Finding Time to Write


Finding Time to Write

By Adam Huddleston

One of the greatest barriers to an author is finding an appropriate time and place to write.  Our busy lives have us running all over creation running errands and seeing to the minutia of life.  Some writers require peace and quiet in order to crate.  Others can happily type away while the Apocalypse is happening all around them.

I’ve always felt deep inside that I leaned toward the former requirement.  I tend to be distracted rather easily and usually need quiet in order to write.  However, having a full-time job and being the father of five makes that extremely difficult.  Fortunately, since I basically stare at a computer monitor all day in the pharmacy, I am able to find time every once in awhile to jot down a few lines in Google docs.  From there, I can send them to myself or print them out if they’re complete.  

It may sound cliché, but every writer must find what environment works best for them.  I hope this blog helps in some small way.

Happy writing!

2020 Goals: Traditional vs. Indie?


2020 Goals: Traditional vs. Indie?

Natalie Bright

 

Reach for the stars and snag a literary agent who will negotiate a deal with a Big House publishing company? Or go it alone and join the throng of independent authors who self-publish?

It’s a daunting decision, I know. All you want to do is to be left alone to write the story that’s in your head. But, readers are waiting! You have to make the first move.

We’ll be blogging about goal setting and productivity during the month of December so please share with your writer friends. Comment and let us know how your dreams, goals and how you plan to stay productive in 2020.

Option 1: Traditional Publishing

If you have a high concept book theme or genre, the urgency of publication is not an issue, and you are willing to relinquish ALL rights to said work, then Traditional Publishing is for you.

A literary agent will be needed to “shop” your manuscript to the five publishing houses which are closed to un-agented submissions. You no longer own rights to your characters or the stories you create. Dollars are well spent in attending conferences to network with agents and editors. Practice your pitch.

Are you willing to edit, in most cases make extreme changes to your work to meet the expectations of the agent and publishing house editor? This process takes years.

If published, your work has the potential to be promoted to readers all over the world with large first print runs and speaking gigs. This can open many doors and personal accolades of being a serious, professional author.

Option 2: Indie Author

If you have a polished manuscript ready to go, a clear idea of your target market and author platform, and a Type A personality that likes control, then becoming an Independent Author is the perfect fit. Although Independent is hardly the perfect term, because there are so many resources available to help you achieve your goals.

Dollars are well spent in hiring the professionals to do the work that you don’t want to learn. Become proficient on social media. Network, network and network. Join writers organizations, find a critique group, ask questions, and treat this like a business because it is. You’re the boss and the intellectual property creator.

PROMOTION

For either option learn everything you can about how to promote your work to readers. No one can read it, if they don’t know about it. This is a marathon.

Let’s get serious about reaching those goals. May you realize all of your personal dreams in the New Year.

 

THE UNEXPECTED IN THE EVERYDAY


THE UNEXPECTED IN THE EVERYDAY

Lynnette Jalufka

Ever notice that ideas can come when doing the most mundane chores? Washing dishes, folding laundry, or general housework can spark the next story. I came up with some cool scenes when I cleaned out horse stalls. Doing these mindless activities helps free my mind so new ideas can float inside. That doesn’t mean I’m excited to do the next load of laundry, but you never know if an idea is hiding around the washing machine, waiting to burst forth.      

More Idea Origins


More Idea Origins

by Adam Huddleston

As I’ve said before, I get a lot of my story ideas from places I’ve visited on while I’m on the road.  Other idea-starters are things that I hear.  

One of my favorite (unfinished) projects began years ago when one of my children wanted to play on my phone.  My wife told them they couldn’t because “Daddy’s battery is dead”.  She obviously meant my phone battery, but a story began to immediately gel in my brain about a future when all fathers are androids.  When said parental unit’s battery dies, the mother simply orders another from a catalog.  In this tale, the dying father unit’s artificial intelligence kicks in and he discovers that he doesn’t want to be replaced.  Thrills and violence galore.  

So, sometimes a truly interesting story can find its origins in a rather mundane statement.  A good writer will pay attention to everything around them and use their environment as inspiration.  

Happy writing!

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC


LISTEN TO THE MUSIC

Lynnette Jalufka

Ideas can form just by listening to music. Many classical pieces, especially symphonic poems, already tell a story. You can use elements from them. I have a plan for a future novel which is based on various parts of a symphonic poem: a hunt, a wedding, and a castle. Or you may imagine something totally different than what the composer had in mind. 

This isn’t limited to instrumental pieces. Even song lyrics can spark an idea. So, go ahead. Listen to the music. See where it leads you. 

A snapshot in a time of your life


A snapshot in a time of your life

Rory C. Keel

To find a story idea, think of a snapshot of time in your own life. 

No, I’m not talking about writing a memoir piece, but using something we all have — a snapshot in time. 

We all have those brief moments in life when we see something out of the ordinary, an event, or an interaction between people or things that make us pause for a brief second. Those snapshots of time are story ideas.

Perhaps you heard someone’s voice and wondered who they were speaking to and what did they mean. A story Idea!

Think back in your mind to the last time something caught you off guard, and you thought, I wonder what that was about?

Now make up a story!

The universe is against you—just so you know.


The universe is against you—just so you know.

Natalie Bright

Ideas are everywhere, if you can learn to recognize them. And then the stories in your head won’t go away. Once you acknowledge to yourself that you have a passion for writing, the universe will seemingly turn against you. There has been a story lurking inside you and if you’re like most of us, probably your whole life, and this will be the hardest work you have ever done.

Here are some tips to push aside the static in your life and stay on track with your writing.

  1. Take note of those ideas. You can sort the ones you want to work on later. Write it down. Write everything down!
  2. Push aside the guilt and make the commitment to yourself, and then tell your family. “This is my writing time. This is important to me.” There will be a crisis at every turn, but you can persevere.
  3. Make a creative space with no distractions. A closet with a desk, a card table in the corner of your bedroom. Turn your back to reality and set foot into the visions in your mind.
  4. Remember the end goal. What is your end goal? A book in hand? Author events and talks? Manning a booth and selling your books at the local craft show? Don’t lose sight of the goal to hold your book in your hand. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.

My co-authors and I were at a recent event selling books. A poet stopped by our booth. Typical of most writers, he’d had a story scrambling his brain his entire life. We encourage him to pursue that dream. Now is the time!

Be open to the ideas around you. Listen to your gut. It’s never been easier to realize a publishing dream. There are so many options and people out there to help you make it happen.

 

LOOK TO THE PAST


LOOK TO THE PAST

Lynnette Jalufka

I love history. I like learning about how people lived centuries ago. There are so many intriguing stories that have inspired my future novels. I got one for a trilogy based on a fear mentioned in a historical fiction. (Warning: don’t take a detail mentioned in a historical novel to be fact. Do your research. No book is 100% accurate. That’s why it’s called fiction.) 

Even if you don’t write historical fiction, you can still get ideas from the past. Technology and cultures have changed, but people have not. They still have the same emotions and desires as today. See what you can find.  

 

Where Do Ideas Come From?


Where Do Ideas Come From?

by Adam Huddleston

Ah.  The ultimate question for all writers.  The granddaddy of them all.  Where do ideas come from?  Where can I go to get inspired to write?  How do the literary greats get their works started?

The answer, I suppose, differs from writer to writer.  In fact, I’m sure there are as many answers to that desperate question as there are writers in the world.  Where do I get my ideas from?  I’ll tell you.  But remember, this is coming from an author with only a handful (and small at that) of published works.

I get my ideas from what I see around me.  For example, although I eat better now, I used to spend quite a lot of time in fast food drive-thrus.  A few of my story starters arise from there.  Also, the eight-hour drive to visit family in east Texas (when the kiddos are actually quiet, and I can think straight) provides many opportunities to create story ideas.  I have two or three tales that center on interstate travel.  One about a ghost that haunts a specific exit ramp, the other about a man hired to clean off roadkill.  

Other ideas come from things I hear, whether while at work or from my family at home.  My next few blogs will center on those.

Happy writing!