Monday Mashup: Writing Tips and Self Care for Writers
I did it again. I filled up my Facebook queue with saved links like Emily Dickinson filled her mattress with poetry slips.
I scoured the internet, so you don’t have to. 🙂
Here are my favorite links from the past couple of weeks.
Writing Tips and Self Care for Writers, Along With Some Food for Thought
Self Care for Writers by paranormal/fantasy author, Jami Gold, is a must read for writers who like to go from one project to the next and need a reminder to schedule in some downtime too.
Illustrator Andrea Tsurumi shared You’ll Never Have Enough Time about carving out work time and space, avoiding burnout, and what going freelance really means.
If you’re feeling like Andrea from the last post, you’ll also enjoy 5 Tips for Making Writing a Daily Habit.
There’s lots out there about fair pay for writers right now and I thought this article on The Rich Writer Myth by Ros Barber was interesting. It’s written sharing examples of pounds, but I think you can convert it to dollars for us in the states.
Ros followed up her own article with one on The Guardian elaborating on the publishing industry with For Me, Traditional Publishing Means Poverty, But Self-Publish? No Way.
Because we can’t end on the bummer of bucks, or the misery of making moola, here are 20 Empowering Quotes By Female Authors That Are Perfect to Decorate Your Office With.
Self-Care and Body Positivity for All:
This was my de-stress project this weekend. Adult coloring and playing with my art journal.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time accepting compliments. I hear them and I immediately shrug them off or worse, name a flaw right afterwards. It’s something I’m working on. So of course, I saved this article on 7 Tips for Working on Your Self Confidence: Accepting That You’re Awesome.
And if you’re still feeling a little beat up mentally, here’s 6 Ways to Feel Better About Yourself Right Now. Read it, I’ll wait. … There now, don’t you feel better? 🙂
My facebook queue is always full of posts by Heather from Hiya Tootsie, and here’s one I wanted to share with you! What’s Luck Got to Do With It? 3 Ways to Honor the Work Your Dreams Require.
Are you constantly stressed from the day job plus the side hustle? This money saving blog offered all kinds of low stress money-making opportunities as well as a simple plan for setting money aside each month. How I Saved $1000 While Living Paycheck to Paycheck.
Because all bodies deserve respect, you should reward yourself by reading August McLaughlin’s How to REALLY Get Body-Positive. This post was blowing up my twitter feed and it’s worth reading more than once!
What are the posts saved up in your queues? Got any other good ones to share?
How are you practicing self care this week?
How Important is a Book Cover? Guest Post by Marcia A Richards
Hi, All! I’m filling in for Jess while she and Joe are out west on a well-deserved vacation. She’d better bring back a ton of pictures to share, right?
Jess does a lot of amazing book reviews here and we even get to meet an author now and then! That girl reads A LOT! So, in keeping with the theme of book reading, here are a few questions for you.
Do you read the blurbs on the book covers? Do you look at the publisher’s name, read the excerpt? Do you read the bits of book reviews on the cover?
Before eReaders became popular, the book cover was the conveyance of the main character or the tone of the book. The colors, the font and the images all melded into a message. It was how we knew if the book was right for us.
Walking into a bookstore or library transported me into a magical world of hushed voices, the scent of paper and ink, the visions of the authors’ imaginations. That world always promised a happy experience.
Today with many bookstores closing due to the popularity of eReaders and digital books, our children or grandchildren may never have that same experience unless we take them to a library.
Now that all eReaders present in color, we can see the beautiful book covers, teeny tiny as they are, and read the blurbs and review quotes. We can let the message of the cover flow through us, just as if we were physically standing in front of the bookshelf.
But do you still go looking for the cover on your eReader? Or do you read the synopsis and purchase the book based on that and price alone?
What is it about a book cover that attracts you? Is it the color or the image that draws you in?
For me, it’s the subconscious message the cover conveys. I get the feel of the book from the images and it gives me context.
Here are some examples of covers that spoke to me so loudly I had to buy the book:
What book covers have WOWed you? Do you need to see the cover before you buy?
If the cover isn’t important to you now, was it important before eReaders and what does that say about the effect of technology on us?
Marcia Richards is the author of Marcia Richards’ Blog…Sexy. Smart. From The Heart. Marcia writes about women, history, and the path to realizing your dreams. She has a Historical Trilogy and a collection of Short Stories in progress. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with the grandkids or her husband, traveling or turning old furniture into works of art. She believes there is always something new to learn.
Come hang out with Marcia at: http://twitter.com/MarciaARichards or http://facebook.com/MarciaARichards .
Visit Marcia at: http://Marcia-Richards.com
Celebrating My Writing Slump
This past weekend I attended the DFW Writer’s Conference (Dallas/Fort Worth, for those of us not from the South). Let me just say, this conference rocked more than Jon Bon Jovi, and I even stood behind him in concert once on National TV! That’s another tale.
I truly do recommend attending this conference, or one closer to you if cost is a concern, because the information and MOTIVATION that come out of these sessions is priceless. Plus, here’s a bunch of the writers/bloggers I met there: Kait Nolan, Julie Glover, Tiffany A. White, Jenny Hansen, Kristen Lamb, Donna Newton, Piper Bayard, Nigel Blackwell, Jillian Dodd, Roni Loren, Melinda VanLone, Ingrid Schaffenburg, Candace Havens, Kendra Highley, Joann Mannix, fellow Life List Club blogger David N. Walker, and New York Times Bestselling Author James Rollins!
Don’t believe me? I’ve got proof!
Now, why exactly are we celebrating my writing slump?
The DFW Con is my second writing conference. Last year I attended the Madison, Wisconsin Annual Writer’s Institute. You can check out my conference posts if you like: The Do Re Mi of Conference Attending, Creativity? How to Force More of It and Have Fun Too, and City Slickers and Social Media.
Here’s a little bit of backstory of what happened between that conference and this one:
1. I met a group of people at the conference who I totally connected with, who were all writing in the same genre as me (paranormal/fantasy) and who had blogs! Squeee! We swapped contact info and started our own online critique group, rotating weeks and sending in 10 pages.
- Oh yah, it totally bombed. About 3 months in, people were no longer sticking to the schedule, everyone was at such different pacing, many weren’t even blogging regularly (not moi!), and some took on different projects altogether.
2. So, I had an opportunity to join another writing group. The Warrior Writer’s Boot Camp! We focused on making the synopsis clear and the key characters strong. This was so helpful! But it also showed me more holes in my story, and I had to make so many changes I no longer knew what story I was writing.
- What I learned here was invaluable. It was great to have a group fully dive in with feedback and meaningful questions. I also realized this was no longer a story I knew how to write because it had entirely changed.
3. Then NaNoWriMo happened! Ok, here it is! All or nothing, I’m cracking this baby out in one month! Not sure where I’m going, doesn’t matter! I’m writing this bad
- Um, hello, I work in retail! What was I thinking trying to whip out 50K on a book I hadn’t plotted or outlined well during the peak month of Christmas shopping?! Stupid, stupid, stupid!
I’m celebrating my writing slump because I learned some hard lessons along the way. It was irrevocably and irretrievably pounded into my brain this weekend that I had not planned well. I half-a**ed my book outline and pantsed the rest expecting word nirvana to appear for me with little effort. I wasted time. Plain and simple. I wasted time, and I let myself down.
A few things have changed for me between that last conference and this one. For one, while I was one of the few people at the previous conference who had started blogging, now everybody has a blog, and they also have a twitter handle, a facebook page, they’re on Pinterest, and they’re launching their own website. Second, the whole market has changed. Where self-publishing was represented by a panel here and there, in the course of one year, at least one session each hour covered a panel or speaker discussing and promoting self-publishing options and how to hybrid with traditional publishing.
There were things that remained the same too. We know that we’re living in the Wild Wild West of Publishing now. Things are changing rapidly and every day we don’t actively write or market our book is a day wasted in this fast-paced technology driven world. There are more options than ever, but it’s important to research them and plan your platform and marketing pitch just as much as it’s important to edit and revise your work until it’s the best possible writing.
Traditional publishers are looking for the goose that lays the golden egg. If the goose stops laying golden eggs, then the publishers are going to kill the goose and roast him for dinner. So, what that means for us as writers, is we always have to keep writing. We’ve got to have a plan for what that next project is going to be. And if we don’t, expect to get fried by your agent.
Sound harsh? Think of it this way: Don’t you want people to demand more books from you? If you’re like me, working on that first novel, what’s your plan for the next one? If you haven’t thought about it, you’re in danger of becoming a one hit wonder. And that’s only IF you get the first one published.
Here’s a success story of epic proportions. James Rollins, remember me mentioning him, the NYT Bestselling Author? Yah, that one! During his keynote speech, he shared with us while he was still a veterinarian starting out writing, he wrote several different books, some in the thriller genre and some in the fantasy genre. He also received about 50 rejections letters, including one particularly personal handwritten note that read, “This is unpublishable.” But, he kept writing.
He happened to meet, at a conference no less, an agent who was interested in his fantasy series, a storyline previously unsupported by his other agent. Now, he was in the midst of two agents wanting to help publish his work, but only because he continued to write books even when it seemed no one wanted to read them.
Still not sold on the planning and preparedness of this process as a business strategy? Well, how many of you are hoping for the proverbial writer’s dream of quitting your day job, telling your boss to suck it, and moving into the castle across the moat from J.K. Rowling? Then you better plan to make some money on your books.
Bestselling author Lori Wilde was another speaker at the conference and she broke it down like this:
- On average, most writers will make about $15,000/year on their book.
- Subtract the 15% share the agent takes of that.
- Subtract the ___% share the publisher takes off of that.
- And now you’re left with your shiny new book in print that your boss at Starbucks won’t let you put next to the Pike’s Place roast on Buy One Get One Tuesdays!
So what you need to do is determine how much money you want to make a year, and based on the above numbers, calculate how many books you’d need to write and publish each year.
I’m not sharing this information to depress you into taking your crinkled pages of manuscript as scratch paper for next month’s grocery list. Well, maybe I am, it betters my chances of success. I’m sharing this information because I think it’s so crucial to know about your business if you want to be a writer. A writer with more than one book out there and who doesn’t have to also work the drive thru window her entire career.
A few of my favorite de-slumping activities (I’m an expert at slumping, so I get to make up words about it) are:
- Experience the world with all 5 senses (Blindfold yourself if you have to!)
- Listen to the sound of silence. When you hear noise/nature again, it will all be amplified.
- “Even if it’s a negative thing, stop and appreciate it because it’s teaching you something.” – Lori Wilde
- Get back to the basics.
- Write something totally different.
- Don’t whine! Breathe and then get it over with.
All of us have slumps, when do you hit yours? What advice got you out of it? What tricks or tips help you move past it?
What do you think of the ever-changing nature of our business? Are you excited about this Wild Wild West of publishing? Do you know another writer success story?
A Mini-Road Trip and Mash Up
Hey Peeps! How are you all today? I’ve been thinking of you! I’m currently on a two day hiatus trip home to give my mom and pop their Mother’s Day and Father’s Day presents early. I’ve got a crazy summer schedule starting up, so I’m glad I got to hang out with the family for a day. Spent the three hour drive home jammin to old school Tori Amos cds, which was fun and don’t worry, I know you’re jealous.
Today, I slept in until 8 am! Then I stayed in bed and read until 10! When I went downstairs I was loudly greeted by my 3 year old niece dressed all in pink princess wardrobe. I managed to squeeze in a mini work out by chasing her around and doing what I consider to be weighted leg curls because we played “Super Sonja” for quite some time until my legs gave out. We totally earned that snack break of juice and chex mix.
Many of you are up to more studious things, or things that made me laugh, so I’m happy to share them all with you! Please feel free to chat, and know I’ll be with you momentarily after I drive the 3 hours back home.
On Writing and Reading:
Kristen Lamb has been blogging some REALLY INTERESTING stuff on the nature and future of the publishing industry. Find out what’s in store for Barnes and Noble in Big Six Publishing is Dead – Welcome the Massive Three and also The WANA Plan to Save Bookstores and Revive Publishing.
Leanne Shirtliffe, of Wordbitches, recently wrote about a topic I could relate to: My Love Hate Relationship With Triberr. What’s your take on this new social media aid?
And Rachelle Gardner had guest blogger Dineen Miller talking about how to put some marketing in your book! Rooted Marketing: Building Marketing Tools Into Your Story.
Movie Reviews (Mostly on The Avengers):
Amanda Rudd got advanced screening tickets to The Avengers! OMG!
Jillian Dodd has you covered this MANday, blogging about the men of The Avengers. And don’t forget, it’s not to late to enter the MANday Contest! Find out how to win a $500 Amazon Gift Card here.
Tiffany A White gives her Fabooolous opinion on the flick in Time to Avenge.
Ellie Ann Soderstrom and the gang at Slacker Heroes gives us their Most Anticipated Summer Movies reviews and expectations.
Because Exercise and Nutrition are Growing More Important to Me:
Sherry Isaac guest blogged at the Life List Club about her plan of attack or lack thereof with her exercise routine. I totally empathized, you might too. Now she’s got me making changes. Check out Weigh the Method, Relish the Outcome.
I love this article posted by August McLaughlin, who should be your go to blogger for nutrition and well being. August explores the myths and gives tips on Body Image.
That’s what I’ve been reading! Got a link for me? Include it with your comments! And I’ll be there to join you soon!
Mash-up of Awesome Writing
There has been an outburst of talented and thought provoking blogging lately! Or as Clay Morgan from Educlaytion calls it, Posts That Pop! I’ve been trying to get my maximum dosage of great bloggers this week as I will be out of town on vacation next week! I’m headed to New Orleans, LA to see my best friend from High School! So, I won’t be around to regale you all with stories of bad eating habits, getting lost, injuring myself, or otherwise fascinatingly frightening moments that encompass my life…for at least a week.
Here are my favorite, most thought provoking posts of the week! Take your time, enjoy, stop back and say hi, and I’ll see you all in a week’s time!
Posts on Writing:
Rachelle Gardner on E-book Publishing Effect on Readers
Anne R. Allen on The Reality of Writer’s Block, Don’t Bully Your Muse
Kristen Lamb on Reality Deficit Disorder, Why Writing Can Make Us Crazy
Katie Ganshert on Setting Realistic Goals for Improving Your Writing
Posts with Humor:
Elizabeth S. Craig on 8 Things You Need to Know About Living With a Writer
Clay Morgan on School Picture Day: What Happened To Me?