Posted in Goals & Goal Setting, Life, Motivation, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

Writing Tips, Truths, & Encouragement

Are you a writing a book? Dreaming about it? Just finished your first draft or planning to write 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November?  I want to offer up a bit of my journey, a few tips, some truths and encouragement to you.  Much of this is writing advice I wish I had known when I started. Some of it is writing advice I ignored and wish I had not.

Watch My Writing Advice Video Here (As always, my video and blog content coordinate but they are not identical content. You will want to read and view!”

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First, let’s start with celebration.  I want you to celebrate every step of your journey.  Deciding to write a book is a big thing. Celebrate that. Celebrate your first draft. Embrace it for what it is, you telling the story to yourself so that you can shape it into a story for readers.  It will be a mess and that is okay. Writing is a craft. It will require practice, constant learning, and a lot of emotions. Be prepared for that but don’t look at your first draft as a failure. It is your teacher. It is the first step in your book’s journey. Celebrate.

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When you finish celebrating your first draft your next question might be the same as mine.  Now what? It is time to revise, self-edit and begin shaping it into something a reader will love.

BUT FIRST… I want you to put it away. That’s right. Put it away for at least two weeks.  Don’t read it. Don’t edit it. Just don’t. I ignored this advice and it was awful. You need to distance yourself from the story. Trust me. If you don’t trust me, you will understand why you should have later. ( I won’t say I told you so, I will send a hug and tissues.)

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If you are unsure what to do next, I recommend finding a few good critique partners to take a look at the first draft or your outline. You are not looking for someone to correct your punctuation and grammar you are looking for writers who will provide feedback on your story, plot, characters, and settings.

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Outline. Outline. Outline.  I recommend a great outline before you ever write your first draft. I recommend knowing everything you can about your characters and story before you start writing. You may be the writer who has to write the first draft and then dive into an outline. You are only going to find this out by trying different methods. It is never too late to outline.

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Research, listen, know your genre, and learn from other writers. Try out new writing and outlining methods. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t toss it ( the advice or the method, not your book)  or tweak things to fit your needs. Don’t stay with a method that is not working for you.  Try something else. As you evolve as a writer, you may want to try the things that didn’t work for you in the past.

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Experiencing an emotion doesn’t make it true. You may feel HATE your book. You may feel love your book. There is a good chance your emotions will swing between the two and give you motion sickness.  That is normal.  But, feelings don’t always point to truth. The important thing is to remember that feelings shift. The truth is that you will have strengths and weakness in writing. Find out both. Embrace the good and improve the bad.

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Don’t Judge your 1st draft by someone else’s published work. Do you know how many times the story was written, edited and revised before it hit the shelf?  Do you know how many people had their hands on it, shaping it before it was published? If you think you are the only one who will shape your book or should shape your book, I encourage you to reach out to published authors and find out what goes into that book on the shelf.

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Don’t give up. You have a dream. A passion. A desire. An idea. You and your story matter. No one can tell it like you. I want to see you make it come true.

Have a blessed and bookish day my writing friend!

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Indie Spotlight, Self Publishing, Uncategorized

Indie Spotlight Review: Ingrid, The Viking Maiden by Naomi Jan Kelly

Ingrid intends to be a strong Viking shield maiden. She is determined to prove to her family that she has what it takes, in spite of her small stature and the coddled life they have given her. When she convinces her friend Shelby to stowaway on one of the boats with her she quickly discovers that she may have taken on more than she can handle. Her voyage turns into a magical adventure when she finds her self-shipwrecked and at the mercy of some strange creatures and faces the truth about her hidden memories and abilities. Ultimately, Ingrid must choose between the path she always wanted and one chosen for her.

Watch my video review of Ingrid the Viking Maiden

Indie Book Spotlight

What I loved about this book:

  • Grand adventures with unexpected companions
  • Mixing the Viking lifestyle with magic
  • Ingrid grows as a character and learns to rely on her strengths
  • A bit of romance, a strong friendship, and Ingrid finds a rather grumpy new pal
  • Great setup for sequel, I want to know what happens to Ingrid
  • It was a quick and easy read.

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Who should read this book:

  • Fans of Vikings and magical beings
  • Readers who want a taste of romance that doesn’t overwhelm the story
  • Readers who like quirky sidekicks might enjoy Ingrid’s new pal
  • If you like a light fantasy read mixed with a touch of history.

My Personal take on this book:

Well written, easy to read, and entertaining. It kept my attention and I felt satisfied at the end. I enjoyed reading this magical Viking adventure and look forward to the next book from this author.

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You can find Naomi Jane Kelly’s book on Amazon. It is currently available as a kindle unlimited selection.  Visit Naomi’s website to learn more

Have you read a great indie ya, fantasy, sci-fi, or historical fiction book? I would love to hear more.

Posted in Cat Video Stormie, Uncategorized

Cat Vs Tape

Remember the tiny kitten we rescued from the hail storm? She is fully recovered from her ordeal and settled into our lives and … the sink.  We named her Stormie, but I call her Stormageddon sometimes because she is a force to be reckoned with.

 

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A Sinkful of Stormie

 

Don’t let the peaceful photo above mislead you. She can shred a scratching post in 2 weeks, steals hair tie bands, and does daily acrobatics.

Today’s post and the corasponding video was going to be a flip through of my SMASH book and how making it helped my battle my perfectionism. But…. I must have forgotten to hit record while filming.

So, I decided to bring you a smile this Monday in the form of a short clip of Stormie versus masking tape. I hope it brightens your day.

Click here to see the Video of Cat VS Tape

Stormie Attacks Octopus
Stormie attack Octopus AKA her Halloween Costume
Posted in Books, Goals & Goal Setting, Quarterly Goals, Uncategorized, Writing

New Video: Update on my Goals

Add heading (4)NEW VIDEO: Goals, Progress,& Books I Read

BIG NEWS

I finished the 3rd draft of my novel and shipped it off to the editor. Okay, so I actually emailed it, but “shipped” has more impact. That was my big goal for the summer and I finished it.

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Trying not to get too comfortable with that feeling because I am sure that it will return when my manuscript is returned.

 

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One of the other goals that I completed in the month of August was to read 7 books. I didn’t think it was going to happen because of my heavy writing schedule.  I went on a rambling tangent at the end of the video and listed all of the books that read.

 

I did meet most of my July and August Goals. I made progress on the goals I did not complete, so I count that as a win.

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My new bi-monthly goals for Septemeber and October

  1. Apply Edits and Complete 4th draft
  2. Newsletter
  3. Plan for 2nd Book & prep for Nanowrimo
  4. Post 14 Videos on YouTube
  5. Make Connections on Social Media
  6. Post 14-18 Blog Posts

Personal/Productivity Goals

  1. Work out 2X week – Track Steps 7x
  2. Eat Healthier 5x
  3. Bullet Journal daily
  4. Daily Dash (morning routine + productivity)
  5. Read bible daily 5X
  6. Create Daily
  7. Daily Tangible  Rewards
  8. Read 16 Books