Jun 13

3 Ways Writing Builds Strength

Contributed by Linda Wilson

There are lots of ways to build strength in life: Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, be social, stay mentally active.

That last category? We writers have that covered in spades. After all, challenging our mental acuity is our game. I like to think for reasons beyond simply making an effort to stay healthy.

Tucked into suggestions to challenge our gray matter by the Alzheimer’s Organization, which lists such activities as attending lectures and plays, playing games and working crossword puzzles, is writing. With all that serious writing entails we writers must be way ahead of the game.

Subtle Strengths Reaped from Being a Writer

1-Don’t talk about it–DO IT: How often have you had this conversation with someone who wants to lose weight?

Weight Loss Challenger: I’m trying to lose weight.
You: Good for you.
Challenger: My goal is 15 lbs. but I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. I’ve tried every kind of diet and nothing works for me.

STOP!

Too often the person who talks about weight loss winds up in an endless weight-loss-weight-gain cycle and doesn’t reach her goal UNTIL she stops talking about it. Only then can she get down to business and DO IT. It takes strength to drum up the necessary discipline.

I use this example to illustrate the mistake I made as a beginner writer and the mistake other beginners might make: I talked about what I planned to write, even expounding on the details of the piece/story. Maybe I even started the project . . . but never finished it. Why? Talking about what you’re planning to write can take the wind right out of your sails–it can rob you of the energy you’ve put into coming up with your idea in the first place, so that when it comes time to write, your enthusiasm is gone.

2-The Zone. Now that you’ve leaped over one of your initial hurdles, pouring out your heart and keeping it between you and the page, you find that you soon enter THE ZONE–that magical place any serious creator occupies while working, be it an athlete, a musician, a homemaker who establishes a loving and pleasing environment–it doesn’t matter. The very act of creating will get you there. The world will open up to you. You’ll be in the candy shop, given carte blanche to pick any kind of confection you want: cake, ice cream, cookies; or hey, anything made with semi-sweet chocolate, my personal favorite (while being “strong” enough not to gain weight, mind you). You will begin to build or continue to build on your knowledge and skills and explore any and all aspects of life to your heart’s desire. A writing friend once told me one of the benefits she loves about writing is that you become an expert on many subjects and you carry this knowledge with you for the rest of your life. There’s a great deal of strength in that.

3-Learning your craft and sharpening your skills: This is a great accomplishment. You literally transform yourself into the ranks of successful people who have arrived at their success like you have, from their relentless efforts and hard work. A likely trajectory to becoming an accomplished writer can go something like this:

-Write for your school newspaper beginning as early as possible; then become editor.
-Establish a place to write and a schedule so that you write regularly every day, if possible.
-Keep a journal. Come up with subjects that are important to you and think of ways you can write about them.
-Take courses, read “how-to” books, join writing organizations and attend workshops and conferences. Share your writing with other writers.
-Explore publication outlets online, at the library, with writing organizations you belong to. Find a publication(s) that would welcome what you have to say.
-Learn photography, a handy skill to accompany your writing.
-Learn how to speak in front of others.
-Network, see what other writers are doing and learn from them. We are a sharing group .We have been known to go to great lengths to help and promote our fellow writers.

Before you know it you will have found your niche and if you keep working at it you will eventually reach your goals. Once you’ve reached your goals you can flex those buff writing muscles you’ve developed to benefit yourself, your readers and those fortunate enough to come in contact with you.

This article was originally published at: http://www.writersonthemove.com/2016/04/three-ways-writing-builds-strength.html

Children's author

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher, has published over 150 articles for children and adults, several short stories for children, and her first book, Secret in the Stars: An Abi Wunder Mystery, which is available on Amazon. Publishing credits include biosketches for the library journal, Biography Today, which include Troy Aikman, Stephen King, and William Shatner; Pockets; Hopscotch; and an article for Highlights for Children. Secret in the Mist, the second in the Abi Wunder series, is coming soon. A Packrat Holiday: Thistletoe’s Gift, and Tall Boots, Linda’s picture books, will be published soon. Follow Linda on https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com.

Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.
Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable and marketable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Writing Elements – Is One More Important Than Another?

Submitting Your Ghostwritten Book to a Children’s Publisher

Writing Tips from the Book, Story Genius

Writing and the Winds of Change

 

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Jan 28

Fiction Writing – Do It Right

Writing TipsI’m reading a book on writing fiction. It’s “Writing Fiction – The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School.”

It’s written by the Gotham Writers’ Workshop faculty and Alexander Steele is the author of Chapter One, Fiction: The What, How and Why of It.

Steele explains, “Promising ideas + hard work = good fiction. Well, not quite. Something is still missing.”

So, what’s that something?

You need to invest time, effort, and yes possibly some money to learn at least the basics of the writing craft.

I’ve written about the importance of learning the craft of writing in number of articles. It’s so important to learn how to write if you want to be an author of fiction stories (and nonfiction stories).

There are things like:

– Knowing how to write dialogue
– Knowing how to use showing rather than telling
– Knowing the elements of fiction writing
– Knowing how to use quotes in nonfiction writing
– Knowing how properly format a manuscript

Learning all this and the many other rules of writing shows you took the time to do it right. It shows you care about your writing . . . and you care about your audience.

Think of it as playing an instrument, say the guitar. You figure out the very basic chords, but that’s it. You might be able to strum those chords, but would you call yourself a good guitar player. Do you think anyone would pay to hear you play? Would anyone want to listen to you for free?

Stelle equates it to building a chair. You might be able to put one together, but will it support the weight of a person? Will it look good? Will someone want to buy it?

I think you get the idea.

While anyone can type away and create a story or article, will it be professional. Will it be a quality story? Will it be marketable? Will you be proud to be the author of it?

Self-publishing has opened the door to fulfilling dreams of becoming an author. It’s true that anyone can now publish a book, but how much better will your book be if you learn at least the basic rules of fiction writing.

As Stelle puts it, “The ‘rules’ of fiction craft weren’t created by any one person in particular. They simply emerged over time as guiding principles that made fiction writing stronger, in much the same way the mortise-and-tenon joint emerged as a good way to join parts of a chair.”

The rules work and once you learn the craft, even if you’re just beginning, it can make your writing easier. The guess work is eliminated and you’ll have a better idea of when and where to break the rules to make your story unique.

So, how do you learn the craft of writing?

You learn to write fiction the same way you would learn anything – by studying it. Take writing courses and/or sign up for a writing program. There are plenty of online and offline places that offer writing.

You can even learn a lot by reading the blogs of ‘quality’ writing sites. And, be sure to join writing groups. Often there are discussions on the craft of writing.

In addition to this, READ!

Reading books from traditional publishers will help train your brain to know what ‘good’ writing is and what marketable writing is. And, unless you’re writing just for you and your family, you will want to create a marketable book.

You should also read books on the craft of writing.

Journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson said, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”

Children's ghostwriterWhether you need rewriting, ghostwriting, or coaching let me take a look at your story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box.

Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your book in publishable shape today!

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Jul 09

Are You a Writer? You’ve Got to Keep Learning and Growing

Writing Tip - Keep on

Contributed by Team Member
Suzanne Lieurance

I can always tell when someone knows almost ‘nothing’ about writing.

They are the ones who think they already know ‘everything’.

They’re the ones who can’t be bothered to take a writing class or a writer’s workshop, or work with a writing coach.

They are the ones who believe they don’t need to have their work critiqued.

Or, if for some reason they do manage to have someone critique their work, they don’t think the suggestions they get for improving their writing have any merit.

After all, they already know how to write.

Why do they need to make things clearer?

Nonsense. If the reader can’t figure out what they are trying to say, that’s the fault of the reader, not theirs.

So why do I tell you all this?

To help you realize that all writers have much to learn.

All writers can benefit from a writing class, a writer’s workshop, or from working with a writing coach or a mentor.

The writers who tend to know the most about writing are the ones who realize how much they ‘don’t know’, and they do everything they can to learn more all the time.

Whether you’re new to writing or you’ve been at it for awhile, be sure you continue to read, read, read the types of things you wish to write.

Continue to take classes, attend writer’s workshops, and even work with a writing coach so you are learning more about the business of writing and the writing process all the time.

Above all else, practice, practice, practice your craft, which means you must simply, write, write, write.

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

—–

Suzanne’s right. Honing your writing craft is a must, if you’re a writer.

But, what if you’re not a writer and don’t want to become one. But, what if you have this amazing idea for a children’s book and desperately want to get it published. You want your name as author on the book. What do you do?

You hire a children’s ghostwriter. You hire me!

Let me take a look at your idea or outline or story. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a publishable book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

—–

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Writing Skills – Spread Your Wings

Writing Success – Know Your Intent

10 Tips to Hiring a Children’s Ghostwriter

Jul 17

Self-Publishing: 3 Tips to Help You Avoid the ‘I Want It Now Syndrome’

(What’s a ‘Wannabe’ Author to Do?)

Self-publishing is a ship everyone wants to sail on. And, for good reason. This publishing avenue is quick and cheap.

Yes, self-publishing is fast. There’s no more submitting to a publisher or multiple publishers and waiting for (possibly) months for a response. Will they accept your manuscript that you’ve been working on for months, maybe years? Or, will they send you a generic standard rejection letter? Either way, the time waiting for an acceptance or rejection isn’t fun. With self-publishing, as soon as your manuscript is ready to go, it goes.

There are lots and lots of places to publish an ebook. And, you can publish with more than one service. And, you can sell that ebook right from your own site. That’s pretty convenient.

In addition to being a quick process, ebooks are cheap to create and publish. If you do everything yourself (aside from editing), it will cost nothing. In the event you need help, services like Fiverr have people who will help you for a very, very reasonable price.

But . . .

While it’s obvious to see the benefits to self-publishing, these benefits have one drawback in particular: everyone thinks they can write a book and self-publish it, whether or not they have the skills to write a book and whether or not it’s a quality product.

Part of the problem, possibly the main problem, is the ‘I want it now’ syndrome that self-publishing lends itself to. New authors don’t want to take the longer ‘proven’ road of learning the craft of writing and having their manuscript edited before publishing.

This ‘problem’ does all authors a disservice. It lessens the validity of self-published books as a whole. Readers (buyers) never know if the book they’re buying was done professionally or if it was carelessly slapped together.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, there are three basic strategies to use when thinking of writing a book and self-publishing:

1. Learn the craft of writing.

The first thing a ‘wannabe’ author needs to do is learn the craft of writing. This isn’t to say you must get a MFA, but you should take writing courses. There are some online courses that are free. And, you should belong to writing groups.

Along with this, you should actually be writing. Practice does make better.

Finally, you’ve got to read and read and read in the genre you want to write and in lots of other genres also. You especially want to read recently traditionally published books.

This will help you get an idea of what publishers are looking for, what quality work is being published, and how it’s written.

2. Join a critique group.

The second thing is for the author to join a genre appropriate critique group. Having your manuscript critiqued by others helps with grammar, clarity, story line, characters . . . you get the idea. Critique groups help you write your book. Those extra eyes will catch things in your manuscript that you glaze over.

3. Hire an editor.

The third thing the author should do, after the manuscript is as ‘good’ as she can get it, is to find a reputable editor and have it edited. It’s easy for an author to think she’s found all the errors in her manuscript, but in actuality, this is almost impossible to do. As the author, you’re much too close to the work to see it fresh and with unbiased eyes.

Self-publishing is an amazing opportunity for authors, but it needs to be done responsibly. Authors need to take the readers and the industry into consideration when venturing into it.

Instead of being one of the “I want it now” authors, be one of the ‘I want it, but am willing to work toward it’ authors.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting, rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700.

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable and marketable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Focus, Determination, and Perseverance = Writing Success
4 Realities New Writers Need to Face
The One Sentence Pitch for Your Manuscript
How Do You Build a Successful Writing Career? (3 Tips)