Category Archives: Publishing

OPTIMISTIC BUT LAZY/MAYBE

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I have not been doing the Daily Post but for the last few weeks I have tired the Weekly Post.  Why?  I’ve been busy working in my yard and vegetable garden.  But having a life is no excuse for not writing.  Everyone has a life, right?  I have two manuscripts that I have also been working on sometimes… once in a while… almost never.

     You can’t get published if you don’t finish the manuscript!  I tell myself this all the time but most of the time myself doesn’t listen.  If I ever go out in the yard and walk around I am usually hooked and will be out there for hours.  There is always some work needed in my yard and/or garden.  I love that work but I also tell myself that I love to write but I am lazy.  But I don think lazy is the right word; maybe procrastinator works better because I have good intentions about writing.  But you know what they say about good intentions, right?

I am optimistic that I am going to do better and finish those two novels because I have a lot more stories in my head.  I just need to stay in the house and work… work… work.  I can work in the garden during certain days and save the evenings for writing.  I say certain days because housework (I hate it) must also be done.

Thanks for stopping by and please come back soon.  Hopefully I will do another post tomorrow.  God bless.

I HAVE A NOVEL IN MY MIND

    

     I recently read an article that talked about writing being work and I have to agree one-hundred percent.  If you think writing a novel is easy then I would think you haven’t written a novel then had to rewrite it and then rewrite it again.  Writing is not a hobby or play.  It is a job just like any other career.  If you want to be successful you must take it seriously.  I must confess that I have not taken it as sincerely as I should.  I have been just plain lazy and I have no excuses that are acceptable.

     So you say “I have this great novel in my mind if I could just find time to put it on paper.”  Well, so do I and probably over a thousand others.  I know one thing for certain; as long as it stays in your mind it will never become a bestseller.  We will never “just find time” we must make time.  Remember we all get the same amount of hours in a day the difference is what we do with those hours.  How do we manage our time and why can’t we find time to write.  I can’t speak for you that is something you will have to do some soul-searching and answer for yourself.

     First, I believe that God should always come first in our life.  He should have the first and best part of our day.  Then we schedule other activities.

     I can find all kinds of endeavors to do instead of writing.  I say I love to write but now I must search myself and see if that is true.  If it is true then why don’t I make more time for it? 

  • One reason could be fear of being rejected.  If I don’t finish the novel it won’t be turned down.
  • Fear of being ridiculed; if this has ever happened to you about something you wrote whether as a child or adult then that fear is real.  You never want to subject yourself to it again.
  • Fear of not being the best.  Not everyone can be perfect and there are a lot of novels out there that lack perfection.
  • Fear of failure.  You tried writing before and your manuscripts were not accepted by a publisher.  Well you finished it didn’t you?  So you aren’t failing maybe you just need to try a different hook.
  • Pure honest to goodness laziness.  I really don’t believe this applies to many or any of us.  There is always an underlying reason for our lack of production.

            If we really and truly want to write we simply must sit down and put words on paper and forget all the other bunk.  So what if others laugh?  They ridiculed Noah and look what he did (we’re still talking about it today.)  If you must have perfection then keep writing until you achieve it.  If your fear is failure well so long as you are putting words on paper you are not failing. There are as many reasons for not writing as there are people who want to write.  Each of us must decide which apply to us and do our best to overcome whatever it is.  No one can or will do this for us it is up to us to write or not to write.  The road to being an author is not an easy one.  We hit some huge bumps along the way but we must persevere and overcome those obstacles.

     Thanks for stopping by, until next time keep writing and before you know it that novel you had in your mind will be a completed manuscript on paper.

 God bless.

 

WRITE BY FAITH

     How many times have you heard someone say “I could write a book?”  The truth is they probably could however, in all probability they never will.  We all have a story or many stories we would like to tell.  Nevertheless, what we think would make a great book others aren’t interested in at all.  What we do and what happens in out life doesn’t matter a hill-of-beans to the general population.  But writers on the other hand will write even if another living soul never reads a word of what we’ve written.  We have a drive; call it a burning desire, to tell the stories that are bubbling in our souls.  And how do we write?   By faith!  And we become successful by faith.  We all have faith no matter what it is in.  My faith is in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I know my talent comes from God.

     If you are a Christian you have faith that you are saved.  If someone asked you where you will spend eternity you would quickly say “Heaven.”  Why?  Because, you have faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I think you will agree that salvation is the biggest and most important thing in our lives.  And we trust God’s Word when He said “Trust in Jesus and you will be saved.”  We know that God doesn’t lie.  So let me ask you this?  If you trust God for the big thing, your salvation, what don’t you trust Him for the little and every day things?  The Bible tells us that God will supply what we need.  (Matthew 6:25-34)  It tells us that God knows what we need and He has already taken care of it.  There are so many verses in the Bible that talks about us having faith.  So we know that is important to God.  We have not because we ask not. James 4:2

     You might ask what that has to do with being a successful author.  Everything! If we are to be truly successful we must trust God for our success.  And we must trust when we ask that we have received it.  No, not that we will receive it but that it is already ours.  Dr. Charles Stanley put it this way; small faith says God might, big faith says He will but strong faith says He has.  No, God is not some Santa Claus waiting to grant our wishes.  He’s more than that!  He’s a loving, kind, understanding Father Who loves His children and wants to give them the best.  He already gave us His Best, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so why would we hesitate to ask for our daily needs.

     You want to be a successful writer?  When you sit down to work before you put one word on paper you bow your head and ask God to write through you what He wants you to say.  You might say, “Oh but I write Romance Novels, or Suspense or whatever.”  Do you thing God doesn’t know romance?  He created it.  Turn in your Bible to Ruth 2 and read the story of Ruth and Boaz.  You want suspense? How about the stories of Daniel, Joseph, Noah, and so many others?  Remember God created all things even romance and suspense.  Does this mean you will be an overnight success?  No.  God will never give you what you are not equipped to handle whether trials or riches.  But it does mean that when you trust God you will write what He wants you to write.  And I can tell you that He will give you stories and you won’t get writer’s block.  Oh yes, you can still be lazy and not sit down and write or make all kinds of excuses.  Proverbs 6: 9-11 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?    When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.  But if God has given you the talent and desire to write He will write through you if you are willing to do your part.  You will never lack a store house of story ideas.  And a good measure is; after each writing session thank Him for sitting and writing with you.  You will be so surprised how easy your writing goes. 

     Remember God has to come first in your life.   Matthew 6:33 seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

     Thanks for stopping by until next time keep the faith and keep writing.

FAITH IN YOUR TALENT AS A WRITER

     A career in writing can be a very lonely job.  However, it can be equally exciting; we get to see our characters grow and develop their personalities.  We get to travel places that we might only get to go in our imagination.  Being an author can also bring along fear and doubt.  We get rejections on top of rejections while we see others who don’t write as well or are at least equal with us.  We wonder “What am I doing wrong?”  The truth might be that the problem is not in your writing at all. 

     We can’t doubt and have faith all at the same time.  It is impossible!  We either have faith that God gave us our talent and we will be successful in His time or we doubt that He will do what He said He will do.  If we doubt, in essence we are calling God a liar.  He either keeps His promises or He doesn’t.  And I for one know He doesn’t lie.

     We just need to have patience and wait for His time.  Sometimes it might take days, weeks or even years but when the time is right we will see God working to answer our prayers.  This has happened to me so many times.  I once prayed for a house in a certain area.  Well we moved into an apartment and it was nice so I quit praying for the house.  A couple of years later we bought a house in the area I had prayed about.  I didn’t think about my prayer until one day I was backing out of our drive and thanking God for our home when His Spirit spoke to mine and said, “You asked for a home in this area.”  Let me tell you it floored me!!  I stopped right there and said, “Yes Lord I did, please forgive me for not thanking you sooner.”  The house was what I had prayed about a couple of years before!!  God is so good all the time.

     So talk to God and if He has given you the talent to be a writer don’t doubt your success.  It will come in God’s time.  It will be the success He has planned especially for you and you will be happy.  So now instead of worry have peace in your soul and know that God is in charge.  He is working behind the scenes when we don’t see His hand in what we are doing.  Go on and in your mind see your book on the best sellers list, see yourself doing huge book signings and start now thanking God for your success.  Is this mind over matter?  I don’t think so. Remember Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  That is a promise from God!  So we don’t need to look around at other authors and see them getting published and wonder why we aren’t.  We don’t need to worry if an agent will accept us or not. 2 Timothy 7 tells us; (For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.)  All we need to do is keep writing and trusting God.  It sounds so easy but let me tell you that you will have times of doubt.  Satan will try to whisper in your ear that you are a fool and shouldn’t believe that God is in charge but don’t you believe him.  You just keep praying and asking God what He wants you to do next and trust Him for a successful outcome.

     Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep writing and keep trusting God and believe that you are a success because God doesn’t lie.

DOUBTING MY WRITING SKILLS

    

Do you ever doubt your writing skills?  You know you are a writer maybe you’ve even have published books to prove it.  But you sit down at the computer and you think, “I can’t do this.  I can’t get my thoughts to come out the way I want them to.”  And a small internal voice whispers, “Of course you can’t.  Who are you trying to fool?  You can’t write and even if you put words on the paper no one will want to read them.”  Then you hear.  “Writing is a hard world to break into.  You have to know somebody who knows somebody to even get your big toe in the door.  You might as well give it up.”  And you think “Who do I know?”  And you come up with “On one.”

     But you are wrong!  If you are a Christian you know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and they are bigger than anything, even the publishing business.  If God has given you the talent to write He will open the doors that He wants open for you.  We don’t need to worry about which doors will get open and how they get open.  That is not our job!  Our job is to write and keep writing.  We know God gave us the talent so we have to trust Him to guide us where we should be. 

     In James 1; 1 – 8 James tells us to trust God and not be double minded.  If we know God gave us our writing talent then we can trust Him to show us how to succeed.

     We must practice our faith in our every day lives.  When a problem arises we should think of God immediately.  Once we have talked to Him we know He has worked the situation out for our benefit. (Romans 8: 28)  When we ask we must have faith that it is done.  Jesus was the perfect example to this.  He would get alone to talk to God and we read where He knew what to do and say.  Jesus didn’t doubt God because He knew God was and is bigger and more powerful than anything this world can throw at us.  We too must know this.  We are God’s children and He works all things for our good.  So when we go to our Father we should go knowing whatever we ask will be done.

     Satan wants us to be full of doubts and fail.  He wants to destroy us.  If we are destroyed and fail what glory does that bring God?  But on the other hand God wants us to succeed and be prosperous.  I fully believe He would not have given us the desire to write if He didn’t want us to be authors.

     A good practice is when you sit down to write, first bow your head and ask God to guide you; ask Him to write the story through you.  Then start writing and leave the consequences to Him.  You will have more confidence in yourself and the work you produce.

     Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time keep writing but more important keep believing and praying and remember God is greater.  God bless.

SHOW DON’T TELL. YEAH RIGHT!

     If you have ever taken a class on writing then you have heard “You must show not tell your story.”  So you think Piece of cake I can easily do that.  What are you writing if you think showing is a cake walk?

     If we want to have a dream of a chance for our novels to make a best-selling list we have to do more than just show.  The audiences today and probably yesterday as well, demand more.  They want to be in the moment!  They want to feel the laughter and pain.  So how do we put them there you ask.

     We use all of their senses.  They not only want to see, they also want to feel, touch and smell.  First we have to learn how to do this.  I suggest that you get several best sellers in the genre the same or close to your manuscript (checking them out of the local library will save you money) then not only read them but study them.  Look at how they move from scene and how they capture the reader; how they encourage them to turn the page.  Now you will have a better understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.

     We put our audiences in the scenes.  We bring in the smells, the sounds and the taste.  We let them hear the white noises that we hear and see every day.  But we must do this without our reader being aware of the white noise just like we usually don’t notice them but the noise is still there.  They want to smell the exhaust from a bus without it hitting them over the head.

     Yes, of course we must show not tell but we have to do more than that.  As we develop our skills we will write best sellers and enjoy the trip as well.

     Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time take a few minutes and make yourself aware of the white noises around you; the hum or a refrigerator, whir of a ceiling fan, a dog barking in the distance.  They’re there and we must include them in our scenes if we want our scenes to be real.  God bless.

AN AUTHOR’S SUCCESS

Have you ever been jealous of the successful authors? I ask myself this question. I try very hard to never be jealous of or envy anyone else. But when I look at some of the last years earnings for some authors and they are way in the millions, like $78,000,000 I think man it would be so nice to earn that kind of money. But is that jealousy? I certainly hope not. And then I wonder why some make it and some don’t. Is it because some are lazy and some work harder? I don’t think so.
As you well know, I believe God gives each of us a means, call it talent if you wish to make our living. But He leaves it up to us to find that talent and develop it to succeed. And again that depends on what one calls success. Some  go farther than others but does that really mean some are more successful than others. Certainly they are by the world’s standards. But do we want to pattern our lives after the world or after Jesus? Remember Jesus didn’t even have a house of His own to live in while He was here on earth. But wouldn’t you call Jesus successful? I sure would. When He said in John 19:30 “It is finished” He had successfully done the job He came to do, there by being a success.
Some authors seem to manage their time better than others and it is so true some write more novels than others. So should we be jealous of them? I don’t think so. Instead of worrying about what they have accomplished we should set our minds on reaching our own goals. We have heard it said that God will not put more on us than we can bear but we should remember that is success as well as trials and temptations. Ask yourself if you are ready to handle the success that the authors who make millions have. Are you strong enough to resist the temptations that come with wealth? Would you prefer wealth to good health? Do you write because you want to and must write or do you write hoping to get rich? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against wealth and hope to obtain some myself one day but I have to ask myself if that is why I write and the answer is an emphatic “No.” I write because I love to write.  Am I successful? I feel I am. Think of all the people who say “One day I’m going to write a book or poem or whatever.” And if you are doing it then call yourself a success! You are doing what so many dream of doing but never get around to it. Some say they will write a blog some day but if you are blogging now you have beat them to the punch and have succeeded in writing a blog.
I conclude that like beauty success is in the eye of the beholder.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time think about what you consider success. And keep writing even if you are the only one who sees what you write.

DEVELOP YOUR OWN VOICE AND STYLE

 

     Has this ever happened to you?  You’ve been reading all the great writing instructions from Writer’s Digest and you’re all excited and think “Man I am on my way!”  Then you sit down at the computer and your mind goes blank.  It has happened to me too many times to count.  I get excited when I read the “How Tos” but it just doesn’t click with whatever article or novel I’m working on. 

     I think I finally have it all figured out.  The reason the advice doesn’t always work for me is because I’m trying to make my people (characters if you will) do what I want them to do instead of what they would normally do.  After all if these people aren’t real to you, believe me, they won’t be real to your reader.  My work flows easier when I roll with the flow.

     I know most novel writers have an outline and they stick almost strictly to that outline.  I don’t and I can’t.  First and foremost I get to know my characters.  I mean everything about them; maybe and most probably even little things that never show up in the novel but I know them.  They become real to me.  And of course I know my plot and the general gist of what is going to happen then I follow the characters.  They have taken me to some interesting places let me tell you.  They become so real to me and I look forward to sitting at the computer and seeing what is about to happen.  I love my people!!

     This might not work for you.  I believe just as we all have our own voice we all have our own style of developing our stories and novels.  I firmly say “don’t force it!”  Just find your style and voice and stick with them.  I’m southern and there is absolutely no way I could have a New England voice but I can love and develop my southern voice.  And in the same way I can love and develop my style.

Writing is a hard road to follow so we must learn to enjoy the trip.  I know how the story or novel will end but I will not coerce that end.  I write because I simply have to write and if it gets published that is a bonus.

     Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep writing and enjoy what you are writing; get to know your people and love them.  God bless.

 

 

WE LIVE AND DIE BY THE DECISIONS WE MAKE

    

  At an early age I learned that we all live and die by our decisions.  Once we are old enough to know right from wrong then we are responsible for our own decisions.  Oh yes, it’s true of me and it might be true of you, that God has control of my life.  He surely does.  However, He allows us to make our own decisions.

     Take my first novel for example; when I got the offer from its publisher deep down I felt that I should not go with them.  But I was so excited to see it in print that I pushed aside the feeling.  And I fully believe it was the Holy Spirit guiding me but I squelched His warning.  Thessalonians 5:19 tells us to not quench (squelch) the Holy Spirit.  In other words we are to listen to Him and not push His teaching and guidance aside; which I did.  So God allowed me to make my decision and of course I didn’t make as much as I would have had I waited for God.  But it was solely my decision and I must live with it.

     If you are having trouble in a relationship you might want to blame the other person.  But the thing to do is stop, look at the situation and see if it isn’t because of some decision you are making or have made in the past.  The reason might have been getting involved with that person in the first place.  If you can’t see it just ask God to show you and He will.  I know He has helped me so much in my life.  And remember you will never, ever be able to change another person.  The only person you can change is yourself.  None of us are perfect but we can work to shape our lives with Jesus for the pattern.

     I can’t blame God because I have not finished my new novel “Tomorrow’s Memories.”  I’ve been very lazy and procrastinated way too much.  A habit I must try hard to get rid of.  God tells us that we shouldn’t be lazy (a sluggard) that we should look at how hard the ant works and do the same. (Proverbs 6: 6-8 & Proverbs 10: 4&5.)  If we are lacking (whether wealth or satisfaction) because we procrastinated and are lazy we can not blame God. Yes He provides what we need but He also told Adam that he would earn his living by the sweat of his brow (Genesis 3:10.)  I don’t know where you could find it in the Bible or if it is even in the Bible but as I’ve said before, I believe God gives each of us a talent and He leaves it up to us to find that talent, fine tune it and make our living.  If we make the decision to ignore the talent then we face the consequences.  But it is our decision.  He gave us the tools and we can choose to use them or let them lay dormant.  If you watch nature you will see that even the animals and birds search for their food.  God provides it but they must find it.   Should we expect anything more?

     I promise myself that I will quit procrastinating and put in so many hours a day on “Tomorrow’s Memories” at least five days a week.  I must because there are so many other novels in me that I need to get out.  When I retired I told myself that I would write more; that I would treat my writing as a regular job where I had to show up so many hours a day.  I lied to myself and I haven’t done that but I fully intend to correct that error (or lie whichever you prefer.)

     Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time keep writing and watch what decisions you make.  God bless.

Does Success Make Us Care Less

 

      I believe that God gives each and every one of us a talent with which we can be successful and make a wonderful living.  However, He left it up to us to discover what that talent is and to fine tune it to the point of success. 

     Having said that, I believe that Danielle Steel’s talent is her writing of romance novels.  The woman is awesome, most of the time.  Yes, you did catch that, most of the time.  At the present I am reading her novel “44 Charles Street” which was released in 2011.  It is a total disappointment.  This would be a GREAT novel if instead of telling the story she showed the story.  Isn’t that what we learned in writing class, to show our story?  This novel seems to be written by an amateur.  I kid you not.  Thank God I borrowed it from the library and didn’t spend good money for it.  If you haven’t read it please, don’t waste your time.

     I asked myself as I’m reading, and oh yes I will finish it, that’s just a fetish of mine I finish what I start, is someone else writing under her name?  I know that some great novelist have done that and I guess it is all right if the writer understands he/she will get no credit for the hard work.  And yes, while writing a novel is fun it is also very hard mental work.  I know because I’ve published two, not in Danielle’s league but still published.

     Do we get so successful that we no longer care about the quality of work that is going out with our name on it?  I certainly hope not.  Maybe when I reach that stage I’ll feel differently but for now I’ll carefully critique my work and I will still make mistakes but they will be my mistakes.

     Okay, I got that off my chest.  Thanks for stopping by and until next time God bless, keep writing and enjoy life.