Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Week in Favs….

Playing on the Zune: Welcome to England by Tori Amos


Social Media and Author Websites

Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued for Using Pics on Your Blog – My Story by Roni Loren ß SUPER Important post! Please read!


5 Ways to Make Google Your "Assistant Publicist" by C.S. Lakin on Live Write Thrive


Reluctant to Join Social Media? by Angela Ackerman on The Bookshelf Muse


The Most Effective Book Advertising Tool Ever…And It's Free by Jonathan Gunson on Bestseller Labs


Tech Notes – HootSuite for Twittering Self-Marketers by Rob Mahan



On the Craft 

4 Ways to Improve Plot/Climax in Your Writing by Jeff Gerke on Writer's Digest


The Moment that Makes or Breaks Your Story by Larry Brooks on Storyfix


22 Rules of Storytelling, Part Four by Tabitha Oslon


The #1 Secret of Great Writers on Write to Done


Internal Medicine: How Much Internalization is Too Much? on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy


Put Your Readers in Your POV Character's Skin, guest post by Margie Lawson, on the Writers in the Storm blog


From Newbie to Published: 12 Tips, guest post by Tiffany Allee on Jami Gold's blog


The Saga of Davi Rhii – Keeping a Sequel Fresh, guest post by Bryan Thomas Schmidt on Dana's Dragon Note



Writerly Inspiration


Go Big or Go Home by C. Hope Clark


Teresa Frohock Throws Down the Gauntlet to Herself, guest post by Teresa Frohock on Staffer's Book Review (check out the first chapter of Teresa's new WIP, The Garden, here)


Are You Brave Enough to Take Responsibility for Your Actions? by Marcy Kennedy


What if Our Publishing Dreams Don't Come True? by Julie Musil


47 Things You Should Never Apologize For by Pam Asberry on Sometimes It's Cloudy, Sometimes It's Clear



On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

After the First Draft: Part 1 by Mooderino on Moody Writing


5 Mistakes Killing Self-Published Authors by Kristen Lamb 


How (Not) to Get Traditionally Published by Ava Jae


How to Publicize and Promote Your Book by Chuck Sambuchino on Writer Unboxed


How Self-Publishing has Helped All Writers – Welcome to the Revolution by Kristen Lamb


Five Lessons from a Book Tour Newbie, guest post by Suzanne Johnson on Jami Gold's blog



Other Round-Ups

Stina Lindenblatt's Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren's Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig's Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she's shared this week – updated on Sundays)



This week on the blog: 


Photo By: Doug Wheller




Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Get Back to *You*

Photo Credit
Writers juggle a lot on a daily basis. Whether we’re aiming for traditional or self-publishing success, or simply writing for our personal enjoyment, we tend to carry ten or more hats in our back pockets while juggling fifty of those neon yellow tennis balls – all at once!

Between the spouse and the family, the friends, the dayjob, our characters and their stories, editing, rewriting, editing and rewriting again and again, writers really do attempt to juggle a lot more than we can handle. And sometimes we handle it better than we give ourselves credit for.

So it comes as no surprise when we sit back one day and think, “Who am I?” or “Where did I go?” Just think, if you were sit down and make a to-do list of everything you wanted to get done today, this week, this month, or this year, would an item on this list say, ‘Spend time with myself’?

Probably not.

And that’s okay. We’re selfless. We give, give, give without take, take, take. We stay up late at night writing or editing, we come home, clean house, cook, play with the kids/pets, spend time with our significant others, and give more than 100% at our dayjobs.
But what happens when we sit back and realize we don’t feel like ourselves anymore? Our writing suffers. Our families suffer. Our friends suffer.

We suffer.

So, how do you get back to *you*? How do you put it all aside and find yourself again so you’re writing life will flourish?

Here’s how:

1. Realize that those moments of feeling like a super hero are starting to become few and far in between. You used to feel like that at least once a week, but now you’re lucky if you feel like that once a month.

2. Realize that in order for your writing to be the best it can possibly be, everything else in your life must in order, and you must feel content with the most important relationships in your life (i.e.: spouse, children, family, professional, etc.).

3. Realize why you began this writing journey to begin with. Because you wanted to make a difference. Because you had something to say. Because it weighed heavily on your heart. Because you felt the most free when you were writing.

4. Realize that the most important component in books is the author itself. Without the writer in good health, mentally and physically, there’d be no book at all.

Once you sit down and realize all four of these, then you do the following:

1. Vow to step away from the writing for an entire week. Read a good book, watch some TV or a few movies, catch up on sleep, etc.

2. Vow to step away from social media. Social media can be very overwhelming and take up quite a bit of your time. Uninstall the Twitter/Facebook apps from your phone if you have to. Just make sure you step away from it entirely – and this includes blogging.

3. Vow to relax. Whether reading is relaxing activity of choice, or taking a nice, long, hot bath, or both. Or maybe relaxing for you is taking a yoga class. Whatever works for you, vow to do it and do it almost every day that week.

4. Vow to spend quality time with those you love. Add in a few extra date nights, tack on an additional night out with friends, surprise your mom or dad with a weekend visit. However you spend time with your family, double or triple it that week.

5. Vow to sit completely still for at least 30 minutes a day. Don’t read or do anything related to books and writing. Simply lie on the bed and be alone with your thoughts.

6. Vow to allow yourself to do all of the above without consequence.

If you can vow to all six of the above, then I promise you, your creativity tank will refill faster than you could’ve ever imagined. Before you know it, two days into the break you’ll have ideas flying through your head faster than those flying monkey in The Wizard of Oz, and you’ll be so giddy with writing them all down that you’ll fear you might miss one if you don’t have pen and paper readily available at all times.

This is when you will start to feel like yourself. This is when you hear yourself say or think, “God, I feel so much more like myself.” This is when you’ll truly feel free.

After the break, re-enter the writer’s life with slow, childlike steps, and schedule time alone so you won't lose yourself again. 

Have you ever felt as though you’re simply walking through life on auto-pilot? Did your writing or personal life suffer from it? How did you get yourself back? 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This Week in Favs….

This week’s list is going to be a little short. I’ve been trying to get caught on sooooo much between social media and writing and the dayjob. So next week we’ll be back to normal with at least 25 writing links! :0)

Playing on the Zune: Reckless Abandonment by The Spill Canvas

Social Media and Author Websites

Twitter Tips and Tricks by Talli Roland on The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing

On the Craft

Writing Tips from Twitter Folks (#WriteTip) by Tina Moss
Why Packing for a Trip is Like Writing – Do It With Purpose or It Can Cost You by Angela Quarles
Re-Versioning, Not Retelling by Sophie Masson on Writer Unboxed
Are You a Real Writer? By Carolyn Kaufman on
Why Your Hero Needs a Yappy Sidekick by K.M. Weiland on Wordplay
Magic Mike’s Guide to Seducing Your Audience (and Leave Them Panting for More) by Betsy Talbot on Copyblogger
Tying Up Loose Ends – Don’t Let Your Reader Down by Scott Eagan
3 Ways to Create Characters that Grip Readers’ Hearts by Jody Hedlund
7 Tips for Crafting a Believable Fantasy, guest post by Leah Cypess on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing

3 Ways The Emotion Thesaurus Helps You Write Better by Marcy Kennedy

Using GMC to Add Romantic Tension, guest post by Martina Boone on Joan Swan’s blog

Designing from Bones – Fantasy Realms of the Real World by Gene Lempp

What is Commercial Fiction by Annie Neugebauer

Writerly Inspiration

Why We Write: Four Reasons by Joe Bunting on The Write Practice

In the Beginning…. by Ann Aguirre on Writer Unboxed

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

Defining the Category of Your Novel in the New Age of Publishing by Randy Ingermanson

4 Tenets of Self-Publishing and 4 Essential Resources by Fabio Bueno
An Author Speaks Out by Lynn Price on the Behler Blog
An Industry on the Brink – Five Mistakes that are Killing Traditional Publishing by Kristen Lamb

Beginners Guide to Hiring a Freelance Editor by Cassandra Marshall on Pub(lishing) Crawl

The Ultimate #RWA12 Conference Packing List by Jami Gold

What’s Happening With My Publisher Contract? by Rachelle Gardner

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog: 


Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When Writers are Disappointed

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted. And usually, regardless of what’s going on in personal life, I always either post an update or at least put together a weekly mash-up of writing posts on Fridays.
During these last two weeks of what I’ll simply refer to lovingly as ‘life at its best’, I have been tested and pushed to my absolute max. I literally feel as though I’ve been beaten, shattered, shaken, and stirred. At first it was all about the balance between the home life, the writing life, the professional/career/dayjob, and time with myself. But boy does life know how to throw the most wicked screwball in your direction. As in, just when you think things are starting to look up, it turns out you were being psyched in an evil game of made ya look.
So, in honor of these events – none of which I can really share as most have to do with my professional/dayjob that I still love and enjoy – I’d like to post my first rant post: a lesson in what to expect when you disappoint, hurt or piss off a writer:
When a writer is disappointed, saddened, hurt, or angered, whether by a person or a particular situation, it should come as no surprise when one – or all – of the following immediately happens:
  • They yell, kick, scream, throw a punch or two -- *ahem* generally a punching bag or a pillow…generally – or burst into tears at a moment’s notice
  • They become abnormally quiet, or abnormally loud (or in my case: louder then extremely quiet)
  • They politely nod their head and say, “Everything’s juuuuust fine.” – even if it’s only been a few hours or a few days since the emotional event
  • They suddenly become distracted – more so than usual – after the emotional event
  • The stay awake at night plotting and planning the what if’s (ex: What if I did get that job? What if I did get that publisher? What if I had actually been told blah, blah, blah? What if my response had actually been blah, blah, blah?)
That was Stage 1.
Again, don’t be surprised when one – or all – of the following happen sooner or later in Stage 2 of what happens when you disappoint, sadden, anger, or hurt a writer:
  • The catalyst to the writer’s pain winds up as a plot point
  • You’re reading one of the writer’s books and there’s a character who sounds an awful lot like you (ex: talks like you, has the same mannerisms as you, eerily makes the same decisions as you, etc.).
  • You discover the character – the one who reminded you of yourself in some way – ends up being a person you really don’t like. In fact, they end up being a fictional character that you loathe with passion
  • You cheer and fist pump when that character, the antagonist, ends up getting their ass handed to them by the writer’s fictional self protagonist
  • Thanks to the writer and their story, you learn a valuable lesson about how to treat others with the respect they deserve and you emerge from the end of the story wishing you had done things a bit differently, but ultimately vow to never make the same mistake again
Basically the bottom line is this: be very, very careful when you intentionally hurt someone. No matter if they’re a coworker, a friend, a family member, a husband/wife, sister/brother, or simply a stranger, just take care with their feelings and treat them as you’d want to be treated.
Because you never know if they’re a writer.
And if they’re a writer, and you’ve hurt them? Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
Because writers know how to bounce back bigger and better than ever. Because writers have learned after many, many, many years of rejection and disappointment how to take those emotions and morph them into fuel for their writing. Because writers know how to draw from life to inspire their art. Because writers don’t know how to take no for an answer.
Because writers AREN’T quitters!!! And you’ll never, EVER get us down.
In the end, we’ll always win.
No! Matter! What!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This Week in Favs…

Playing on the Zune: Nada. Sittin’ in silence for this one. A bit scary I admit, but surprisingly, it’s going well.  :0)
Social Media and Author Websites 

Blog Post Quality and Quantity – How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too by Stanford Smithat on Pushing Social
5 Signs You’re Having a Blog Identity Crisis & 8 Ways to Fix It by Roni Loren
Essential Twitter Hashtags for Authors, Readers and Publishing Industry Professionals by Jordan Dane on The Kill Zone 

 On the Craft

Details: Bringing Fiction to Life by K.M. Weiland on Wordplay

Three Ingredients for a Strong Scene, guest post by Becca Puglisi on So, You’re a Writer

Not All Characters Deserve to be in the Story by Mooderino on Moody Writing
5 Common Writing Blunders that Can Annoy or Bore Our Readers by Kristen Lamb
Tools for Writers Part 1 by Annie Neugebauer
Flip the Script: Use Adverbs Fearlessly by Jael McHenryat on Writer Unboxed
My Favorite Writing Advice – Trust the Story by Shelli Johnson
Rules of Storytelling, Part One by Tabitha Olsonat on Writer Musings
Going Both Ways: Outlines for Plot, Pantser for Character on The Otherside of the Story with Janice Hardy
Book Series – A Whole Other Food Group by Lynn Price

8 Tips for Unlocking the Secrets of Mystery Writing, guest post by Lisa and Laura Roecker on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing

Margaret Atwood’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction on Advice to Writers

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book? by Ryann Kerekes on Novel Addiction

Writing: Where Less Can Be More by Jami Gold 

 Writerly Inspiration

Tolkien’s 10 Tips for Writers by Roger Colby

How to Use Our Weaknesses to Our Advantage by Marcy Kennedy 

 On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

Is the Stigma of Self-Publishing Finally Gone? by C.S. Lakin on Live Write Thrive

8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Self-Publish by Andrew Galasetti on Duolit

7 Tips for Pitching to an Agent or Editor at a Conference by Sylvia Ney on Writing in Wonderland

Exclusivity and Free by Joe Konrathat on A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing
ABCs of the Content Edit on Writer…Interrupted
Painless Editing by Tonya Kappes
Edit Smartly by Stina Lindenblatt on Seeing Creative
How to Polish Your Writing Until it Shines by Stina Lindenblatt on
Why a Bad Agent is Worse than No Agent by Janet Kobobel Grant
4 Ways Agents Work for Clients at a Book Trade Show by Mary Keeley  

 Other Round-Ups
The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

A ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Treat

Season 9’s Top 10 Girls

Season 9’s Top 10 Guys

The Entire Top 20 Dancers

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!

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