Tag Archives: Writing

5 Challenges to Guest Blogging

I’ve followed author, editor, and writing coach, C.S. Lakin for years. I’ve matured as a writer from her critiques, classes, and books. She loves helping writers at all levels.

When I emailed her on a personal matter, she responded with sweet understanding, then shocked the heck out of me. “Why don’t you write me a blog post sometime…the #1 way to get new fans and traction on your books is to guest blog on top sights…”

So, I did.

But first, I dealt with these 5 challenges:

1. Fear–What do I know?

2. Imposter Syndrome–People will know I’m lame.

3. Write–Okay, I’ll try.

4. Revise–See, I can’t do it, but I’ll try again.

5. Release–Yay me, I did it. Followed by #1 and #2.

Have you guest blogged? What were your challenges and results?

My post category is Novel Structure. The title: 5 Steps to Write Thrilling Historical Fiction for Teens.

Read on C.S. Lakin’s informative website:

https://www.livewritethrive.com/

 

Time to Write

How strong is your desire to write?

In a 1964 interview, Harper Lee said, “Writing is a process of self-discipline you must learn before you can call yourself a writer. There are people who write, but I think they’re quite different from people who must write.”

I’ve added this topic on my vlog.

Observations from an Introverted Novelist

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introverted_novelist

  • Marketing is hard and depressing 
  • Maintaining a social media presence requires a certain degree of pretense 
  • If one doesn’t constantly comment on other’s posts, one doesn’t have a social presence
  • Book fairs, community events, and speaking engagements are mandatory but mind numbing
  • Empty promises from people for reviews, promotions, or feedback, reiterates rejection
  • Extroverts don’t understand the struggle
  • Long periods of isolation are required for recovery from social functions 
  • Book publishers should provide free professional marketers (One can dream)
  • Writers need words of encouragement from readers and publisher
  • Discouragement leads to further withdrawal from being social

I’d rather be writing!

Are you an introverted novelist? How do you cope with marketing?

 

Patty Wiseman: Where it All Started

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patty_wiseman_authorThis month’s guest blog post is from Award Winning Patty Wiseman who writes stories of strong women overcoming insurmountable odds. From historical to contemporary these romantic and suspenseful tales carry the message of survival by extraordinary women. Find Patty on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Amazon.

WHERE IT ALL STARTED

I was that kid with the flashlight under the covers every night. The minute I learned how letters formed words and words formed sentences which turned into stories, I was hooked.

HOW ONE PERSON CAN BE AN INFLUENCE

My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Bell, really had the most impact on my love of reading. Oh my, could she tell a story! The classroom was transfixed when she read to us. Forty-odd years later and she is still the one I think of when I look back at how it all started.

Books became my escape. I always carried an armful of books home from the school library, read into the night, only to return them the next day for another stack. I devoured them.

A LACK OF CONFIDENCE HELD ME BACK

All this reading lit a flame in my heart to explore the writing world. I won poetry contests in high school, secretly wrote short stories that never saw the light of day. There wasn’t a lot of encouragement for me back then.

When I married and had children, the spark grew brighter as I read to my children. I wanted to write that book burning in my heart so badly. Again, I received little encouragement.

Fast-forward into my twenty-five-year career in a financial institution, a divorce, raising my boys as a single mom and writing fell by the wayside.

REBIRTH OF A DREAM!

A second marriage, a man who lived to fulfill my every wish, and once more, the writing bug latched on and wouldn’t let go. My husband encouraged me to retire from my job and throw myself into writing full-time.
Seven years later, I have eight books published and tons of ideas for the next seven years.

The moral of this story is…never give up on your dream. Years may pass, but the dream can ultimately come true. Keep moving forward, even if life gets in the way.

Writing is my full-time life now. Sometimes, I look back and say ‘I should have done this sooner. Look at all the time I wasted.’ The truth is, it wasn’t my time then. It’s my time now and I fully embrace it.

Follow your dream, don’t snuff out the light by getting discouraged, because just around the corner you may meet that dream head on.

Be sure to check out Patty Wiseman’s website and be inspired!

What are you goals for 2018?

Self-doubt: An Authors Worst Enemy

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IMG_2009Authors are plagued with self-doubt and worry over silly things.

Harper Lee, for one, threw her whole manuscript for To Kill a Mockingbird out her NYC window while editing. Fortunately, her publisher made her retrieve and finish the book. See, Fling Manuscript From the Window.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter, Rose, stated in a diary entry the she doubted her mother’s manuscript would “come to anything.” [Smith Hill, Pamela. Introduction. “Will it Come to Anything?”: The Story of Pioneer Girl] However, in an interesting twist, Rose later used her mother’s rejected Pioneer Girl to craft new novels for herself. By 1932 she and her mother had published novels base on Laura’s original adult manuscript. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name and books are still world-famous.

Authors want praise for hard work, readers to love their words. They want to make a difference in the world. But even after a book is published, garnered accolades, and the author praised, doubt returns. Why? Simple rejection by one person.

Even if multiple people have purchased, reviewed, or praised the authors work, it’s that one person who reads the back cover and walks away, or promises a review and doesn’t, who triggers an author’s fatalistic imagination.

My dear authors, hang on to your sanity! Stay focused on your goal and start a file of all the praise, awards, and encouragement you’ve received. Self-doubt is destructive liar.

How do you overcome these times?

The Downside of Critiques

There is a downside to receiving critiques from multiple writers/readers. For example, ten people will have ten different opinions on grammar and views of the story which, although helpful to catch minor issues, also adds discouraging doubts into the mix.

I end up revising the story and characters so much I hear my main character screaming, “Leave me alone.” Which is exactly what the real Mary, a non conformist, would have said. So, I’m restoring LIFE to my original scenes and taking my voice back.

 

That Comma Thing

Oscar Wilde is credited with the following quote: “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” Source: Definitive analysis of Wilde’s comma remark:
http://oscarwildeinamerica.org/quotations/took-out-a-comma.html

I try, I really do. But as I read all the rules for when, how, where, and why a comma is needed my brain freezes. Creativity is stifled by the added burden and waste of time. The way I see it, by the time I send my completed book to an editor it’s going to be bloody anyway. An acquaintance, with a doctorate degree in English, once handed back a partial manuscript stating, “Stop using commas, you use too many in the wrong places, and not enough in the correct places.”  

That was my first lesson in not using a comma just because I hear a natural pause.

 

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