Posted by: tmorrow09 | January 24, 2010

Love the writing process

When I first started writing my book in June 09 (about 7 months ago) I really thought I would have been further along by now then I am but then again, I am in the final stages of writing my book.

Well, I say that, but am I really? Who knows? That is one of the things I am learning while writing my first novel.

Right now, my editor, @leahdallaire (of 911editing), is going through my full manuscript. So, once she gives it back to me, I may be surprised one way or another by her recommendations on the writing.

However, I have to say (as many writers hopefully will agree), I so LOVE the process of writing. Just like with anything, writing a book is a process and it does take time.

But it is exciting to be a part of the process and then have the realization of the accomplishment or writing. Whoohoo!

So to my fellow writers, don’t stop writing. Keep writing no matter where you are in the process. Yes, it takes time but you are not alone and remember you will be so proud of yourself when you are complete.

Posted by: tmorrow09 | December 31, 2009

3 Tips for Writing for Holidays & Busy Times

The holidays get filled with extra grocery trips and wrapping gifts, and super cleaning your house, which may leave little time for writing.

Well, I would like to share a few tips I found worked for me over the holidays to keep my writing on track.

1) I made my writing a priority. What I mean by making it a priority is I treated the holidays not different then any other time and I worked the other stuff around my writing instead of the other way around. If I knew I was going to have a couple of extra things to do in a day, I would wake up a little earlier and write.

2) I found creative ways to get “writing” done. When I would be away from my computer, I would still have my cell phone, a mini tape recorder and memo pad with me. If I would get an idea or chapter segment in my head, I had a way to ensure my thoughts got on paper.

3) I realized writing something was better than writing nothing. Over the holidays, my writing time was not as much as it was beforehand, however, I still took the time to write something which moved me forward with my book.

So to my fellow writers, don’t allow the holidays to deter you from doing what you love–keep writing!

Posted by: tmorrow09 | November 30, 2009

Watch and Write: Helpful Writing Exercise

Last week I met with my editor to go over some changes in my book.

One of the things she mentioned to me to help with scene description is to watch people. Become aware of how they move, their facial expressions, the emotions I get from watching.

I was reminded that when someone reads a book, they create personal visual pictures based on the words placed on the page. So as a writer, I want to be able to allow the reader to capture the pictures to showcase the story in my book while they read.

This weekend, I did watch and write. Just as a practice to elevate my scene descriptions, this weekend I took her advice to watch and write. From a distance, I wrote two people sitting at a cafe and wrote a short story based on what I saw.

I found this exercise to be helpful with my writing scene descriptions.

So to my fellow writers, you may wish to try this exercise out to help with descriptions in your writing.

Happy Writing!

Posted by: tmorrow09 | November 22, 2009

What is perfect anyway?

A size 2. In the world of fashion, this number equates to perfection. Before I had my daughter, I was a size 4 and I thought that was pretty small. Of course, 11 years later,  I don’t know how I was ever a size 4! But even at a size 4, I wasn’t near perfect.

So why as a writer, do you wait until you feel the words are perfect to put it out there? Sometimes, you can stop yourself from writing because you don’t want to go back over the same words to make them perfect. This is one of the things I still get caught up in.  For instance, I haven’t put out this post yet because I have rewritten it about 5 times!

Ok, so just because something is perfect that is the only time it has meaning. No, I don’t think this statement is true. I have read many things that weren’t perfect and the writing touched me just as much.

Do you feel your writing has to be perfect in order for it to have meaning? Hope not.

The key words in the above question is HAVE TO. What is the meaning of HAVE TO be perfect?

Sometimes I wonder if the need to HAVE TO be perfect has the opposite effect on you trying so hard to be this ideal of something higher than you think you are already.

Here is a little bit about a movie that illustrates this point:

On Sunday, a movie called Our House came on The Hallmark Channel with Doris (actress from Everybody Loves Raymond. I can’t think of her last name). In the beginning of the movie, Doris  tries to overdose on some pills however, she is saved by a homeless lady.

Now, Doris realizes the homeless lady saved her life so she in turn wishes to return the favor.  The homeless lady resists Doris at first because she doesn’t want any handouts or charity. Doris just wants to help because all she has is money but no one to share her life with. (In the story, her husband had just passed away after 47 years of marriage).

So Doris doesn’t give us on the homeless lady and the story goes on where Doris ends up opening her rather large, 7 bedroom house, for 6 homeless people. She quickly realizes each of them have talents and she has the opportunity to help them by providing them with housing and her friendship. She helps them realize their potential when others just wrote them off. And Doris received so much love and life in return by having these new friends in her life.

Doris didn’t think she was anything for most of her life than “just a housewife” and she wasn’t “enough”. However, to these new friends, she was the angel in their lives that made the difference. Each of the homeless people didn’t think they were perfect or even deserved a chance. Each of them realized they didn’t need to be perfect, however, work on being who they really were and allowing others to see it too. </blockquote>

This movie again made me think about perfection. No one is perfect and no one needs to strive to be perfect. You can make such a wonderful difference in peoples lives just by being yourself …whatever this comes out to be. Being you and being real means more to people than being perfect.

Why do you beat yourself up as a writer because you don’t feel you “measure up” to other writers? Hey, I do it too.  You don’t have to because you aren’t the other person…you are you. And you are less than perfect…thank goodness. Because that means I don’t have to be perfect either. And you and I can enjoy being who we are in helping each other.

So when you are writing, you don’t have to be perfect. Write from your heart and the message will still come across.

Here is this post….probably not perfect, but it is all me. I hope you like it.

Posted by: tmorrow09 | November 21, 2009

Author George Angus shares about The Writing Experience

Here is an interview I did with George Angus, owner of Tumblemoose Writing Services and author of an ebook called, The Writing Experience.

What was your start with your writing?

I never even suspected that I had any interest or skill for writing. I hated high school english! In 1991 I wrote an article for my company newsletter about a medical device. The feedback was tremendous. I received compliments and requests for reprints of the article from several organizations around the US. That lead to numerous writing projects and articles in the trade journals and I’ve been writing off and on since.

Do you have a certain process with your writing? (ie, you write 2 hrs each day or Mon, Wed, and Friday for an hr)

Yikes. I wish I could say I had a sure-fire locked down method for writing, but I really don’t. I try to write something every day. I’m usually successful but sometimes life gets in the way – which is really no excuse at all.

Can you share your top picks of books on writing?

Absolutely, positively the very best book out there is On Writing by Stephen King. Love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue with his success or methods. That book was my inspiration to start writing on a full time basis.

I also like Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies by June Casagrande. Oh my gosh, how could you NOT like a book with a title like that? She takes a fun poke at modern day grammar and it’s very refreshing and enlightening.

What is your favorite time to write?

It’s kind of funny, actually. I’m one of those disgusting morning people who like to get up at 5 or 6 every morning. I’ve always been the most productive during that time. When I went full time with my writing last year, that is how I started out, but these days, I do most of my writing in the late evening.

How long did it take you to write your ebook?

The book I have for sale at Smashwords is called The Writing Experience. I wrote it to inspire folks that have been thinking about writing to stop thinking about it and to start doing it. All in all, it took about two weeks to write and collate the material.

You chose to use Smashwords to publish your book, why?

I learned about Smashwords from a post by Maria Schneider over at Editor Unleashed. I went over to Smashwords and read everything I could on the site about how the site worked. I was sold. In my mind, it is the best place out there to publish an e-book. It’s free, my e-book is published in multiple formats, I keep 85% of the sale and give up no rights. There are a lot of features that make it easy to help market the book and thus far I’ve had what I consider to be great success using Smashwords.

What has been your experience with working with Smashwords?

My experience with Smashwords has been great. I’ve had no issues with downloads or with the use of the system. I have one e-book for sale, one that is “set your own price” and three e-books for free. All told, since April 1 I’ve had more than 500 copies of these e-books downloaded. Even the free ones that are downloaded are valuable to me because it is exposure I otherwise would not have received.

Do you have plans to write more e-books and/or books?

Without a doubt. I can’t imagine putting my e-books anywhere but Smashwords and I’ve got a couple in the works right now.

Please share with us about your company Tumblemoose Writing Services.

I started Tumblemoose Writing Services in August of 2008 to provide freelance writing services to folks. The blogging format was a logical choice and since then the blogging has been a primary driver of business. The contacts that I have made through Tumblemoose have ended up providing me with the most writing projects so far.

What are some of your favorite authors?

I tend to stick with mainstream fiction – Patterson, King and the like. With that said, most would consider my bookshelves to have an eclectic collection. If I’m intrigued by a title or book jacket, I’m likely to buy the book. I’m also pretty fond of classic literature.

Where can people pick up your ebook or book(s) for purchase?

At this point I don’t have any books in print. I know that will change for me one day and I’m anxious to see it happen. Until that time, all of my works will appear at Smashwords in ebook format. You can purchase your own copy of The Writing Experience here.

Posted by: tmorrow09 | November 19, 2009

Excited and Nervous at the same time

A few weeks ago, I hired my editor, Leah Dallaire, owner of 911 editing, for my first novel.
I emailed her the first eight chapters of the draft copy and this morning in my inbox I found an email labeled, “edits 1-4”.
My heart skipped a beat. My emotions jumped around from excitement to nervousness.
I wanted to see her feedback, but then…thinking about my possible writing mistakes, I hesitated.
Then I took the plunge and double clicked on the email to open it.
I scrolled through the draft copy on my computer screen reading her edits.
I would read some of the edits and immediately think, “hmm, I did not think about that?”
Others I read and thought, “Ok, yep, I do need to change that.”
Once I finished reading her edits for the first four chapters, I felt really proud of myself because I realized I have continued to move forward in writing my book.

The edits she suggested were right on target.  There were places in the copy, I rushed my thought and did not allow the potential reader to feel what the character was feeling.

In other places, I could have chosen a more appropriate word to convey my thought.

I learned through the editing process, even though it can make you feel you are stepping backwards, it really is a huge step forward.

You are allowing your writing to become more enhanced and fine tuned.  With an editor, you have a cheerleader in your corner, guiding and supporting you to a better manuscript.

And now, I have more fuel to keep going in my writing. I realized with this email, I am one step closer to completing my first novel.

So to my fellow writers, remember:
~Allow your editor to do their job. He or she is there for you, in your corner, trying to guide you to a better manuscript.
~Be patient with yourself. Writing a book does take time (and many edits).
~Embrace the editing process and regard edits as a blessing to make your book the best it can be.
~Don’t allow the editing process to slow you down. Keep writing [through] the edits.

And happy writing!

Posted by: tmorrow09 | November 16, 2009

Remember to start writing

Last week my daughter Amanda and I went to the library to return a few books. While dropping off we decided to take a look around to see if there were a few more books we wished to pick up.

Only 10 minutes went by before I had several books in my hands to include, <em>The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop </em>by Stephen Koch; <em>Eats, Shoots and Leaves</em> by Lynne Truss; <em>Fiction Writer’s Handbook</em> by Hallie and Whit Burnett; and <em>Releasing the Creative Spirit </em>by Dan Walkefield.

As I was just about to turn off the computer for the night and I looked down to notice the bag of library books on the floor next to my desk.

I picked up the <em>Fiction Writer’s Handbook </em>and flipped to the first chapter.  On the first page, the writer talks about some of the great writers such as Robert Frost (one of my all time favorites).  She tells a story of a student of Frost’s asking him why anyone should write in the first place and Frost answered adamantly:

<strong>”I don’t know why <em>you</em> should write, but I know why I do. I don’t get the same satisfaction out of doing anything else.”</strong>

Now, I really like that statement.

She goes on to talk about another story where JP Morgan was asked the cost of his yacht. JP replied, “if you have to ask the cost you can’t afford it.”

So I read this as if you know the cost of something if you take the time to learn and find out about those things you want.

Don’t be waiting for approval from others to begin to be a writer because then it will probably not happen. You will find many excuses not to write.

Believe me, I know this feeling all to well.

I have been wanting to write my first novel for quite some time. At the end of last year and beginning of 2009, I was telling other people, “I am going to start writing my first novel this month”. And then because of one “reason” of another, I didn’t start. Day, weeks and months went by and I had not started.

Then I really got stuck with my writing because I became obsessed with the notion my writing had to be perfect before I could write anything.  I thought there would not be a good reason to write a word if I didn’t have the right elements in place first. So I didn’t write.

Finally, I invited a friend of mine, Leah Dallaire to lunch about a month ago. She told me, “Just write Teresa. Don’t worry about all of that stuff.  Just start writing. The other stuff will take care of itself.”

Thank goodness for Leah! I have been writing almost everyday since our lunch and I am about a third of the way done with my book.

When I write I get lost in the world of words and I love it. I makes me feel happy to write.

As Frost stated , if  nothing else gives me the satisfaction that writing does then…<strong>I am a writer. </strong>

Posted by: tmorrow09 | November 12, 2009

Declaration of Writing (and being a writer)

A good friend of mine, Pam Butler (owner of Life Reflections, LLC) told me about a new book she bought about called, Writing Down the Soul by Janet Conner. Intrigued, I searched for the book on Google. I found the book website, Writing Down the Soul.

Once on the site, I went to the “about the book” page and read more about the book and immediately connected with Janet Conner on her goal with the book. I wrote to Janet telling her how I found out about her book and how I would love to talk with her sometime. She wrote me back and asked if I would be interested in signing up for her ezine and sent me her free ebook. Once I received the ebook in my email, I opened it.

In this ebook, she writes about her experiences she had when she started on her writing career. She struggled with what to tell people when they asked her “What do you do?”. There seems to be difficulty for writers to share their passion and declaration as writers. Especially when you are new at the craft or if you do it when you aren’t working a full time job. I guess there is a stigma attached to it that doesn’t really reveal itself until you are about ready to declare, “I am a writer”.

Before the words come out of your mouth, something instinctively seems to decrease your volume to a hush only in your head and you can’t seem to speak them out loud. Why is this? In her ebook, Janet speaks about when she declared out loud to other people, “I am a writer!” the liberation she felt. So I say to all my fellow writers out there. If you are a writer, then don’t be afraid to declare this acclamation to others who ask you what you do. If you have a full time job, you can say, “To pay the bills, I work at ___________.

However, I am a writer and that is what I love.” I have to tell you, once I said, “I am a writer!” to people in conversation, the more empowered I felt as a writer. I didn’t feel like I was hiding a big secret like a kid. Also, you may be surprised to find that once you allow others to know your passion and determination about your writing, the support for your writing by others.

Don’t be afraid to make your declaration of being a writer. I hope you will do it today.

Once you make your declaration out loud, please come back and share your experience here.

Posted by: tmorrow09 | October 26, 2009

Patience in writing

I have been writing my second draft for almost a month on my first book. The process is taking longer than I wish it would however, I realized too, that since I have never written a book, I really do not have an adequate time frame of how long it should take.

Writer’s lesson #1: Writing a book takes time and you need to allow it to take the necessary time.

With writing my second draft, I did not realize there would be so many changes during the writing process. I have made many changes already and thought I was pretty much finished making changes. But today–BAM! I had another thought for my book which would change the whole book.

Time is your friend when writing a book and don’t be in a hurry or the result may not be the book you were meant to write.  and you need to allow it to take the necessary time.

If I make this change in the book, it would require pushing back the time frame quite a bit, however, the bigger picture for me (and should be for you, my fellow writer) is to create a book. No, I mean, the book this book is suppose to be and not to make it less than it’s best because I was in a hurry.

Writing requires the time it requires and it is a smart choice to give your words the time to develop in create your best book.

Dear Fellow Writers:

Don’t rush yourself and your writing. It is not worth your time to be impatient.

Keep writing and be patient to create the book you are meant to write.

Posted by: tmorrow09 | October 21, 2009

Your writing schedule

I, too, am a writer so I understand the challenge of finding time to write with all the many, many things in life we have to do along with trying to write our book. Some writers (possibly most) even have full time day jobs while they write at night.

One of the books I enjoyed reading to help me with time management is ironically titled,  Time to Write by Kelly L. Stone.  She offers ideas, resources and stories from other writers how they managed to write their books, while dealing with the many other things in life.

I thought I had to schedule out “X” amount of hours every day or week to write but really what I realized (after reading Kelly’s book) I need to make a schedule that works for me. And whatever this schedule looks like for me, it works! The important part is to create a writing schedule and stick to it.

Realizing sometimes life does “get in the way” so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to your schedule ALL the time, but if you really enjoy writing, you will come back to your writing schedule more often than not.

For me, it was easier to create a writing schedule based on how many words I wanted to write within a week and not demand myself to write for a certain amount of time every day. What I found by doing this—-I normally wrote more words each time I sat down to write. This “writing schedule” works for me and you may find something else works great for you.  In fact, for my first month of writing, I wrote the first draft of my book. Once I started writing, the thoughts just kept coming and so I allowed it to happen organically and kept writing.

You may find it works better for you to block out time in your planner or on a calendar, WRITING 60 mins. Or perhaps, you choose to write in smaller increments before work, at lunch, and before bed. Just be sure to create a writing schedule that works for you.

So dear fellow writers  – you can find the time to write. The secret – do it how it words best for you.

Happy Writing!

Older Posts »