Things are heating up in the political arena in the USA and it’s getting ugly on social media. There are rants thrown (temper tantrums?) about the bias of FOX, CNN, MSNBC, should Christians vote for a Mormon? should there be another 4 years of careless spending? There are links to news stories, with facts and photos. I get it, people are worried. The USA has a right to be worried. There is much that needs to be fixed and I think almost everyone would agree on that. But we can’t agree on how to do it and that’s the issue. So back to my question when is it OK to say what you think is right? If I use my blog, which is about home in my heart to tell you what happens in November will affect my home, and if that conflicts with your belief, would you stop reading my blog? If I post something on facebook, would you unfriend me? Do writer’s have a the same responsibility to speak out as Hollywood stars if we don’t agree with them? or if we do? Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone, has an article on her blog today that says this better than I can. As a writer–not well known, I don’t feel I can take a chance at alienating anyone who might want to read my books, so the only belief I will speak about on my blog is this: I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord. I will not be quiet about that.
Diana invited me to respond to this prompt: “What does a typical writing day look like for you?”
I chuckle when I’m asked this question because I don’t have a typical writing day. I’d like to say that I bound out of bed full of energy, spend an hour in sweet communion with the Lord, and head to the computer to crank out a couple thousand words before lunch, but that scenario is a wee bit idealistic in my case.
In reality, I don’t think in terms of days—typical or otherwise. I think of my writing as happening in seasons. I have Research Seasons, Plotting Seasons, Drafting Seasons, Revising Seasons, and Editing Seasons. When my debut novel released this past July, I experienced the whirlwind of my first Promotion Season.
While I’m in the planning stages of a new story, I’ll spend countless hours devouring reference books. During the actual writing phase, I lose track of time as I immerse myself in the 1800s. I can get so into the period that hearing the phone ring or the dryer buzz startles me, since such sounds have no place in my story world.
I enjoy each season, but like so many writers, I have to allot time to respond to email, connect on social media, blog, etc., too. And then there’s housework, exercise, and family time. Finding a balance that works for me can be a challenge. I’m beyond grateful for my incredibly supportive husband, who understands when certain seasons consume me and certain chores don’t get done. Yup. He’s a keeper.
Thanks for hosting me, Diana. Spending time with you and your blog’s visitors is a pleasure.
I have a question for all of you: If you’re a writer, do you have a typical writing day, or do you tend to have writing seasons as I do?
Thanks for posting today, Keli.
Here’s some information about Keli and her new book, A Bride Opens Shop in ElDorado, California
Fun (and my favorite) version: Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives is currently available.
When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell.
To learn more about Keli, you can visit her Victorian-style cyber home at www.keligwyn.com, where you’ll find her parlor, study, carriage house, and more, along with her blog and her social media links.
Widow Elenora Watkins is determined to provide for herself and her daughter without relying on anyone else. Can she run a successful business after falling for the competition? Miles Rutledge finds himself willing to do anything to keep Elenora in town. But can he win her heart while putting her out of business?
I liked this book. Elenora is not a wimpy character. She is a determined single parent making sure her daughter feels like they are family.
Keli is giving away a copy! All you need to do is leave a comment with your email address.
Here’s Keli’s question again.
“I have a question for all of you: If you’re a writer, do you have a typical writing day, or do you tend to have writing seasons as I do?”
My question is: If you aren’t a writer how to you get your reading time? Diana
Welcome back Staci Stalling to Home in My Heart. Readers Staci is sharing her thoughts on Success and she is giving away her book free today!
What is Success?
Everyone wants success. People talk about setting goals and positive thinking and getting to the top. However, most of these same people never really define what success means to them.
Instead they think only in terms of the next big promotion or the next raise or climbing the corporate ladder, but few ever stop to really look at where these goals are taking them.
World-renown motivational speaker Zig Ziglar says that to define success, you should stand on the goal line of life and look into the end zone. What you want to see there sets the parameters for your definition of success.
In other words, ask most people what they want from life, and they will say, “I want to be happy.” That’s great, except for two things: they seldom know with any certainty what happiness actually means to them, and secondly, they never actually plan to be—nor take the time to be—happy.
Instead of taking the time to be happy now, most people fall into the when-I-get-over-there-then-I’ll-be-happy syndrome. If you look, you see these kinds of people every day—maybe even when you look in the mirror. “When I get that promotion, then I’ll be happy.” “When the kids are back in school and I can do this, then I’ll be happy.” “When we get out of debt, then I’ll be happy.”
Problem is, it doesn’t work that way. If happiness is your goal; if having been happy is something you really want to see in the end zone of your life, then you have to start being happy today. Not tomorrow, not in a week, not when “X” happens—TODAY.
So, how do you do this?
First, you must seriously ask yourself, what makes you happy? What makes you feel alive and completely in touch with the essence of yourself?
Maybe it’s hiking or skateboarding or baseball or running. Maybe it’s painting or music or writing or dance. Maybe it’s something as simple as taking a cup of tea out to the porch to watch a sunset.
Immediately you say, “I don’t have time to do that stuff. I’m busy making a living. I don’t have enough time as it is.” And then you wonder why you aren’t happy.
If happiness is a goal you have, then you must schedule time every day to do something that makes you happy. As Annie Dillard, the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
The question to you then, is how are you spending your days? The reality is that what you have right now is exactly what will be in that end zone on your last day here. Is this what you want?
If so, congratulations! If not, you can start right here, right now to make a new ending. Decide today what will be in your end zone, and then make the changes to get that in your life today. You deserve it, but don’t put it off. You don’t have a second to waste. Copyright Staci Stallings 2003
Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Staci has a special surprise for you today and tomorrow only…
FREE ON KINDLE TWO DAYS ONLY!
August 15 & 16
Staci’s “Amazing!” novel:
To Protect & Serve
To Serve and Protect
“Reading To Protect & Serve, I’m taken away to another world, a world I want to be a part of and never leave. Staci’s characters are real with real everyday problems. I love that.
Oh, and the firemen in this story, they’re smokin’ hot! Especially the hero!”
–Debra, Amazon Reviewer
When control freak Lisa Matheson falls for handsome but shy firefighter, Jeff Taylor, it’s possible that life might just be going her way for a change. The only problem is she can’t control of Jeff or the death wish he seems to have…
Welcome, Janice. Can you tell us about your latest venture?
Thanks for having me. I’m thrilled to share about my latest book, MAKE MONEY WRITING, which is now available from amazon for kindle users. The book, which is loaded with helpful hints for freelancers, is free from March 12th – March 17th. After that, it will sell for $4.49.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your writing experience?
Sure! I write under the names “Janice Thompson” and “Janice Hanna.” I just signed contract #79 (For QUEEN OF THE WAVES) and have written in a variety of genres, including romance, historical, contemporary, cozy mystery, juvenile fiction, non-fiction and more. I’m best known for my light-hearted contemporary novels and for my quirky characters. I’m pretty passionate about writing, and even more passionate about helping others discover their writing talents and abilities. For the past seven years I’ve worked as a full-time freelancer, earning my living with my books, teachings, articles, and write-for-hire work.
Why did you decide to write this book?
For several years now I’ve divided my time between freelance writing and teaching. So many aspiring writers discover that I’ve published several books and they come to me to ask the inevitable, “How do I get published?” question, usually followed by, “Is there really money to be made in publishing?” Over the past couple years I’ve put together several freelance writing courses to answer their questions, but I felt the need to do more, so I compiled all of my mini-teachings into one book.
Will readers get all of the same materials they would get in one of your courses?
No, the courses are very specific to their individual topics. MAKE MONEY WRITING covers a variety of areas of interest to the freelance writer, including: earning top dollar, magazine article writing, write-for-hire work, writing the novel and/or non-fiction book, the submission process, succeeding as a freelancer, and more. The book is not a textbook. Instead, it is motivational in tone and focuses on offering encouragement to freelancers and giving them basic tips for success in each of the areas listed above.
Can you tell us a little more about the book? Sure! It might make more sense to share some of the chapter titles because they will give you an idea of some of the topics readers will find in the book.
Earning Top Dollar
Jumping the Hurdles
In the Beginning. . .the Writer Set Goals
What Industry Pros are Saying about Goal-Setting Write. . .for Hire! Revolutionize Your Writing Girls Just Wanta Have Funds Double Your Word Count in Two Weeks Cash in on Magazine Articles Sync Up Freelance Lingo Stop, Drop and Roll (Adding the Crisis Scene) From Mii to Wii (learning how to incorporate the “we” factor) Make ‘Em Laugh Elevating Your Elevator Pitch Seven Days to Better Writing Five Things a Writer can Learn from American Idol Got Moxie? Becoming a Public Speaker Writers are from Mars, Readers are from Venus . . .and much, much more!
What other projects are you working on?
I’m currently writing QUEEN OF THE WAVES, a novel set aboard the Titanic. Very compelling story, I must say! And I’m tickled about my upcoming release, Wedding Belles.
You mentioned your courses. Can you tell us what’s going on in that world?
Yes, thanks for asking. I’m tickled about the recent release of my Non-Fiction Writing Course. I recorded this course in the studio several months ago and had a blast doing it. I’m convinced this is the most comprehensive package I’ve ever put together. Non-Fiction writers should be able to take this course and find some degree of success building their platform, writing short pieces and fully developing a non-fiction book. There’s even information on how to pitch (and ultimately market) the non-fiction book.
Here are the ten topics within the course: From Magazines to Books: Building Your Platform Understanding Non-Fiction Book Types Best Selling Topics Compiling Your Information (Braiding the Book) 33 Tips to Strengthen Your Writing Incorporating Fiction Techniques in Your Non-Fiction The Submission Process Making the Sale (Includes all aspects of the contract/sale/edits/production) Marketing Your Book How to Stay in the Game
As with all of my courses, this one is available online at www.freelancewritingcourses.com.
How can readers get the free kindle book? They can follow this link to amazon: http://amzn.to/yBeVBh. The book will be free from March 12th – March 17th and will revert to is usual $4.49 price after that.
Janice, how can readers reach you? I love to chat with my readers! To learn more about my books, visit: www.janicehannathompson.com
To learn more about my writing courses, including my new non-fiction course, visit: www.freelancewritingcourses.com
Welcome Staci Stallings. So tell us about marketing.
Let’s face it. Most of us authors did not take marketing in college. Many have no background in technology or social media. Almost no one has a full publicity team behind them to do promotions for them while they sit back and write their next blockbuster.
No. Good or bad, most of us have to do at least some of our own promotions–especially online.
So what’s our solution? We do what we hear about. We set up a blog, try to post interesting articles hoping like Kevin Costner that if we build it, they will come. When they don’t, we’re not sure what to do next. Sometimes we tweak our content. Sometimes we branch out into Twitter or Facebook, Google+ or Christian Chirp.
Only to find the learning curve for each one is steep and bending upward.
About the time we learn one, there are another five waiting there like temptations saying, “You can have it all if you just learn to do me!”
However, none of us have time to learn everything and do everything and keep up with everything. It just doesn’t work. Worse, we’re on our own to learn these things with no one to ask and no one to show us how.
Can I get an “Amen”?
If you’re like me, you’ve tried many things to market and promote your work–whether that’s books or your blog. Unless you are a natural (or really have taken classes), you’re probably frustrated that no matter what you do, they don’t seem to be coming.
I feel your pain, so after years of living with this make-shift marketing “strategy,” God showed me a new way. It’s called “Grace & Faith Author Connection.” In this all-Christian group, members agree to help promote others’ work on Twitter, Facebook, and across the social media spectrum.
No longer are you tweeting to your 500 followers. Now, 3 other authors can see your post and retweet it to their followers as well! 500 becomes 2,000. But maybe it’s not just 3 who see it but 5 or 10 or 20. We have over 60 members, so who knows how far that message will go.
Plus, when you join G&F, you’re not alone trying to figure all of this stuff out. We have tutorials to help you learn to do Twitter posts. Mondays on our blog help you make the most of promotions. No longer are you at the mercy of a social media Goliath.
Through the simple stones we show you, you can vanquish this Goliath once and for all–and all in the presence of people who believe and trust in God and His wisdom and strength as much as you do.
So if you’re ready to go from haphazard to happily ever after, check us out. We might be just what you’ve been praying for!
Staci Stallings is the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. To join the group, send your Name, Email Address, Twitter handle (if you have one), and/or Facebook page to staci_stallings at hotmail dot com (altogether!) with the subject: G&F New Member, and Staci will let you know what your next step is. I hope you will join us for this new and exciting marketing adventure!
I bought my friend Karen Wiesner’s book, Frist Draft in 30 days to help me organize the mass of papers on my desk. So far it seems that I made a good choice in my purchase. I’ve made folders and filled in worksheets. I’m further along with this book than I thought. I had to change a few critical details in this book and it changed a lot of chapters after that. But using this system I realize I should be finished before the end of April.
Or would be if: my mother-in-law hadn’t tried to move her furniture alone. She has fracture in her back. I will have less time to write now but that’s okay. I don’t mind helping her. It’s having her in pain I don’t like. 🙁
You can find Karen’s book at www.karenwiesner.com click on First Draft.
Starting over with the same plot sort of…it’s hard but I’m finding it’s not impossible. The difficult part is changing my character Randi’s life. It’s like looking back at my own and thinking what if I had decided to become a lawyer instead of a teacher. What would my life have been like?
Rewriting for me would start with being a better mom.
What would your life look like if you could rewrite it?