What’s your 2019 writing plans?

Hey fellow writer types… do you have any big, lofty goals for 2019? If not, you probably should. In the very least, plan to keep at it.

But I really wanna hear what you have planned. And how you plan to accomplish those goals. So sound off in the comments. Maybe we can all learn a little something from each other’s lofty goals and how to achieve them.

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#writing, #writingtips

Building your author platform

This is a really good, simple approach to building your author platform. Something I myself am having to rethink and start over at doing, because mine was on Google+. Please read the full post, it’s solid and short and sweet.

The Cat's Write

There are some truly wonderful and very comprehensive articles out there that discuss ‘how to build a successful author platform’ and also the many reasons why you should do so ASAP. But I’m just gonna keep it simple for you (and short), because simple and short has worked for me.

When building your author platform, the four most important things you need to do are:

1)    choose ONE social media account to focus on

2)    enjoy it

3)    consistently use it and;

4)    grow it.

In my opinion, if you try to develop multiple accounts at the same time, you’ll:

a) get stretched too thin trying to manage everything and;

b) your author platform/s will therefore suffer.

It’s like catching a train. You don’t stand on the platform waiting to board 10 trains do you? No, you’re waitng for one train and one train only. And once you catch that…

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#author-platform, #writing, #writingtips

Old Notebooks. The Cloud. Backing up your Stuff.

As of Saturday, I’ve been going through some old notebooks from the garage. I used to be a notebook junkie, back in my youth. Why? Because I was always writing something. Whether it was fiction, a journal, notes, etc. I’ve always been a note junkie, too. Unfortunately, before the cloud age, this meant a lot of notebooks and being afraid to throw away any of them in case there was something in there that didn’t eventually get realized somewhere else.

I’m mostly throwing away the stuff I’m going through, but there is an occasional gem here and there. These notebooks date between high school and college days. Any fiction I was writing at that age is pretty bad, but sometimes an idea was good. I try to keep ideas with potential, but stuff that’s just bad I toss. And then there’s the notes upon notes upon notes. You never know what you’ll find in a notebook of mine. There could be like ten pages of Algebra II notes followed by a short scene for stage, and then notes on a two act play. Good gravy.

I mostly went digital several years back and have made little use of notebooks since then. While a lot could be said about the fragility and non-ownership of digital, a lot could also be said about notebooks sitting in cardboard boxes in your garage for years and fragility. Those notebooks easily could have been chewed up and dumped on by mice or whatever. Or flooding in the basement of our previous place could have destroyed them.

The key to me when it comes to your work, notes, etc. is that you have multiple copies. Period. Some people put all their eggs in Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox, or Box, or Evernote, or OneNote, or whatever other digital platforms/clouds. But I try to make multiple copies in several of these places. I may draft in one place, but then edit in another, or simply copy stuff over to another place at some point just to make sure I have a backup.

Backup, backup, backup. That’s what you want to do.

Never underestimate backing up. Because at some point a service you use everyday will shutdown, or the cloud will hiccup and dump your stuff or whatever. Backup, backup, backup. Always backup.

#writing, #writingtips

Preface | The face before your actual face.

Preface | The face before your actual face.

#writingtips #writing

Writing: The Struggle is Real

Writing, when it comes, is a glorious waterfall of emotions and glory. The feeling is one I can hardly describe. But there are moments, times, days, weeks, months when you become beaten. Slapped. Kicked. Beaten with a bat, run over by car. Shot. Stabbed. Trampled by a stampede.

It’s a moment when you sit down to get to work and there is a void. A great nothingness. Thus begins a struggle with an invisible foe. It feels like it’s you against a black hole. It sucks you in and you can’t quit it. You stand no chance.

It’s nothing. Nothing.

Nothing.

So you try to turn your thoughts away from the typing part of writing, try to focus on other things like notes. Research. Something.

Still. Nothing.

Punched. Spit upon. Scarred, cut, wounded.

You’re not sure you can go on. You try desperately to trick yourself into it by turning to music. That trusty playlist you’ve been building up with music to help inspire and guide you. So you listen. You listen. You listen still.

HOLY MOTHER OF NOTHINGNESS.

There is no end in sight. She has her hands around your neck, strangling and digging her fingernails into your skin. She looks deeply into your eyes and you can see her smile. She grins with delight. She enjoys your bitter end.

A tear escapes your eye and trickles down your temple. She’s on top of you now, crushing your chest. It’s getting harder to breathe. You can feel your life force giving in to her desires.

But then…

What is this? Could it be? No, surely not.

But, ho! It is!

A thought.

A glorious, wondrous thought. A beautiful thought. An idea. Perhaps the thing you’d been missing all this time. Your eyesight returns from the blackness. You can see that wretched woman’s smile fade from her eyes. You grab her arms and pull them apart, her hands unlatching from your neck.

Somewhere in the distance opera music plays, reaching its crescendo. A triple forte.

You look her in the eyes, you tell her to go. You have an idea after all. You toss her across the floor, she springs up on all fours like a cat. Her back hunched, she hisses.

“Not today, old maid!” You scoff at her. “I’m a writer, and I have an idea. A wonderful, glorious thought.”

You sit down at the desk once more. The opera chorus sings in triumph now, louder and louder. You pick up your pen, your weapon. You shall die by it, by gum. You put pen to paper and suddenly…

An organ crashes. The chorus halts.

An overwhelming feeling. A dark, heavy feeling. It bears down on your back like an Acme anvil. You physically begin to cave under its pressure, its weight. Can it be? No. No. YES! It is!

It’s been done before.

HOLY MOTHER OF BACON BITS.

You look to your old adversary. Her eyes smile once more. She let you believe it. She led you to this outcome. It was her all along. She was merely toying with you, like a cat with its trusty toy. Fooled. Again.

“Well played, milady.” You tell her. “Well played.”

You write a blog post instead. Screw her.

#writers-block, #writing, #writingtips

Fwd: Spotlight on Ava Marsh — Bibliophile Book Club

A short read about researching some taboo topics that makes you think about your own research methods as a writer. Hop over and give it a read.


Ava Marsh's book cover for Untouchable.

Ava Marsh’s book Untouchable.

Today, I am thrilled to have the lovely Ava Marsh joining me on the blog with a brilliant guest post! About Ava: Ava Marsh grew up in Margate, Kent. A former broadsheet journalist, she now works as…

Source: Spotlight on Ava Marsh

 

#characterization, #research, #writing, #writingtips

I’m feeling pretty good about my writing WRITE NOW

Ever since last Fall, I took on a couple of writing projects. The first was publishing the Josephine the Dragon stories by Taylor Christine on the blog. The second was writing the next installment in the I Will Kill You for $5 project.

But, alas, it felt like I had really fallen behind on the blog and writing in general. Life has been crazy, to my credit. However, as is the case a lot, I dump on myself a lot about writing.

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#shortstory, #writing, #writingtips