Writing lessons

I’ve written my entire life but it wasn’t until I self-published and started doing it with a purpose that the lessons came.

I’ve learned that keeping a blog will help me write.

I’ve learned that bloggers are some of the kindest people.

I’ve learned that self-publishing is both hard and awesome at once.

I’ve learned that what I write online is both public and permanent.

And I’ve learned that writing a book is a labour of love.

I read this great blog: Zenhabits.net and found this post on ‘What I’ve learned as a writer‘ by Leo Babauta. An amazing, uplifting post.

I particularly liked his Number 8; procrastination is your friend. And his number 12; jealousy is idiotic. If you’re looking for something positive and Yoda-like, check it out.

How about you? What have you learned from writing?

Indie Publishing tips

I found a couple of great sites for indie publishers.

This one is by Joel Friedlander. It has not only won awards, it has resources on learning from others, on Social Media, on the pros and cons of indie publishing and more. Check it out here.

This one is by CJ Lyons has a ton of resources. Everything from cover art, to a tool box, to 4 pitfalls to avoid. Check it out here.

Jane Friedman has a great page on resources. From getting started and fighting self-doubt to News and trends. Check it out here.

Wise Ink blog has a great page full of resources for indie authors. Check it out here.

Hope these help! 🙂

Transition scenes

I always have trouble with ‘transition’ scenes; those times when the hero is walking to the heroine’s house or the heroine is driving somewhere or they’re going to sleep. I want to skip when they’re in transition or rush by it somehow because it’s boring but, if I try and rush it, you can tell. On the other hand, if I write down every detail (he tied his shoes, grabbed his coat, put an arm in, then the other arm, zipped his coat shut…) the reader will probably throw my book on the floor then stomp on it for good measure.

So, what do I do? Luckily, though I have no idea, others do (yeey!).

Janice Hardy has a great article on how to skip time. She shows (with small examples) different types of techniques on how to move ahead. Check it out here. And here is another on transition scenes.

Skipping ahead of time is one of the ways to tighten up a book and not drag the reader through boring parts. Janice Hardy makes it look easy. A big thanks for those great articles!

Resistance creates pain. Acceptance creates peace.

I simply loved this post. Loved it. LOVED it. What a wonderful message. It was exactly what I needed to hear and gave me a great deal of peace.

Ten Commandents of the Happy Writer–Nathan Bransford

I loved this post. The Ten Commandments of the Happy Writer. I needed to hear each and every one of these. Nathan Bransford, thank you so much.

1. Enjoy the present. I’m seriously working on this one because not so long ago, I was obsessed with the old, dark catch: I’ll be happy when…. For me, it went like this: I’ll be happy when I’m successful and published. Until then, I’ll be miserable. It sucked. Especially because I have no control over my success as a writer. I could be good but I might suck royally. Who knows? I need to enjoy the now.

2. Maintain your integrity. I’ve been caught by this one too. I’ve tried to ‘sound’ like someone else (not for long, thankfully) and it sucked! It’s better to be me. If I’m no good. I’m no good. That’s not why I’m doing this. I love to write. Period.

3. Recognize the forces that are outside your control. Yeap. I have to remind myself all the time.

4. Don’t neglect your friends and family. This one is huge for me. It’s not worth it. As Nathan Bransford so eloquently says: ‘it’s not worth losing a husband or a friend’. No book is worth that. I believe it. Family comes first.

5. Don’t quit your day job. Can’t. I have bills. A scary mortgage…and did I mention my Jeep? Must keep day job.

6. Keep up with publishing industry news. Hm. Not so good with this one. Rats. Area of growth for me.

7. Reach out to fellow writers. I do. But I think this is another definite area of growth for me. I can do more.

8. Park your jealousy at the door. I think I manage this one. I believe there’s enough to go around.

9. Be thankful for what you have. I really like this one. I have my health, a wonderful, supportive hubby, one crazy akita we adore. A lovely home. Things are good. Really good. Writing is the icing on the cake.

10. Keep writing. I wrote about this on a previous post because I had forgotten. I started promoting and forgot what it’s about. For me, it’s about writing.

I would add one more: be positive. In comments, in posts, in reviews, highlight the good stuff and let go of the bad. Being positive helps me stay positive and think happy thoughts. Thoughts are powerful things. My belief is that what I think, I become. I’d rather be a positive person.

What about you? Would you add any other commandments to the list?

One more link: Nathan Bransford’s site: http://blog.nathanbransford.com

For writers: showing versus telling

New authors often get told: show, don’t tell. It’s a biggie for writers. I’ve read it, heard it and seen it more times than I can count in reputable helpful sites. I know I probably ‘tell’ and don’t show. My issue is not that I wasn’t willing to do as I was told, my issue is I have trouble telling the difference. What does ‘telling’ mean? What constitutes a ‘show’?

So, I found a couple of sites that really impressed me because they were so clear on this issue and I thought I’d pass them on.

Nina Kaytel has this amazing post with amazing examples that are not only clear but they’re small and easy to read. Her post helped me to actually see the difference. Here’s the link: http://ninakaytel.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/what-ive-learned-beta-reading/

Kelly Leiter wrote a wonderful post on the difference and she brings it down to three rules that are awesome because they’re easy! Better yet, she also adds a group of links to other sites where they also explain ‘show vs. tell’. (Let’s just admit it, Kelly Leiter’s site rocks).

Here’s the link: http://www.thebeginningwriter.com/2012/03/explaining-show-dont-tell.html

But those are not the only people who’ve written on ‘show vs. tell’.

Nathan Bransford, a former literary agent, has a great blog full of resources and here’s his post on this topic: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/09/showing-vs-telling.html

* K.M. Weiland, another powerful resource, wrote this great post on the topic here: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/02/the-secret-to-show-dont-tell.html

One more, I found that I thought was particularly good (and a great site):

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/show-dont-tell/

Personally, I’ve also rearranged and re-organized my Resources tab so, hopefully, things are easier to access to those checking it out.

I know, I know. Overwhelming. No more links. We’re done! 🙂