Blog Eight – Writing Tips

“Pesky Little Critters” and “What Ifs”

If you want to write, you probably will regardless of the obstacles that come your way.

More likely than not, there will be times when it seems no end is in sight to those pesky little critters who nibble at your self-confidence, swallow up precious hours you had scheduled for writing, and gobble up that idea you were sure you had no need to write down last night before falling asleep, because it was just too good to forget.

Been there, done that. Join the crowd.

The more I listen to other writers, the more I realize I am not the only writer who is confronted by the “What Ifs “.  The best advice I can give you concerning “The What Ifs” is to not worry about them. I will not tell you they are likely to never occur because many of them will. If they do, they do. When they come, handle them the best way you can.

You don’t necessarily have to face them alone, however. Having friends who are also writers can help tremendously. If you can find a writers’ group, help is often only an e-mail, text or phone call away.  If you join a writers’ group whose members are not helpful, quit and go elsewhere. I know I would not be as far along in my writing as I am, if not for the support of my writers’ group!

 

 

Blog Seven – Writing Tips

Challenge

I am asking you to challenge yourself to write every day for four weeks straight.  I took my own challenge in December to write for at least thirty minutes a day for the entire month.

I succeeded!!!  In case you are wondering if three exclamation marks are appropriate, yes, I feel they are. This was not an easy task, as you might be about to find out, but a well worth while one.

Not only did I write for at least thirty minutes a day, I often wrote longer and enjoyed doing so. Because of this challenge, the first draft of the sequel to Papa’s Stinky Workshop is nearly finished.

I am happy I was able to completely meet the challenge. I told myself, if I could not write each and every day, I would still give it my best shot.  Just because a challenge might not be fully met, does not mean the final result would be a failure. I would consider any number of writing days a success if my writing time increased.

Are you serious about your writing? Here is a way to prove it to yourself and probably improve your writing skills as well.

Blog Six – Writing Tips

With What to Write and Upon What

 

This is a quiz. The answers do not appear in this blog. If you want to know the answers, you can find them on line. The search is half the fun.

Which famous author/authors wrote using one or more of the following?

A blue crayon

An Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencil

A typewriter while in bed

A pencil he invented himself

A quill pen filled with iron gall ink

A fountain pen from a collection of fountain pens

Pocket notebooks

Loose leaf paper

Blue paper

Yellow paper

School composition journals

Leather bound tabbed notebooks

Notebooks bound with quarter tanned sheep skin over boards sided with marble paper

 

In case you might be interested, for my first, and sometimes second draft, I write using an Icy mechanical pencil by Pentel with 0.5mm lead.

I prefer to use a legal pad with yellow paper since that color is easy on my eyes. I want the paper to have three holes by the red left hand margin and to also have a red left margin when I turn the torn out pages after I have put them into a binder.

My other drafts and my final copy are done on a computer.

So grab that blue crayon and yellow paper and write, write, write.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Five – Writing Tips

More on Where to Write

OK, let’s be honest, some of us have a vision of how a successful author’s writing space should look. That can make it difficult at times to begin to write. How does a wannabe author get beyond that?

If you have this problem, I suggest you go on line and look up “13 Quirky Workspaces of Famous Writers-Writer’s Digest”. Not only will you be entertained, you will also, hopefully, get the idea that, “Oh, it really doesn’t matter.”

Some famous authors have written while: standing, walking, lying down (on stomach, on back, or side) or sitting.

Some famous writers have written: in bed, in a storage room, in a car, on a bus, on a train, in a garden or bike shed, the bath tub, on a horse, and even in an open coffin.

Some famous writers have written: in secluded, private, off limit places away from noise and crowds or completely the opposite in preferring such public places as coffee shops, cafes, popular museums or busy hotel lobbies.

One of this “not yet so famous writer’s” favored places to write is on my recumbent exercise bike. My bike stays stationary, but my mind does not.

Take your pick. Choose a place. See how it works for you.

You might find THE PERFECT PLACE right away or have to settle for a less desirable one. Although the WHERE is important, it is not more important than the desire to write. So write!

 

 

Blog Four – Writing Tips

Finding a Place to Write

Don’t let the little things keep you from writing. Remember, they are little, but they can appear to grow larger and larger if not controlled. No, I am not writing about such things as ants, although you might not want to have them walking across your paper or keyboard as you are creating your masterpiece.

Then again, maybe I should mention ants and other such critters. Sometimes finding a place to write can be difficult. If your home is limited in space or there is frequently too much activity for you to have peace and quiet there, try working outside if convenient. Here in Tucson, Arizona that is often an option. Of course, along with the gentle breeze, or not so gentle breeze, there can also be bothersome and/or distracting critters and our glorious sun might not seem so glorious when the temperature reaches 100 degrees or above.

Oh my, I have already given you several reasons to not start writing.

If you look for reasons for not writing, you will find them.

Many authors love to work outside. If ants are bothersome, they find a way to avoid them and I am not writing about “nuking” the little guys. Such a simple solution as putting a small container filled with water under each leg of a plastic patio chair will do the trick. This also works for patio tables. If you have a pedestal table, you can use a child’s plastic wading pool and fill it with a few inches of water.

If you have trouble finding a place to write where you live, leave. Now there you go again. At least some of you are probably thinking, “See, I can’t write at this time. I’ll wait until I move to a bigger place or until the kids move out.” Have you thought about going to the library or to a coffee shop to write?

If you are a child, you should already have a quiet place where you can do your homework. If not, talk to your parents or other adults in your family who can help you set up a quiet area. Another option is listening to music to help you block out bothersome noises.

THINK! If you want to find a place to write, make it happen.

 

 

 

Blog Three – Writing Tips

Character profile

Today my blog is brief. Although the advice may seem simple, it is important to the over all success of your book. It is the same for a children’s book as for a full length novel.

Make a list of the characters in your book. Describe them in great detail, not only their physical traits, but their personalities, what kind of foods they prefer, their favorite colors, etc. This will give them dimension and help to make them believable. Next, decide which traits you will emphasize in each character.

 

Blog Two – Writing Tips

Have you started to write yet?

I hope you have started to write. If not, what is stopping you? If you have started, wonderful, and of course, if you have not started, not so wonderful.

Those of you who have started are now on your way. Hurray! Keep writing and be creative every day if possible. For the rest of you, what’s your problem?

My biggest problem when I first thought it might be fun to write a book was what kind of book to write.  I did as I suggested in my last blog. I chose to  write about something I knew.  Unfortunately, whenever I thought I had found the subject, I realized so many other  people already knew so much more about that subject than I did. Not wanting to spend hours researching to become an expert, I decided to write fiction.

Well that narrowed my choices down somewhat, but still left me with quite a multitude from which to choose. I then asked myself, what type of books did I not want to write. My answer was, nothing very sad or too scary. Ok, now I was getting somewhere. Next I picked an audience, children.

I thought about the types of books I had enjoyed reading when I was a child. I mostly enjoyed books about loving families, animals, humor and mysteries.  Guess what I wrote about in my first children’s book, Papa’s Stinky Workshop.

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Blog One – Writing Tips

Welcome To My Blog

This has been a fantastic month for me.  My recently published book, Papa’s Stinky Workshop (my first book), has done well at three book signings.  After 70 years I’m off and running!

My plan is to post a new blog on Fridays to keep my wonderful fans informed.  I would like to include tips to new writers, no matter what your age.  Maybe you will be the next person to publish a book.

First tip: WRITE – If you don’t write you can’t get published.  It is best to write every single day, even if it is only for a short time.  Try to write for at least thirty minutes a day.  If this seems too long, at least for fifteen.  Yes you can do it!  You will be surprised where you can find a few minutes a day.

Next tip: Write about something you know or something you would like to know.  For example, you may write about the funniest thing that ever happened to you, or something funny you would like to have happen to someone you know, maybe you or a friend.