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Posts tagged with: inspirational

WHY DO YOU WRITE?

Why Do You Write?

In the writing communities I belong to, the question being asked is why should I continue to write. Authors of all levels are asking this question because their incomes have dropped dramatically. Many can no longer support their families or the life style they’ve become accustomed too. They’re searching for jobs which will more than likely become their main source of income, or they’re downsizing their properties and portfolios. They’re citing many reasons for this occurrence?

  • Technology has created self-publishing platforms which allow anyone who has the desire and drive to publish their works.

  • Readers can not find them in the volume of books being published each day and advertising is hard to get and not cheap.

  • Readers are demanding more books faster than they can write and more on quickly to those authors who write quickly.

  • They are book farms and book pirates pilfering work and republishing it under a pseudonym.

  • The sea of readers is drying up because of other forms of entertainment have captured their attention.

  • Their readers are sadly dying off.

The list of reasons grows longer every day.

So why write?

Let me tell you a story about a little boy. At the age of three, he received a baseball glove and a ball for Christmas. From that moment on, he was in love with the big-league game. He watched and learned and practiced, and practiced. He played in church leagues, for his school and eventually for the U.S. Air Force team. When he came home from servicing his country, he returned to his church leagues and the city leagues.

One day, he was offered a try out for the Baltimore Team. We went. He wasn’t offered a contract, but it didn’t matter to him. He continued to play hard ball in leagues until he was sixty-four of age when cancer came on the scene. In all the years I’d known him, he once never regretted not making the big leagues because there was so much of his life he loved and would never give up for fame and fortune. But he never stopped loving the game and playing it.

He was my husband and best friend. Jim’s frame of mind mirrored my own as I started on this golden brick road to publishing. I love to talk to my characters and learn about them. I love to research and learn new things. I love creating stories and entertaining others with them. I never thought I’d be the next big thing, nor would I want it. I’ll continue to work my day job (which I’m working now, so I’ll reply when I’m able) to support my family, and have my writing support itself and maybe a nice vacation.

However, we all live in different situations and have different dreams. Whatever you decide is your path, be at peace with it, and know five years down the road the game will change again.

 

 

WWW.AUTUMNJORDON.COM

 

 

There Is No Use Denying Who You Are

This is a republished blog posted here on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood as Closet Writers that was felt by many of our readers. I hope it will connect with a few more as we go into a new year.

Closet writers break my heart. Any reason a writer keeps their writing a secret is just wrong, unless the writing is extremely personal and not meant for other’s eyes. I was a closet writer.

There are many reasons why writers remain in the closet and the Rubies have had discussions concerning them. At some time or another, many of us have faced the road-blocks that kept us from being us.

Some writers think they haven’t read enough books to be considered a writing expert. In their minds, if people find out they write, they must’ve read every single book ever published. I’m here to tell you that I’ve never read Huck Finn, War and Peace, Fifty Shades Of Gray or a zillion other classic or best-selling books. Does that confession make me less of a writer? I think not.

Being shy, it can take years for some people to join a writer’s group. A long, long time ago, when the internet was young and a thing called dial-up was used to connect to it, writers actually went to public meetings to connect with those of like minds. Walking into a meeting can be daunting to a wall flower. I know because I’m an introvert. The internet and the ambiguity it provides, has made it easier for some writers to connect to others, but not all. They remain in the background, unsure of themselves. To them, I say, “it’s always the quiet ones who make the biggest impression when they’re ready.” Rest assured most writers are genuinely nice and more than willing to help other writers in any way they can. You only need to be serious about the craft to be considered a writer by them.

A closet writer might feel they don’t know enough about the craft and until they know all there is to know they remain in seclusion. I’m not sure if there is anyone out there who knows it all. Well, maybe King, Patterson or Nora. Only they can answer that question. The point being, the majority of writers will openly admit that they don’t know everything and that they learn something new all the time. Join the club that strives to be better at their craft.

My writing sucks. It very well could, but are you the best judge? You’ve read and studied and wrote and edited. Now it’s time to trust yourself and share your work. If a critique offers constructive advice, weigh it, and then accept it or not. In the end, it’s your story. There is no greater joy for a writer than when a reader enjoys your work. The only way to know that joy is to share your gift.

There are those who really, really want to be a writer but struggle to do the work required. Writing is hard work and takes a huge amount of time. Completing a work is possible a word at a time. Commit to the work, or perhaps another hobby would be better for you.

I’m fortunate. I’m a writer who has had the support of family and friends for many years, but that wasn’t always the case. I once was a closet writer. I was told that my dreams of becoming a published writer were stupid and thus I hid my passion. Now, when I read the notebooks I filled during that time, I cringe at the darkness that shadowed my life.

One day, I finally broke and said to myself, “This is my life and I don’t want to look back and wonder what if I’d taken one step. Would my dreams have come true?” That was a year of change for me on many levels. It was a hard trial but through it I learned I had the support of many family members. I read craft books. I joined a writer’s group. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I attended conferences and workshops.  I found more support through my writer friends. I met the man of my dreams and he became my biggest supporter. I will love him forever for letting me be me.

Life doesn’t give us do-overs, but it does give us second chances. Take the step toward being you.

 

Autumn Jordon is the award-winning author of Perfect and Perfect Hearts.  She enjoys writing  contemporary romance, romantic suspense and thrillers/mysteries.  Subscribe to her newsletter at www.autumnjordon.com and be entered into members only contests. perfect-box-basic-2

Death & Then There Was Rebirth

I’ve come to the conclusion that death mirrors birth. From the moment we’re conceived, we fight to grow into a whole person.  Then we take enter into a new world where again we strive to develop into a unique person. At some point, we struggle again, leaving behind love ones, and again take passage into another realm.  Based on the trend, one thing we can count on in the next kingdom  there will a promise of hope.

I lost my husband, my love, my best friend. Then I lost the first man to hold my heart, my father. Then my beloved dog whose coat held many tears, and finally my pretty kitty of nineteen years. All of them in a short span of a year and a few months. A few other family members and friends have followed since.

When you lose someone that held your heart, it’s like you’re the only one in the history of the world that has ever felt the pangs of the deepest, darkest, totally empty, endless freefall of grief. All desires except one leave your soul. Then, like the moment of conception, there is the tiniest spark of self-preservation that makes you look up and take a step forward to fulfilling your purpose in the world. Taking those steps and allowing yourself to fall and get back up takes strength and courage.

We all are unique. We all have strengths, weakness and gifts. For some reason, this community has been given the talent of putting words to page, words that will affect others and perhaps change the course of their lives.

Over the years, I’ve heard many of you state that “not to be able to write would be like taking away your ability to breathe.” Fitting words. It doesn’t matter how you write or what you write or whether anyone ever will see your words. What matters is that you’re striving to be the accomplished, awesome unique person that you’re meant to be.

If you or someone you know is going through the stages of mourning, I offer one thing that helped me. I wrote letters to my love ones. I journaled my thoughts. I wrote poems. They are my private works filled with hate, pain and love, and the world will not ever see them.

I’m not the over-achiever that I had been several years ago, wanting to write several books a year. I’ve become the writer who wants to write for me first and the world second. And that is okay.  I hope the books I release will be enjoyed by fans, and blogs like this one will help others. I’m feeling accomplished, and that is good.

 

Meet 2012 Golden Heart Finalist Carol Post

Today we’re welcoming Carol Post, 2012 Golden Heart® finalist in the Inspirational category. Her manuscript, WHISPERS IN THE NIGHT, has been sold to Harlequin® and will be published as a Love Inspired® Suspense under the title MIDNIGHT SHADOWS. It will hit the shelves January 2013.

From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol has the resume of someone who doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love for writing. She started as a child writing poetry, then graduated to articles which made it into some religious and children’s publications. Several years ago (more than she’s willing to admit), she penned her first novel. In 2010, she decided to get serious about writing fiction and joined Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, Tampa Area Romance Authors.

Carol lives in sunshiny central Florida and writes her stories under the shade of the huge oaks in her yard. Besides writing, she works alongside her music minister husband singing and playing the piano. She enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandson live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of three fat and sassy cats and one highly spoiled dog.

Here’s a blurb for MIDNIGHT SHADOWS:

Melissa Langston can take care of herself, so when she learns she is being stalked, the last thing she wants is help from her police detective ex-fiancé. But Chris Jamison is sworn to defend and protect and can’t walk away from a woman in distress, even if said woman broke his heart. As the threats intensify and Melissa begins to question her own sanity, Chris finds himself fighting for her life…and her love.

You can learn more at her website, caroljpost.com, and on Facebook, caroljpost.author.

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I’m so honored to be a guest on the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog. Like Terri, this is my first blog ever.

2012 has been a very exciting year for me. On January 27, I got the call from Harlequin® that they are going to publish my Golden Heart®  finaling manuscript as a Love Inspired® Suspense. I was still on cloud nine from that (yep, it lasts that long!) when I got the call on March 26 that I was a Golden Heart finalist. On May 2, I signed with an agent—the awesome Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates.

Although I’ve been writing for over twenty years, I’ve been a member of RWA and my local chapter, Tampa Area Romance Authors, for less than three. During that time, I’ve made life-long friendships, learned more about the craft than I ever dreamed possible and gotten the encouragement I needed to keep plugging away when I felt like giving up. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along this crazy ride to publication:

1. Everyone on the planet is thinking about writing a novel.

Tell someone—anyone—that you’re writing a novel, and they’ll tell you that they’re thinking of writing one, too. After all, “How hard can it be?” You just think up a plot, drop in some characters and voila—a print-worthy book. And once they find out you’re finished, they keep asking, “So when is your book coming out?” They don’t understand that the road to publication is usually paved with years of learning the craft and dozens (as in hundreds) of rejection letters.

2. Prolific writers don’t have clean houses.

This was a quote from one of the keynote speakers at the 2010 RWA Conference. I can’t remember who. But it was life-changing for me in a liberating sort of way. I’m a bit of a neat freak. No, let me rephrase that. I have to have things orderly and uncluttered. Nothing wrong with that, right? Okay, I admit it. I alphabetize my spices. But prolific writers don’t have clean houses. When working a full-time day job, being active in my church, and putting at least a little time and effort into my marriage, (and, for many of you, caring for small children), a spotless, perfectly organized house is only going to come at the expense of my writing. Oh, I still have to have some semblance of order—total chaos definitely stifles my creativity. But I’ve picked up a new motto: Out of sight, out of mind. If I can’t see the mess, it’s not there. I’m going to go write.

3. Comparing your progress with the progress of others will drive you nuts.

Just as everyone’s writing processes are different, so is everyone’s path to publication. There’s the occasional writer who makes it there pretty quickly, but for most of us it takes several books. For me, it was book three…take twenty (because I rewrote the thing so many times)! I belong to the TARA book challenge loop. Every Tuesday we report how many new words we’ve written for the week. The purpose is to cheer each other on, not to compare ourselves with one another. That’s a good thing, because if I felt that I had to match Jean’s consistent 25,000-word counts, I’d have given up a long time ago. I read a blog recently where one of the commenters had actually calculated hourly earnings for a category romance author. He used a very “reasonable” estimate of 320 hours to complete a novel (first draft to final edit), based on a rate of 10,000 words per day. Maybe some writers can do that. But if I tried to write 10,000 words in one day, I’d fry all my brain circuits. My husband would come home to find me staring into space and drooling on the keyboard.

4. If you’re going to get that book finished, you have to “dare to suck.”

This is something else I learned at an RWA conference. Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler talks about student performers and how they have this whole freedom thing going on, a sense of no-fear. He calls it the dare-to-suck syndrome. He says in writing a song, you have to put ten stupid things down if you want to get two great ones out. This holds true for novelists, too. We have to dare to suck, or we’ll never get anything down on the page. I’m a perfectionist (which you probably gathered from point #2 above), so this didn’t come easily for me. I’d slave away over my first draft, finding just the right words, and six months later have some great-sounding chapters but no book. When I heard, “Dare to suck,” it was as liberating for me as, “Prolific writers don’t have clean houses.” Dare to suck. If we want to get the story on the page, that’s exactly what we need to do—turn off the internal editor and write, write, write. So what if it’s dreck. Dreck can be fixed.

 So, what pieces of advice have you found most helpful to you along the path to publication?

 

The Latest Comments

  • Elisa Beatty: So glad to have you with us today, Susan!! Your father sounds like an amazing, loving man....
  • Lisa Arbitrary: Beautifully worded, Susan ❤️
  • Janet Raye Stevens: Beautiful tribute to your dad, Susan. I’m so sorry for your loss and am sending you so many...
  • Becke Turner: Susan, Your post touched my heart and left me speechless. I was also close to my dad. Although...
  • Shelly Chalmers: Susan, what an incredible post and tribute to your dad. The world needs more dreamers like you! I...

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