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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Feeling like a Failure for 2013? Don’t…..


shameless_self_promotion_by_raaynee-d6diywuSo here we are at the end of a long and crazy year. 2013 has been fraught with crazy economics, faster than the speed of light publishing changes and an ever changing landscape of what is a book…it’s all been enough to make you scream. But…..you know what…..??? It’s almost over which means you get a new start.

I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to in 2013. I wanted to be a better writer. I wanted to have published five books. I wanted to completely understand the world of e-publishing. I learned a little more about writing but I don’t know if I would say I feel like I am “better” at it. I published 3 books and never quite got through the editing of the other 2. And understanding e-publishing…well that is a work in progress and I have a feeling it may well always be just that…in progress. But does not meeting my goals make me a failure? Hardly…has it made me a writer who is still trudging forward.

We set goals at the beginning of the year for two reasons. 1 – we think we are supposed to because everyone makes New Year’s resolutions and 2 – because we want to think that we can meet the goals we set because, well, by-god we set them. I’m unsure why or when the whole resolution thing began but it’s dumb. Shouldn’t we be setting new goals all the time? And as far as the goals for our writing, well, I personally have to reset those every single day because, let’s face it, life happens.

Here’s how I see it, setting those first of the year goals is not a good thing. We, as writers, tend to be tough on ourselves as it is so setting ourselves up for goals that we may not reach is setting ourselves up for a possible fail and why do that to yourself? I would propose instead that we set daily goals that are adjustable as life needs them to be. Writing is a fluid and every changing occupation that is often predicated on the things we face every day. Daily goals are achievable and adjustable and that’s just what we need.

So before you set yourself up on those grandiose yearly goals, stop and consider instead setting smaller more obtainable goals. As a writer it is important that our self-confidence stays in tack and the only way that is going to happen is if we can reach our goals. So change your thinking and set your goals daily. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to and less of a letdown to fail a day’s goal that a whole year.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. 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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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Peeps!


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Merry Christmas to everyone. 2013 has been a wonderful year spending it here with all of you. Here’s to knowing that 2014 will be the year you write/finish that book!

Happy Holidays!

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2013 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

Are you Over Thinking Your Writing?


1012837_740539185973405_359533633_nWe all do it. We are working on a story…tolling along…when we suddenly realize that we are thinking about our story 24 hours a day. While taking a shower, while driving, while in conversations with other people…hell you are even lying in bed, wide wake running through character traits. How do you know when it is all too much?

The answer is, when all you can think about is your story or if your child is on fire after trying to make bacon and you find yourself trying to figure out just the right description for what the fire looks like as it fries him/her…you are way too obsessed with your manuscript. Writing is supposed to be fun and if you are obsessed the writing is no longer fun…it’s work and work sucks.

I do a number of things when I realize that I am obsessing about a story. I can usually tell when I am over thinking it all when I begin to go over and over the same line or scene rewriting it 50 or more times because it just-doesn’t-sound-right. I know that you all just want to finish the damn book but I have heard stories of writers who over think too much and end up not publishing a thing. At some point you have to more on and stop trying to polish a hole in the page.

So how do you stop over thinking? Here are some ideas…feel free to add more in the comments section.

  1. Put down the pen mam’ and step away from the desk – Breaks are essential to any good writing. While it feels like we could just sit and do it forever, we really shouldn’t. Take a break.
  2. Put it away for a while – Put that manuscript on a time out. Stick it in a drawer for a predetermined amount of time and then come back to it. Sometimes, like good wine – it just needs to breathe.
  3. Read to a friend – This often works for me. I grab the part I am stuck on and run to my favorite reader and biggest fan…my spouse. Trust me, if it sounds like bird poop, they will tell me.
  4. Retype the previous 4 pages – I have tried this and if actually worked. Sometimes as writers we simply loose our rhythm. Rewriting will run us right up to where we are stuck and hopefully over the hump.
  5. Put a bullet in it – I know that this is extreme but I have been working on manuscripts that just were never going to get finished because I have either lost my passion for the story or it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s okay once in a while to just file a manuscript in the round file marked crap-I-shouldn’t-have-started-in-the-first-place.

These are just a few suggestions; I know that other writers also have ideas. The thing to remember is that every writer has this problem. The thing to figure out is are you going to let it stop you all together or can you simply move on?

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. 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 December 23, 2013 in Healthy Writers, Writing, Writing Tools

 

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New Book Release – All the Advice from the Writer in a Book!


It’s here folks! In Your Write Mind – A Writer’s Thoughts on the World of Writing was released on 12-18-2013 and is now available on Amazon. This is a collection of all your favorite advice in an daily inspirational (and funny) book. There is a new piece of advice to dwell on for 150 days. Before your day’s writing begins, grab the book, read the day’s offering, muse over it for a bit and then apply it to your craft. Simple, easy and fun!

So head over to Amazon and get yours.

http://www.amazon.com/In-Your-Write-Mind-Thoughts-ebook/dp/B00HERH8WA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387467370&sr=8-1&keywords=Jai+Colvin

 

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility Applies to More than Just Spiderman


SingleResponsibilityPrincipleI cannot imagine what it would feel like to have written a book and then discover that it was being used as a justification for killing people. When we as writers pick up a pen, sit at a keyboard…whatever…it never occurs to us that there can be a dark side to our writing because we would always like to think that the world needs out work. I’m sure that this is what author William Powell thought when he was a young idealist composing what he thought would be a book that could open a dialogue that could possibly stop a war. He was wrong and today he is actually begging people not to read his work.

“The Anarchist Cookbook,” was written by a nineteen year old budding writer who had seen something very wrong in the world he was living in. An opponent of the Vietnam Conflict, Powell wrote The Anarchist Cookbook as an ode to violence. Back then he was under the impression that violence was good if it made your point. His intention in writing the book appears to have been one of thumbing his nose at a government that seemed to care more about war than it did the thousands of people dying in it. It never occurred to him back then that The Anarchist Cookbook might become an instruction book on how to hurt others.

Powell has had to watch over the years as group after group, individual after individual have spouted passages from his book as a means to justify killing. Powell now has renounced his position on violence being justified and now is begging the books publisher to stop printing it. He’s being quoted as having said that the book “it is no longer responsible or defensible to keep it in print.” He is desperately trying to undo his own written words.

Croatian radicals, Puerto Rican separatists, Thomas Spinks, Timothy McVeigh, they all claim to have used Powell’s book in some way and I have to imagine that knowing this keeps Powell up at night. How could he have known, you may be asking? He knew…somewhere in his heart of hearts he had an inkling of what could happen but the allure of being published is a strong aphrodisiac; sometimes leading us to the wrong decisions even when we know they are wrong.

It’s easy to write that book; the book that glorifies the horrors of human nature. People eat that crap up. Just looking at the top selling books on Amazon or the book seller of your choice and you can see that blood and guts sell. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating not writing about the dark side of human nature; hell I do so myself. What I am saying is that before writing a how to book on bomb making or how to make poisons…stop and consider what you may be unleashing into the world; some things just won’t go back into the box, as Powell can attest to.

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. 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 December 18, 2013 in Writing

 

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A Book is A Book is A Book


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I have a Kindle. I also have an extensive library of good old fashioned paper books. I also own a Galaxy 10.1 that has the Kindle software on it and I have occasionally, while waiting in the car for my spouse to finish shopping, read on my smartphone. I like to read but more importantly, I don’t care what format a book is in….it’s still a book.

These days there is a war raging between those who embrace technology and those who think that we are killing off the original book formats, hardback and paper back. Those who embrace technology will say things like;

·         I can now read wherever I want.

  • ·         I can take my entire library with me at all times.
  • ·         I can easily order a book and wham, there it is. No waiting for delivery.
  • ·         I’m saving trees by reading on tech.

Those who fight for the original book format say things like;

  • ·         The tech will eventually cost you your eyesight.
  • ·         We are losing the “art” of reading.
  • ·         You aren’t a “real” reader if you use tech.
  • ·         The death of books (in the paper format) means the death of the book altogether.

There are other things they say too but the bottom line is that this is a subject that has clearly divided readers and writers and it shouldn’t have. Here are my thoughts….a book is a book no matter what format it is in. I kind of side with Margaret Atwood on this one and say, hey however folks want to read, yeah…they are reading. What does it matter of someone orders my book in paperback or in a digital format? They are still buying my book, right?

I remember when I was young hearing the same argument between hard covers and paper backs. Book snobs thought you should only own hard covers while the rest of us understood the value of both buying paper back (cheaper) and the fact that the size of the book made it easier to take with. Now…some 30 years later, that argument is back only now it is digital vs paper book and you know what? It’s the same argument but with two different formats and the bottom line is still the same…at least readers are reading.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. 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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Get the Hell Out of your Chair!


37757ceaa70e5ed2fe8b6c469c7053acHoly crap is it cold outside. I live in the Pacific Northwest and we never see temps lower than 15 degrees and so far this weekend we have barely seen over that. Blame it on Global Warming or Mother Nature PMSing, it don’t matter, it’s still cold.

Yesterday I tried to get some writing done but it was just too darn cold in my office. I have a small space heater but even that wasn’t working so I was faced with the question, “how do I write without having to sit at my desk?” The answer became clear when my spouse turned on the fireplace…I simply moved to the living room.

Many of us get pin-holed into the concept that we can only write at our desk and that is simply not true. We live in the age of laptops and tablets which allow us to get out of the box so to speak. I have both a laptop and a tablet but even I tend to fell less motivated to write once I am away from my desk. I think the reason for this is that we have gotten use to the desk as a part of our writing; we have to get over that.

Writing, thank goodness, can be done anywhere. You can write in the bathroom if you prefer (although the kids might get irritated) or you can grab your tablet and leave the house. The beauty of all this technology is that it can be a bit freeing. What you will need to do, however, is shove past the notion that you need that desk.

I challenge you this week to embrace the concept of writing elsewhere. Take your laptop or your tablet and find a quiet spot in another room. I like to write in front of the fireplace because it is warm but I can pick up and write anywhere; you can too. So grab those mobile devices and get out of your office chair! Trust me; it’s warmer by the fire right now.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. 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 December 8, 2013 in Writing

 

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