Who Am I?

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Who Am I?

Who am I?

Not a terribly original question, perhaps one that is often asked over the course of one’s life. What got me to thinking about the question are the genres in which I write my books – mystery (some inspired by true events), romance, bio/memoir, political thought. So much of my writing deals with the underbelly of life, the bad elements in our society, the really evil and ugly people who live among us – fictionally or in fact. It must be my admission that at times it bothers me that I focus my writing so much on a salacious news report about someone being sexually assaulted, people being horribly murdered, an awful pedophile hurting or killing our children, or some dark and greedy enterprise. Another aspect relative to the question is my concern that the books I have written are not necessarily going viral.

Don’t mind me. I feel that much of my life has been spent in introspection, analyzing myself as I lie awake in the night, as I drive the open road, as I view television or a sad movie, even in the middle of a conversation. It’s my way of trying to piece together another part that is unknown to me. Maybe in some sort of loose and nebulous nexus I’m creating everyman, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The way I’m built, the crazy DNA I carry inside, does cause me concern. So much emotion and mobility in my early building stages account for the calculus here. I’ve always been drawn to the action, crime, drama, mystery, and suspense of the big screen or tube. My wife loves comedies and musicals, the ‘Hallmark Movies’, and neatly trimmed family adventures. I started out loving cowboy movies, then graduated to the more fast-paced ‘True Lies’ and ‘Jesse Stone’ types. That’s all okay for different likes and dislikes. There’s a spiritual part of me that nudges me now and then to write something wholesome, like a strong Christian story with an uplifting theme for all ages… Hopefully, one day I shall satisfy that nudge.

If you had not noticed, I’m rambling and trying to figure an apt finish to this post.

Here it is.

I’m doing all this word vacillation when it comes down really to this. There is a lot of me in what I write, in the characters I create, and in the plots. There is fun in the penning of my tales, and I experiment with my writing. There are times when I organize a book – in my fashion – and there are times when I simply allow the characters to take me where it is they want to go… This is likely to make a ‘writing purist’ cringe. For me, the process of writing can take any form a person wishes. The readers ultimately will decide whether or not our writing efforts are worthy.

That brings me to the final point of this post.

Writing is enough for me, the process itself…most of the time. Believing I’m under no delusions of grandeur, I truly feel my words are strung together well and tell compelling stories. I get some 5-Star reviews here and there which make me jubilant. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are used daily and perhaps for some, ad nauseam. I admit to a certain ineptness in this digital world, but I’m doing so many things to get people to read my books. Apparently, I’m not doing nor am I capable of doing some of the things I need to be doing. An old man (me) dusted off some manuscripts, rewrote, edited them, wrote several new books along the way, and self-published them. My first ‘Bailey Crane Mystery’ (“Probable Cause”) was picked up by a publisher, eventually went out of print – that book is now “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery” Book One. There are five ‘Bailey Crane’ books in the series – the original book two manuscript (“Stranger Abduction”) was done on a StarWriter word processor and the manuscript was lost during one of my mobility moments…still not found. Thus, there are five ‘Bailey Crane’ books in lieu of six.

The final point is taking longer than expected.

The mistake was made, I believe, in coming out with so many books in such a short period of time. There were no ‘launching parties’ for the books, no book tours, and there was very little internet plugging. Add to that, I’m no longer a young man who can keep the pace of author book signings, events of one kind or another, or other vital networking avenues. So, the end point is this: my books are good, and I would like to see them in the hands of readers. Yes, writing is enough for me most of the rime, but I do get hungry for reader reaction. Like most authors, I hope for some gratification. My books are bought too infrequently, and I am at a loss to find some magic buttons to push… Of course, I could turn the books over to someone specializing in all phases of marketing, but that of course is costly.

I just finished a KDP giveaway of five of my books for five days (likely, should have been one book instead of five). It looks like some seven hundred total all books were given away during that time, with much tweeting, much Facebook activity, much Goodreads and LinkedIn activity, with my weekly blog announcing the giveaway.

Baring one’s soul is perhaps foolhardy and senseless, but there it is.

What you need to do, kind followers of my blog, other than commiserating, is to start a viral situation with my books…having not the foggiest idea of how you will do that. Do not worry if you fall short of doing either, the commiserating or the viral thing, you will still have me doing a weekly blog, valuing you – and still writing my books, flash fiction, poems, songs, and short stories.

Incidentally, if you have any idea of ‘who I am’ please let me know in the ‘comment’ section.

Here are various links to my books and me.

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (My books on IAN – Independent Author Network)

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (My main website/blog and my books w/some reviews)

Follow me on http://twitter.com/brchitwood (@brchitwood)

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood and http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner (‘fan’ and ‘like’ page w/updates)

https://www.linkedin.com/nhome/

https://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com (The origination blog site of all my posts)

After the following proud display of my blog awards, please leave a comment if so inclined.

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10 thoughts on “Who Am I?

  1. Bill, you are a writer. You have the angst of a writer, and the passion of a writer. You are not alone. What you wrote resonates with me. Keep writing. If it goes viral, then fine. If not, then fine. You have a good life and don’t need the approbation of others. And finally, I need to take my own advice.

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  2. My dear man, writing is and will always be a passion for those who love to write. And I truly believe you are a passionate writer, with many different stories to tell. You write in multiple genres because you have many interests.

    I disagree that you made a mistake because you came out with many books in a short time. It takes a lot of energy, courage, and imagination to write the books you’ve written. The fact that you have is something to feel proud of. It’s not an accomplishment that becomes every writer.

    I think what you’re feeling is the exhaustion associated with all else that has little to do with writing — the sales, the promotion and marketing on every social network. Multiply this by the number of books you have and it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

    Take a break from the social media, Billy Ray, or reduce your time on it. Return to your passion of writing, whether it be for your blog or flash fiction. Perhaps it might help to concentrate on marketing one or two of your books at a time.

    Whatever path you take, know you have friends who will help you along. None of us has a magic bullet when it comes to selling books. We can only control how well we write and do our best to connect it to readers.

    Big hugs, young man,
    eden
    xox

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  3. Social media can be a huge time suck and from my experience, it can take away the joy and the time we use to write.
    Keep writing and doing what you feel in your heart, is the right thing, Billy. You’ll know what to do…just listen. xo

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing so much about yourself, Billy Ray. I agree with Timothy, Eden and Jill: you ARE a writer, and, at the end of the day, that is the only thing that is important. Do what you love doing (and you obviously love writing). I agree with Jill when she says that social media ‘… can take away the joy and the time we use to write’. If one of your books touches the heart of only one reader, then it was worth the effort of writing it. In many ways social media has become a curse: many people who attach themselves to such sites do so simply to collect ‘likes’ or to see the few words, written by themselves, in print – many of these people are, unfortunately, not interested in anything or anyone outside of themselves. It is even more unfortunate that many of these sites have become a kind of guideline as to whether a person is a success or not. Believe in yourself, your talents and your books, Billy Ray, and I know that you will find the satisfaction and success for which you are searching.

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  5. I wish I had the answer for you here, but I don’t. The only thing I can say is to get back to why you began to write in the first place – this is what I do when I become overwhelmed. When I started writing there was no self-publishing and no social media (yes – I’m that old) 😀 I would have to mail my work to publishers and wait months (years) to hear anything. Now we feel like everything should be instantaneous and we can go viral or become overnight successes and this puts a load of pressure on us. I started writing for two reasons. 1. I couldn’t help myself and my characters would burst into my life and not leave me alone until I’d written their stories. 2. I was incredibly lonely and the characters were my my friends who kept me company (and awake most nights). Writing was a lot easier then because I wrote only for myself and my sanity and that’s where I base myself in this writing world. It’s taken me 20 years to become and almost-over-night-success.

    I was talking to a friend the other day who is nearly finished writing a book and was worried about what she was going to do with the money, tax and fame, etc when she self-published. Herein lies a problem – the book writing is the easy part, getting it out there and making enough money to buy a loaf of bread a week is the hard part and we hear stories about people who become an overnight success and think this will happen to us. It takes a lot of energy and work to stay on top of things. I’ll help you where I can, Billy Ray, but there’s no magic bullet (as Eden says) and if there was I’d be more than happy to tell you where to find it (and to use it myself) 😀

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