WHY DO YOU WRITE?

New BLog OutWhy? Because. Yeah, but because of what? Now, do I have your attention? Everyone writes for different reasons and some may seem familiar, some may seem ridiculous, and some may even be the right reason for you. We cannot group writers into one formation and have great stories. This is why different genres play an important part in each writer’s life.

If fame and fortune are your goals, then you need to work hard, harder, and even harder to make your writing and the story stand out from all the others. But, every story has been written. You can only let Cinderella go to one ball, right? You are the writer, take Cinderella to a different kind of ball and to kick-start the story, have her go barefooted. Change the setting and you can change the story into YOUR story.

Some may say to reap the rewards in monetary value. But all writers will not be awarded in the same way. Do you have another book to follow, maybe not a series, but another book in the wings waiting for acceptance by a publisher, or your own type of publishing. One book, no matter how great, will not be enough for writers in today’s publishing business. And, then the readers want more and more. If you are a writer and connect with your readers, then you must continue to honor your readers and craft another story for them and new readers. You write because you want to write and this is where you find pleasure.

Then, you find the most satisfaction in writing a penetrating story that touches even the hardest heart and you realize a goal you’d never thought about. The satisfaction your writing gives another person. And you hear a reader’s response that this story touched me and I could not put it down. Maybe, your writing helped that one individual come to grips with her or his fear, helped them make a decision, or found their love was still with them. You just wrote what was in your heart and let the words fill the pages for another person to read.

You write because you have a writer’s mind and heart. You are interested in the whole process of having ideas and crafting the words. This brings you happiness, even when you become frustrated and do a file save, before getting up from your chair and laptop to do a dance around the room or go for a walk to let the frustration simmer a bit. While you dance with your ‘broom’ partner, new thoughts race through your head. Or on your walk, the sounds of nature fill you with new insight to your frustration and new ideas flow. This is the writer inside you acknowledging your irritation and letting the muse nurture you back to your chair and laptop.

By now, you have a good idea of Why You Write. Keep your writing fresh, invigorating, suspenseful, and full of love for your readers. Surprise your readers. Yet you are the same writer giving new stories to your readers – consistent, interesting, and refreshing.

I DON’T HAVE TIME…

images_014Who does, but that’s the point of this blog. I should be doing laundry, making out a new “to-do” list, answering email, anything but sitting here striking at the letters on the keyboard, OR is this what I should be doing and letting other things get done later? I choose this and will not sweat the small stuff, if the dinner salad does not have a tomato sliced in it, or the laundry does not get done until tomorrow. I’m not going anywhere and the jeans I have on are clean, my sweatshirt is clean and warm. Hey, even the coffee pot is still warm.

Yet, there are times we tend to make our “to-do” lists bigger than necessary, and still leave room to add more on at the bottom. Sometimes, this makes us feel important, until we cannot cross off even one item. The more we have to do, the more we can do, right? Not since the last time I looked at my list before the shredder ate everything off the paper.?

Yes, there are always errands to run, appointments for doctors, dentists and other important items, and once these get accomplished, we can write. WRONG. Somewhere down the list, we forgot to enter in our writing time. For a lot of writers, published and not-yet published, this is foremost the important part of our lives. Why? There is no list needed to remind us to write. Writers write and we are the writers. But if you are new to the living world of writers, you might use a big, like huge, colorful sticky on your computer. This will trigger your mind to know what you should be doing.

Even if you have fifteen minutes, you can write. You might read over what you wrote earlier, do a touch-up to a few words (better known as a revision). Or, you might get in the mood with ‘Morning Pages.’ Remember The Artist’s Way and the morning pages? These pages are for no one but you. You can scribble, draw pictures, develop your lovely lady or find ways to make hero a great villain and likeable at the same time.

What helps a writer is to establish a routine, but make certain it is not chiseled in stone. Another idea is to write even when you don’t know what you will write. This is one of the best ways to begin and follow your heart with words. Writing every day sets the pattern of a writer, but writing every day at the same time helps your writing become more efficient. Sure, we stumble along the path and when that happens, step back, take a deep breath and think small. You are not sitting down to write the complete manuscript at one time, rather scenes of the manuscript.

And, be prepared to write and write and write. Sometimes garbage fills the page, but before you delete or cross through, keep your writing just the way you put it on the screen. You never know when these words may be just the ones you need at a certain scene in your manuscript. Remember, writing is never finished until you add “THE END” to the last page, and then you may make many more changes again.

Happy Writing Every Day. Happy Morning Pages. Happy Garbage Writing.

JUST WRITE

CHANGES – NO NOT AGAIN

Lost ConfidenceYes, you read the title right. How many times do we make changes in our daily lives? No, forget about the little things that drive us crazy, but major hurdles to climb or jump over. Deadlines are changed and never forward, always yesterday. If you are writing, you know the ones where the edits were due and you still have one more chapter to go through.

What about passwords?  I could write a book on passwords and their strengths, but who remembers all the letters, caps, numbers, the %%% and then the &&&, and then the oops, forgot to lock the number key. Yes, we all have to make certain our lives and our work is secure. Yet, there are days I feel like a machine that is half-broken and can’t remember where I was or where I need to start. Hey, maybe I finished and…

Yet, one thing I learned, there is so much more to be learned. Learning is one part of life that never stops and this also involves change or changes. Ya, gotta learn to roll with the ball and go around corners, curves, cut your own way, and yes have fun. I took a good look at the picture and decided PUG would be his name, gotta love that tie. You can’t tell if he is disgusted about wearing the tie, or just in one of those “so what moods.”

Moods are indicators of changes we hit along life’s highway. Angry does not get us to the next mile post. Impatience has a tendency to increase the anger, if we can’t get something like now. Do some of these things come to you through your characters? Here we are writing and need to give our protagonist or antagonist something to bring a surprise into our scene. Well, here is your chance to bring out all of your ideas on change and changes. Try them on your characters and see how they fit.

Before long, you will laugh at some of the things you are asking of your characters in trying to put them through so many loop holes. Yet, we do the same things to ourselves every day. Why be serious all the time. Laugh, Have Fun. Pretend. Give yourselves day off from all the changes. Then go back and you can change your characters’ personalities. Let them have fun too. Lighten the atmosphere. If they want to be eccentric, maybe that is just the point you need to make in this scene.

Changes will happen every day, several times a day, but you do not always have to make them. Changes are possibilities arising out of complications. Make sure you need to change, want to change, and give yourselves time to make changes, even give this time to your characters. Maybe the ARC is not happening for them or you. Don’t push the scene. Instead be like PUG, just stretch out and watch what happens, with or without the tie.

Happy Changes.  Happy Contemplations.  Happy Writing.

REVISION (S)

images_028Does this word scare you? If so, think again and use part of this word as a positive attitude of writing. The word we need to focus on is VISION.

How many times do we read, read, and read our work again. Each time we can find something we missed the last time we read through the W-H-O-L-E manuscript. We get upset at the mistakes we noticed again and sometimes we are so used to seeing our manuscript, we do not read, rather glance over each page. If we use ‘track changes’ or the ‘balloon inserts,’ we might not even double-check them. Why? We did that the last time.

Still there are errors to clean up, names to keep straight, dates, ‘oh my’ the dates, and the seasons. The protagonist cannot be caught in her bikini with snow drifts piled beside the pool. Or the hero sweltering in his overcoat as the sun beats down on the pavement and he races to catch the thief.

Silly thoughts? Of course, but we all make mistakes, and then we hear via an email or received the manuscript back with “this still needs revising,” written in ink all over the first page. It becomes time for the hair-pulling exercise. Yes, our hands to our own head and a few yanks close to the roots.

So instead of going bald, try something new. As we start to read again, all 400 or so pages, look with the word VISION in mind. Each area showing red marks, balloon inserts or other identifying track changes, stop. Can we change this? Is that what we meant to say or show or were we directing our characters? Play around with each marked-up area and listen to what your characters say to you or even show you what can be done to make then more active, more alluring, and even more dangerous.

When we turn off the vision censor, we can let go and see a different setting, a new twist, another layer of the character that wasn’t there before. Maybe, just maybe, we peel away more layers and find the sequel to this manuscript. Then, as we continue with the Vision Process, we become more in step with our writing and our characters. We let our characters have free rein, and sometimes have to curb their intentions.

Is this REVISION? Yes, but with a new twist. We are listening to our characters, seeing improvements to our manuscript, but do we use everything? No. We make adjustments and modifications to our story, save some for the sequel. As we travel through each page, we review, reconsider, find expansions to our story. As we progress, we might even develop new plots to have our characters undertake or risk.

Revision now becomes a mission as we make corrections and let our characters express themselves in different gambles. This makes the VISION of REVISION work for our manuscript.

Happy Revisions. Happy Visions. Happy Writing.