Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday is for Writers...

Tips for Writers..

I didn't feel much like writing or researching today so I thought this would be a good week to "Show" and not "Tell"

We will start off with some tips from John Steinbeck...

Some Tips from Lena...

Dr. Roy Peter Clark chimes in with some helpful tools....

And from Blog.WriteAtHome.Com ~ Synonyms for Good!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday is for Writers...

Confused?? Overwhelmed?? Wish you had become an accountant like your mother wanted?? Me too!!

Most of the time I love being a writer, especially on those occasions where my thoughts flow easily and by the time I break for lunch I am already looking at ten thousand perfect words for the day. (I usually break out the wine and toast to my brilliance at this point.)

Until the next day when I can't seemed to pull two coherent words together and writing an entire sentence seems completely out of the question. It is those days that I question my career decision. 

I have put together several posts that I have found both insightful and helpful when I realize it is going to be "one of those days."


Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds
Writers Must Kill Self-Doubt Before Self-Doubt Kills Them

“It’s insidious, this thing called doubt.

You’re sitting there, chugging along, doing your little penmonkey dance with the squiggly shapes and silly stories and then, before you know it, a shadow falls over your shoulder. You turn around.

But it’s too late. There’s doubt. A gaunt and sallow thing. It’s starved itself. It’s all howling mouths and empty eyes. The only sustenance it receives is from a novelty beer hat placed upon its fragile eggshell head — except, instead of holding beer, the hat holds the blood-milked hearts of other writers, writers who have fallen to self-doubt’s enervating wails, writers who fell torpid, sung to sleep by sickening lullabies.”

Joanna Penn on The Creative Penn
The Roller Coaster of Being a Writer.

“I hate writing. It’s so hard to force myself to sit and type words that are a load of crap anyway.

I love writing. Some days I can get into a flow state and the words come effortlessly onto the page, and they’re actually pretty good! I love creating something from just my brain. It’s the best life in the world.”

Petrea Hansen-Adamidis on Tiny Buddah

“A while back I began to feel out of sorts with my writing. It happened after coming down from the high of creating almost nonstop with my inner muse. I noticed that I began to feel down, like the feeling one gets after being at the amusement park when the excitement is over.

Creating and finishing my projects had been a wild ride. It was exciting and intense at times. But once done, an insidious feeling began to over take me.

My thoughts began to wander to “the dark side” questioning my abilities.

What if I can’t create something new? What if people don’t like what I have done?”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday is for Writers...

Writer's Burnout.

Maybe you have suffered from this in the past or maybe you are like me and are suffering from it now. Maybe you are one of the fortunate ones who have never slipped down this particular dark hole of suffering and I wish to convey to you that you are a very fortunate soul indeed.

First I want to clarify, Writer's Burnout is different from Writer's Block.

It's not that the words won't come or that your muse is  taking an extended vacation, the fact is, that you stop caring about your muse, your books, your stories, etc. and are seriously considering the idea that a career in the fast food industry would be more satisfying. Or will, at the very least, pay better.

I no longer feel the need or desire to write. It is simply gone. I still write in my journal every day but even that has begun to become such a bore that I simply wish to get through and move on with my day.

There are all kinds of reasons for Writer Burnout, I think in my case, deadlines and contracts began to suck the pleasure out of it. It became a job instead of a joy and I think in there somewhere, I lost myself. Or at least, my desire to create something out of nothing.

From what I have read this is more common than many writers realize and it can sneak up on you out of nowhere and take control of your life if you let it. 

The good news is, that it doesn't seem to be a fatal condition, at least that is what these articles say, so with that shred of hope tucked safely away behind my laptop, I have decided to take a month off from writing and paint the inside of my home. 

The house needs it (it still has the contractors crappy flat white paint from when it was built nine years ago) and I need it. I need to switch that side of my brain off and work with the side that cares only that the paint is stirred correctly and that there are no streaks.

For those of you that may wonder if perhaps you too are a victim of this  disease, I have gathered together some links that just might lead you back into the light! 

Barbara Bretton at Wish You Were Here

"Before I burned out in February 1992, I'd labored under many assumptions about the reality of work and writing and self-discipline. I believed that showing up was half the battle, that inspiration and artistic temperament were both highly overrated, that I could conquer outside forces by the sheer force of my will--and I believed burnout could never happen to me.

I was wrong.

Burnout is real, it's powerful, and it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Burnout is the flip side of creativity and yet it's the least talked-about phenomenon in publishing. You'll find it easier to get a rock star to expound on impotence than to convince a working writer to admit to being burned out."

Shanan Haislip at Positive Writer

"It goes beyond mere writer’s block. It doesn’t care about deadlines, and can stopper your writing voice for months at a time. It’s deep, it’s baffling and it’s not often talked about in writing circles.

It’s writer’s burnout."

Scott Berkun

"The longer you work at creating things, whether it’s websites, essays or paintings, the greater the odds you’ll have day where you don’t feel like doing it anymore. Until that day you may have heard others describe burnout, but you just shrugged it off as superstition, or perhaps you believed yourself immune. But the day it hits you, the world seems suddenly grey. What was once fun and challenging feel stupid and annoying. Or perhaps the things that used to motivate or move you don’t resonate at all. You feel nothing for them. It all just seems like so much more crap to deal with. If this sounds familiar, or you fear that this day is in your future, this essay is for you."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday is for Writers...

I am trying something new for all you folks out there in the stratosphere... Wednesdays (when I can remember it is in fact, Wednesday) I want to post some links to blogs that I feel have really helped me in different areas to become both the person and the writer I wish to be and to pass on relevant information to other writers out there.

I've included articles this week on becoming more productive, how to limit your social media distractions, finding your muse, and what makes a good beta reader. There is also a blog post about one author's nightmare into a DMCA complaint.

Leo Babauta on Zen Habits
An Addict's Guide to Overcoming the Distraction Habit

"One of the insidious things about the distraction habit is that we often don’t even realize it’s happening. It sneaks up on us, like old age, and before we know it we’re addicted and powerless.

But actually we’re not powerless. The power we have is our awareness, and you can develop it right now. Pay attention to what sites you visit, how often you’re looking at your phone, how long you’re spending in front of a screen all day."

Joanna Penn on The Creative Penn
Productivity for Writers: 5 Ways to Become More Productive

"We all have 24 hours in the day, and we all have to balance the real life stuff with the writing. Before I was a full-time author-entrepreneur, I would get up at 5am and write, then go to work. After the day job, I would come home and get on with building my online business. We got rid of the TV so I would have more time to create, and I spent every weekend working. I was so focused on leaving my job that I cut out everything that got in the way. I was driven to schedule my time incredibly well in order to fit everything in.

Now, as a full-time author-entrepreneur, I still have to schedule everything. You might have noticed that I blog, podcast and speak professionally, as well as writing books. It’s just as hard to get everything done, let me assure you!"

Becca Mills on The Active Voice
Independent Publishing and  DMCA Abuse, or “How a Scammer Got my Book Blocked With Very Little Effort"

"On Friday, February 27, 2015, I noticed that my bookmarked link to my first novel, Nolander, was yielding, “We’re sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site.” I went to my Amazon dashboard and discovered the book had been blocked.

In my spam folder, I discovered an email from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s self-publishing arm, informing me that someone had sent in a DMCA notice. In response, Amazon had summarily blocked Nolander from sale.

“DMCA” stands for “Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” It’s a Clinton-era U.S. law that lays forth a process for dealing with copyright infringement online. If you find material online that infringes a copyright you hold, you can send the hosting website a DMCA notice; in order to be in compliance with U.S. law, the hosting website has to remove the material and notify the person who posted it."

Ruth Ann Nordin on Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors
Beta Readers (Video/Post)

"A beta reader is a person who reads your book before it’s published.  A beta reader is a person who can look at the overall story and give you their impression of it.  But they are not an editor.  The editor is the one who goes in and polishes it up so it’s ready to be published."

Harvey Chapman on Novel Writing Help
How to Discover your Writer's Muse

"Brace yourself: this ultimate guide to finding your inner muse and writing more creatively isn't short! It may be one of the most important things you ever read, though.

Learning how to write with more creativity will not only improve the quality of your writing (i.e. make it more publishable). It will also make the journey a lot more fun."