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Love Your Work

Have you ever cold-emailed a publication — either online or in hard print — to pitch your writing to them? What kinds of writing contests do you enter? How many agents and publishers have you contacted about your writing? Have you self-published anything and, if so, how do you market your work?

Have you ever thought about making a living off of your writing, or do you write just for the pleasure of it?

Writers write because we need to write like we need to breathe air. We do it because we need to in order to live. It may be a slight exaggeration, but writers that I’ve encountered tend to share a similar feeling. And, while we don’t want to write just for money, many would like to make a living doing what they love.

Unless you’re, say, J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, writers don’t tend to make much money, but if they persist and continue to work to hone their writing craft, I don’t see why writers can’t use their skills to pay the bills.

And, hey, it won’t seem like such hard work if you do what you love, right?

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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Home

 

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The Roses of Success

The other day Rachel and I actually sat down and watched a movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, and Lionel Jeffries, it was a musical fantasy live-action movie revolving around a family and their magical car released in 1968. Dick Van Dyke has always been a favorite entertainer in our household, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a fun movie to rewatch every once in a while.

One of the songs in the movie is called The Roses of Success, sung by Lionel Jeffries as Grandpa Potts and a chorus of eccentric inventors. The whole point of the song is to embrace failure, to never give up despite set backs, to be thankful that you’re moving forward enough to figure out what doesn’t work on the way to figuring out what does.

It resonated more with Rachel and me at our ages now than it ever did when we were younger. We’re both working on getting our writing off the ground, both with novels and blogging, as well as our networking with good friends aiming for similar goals. It was an uplifting song, one that was perfect for this fun, even if silly, movie. I hope that, if you haven’t gotten the chance to see this classic movie, you do one day!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Home

 

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Writing Mindset

c3f26bc113fe997c78cb2264f9cd42751My post yesterday was generally about how inspiration and hard work go strolling down the road hand-in-hand. However, I’m the type of person who enjoys having a bit of background noise to keep my mind focused on my work.
(Perhaps inspiration should become synonymous with keeping your concentration when it comes to creative projects? It’s a thought.)
My Spotify is usually playing, either blasting through my laptop’s speakers or my Amazon Echo and making the windows shake. Generally my music is instrumental, violinists or movie and video game soundtracks. If I’m in the den, I don’t mind sticking on an old movie, something that I don’t have to pay much attention to. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is also a favorite, considering the amazing soundtrack is a bonus! Of course, Rachel and I are also YouTube geeks, and I have no problem having a few favorite playlists going all day while I write.
Rachel and I tend to spend Saturday mornings writing at our local Barnes and Noble and, considering we know most of the workers, we have no problem inquiring about the music that they play. Usually we approve of the store’s music taste, but there have definitely been times when the music was strange enough to throw me out of the writing mindset.
Isn’t it funny how something as mundane as background music can throw off your work groove? On the flip side, there was a particular Saturday where every song evoked the perfect emotions for Rachel as she was typing away scene after scene — and Rachel is the type to work just fine in silence.
How does everyone else keep their inspiration flowing and their concentration solid?
 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Home

 

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Going After Inspiration

How does inspiration tend to hit you?
Do you have a certain playlist of music that you put on to get into the writing mindset? Perhaps you have several playlists saved for different scenes of your stories, to set certain types of mood. Maybe you’re the type who is able to stick on a favorite movie, letting the familiar lines serve as comfortable background noise as you type away. Or are you the type of writer who needs noise-cancelling headphones to work in complete silence?
Perhaps your inspiration is trained to turn on at a certain time or place. Six o’clock in the morning at the desk in the den. Ten PM on the sofa in the living room. Two thirty-six in the afternoon on your bed with your favorite pillow behind you and your laptop resting on your legs.
Or maybe it’s not the inspiration that allows you to write a blessedly easy two thousand words in a sitting… Perhaps it’s just you pushing through the imaginary writer’s block, saying to hell with waiting for so-called inspiration.
Does your hard work come from inspiration or does your inspiration come from hard work?

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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Home

 

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Cutting Out

Have you ever been writing along on a story and realize that the passage you’re typing out will most likely not be in the final product?

NaNo seems ripe for passages like that, with its emphasis on quantity over quality to find some diamonds in the rough. There are also those passages that you write that seem brilliant, but may not fit in the final story.

There were definitely some parts of my NaNo tonight that would fit in that category. Obviously they’re all staying in the story until I go into the editing phase, but when that time comes, I’m not sure what’s going to happen, haha!

What about you? Do you have a separate document or page for certain passages that don’t make the final cut of a story?

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Home

 

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Writer’s Limbo

What are you working on right now?

I’m kind of just floating in Writer’s Limbo at the moment. There are definitely a few stories in my head (and hard drive) that deserve some attention, but this month has been a bit all over the place. Besides my day job, I’ve been quite busy on my weekends this month.

The first weekend was the bachelorette party for my best friend, who’s wedding is tomorrow. Last weekend we went and got ourselves a kitty. Next weekend is a mini trip with some family, which I’m probably going to be very sleepy on.

It’s all a grand old time, but it doesn’t allow one much time for working out writing schedules. I’ll figure something out for next month, perhaps after Rachel’s birthday, that will definitely include some hardcore writing sessions, editing, and gym trips (seriously, this desk job warrants the need to move more).

So, out of curiosity and to get my rear in gear, what are you all working on? Edits? Finishing up a first draft? Just chilling during the last few weeks of summer (for those of you who share the same seasons as me)?

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Home

 

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Chasing Freedom

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During slow times at work, I tend to browse around on the Internet for a little while, sites like Yahoo with their news articles (and “so-called news” articles — seriously, some of the topics that they write about shouldn’t be newsworthy, like the cost of a celebrity’s leggings). Often enough, there will be articles showing off studies about millennials, how we think, how we work, what we want out of life, things like that.

Forgive me, but I wasn’t aware we millennials were a different species from the rest of humankind. Apparently we’re baffling enough to warrant these studies for the older generations (you know, the generations that raised us) of the world.

One of the major things I see regarding us millennials is how we’re different with the way we want to work and make our livelihoods. We’re not thrilled with the idea of 9 to 5 desk jobs. We want creative freedom in what we do. Yet, those 9 to 5 desk jobs are generally what pays the bills.

My job is a fantastic opportunity, one I’m not going to waste, but I’m not going to try to stop reaching towards the creative freedom I crave. I’ve been told that I’m set for life with my job, that with enough careful planning and saving I’ll be able to retire in just a few decades rather than six.

But I’m not my parents or grandparents. I’m not satisfied with a 9 to 5 desk job. Granted, they may not have been either, but back then their life goals may have been different than my generation’s. My generation is all gung-ho about chasing after our happiness, even if the money isn’t the best in our dreams. We’re the generation who is challenging the notion that you work just for money.

I’ve gotten amazing advice and support from my family, from the generations that came before me, and I will forever be grateful to them for it. Their advice will always be there in the back of my mind, but I also need to figure out my own path, forge my own way.

I think that’s how millennials baffle the older generations the most. We’re not content with just working to survive. We want more than that and we’re taking steps to get it.

(I mean, we’re probably still little pains sometimes to those older generations, but hey, that’s expected, right?)

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2016 in Home

 

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