Category Archives: Authors

To Send or Not to Send?

I managed to talk myself up into this one. I wrote the chapter and edited like a mad-woman who may be allergic to a misplaced comma. The story-line was set, the characters were strong, and everything was formatted just how it needed to go. Finally it was time to send it off, and moving my pointer to the send I found I simply could not. What could possibly be wrong? I went over the chapter again and again. What’s wrong is that the “could happen” after “Send” is pressed may also turn into a rejection (or worse, being ignored).

I know that I am not the only writer to have trouble hitting the “send” button. Great writing requires a certain vulnerability. That being said, rejections can be taken personally. I have since come to terms with this knowledge and when hitting the “send”, I remind myself that this isn’t the end, but the beginning. Truthfully, rejection can be a good thing sometimes. It can show you areas where you need to grow and to strengthen your writing. Rejections should not be personal attacks, but a chance to better yourself.

Even when you doubt, hit the send button. Let it out. If you’re accepted, awesome! Way to go for the dream! If you’re rejected, don’t quit! This is a chance to improve and to become better. Success belongs to those who don’t quit. Close isn’t close enough. Don’t fall into the trap of, “at least I tried”. Go for the goal! Hit send!

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Filed under Agents, Authors, Books, Editors, Publishing, Queries, Writing

Write a Novel in a Year

I decided today that of any goal I can make, I can say that I can write a novel this year. My goal is to write a page a day. This is something that is do-able and that I know I will be able to stick to. One page is not extremely daunting even given my work load and school work. In addition, I know that many of those days I will easily write more than a page. The point is to write something every day. By the end of 2013, I will have written and edited a novel. Depending on how things go, this may turn into two novels.

How many of you have similar goals? If you wrote one book this year, what would it be about?

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INSTANT WRITER!

Sometimes the nights run long and you reach a place where you just cannot write anymore. It’s like you’ve come to a dead-end. Or worse than that, it’s like when you are driving somewhere when you are is desperate need of sleep and when you arrive you find that you don’t remember the drive – zombie-fied writing anyone?

Just add caffeine!

Every writer has their own caffeine!

A writers’ caffeine can come in the form of:

  • coffee/pop (soda)
  • nature walk
  • running/exercise
  • reading
  • cleaning
  • dancing
  • working

There are many other forms of caffeine. My favorite is dancing! What is your favorite caffeine to bring on inspiration, energy and focus to write?

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Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World – Michael Hyatt

One of the best books I have read and resources available. If you read nothing else on the topic, read this: 

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

Click here for Michael’s blog

Click here to see Platform on Amazon and to preview the book.

What are some resources you have used or books that you have read that have influential for you?

 

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Filed under Authors, Books, Marketing, Platform

Writer Defined

Ready. Set. YOU DEFINE IT!

(Comment below with your definition of a writer, and what makes a great one!)

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Writing REAL

Do you want to know a little secret about how to make your writing the best that it can be?

Write REAL.
Write RAW.

Doesn’t that sound so easy? Well, easier said (so succinctly as that) than done. As a writer, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction what is translating to that page is your heart. It is your experiences. It is your emotions. Being raw and real in your writing can be scary sometimes, but that is where the best writing comes out. I often find that writers are so paranoid that people will over-analyze where the motives, thoughts and emotions behind the book come from. People don’t think like that. (Not normal ones anyways.)

Writing real is not only being true to yourself, but it also is the best writing out there. When you are writing real, people can better connect and relate with the characters in your story or with the facts or feelings that are being processed in your article or nonfiction. The best writing establishes a connection between the heart of the author (the words they write) and the reader.

The best writers have an ability to capture and connect with their audience in such a way that the author’s cause and purpose of writing translates to the reader and through that connection creates a stirring in the reader to adopt that cause or respond to the author’s purpose in writing.

For example, in the fiction department, one of my favorite authors is best selling author Karen Kingsbury. Many of the characters in her books are based on real people that she knows and thus her characters are not flat but come to life right off the page. Karen Kingsbury write inspirational fiction and her purpose in writing is to write “Life Changing Fiction”. It is hard for me to read one of her books and not be affected. Karen has such a way of bringing her stories to life. It is like real people and real stories. Fiction – yes. But as you read, it all comes to life. (And even more coming to life her “Baxter Family Drama” Series is in the early talks of becoming a TV show! For more updates and information on that, check out Karen’s Facebook page here.

It is good to keep writing tools on you at all time. Write when you have the inspiration. And even more so, journaling is a great way to make your writing real. When you journal, write out of the raw emotions you are feeling. Say, if you are very upset about something, journal it and when it comes to writing your book take those journal entries and translate those emotions to your your character who is feeling the same way. Giving your characters real emotions creates a depth to them. This is what makes the connection with the reader – when they can relate experiences or emotions with the characters.

I challenge you to make a habit of journaling and refer to those emotions and experiences as you write your books.

A few final tips to make your writing “real”:

  • Determine your cause and purpose before you start.
  • Let your passion translate to your writing.
  • Don’t hold back and you can edit later if you need to.

All the best in your pursuit!

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Filed under Authors, Fiction, Nonfiction, Uncategorized, Writing

T*M*I For Writers

As writers, there are many times that we find ourselves in a place where there is TMI. This can stand for many things:

  • Too much information
  • Too many interruptions
  • Too much internet
  • Time management inability
  • Typical manuscript ideas

*Too Much Information*

We all do it. As writers, we have a love for details and sometimes we get a bit carried away. It is true that we want to paint a portrait for the reader to picture the place and the story that we envision, however there is such a thing as going too far with the details. Mention what is important to hold together your framework, but let the dialog and story-line color everything in. When there are too many details, there is a tendency to lose the story in the process. For example you may be writing a story about a bee and get caught up in the details about the flowers, and the field that the flowers are in and the people who own the field, etc. It isn’t hard to take rabbit trails. So when it comes to details, ask yourself, “Is this detail necessary to create for the reader the vision that I am seeing?”

*Too Many Interruptions*

How often have you planned on sitting down to write that novel (book, article, etc.) and your butt has hardly touched that chair when something comes up and you suddenly find yourself with hardly a start and no time to sit down. Interruptions happen every day. But if something is important to you, you’ll find a way and if it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse. If you are finding there to be  a lot of interruptions, then pay attention to when those interruptions are coming and schedule a set time that you will write. Do your mornings have a bit of quiet time? Afternoons? Evenings? Even writing by hand before bed and typing it up later. Try to write every day, even if it is just a few sentences, or only 5-15 minutes. That bit of time will go a long way in the end. Manage your interruptions as they come. Determine what is something that needs to be taken care of immediately, and what can wait 15 minutes for you to finish the time you set aside to write.

*Too Much Internet*

I am guilty. Even in the midst of writing this post I have multitasked with other internet applications. The internet is an amazing tool, but it can also be a great hindrance to productivity. I will admit that there have been times when my internet would go out and I forgot that the rest of my computer still worked! Go ahead. I give you permission, turn off the internet or give yourself a two-tab rule. One tab is open for writing. One is open for research purposes only. You can handle an hour with limited internet.  Better yet, open up a word document and write – no internet. I promise that you won’t die. Set yourself either a word goal or a time goal, when you reach it you can reward yourself with 15 minutes of internet. You won’t believe how much more you will get done this way!

*Time Management Inability* 

If you want to write, you need to learn to manage your time. Making deadlines is of utmost importance, so you need to practice this. If you are always in a rush or running late, then you need to learn to manage your time before you can manage writing for profit. In my personal experience, excellent time management starts with one right decision. Set up a schedule and stick to it as best you can. Give at least 5-10 minutes between each of your tasks to give time to finish or to clean up. For example if you are going to write 11-11:30, don’t start lunch at 11:30, put it in at 11:40 or 11:45. Also when your making your schedule or list of things to be done – prioritize. What needs done TODAY? What needs done this week. What would be nice to have done but can wait? This will help you in the long run. Even something so simple as going to bed at an earlier hour and waking up early can make things go so much more productively. Try it out for 2 weeks and see what a difference it makes for you.

*Typical Manuscript Ideas*

This isn’t to say that your story is boring. You may have some great ideas, but do try something original. Think up something that has never been done before. Then, once you do, figure out why it’s never done before. Either it is so brilliant that no one thought it up before unique only to you, or there is a reason it has never been done before – do your research. (Yes, that is permission to use the internet.) We need something new and fresh on the shelves (or in that magazine, on the webpage). What are unique ideas that you have to offer?

What are your thoughts or experiences with these TMI’s? Feel free to discuss!

~Brittany

 

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