Book Cover? Photoshop!

In my last post I mentioned starting the search for a cover artist. However, in the end, I decided I would rather DIY.

So, rather than searching for a cover artist, I went in search of some stock photos.

I chose IStock (https://www.istockphoto.com/au) for my images, as there is a large vairety of unique photos at pretty good prices.

For under $50 I managed to get some very nice pictures to work with, and then I cranked out Photoshop and got to work.

Before I started on my actual cover, I got the watermarked versions and put them together to see how it would look. Once I was happy with the result, I pruchased the images and set to work on the good copy.

Given, I haven’t photoshopped anything since high school, but it was relatively easy to get back into it. I had to check online the ideal size for an ebook cover, and although they vary depending on the site, I ended up going with something close to 1600 x 2400 pixels. A few pixels either way won’t make a difference.

While I haven’t finished yet, the whole process has been much less stressful than finding a cover artist, and cheaper as well. Plus, I get to design the cover exactly how I want (and run it past some friends for creative feedback).

Publishing time is drawing near.

 

~~ Ari

🙂

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Burnout, or How I really messed up this whole writing thing

Burnout.

We’ve all been there, when we’ve just had enough to the point where even the mention of the task sends us running in the other direction.

That’s where I’ve been, running.

When I finished my first draft, I wanted to just get the editing out of the way and get closer to finishing my book. Yet, so much as opening the document was a chore, and I kept putting it off and off and off..

There came a point where I no longer opened it, nor checked my emails, nor checked this blog. I just wanted nothing to do with my book. And to be honest, it terrified me. The thought of putting all this work into a book and then just giving up on it. It’s not me, I’m too stubborn to give up. This all felt far too familiar, taking me back to my highschool days where I would stare at my math homework for hours and not take a single number in. That’s when I realised I had burnt out.

And so, I decided to just go with the flow and leave my work alone, hoping my love for writing would rekindle. Sure enough, here I am! Ready to send my characters on more ridiculous adventures as my writing journey continues.

Now comes the time for reflection, and I have to ask: Why did I burn out?

It hit me in that place where many realisations come: the shower. What did I do the moment I started writing? I researched how professional authors write, and started doing what they did.

“But Ari,” you might say, “isn’t that a good idea?”

It’s a brilliant idea, as long as you take others methods as advice and not law as I did. Silly me assumed that because it worked for others, it would work for me too.

I know I hate deadlines, it’s why I hate setting goals, or dreams with a time limit as I like to call them. So why on Earth did I think giving myself a year to write my first draft would be a good idea? And then I forced myself to write everyday, regulary update my blog and Instagram, keep my book on my mind 24/7.

In my mind, writing changed from a hobby to a job. I forgot why I was writing a book in the first place, because I want to tell a story, because it’s fun.

This time around, no more daily word limits, no more set times to finish certain tasks, and no more forcing myself to write. From now on, I write when I feel like it.

Only took me far too long to figure this all out. I blame the caffine and lack of sleep, it messes with my mind 😛

 

~~ Ari

🙂

Editing is going slowly, I just have no motivation to reread my work. Writing? Fine, easy enough, I can write. But editing is draining.

And then there’s the prospect of actually publishing…

It may take a little longer than expected to get my work out there, years as opposed to the months I initially hoped for. But I won’t let anything stop me, my stories will be written and I will put them out there!

~~ Ari

Time to edit, and I don’t want to…

I wrote my first draft, I put it aside, I’ve let it rest. Now comes the time to pick it back up again and read it through with a red pen and a critical eye. Only problem … I don’t want to.

I’m not sure what exactly is making me nervous about picking up my work. Maybe i’m afraid to reread what I’ve written now that I’m no longer basking in the glow of finishing my first draft, or maybe I’m worried i’ll get bored of it since I know what happens and subsequently think the story is boring. Or maybe I’m about to step out of my comfort zone.

Writing is something I can do. Spilling out 1000 words for an essay was never a huge challenge, and creating stories has always been my idea of a good pastime. But when it came to editing, I’d always just hand in whatever I had and hope the mistakes didn’t pull it down too badly.

I now realise I can’t take the easy way out, and am going to have to sit down and reread my book. The longer I put it off, the less likely I am to ever edit it. I think, because I started writing something else, I’m justifying to myself that it’s okay if I just keep writing for a little while longer.

I’ve decided that I will start to edit on March 1st, with a date in mind there is no way I can keep avoiding this task.

I’m just not sure how I should go about doing this. Should I read it through like a normal book first, then edit after? Should I print it out and go over it with a red pen? Should I go straight to critically editing? Any advice will be warmly welcomed.

As for now, I’ve got more writing to do.

~~ Ari

Done!

Only took 9 months, but the first draft of my first book is complete. Phew. Now I can put it aside for a little while and start on something else. I’ve already began writing my next book, which I’m so excited to write because the main character is heaps of fun to write.

Then i’ll begin the painful process of re-reading my own writing, which will be as fun as sticking needles in my eyes. Probably a similar experience I reckon.

~~ Ari

Finishing a book is hard!

I know exactly what I need to write, I know how the final scene has to play out and what each character will do and say. Yet, I’m writing at a snails pace.

Had a bit of a setback last week where I realised what I had written didn’t quite work. There was a scene involving a building being blown up, which wasn’t an issue until I was informed that the explosives weren’t positioned in such a way that the building would come down.

One tiny mistake ended up forcing me to cut and rewrite a large chunk of that chapter because now it didn’t make sense for the characters to end up where they did. Although I’m still not happy with what I wrote, it’ll do for now. I’ll attack it again in draft 2.

I’m so close to finishing, if I could get out more than a couple hundred words a day, I’d easily finish by the end of the week.

Ugh.

~~ Ari