The  March Chilling with Books Corner and Author Spotlight on C. R. Alam

Procrastination is a dirty word.

March arrived and is now leaving. It is so hard to believe it is the end of month but then think I have lived in a daze for the last thirty days. Correction, I know I am living in some alternative reality called procrastination.

I started a new job, said yes to a committee, am teaching Italian and running a poetry class at the U3A, tutoring a student, facilitating at some writing sessions, and crawling into bed knowing I haven’t touched the editing for my second novel. Procrastination comes in a multitude of scenarios. Oh, and for the first time in now years I am only doing two posts this month.

However, every once in a while, something occurs, and I take a step back to reflect. In this case, I read a really good book and I saw a really good film. If the Grammar Police are growling at the use of the word ‘really’ then settle down. It’s a conscious choice. And, it says exactly what I am thinking even if these days editors want to banish it from our vocabulary.

Re-reading C.R. Alam’s words as I worked on this post, I was reminded how incredible Indie Authors can be. They take risks, lay themselves on the line, and create under often difficult circumstances. Indies bleed a little or a lot because they have the full responsibility, and they take this seriously. 

I liked this author’s book when I read it some time ago, but she decided she could do better and has re-edited her first book. This takes a lot of courage and so much work. Having gone through the same experience myself but observing the experience now through her eyes made me rethink things.

Why I was cramming so much into my life ensuring the completed second book manuscript was sitting there, lonesome and confused and in desperate need of loving edits? I mean I actual like the book a lot. My character is crazy but endearing and yet I procrastinate. Strange? Not so strange. You see, I wandered into fear territory and forgot Indie authors are brave until C.R. reminded me procrastination is a dirty word. A word more unnecessary than the word ‘really’.

Spotlight on C.R. Alam

Hi, I’m C. R. Alam, and I am an Indie romance writer.

Do you know how long it took me to confidently say that aloud? I’m still working on it, actually. There are moments when I embrace it, but most of the time, I feel I haven’t earned the title yet. I published my first novel, “Echoing Hearts,” in late 2018 without a clue what I was doing. I simply wanted to share a story I wrote. It was the first step towards my long-time dream: being a romance writer.

A lot has happened since then, but nothing to do with publishing. My father fell ill and eventually passed in early 2020, then the pandemic locked us in our homes. Suddenly, we were all working from home and managing our children’s online school. My barely started writing career stalled.

You’re probably wondering why am I writing about a stalled career?

Because I think many of us who are trying to break into this industry feel overwhelmed. And many of us quit because perhaps our debut book didn’t sell as we hoped. Or maybe we cried after reading that one-star review. Or perhaps we feel discouraged when other writers who debuted about the same time we did, have now published their tenth book. Or maybe you haven’t even clicked that “Publish” button yet because you’re afraid to expose yourself.

Seeing all these other authors doing their things and rocking it pumps me up and makes me want to do things. But when I do and there’s no response, it sucks. If you ever felt this way along your writing journey, just know you’re not alone. The best advice I’ve received this year was simple: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”

Sure, avoiding making as many mistakes as possible is probably key to survival. However, when we fear making mistakes, we tend not to take steps forward. And making mistakes is also a way to learn to do it the right way. When it comes to self-publishing, most errors are easily fixed.

Your debut novel might be your baby, but it may also be just a steppingstone to your better work. Your best book may still be in front of you. Keeping that advice in mind, I’m now working on righting the mistakes I made when I first started. In 2022, I am jump-starting my stalled writing journey.

My second installment of the Echo series, His Forever Muse will launch in June. And expect a newly edited and repackaged Echoing Hearts to relaunch before that. I can’t wait to introduce the characters I love. Expect a strong bond of friendships, happy and/or dysfunctional family dynamics, beautiful settings, steamy scenes, and romance. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and laugh again at the end.

Until then, keep on writing and reading, lovers. Contact me at:

Website:   www.cralam.com  (I am working on improving this as we speak)

Instagram:  @cralam_writes (please come follow)

C.R. Alam

Barbara’s News

Something old

  •  I love my new job.
  • I love my classes and my students.
  • I love the group I am involved with ( a writers group).
  • I love tutoring young people.
  • I love the facelift I gave my novel because it taught me so much. I would love you to read it and leave a review.

Something new

Has anyone seen dog? I love it, love Channing Tatum, and love the Belgian Malinois who steals so many scenes but keeps Channing looking good. Being ex-military if a thousand years ago, the enormity of the problems PTSS can cause, is dear to my heart. The film handles it beautifully. Definitely one to see.

Has anyone read Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing trees? I just did and thoroughly enjoyed. The idea of a tree narrating from time to time soon settled from strange to a pleasurable fantasy where nature came close and whispered a story to touch the heart. Can’t ask for more in a book, or at least I can’t.

Until next time, ciao

Barb

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured then please leave a review on Goodreads or wherever you originally purchased the book. It helps writers learn to be better writers.

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7 Comments

  1. Congratulations on the new job! Thanks for the book/author recommendations. Will need to check out the Dog. I also procrastinated this past month, despite not living a busy life like yours. I blame it to the war and all the other bad news along with it. Let’s hope for a better and more productive April!

  2. Dog looks awesome, I’d never thought about how military dogs would also suffer from PTSD. Poor babies.

    • It is very real and quite confronting especially since they get so attached to their handler and visa versa. Truthfully though, I can also look at Channing forever.

  3. Congrats on the new job! It sounds like you have a lot going on right now. I do want to watch Dog. It looks like a fun movie. I hate to admit that I use the word really way too often.

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