Sunday, November 18, 2012


Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong'. Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.'
— Charles M.
If you are Nanowrimo-ing, then you already have been hammering out your story for over two weeks. How are you doing? Many people will find that they are struggling with getting thoughts/words/ideas down and may be over-thinking it too much.
The point is just to write like you have never written before. Write with grammatical errors, a mixed up story line and getting your character's names all wrong.
I know I started out with one name for a couple of my characters, and have changed their names part way through. That's how it goes. The characters have their demands and want to be heard.
But, what if you are really and truly stuck? I stumbled upon a blog article called 'How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day' that I thought was very useful. It may or may not be useful for Nanowrimo; everyone is different. I can see it being extremely helpful during normal writing know, the months from December to October.
Good luck!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Are You Doing Right Now?

Photo credit: Tamara Hanson

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

Every month, it’s always a good idea to reflect back on what you happened with your writing in the last 30 days. Did you do it every day? Once a week? Did you forget about it till now? And how did it work out for you?
My days fly by….not unlike everyone else’s days.  I really don’t know where they go. Maybe I spend too much time on Facebook; that’s always a time killer. Sometimes I’m so tired at the end of the day, I can’t find a creative thought if it stared me in the eyes.
What do you do then? You keep moving forward and stop beating yourself up about it. You refocus, set goals for the week ahead and decide then and there you would knock-off 500 words before bed. Whatever it is you think would feel right to you, do it.
Right now, I’m ignoring the dishes in the sink and the laundry crying out to be washed. I’ll get to it later. Right now, it’s all about me and my writing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's Not You, It's Me

I was reading this recent article about a rejected author who assaulted the literary agent who rejected him. (You can read it here!) Obviously, this isn't the way to handle rejection; and, it's quite possible this man has deeper rejection issues that he needs to deal with. The literary agent was the straw that broke the camel's back, as they say. (I knew that Bachelor's Degree in Psychology would come in a handy one day!)

But, let's look at rejection, shall we? You've been writing like crazy; have several books under your belt; have tapped many agents/publishers, and nothing is sticking. Nothing! What else needs to happen for your book to be published?

I guess we can blame it on the story, the writing style, or ...that's it's crappy. But, then again, there are some horribly written books out there with a terrible story line, and they all managed to get published and onto the bestseller list.

I don't think we will ever know exactly what it is that gets a crappy book published. Maybe the story is engaging or the characters are likeable. Maybe the agent is under the influence of cold medication, alcohol or..... doing a favor for a friend.

It could also be a matter of lining up with the right agent and publisher perfectly suited to you.

Look at Penguin: They rejected Harry Potter and I'm sure they are kicking themselves for it.

Here's an exercise that you can use when you are sending your stuff out but getting rejections (actually, you can use this when you are writing your stuff too): What is your intention with your book? Who do you want to read it? Where do you want to go with it? What do you hope the reader will achieve by reading it?

Get excited about what you've written. Get passionate about it. Decide that everyone needs to read this book because they will feel better, fall in love, learn how to put the toilet seat down....whatever it is, get it clear in your mind what you want to achieve, and then feel it.

This has me thinking about someone who contacted me years back who wanted me to write her story....for free. She was going through tough times, had lots of health, financial, family issues, and felt that if she got me to write her story, she would be on the bestseller list and get herself out of the hole she had dug herself. Her intention was to make money. She thought this was the quick fix. There was no passion there, no belief in herself or in her story, and readers would sense that.

Get clear on your story. Decide what you want to do with it, with your characters, with how you want it to be received.

Let's take J K Rowling and how Harry Potter took the world by storm. She wrote the story for herself. She believed in her story, and she loved and cared for her characters. Regardless if it was a bestseller or not, if it touched readers, even in the smallest way, she had achieved what she wanted.

So, what do you want from your story?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I've Said It Before....

You may have heard the recent hubbub about authors paying someone to write excellent reviews for their books located on Amazon. While this is nothing new, it has become more blatantly obvious.

You can read a couple of blog posts on the topic at New WaveAuthors and on Nathan Bransford’s blog.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: Let your work speak for itself. Yes, marketing, promoting and all that jazz is important, but so is believing in your work. If you believed in your work and let it speak for itself, you wouldn’t have to pay anyone to write a bogus review.

I liken it to the unpopular kid at school bribing the other kids with candy so they will like him/her.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Slush Pile

Photo credit: Tamara Hanson

The slush pile! Scary words. Any author will tell you that they don't want their work languishing on the slush pile. It's not fun there. You know your story is crying to be heard, but it's voice is being muffled by all of the other manuscripts aching to be read.

How does a writer avoid the slush pile? Well, many will tell you to have a snappy dialogue, an interesting storyline, lovable characters, or a hard hitting first chapter that pulls the reader in within the first 8 seconds. Nothing says 'read me' like a 'grabby' first paragraph.

But, wait a minute! There are scads of books on the shelves that made it out of the slush pile and onto the book shelves and they, quite frankly, suck. Some of them are so poorly written, you feel like poking your eyes out. How in the world did this 'thing' get published?

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done. --Steven Wright

My belief is that it comes down to believing in yourself as a writer and believing in the story you are telling. I have mentioned before that if you have no passion for your story, for your characters, then your readers will pick up on it.

In the same breath, if you have no faith in yourself as a writer or believe that you can't write something that people want to read, than potential readers will pick up on that too. If you don't love what you do, it will show.

"Love is easy, and I love writing. You can't resist love. You get an idea, someone says something, and you're in love." --Ray Bradbury

What do you do? Start believing in yourself as a writer. Begin to tell yourself that you are an amazing writer and that people love your work. Start believing it. Start falling in love with your writing, your characters, and your story.
Seeing as everything is vibration (thoughts, words, actions, people, everything!), then set your vibration to one of believing in yourself and your writing.
How do you think those crappy books got on the bookshelves? The writer believed in their work, believed in their story, and fell in love with it. They were in love with their work and felt the readers should be too. And, guess what? That poorly written novel is now a bestseller.
Food for thought.

Keep on writing! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

30 Day Writing Challenge

Many of us have a hard time sitting down to write due to many of life's distractions: the dog needs to be petted, the cat needs your leg as a scratching post, the kids are always hungry, and those dishes won't do themselves. Add this to the fact that your boss is on your back about doing some work, and there's no time for writing.

The truth of the matter is, if we want to write that book, essay, poem, article...whatever, we have to plant our butt in the chair and do it. We have to commit to ourselves that this is more important than the dishes.

Decide here and now that you will write everyday for 30 days. Then from there, decide that you will write for an hour or two, or you will write 500, 1000 words. Do whatever is doable for you. Not only will you create a habit of writing everyday, but you will have written something!

Now, you might say, what if I can't think of anything to write?

What I do when I am blocked and can't think of anything to say, I start writing about how I can't think of anything to say and that anything I put on paper is crap. This works like a charm. It clears out all the garbage and gets the writing process flowing.

As a writer, it's important to commit yourself to your writing. For me, writing is very important and it's time I treated it the way it should be a priceless gem. Good luck to you!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Too Lazy Today

Because I am lazy today, I am posting this "ha-ha" and a little writing inspiration to kick-start your weekend.

Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. – Ray Bradbury

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart. – Maya Angelou

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Little Friday Fun and Inspiration

Writing prompt for today:

"It was a dark and stormy night when Gandhi, Amelia Earhart and Elvis walked into a bar…."

Have fun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Aligning with Your Writing

Photo credit: Tamara Hanson

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. 
~Ray Bradbury

When you are writing, you need to be in 'alignment' or 'in the zone' with your story. Well, that's a given. But, our brains are usually locked down by what we have to say or filtering out what we really want to say because we might feel it inappropriate or cheesy or ..... whatever.

What we have to remember is creativity is about getting in the flow, getting into alignment with who we really are as a writer; getting into the flow of what we are creating and believing in ourselves and our work.

I'm sure that I have spoken of this before, but this is a very important aspect to writing your story.

Some say that they have 'writer's block' like it is a terminal illness. There's nothing holding any of us back from moving forward with our stories...except ourselves. We, for some reason, decide to cut ourselves off from the flow of creativity. Maybe we feel the story isn't good enough or we aren't good enough. We can't believe that someone would actually like the 'garbage' we are writing, so why continue?

Obviously, you started the story for some purpose. That story, along with many others, beats strongly in your heart waiting for you to choose to write rather than holding yourself away from the beautiful story unfolding.

So, do you choose to stay drunk on writing, hushing the nagging voices that tell you it's not possible or do you choose to let reality swallow you into its abyss?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Say Anything

Writer's block, I believe, is about withholding who you are...not being able to fully express yourself because your internal filter is on.

What if we were able to remove that filter and just say whatever flows? What if we just let loose everything without fear of being criticized?

When it comes down to it, does it really matter what others think? In that moment of writing, isn't it more important to say what we feel, feel what we say?

When we are authentically creating, our readers know we are genuine. They can feel it. If you try to pull the wool over their eyes with drivel, they will know it. Readers can sense it.

Think back to a book you read where you weren't feeling it. Yeah, you know it.

Get into that feeling place of what you are writing. Write. Write. Write. Who cares what you've written...just write. Let the words flow. Go ahead...say it. Say something.

Say Anything.

" A career? I've thought about this quite a bit sir and I would have to say, considering what's waiting out there for me, I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed as a career. I don't want to do that. My father's in the army. He wants me to join, but I can't work for that corporation, so what I've been doing lately is kick-boxing, which is a new sport. As far as career longevity, I don't really know. I can't figure it all out tonight, sir, so, I'm just gonna hang with your daughter." - Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Photo credit: Tamara Hanson

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the type to believe hype about how the publishing world is being negatively impacted, blah blah blah. I'm kinda different that way.

But, what I do believe is that if you don't believe in yourself as a writer, believe in your ability to write or believe in your story, then no one else will believe in it either.

The reason why I say this is because I do the same thing. I write a book, have very little belief in it or myself, and then I wonder why it isn't selling. I hear feedback that it's a good book, but I don't feel it.

We can see evidence of this in books that we know aren't spectacular, but, for some reason, doing really well. We scratch our heads and wonder why a poorly written book has made it to best seller status when we know our writing is 100 times better.

Belief and knowing....and I don't mean the 'Hotsie-Totsie-Conceited' type believing. I mean 'grounded-settled-into-yourself-and-who-you-are' type believing. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Write Like the Wind

Photo credit: Tamara Hanson

"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”- E.L. Doctorow

The short and sweet of writing is that the more you do it, the more creative you become. The more you write, more ideas, inspiration, energy, and opportunities to write will open up. 

Kind of funny how it works that way, but that's the way it typically works. So, scheduling 10 minutes a day will get the writing ball rolling.

Think of it this way: Everything is energy. The more you put into writing, the more you get out of it.

That being said, I am crappy at putting the time and energy into it. You'd think that the thing I love to do the most I would do on a daily basis, but I don't. So, this is my challenge: I am working on my book/books every single day. It doesn't matter if it's gibberish, I'll just write.

The worst that could happen is I delete it all. No biggie.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dr. Seuss and Finding Your Voice

Dr. Seuss was really a man ahead of his time. Although his story telling is seemingly 'out there' with regards to terminology and storyline, the man certainly was able to speak to people of all ages and inspire them.

For instance, Oh, The Places You'll Go! is about life....creating our own lives. Having the ability to choose any direction we wish to.

And then there's Horton Hears a Who! :“A person's a person, no matter how small.”    

Or, The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

And, of course, How the Grinch Stole Christmas: “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”    

Dr. Seuss knew how to get across emotion, understanding and how to set the tone for the story...and all of the characters are distinctive in their own whack-a-doodle way.

So, dear writers, have you found your voice? Or, are you a carbon copy of someone else? It's okay to appreciate another writer's style, but make sure you stay true to your voice. There are many writers in this world that seem to write so fluently... their words seem to come so easily. I think to myself, 'I would love to write like that.'

We are our own worst critic.

My suggestion: Keep reading, learning, and appreciating the style of other writers, and then consistently hone your own skills. By doing so, you will be able to find your own distinct voice.

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”- Dr. Seuss    

Keep writing!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Writing for Yo'self or Others?

Photo credit: Tamara Hanson

Wow! Haven't been around in a long while. Time to get back into the groove of things.

So, currently, I am working on several projects, which always seems to be the case. I have one young adult project, Sacred Circle, that I have been working on for a number of years. I should mention that I finished it at one point, then last year decided to refurbish it. Hoping to be done that this year.

The second project, More Than This, is the one I worked on for Nanowrimo 2011. It would be great to finish that this year as well.

My third project is a collaborative effort. It is a biography/self-help/inspirational of sorts. Not my life story...someone else's. I have to say I am very excited about this project. I think it will bring about change. I'm fairly certain there will be many people who won't like it because it touches on a sensitive topic. But, I can't make everyone happy. Nor can I write for others. Writers should always write from their hearts. Readers know when a writer is writing from the heart or writing from ....well, not the heart.

Also, don't over filter what is being written. I tend to do this: filter out what I am saying because I think about that one person who might not like what has been said. Why? I should write for me, write from the heart. Go with the flow. There's no other way to write.