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Mystery Series Book 2 -Get it Now!


The Raven Michaels Series Book 2 is now on Amazon….grab it and step into the mystery!

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B6EVL88?keywords=Jai%20Colvin&qid=1453995933&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2016 in Writing

 

New Mystery Series Now Available!


PassionsRevengecov_epubThe Raven Michaels Series, book one is now available on Amazon! Head over and grab one now.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B6FD6JE?keywords=Jai%20Colvin&qid=1453995933&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2016 in Writing

 

Feel the Writer….Be the Writer….


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How many times have you restarted your writing career? I’ll admit it…I do it virtually every….single….day. For some odd reason, we writers seem to feel like we need to reset all the time. I think it has more to do with the lack of validation from others than anything else. I never “stop” working after all…

So how do you get validation in terms of what you do as a writer? Well, first off, stop asking for validation. There is really no point in trying to justify what you do to folks who muse over why you don’t have a “real job”. You know it’s a real job and that is what really counts. I have learned over the years that, in order to feel better about what I do, I have to act like a writer. It is too easy to lose track of being a writer because so many people don’t get it. But how does one act like a writer?

First off you gotta write. Every day. Yep…oddly…writers actually write and they do it ALL THE TIME. I work freelancing but that doesn’t count when you talk about “being a writer”. Sure it’s my job to write for others but to truly be a writer I have to also spend time working on my writing. So no matter what other writing you do….work on your stuff.

Second, make no excuses. Come on now…you’ve heard yourself do it, I know I have. Stop making excuses for not having a “real job” and tell those naysayers that you do have a real job…you are a writer. My mom is still waiting for me to find my true career and I was a journalist for over 30 years! Ignore those folks and stop explaining yourself.

Finally, jump into the deep end of the pool and create your own support system. Talk to other writers, spend time studying writing and treat yourself to all those really cool writer’s gadgets. My office is full of toys and things that light up but also books on writing, a tablet, a laptop and soon a Surface Pro…I’m a writer and those are the tools of my trade and I am not making any excuses for that…you shouldn’t either.

You have to BE the writer. So remember write…no excuses…create your support system. Ignore people who question your being a writer…you own it to your craft.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2016 in Writing

 

Recovering from Illness – The Myth of a Writer Who Doesn’t Need Downtime


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I had total knee replacement surgery on Oct. 28th. This was no small operation. They literally cut me open, sawed off my leg in two places, put in a fake knee and sewed it all backup. The recovery time was supposed to be 6-8 weeks and there is where I made my mistake.

I thought that because I am a writer I could just keep working through the recovery process. I could, after all, sit on the couch, leg up and still write….ummmmm nope. I didn’t account for several things. First, the pain….wow the pain…the first three weeks was amazingly painful and no amount of painkillers appeared to help for very long. Second, there were those painkillers…I am not a “pill” person, I hate them. So when I started taking the pain meds I had no tolerance what-so-ever. I would take a dose and sleep…my body gave me no choice. By the time I woke up from my stupor, it was time for more meds…it became a circle of unconsciousness. Finally, there was the lack of desire. Yes, I am a writer and yes I live to write but when you hurt and you are stoned a lot of the time your desire to get creative does not include a keyboard. I wanted to sit and wish the pain away…not create.

What should I have done? I should have recovered. I didn’t do myself any favors, I frustrated a lot of my clients because I kept saying I could do it and then couldn’t…it was a mess. The truth is I owe it to myself to take care of myself and in order to do that I, like any normal person, need to follow the doctor’s instructions. I am still fighting this, 9 weeks out. Knee replacement surgery takes up to six months to fully recover from and every time I go to physical therapy it’s like they opened it up all over again. The bottom line is…you can’t create if you can’t take care of yourself.

So talk to your clients, help them understand that it is a process. Don’t put it off for your clients either…one of the things about working for yourself and from home that sucks is that clients tend to hold you to a different set of rules…don’t let them do that. You are no good to your client if you are in pain all the time. So heal….take the time to heal and in doing it correctly you will be back at that keyboard twice as fast.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Writing

 

If You Are Looking for Common Sense…Don’t become a Freelance Writer


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I learn something new every day and sometime those lessons leave me shaking my head; I got one of those lessons recently. I discovered that as a writer, I am also expected to be a therapist. I don’t want to be a therapist…I want to be a writer. Here is the rub though…often times, if you refuse to be a therapist you could lose money freelancing. Doesn’t make sense? Here let me explain…

Recently I took on a ghost writing job. It was an interesting job. The guy, our want-to-be-writer, was your average older gentleman who’d had an interesting life and now wanted to pen about it. I respect that…in fact my motto is, if you have a story…tell it. I have had many ghosting jobs where I spent hours with the client listening to their tales and then transferring them into book form…it is, after all…what I do.

Every now and again though, this scenario goes hilariously wrong. Case in point…this particular client not only wanted to write a book, he wanted a friend. And not just any friend…he wanted a writer whom he could hold hostage twice a week while he repeated the same stories over and over. I became that hostage. Four weeks into the work it became very clear that this guy wasn’t interested so much in the book but in talking. I explained that I would need some actual time to write the actual book but he insisted…no, you have to come to my house twice a week so we can talk for several hours. When I realized that he wasn’t actually adding any more information to the book I cut the visits off. I explained that I now needed to write the book…he…a month into the work, after countless hours of interviewing and tons of notes…said come visit me or I quit. I refused, he quit and I lost all that time and money. Sadly, his book will probably never get written.

This particular freelance job made no sense at all but it isn’t the first time it has happened to me. There is a certain type of guy (and it is always a guy) who needs to control the writer and make them their slave of attention. It is a waste of time and money for the writer. These folks need so badly to “talk” that they never let you finish the job. AND when you realize that you are in that type of job, it is often too late to recoup your losses.

So how do you know? First off, if the client is more interested in the visits than the work, run the other direction. If the client insists on weekly visits, run the other direction. If the client appears lonely and insists that you pet his cat or dog and continues to offer you a sandwich every time you work…run the other direction. These guys are lonely and that is what your visit is about to them. Make things clear in your contract in terms of visits and interviews and be ready to cut things off if they get odd. You have to make a living too and you can’t do that if you are stuck being some lonely person’s therapist. Often nothing in freelancing employs common sense so you have to create it yourself. Let them down as easy as you can, see it for what it is and try and stay in control…otherwise you will find yourself in a room with a cat on your lap, sandwich in hand listening to how his mother hates peanuts.

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2016 in Writing

 

I am in a Love-Hate Relationship…I Love Writing, I Hate Editing


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It’s true….I’m in writing relationship that I often can’t stand. As a writer we are creatives…we create but then, when the time comes to editing, it’s like cutting against the grain…it just don’t feel right.

I admit it, I hate to edit. I believe that most writers feel this way. Editing isn’t a creative process, it’s a clean-up-after-yourself process and who likes to do that? I have a tougher time sitting down at my computer if it’s for editing than I do for writing. When it comes to writing I am excited…I’m breaking new ground…I’m creating. With editing I am rereading my crap and realizing that, although it sounded great the first time around…some of it really sucks.

The key to getting through the edits is simple…we have to change our thought pattern surrounding the process. Editing can be seen as a creative process if you open your mind to the idea that, sometimes, editing can show you new pathways within a story. I have an editing client who, once we began the editing process, realized where his story was lacking and ended up adding 7 more chapters. You have to see editing as a part of the entire process and not something that keeps you from the “real” work.

I know many writers who have lost book deals because they didn’t bother to edit…don’t be that guy. Write, edit and then submit it…that is the process. I do need to add, for the record, that I still hate the editing part of my own writing but here I have to take my own advice or I am defeating myself.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Writing

 

The Perfect Time for that First Step


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Happy New Years! Okay, having said that…let’s move on to the action item for today…start writing. Today is the perfect time to begin anew when it comes to your writing. I don’t know about you but I have some projects that went unfinished in 2015 and my new year includes finishing those projects.

It is really easy to get caught up in everyday life and forget that you need to work on your work too. I am a freelance writer and that is actually how I pay my bills so I often find myself letting my work go so that I can finish one more freelance project….in 2016 I’m gonna cut that out.

There is nothing wrong with cutting a little time out of your day for yourself and your own projects. I always told myself that when I could finally work from home I’d be a writing fool but then I started freelancing and pretty soon I just didn’t have the time…that has to change this year…I, after all, am not getting any younger.

I don’t make new year’s resolutions…but I do make a few promises to myself. I find that promising yourself to do better and to do certain things specifically is healthy. So here is my list…

  • I promise to take a bit of time out every single day to work on my books.
  • I promise not to get so lost in making money that I let my work go.
  • I promise to make it clear to everyone that my work is important.
  • I promise to have at least two new books published by the end of 2016.

This is my list…what does yours look like? You own it to yourself and to your writing (and readers) to get your own work done as well. Paying the bills is good but feeding your soul is even better.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Writing

 
 
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