I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts about writing Westerns, specifically from the perspective of a new writer. This is the first one. If I were you, and I was considering reading this series, I’d be asking the following question…
Why him? It’s a very fair question, so I asked myself…
Why me? I’ve been writing novels, for less than two years — which means I’m very new to it and have plenty to learn. So what makes me think I’m qualified to write a blog about writing books, specifically Westerns?
I believe it’s the fact that I am so new to writing novels that makes what I have to say relevant to those who have also just begun, or are about to begin, this journey. Where do I write? When? What software? How do I get published? Do I need an agent? Who can I turn to for help? What are the tools that allow me to grow? Where can I meet other Western writers? Editors? Proofreaders?
My thinking is that my role as a new writer, combined with the experience and knowledge I have gained, might position me ideally to offer some advice and guidance. I’ve written and published (both self-publishing and with a publisher) several books, and yet I am still new enough to the process to easily remember (and in some cases still be dealing with) all of the things that race through a new author’s mind, many of which serve as a distraction from the actual writing.
I’ve published four novels in my Brock Clemons series (Coyote Courage, Coyote Creek, Coyote Canyon and Battle on the Plateau), a companion book of short stories (Tales From Dry Springs) and a nonfiction Western (52 Weeks • 52 Western Novels). I also have another nonfiction Western about to be released (52 Weeks • 52 Western Movies), and have had my short stories included in a variety of published anthologies. So I have gained some experience and sold a few books.
Will you benefit? I certainly hope so. My plan is for this blog to be entertaining and helpful, especially for, but not exclusive to, the newer writers among us. When I started my first book, I found plenty of advice from seasoned writers — and it was, and is, of value. But so many of the books on writing, including the great ones by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, etc., don’t address what it’s like to get started. I didn’t find much, if anything, from people who were new to the hobby/profession, and I think I would have enjoyed that. So writing a blog that speaks to newer writers, from a new writer’s perspective, is the plan.
What will I write about? The journey, which is what this is. Valuable tools to help you write. Motivational ideas to get you over the rough patches — and there will be some. Time management tips. Self-publishing vs. an agent vs. a publisher. How to connect with others on the same, or a similar, trail. The value of writing when trying to become a writer. The value of reading when trying to become a writer. The value of candid and honest friends and family when trying to become a writer. How to promote your book.
Will it be fun? Absolutely! Writing Westerns, for me, is a hobby. Someday, if I sell a few more books, there may be more of a business component to the process, but for now, it’s a tremendous amount of fun, with an occasional small check thrown in. But the key is, it’s fun! And I plan on this blog being fun as well, for you — the reader — and for me.
I’m hoping this journey will be interactive, that I’ll hear back from you with questions, comments, critiques, and if it goes well, the occasional attaboy!
So let’s saddle up and get started, and if you already have something you’d like to share, or a question you’d like to ask, send me an email at Scott@scottharriswest.com.
Thank you and keep writing!