What Inspires You?

On FireWhat gets you going every day? A little fire under our feet, or in the pen we are using to write, or the fingers on the keyboard?

Sometimes, we do not think about the actions that propel us to go forward in whatever endeavor we attempt. This is life and we all need to make certain we do things that put some balance in our lives. We all need to be influenced by inspiration. So, where do we get these ideas?

Inspiration is everywhere, except sitting around waiting for these powers to come jump in your lap. We need to be ready and willing to step out and see what is missing in our lives.

As writers, some of our inspiration comes from exploring new surroundings, getting new ideas for our stories. These come from being around other writers, whether critique groups, brainstorming groups, or professional organizations. But, we need the stimulation of others to create new energy.

No matter what you like doing, being alone without other people is not living a balanced life. If you love to cook and always stumble around with the ‘old-hand-me-down’ recipes, you are not reaching toward new inspirations. You need to be with other people who love trying new tastes, new food groups, and be stimulated by the end results.

This could be for gardeners. Yes, if getting outside, digging in the dirt, planting flowers or seeds for a vegetable garden is what you want to do, then make certain you do it. Stimulation is great for the soul and life.

Exercise is another area where we can get inspiration. Once you establish a routine, no make that a daily routine, your body will crave these actions from being outside and meeting other walkers or runners. What about the gym? You will receive motivation from other members, meet different people, and exchange thoughts and ideas.

Inspiration is all around us: the change of seasons, the opportunities to do something different, and increase our creative processes. This about finding your passion or passions and going for whatever it is. Obstacles, of course, lIfe is not perfect, but when we get outside our small little box we try to live in, WOW! Explore these adventures, they are out there for each of us. As writers, we are no different. We need creativity, obstacles, passion and living life to the fullest, and give our readers the best book ever.

Endorse Encouragement. Propel Motivation. Share Stimulation.

HAPPY WRITING.

DO YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

unicorn danceThink of the word “SUCCESS.” Success comes in all different sizes and niches, but let’s look at life and writing. We all have different goals, but do you set them, keep track of where you are, and  are you willing to make changes to attain your success.

One pattern may not be enough. You may have to make alterations to your plans. Do changes throw you off track or out of kilter? Change is hard to master. Sometimes, even the thought of the word is enough to make one backtrack. Still, change can be exciting: new avenues to try, new ideas to grow, and new skills to learn.

Think of some of the mini-successes you’ve encountered. Some may have been small, quite small, and then you learned that these small successes led to bigger moments. What about all those query letters you sent out, waited and waited, and got rejected. Did this stop you from writing or more determined to continue. This is the grit we all need to keep us going. The big push to make us continue and work harder. Sure it hurts, but without pain success would not show its face.

Motivation moves us to visualization. Sometimes it becomes easier to reach up and out when we can picture what we want. Do you see your name on your book cover? Can you see yourself on television answering questions about your writing? Do you envision your first book signing? These are small steps you can conquer and get you ready for even bigger steps. We all crawled before we walked. (Well, most of us.)

Share your goals and your dreams.This will help you become accountable to yourself and others. Even your comments on social media can advance your success, when you share. No others will not always agree, but when you keep your emotions in check, you will show stamina, etiquette, and people relate to these standards.

If there are areas where you feel you’ve failed. Go back and see what caused these failures. Tear these failures into pieces and then put them back together in a different form. Use failures as a chance to do something different, to make changes, and keep your focus on tomorrow, not yesterday.

With every step toward success, you enlighten yourself, stretch yourself to learn, and the best part, you can help another person on your pathway. When you are warm, friendly, and  smile, people will return these gestures.

Now, ask yourself, do I have what it takes for success in my life and my writing? Of, course you do. We all get to the destination in different ways, but always go forward.

If you have encountered setbacks and survived, let me hear how you did this and what motivated you.

Happy Writing.

EDNA & ETHEL ARE BACK

Two friendsThought we disappeared into the sunset like Thelma and Louise? No Way. We’ve been reading all about the revising process.STOP. You can revise, revise the revised, and re-revise the revised and your work can fall into pieces.

We try to keep up with your social media networks, Linked Together. No Edna, you are wrong. It is called LinkedIn. So big deal, it still links everyone together. Don’t care what you think, Ethel, but you got excited about this question posed to all the readers: Professional Editing vs. Professional Marketing. This gave us another chance to discuss our opinions (more like bickering back and forth), and came up with the same answer. You see, we’ve been together for so long, we need the excitement of hefty discussions to arrive at the same answer PROFESSIONAL EDITING. Lot more fun.

Every book writer can do marketing, book launches and sales as you prepare your audience for a new book or an addition to your series. What matters are your readers. Get their responses with a few advanced copies or freebies. Never knew any one to turn down a free book.

A writer writes to get a GREAT novel out to their readers. A GREAT book delivers interest to your readers and your characters draw the readers into the story. with their voice. Sometimes the voice is timid. Forget this voice and go for the one that snaps the sentences off the page.

What about the action in your book? Do your characters dawdle? Do you bring your characters face to face with their fears? We’ve faced many fears in our lives and found the best survival mode – OUR principles. A little forgiveness and your reader can connect. You can also use this method to motivate your characters. Step into a different boundary and see what they can do.

When you give your readers a great novel, they will connect and in turn help you move your sales ahead. Sure, you need to be on top of your work, give book signings, answer questions, email your subscribers, and get yourself out among your readers. Do not forget to support other writers.

Make your writing pop, crackle, and crunch. Forget all the non-action words, scenes, characters and you will bring joy to your readers and increase your sales. But you need a great novel, edited and ready to ride into the sunset, as we must do now.

Thanks for letting us pop in and we will visit again soon. So for now, pop those pages and listen to your readers. Any comments? We can take the good and the bad and the ugly. Sorry, we had to add this.

Are Your Characters Contradictory?

How well do you know your characters? You’ve researched, made sketches, know their background, size, color of hair and eyes. What happens when conflicts arise? Are you certain how your characters will react?

Look at your story and see if your characters have permission for strange behavior. Our characters must surprise and even shock the reader. We want the reader to fall in love with the story, the scenes, and our hero or heroine (protagonist or antagonist). Your characters must show emotion, an unbelievable other side, and get ‘out of character.’

A minor character becomes forceful or hateful toward the main character. If this action is full blown, the female character takes revenge, not at all like her. Or the male character plans a way to get rid of the other person. Or what about a character who thinks she must be prim and proper at all times, and a guy who must be perceived as a gentleman at all cost. Boring. Boring. Boring.

Think about your actions during the day or a few days. Everything rolls around on an even keel until a stressful situation turns your world upside down. You do things ‘out side of your box’ to get back to normal. Take a good look at your characters. How would they react?

Enter conflict. This can be between two characters or one character arguing with his or her conscious. What great behavior antics you can create? Then, the female character hears a certain song or remembers a specific time from long ago. This is something none of her friends know; her other side. From a male character, he may have a past hidden in the sealed files of a court. Each of these characters have issues from the past and surprise the reader. Now, you have emotional involvement with the characters. Next, you need to show reasons for her or his behavior. Do not tell. Show with fear, secrets, choices, motivation, and be in dialogue with them. Let your characters be real to you, the writer, and to your reader.

Surprise your reader and your characters will keep them reading. AND, let me hear about some of your character happenings, ‘outside the box.’

Happy Writing.