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About thewritersadvice

Jai is a full-time writer in the Pacific Northwest. An award winning journalist and published author, Jai writes mystery thrillers, ghost writes articles and books as well as feature articles for several national magazines.

OMG Funny!


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I found this hilarious and had to share it…..

http://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/story-juice?utm_term=3ftz617Get+the+BuzzFeed+App:+http://bzfd.it/bfmobileapps#1056fc3

 
 

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Writing Pebbles #15


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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. Here at The Writer’s Advice it is pebble collection time. I will post some of the pebbles of wisdom I discover and I encourage you all to do the same. We will help each other. So here are mine….show me yours!

Tips for Writing Fantasy Books -http://ezinearticles.com/?Tips-for-Writing-Fantasy-Books&id=8763338

Best Advice For Writers- http://joannechocolat.tumblr.com/post/74091222315/best-advice-for-writers

12 Character Writing Tips for Fiction Writers – http://www.writingforward.com/writing-tips/12-character-writing-tips-for-fiction-writers

More Bad Advice for Writers! – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/g-doucette/more-bad-advice-for-write_b_5956208.html

12 Tips for Writing Fiction From Authors and Editors – http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/12-fiction-writing-tips-from-published-authors-and-editors/

 

 

© 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 October 13, 2014 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

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I’m an Underpaid Writer – Hey I Resemble that Remark


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Okay, here is how it is supposed to work…
1. You get a new client
2. You negotiate a price for their project
3. You do the work
4. You get paid

Here is how it often works…
1. You get a new client
2. You negotiate a price for their project
3. Your do the work
4. You have to redo the work because the client wasn’t clear
5. You have to redo the work again because the client changed their minds
6. You have to redo the work again because the client has changed their minds again
7. You have to start from scratch because the client’s friend had a better idea
8. And it goes on and on…..

I would love to tell you that this NEVER happens to me but…I’d be lying. It’s happening to me right now and, to be honest, it’s a little like watching your own death scene that never ends. I love what I do so in a way I don’t mind the work except that now I have 100 man hours into a project that was supposed to only take 20…I’m now losing money. And the sad thing is…the client will continue to do this as long as I allow it.

The problem with us writers is that we are…well…writers. We aren’t business people, we are calm, writer types who hate to send a hamburger back at Burger King because they left the pickles on when we asked for no pickles. (Admit it, you pull the car over, gripe about the pickles and then removed them still enduring the yucky pickle taste still embedded in the burger….yeah me too) Ask for more money? MMMMMM…nope. We expect the best in people and hope desperately that the client will do “the right thing” and just offer us more money….folks…it ain’t gonna happen.

You, as a writer, have to take the reins of your projects or they will ride you all the way to the poor house. Most clients are first timers who have never actually hired a writer before so they too have no idea how it works; you have to educate them. Set an actual date by which the project needs to be done, if it passes that date charge more. I have been in this loop now for over a month and this project should have ended two weeks ago. I am now into it for about $500 over what I actually charged and it is maddening. To be honest though I have to take some of the blame; I didn’t control the project.

So don’t cheat yourselves folks, control the project so that you don’t look up one day when you are 80 only to discover that you are making yet another change to the project you began 8 years ago. You owe it to yourself and your work to make sure that clients honor you.

 

 

 

© 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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Brake for Stressed Writers!


stressedLife has gotten overwhelming. The summer is over, preparations for Fall and Winter have begun, the kids are back in school so lunches, getting up on time and homework are added to your to-do list, winter brings extra clients who had been too busy having fun during the summer to work AND somewhere in there you have to write. Sound familiar? It does to me…it’s basically my life.

My summer this year was busy, which is weird because my summers are usually not busy writing wise. I am a winter writer, meaning I do my best work when it is raining or snowing outside. Summers are for trying to keep up with the kids and grandkids. This year my world went wonky and I had clients like crazy so needless to say I am a little stressed going into the Fall and Winter months not having had a break this year.

So how does one keep themselves from stressing when their “other” writing life (client work) appears to have completely taken over? First off, breathe…remember that you get to do what you love no matter how stressful it is. I talk to friends who have jobs they hate…so I am grateful for my work all the time. Second, schedule…I can’t stress how important it is to schedule your writing. I’m not talking about clients, I’m talking about yours. If I don’t I simply push my own work aside in favor of the almighty buck….don’t do that. Your own writing is the balance you seek grasshopper… (Just dated myself there)

Finally, don’t give in to the stress. I know that I am capable of this and then some. I can have a total work stoppage if I allow the stress to take over. That’s when you will find me on the couch with a bag of Cheetos watching reruns of Castle. You have to pace yourself and see each project as its own world; if you don’t you will get overwhelmed. So remember, schedule and then write because while the money for all those other jobs is great, not having balance will ensure that absolutely nothing gets done.

 

 

© 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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You Want to Read My What?????!!!!!


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I get nervous when someone wants to read my work. Yes, I have been doing this for over 30 years and yes, I still get nervous. Every now again that nervousness seems justified because I will come across someone who doesn’t actually enjoy my work and are very verbal about it. For instance, I took a writing job recently writing about rumored car showcases. The articles tout all the rumors about new cars that will be coming out in the next few years. While I am enjoying the assignments I have been saddled with an editor who is very obviously young and likes to use big words to tell me how much he personally doesn’t enjoy my work. This morning he actually wrote the following line in a review of one of the articles I had written that he is rejecting:

“Considering the number of reviews and test drives that are to be found on the internet, a nebulous inaccurate unsubstantial set of words based on an barely intelligible inarticulate collection of dribble posted in November 2013 is not acceptable.”

Seriously….“a nebulous inaccurate unsubstantial set of words”…amazing. I have rubbed this young man the wrong way and I can only ascertain from his need to use words like “nebulous” that he is young and somewhat full of himself. I am trying to not let it bother me….but it does to some degree. Although I could let this assignment go I am now determined to stay in order to see just how many other big words this little guy knows. It’s gone from annoying to amusing for me.

People like this young man however attribute to my nervousness when I submit any type of writing. To some degree it is a good thing because it will forever keep me humble and remind me that there is still work to do on refining one’s craft. On the other hand it does cause me to want a drink after submissions. (I fight that urge) My point is that we, as writers, can’t allow that nervousness that we ALL have to stop us in our tracks. You have to submit and then push on to the next assignment. Take any criticism for what it is, someone’s somewhat educated opinion of your work, use what you can and toss the rest. Use nervousness as a tool to help not hinder.

 

© 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 September 16, 2014 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

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Recommendation


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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Writing

 

Just a Minute!


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As many of you know I went through an ordeal two weeks ago that knocked me off my schedule. Recovering made me have to push projects back and rearrange things last week and, to some degree, this week. I would be lying if I said that it didn’t suck. I’m now behind my own schedule and I hate it. What I hate more is the lack of motivation I feel in catching up.

Going through a major life change or event can make procrastination look even more inviting than it usually is. Because I have had no choice but to pull back on work it makes restarting that much harder. Don’t get me wrong, procrastination in its purest form is the bane of every writer but usually it is easier to combat; throw in some life altering thing and suddenly procrastination becomes that lonely beer in the fridge that you know you shouldn’t drink…it’s lonely…it needs you.

So what has been the lesson for me this week? You have to just force yourself past the urge to sit staring at a blank screen. No amount of waiting is going to help you catch up on all that work. I have to make a list, a to-do list and then I just start knocking things out one at a time. I also stick to my schedule. I have my writing schedule set up in blocks of time. When my schedule says that I am writing from 8-10, that’s what I do and at the end of that block of time I move on to the next thing no matter where I am in the writing. If I don’t do things this way the writing takes over and my clients suffer. I have to stay focused on the task at hand.

If you find yourself behind, don’t give up. It is easy to feel buried and just grab the remote control but if you choose that route, the behinder (as my son would say) you will get. It is best to make that list and start knocking things out. Forward momentum is the name of the game folks. You will catch up, I promise.

 

 

© 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 September 8, 2014 in Inspiration, Writing, Writing Tools

 

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