I attended the Tampa Bay Times Reading Festival on Saturday 11/9/19 and had a blast. The weather was so nice. Sorry to my friends up north, suffering from all that snow and bad weather. It was a balmy 78 here in the Sunshine State. (That’s a cold front for us) Met some new readers and friends. So many interesting people to meet, and as always I love talking about reading and writing. Thanks to all who stopped by my booth.
Look at me! I had some professional portraits done by Artisan Inspired Images, and even though it may not be very humble, I think I look pretty sharp. Which leads me to this week’s tip.
Writing is hard. Getting published is even harder. My human mom, Kelly Abell, has been down that long road, and still has goals she hasn’t attained. But, I heard her offer some tips to another author who was feeling down, so I thought I’d share them with you.
Keep writing because you love it, not because you want to get rich.
Don’t let rejection define you as an author. If you get valuable feedback, which is rare, incorporate it and learn from it.
Stay patient. Traditional publishing takes a long time.
If you want an agent, try to meet them in person at a conference.
Continue to practice and improve your craft.
If you want to self-publish find a good company to help you with editing, covers and formatting so your book looks professional.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Please share other tips you’ve learned along your writing journey. I’m off to chew my bone now. Have a great day!
For Formatting, Covers and Marketing Materials visit Select-O-Grafix, LLC for affordable prices and one-of-a-kind solutions for all your book publishing needs.
When Connie Champion’s dream is within reach, she has to go for it, right? But leaving her family behind to go on a USO tour overseas is one big scary step. But take it she does and soon finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of long rehearsals, international travel, and the chance to sing in front of thousands of soldiers–and tour with the infamous Trevor Thornton, country musics’s hottest star. She’s loving it! Everything seems perfect until her brother, Bishop, announces his engagement to Darbi, the nanny. After seeing them together, Connie longs to ditch her solitary life and find her own true love.
One scary step leads to another, and , in a blink, Connie goes from zero romances to two–and a shot at stardom. Sven Christensen is what every girl dreams of–a financially stable, handsome, and dependable man. Logan Richards is troubled, exciting, and a bit of a bad boy. Not to mention, she’s attracted the attention of the hottest country singer to boot. When circumstances turn a bit dicey on the tour, where will Connie’s loyalties fall? Who will win her heart and be this Champion’s hero?
Hi Everybody, Jackson here. As you can see, I’m easily distracted. It’s hard to focus on one thing at a time. I hear my human mom, Kelly complain about this all the time. She says one way to remain focused is by setting goals.
Whatever you’re into, for us it’s writing, you need to have some sort of plan. You don’t take a trip without at least a basic idea of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Same with writing. I laughed at Mom at first, and thought having goals is just silly. I’ll only get depressed if I don’t reach them. Well, guess what? That’s poppycock. (Aren’t you impressed with my use of that really big word?) You ARE?? Goal achieved. See how easy that is? I set a goal to impress you with my doggy brain, and it worked.
I’m leading you down this path to explain how setting goals will help you as a writer. Set a goal to write every day. Even if it’s just in your journal, write something every day. If you’re working on a book, set a word goal for the day. Keep it achievable so you don’t get discouraged. Say….1500 words a day. If you manage to stick to your goal you can write a 67,000 word novel in 44 days! Isn’t that crazy?
If that’s working for you, bump it up a notch. Set a goal for how many books or short stories you’d like to release this year. Keep track on your phone or a white board. Whatever works best for you. My mom likes to see her progress displayed larger than life, so she has this big white board in her office. She keeps track of all her open projects.
Don’t worry if you don’t reach a goal. Learn from the lack of achieving it. Apply those learnings to your next goal. We all have stuff in life, like squirrels, that distract us from our goals. Deal with them, then refocus back on what you want to do. I’m betting you’ll find yourself achieving more than you realize.
Gotta go for now. Stay focused and goal oriented. Now where’s my bone?
While I was sort of snoozing in my special spot under the desk, I heard my human Mom, Author Kelly Abell, droning on about organizing her writing. She was preparing for an upcoming workshop she was about to teach, and it must have been stressing her out. As you can see, nothing much stresses me out. I’m pretty chill, except at the vet. Anyway, I digress. Here’s a snapshot of what she was mumbling about…
5 Ways to Organize Your Novel
Write the back blurb first – She says this gives you a high level road map of where you’re going.
Do Character Sketches on all your characters – This is critical, Kelly says. If you don’t know your characters and what their motivations and goals are, how can you write the story? Click Here for a sample character sketch.
Write a two or three paragraph per chapter outline. I don’t know what this means exactly, but it sounds pretty smart. She said something about people being pantsers vs. outliners. Sounds like pantsers might be more fun to hang out with, but when it comes to writing, its not Mom’s style. She’s pretty intense when it comes to her writing. She says having a road map makes your writing more polished and reduces the chances of writing yourself into a corner.
Keep things at hand and organized – She kept getting all excited about a tool called OneNote. Do you all know what that is? She says it’s like some online notebook with tabs and everything. It works great for keeping things separate and organized. She has tabs for Characters, Plot Lines, Research – broken down into more tabs, Story Outlines, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I’m sure she’d explain it to you if you ask.
Write your story. She called this the Word Vomit version. Yuck. I’m a dog and even that sounded gross to me, but that’s what she does. Writes the whole book before she even begins to edit. Get it down on paper or the computer.
Well she’s stopped talking to herself now, so I’m going back to my nap. If you have any questions, just comment below. I’m sure she’ll get back to you pronto. Happy Trails! J