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Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Friday Writing Pebbles #13


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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!

50 pieces of writing advice from authors – http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/50-pieces-of-writing-advice-from-authors

Authors’ sleep patterns & productivity – http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/books/authors-sleep-patterns-and-productivity

Literary drinking spots you can actually visit – http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/books/literary-drinking-spots-you-can-actually-visit

Seven Things Every Writer Must Know to Survive – http://www.authorspublish.com/seven-things-every-writer-must-know-to-survive/

Weird Al airs all his grammar grievances in hilarious spoof of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” – http://twentytwowords.com/weird-al-airs-all-his-grammar-grievances-in-hilarious-spoof-of-robin-thickes-blurred-lines/

 

 

 

© 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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I Read a Book I really Hated…It was Mine


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Have you ever picked up a piece of work that you have completed and thought…how can I call myself a writer? I do it all the time. Hating your own work appears to be part of the process of being a writer. We all finish stories and then tend to be the most critical reader in the room. But the difference between being a writer who gets his/her work published and being a writer with a trunk full of finished novels that will never see the light of day is allowing someone else to read your work.

We really are our own worst critic. I often read over something I have written and, if I allow myself, I rewrite it 1000 times. The truth is, in our minds, we can always do better. I will bet that if you asked Stephen King today if he would have changed anything in Carrie he would tell you, “oh yeah, a thousand things”. It is for this reason that I am sure Mr. King allows his wife to read through his work. We need someone who will be honest although not as critical as we are on ourselves.

My first book was the bane of my existence for a long time before it was actually published. A friend dug it out of a drawer and read it while I was away for the weekend and then, when I returned, demanded to know why I hadn’t sent it to a publisher. If it hadn’t been for that friend, my first book might still be in that drawer. You have to recognize that we are critical of ourselves and because of that you have to allow your work to be read by someone else. They may still announce that it is crap but at least then you will know for sure.

 

 
© 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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Sometimes Giving Up is a Good Thing


 

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How many times in your life have you heard someone say…”don’t give up”? We literally get beaten over the head with the concept of not giving up from the time we are kids. Well I’m here to tell you, that advice isn’t always a good thing…sometimes there are things that you just need to…well…give up.

1. People Pleasing – OMG give this one up. Let’s face it, you really can’t please everyone and it is a crap shoot trying to figure out which ones will approve and which ones will disapprove. It’s not worth it to try and write your stories in such a way that everyone will be happy…in fact, it isn’t even possible. The key is to write what make you happy and then hope that there are others who will also find your work enjoyable. And for Pete’s Sake don’t allow some editor somewhere to try and make you write their version of your story either. (and there are ones out there who will try)

2. Stop doubting yourself – Definitely give this up. Self-doubt will only lead to a work stoppage that you can’t fix. Self-doubt is paralyzing. We will all tussle with it from time to time but the key is to not let it over take you. Acknowledge that you are feeling insecure and then move on.

3. Negative thinking – While this should be a no-brainer many of us do it without even realizing it. I am a big fan of positive thinking. If you continue to tell yourself that you will fail…even in your mind…you will.

4. Fear of failure – “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”….truer words have never been spoken. As a writer, failure means one thing…you have to begin again. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from trying.

5. Criticizing yourself – Yeah…give this up right now. We have enough folks out there waiting to pounce on us for what we do…don’t add yourself to the fray.

6. Saying yes when you mean no – Writers, by nature, are people pleasers….stop that. You have enough on your plate without trying to do stuff that you really don’t want to do. I get caught up in this all the time whether it’s agreeing to watch the grandkids or stopping to do something for one of the children. It’s okay to say no when you are working. This tends to be a huge problem for those of us who work from home….remember to have that boundaries conversation with the family.

7. Procrastination – We have had this conversation over and over again. If you want to be a successful writer you have to give up procrastinating. Putting it off means it doesn’t get done….that’s all.

There are other things that you have to give up as a writer as well but these are the 7 biggies. It’s okay to give these things up; in fact your writing life depends on it.

 

 

© 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 #11


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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!

15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters – http://writerswrite.co.za/15-questions-authors-should-ask-characters

Killer writing tools that will help you get the job done – http://blog.bookbaby.com/2014/07/killer-writing-tools-that-will-get-the-job-done/?utm_campaign=BB1428&utm_source=BBeNews&utm_medium=Email

15 Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean – http://www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/words-that-dont-mean-what-you-think-they-mean

Writing tips! – http://taylorgraceauthor.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/writing-tips-2/

It’s Not Cheating to Use Writing Tips and Tools- http://theeditorsblog.net/2014/07/11/its-not-cheating-to-use-writing-tips-and-tools/

 

 
© 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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OMG…Some Days…..


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The graphic above is very representative of my day today so far. There are times when, as a writer, I am nowhere near reaching my daily goals let alone any other long term goal I have set for myself. Writing, at times, can be very frustrating.

I consider myself a creative person and a hard worker but, let’s be honest, there are more day than not when motivation is an elusive beast. Summer is a tough time to write because the sun is out and there are so many things tugging at your shirt sleeve. If you have kids, and I do, they want your attention. Many of your friends and family are taking summer vacations and it is easy to justify that, well, hey, you work from home so why not tag along. Then there is that overwhelmed feeling that can sometimes creep in because for some strange reason every writer thinks that they can get more done during the summer time. (I’m a winter writer by the way) Whatever your distraction it is easy to lose sight of what it is we do in the first place….write.

So here is what I did this morning to ensure that the summer months don’t come and go without me having truly accomplished anything at all…I made a list. I’m not, by nature, an OCD sufferer but I do tend to need some concrete direction and a list is often the only way to motivate myself. I created my summer to do list today so that I can hold myself accountable to the things that need to get done. Here is one important point when making that list however….start with the writing stuff. It is easy to start with “the dishes”, “the grocery store”, “feeding the dog”, (okay maybe you should go ahead and feed the dog) but try setting the household chores aside until the writing chores are done.Too often life gets in the way of our craft and the only person who can keep that from happening is you. As long as you get those household chores done before the spouse gets home it’s all good…right?

So sit down and make yourself a summer list for your writing. Promise yourself on the list that you will get “X” number of words on paper every day before you do anything else. Your to do list is your commitment that this summer will not fly by with you standing there in the Fall wondering what the hell you did all summer long.

 

 

© 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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