Important Writing Tip: Take Care Of Your Health.... Because Without it.....

As I get closer to finishing up the editing of my Work In Progress, I find myself staying up later each evening, and staying up most mornings instead of getting back to bed and grabbing a few extra hours of sleep.


The work needs to get finished I keep telling myself.

It's good stuff and there's a few thousand people out there who, if they find it and get the chance to read it, will love it's uniqueness.


"Despite the odds and your age", I think to myself, "you have a chance at a pretty good story here."


And then....


During the few breaks I allow myself....I enjoy the work of other creators


One such guy is the late Stieg Larsson and his amazing Millinium Trilogy

 I just received the third book in the mail (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) and I am forcing myself to slow down and enjoy it. Especially since this is his final printed work.


Don't worry, there are no spoilers here.....

As some of you may know, Larsson had delivered the manuscripts of all three books in the trilogy and shortly afterwards, died of a heart attack walking up several flights of steps. He had smoked alot and did not (from what I had read) take care of his health very well. He was 50.


There is also a rumor that his companion has access to an unfinished fourth manuscript of this series but is having difficulties with his surviving family as well as Swedish law.


That's sad. Because I'm on page 10 of the third book it's quite riveting. The whole series is such a breath of fresh air in the thriller/mystery genre (at least, to me it is- I have read what i think is my fair share of such books)


Anyway, I myself need to be dropping about 30 pounds. And I'm lucky. All I need is to take the time to walk an hour a day and watch what I eat.


And yet, I feel the clock ticking every day as I find some distraction to tear me from finishing my WIP


Life is fragile. We, as crime writers know this as we write our works.

Life can change in a flash.

But I for one, need to take the time, to take my own life seriously.

I have more ideas I want to commit to paper (or an e-reader) but if I don't start enjoying what I do have, I'll pay the price later on.


Probably at a time when I'm in the position to have the kind of fun I've dreamed of.


So I just wanted to throw a friendly reminder out you all.

Have you enjoyed Larsson's works?

He has sold 25 million copies and has the honor of being the first writer to sell a million e-books on Amazon (which is an amazing feat considering the sad state of literacy in this world (and fear not, I plan a few rants about that in the future ha ha)


But he isn't here to enjoy those numbers.

Or anything else because he's gone.

And yes, he did a magnificent job with what time he did have and left us such a powerful story to enjoy. And I don't know anything beyond what I've read in his bio to judge the man beyond that.


But let's remember that without the brain and the hands and fingers to type with....

no-one can enjoy the works that we ourselves are all hammering away at today





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But to play Devil's Advocate: If he hadn't died, would his personal story still be strong enough to attract the type of attention and publicity that made the media so exited and resulted in the phenomenal sales of his work? Without the death-before-his-time angle that the media loves, Mr. Larsson would still have written a great trilogy, but he may not have become such an international success. On the other hand, for all anyone knows, he may have become even bigger. Either way, it's a real shame he's not around to enjoy the results of all his hard work.
Actually I think he may have been at minimum a modest success, because fro what little I read about the story, the really small publishing company (despite the style of the writing) KNEW they had a good story on their hands. They reportedly took copies of the book and left them in coffee shops, on buses, anywhere people might pick them up to read-- absolutely free !

Then, it was basically word of mouth from there...

Again-- that's what I had heard.
Pretty smart business ploy.
I agree with Grant. Honestly, half of Larrson's success has come from the fact that he can never write again. True, he would have been successful. But the romanticism afforded by his abrupt death is one of the main selling points used by publishers all over the world.

Plus, the manuscript as we know it would not have been the manuscript we would have had if Larrson had completed the editing process. He was working with an editor at the time of his death. If Steig hadn't died, he would have been required to change the manuscript. One of the main concerns most critics have with Larrson is how meaty the books are - if he'd lived then the publisher would have made him trim them down. The books would therefore have been radically different and they may not have had the same impact on readers.
Dan, I assume your saying it's taking me a long time to write my WIP?
well, sort of. There were five shorts published online and print for a horror webopage and once my obligation there was wrapped up I figured, why not write a couple more and throw them together into a Kindle package?
So from day one for that webpage to today it's been 4 years.
How long did it take that guy to write War and peace anyhow? Now you have me curious and I'll need to go to wikipedia and look it up.

And the package (work in progress) was supposed to be up already but I'm still tweaking/editing/adding scenes etc so it's the best it can be when I post it on Kindle

OR... well, I have no idea what else you'd be referring to.
But I'm sure it was good natured. Right? (grin)
Get a physical. Really, go schedule one right now. I got one and found out I needed a new organ. That will throw a stick in your writing schedule.

To me an even bigger concern ... writing a good story for other to enjoy and then die before some agent will even give you a chance at publication.

I have turned the corner on living and it is probably a toss up how many years left for this writer. I have contracure in both hands and days end, many days I can't close my hands into a tight fist. I am not writing for the thrill of writing, but to be able to tell a story for others to enjoy. I some days wonder why I do it since my chances of being published or that anyone else else will ever read the finished work are slim to none.

It is a pain knowing there are less days ahead than behind

But I am in reasonable good health though I do need to lose a pound or four. But I am grateful for Kindle since thanks to its speed of publication, you can see some cashflow almost immediately (depending how well you balance writing more work and all the promotion needed to attract attention to the one your selling)

A big drawback to Kindle however- is that you can also see if your particular genre is popular on Kindle. I already have two adult literary works on there and they've barely sold 15 units total

But then, i remind myself that fantasy and crime and horror seem to have a bigger audience on there than 'plain old literature'

So, with this upcoming anthology I hope to have in there by next week- I might see a better bottom line long term. It'd be nice to get fan mail as well.

By the way if anyone would like a sample of the first story (out of the total 9 stories in the anthology) if you PM me, i'd be happy to zap it to you.
Or if we dont have PM ing here would it be okay with the Mods if i put my email here?


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