Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Writing Space Comfort #IWSG

Whether you like your writing space with a view, cluttered, or sparse, what is important is that you find a comfortable place to write.

This month's IWSG optional question is, What are five objects in your writing space?

I have more than five objects in my writing space because I find comfort in clutter. I have many knick knacks around me including a Master Chief on a Puma... ok, it's not a Puma. So I picked a few important things and took a photo. See above.

Because I find so many distractions on my computer, I handwrite my first drafts. Consequently I go through many purple pens. I depleted six purple pens for NaNoWriMo in November, completing the challenge at just shy of 62k words written. Yay. It's the most I've ever written in a month.

I also have copious amounts of note books in which to write. The paper is as important as the pens. Little A5 sized pages are easy to hold, easy to fill, and I know how many pages I need to complete to hit my daily goal. 

Then there is a mini desk fan to keep me cool in the Brisbane heat. Because I just feel sleepy when it's hot.

And the ball in the photo is a marble paperweight my brother bought me many years ago. Just because.

Oh, and for the fifth item, if you squint, you can see my whiteboard reflected in the paperweight. I love my whiteboard. Great for plotting, reminders, lists and doodles.

So how about you? What objects could I find in your writing space?

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month the members of our group post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG, then please go HERE

Don't forget, the  WEP Challenge is on now. Check out the details and sign up HERE



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I'd just like to wish everyone a special, peaceful Christmas. If you are looking for a gift for someone you love, please consider my daily devotional book, Cling to God. With a short devotional thought for every day of the year, my book can help you draw closer to God in this crazy busy world.



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

My Evolution of Creativity #IWSG

This month’s optional IWSG question: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing? 

I guess, when I began writing I was super focused and super enthusiastic. There was so much I didn’t know and that ignorance was blissful in so many ways. I had big crazy dreams and nothing was going to hold me back. Then I started to learn more about how to write and how not to write, and I realized much of my writing fell into the category of how not to. That’s when I first started experiencing doubts. Maybe my big dreams weren’t as accessible as I first thought. Maybe this dream of mine was going to be way more difficult than expected.

I took a break from writing because reality set in and I needed to earn a living. I turned to art and that got me through. Then about ten years later, writing called me back. Fresh enthusiasm had a hold of me and I wrote up a storm. Meanwhile the publishing world had changed. There were more people than ever wanting to get recognized and become the next household name. There were also more voices than ever telling me I was doing it wrong.

Eventually I set aside three finished manuscripts, thinking they were no good. Years later—this year, in fact—I read through them and realized they were actually pretty okay. I was shocked. And I was horrified that I’d listened too much to others and not enough to my heart. All that lost time gone because of stupid doubts.

Consequently, I’m working on a series for one of those manuscripts so I can release them next year. And I plan to do the same for the others. Nothing will stop me this time. Some factors might slow me down, but I will continue to charge forward. I learned I write best when I remember how much I love writing. Simple as that.

What’s your evolution? 

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month the members of our group post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG, then please go HERE





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The IWSG has partnered with Write…Edit…Publish
December's WEP theme is:

We are also hosting a contest for the February theme!

Rules: Submit your idea for a WEP February theme by November 12 to admin AT insecurewriterssupportgroup.com. Nothing so U.S. culturally bound. Should have wide appeal.

Prize: Feature in the December newsletter for the winner. And the winning theme will be the official February WEP theme!

Deadline: November 12. Winner announced in the November newsletter on November 28.
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My publisher has a holiday special running through December 15 that involves free books with purchases. See http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/ for more info.

And don't forget, Christmas will be here soon. Just think how awesome it would be to drink your eggnog out of a Cling to God mug? Or play snap with a set of Cling to God playing cards? Great stocking fillers. You can purchase them HERE.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Benefit of Writing #IWSG

This month’s optional question for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group comes in two parts. For part one, How do major life events affect your writing? You can check out my response here. I explain how my writing took a hit during a difficult time, and what I did about it.

Today’s post will cover part two: Has writing ever helped you through something? Yes indeedy. I first started writing for escapism. What I hadn’t expected was that it became a type of therapy. I had some Stuff I had to work through and suddenly that Stuff was appearing on the page as I wrote. I went with it and I ended up with an interesting story and a better understanding of the Stuff that had been lurking in the background of my life.

Years later, I discovered that writing non-fiction worked the same way. With my book, Cling to God: A Daily Devotional, I better understood my faith in God by writing out my random thoughts while reading the Bible. When I decided to turn those thoughts into a book, I honed them and the feelings that went with them into something I could share with others. That way not only did the writing help me draw closer to God, but it has helped others to do the same also.

How about you? How has writing affected and helped you?

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month the members of our group post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG, then please go HERE  

Quick reminder: the IWSG Anthology Contest is open for submissions! The genre is Young Adult Romance and the theme is Masquerade. Don't wait until the last minute!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

On Publishing Paths #IWSG

The optional question for the month in the IWSG group is, What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Traditional: This had been my big dream, to get an agent, land a publishing deal with one of the big houses, become a best seller. If wishes were bunnies... I did try this route for a while but I found the whole process painfully slow. So I turned my eye to short story writing. I found a bit of success there and the process was so much faster and far more fulfilling. But I still had novel-length stories in me.

So I went to Small Press. Still traditional. While not all small presses are equal, if you find the right one then they have the know-how, the editing, the cover artists and distribution. And they are so much faster getting a book out. It is a fulfilling experience. (I highly recommend Dancing Lemur Press)

Self-publishing: Now I'm toying with the idea of self-publishing. I haven't committed to it yet, but it seems like a good fit since I can do my own covers, I don't mind learning to format, or learning to do every other part that's required to make a success of it. It's a thousand times scarier though. But what's a little fear to push us?

What about you? What publishing path/s have you chosen?

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month the members of our group post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG, then please go HERE







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Reminder:  The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Theme: Masquerade
A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Writing Pitfall I Wish I Knew About #IWSG

This month's IWSG question:  What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

After a few years of writing under my belt with a few short stories, a novelette and a Daily Devotional book (Cling to God) published, I feel the biggest pitfall writers come across is the doubts that surface when too many people offer advice.

When we first start writing, we throw ourselves into the task. Later we discover we have a lot to learn and we are eager to learn. That's a good thing. I will always advocate the need to continually learn our craft. However, with the advent of easily accessed information via blogs and other social media avenues, we are inundated by so many supposed 'rules' and opinions, that the waters can grow muddy. Suddenly we think we can't write that, we're doing it all wrong, and we have to please everyone.

My humble advice is, yes, learn the guidelines and why those guidelines are in place, but understand they can be broken. Your story trumps all. If it demands it starts on a dark and stormy night, then let it start on a dark and stormy night. Sure, you will cop some grief by other writers who only see the rules, but are they really your audience? Most readers won't care about those details if your story is awesome, written in a way that makes that story shine. Ultimately it's only you who knows that way.

Yes, it's important to have critique partners and editors (which is another pitfall by thinking you don't need them). You will find they may have opposing views. You can't please everyone. When in doubt, consider all options, consider the validity of their advice and the experience behind that advice, then go with what your story is crying out for. Does the advice enhance the story, make it more powerful? Is your reader missing the point of your scene? Why is your reader missing the point of your scene? Can you adjust that scene so your next reader doesn't miss that point?

What's the biggest pitfall you've come across on your writing/publication journey?

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Announcing The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Theme: Masquerade
A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges who will be announced September 5.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

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The IWSG has also formed a new partnership with WEP – Write-Edit-Publish.
We encourage our members, blogging and Facebook, to join this month’s challenge.

The August WEP Challenge – A Change of Heart
Who hasn’t had one? This one’s easy, right?
A commitment made when a prospect looked attractive, a decision on a course of action, and then regrets and reluctance to follow through. It could be an engagement, a date, a diet plan, a chore someone said they’d do and didn’t follow through. A strip poker-game. Or maybe a gamble with super-high, panic inducing stakes. A break for independence that once made, gives pause for second thoughts. A bolt for the grass-always-greener pasture and then wanting to vault-n-turn right back. Something offered, then withdrawn. Myriad ways to go.

Here is the permalink which will go live on August 6:
http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/2018/08/writing-together-with-wep-and-iswg.html