t matter. I want to be like Susan May Warren.

I am grateful that I found this book. I am grateful that I found this author. I haven’t read anything else by her yet, but it is only a matter of time.

Now, out of my rut, I can’t wait to redo and finish some projects that have been on hold for a while.

J.L.

Finding Rapture update



As I said in a previous post, I have had an awful block on Finding Rapture. 

So I did some reading and started writing another book. 

I realized finally after much debate with myself that I am unhappy with part of Finding Rapture. Much of the story needs to be “deleted” (not really, just put in a new file folder for later!). I hate to do this but I think I just have to. 

I wrote almost the entire thing in January. And I have to say, I like most of it but it took a turn that I’m just not happy with. The story will pretty much stay the same but in order for this mistake to be rectified I’ll need to do a complete overhaul. 

I realized this when I was reading a review of a completely different book and all I could think was “yes, this is what I’ve done wrong! How could I have done this without even realizing it?” Well, I will fix it. Unfortunately this will take time. 

I know that at this point no one but me is anxious about this. But it helps to clear my mind by writing about it. 

Thanks your your patience! 

J.L. Sprague 

JLSprague.com

What am I supposed to be doing again?

I’m supposed to be writing. duh. But I’m not. I mean, technically, blogging is writing, but it’s not…you get the gist.
I’m supposed to be finishing up Finding Rapture, but I can’t. I’m at a standstill. Complete and utter standstill. *SIGH*
I know what happens next and everything but I can’t write it. I just can’t. My mind is all over the place since I read that awesome book. BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION by Jamie McGuire. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written since I read that book last week but I’m no longer able to write like I want to. Something is holding me back.
What is it???
Finding Rapture was supposed to be done by now (except for edits, of course).
So…I read some more.
Dang it. I shouldn’t have. But I’m an addict and books just call to me. I have some books I’m SUPPOSED to read, but guess what? Did I? NO!

Want to know what I did read? Okay, okay… I’ll tell you, but don’t judge me.
Engaging the Boss by Noelle Adams, The Cowboy Wins a Bride by Cora Seton, Baby Comes First by Beverly Farr (I HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR PREGNANCY BOOKS BUT I CAN’T FIND MANY GOOD ONES, if you know of some, let me know!!!), One Night with her Boss by Noelle Adams, Crafty Bastards by Tymber Dalton, and A Merry Little Kinkmas by Tymber Dalton. Oh! almost forgot one: Finding Southern Comfort by Barbara Lohr. Whew!

Okay yes, I read 7 books within a couple of days but three of those were really short. I don’t really care for short stories, but whatever.
I have a thing for Tymber Dalton’s Suncoast Society series. It’s my dirty little secret. I guess it’s not exactly a secret anymore.

I’ve been wanting to read The One Thing by Briana Gaitan but I can’t do that either. Something is holding me back.
I feel bad, reaaaaalllly bad that I haven’t read that yet. I was supposed to read it early January. Gah!

So, here I am…blogging in hopes to open my mind.
Did I mention that I started a new book that is soooo completely different I’m not sure what to do with it? Yep. But that’s for way down the road.
I had a giveaway the other day for a signed paperback copy of Finding Rapture and I warned the winner that it’s not done yet but she’ll get it as soon as it’s done.
so…I need something random to do with my mind.

I’m craving a book. One of those pregnancy books that I oh-so-love to read. But I can’t find any more good ones. Where have they all gone? I love Melody Anne’s Baby for the Billionaire series. And I’ve read The Proposition by Katie Ashley. Where are the good books?
Hmm…

Onward ho…

Confessions of a self-pubbed author – who doesn’t know what she’s doing.

FINDINGRAPTUREEBOOK

I am J.L. Sprague and I published Surviving on Amazon as an ebook on February 23, 2014. Shortly after, I created a paperback copy on Createspace (Mostly for myself.).
I am not advertising myself. I am stating a fact.
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
I had ZERO friends in the book world and I had no beta readers even after asking several people.

But I published it anyways. I did not use an editor and I published with mistakes in my novel. Do not judge me.
I wanted to write, so I wrote.
It has been almost a year and I am about to publish my second novel, Finding Rapture.
I still don’t know what I’m doing.

So, here is what I want to confess… February 1st I got my paperwork from Amazon for my taxes. For the year of 2014 I made a grand total of $104 and some change. Yep. That’s it. So, you may ask, “Did you do nothing to advertise your book?”.

Well, yes. I did. I did what I thought I was supposed to do – go on book tours.

Let me explain something else before I go on. I didn’t have a writing program on my computer so I bought Microsoft Word, costing me somewhere around the $150 range. Then I bought my book cover, not knowing how or who to do it for me. It cost another $100. Then I published my book, not doing a cover reveal or anything. I just published it.
Then once I saved a few dollars I bought a 2 month promotion from a “company” for $99. Unfortunately at this time I’m already up to $350 spent and zero monies made and I had JUST published the book.
I had a few sales from friends and family and I had a site post my book a few times, unrelated to the book tours.
I just wasn’t selling any books and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have the money to do much more. I started “liking” more blogs and other authors on Facebook (which I had already done).
I love to read so I would read the amazing books that came out and I started wondering how all these people were getting promoted so much. I mean, I asked this company to promote me and they did. Sorta.
I had no results so I did another blog tour for a “discounted” price of $40. I was like “Yes! I can so do $40 bucks”, although my husband was probably already about to strangle me.

Over the course of the year I produced no results. And still I couldn’t understand how all these authors were getting their books posted on facebook and other sites. I did webinars. They will tell you that if you want attention then you must go after that attention.
BUT STILL! THEY DIDN’T TELL YOU HOW!
So, I put my book up on Amazon for free for a weekend hoping and hoping it would gain some attention.
I gave away over 1000 copies.
For FREE.
I still didn’t get any attention.
I did a giveaway during one of my blog tours saying I’d give a signed copy of Surviving, again hoping for attention. That cost me $10 for the book and another $4 to send it to the winner.
So now, I’ve spent over $400 on my book before I’ve actually gotten a paycheck. I knew giving away my book for free was a risk. A risk I shouldn’t have taken. The bad part is…I didn’t even get any reviews from it. I will say that out of the 10 reviews, most are from people I don’t know – so that’s good.

In July I went to an author signing and I was picked to “help out”. I mean, I was getting to meet some of my newly favorited authors. Colleen Hoover, Rebecca Donovan, Tina Reber, Jay Crownover, Cora Carmack…among others! I was SO excited because I wouldn’t just get to meet them, I would get to help them do whatever they wanted me to.

I was broke. SO broke. Honestly, I didn’t have money to park and unfortunatly it cost me $20 because there was an event happening in Nashville at the same time so I was out of luck. I just didn’t eat that day. No joke. I brought snack foods with me so I wouldn’t starve.
I helped out. I met people. Since I couldn’t afford to buy any of the author’s books that day I took a some (and yes only a few because I didn’t know I could take whatever) of the free swag. I had to ask if they cost anything. When I got a look by one of the authors, looking at me like I was dumb, she said they were free. I was estastic!!!
I brought the one copy I had of my own book for the authors to sign. MY BOOK!
BECAUSE AUTHORS THAT I LOVE COULD SIGN MY WORK. Every author of course said, “hey this isn’t my book”. Well…duh.
I have all kinds of ebooks that I buy when I can afford them. I try to buy when I have extra money. But it was JULY. I was out of work in JULY.
Honestly, Jay Crownover was amazing. The best author I met.
Cora was very sweet.
Tina was nice and took a look at my book for about a minute. I appreciated the thought. But I didn’t bring it to show her “hey look what I did.”.

Rebecca Donovan didn’t even smile at me. Didn’t even get a picture. Oh well. But she was sweet to everyone else. I think she was having a bad day because she was kinda late getting there. Do NOT get me wrong, I am not downing her or anyone else there. I’m just telling you my experience.

I was most excited to see Colleen Hoover. I mean because come on. She’s Colleen. Everyone wanted to meet her so I stood in line to meet her like I was supposed to before the event started. I didn’t have the extra money to buy any of her things like I wished I could have. But I stood in line so she could sign my book and hopefully get a picture. Because she was my favorite.
I’m not really shy but I’m an introvert, therefore I’d rather not bother someone if they’re busy or something. I’ll stand by myself, out of the way. But I got my book signed and said about 5 words to her other than “yes it’s my book, not yours”. And that was it.
I felt cheated.
I wanted to cry.
Because I was invisible.
Just another face out of hundreds.

Just as everyone was gearing up to start the event, I noticed no one was with Colleen. I really wanted that picture. So, I pushed myself over to her and asked for a picture. I got it. I got my picture! I felt happy, yet at the same time, my chest still felt tight and I wished I could just leave and go throw a temper tantrum that I spent all of my money parking just for a few seconds of their presence, a picture of some of them and a signature. And I still had to work.

The amazing thing about that day is I met a few really good people. Ebbie and Briana.
Briana is an author too. Ebbie is with a blog.
Briana has given me more information and helped me with more than I knew. And I still don’t know anything. Just the other day she helped me figure out HTML. Ebbie helped me with Finding Rapture’s synopsis and probably doing something else for me.

I was SO afraid to ask a blog to do anything for me. I didn’t know that I am SUPPOSED to ask blogs for help. That I can do it and not a “promotion” company.

I’ve participated in a few events and I’ve given away more copies of Surviving. All at my expense. I think it gained me maybe one review. And thankfully one person loved Surviving. Made me super duper happy.

So I’ve spent over $400 on Surviving and my year end total from Amazon is a grand total of $104.
WOW!
Before someone says there is no way an author would do this just because he/she wanted to, not for the money is out of their stupid mind because YES I do it because I want to and not for the money.

One day, and hopefully one day soon I can do it for the money, but right now, I’m doing it because I want to show that I can accomplish something. I get to tell the stories in my mind no matter how crazy they may be.

I’ve decided things are going to be different with Finding Rapture. I SO wanted someone else to do the cover but I couldn’t justify spending over $500 for a good cover. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong. I love the cover I chose.
I signed blogs up for the cover reveal myself.
I had a total of 10 sign up. That’s right. 10.
ONE major blog was a no show, even after I sent the info.
ONE put up the info but didn’t actually post the cover for the “cover reveal”.
I had a takeover last night and I posted it there too.
So technically I had 9 blogs – sorta.
I made my own book trailer.
I made my own teasers.
And yes, I’ve spent a minimum amount of money on them.
I asked someone to do them for me, but guess what – they wouldn’t email me back.
I will not be using an editor – too much money to justify.
I will not be using someone to format for me, for the same reason.
Unfortunately, Youtube videos only show so much. But I’m learning. I’m learning A LOT!

I guess technically I’m complaining. But really, I’m learning that I have to rely on myself.
I’m not mad at anyone. People have things to do and businesses to run. But it’s frustrating.
Will you get excited for my next book?

It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t. I’m not writing for you, I’m writing for me. How can I say that? Did you just read this post? That’ll answer your question.
Now I need to figure out my next move.
I think I can, I think I can. I think I can, I think I can.
This will be my motto.

Thoughts?
J.L. Sprague

When my child finally goes to school

I wonder all the time how I will spend my time when my son finally goes to kindergarten next August. *remember, right now it’s January.*

I hope I’ll finally get some good writing time in. Time that I can concentrate on my characters and not have to worry about him climbing into my lap, delete my entire manuscript, and have my brain explode into tiny bits all across my living room.
Alas, this hasn’t happened yet, but I’m afraid it might. I love writing. Although I may not be a world-class writer, I enjoy it. I hope someone will like my stories.
I have a plan for when my son goes to school..
1. Take him to school
2. Go to the gym (hopefully).
3. Write all day until my hands fall off.
4. Pick him up from school.
5. Do whatever it is I have to do with after school activities
6. Write some more assuming my hands didn’t fall off.
7. Sleep.

I actually want this to work.
And then I feel bad for hoping time will fly by until my son goes to school.
I’ll probably cry… or something, although I usually cry at things like that.
So, is it bad that I have a plan? Is it bad that I can hardly wait??

I’m so weird.

J.L. Sprague
girl playing piano with teaser1
Finding Rapture
Coming Soon

#author #badmom

It’s been a while

I can’t remember the last time I “blogged”. I only ever do this when I have something on my mind. Today, I have something on my mind.
I remember when my family got it’s first computer. I remember I kept wanting to open the “typing” program. Thinking back on it makes me laugh. I remember writing all my life. I never thought I’d ever write a book, but I’ve always loved to write down my thoughts. I have (actually my mom has…) notebooks and notebooks filled with my crazy thoughts. Sometimes I would make up stuff and sometimes I would write about boys. Sometimes my thoughts were just random.
I remember when I started getting a little older and summer started, I could actually sleep in. I wouldn’t get up. I laid in bed and just made up stuff in my head. I could lay there or stay in my room for hours while no one else except my brother was home. I’d make up stuff until I had to clean up the house before anyone got home.
I remember walking down my neighborhood road talking to one of my friends and I’d just make stupid stuff up.
I haven’t thought about some of this for years.
Years.
Now, I’m writing and I feel self conscious. I think to myself, how can I come up with unique stories that people will want to read. So I don’t drown into oblivion with all the self published authors? Or all authors.
This bothers me so much that I put off writing sometimes.
I have no support from my immediate family. I feel like an idiot for even trying to write sometimes.
This is not me complaining about that.
This is me being afraid that my stories are the same as every other story out there. Is that really so bad? I have my own unique spin on my stories but overall, will everyone pass it over because it is another love story?
I love love stories.
I love reading about struggle and finding happiness with life and love.
Reading, for me is a fantasy.
I can pretend to be the one who fell in love with a rock star or I can pretend I’m the rock star. I can pretend to be the one standing on stage, looking across a sea of people screaming my name. I can pretend to sing at the top of my lungs with thousands of people singing along.
I can be anyone I want to be.
I can be a billionaire.
I can be a dancer.
I can be a pilot.
or a nurse.
or a stay at home mommy.
I can be the one to fall in love with all those people.
I can be the one those people want to save for whatever reason.

I can allow my emotions to flow across the page when I’m having a bad day or when I’m having a fabulous day.
There is an endless possibility to who I can be.

I want to be me.
My stories are an extension of me. If they are similar to a million other ones, it doesn’t matter, because my stories can from my mind. No one else’s.
If my story doesn’t satisfy you, well then I’m sorry. Find something different. Find something that will flip your switch. That’s what I do.
Not every story be perfect for you.

I’ve probably written something like this before. I don’t know. Right now, I needed an outlet to say that it’s okay to be me. And it’s okay for my story to be similar to others because it is mine.

Finding Rapture will come out soon. As of right now I’m about a week behind where I wanted to be. But that’s okay because I need to experience the story.
Some of it isn’t perfect.
Some of it is emotional.
And without giving any of it away, I’m having a hard time coming up with a good synopsis.
Such is the life of a writer, or story teller.

BTW, Finding Rapture’s cover reveal is on February 2nd.
It is the story of young love, rock star love and emotional love. It is the story of life.
Genre: YA/NA – sort of in between.
target audience: 15 and older
-He pulled me into the music. I pulled

Visit my facebook if you want to keep up with me: www.facebook.com/authorjlsprague

J.L.Sprague

I don’t post enough :)-

Who is your favorite author? Do you have one? I’m not sure if I do. I love me some Colleen Hoover. And Kristen Ashley. Are there any authors that you avoid? Maybe for fear that he or she will rip your heart out?
Tonight before I go to sleep I will be reading The Denim Dom by Tymber Dalton. What are you reading?
The Denim Dom (which I have read before) is about an everyday, normal type of guy who is a Dom and looking for a woman who will suit him. He doesn’t like drama and will not tolerate it. It is about a woman exploring who she is and discovering a side to herself that she doesn’t know. This book is an amazing book that does a good job at explaining the world of BDSM (which I happen to love reading about). I’m not even talking about the sex. I’m talking about the explanation of the world, and yes it’s a whole world. Tony, the everyday, normal guy, and Shayla explore this world.
The Denim Dom is a 5 STAR read for me and (if you like BDSM reads) I recommend it.

Okey Dokey. Tonight I am yet again popping out/redoing ideas for my yet-to-be-named book featuring Tru & Georgia. I have given this book (what feels like) a million “outlines”. At first I wanted this book to be different and to stand out. I kept reading so many reviews about how this book and that book are all the same. Well, this one will somewhat be the “same” as all those others. But this one is mine and came from my mind. When writing “Surviving” I wanted it to be different and action packed but the more time that passes the more I wish I could have made it different. Then again, writing “Surviving” was a huge awakening and an experience I will never forget. It was a massive learning experience. I cannot express that enough.
I’m not saying that Tru & Georgia will be a bad or boring book. IT WILL NOT BE! I like to read this that feels like my heart is ripping out, so I like to write along those lines. I have yet to perfect it, but I’m getting there!

Right now I am trying to learn how to put myself “out there” more. I want to be visible and I want and need to grow my reader base. The only way I can do that is by trying and trying. People who work for it will be rewarded (At least that is what I hear/read).

So, have you read “Surviving”? Did you like it? Have questions? I have wanted people (strangers, not my mom) to ask me questions. Did you like the cover? Hate it? I never really receive any feedback. I keep begging for it. Do you need me to explain why I wrote the beginning so vaguely?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.
I’m really not. 🙂 I just want to learn.

Want to know more about Tru & Georgia? Maybe I should tell you more about them on my next blog post.
ALSO! I need to find a beta reader. Where can I find one? I figure if I ask often enough I’ll eventually find a good one. My family isn’t good at reading my stuff so I can’t rely on them.
I guess I’ll see you all soon!

The thing about writing a book is…

First off, in case you haven’t noticed I like to use “…”, really, it’s just fun to do in my plain everyday knock your socks off writing. I try not to use it so much in my professional writing but it does happen. 

Now onto what is on my mind, WRITING A BOOK. Writing a book is a scary process, at least it is for me. I am a slow writer so my mind starts to wander on the story sometimes. I’m constantly wondering how I can make it better or how I can create it to accurately represent my thought/ideas. Sometimes as I’m writing I realize that maybe I want to change my story completely. Sometimes I’ll be watching Criminal Minds on TV and I think to myself “I need something a little crazier just like this”. Often my mind gets creative when I’m watching a fast-paced movie and I immediately have to grab my notebook and start taking notes and ideas. Sometimes I can jot down a whole scene. I’ll never steal something from another source, no matter how I wish I would have come up with it myself. But that doesn’t mean my imagination doesn’t spark while reading or watching something awesome. 

I started to redirect my current story just the other day, but then I stopped and thought it through before going ahead…and I realized it was too similar to another story I read years ago. That sucked. 

So I stuck with the same path I had already started…and I am still on. My “outline” was just a starting point for me and I realize now that I need to go over it again. And again. And again. 

The thing about writing a book is (for me) the story has a life of it’s own. I can shape the ending but it seems the story just happens as it happens. This can be a good thing and a terribly terrible horrible thing. I remember learning about foreshadowing when I was young (possibly elementary, Idk), but how is that supposed to happen if I create the story as it happens? How can one idea flow into another accurately if forethought isn’t used? I don’t know. 

I’m coming up with most of this as it comes to me. 

The good thing about writing a book is…I can always change it. 

See ya soon,

J.L. Sprague