Category Archives: Writing

No Motivation or Willpower? A Simple Solution – a post by Kristi Holl

In keeping with the topic of the struggles of writing, I have another blog post for you to read. Thank you to Heather Wright for telling me about it.

This post is by Kristi Holl who has had her share of struggles in her goal of writing. Even so, she has many published books now, so she’s obviously found something that works.

You may have noticed I quoted her on my Quotes page, too.

My questions to you today are … do you lack motivation to write? Are you low on willpower? Do you wish you could find some way of writing that isn’t overwhelming?

Kristi has a simple solution. To read her post, click HERE to go THERE. It’s very valid advice she wrote in August 2014. 

You may want to leave her a comment, and I hope you’ll also come back here and share what you think of her solution.

What are YOUR writing habits that work best for you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

What it takes to be a “real writer” – a post by Kristen Lamb

I have a few questions for you today.

Are you a writer who keeps having doubts about your abilities, or the possibility of success? Do you struggle with seeing writing as your job or profession? Do you get discouraged and keep wondering what in the world are you doing?

I just read a very encouraging and eye-opening post by Kristen Lamb. I urge you to read it.  She addresses what it takes to be a “real” writer.

Click HERE to go THERE.  

Leave her a comment (bloggers love that, you know), and while you’re at it, perhaps you have time to come back here and share your thoughts about what she said? I very much enjoy reading what you have to say. 

Blessings on your day.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Tips for deciding on names for your characters

Here are a few writing helps for you today, especially for finding names for the characters you are creating in your marvellous stories.

If you strive for authenticity in your stories, you might also want to consider the accuracy of the names you choose for your characters in certain time settings. I found a name/age calculator that could be of help to you in selecting a name that was/is used in the time frame of your story. It sets a wide range but focuses on the median – the midpoint when the name is most commonly used. GO HERE to find the NAME/AGE CALCULATORThis calculator is based on American names and notes that names before 1940 are estimates.

I also found a site that helps you select a name according to themes or qualities of your character. GO HERE to find NAME THEMES.

If you are looking for a unique name, perhaps from mythology or the Bible, or even a musical name for your character, GO HERE to find UNIQUE BABY NAME IDEAS.

To help you come up with a character by name and personality GO HERE to THE CHARACTER NAME GENERATOR.

I hope you have fun with these and find them to be helpful.

I’ve added the above links to my Writers’ Helps, Quotes & Workshops’ page. Look under Writers’ helps when you need them for your stories.

Do you have any suggestions for coming up with suitable character names that are not listed here or on my Writers helps page?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

 

Writing, researching, & more waiting

I was talking to a writer friend today. She writes novels and is published. I haven’t completed the one I started six years ago during NaNoWriMo. She doesn’t write picture books. I am waiting/hoping to get mine published. It’s a waiting game no matter what you write.

She reminded me to not compare myself to other writers. I needed that reminder – again – because I have been thinking about my picture book submission earlier this week, and that many other writers submitted their manuscripts around the same time. Mine will get read but I will be astonished if it is accepted. Why? Because, I thought, the others will be better stories or more suited to the publisher’s interest, than mine. Through the process of elimination mine will be rejected. I thought, but I don’t KNOW. I’m waiting. My friend is waiting, too, for the next step in the progress of her latest novel.

She said if she were to compare she could be insecure because of my writing. WHAT! No way! Because, she told me, I write multiple stories in one year while she writes a story in about three years.  hmmm  My reply to that is it takes longer for her novel because of the length of her in-depth story and all the research she does for it. No matter if it’s world-building or just capturing a moment or incident, it all takes time and effort to create worlds or scenarios and scenes. It’s all writing. It’s all creative expression. It’s all work. And it’s an exercise in patience – definitely not one of my strengths.

I think writing a good novel (one that gets publish ) is an amazing and exciting accomplishment. I’d love to do that, but I don’t yet know if that is within my abilities. For now I am concentrating on picture books because that’s more where my passion lies in my writing. I have to stop comparing. I have to be who I am as a writer.

Look at this fabulous image I found on Twitter:

writing-research

 

 

 

 

She’s a history professor from the future. She said to just carry on as if she’s not here.

Researching your topic is a very important part of writing your story. Even for the picture book I recently submitted, I researched what the characters would be interested in eating. I like things to be accurate.

I am usually very visual, so as I write a story I see it unfolding before me like a movie. I’ve been told that is quite common to writers. I hear what the characters are saying and what is happening around them, and often what they are feeling and thinking. In fact, here’s another oddity about me — in real life I often see the words people say to me in conversation. I see the words spelled out before me, in my mind’s eye. I wonder if that is an advantage for me in my writing … or if I am just strange. 🙂  

Questions for you:

  1. Do you visualize when writing stories? Do you when people talk to you, the way I see the words spoken to me?
  2. Do you research for your stories, or do you not bother much with the little details? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

 

 

Writing and waiting

It’s been a hard summer for me as far as writing goes. I’ve been in a funk, a writing depression, a walled-in place of little inspiration. I realized I was/am experiencing burn-out from a combination of things, burn-out exhibiting itself as low-grade depression and writer’s block. That’s no fun!writer's block

 

 

 

… until a week ago, on August 23, when inspiration hit!

I was talking with one of my daughters about a frustrating, exasperating, tiring situation that’s ongoing (not as a caregiver) and that affects a few of us in the family. Pausing to consider it a moment, I said … “hmm … that could be a story for a picture book!” Shortly afterward I sat at my desk and wrote a very rough first draft of that story idea. I don’t have a satisfying ending for it yet, mainly because there has not been one found for the real-life situation, so that’s something I’ll have to dream up as is fitting for a picture book. I’m happy, though, because it is my August draft for 12×12.

And writer’s block was moved aside.

That’s always good news. Other good news happened today, too.

I’ve got some manuscripts which I haven’t submitted anywhere yet. It’s hard not ever hearing back, or getting rejection replies, so I think I was just not ready to chance it again. In 12×12, members were offered a special opportunity to submit to a publisher looking for new work, with the promise ALL would be read and our work would not be left in the ‘slush pile’. This evening (Aug 30) I took a chance and submitted the story I wrote in February. I did it! It’s gone, I received email confirmation that it was received, and now my wait has begun. If they are interested in working with me I’ll hear back within five months. If not … *sigh*

waiting quote

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime, I have to get out my other work and get more of them submission ready. And continue writing new stories, of course. That will help fill in the time while playing the waiting game. I need positive creative distractions to keep myself writing.

How are you at waiting? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Another pile of books for ReFoReMo

The challenge has ended, sort of. ReFoReMo may be over in one way, but I have a lot of work to do yet. On our own we were to read through each book and then analyze it – study how each was written, observe the POV and universal theme, choose our favourite line, write a little about the story’s main character, and more. It’s been educational for me to find out what is popular now, the many different types and themes of picture books, and the variety of ways to present stories. I’ve learned what type of book I’m not interested in writing and what style I’d like to try. A few I didn’t enjoy reading, a couple brought tears to my eyes, a few were educational and I learned fascinating things I didn’t know before; some stories were funny, a couple were hilarious (to me), and many were sweet stories in a variety of ways. This has been a great experience. (Thanks Carrie Charley Brown!)

I got more books from the library on Saturday and I’ve also started returning books. That’s the sad part.

Here are some of the latest ones I borrowed, I have a few others to photograph,  and there are more on hold for me.

batch 5 -11 Have you read any of the above?  They are:

  • Gravity by Jason Chin
  • One Day, The End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Birthday Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka
  • Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead
  • How Hybrid Cars Work by Jennifer Swanson
  • Sparky! by Jenny Offill
  • A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey
  • Wolfie the Bunny by Amy Dyckman
  • if you want to see a whale by Julia Fogliano
  • When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Locomotive by Brian Floca

I’ve read over eighty picture books through March because of Reading For Research Month, and I’m not done yet. That’s more books than I would normally read in a year! Some people have read many more than the 100 suggested, in only this month.

Now we’re learning from the special posts written for our further insight and inspiration. I’m so glad I did this, although now I’m behind in some other things I was doing – blogging and 12×12, to name only two. What I’ve gleaned through ReFoReMo should help in my writing though, so it’s all good.  🙂

On Sunday eleven of us shared Easter dinner at my dad’s, then I came home for my week off. I have a lot of reading, writing, revising to do and also publishing to finish! I am a writer and lovin’ it! 

When is the last time you read a picture book to a child or for your own enjoyment?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

 

           

Ideas needed for my story, please

Here I am posting again so soon. I have a good reason.

When I was waking up Thursday morning I was still working out a dream I’d been having. It was a story, one I was “writing” while sleeping!  I seem to have an editor who works at night!  This is not a story idea I’d been thinking about before I went to bed, I hadn’t thought of it until I was sleeping. Really! Isn’t that cool?

Here’s what I need from you, if you will kindly oblige me in a comment. 

If you have ever gone on a cruise or a theme vacation – or any vacation, for that matter – and something went wrong, I’d like to know about it. It could be funny, embarrassing (not personal or intimate details please), disastrous, jumbled up, maybe something went missing or you got lost, or you missed a connection, or had an accident of some kind. Please tell me about it. Maybe it is a vacation mishap a friend told you happened to them.

I already had a few ideas and some members of the writing group I’m in told me of some funny and inconvenient things they experienced. I am gathering as many anecdotes as I can so that I can sort through and maybe even combine a few. This is for a picture book so they have to be child friendly – and hopefully funny.

Thank you so much for any anecdotes you care to pass along to me.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂