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!”

Writing Advice.png

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.

ballons-2777259_1920

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.)

question-mark-1829459_1920

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.

hope-house-press-127593

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.

home-office-336377_1920

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.

woman-1733891_1920

 

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.

motivation-1101844_960_720

 

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.

dream-1804598__340

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 Anxiety & Depression, Life, Motivation, Uncategorized, vlog

Cup of Inspiration Tips: Relax, Refuel, & Recharge

Do you feel guilty about taking time for yourself? Do you find it difficult to find time to relax or to actually relax when you do find time? If so, today’s post and accompanying video is for you.

Video Link to the related video

hustle-and-bustle-1738072_1920

 

Let’s deal with the guilt issue and get it out of the way.  This is something I have dealt with since becoming a parent. It is built from an unrealistic expectation of myself that I need to be focused on everyone’s needs before my own.

The truth is that taking time for yourself is a benefit to others as well as yourself. It took me years to figure out that if I am in a good place it is easier to handle the needs of others. The opposite is also very true. If I have not taken time for myself I much more likely to be frustrated, rushed, and emotional. This is not good for me or anyone in my path.

No time to relax? We live in a society that praises busyness. We are often torn between so many obligations that we can’t catch our breath. It might surprise you to learn that you may have more time available than you think .

I recommend tracking your time for an entire week and charting it so that you can see exactly where your time is going. If you find wasted time you find a way to schedule in time for yourself in that spot.

If you don’t find a lot of gaps of time in your day or week it may be time to reevaluate some of your choices and commitments. I found  The Best Yes, By Lysa Turkeurst to be a great resourse for my own busy issues.  It focuses on helping you say yes to the best things and no to the things that work against the best things – even if they are good things.

stress-2051408_1920

Make a list of what is relaxing to you. This is different for everyone. I love a hot bubble bath with book, candles and wine. Grabbing a good book, a glass of ice tea and heading outside to read is another way I relax. A great massage, lunch with friends, and yoga are other great options for me.  It is nice to have a list of what works for you in the event you end up with unexpected free time.

wellness-285587_1920

Schedule it. That is right. Schedule that me time  into your life. I find it best to schedule my me time after I have completed the most pressing tasks. This allows me relax without feeling pressured by those tasks.

Can’t Relax?   Multitasking while you “relax” could be the culprit. If you are checking emails while you watch T.V., checking social media while your read, or answering phone calls during your massage you are not fully relaxed or focused.

woman-1733891_1920

Multitasking can be a good thing but it doesnt promote relaxation. Make sure you are fully present in your me time. Take note of the things that tempt you to distraction and remove them. Silence your phone. Turn off the wi-fi. Put on some headphones. Do whatever it takes to remove the distractions. You will be better equipped to do all those tasks after you.

Do you have any relaxation or time management tips to share? What is your perfect idea of relaxation? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Check out the video – same topic but not the same content!

Posted in Inspirational Mugs, Phone Cases, and More, Life, Motivation, Mugs & More For Writers, Society6, Uncategorized, vlog, Writing

Motivation Monday: Struggle = Progress Plus Vlog with Writing update.

Difficulties. Roadblocks. Setbacks. The list of obstacles that seem to keep us from making progress and achieving out dreams can seem endless. If we focus on these things in a negative manner it is easy to find out selves in a pit of discouragement.We begin to doubt ourselves and our dreams. We have reached a point in our journey where giving up seems easier than trudging though the troubles.This is a good time to remind ourselves of an important truth.

Video: Struggle = Progress Motivation & Novel Update

File Jun 02, 9 50 20 PM

  • Struggle ultimately leads to progress. It is in seasons of difficulty that we learn important lessons. As in nature, intense conditions often birth the most beautiful and sought after things – like diamonds.

Let’s dig deeper into that for a moment.

The formation of natural diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures. The organic process of diamond formation requires four key ingredients: carbon, pressure, heat and time.

Like diamonds, when we persevere we become stronger. We come out on on the other side of our roadblocks with things that we did not have before. Knowledge is gained. Compassion is born. We are strong and sturdy. We have the ability to shine because of the difficult times we endure.

Imitation diamonds are easy to find and so are people who appear to be something they are not. These may be the same  people who achieve things by taking shortcuts and avoiding roadblocks but in the end they are only shortchanging themselves. True diamonds have a  strength, hardness and beauty that can not be imitated. Strength is built from time, heat, and pressure. Imitations may have sparkle and appeal but they are not true diamonds.

nEWS

Watch my youtube Video – novel update and inspiration on this topic

I have experienced this in my own life. From childhood the odds were stacked against me. A family history of alcoholism, mental health issues, abuse, neglect shaped my childhood. I was crushed to see my dreams fall apart after being raped and becoming pregnant at 14. The years that followed were not easy. I struggled to finish school, be a parent, find a safe environment and deal with depression and anxiety. I was not able to graduate high school but I did get my GED and job at the age of 17. Although college did became a reality for me at 20, it was not the path I had dreamed of. I wanted to finish high school, go to college, write books, have a nice house and then adopt children. In that order.

 

That is not what happened. My path was different and very bumpy but it got me where I am today and I am thankful for every painful and joyful moment along the way.

 

So, I encourage you to take heart if you are under pressure and feeling discouraged. You are in the process of becoming a strong, beautiful, rare, and deeply valuable person.  Don’t forget to watch my vlog on youtube. It tackles this same subject & idea from another angle. Plus, you will get my novel & life update sprinkled in it as well.

As, always thanks for joining me.

Have a blessed & bookish day!