My Quaint Little Space

In keeping with the cleaning of my mental cobwebs, I have also cleaned and reorganized my writing space. This is a very important step for a reemerging author. You need a space that sparks your imagination. One that keeps you focused, but that feels like a safe space to put your most sensitive work on paper.

I know that most writers, like me, believe that a cluttered space is a sure sign of a writers mind at work, but even I can’t focus on writing while thinking about the last time I vacuumed my office! I have now surrounded myself with things that I love, including my new X Files Pop Vinyl collection, and I’m ready to grow some creative clutter!imag0673

I’ve Been A Very Bad Writer!

A lot has changed in my life in the past few years and, unfortunately, I fell off the writing wagon again. With multiple unfinished manuscripts and commitments, I needed to go out in to the world and earn a living that would sustain a freshly single mother with a mortgage and plethora of two income bills!

I can finally say that I have comfortably reestablished myself and can now commit to writing again! Just typing those words feels like freedom!

As the days turn to weeks I hope to have completed the third book in my paranormal series and continued work on a young adult piece that I am creating for my nephew. Both are long overdue.

Stop by and see my progress! I’ve missed you!

Why I hate that I love writing … sometimes

I usually hate my love of writing when the bills are coming due. The mortgage company doesn’t want to hear that book sales are down and job prospects are low. The same is true for the mechanic when the car breaks down and the kids when they want a new gadget or trip to the mall.


I hate that I love writing when I remember what it was like to have regular bi-weekly pay checks and the ability to budget and plan because I always knew how much money was coming in even though my work did nothing to fulfill me or make me feel whole.


I used to hate it when, after a long day of work, I settled in to my bed and couldn’t sleep a wink because some imaginary character was prodding me like an insistent child, demanding that I go jot down his story.


I hate the uncomfortable feeling I get when I run in to former colleagues who ask, “What are you doing now?” and look at me with credulity when I say, “I am a writer, now.”


Finally, I hate that the modern writer needs to be a supreme marketer in order to survive. Writers are generally introverts by nature and the fact that they must become overt sales people is psychological trauma.


Thank goodness for the all the times that I love my love of writing. Like when someone reads my work and tells me, exuberantly, how much they related to the characters, or how my advice on a subject helped them out or made their life easier for a day. If it weren’t for those times, I would go back to pretending to be someone else.



Short Story Submission – Cutting My Fluff

I completed a short story for submission to an anthology today. When I completed the first draft I realized that I had gone over the maximum word count per the guidelines. I’m not sure why, but I convinced myself that it was 5000 words when it was actually 4000. I cut roughly 700 words from the story and thought, with this limited word count, the story will surely suffer from the loss! When I reread it, however, it was a much cleaner, crisper, better organized piece. It’s funny how well you can identify and erase your “fluff” when you have to! It was definitely an eye opening exercise for me, anyway.

Free Kindle Book – You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

I grabbed a free copy of Jeff Goins e-book today. I think that most independent authors are already familiar with the tips that Jeff outlines but this little e-book is very well written and I appreciated seeing that Jeff, like me, had experienced much of the same self-doubt and struggle. Grab a copy if you like.

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

Living and working “like” a writer is the only way to become one


So you want to be writer, huh? Seems like a job that can be easily accomplished by someone with a strong grasp of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure and a few noteworthy ideas to share, right? Not necessarily. The primary reason new writers enter the market is to make a living doing something they love. This reason, while logical, is juxtaposed. The primary reason for writing should be to do something you love and make a living out of it. The emphasis being; SOMETHING YOU LOVE. Because if you don’t love it, you won’t live it and if you don’t live it, you will probably not earn a living at it. Here are a few keys to living and working like a writer:

Read, read, and read…

You can’t be a successful writer if you don’t read and there are several things you should be reading. The most successful business people in any industry get there in part by keeping up to date on changes in the business, new policies, better ways to do things, new philosophies in the industry, etc… Writers must do the same. Read books and online content about writing, read style guides, keep reference materials and actually use them. Read about the things you write about. You need to see the good, the mediocre, and the down right ridiculous in your genre so that you can identify it and strive not to duplicate the mistakes of others. If you’re a blogger, read high traffic blogs and try to identify the roots of their popularity. If you’re a novelist, read books in your genre. It’s amazing how much better a writer one can become by seeing examples of what not to do! Read to be informed about the world. Your readers tastes change as the world around them changes and you need to know what topics are fresh and interest worthy. Finally, read so you can shift yourself in to the mindset of a reader. That way, when you re-read your own work, it will be easier to distance yourself and see the story from a readers point of view.

Have a desk – even though you may not use it very often

Every business person needs a home base. They need somewhere that feels like the “office”. From a psychological standpoint, it makes you feel credible. With today’s technology, writers are more likely to prop up a laptop in their laps while sitting in bed than to lock themselves in their home office but having the option of going to the “office” makes your writing profession feel real.

Introduce yourself as a writer

This is one that I still find myself struggling with even after publishing hundreds of articles and four books. When I left my traditional career, everyone I saw on the street asked, “What are you doing now?” and I struggled for an answer. Mostly because I was picking up odd work at home contract jobs and thought that somehow defining those was a better answer than saying I am a writer. I feared the stigma of “starving artist”. I was afraid they would walk away saying, “She doesn’t have a job. She’s sitting at home trying to be J.K. Rowling or Stephen King.” Then one day I realized, “If I don’t think I’m a writer, how can I expect anyone else to?”

Write for the love of it

If a topic doesn’t interest you, you will likely write about it with little interest. Every piece of work you put out for the public should be written with a keen interest and compiled with passion. Your readers may not experience a passionate awakening when they read your article about kitchen cleaners, but they will hear the energy in your voice if you feel passionately about kitchen cleaners and your words, through your passion, will be more credible and interesting.

Actively engage with other writers and readers

You need a community of like minds to keep you fresh and on top of your game. Gone are the days of the loner writer locked up in a woodsy location. Today, you need a network to get ahead and to reach an audience. Take classes and seminars, go to local library functions, visit the local coffee houses and indie books stores, maybe take in a poetry reading or two. Use social networking to connect with other authors, readers, and resources like cover designers, editors, reviewers, and publishers. Connect for success, and remember, the greatest work will remain unknown if it isn’t marketed and connecting with people who have an interest in your content is the easiest way to market it.

Write with the understanding that you may never make a dime from it

If you can come to terms with the idea that you may never sell a single word and you still feel the overwhelming desire to write then it is highly likely that you will be a successful writer. Why? Because it is in your blood. Writing is a method of happiness for you and when you write to fulfill the human need for happiness, you write from your soul. Reader’s can identify “soul writers” and they stand out in a crowd of hacks who have lost their passion and now write for a paycheck. Readers will be drawn to you, and if you write well, you will see a return on your investment.