Writing Wins and Woes: Why I’m NOT a successful writer

1288Before I begin my blog today I want to include a huge shout out to Holly Jennings. Her story is featured today on Daily Science Fiction. Here is a link to her story.

http://dsf.webfactional.com/science-fiction/robots-and-computers/holly-jennings/the-time-has-come

Holly is an amazing writer friend and I’m expecting great things from her. She has an upcoming sci-fi book soon to be birthed. It sounds amazing. The title of it is Arena. I will be posting on my blog when it is available to buy.

So this blog is in part dedicated to Holly. As you know, having writer friends is both rewarding and tough. Specifically, #9 on my list is for Holly. This blog is meant to be humorous as well as truthful.

Okay, onward!

I’ve been writing religiously for about three years now. Why am I not a successful writer? It seems like three years is plenty of time to launch my writing career. Yet, I’m still stuck on piddling short stories for ezines, lesser known print mags and anthologies. Why don’t I have one book out yet? It didn’t take long for me to come out with ten quickee reasons for my failings.

Ten Reasons I’m NOT a Successful Writer

  1. I’m too tired. This is an excuse I use every day I don’t write. I deserve a break today. I’ve been working hard. I didn’t get enough sleep last night. How am I supposed to write when I’m exhausted?
  2. I like Facebook. Let’s face it, I’m a bit of a Facebook fanatic. I love going through my newsfeed, my friend’s places to eat out and those idiotic quizzes. I can spend endless amounts of time reading stories, sharing stories, recipe hunting and pursuing friends on Facebook. Who has time to write?
  3. I need to watch my shows. Hey, I’ve got Netflix, Prime and a hundred dvds to watch. If I write, I might miss one of my shows before they take it off Xfinity.
  4. I’m working. I can’t write when I’m working, right? That would be unethical and possibly illegal. I could lose my job. Seriously, work is consuming far too much of my time, but at least I get a steady paycheck.
  5. I’m having a family crisis. We’ve all had family crises. My daughter went to Iowa. I can’t write. I can’t even think straight. Nobody can during a family crisis. And we all know family crises happen pretty regularly.
  6. I’m sick. Who can write when they’re sick? I know I can’t. My nose is stuffed. My head hurts. I’m in pain. I need sympathy. Not work. The only writing I’m doing during that time is telling all my friends on Facebook to keep me in their prayers.
  7. I’m down right now. Here’s a bigee. When I’m down, I don’t really feel like doing anything. I don’t want to clean the house, make dinner and I especially don’t want to write. It’s probably my unsuccessful writing that’s making me down anyway.
  8. I’m discouraged about rejections. Being rejected isn’t fun. Have you ever had a Dear John letter? It sucks, right? Try getting one every day in your inbox or two or three. That’s what a writing rejection feels like. It’s awful. I don’t want any more of those.
  9. I’m jealous. Other writers are doing so much better than me. That’s not fair. My story is as good as theirs. I sent my story there and they rejected mine and they accepted hers? What the? That doesn’t make any sense. (LOL Holly) We’ve all had this happen. I have to admit much as I laud my fellow writers when they succeed, a little piece of me is screaming out, “I want some of that, too!”
  10. I’m not writing. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. This is the main reason I’m not a successful writer. I don’t write enough. I don’t write every day. I’m not consistent. I make excuses for not writing. Let’s cut to the chase. If I’m not successful, if you’re not successful as a writer, it’s because of one thing. YOU. Only I can make my writing succeed. Nobody else can do that for me.
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Writing Wins and Woes: Words From the Wise

344I’ve agonized over how to become a successful writer. I’ve researched other writers, different genres and read books on how to write in a way that matches all the criteria for good writing. But the more I research, the more I try to better my writing the more I feel that there is no one secret for success. And quite honestly, some of success is just plain luck. However, here are some writing words of advice from the pros; those who wrote and won.

Ray Bradbury: Consume myriads of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, music until you’re so full you explode with ideas. Write them down as soon as you get them before they escape.

Stephen King: Find the latent stories buried inside. Dig them out and take a leap of faith.

Frank McCourt: Sit and be quiet. Memories and details will resurface. Write what demands to be told

Andy Rooney: Don’t wait for an idea to come. Demand an idea to come.

Tom Clancy:I use three questions: What if? What next? What now? Think about if  what if happened, then go with it.

John Grisham: I prepare an outline of forty to fifty pages before I even write.

James Michener: Be goal oriented instead of self oriented. Don’t think I wish I had a book out, just write the book.

Andre Dubus: Never quit. Nobody cares whether you write, and you can’t get fired, so you have to care.

Ernest Hemingway: Write what has not been written or be better than dead men that have written something.

Tom Robbins: Pay attention to the rhythm of language. Don’t say the sun came up. Say the sun came up like a big, bald head.

Madeleine L’Engle: Write dutifully day after day, doing the best you can. When the magic comes, it’s a gift.

Larry L. King: Write and rewrite. When you’re not doing those, read.

Danielle Steele: Find a cozy corner where you feel secure and write.

Michael Chabon: There are three things you need to be a successful writer: Talent, luck and discipline. Only one of these can be controlled.

Herman Wouk: Write a certain amount each day five days a week.

Nora Roberts: Write what you would read yourself.

Hope this is all helpful. Here are some words of advice from me: When you don’t know what to write, write anything. Write about your job, your house, your pets, your kids, Write about all the messes in your life. Something will eventually come of it. Happy writing.

Writing Wins and Woes: In Search of Eternal Life

150We all want to live forever. Since time began, people have been in search of eternal life; sometimes it’s eternal youth as well because let’s face it, who wants to live forever growing older and more deteriorated every day.  No, we want to be fresh and young, both in mind and body.  As a Christian, I have the hope of Heaven where I will receive a new body that will last throughout eternity. As a writer, I love to toy with the idea of immortality on Earth.

This is why I am super excited to share my blog with you today on Jessica Khoury. I first found out about Jessica’s books from my teenage daughter. She had read Origin and loved it. Since I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I read it also. The book is both creative and entertaining. It is about a genetically engineered immortal girl whose fate is to create a whole race of eternal beings. To protect this future, she lives in a test tube so to speak, in a protected environment in the Amazon rain forest surrounded by scientists. But she escapes like the boy in the plastic bubble and meets a native boy named Eio that she falls in love with. So there’s the conflict.

But I’m not here to review Jessica’s fantastic book. I’m here to talk about Jessica Khoury and her writing. She wrote her first book at four years of age. It was handwritten and stapled together. I can recall writing books like this myself when I was a kid. My first book was a heartwarming story of a girl and her dog. Jessica’s was a fan fiction piece sequel to Danny and the Dinosaur.

Jessica was born and raised in Georgia, but she now lives in Columbia, South Carolina.  Her inspiration is the mountains around her, her travels, stories and her faith. She was homeschooled then went to Toccoa Falls College to earn her bachelor’s degree in English. She almost gave up writing when she failed to sell her first fantasy novel in 2011 but on a walk one day magic was born when an idea came to her mind of a girl surrounded by glass walls and living in a jungle. So Origin was created.She wrote the first chapter that night and finished it in 30 days.

Jessica has since written two other books in the Corpus series: Vitro and Kalahari. She also has a book newly minted that is an Aladdin retelling called The Forbidden Wish. 

I reached out to Jessica via Facebook messaging, and she very nicely answered my writing questions.   Here are her writing words of wisdom. She sets goals to write everyday usually 2000 words and she rewards herself for reaching them. She usually writes in the afternoons and/or sometimes late at night, but she also has to do social media and marketing as well. Her writing advice: “The advice that often helps me is to let myself make mistakes. When I get writer’s block, 99% of it stems from fear of messing up. So it’s important for me to tell myself that it’s okay to write badly so that I can continue to move forward.”

Learn more about Jessica Khoury on her web page.  http://www.jessicakhoury.com/#!bio/cee5