Posted in beginning writer, getting published, how to write, learning about writing, the writing journey, writing, writing advice, writing better, writing mentorship

Offering Free Writing Mentorship

Image from Pixabay

I always make an effort to be thankful, but it’s this time of year that really reminds me of how grateful I am. Each year I find more and more blessings in my life to celebrate and be excited for. This year I have been contemplating my journey writing, and all it has done for me.

How many years has it been since that journey started? I honestly can’t say with any certainty. I started writing as a teenager. I still have some of those crazy stories in a notebook somewhere. I stopped for a good while, but picked it back up in young adulthood. I believe since then, it’s been about fourteen years.

In that time, I have written many, many short stories (a few of them published). I wrote several novels (one of them published). I dived into journaling pretty hardcore (and even published one of those too). I also started this blog that’s been going for about six or seven years.

Besides the physical production of writing, the act of writing has immensely transformed the landscape of my life from the inside out. It’s allowed me to dive deep into myself and the world around me. It’s allowed me to stretch myself and expand into possibilities I once thought impossible.

I would not be the person I am today without writing, and I am very thankful for that. I love who I am. I love the confidence I have built in myself and my writing ability. I love how much knowledge I have accumulated about writing and the writing life/community.

This has given me a new appreciation for myself, my journey, and how much experience I have in writing. And I can’t help but think that perhaps there are people out there who might benefit from some of what I know.

So I have decided to start a journey of becoming a writing mentor. I want to help others who might be beginning their writing journey, or who might be feeling a little lost in their writing journey and need some guidance, or who just needs a sounding board to bounce off story and character ideas.

Here are some writing, editing, design experiences that I have had…

  • I’ve submitting work to traditional publishers (several short stories published).
  • I also have two books I’ve self-published.
  • I’ve helped several fellow writers publish their works traditionally, and a few who self-published too, including my eleven year old son.
  • I ran a writing critique group for two years.
  • I am running a writing blog, and maintaining multiple writing social media accounts.
  • I edited and published articles for Psych Central for four years.
  • I was a slush reader for Apex Magazine for four years.
  • I have a graphic design degree, and have designed many book covers for myself and others.
  • I also have experience formatting books for ebook and print.

Here are some specific things I can do for you…

  • Help with story and character development
  • Help with starting, planning, and finishing a novel or novel series
  • Help with submitting to a traditional or indie publisher
  • Help with getting into self-publishing, which includes cover designing and manuscript formatting
  • Help with starting up a blog
  • Overall guidance for how to be a writer and how to setup a good writing routine
  • Be a sounding board for story and character ideas
  • Help with world building and fleshing out story settings
  • Offer helpful story critiques for finishing up a specific writing project
  • Offer support and advice for moving out a writer’s block or staying motivated to write

Right now I have three spots available. So if you are interested, or know someone who is interested in taking advantage of this limited time free mentorship, then please feel free to contact me.

When contacting me, just let me know what sort of help you are looking for. Once you contact me, we can then determine if we want to keep emailing or do a video chat, or a combination.

My wish is to help keep the writing spirit alive in those who wish to travel the path of the writer. Writing itself is a lonely task, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely journey. So if you think you are in need of a writing companion to help you cover some ground in your journey, please reach out and let’s see if I will be a good fit for your needs.

Posted in A Writer's Life, better life, better writing, creativity, inspiration, The Writer's Toolbox, writing, writing better

A New Way of Writing: The Magic of Inspired Action

image form Pixabay

Have you ever been here? You look at your desk, and it’s piled high with unfinished projects. You also have a notebook of projects ideas you haven’t even started, but really want to. But the frustration eating at you to complete something doesn’t really give you freedom to tackle… One. More. Thing. *heavy sigh*

That’s how I used to be, until recently. Not that long ago, I realized something. I realized I had other loves other than writing. And that I worked better when I wasn’t solely focused just on writing. Instead of being stuck with one project, and only that project until it was completed, I began to mix things up.

One day, I’d work on book cover art. Another day, I might edit. And maybe a few days, I’d actually sit down to write. Some days, I even managed to do a little of everything. It’s a far cry from the old days.

I remember the days when I would work on my novel Blood Feud for weeks, months at a time, and I would not allow myself to do anything else. If I was writing, that was what I would work on, even if I didn’t feel like it. I eventually finished the book by sheer will alone, but I was exhausted and completely burned myself out of writing for a long time. Getting that book completed and published was not worth the price I paid.

Now, many writers say that’s how you get novels written. You put your butt in the seat, and you write, even if you don’t feel like it. And yes, eventually the faucet does turn on, but it feels like pulling teeth to get there. It’s damn uncomfortable, and for me, not productive considering how much time I spent just trying get myself in the mindset to write.

I have found a better way. It’s by working through inspired action. I don’t act, until I feel inspired to act. In working this way, my productivity has sky rocketed.

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Posted in Boosting Creativity, creative writing, The Writer's Toolbox, writing, writing exercise, writing practice, writing prompt

Writing Prompts: Daily Writing Prompt App

Recently, I decided to start doing daily writing prompts to get my creativity moving a little more fluidly. I have two apps I’ve been using specifically for this. Both have been useful in their own way, but today I want to talk about the Daily Writing Prompt App.

I have been using this for the last week, and I’ve really been enjoying it. This app has a new writing prompt every 24 hours. Sometimes it will have pictures, a list of words, or an idea as a prompt. It’s always fun to see what they have, and within a few moments it sparks an idea, and I’m writing!

I really look forward to doing these prompts each day, because I’m usually pleasantly surprised with what I come up with. And it’s just a great way to have fun writing. I sometimes get a little too “serious” with my writing. I put so many obligations on myself that it’s fun to make a connection with a carefree approach.

This app is available for iphones. You can do a search for writing prompts, and it will come up. This is a free app. It doesn’t have the best reviews, but that’s because many people would like to go back and edit (which it doesn’t have an option for). I personally don’t mind. I believe these quick prompts are for spurring creativity, not perfecting editing skills. In fact, I like the idea of not being able to edit. It leaves me free to create, and that’s it.

Want to give one of the writing prompts a try? This is the first prompt I did. I only spent about 20 minutes on this so ignore any “issues” it might have. Anyways, this prompt was submitted by Libby Anderson (which––by the way–– you can also submit your own writing prompts too). Here it goes…

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Posted in empowerment, journaling, Journaling Discoveries, writing

Journaling Discoveries: Enjoying the Journey, Even the Not So Great Parts

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“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” ––Babs Hoffman

It’s not always easy to enjoy the journey, especially when the journey appears to be a struggle. How can we enjoy the struggles? Is that even possible?

I have an aversion to struggles. Maybe this is a universal thing. I mean, really, who wants to have conflicts and continual issues in life? So why is it that people talk about enjoying the journey, or just letting the process unfold like it’s some secret joke as they smile and walk away? Will someone please let me in on the punchline?

My family and I recently went through a particularly “fun” struggle from mid -September, until last week. My husband was rear ended in a car accident that left us without reliable transportation for nearly a month. It was a tough time for us. But it also was a bit magical too. Okay, maybe a lot magical.

I had finally decided that I was done with feeling so upset and twisted up by life events. I wanted to ride this struggle with a little more enjoyment. I decided to try out the sage advice of those who would smile and say “enjoy the journey,” because not enjoying the journey was becoming too much drama for me. Why was I torturing myself so much over a freaking car? It was just a car after all.

I won’t say I was perfect. I had moments and whole days where the situation of having no car really got to me. But then I’d catch myself, shake it off, and try to find the things in life that were going very well for us. And I have to say, we do have a whole lot going right, and I don’t think I realized how much until this incident.

So I spent a lot of time basking in the things I was appreciative for. I had whole days that I decided to “pretend” we had no car issue and that all was fantastic. I even imagined our new car in the garage, and us taking it out for a ride as a family. And you know, doing these things really helped me enjoy the struggle more than I ever managed to before. It was a huge step forward for me.

The car incident also had some magical results too. A big one was my husband’s coworkers stepping up to offer him rides to and from work. It was really great to feel that sort of love and support. We also ended up with a much newer and bigger car than what we started out with. And we love it so very much (and yes, we’ve taken the Chevy Equinox out for several family rides since purchasing it).

Another major benefit from all of this is it’s really made me reevaluate how I deal with adversity. I’ve always looked at adversity and struggle as negative. I always felt a desire to avoid such instances at all costs. But maybe the struggles aren’t so terrible? Maybe they help us find clarity and help us understand what we really do want out of life?

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Posted in A Writer's Life, better writing, build confidence as a writer, free writing, How to Be a Writer, how to write, The Writer's Toolbox, writing, writing advice, writing discipline

5 Steps to Setting Up a Daily Habit of Writing

image from Pixabay

In order to be a writer, one must write. But let’s face it, it’s not always easy to find the time to fit writing in, especially as a daily thing. But I’ve been writing long enough to know that I’m a lot more successful at writing, when I make writing a daily habit. So let’s take a look at five steps to be a daily writer.

Step 1: Time of Day

First identify the best time of the day to write for you. Everyone will be different, so don’t judge what works for you against someone else’s writing time. If you aren’t sure, do some experimenting. Is it first thing in the morning that you do the best writing? Is it midmorning or midday? Or is it the afternoon, or late at night?

Step 2: Set a Time Period

Next, set a period of time that you will write. This can be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, to several hours, or more. Even if it’s just a short writing session, if you are writing everyday, then that time will add up. You may find too that somedays you will get more writing in than others, and that’s okay.

Step 3: Have a Routine to Get You Started

It’s a lot easier to start writing if you are in the right mindset. Otherwise you could be sitting for half your writing time or more just trying to get into the piece you want to write on. There are many ways to get into a writing mindset. I will list a few here.

  • Listen to music you have specifically for writing
  • Start by free writing for 10 minutes or so to get into writing
  • Spend a few minutes clearing your mind and setting an intention on what you plan to do
  • Have a specific spot that you write and only write so when you sit down you are automatically put in the writing mood
  • Use a “writing hat” which is anything you wear or have near you while writing

You can do one or more than one of the above, or even come up with your own way(s). The important part is having a routine, so that your mind knows you are sitting down to write, and it’s time to get to business.

Step 4: Do Things to Prep for Writing

It’s important to only write during the time you allot to write. This may mean doing some prepping before hand such as letting anyone who lives with you know not to bother you during this time, turning off distractions like the phone or access to internet, and deciding the day or night before what you will be writing on. If you set an intention to write on something specific, you will be far more likely to have a great writing session the next day.

Step 5: Have Fun With Writing

Most important step of all. Don’t forget to have fun with writing! That’s why you started writing in the first place isn’t it? Writing was fun. It was exhilarating as you created new characters and worlds, or mind-blowing nonfiction. That should still be the case. Don’t let your deadlines or feelings of obligations suck all the fun away. Remember why you started writing, why you keep writing, and how much fun it is to play with words!

Do you already have a writing routine, and would like to share? Please feel free to post in the comments.