PROMOTE YOU: Write More!


PROMOTE YOU:  Write More!

 

“As you produce more books (or more stories or content of any kind), you are likely to grow your audience or reach more readers. And this in turn naturally leads to more followers on social media.”     — JANE FRIEDMAN

No question about it, it’s up to you, the writer, to produce more of your content. Why advertise a store with nothing in it? That’s why I’m always seeking new ways to work my life around writing time. What an uphill battle!

This past week, I read: “The 8-Minute Writing Habit: Create a Consistent Writing Habit That Works With Your Busy Lifestyle (Growth Hacking For Storytellers #3)” by Monica Leonelle  

Book Review:

For an indepth look at why you’re not producing more words like you think you should, add this book to your writer’s reference library and beware—Leonelle doesn’t care about stepping on toes. She tells it like it is and bluntly explains how to change your mindset. This book will give you several great soul-searching moments.

Here are two passages that really hit home with me:

1)            “butt-in-chair” … “this is officially the worst advice ever unleashed on poor, unsuspecting hoping-to-be writers.” Monica Leonelle

2)            “Right now, you are probably pitting your writing goals against all the other important things in your life, and writing is losing every time. The trick is to stop pitting them against each other.” Monica Leonelle

Trying to push myself to make time for “butt-in-chair” has definitely caused me to resent the reasons I can’t spend more time writing. How about you?

From two teenagers who are always hungry to day-job obligations that run into early evenings spent at the office, I’m grouchy and frustrated, wondering why bother to finish a novel that’s buzzing my head. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but what a great new thought process: can I make writing the most important part of my day instead of the feeling like everything else is keeping me from my writing? As Leonelle says, “…you have to integrate writing into your life.”

She definitely gave me some food for thought. I have so many ideas for stories and there is only 24 hours in a day, but I’m not dead yet! Maybe it’s time for a mindset change. My writing is just as important as day-job deadlines and cooking dinner. Moving onward…

REF: Leonelle, Monica. The 8-Minute Writing Habit: Create a Consistent Writing Habit That Works With Your Busy Lifestyle (Growth Hacking For Storytellers #3) (p. 2). Spaulding House. Kindle Edition.

 

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SATURDAY: A PERFECT MORNING TO WRITE


SATURDAY:

A PERFECT MORNING TO WRITE

Natalie Bright

The sun is peaking over the pasture turning the sky a bright orange and purple. As I open the dining room curtains, a clump of bunny rabbits scatter. I start the coffee pot and drop some cat food into the dish to quiet the meows. While the gurgling sounds and rich smells swirl around the peaceful house, I put clothes into the washing machine.

Settling in at the computer, I gather my supplies around me. Submission guidelines, spiral to jot an outline of the first draft, pen, interview notes, and sample magazines to determine style and slant. This feature article is going to be brilliant! Thank goodness for productive Saturday mornings.

And Then…

My purple pen runs out of ink. I ALWAYS write the first draft in purple. I search for fifteen minutes, but there’s not another purple pen anywhere in the house. Fine. I’ll use blue.

Several cups of coffee later, it’s going well but I’m hungry and I hear my husband rattling around in the kitchen. Time to cook breakfast.

Back to the story, until an awful smell assaults my nose. The new to our house, stray kitten has just taken a poop in the potted plant next to my desk. I clean that out, and while I’m at it, decide to empty the kitty litter box too and take it all to the trash. The brisk walk and morning air rejuvenates me.

Back inside, the oldest is awake and drinks the last of the coffee. I brew more and then the washing machine buzzer goes off, so I transfer everything into the dryer.

Finally, back to the story.

With a fresh cup of coffee in hand, my head is buzzing (possibly from creativity, mostly from caffeine).

Our youngest is awake and turns on the television. He and his dad discuss a movie they watched the night previous over the blaring noise of the TV.

I can drown out the voices. That’s nothing new, but then I hear the dogs whining. They want their morning chewie. Delivered, with a pat on the head.

Deep breath, and I settle into my chair at the computer.

Oldest pokes his head around the corner, “Have you seen my car keys?” I join the search. Finally, success. He’s on his way with instructions, “Drive safe. See you later.” My husband leaves too.

I can feel the productivity oozing from my veins. This is going to be an unbelievable article. I settle into my chair, flitter through my notes to get back on track, reread what I have so far, and type a few words.

Youngest son pokes his head around the corner, “What’s for lunch?”

Done.

There’s always tomorrow.

Writer’s Truth: When your purple pen runs out of ink, it’s only going downhill from there.

Stay Inspired


Stay Inspired 

Rory C. Keel

 

When I began my journey as a writer, I jumped in head first with an attitude of seeking to learn. I started reading how-to books and any instruction manual I could find. I set out to follow all of the rules to the letter and hope for success. I made a considerable effort to attend and get involved in local writing groups and conferences. Over the years, I picked up valuable lessons from other authors and publishers.

Thinking back on my involvement in these things, it felt that writing came a little easier then than now.

What’s different?

Attitude is the difference. When I surrounded myself with writer-ly people and places, my mind stayed focused on writing.

While it may have felt like it took time away from putting words on the page, I actually wrote more.

I challenge you to write more by continuing to learn from others and stay inspired.

Stay Inspired


Stay Inspired 

Rory C. Keel

 

 

When I began my journey as a writer, I jumped in head first with an attitude of seeking to learn. I started reading how-to books and any instruction manual I could find. I set out to follow all of the rules to the letter and hope for success. I made a considerable effort to attend and get involved in local writing groups and conferences. Over the years, I picked up valuable lessons from other authors and publishers.

Thinking back on my involvement in these things, it felt that writing came a little easier then than now.

What’s different?

Attitude is the difference. When I surrounded myself with writer-ly people and places, my mind stayed focused on writing.

While it may have felt like it took time away from putting words on the page, I actually wrote more.

I challenge you to write more by continuing to learn from others and stay inspired.

Quote


Quote

An artist is typically a being that is filled with so much passion, love, or pain for certain lands, people, ideas, or images that all they can do with that overflow is bleed it out by creating. And with this type of art, the energy will be shifted from the depths of them and into the depths of the audience to be felt. It is a dance. A transference. An intimacy. It is to touch and awaken another human in a place they hadn’t know was aching, or sleeping. Both are opened. Both are nourished. Both are transformed.

–VICTORIA ERICKSON

WRITING DOWN THE BONES


By Natalie Bright

Add this one to your writing reference library: WRITING DOWN THE BONES, Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg.

Here are few gems from Ms. Goldberg’s book for you:

“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.”

“Writing, too, is 90 percent listening. You listen so deeply, to the space around you that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you.”

“The deeper you can listen, the better you can write. You can take in the way things are without judgement…”

“Basically, it you want to be a good writer, you need to do three things. Read a lot, listen well and deeply, and writer a lot.”

nataliebright.com

BATTLING THE BEAST


BATTLING THE BEAST

I gaze into the eyes of the beast searching to find its soul. I am caught in the childhood game of “the first one who blinks looses,” yet he shows no emotion, no rising of brow, no blinking or shedding of tears, just a long menacing stare.

The creature’s leering eye grows brighter with every passing moment, seemingly intent on seeing the space of my existence. My vision is full of his sight, yet I see nothing.

I study his unrelenting look, my mind searching the far corners and deep recesses, constantly swirling, struggling to find some strategy, or weapon or even one simple word that might defeat my enemy and win this mind-numbing battle.

The desire to close my eyes tugs at the lids. The moisture surrounding my orbs in their sockets has become dry and I struggle against the urge to rub them. The creature shows no signs of weakening and continues to counter every glance.

Without my consent, sudden darkness is all I see. I blink. I am immediately torn between two emotions. First, relief. Moist droplets flood my eyes like waters of the sea crashing onto the shore. The fetters that once restrained the rubbing of my eyelids have now been unfastened.

And second, In the darkness of my blink, dread fills my mind as I wait for the wrath of my opponent to be unleashed. Or perhaps he has already struck with such a swift penalty that I didn’t feel the pain. In the deafening silence I dare to open my eyes. To my surprise I find that it was not I who blinked first, but the computer screen upon which I placed these words.

Rory C. Keel

One Writer Lifting Others


One Writer Lifting Others

By Natalie Bright

Towards the end of the year, I attended the funeral of a bestselling author from Amarillo. Guided by an obsession for the written word, she not only wrote novels and short stories, but worked as a school librarian, taught writing at the community college, and edited stories for those blessed to cross her path.

Her desire to help others was immeasurable and boundless. I was fortunate enough to have heard her speak several times, and her ability to inspire others is unforgettable. On occasion, I’d receive an email or note card from this lady with just the right message that propelled me onward. My bulletin board is dotted with her little pearls of kindness. Seeing myself through her eyes, I could reach my dreams. She not only motivated us, she made us braver.

In addition to the usual eulogy and music, a dear friend and critique partner of 35 years shared the story of her writing journey. Following that, her son-in-law spoke, and that’s when I realized there was much that I didn’t know about this woman. This young man told us about his “white mama”. As a black man married to her only daughter, he shared how his mother-in-law’s love for him had no limits. During one of the lowest points in his life, he treasures their talks about life and how her faith and belief in him made him a better man.

This remarkable young man’s mother spoke next. She shared how grateful she was to this family for accepting and loving her son during a troubling time in his life. She spoke of having a special bond with this white family that can never be broken and had no color boundaries.

Both testimonies were heart wrenching. She was living proof that the power of one loving heart can accept and affect others. The resolve of one writer to keep writing can guide others to do the same. Remembering the life of this talented lady makes me proud to be a part of a special writing community, and to have the ability to live and work in the Texas Panhandle.

Rest in Peace dear Dewanna.

In addition to a lengthy career in education, DeWanna Pace also penned twenty books and six anthologies. One of her life-long dreams was to write for HARLEQUIN. At the time of her sudden passing, she was working on a new series for Harlequin Love Inspired.

Update: A book launch will be held in Dewanna’s honor to introduce her most recent book published by Harlequin; THE DADDY LIST. Please join local authors and friends for a life celebration on March 7, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, at Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 2415 Soncy Road, Amarillo.

Think About It and Become Inspired


Think About It and Become Inspired

By Rory C. Keel

Recently I found myself bogged down in writing my Novel. My first thought was that I had lost my ability to write. However, I seem to be able to spell and put a sentence together and my computer still functions. My fingers are flexible enough to hold a pen write on the reams of paper I have so what’s the problem, the lack of inspiration.

Inspiration

Inspiration doesn’t fall from the clouds nor is it mystical but it is a product of action.

When we feel inspired, it’s because we’ve been thinking and meditating on information we have taken into our minds through our senses. We take all of this information and then twist it, shake it, mold it and place it into a certain order in our minds that makes sense to us.

We then become inspired.

This process is action that produces inspiration.

roryckeel.com

Take Your Vitamins


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

Take Your Vitamins

By Nandy Ekle

I believe in taking vitamins. I’ve taken tons of vitamins of all letters for lots of years and they have kept my body healthy.

But I’ve ben running low on vitamin “w” for a while. So I pulled out a certain book and began re-reading it. Sure enough, I found my spirit and inspiration returning.

So, what is that certain book, the one full of the vitamin I crave? It’s the book, On Writing, by Stephen King.

My admiration for Mr. King is no secret. In fact, I dream of actually being considered his peer some day. But in order for that to happen I have to write more than am right now. I have the desire, I have the stories, I think I even have a slight touch of the talent. The only thing I’m lacking is the energy. And this probably because of a lack of exercise, due to my extremely low levels of vitamin w.

And so, I turn to Mr. King to recharge me. And, of course, no one can ever read On Writing and NOT feel inspired to suddenly sit down and write a thousand page novel or two. Now that my w levels have returned to normal, I will begin to exercise—tomorrow.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.