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.

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USE YOUR VOICE

images_063What? I am a writer. There is no singing in my head, unless on the radio. It is my fingers that do the work as they tap on the keyboard.

NO. Your voice is how you write. The attitude you give your characters. They must come alive and give their attitudes to your readers. Some days, their attitude is fantastic, upbeat, positive. Sometimes their attitude stinks. They seem to stay on edge, waiting for something to happen. They are nasty and ugly. Does this sound familiar? Since we are our characters’ voice, we have our good days and our bad days.

Voice is what your reader hears after you give your character a physical description. Does the voice fit the character? Could you pick your character out in a crowd? Your character takes on a living personality by all the actions you let your character show. The voice must fit these actions.

Give yourself a test. Read a page or two of your current work in progress. Do you feel moved by your characters? Now, go to a newspaper or magazine article. Do you hear or feel the voice? No. The writer or journalist must keep their voice quiet. They must present an impersonal objectivity of their work or article.

Aren’t we writers lucky? We get to make our work personal. Our stories show the emotions of each character on good and bad days. This is your voice and it is you, the writer, making each character sound genuine. When you force a voice, you make the character seem false and can turn the reader away.

Keep passion in your voice as you show your characters in so many different situations. They will love you for this. Then you can relax, enjoy the scenery, and who knows, see a different side of your characters.

HAPPY WRITING.

TOXIC CHARACTERS

AudienceWhy not have some fun today and play with toxic characters? This will get your mind spinning, your fingers dancing on the keyboard, and you might end up with a new thought, story or character for your next book. There are many versions of toxic characters, but here are a few that came into my mind.

TAKERS – want everything and will try anything to get their wants fulfilled. They take and take and take, but never give back. Can’t you picture this character in your mind? Remember, these toxic characters are both male and female.

ABUSERS – abuse your friendship, your friends, your family. No, they do not go around with a sledge hammer, and sometimes you have no idea you are being abused. They nit-pick, start rumors, make confusing statements., They are aggressive and not bothered by their actions.

DEPENDENTS – are needy characters. They need apprval to do about anything and want you to be there with them. They depend upon you for information, friendship, love and whatever else they can think will make them a better person. They cannot make a decision on their own without talking about it over, and over, and over.

LISTENING – this character pretends to be so intent on every work you are saying, and remembers word. This listening practice gives way to rumors. You may have said something, but the character turns words around. A listener is a great booster to an ego until the moment is over, and then chaos reigns.

SNEAKY – you can’t forget about these characters. They can prod information from you and you’ll never know, until it is too late. They want something, like the TAKERS, but they sneak to get everything. Bits and pieces of information are all they need. Then, they ad lib their own thoughts and sneak into whatever crowd is around

POOR ME –  brings even an upbeat attitude down. This character is never satisfied with life, the weather, the group, or a dinner at a neat restaurant. They always have problems bigger and bigger than anyone else, and want sympathy and a hand held. Watch out….they will pull you down faster than quicksand.

Okay, these are my versions of toxic characters. I’m certain you can add different toxic names and more descriptive definitions. So think.

Put your creative mind to work. See if you can write a short paragraph about some of these characters and how you might incorporate them into your writing. You might have a lot of fun with Toxic Characters.

Happy Writing..

WRITING – POETRY – ART?

Book CaseDo not holler yet, please? But, do think about how poetry can assist you in some of your writing struggles. Enter the scenes in your head. No thanks, I write books – I am not a rhyming person – poetry is fluff – I write erotica – poetry is for old people who want to look backwards – poetry, I don’t think so.

There are more excuses about poetry, but before we stick our heads in the sand, we should examine why poetry can, could and does help our writing. How long ago did you pick up a book of poetry and read? Some of our best poets suffered from illnesses, sometimes not mentioned. Sylvia Plath, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Virginia Wolf, and William Shakespeare had addictions, depressions, mental issues and their works of poetry show their true feelings and desperation. One poem I love was written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Her words came from a time , not yet established in her life, she wrote for the future. One particular poem, Solitude begins, “Laugh and the word laughs with you. Weep and you weep alonge.” This is a wide read poem, even today.

Look at some of your favorite poets and read their works. Picture yourself searching for words to fit your expressions. Do not we, as writers, do the same for our works. Of course, and sometimes we use the first word we can conjure. If you are having a bad day at writing, what is one of the things you can do? Return to one of your favorite quotes, or something posted at your computer or on the wall. Reading will help your vision get back on track.

Wanting to write and giving yourself permission to do this are the same for every writer, and the genre does not matter. Remember, there is not bad writing only the first efforts and many revisions create good writing.

Here are a few actions to help yourself feel great about writing and sticking to it every day:

*  Do not judge anything you write as great or a failure

*  Keep Writing

*  Don’t whine about time or energy needed to write. Just write, write, and write.

*  Keep telling yourself you are a writer.

*  Learn more about the craft.

*  Keep paper and pen with you at all times.

*  Jot down sayings you see on cars. What about road signs? They always have mishaps.

*  What about a song on the radio? The music, the beat, the sadness might fit into your next stanza or paragraph.

Another area writers might look into is art. How long has it been since you went to an art gallery or a photography exhibit? The next time you see one advertised, go, study the artists view or the photographer’s camera angle.

Sometimes the blank page is huge and we need to create words and phrases, the same and we need to create words and phrases, just as a paint brush needs to create color, and the camera different angles or the poet a feeling to draw the reader into the depths of a soul.

You are a writer and you must make the choice to write every day. No matter the genre, you write and write and write. The words flow on the pages you write and you watch your dream take shape.

You write because you are a writer.

How Do You De-Stress?

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Stress hits all of us every day and how we handle our stress points are what makes us unique. There are fingernail biters, fast food junkies, nibblers at the fridge, the pieces of candy hidden in a handbag or drawer at the office. What about the candy dish set out for friends?

Stress is out there in so many disguises it’s hard to know where to begin. Sometimes, the thought of even getting out of bed for another day of unknown happenings, produces stress. Have you ever gone to the grocery store to be faced with so many choices? How do you handle the advertising, the latest medical news on foods, and feel good about what is in your cart? What about the stress brought on by yourself? You mentally beat yourself up for not doing the best. The best of what? Sometimes we have no idea, and this brings on more stress.

We can be our worst enemy. We torture ourselves and pay the price with stress. Okay, we didn’t write for three hours. The revision still needs another go-around. Or, we skipped our work-out session and feel guilty. Some chores did not get done and this makes one feel another guilt trip edging closer. Company is coming over for dinner and you make a quick check – no desert and no time to make anything.

Are you like the lion and roar about everything? Or do you see yourself as a kitty and feel the purr start? We have to listen to ourselves and decide the best way to put all the guilt trips into the garbage. How long has it been since you had a huge, belly laugh. The one where your eyes water and your insides hurt? Why not? Because stress pulls us down and we let it.

Things do not always go as planned and we need structure. Not all the time. We need to give ourselves permission to deviate from the daily grind. Maybe the quick visit with an old friend took us out of the ‘list,’ but what happened? You made two people happy; your friend and yourself. We all need more times like this. You have a new book, but feel guilty when you sit down to read. Take this break and fill yourself with pleasure.

Think of pleasure as your reward for being you. A walk after a spring rain and smell the freshness. The sound of the CD you never got around to playing, and yes you can dance by yourself. The golf game you should not take time for, but do and feel so much better even if you didn’t get the best score. The different way you drove to an appointment instead of taking the same route. The scenery change can change your attitude. Think of all the different changes you can make in your life and feel the stress melt away, day by day.

Purr like a kitten and let the lion roar. Each has their own de-stress manner. Now is the time for you to make your life a little more alive. Grab the moment.