Why consistency is better than originality

The title might be a little misleading, I guess it should read “why consistency is just as good as originality”. But when it comes to your writing and publishing career, especially if you’re an indie author, then consistency really is king.

For readers, a book that gives them a completely new perspective and a fresh take on the genre is amazing. But they might love it just as much as that other book that features all their favourite tropes and feels like a warm hug every time they reread it.

And which one can you write more quickly and easily, and publish more often? I’d say for most of us its the consistent book rather than the original book.

Consistency makes a publishing career

As an author, you might have a few truly original books inside you, and I absolutely encourage you to write them! But they can take years to finish because you need the right inspiration, the right headspace, and let’s be honest, we’re much more particular about these special books-of-our-hearts – the weird little WIPs we’re nervous to share in case nobody else likes them – than we are about the ones we know people will love because we’ve put the old, tried-and-true tropes to work.

Your readers love your writing, your voice, your world-building and storytelling. And their absolute favourite thing? When you bring out a new book. So give them what they want and consistently write and publish, don’t keep them waiting because your shiny, original story isn’t quite perfect yet. Get it perfect in the moments of inspiration and flow, when the muse is kind and the sun shines on your soul project.

But in the gaps between, write that comfort book. Employ all of your favourite tropes. Fan of friends-to-lovers? Write it. Secret royalty? Give it to us. And don’t feel bad if it’s not the most original, earth-shattering, mould-breaking story you’ve ever told. We all need those books that feel like coming home and putting on our oldest, cosiest sweater.

Original is overrated

You’ve probably heard that there’s nothing original left in this world, and it’s not far wrong. The rare book that comes out and shakes up the industry, turning everything that’s gone before it on its head, is all the more exciting because it’s just that – rare.

Humans love familiarity. We love comfort. Our brains are really stressed out by the new and different. There’s a reason why tropes are a thing, why so many stories follow the same old patterns and yet are still told centuries, if not millennia, later. It’s because we love them, they make us feel safe, they give us an experience we crave, which is to know how it’s going to end, how the story will turn out, and where the twists and turns will come.

Storytelling is the oldest method of spreading news, warnings and information. Hearing the same story, told in different ways, over and over again, is how we learn. So don’t shy away from retelling, tropes, and even prequels, sequels and tie-in series that fans of your other books will love.

It might be fan-service, but at the end of the day, we’re here to serve our fans, so why not give the people what they want?

Lyndsey

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Enchanted Forests cover reveal!

Today, I’m super excited to share the stunning cover of Enchanted Forests with you!

Enchanted Forests is the follow up to my 2021 anthology, Enchanted Waters, which features eight authors telling ten stories of mythical water creatures and magic, whilst also raising funds for an ocean conservation charity.

Enchanted Forests will follow in EW’s footsteps by raising money for woodland conservation by featuring stories by eleven authors that focus on the magical creatures and folk who inhabit the woods.

Ready to see the cover?

What do you think? Didn’t Emily’s World of Design do an incredible job? It was a really collaborative process in which we all got to make suggestions and give feedback, which was really fun. And I’m so happy with the final result.

In addition to the EW gang of me, Astrid V.J., Alice Ivinya, Jennifer Kropf, N.D.T. Casale, Sky Summers, Elena Shelest and Ben Lang, we’ve been joined by a few more authors for this next anthology, including Ashley Steffenson, Xander Cross and Fox Rogers. I’ll be introducing you to these awesome indie authors soon.

I’m so excited to share more about my story and the rest of this collection with you over the next ten months! If you’re already sold, you can preorder the book now for the special early bird price of 99c/77p, just click here or on the cover to go to Amazon and prepare to find EF in your Kindle on 1 July 2022.

Not quite sold yet? Here’s the official blurb:

If you go down to the woods today…
You’d better not go alone…

Discover the secret world between the trees where fairies, unicorns and even monsters dwell. Take a stroll through enchanted woods and dance with pixies and dryads by the light of the stars. Escape Baba Yaga and fall in love with a prince in disguise. Taste the fruit at the goblin market and be whisked away on a magical adventure.
Between ancient trees, find beauty, danger and adventure in these enchanting short stories by award-winning, best-selling, and up-and-coming fantasy authors.

Enchanted Forests is fully illustrated by the talented Elena Shelest.

All profits from this anthology will be donated to charity to support woodland and forest conservation.

Alternatively, if you’d love to get an advance review copy, you can join our Facebook fan group and sign up to be on our review team! The form for ARCs will be released a little closer to release day, so join us now and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Thanks friends! We’re excited to share these stories with you and the incredible illustrations Elena is creating to complement each story.

Lyndsey

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P.S. If you haven’t snapped up your copy of Enchanted Waters yet, hang on a couple more days, because it’s going to be on sale from 18 Aug!

Writing rituals to get you in the mood

Writer friends – do you have a writing routine?

I struggle with routines as my life is a touch chaotic at this moment in time. Working full time, raising a very willful and somewhat maniacal toddler, forging a self-published author career and surviving through a global pandemic do not make for an easy environment to form new routines.

So instead of creating a strict, or even flexible, writing routine, I’ve taken to creating writing rituals instead. Ways to trick my brain into switching from mum, or wife, or employee mode, into writer mode.

My writing rituals

Here’s a little list of steps I take to prepare for a writing session.

  • Make a cup of tea (or coffee, or another beverage of your choice).
  • Fill a small bowl with snacks (nuts, pretzels, chocolate, whatever you fancy) and either eat throughout my session or check emails and do prep until the bowl is empty, and then the writing MUST start.
  • Light a scented candle (the scent doesn’t matter, but if you have one that reminds you of your current WIP, then all the better).
  • Play music that creates a mood without being distracting (for me it’s folklore and evermore by Taylor Swift, every time)
  • Mute my phone (set your In Case of Emergency contacts and make sure they can still reach you when in mute mode)
  • Choose a word count or time goal and try to focus until I’ve reached it
  • Allow breaks, allow my mind to wander, allow a drink and snack refill if required
  • Be kind to myself if writing isn’t going well today, and be proud of myself if I hit my goal

That’s it. I don’t have a set time that I write, some days I’m a morning person, others (most others) I’m decidedly not. Some days I want to hit 1k words, other days 500 will absolutely do. Some days I can’t face writing at all, so I watch TV with my husband or read a short story and don’t beat myself up for needing a break after a long, stressful day.


What little writing rituals do you observe? Do you have a strict writing routine or more of a set of rituals to get you in the writing mood, like me?

Are you taking part in Camp Nano this April? I’m trying, as I always find NaNoWriMo gives me a motivation boost and I come out with more words than I usually would, but I’m being kind to myself and not making myself write every single day.

Good luck with your current WIP! Tell me about it in the comments.

Lyndsey

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