Tips For Beginning Writers {and reminders to all writers}

I found this on the Smartblogger site written by Glen Long and the info is very helpful to me. I have been ignoring the muse for many months, haven’t even looked at the book I had finally felt was complete about the first phase of the sailing adventures. So, here’s a good start to our journeys as writers! Beginning writers are at the start of an exciting journey, and it may be one that lasts a lifetime. With that in mind, here is some advice for writers at the start of it all that they can return to throughout their writing, says Glen. Perseverance and Making Time Writing requires a number of skills. Many beginning writers may imagine that one or two of those skills will be the keys to success. A natural way with words or storytelling or perhaps a knack for meeting people and making the right connections while networking will make all the difference. What may surprise you is that the two things that matter the most are perseverance and making the time to write. If you continue on this path throughout your life, you will meet many talented unpublished writers along the way. You might feel jealous of some of them because they seem so much better than you were when you were starting out. You might be amazed at the fact that some of them are easily as good as any published writer you have read. However, some of the most talented writers that you meet will not persevere. This can seem like a tragedy, but it isn’t necessarily. Sometimes those talented writers give...

E.B. White on “A Writer’s Time”

A Writer’s Time There is nothing harder to estimate than a writer’s time, nothing harder to keep track of. There are moments—moments of sustained creation—when a writer’s time is fairly valuable; and there are hours and hours when a writer’s time isn’t worth the paper he or she is not writing anything on. E.B. WHITE I love the writings of E.B. White and it is so true what he says about time. I haven’t been working on my book for quite awhile now. I have put everything else before it. I tell myself I have no time to work on it because my B&B inn is “eating my lunch”. Or I tell myself that by the time all the inn work is done, I am too tired to sit down and write. These excuses have been keeping me away from what I love most to do…write. And then I start beating up on myself because I am not writing. I remember a moment when I was sailing my 35-foot hot pink boat alone in the Pacific, wondering why on Earth I was out there in the “Big Blue”. There was just a whisp of wind, my sails were struggling to stay filled, and I was trailing my hand over the side to cool off. I asked The Great Creator, “What do you want me to be doing? I feel like I am being useless….that there must be something more than just adventuring down the Southern Hemisphere, chasing off drugdealers and out-sailing pirates. The seas were still, the air seemed to stop and I heard, “Write to glorify my name.”...
It’s A Constant Struggle To Get It Down

It’s A Constant Struggle To Get It Down

Here’s a quote I can relate to: “We’re all there trying to make the story, novel, or chapter as good as it can be. It’s a constant struggle to get it down, get it clear, and understand that your intentions are the same, whether you’re an undergraduate writing a short story or a writer with seven published novels. The continually reassuring thing is that we’re all novices when we start a new work.” ALICE McDERMOTT I’ve had my current manuscript in the works for years, having been distracted by major life crises or other important things (like when my daughter was killed by a drunk driver, or in order to survive, trying to start a new B&B business and all the work entailed with keeping it going, etc.). And then I finally get the book done and am told by publishers, agents and others in the field that it is way too long….nobody reads long books anymore, they say. So I had to chop it in half and try to make the first half a good read. It was back to being a novice again. Well, when I wake up in the morning, I always feel like a novice struggling through this Life thing, so no wonder it also applies to my writing. Sometimes, it’s just OK to sit back and ponder those peaceful becalmed days I spent while sailing alone in the Pacific for 7 years…no huge waves to struggle with, no fears about whether or not the sail would blow out, no thoughts about the past or future, no worries that my coffeepot would crash to the...

Revenue Streams For Authors

Stephanie Chandler, founder of the Nonfiction Writers Association, has presented some good ideas as additional money streams for authors besides book sales. Here, verbatim, are her ten top suggestions: Says Stephanie, “The reality is that it’s hard to make money on books alone. As authors we need to incorporate additional ways to earn money. Following is a list of some of my favorite revenue stream opportunities for authors. 1. Niche Books and Ebooks – Many authors are quietly making lots of extra income by producing short books and ebooks based on niche topics that aren’t widely covered. For example, the folks at food-allergy.org produce niche books about—you guessed it—food allergies. If you’re an expert in a topic that isn’t widely covered in books, consider producing your own niche ebooks and books. 2. Workbooks – One of the wonderful benefits of workbooks is that they have a high perceived value, which means people are willing to spend more on them. It’s funny since there is usually 50% to 75% less text in a workbook than in a typical trade book, but perhaps we’re willing to pay more because workbooks are interactive. Workbooks can make great add-on items to your main book, giving you the ability to upsell by offering a bundle for sale when you appear at events. 3. Professional Speaking – Pro speakers earn $5k to $10k and up for keynote presentations, plus have all of their travel expenses paid. This is a powerful market opportunity for authors with expertise in their field. 4.Teleseminars and Webinars – Early on in my author career, I built my mailing list by...

Advice To Writers: “If You Want to Write …”

“If you want to write, it must be the thing not that you want to do, or would like to do. It must be the thing you feel you have to do. It must be that without which you could not live. If you’ve got that, then it’ll be all right.” CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS This is so true for me. When I am working on my book or other writing, I always feel like I’m doing what I was born to do. I feel energized, excited as to what might next show up on the page, happy about what I am doing, and thrilled that I am able to write something that just might entertain or help a reader. Unfortunately, I have another full-time labor-intensive business (I own Cliff Cottage Inn, a B&B in Eureka Springs, Ar) and sometimes the inn “eats my wellll, breakfast”. I know I was given a gift…the ability to write a good story or article. I know I must dedicate a certain amount of time a day to work on my writing. And yet, sometimes days, even weeks go by when I am so busy at the inn that I don’t do anything on the book or article I have already begun. It sits there, waiting in my computer and the longer I stay away from it, the worse I feel. I get antsy, discontented, even miserable because I believe the muse inside me is struggling to get out and I”m not allowing her to do so. Then, when I feel so bad about ignoring her and she starts to claw at my guts to...

Advice To Writers from James Baldwin

Every morning, I get some wonderful snippets of advice from well-established writers and here’s the one for today: “The hardest thing about writing, in a sense, is not writing. I mean, the sentence is not intended to show you off, you know. It is not supposed to be “look at me!” “Look, no hands!” It’s supposed to be a pipeline between the reader and you. One condition of the sentence is to write so well that no one notices that you’re writing.” JAMES BALDWIN When I first started writing, I thought I had to use those long fahncee words I had heard when I was a kid going to school in Scotland. For some reason, over there in Britain, people seemed to speak so much better than we did in the USA. Maybe it was their accents that impressed me so much as a child. Well, I eventually became a journalist in Philadelphia and found out that the readers appreciated my use of common ordinary words a lot more than when I used those big long words. I think in the beginning of that career, I was just trying to impress the readers because I wasn’t yet confident as a writer. Today, I love the simple words but occasionally, I can’t help myself and toss in one of those big words I learned (also as a kid) when I was studying for the National Spelling Bee contests I entered every year. In fact, I’ll never forget how to spell “daguerreotype” which was the word that cost me the California championship when I was in sixth grade. I had forgotten...