Sunday, June 28, 2015

Excuses

I have posted on my blog for two weeks. Want to hear my excuses? One weekend I was on grandma duty. The next, I was fighting a bout with a flu bug. Both of those are good reasons I didn't get my blog updated, right?

Maybe not. I knew in advance that I'd be on grandma duty and still I didn't work ahead to have a blog post up and ready to go. The flu bug, well, that one is unpredictable and left me tired for two days. There was no way I could have worked a head and by the time I felt good enough to write a post, it was almost time for this week's post.

So, I have one legitimate excuse and one no so legitimate. Both resulted in low productivity for my writing, no blog and no new writing. BUT I did work on my writing. I had three chapters to proof read and input the edits in the Microsoft Word document. Why? Because the only way to have results in your writing career is to work on your writing!

Take a look at the past two weeks of your life. Have you given your writing priority or was attending lunch with friends, cleaning house or watching a movie eat into your writing time? If so, what was your excuse to blow off your writing?

Remember you can't go back and recover your valuable writing time, if you want results you have to make your writing a priority and save your 'excuses' for other areas in your life.  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Join!

There are professional organizations for almost every type of writing. Join one!

They provide support and valuable information. Many have monthly publications. Most have websites where authors offer courses or webinars (see my previous post). Some organizations print or post market guides for their members.

In addition they keep you up to date on your chosen genre, provide mentors or critique groups, and in some organizations can provide legal advice. Most of the organizations need volunteers and allow you to be as active as you want.

The draw back is some membership fees are pricey and many organizations assign you a chapter and you have chapter dues too. Research all organizations before you join. I've found the benefits of belonging to these organizations far outweigh the cons however I can't stress enough you need to join an organization that supports your chosen genre.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Learn!

Today's tip for developing a writing career is learn or study your craft. So if you instituted either of my last two tips, you've read a craft book. Perhaps you still have questions or you're having trouble knowing the difference between showing and telling then don't overlook a writing class or two.

In our online world taking a writing class is easier than ever. Writer's Digest magazine offers many courses/webinars, most Community Colleges offer writing course as well as the continuing education departments of universities, organizations in your chosen genre and don't forget to check your favorite author's website! Many author's offer online courses for a nominal fee.

With any career there is training involved. Writing is no different. Let me say that again. Writing requires training. No one can sit down and write a publishable manuscript in one setting. Trust me, if you want to succeed, take a writing course!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

And Read Some More!

This post is the second answer to the question of my best piece of writing advice. Last week I said to read craft books. Read craft books on the basics of writing and on your chosen genre. This week READ is the same answer only with a little variation.

Read books in the genre you are writing. Read books from the publisher you are targeting. Again, like last week if your budget doesn't allow you to purchase twenty books a month (wouldn't that be nice?), go to a book store or library for this research.

Again, the disclaimer, if you are at the library reading a mystery or romance written in the 1990's, you can' use that book as research. The books you read must have a current copyright dates. Why? Lines close, lines change, techniques change. Romance used to be in the heroine's view point only. Now they are roughly 50/50 of the hero/heroine's view point. Children's books now handle tough situations, like gangs and sexuality, subjects that were tabu in my youth.

So set aside an afternoon or two or three to read, read, read your chosen genre. This will help you plan YOUR book to meet what the publisher you are targeting wants to publish.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Read, Read, Read

As you know, I had the wonderful opportunity to be a presenter at a conference in April. The organizer's had a terrific and unique idea to have authors sit at a table and allow participants to approach them with questions that the participants might be too nervous to ask in front of others. I was asked a variety of questions and thought I'd cover a few in my blog in the upcoming weeks.

The main question people asked was: What is the best piece of writing advice you can give me?

I have two answers for that question. I'll cover the first answer in this weeks blog. It's something I've written about numerous times.

Find a good book on the basics of the writing craft, read it, believe it applies to you (because it does!) and utilize the information for your own work.

If you are on shoe string budget, go to the library and see if they have any books about writing (the only caveat here is to make sure the copyright date is timely. Something from the 1970's doesn't apply to today's markets.). Take an afternoon and spend in a book store perusing the various writing books on their shelves. We all learn differently so chose the best book for you. Not the best book for me or your writing buddy or even a best selling author whose blog you follow. If you want to write for children, you need a book with advice and tips about writing for children not a book about how to insert red herrings into your manuscript so you have a successful mystery book. If you're interested in writing short stories don't buy a book about writing a breakout novel.

In my opinion if you are a beginning writer, you need a general book about writing that includes how to format a manuscript, information on query and cover letters, and how to find/submit to publishers.

The best book about writing I've ever purchased and read only cost my $5 on sale at a box bookstore so don't forget to nose around those bargain shelves on your pursuit of a book about the writing craft!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Breaking News!!!!

I learned yesterday that The Widow's Suitor is a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards,  sponsored by the Oklahoma RWA Chapter, in the inspirational category.

♦~~♦~~♦~~♦~~♦~~♦~~♦~~♦~~
Regina Jennings  /  A Most Inconvenient Marriage
Lyn Cote  / Honor
Becky Wade  /  Meant to be Mine
Rose Ross Zediker  /  The Widow’s Suitor
Robin Lee Hatcher  /  Love Without End
Elizabeth Camden  /  With Every Breath


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Barnes & Noble Book Signing!

Here are two pictures from my book signing today at Barnes & Noble in Sioux City, IA.

Do I look happy and surprised in this picture? You bet I do! I had a terrific book signing because of these very special ESA sisters who hid behind a banner to surprise me!