It’s a brand new year, and with a new year comes new goals, plans, and a new energy to take action. A lot can be accomplished with the forward momentum of a new year, but it can also be easy to veer off course and land in a rut with wheels spinning.
That was me. I was spinning my wheels earlier today. I knew it was time for action. I had spent the better part of November and December learning, thinking, planning, and growing into what I wanted to do for 2020 (and yes, there’s some awesome stuff coming).
So the first of January arrived, and I was ready to go. But instead of going, I became stuck in a fog of anxiousness, not sure what to do first. My mind stuck in a loop as I considered what I would be doing for the next month and over the next year.
I have learned from past experience that when I this happens, the best thing to do is to just stop everything. So I took a few hours to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous, warm day we happened to be blessed with on the first day of January.
After some relaxation and contemplation, I realized where I messed up. I was paying so much attention to tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month, ect. I wasn’t actually paying attention to the now. And the now was pretty freaking awesome as I basked in golden sunlight.
And if you are like me and are crunched for time during the Holidays, go ahead and claim your free class(es) now, and go through it later. Once you sign up, you will have access for as long as the class is online.
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 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.
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.
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…