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Sometimes I Can’t Find the Fun and then it’s One Dragon at a Time


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Today I am overwhelmed. I want to write. I need to write. But somehow, over the past week, I have managed to get so far behind on my assignments that I feel buried. Today…I don’t want to write.

We all have times like these. Writing seems like an easy task to the outside world but what they don’t know, those non-writers, is that we are our own worst enemy. We fight with deadlines…sure…but we also fight ourselves constantly. I have two sets of deadlines…I have the ones set by the clients and I have the internal ones that I hold myself to. I have to do this because so much runs through my mind at any given time. My brain is populated by stories, lists, characters and the need to procrastinate.

So what do you do when you’re overwhelmed as I am right now? My motto is, “one dragon at a time”. Yes I don’t want to do any of it because I feel like it is a tsunami of work that I want to run from, but I know it all has to get done so I choose one thing and I work on that one thing. I work on that one thing until it is done and then I go about slaying the next dragon.

As a writer, the work will always be there no matter what kind of writing you do. If you are serious about writing and you freelance as well it can get crowded and thus overwhelming. The key is pace. You have to pace the work and yourself. Followed by pace comes persistence. Persistence is handy when the weather is good outside and you would rather be out soaking up the sun which can be sort of elusive here in the Pacific Northwest. Persistence is what keeps your butt in the chair so that the bills get paid.

Finally, persistence is followed by caring for the writer in you. Understand that the work will get done but don’t allow it to at the expense of your sanity. Take it on one dragon at a time and allow yourself to relish the victories as they happen. This morning I did 25 pages and then took a break to sit in the sun for a half hour, then, I went back to work. These small allowances will ensure that you don’t feel like a prisoner trapped by the work. So don’t get overwhelmed and pace yourself…it will get done.

Remember…one dragon at a time.

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 April 13, 2014 in Writing

 

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Spring Cleaning Time – Throw out the Crap


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Spring is a time of renewal for the planet but let’s be honest, for us writers it is a time of complaining about having to clean out your office. I know at my house I get this look about this time of the year that translates to “get all that paper and crap out of there – it’s a fire hazard”.

Over the winter we writers tend to horde. I know for me personally I come up with all sorts of ideas in the dead of winter and I half write them all down. I have to be honest; I do a lot of brainstorming to get out of other things like shoveling snow or running the kids back and forth in the freezing rain. I “suddenly” get an idea that I “just have to get down on paper”; go figure that still works after over 10 years…yeah me. But now that it is Spring it is time to sit down and rummage through all those “ideas” and see which ones work and which ones are just stupid.

Although I hate doing this myself, it is an important part of the writer’s year. If we don’t take the time to weed through our winter slush pile we can get overwhelmed by the large stack of potentials. I take great care in going through mine because sometimes, despite why a story idea was created, it turns out good. I have pulled out some real jewels but I have also pulled out some real dogs.

So take a moment while the sun is out and tackle that slush pile before making your writing excuses for the summer. You never know, there may be something in there that gets you really excited about writing even if the sun is out.

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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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Check Out the New Book


In Your Write Mind coverIn Your Write Mind – A Writer’s Thoughts on the Writer’s World is a 74,653 word layman’s manual on how to be a writer. We have thousands of books out there now that “preach” at writers but there are very few that “talk” to the writer. The tone of In Your Write Mind is one of humorous common sense. It is written as though two writers are having coffee and the “seasoned” writer is pointing out the obvious, weeding through all of the “advice” other writers impart.

In Your Write Mind addresses some of the age old advice such as “write what you know” and offers new writers another way of considering that advice. This book speaks to the writer through common sense and humor thus helping them to remember what is being imparted while ensuring that they won’t be snoring by the end of the book. In Your Write Mind is laid out as 150 days of advice, each day offering the writer another way to consider what they have been told. It also offers some new ways to tackle being a writer and it addresses some of the challenges in such a way that writers don’t have to feel overwhelmed or alone in their endeavors. And it will make you laugh.

 

Buy it today at http://www.amazon.com/In-Your-Write-Mind-Thoughts-ebook/dp/B00HERH8WA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396808320&sr=8-1&keywords=Jai+COlvin

 

 

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The Friday Writing Pebbles #6


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Like throwing a pebble into the water some writers put advice out into the ocean of hopeful newbies hoping the ripple effects will reach them and they will learn a thing or two. Fridays here at The Writer’s Advice is pebble collection time. I will post some of the pebbles of wisdom I discover and I encourage you all to do the same. Each Friday we will help each other. So here are mine….show me yours!

  • Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers -http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/stephen-kings-top-20-rules-for-writers.html

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 April 4, 2014 in Inspiration, Writing

 

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Sometimes it Sucks


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I love being a writer. I love the concept of story. I love typing. I love seeing my name on a book cover. I love seeing readers read my work with a smile on their faces. You know what I don’t love though? Critics. Critics are men, small, humanoids that take pleasure from trashing other people. I’m not talking about the occasional person who gives you a few suggestions to make your words better; I’m talking about those folks who seem to make it their jobs to make your life frustrating.

I read once that critics are just frustrated writers but I think it goes beyond that. I think critics are mean people who enjoy putting others down. As a writer you will meet them everywhere. Writer’s conferences are the worse. It’s as if there are a group of these mealy little beings who go to writer’s conferences just to pick at the writers. I have had more than on occasion to be the victim of these folks in front of crowds; there is no way to come back from a person shouting that you suck in a room of 50 people.

Let me make it clear that there is a huge difference between a critic and a person who is trying to help. A person trying to help does just that, helps. They might point out a mistake but they are then quick with a proposed solution too. They want to make you look better. A critic just wants to follow you around and point out your mistakes and enjoy the way it makes you uncomfortable. You should hug the person trying to help and trip the critic. (It’s okay, the law allows this)

By far the best way to deal with a critic is to ignore them. Remember that they are unhappy bullies looking for a victim. I usually just nod my head a lot, smile and walk away. If you let them see it hurt you, they won’t go away. Remember that you are a writer and you are writing otherwise those critics would have nothing to go after you on. Smile, nod and walk away…nothing makes a critic angrier than being ignored.

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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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The Friday Writing Pebbles #5


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Like throwing a pebble into the water some writers put advice out into the ocean of hopeful newbies hoping the ripple effects will reach them and they will learn a thing or two. Fridays here at The Writer’s Advice is pebble collection time. I will post some of the pebbles of wisdom I discover and I encourage you all to do the same. Each Friday we will help each other. So here are mine….show me yours!

  • Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)-http://www.holtuncensored.com/hu/the-ten-mistakes

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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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There is More to the Story than the Final Line


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I do a lot of ghost writing. While I wish I was independently wealthy and had enough money to just work on my books…alas…I don’t, therefore I take other writing jobs. I do actually enjoy ghost writing, as a journalist for many, many years I have always loved telling other people’s stories, but, as with any writing job, ghost writing has its pros and cons.

One of the largest “cons” if you will is the writing itself. While I am always motivated to do the work, sometimes my clients are not. They begin the project with me and almost always there comes a time when they (the client) start to drop off a bit. I have to wrangle them back and refocus them back towards the project. Sometimes it is easy because the client is invested in the project but at other times clients get side tracked by everything else. It is for this reason that when signing a contract I try and make it very clear to the client that they have to commit to the project.

Ghost writing is just that, ghost writing, you are writing someone else’s story. If they don’t tell you the story there is nothing to write. Then it gets into a time wasting effort and no one has the time or money for that. So in an effort to help other writers out there who want to ghost write, here are some things to say to a potential client BEFORE signing the contract…

1. Make sure you are committed to the project – Just because a client puts a down payment down it doesn’t necessarily mean they will stay focused.
2. Explain the way you work – Remember that often times the person you are ghost writing for knows nothing about how writing works. They instead have a romantic notion which is often wrong. Explain the writing process so there are no misunderstandings.
3. Set a specific number of times to meet each week. If you are working for someone with a lot of time on their hands they can take over your life. Set it out in the contract that you agree to meet X number of times.
4. Explain the way the payment plan works – almost all ghost writers work with payment plans; set specific goals and then stick with them. You don’t want the project to start costing you money and it will.
5. Goals are fluid – Life happens so it is important to write that into the contract. Make sure that your client understands that sometimes life slows us down and it’s okay.
6. Finally, you have to finish at some point – Your client has to take part in the process. You have to be able to get the story from them and the only way to do that is to work together.
These are just a few things to consider telling a client before signing that contract. Remember that the contract binds you both.

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 March 24, 2014 in Writing

 

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