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What’s Your Motivation for Writing – Money, Success or Satisfaction..?

July 21, 2014
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What is your motivation for writing?

Let’s look at each scenario:

money

a) Money – we would all love to be a best seller and have fame and fortune like the ‘big’ names, such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and the like. However, we need to be realistic – firstly can we manage to get a publishing contract with a big publishing house? How many years are you willing to wait for that? If you use the self-publishing route how much of your time (unpaid) can you sacrifice for promotion? Should you give your work away?

These links will give you an idea of the practicalities of writing with monetary visions foremost:

http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/01/how-much-do-writers-earn-less-than-you-think/

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2008/11/validation-of-money.html

success

b) Success – once again we should temper our expectations. Global sales are a dream we want to make real but maybe measure our success on more of a local level. Do you have your books in local bookstores, the library, offered at local events? The more you attend and promote within your own locality the more your ‘success’ becomes tangible. Articles in the local newspaper could have people approach or question you in regard to your being an author. Social media allows us to expand our locality, of course, but starting small will give us a firm basis from which to start. Never under estimate the power of word of mouth for promotion.

This link has a list of concepts:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/03/01/definition-of-success/

satisfaction-

c) Satisfaction – Although this is third on the list, I feel it is the most important of all, as having your words, ideas and stories readily available for people to read now and for future generations, is the penultimate success. Our narratives will be enjoyed and relayed long after we are gone. It is our legacy.

A tongue in cheek link:

http://magicalmusings.com/2006/03/27/10-advantages-of-being-a-writer/

Obviously, a mixture of all three of the above would be the perfect scenario.

What do you consider the most satisfying part of being a writer/author?

What’s Your Writing Habit…

June 23, 2013
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Proclivity – definition: natural or habitual inclination or tendency

Paper- WritingWhat is your natural or habitual tendency when writing?

As I have mentioned before, my tendency in writing is free flow – it is how my creativity manifests itself. Given minutes or hours, I will write. Whether it is a prompt or an idea that gives me that spark,  I give my mind free reign to create it. The normal process for me runs something like this:

The idea comes to mind as I read, hear or see something. Usually it starts with a character of some kind, whether a person, animal or inanimate object with a consciousness (I wrote about a rug fearing the vacuum once – that was fun!) Then a circumstance begins to form and that is when the ‘flow’ begins. The story grows into its own creation in my head and I type – is this like channeling do you think?

Within my writers group, we have planners, free flowers and a wealth of combinations of both processes and more. Some edit as they write, others make separate notes and some write the whole thing before revising. There is no right or wrong way – whatever works for you is the best way.

Has your process changed as your skill increased or do you stick to a formula that works for you?

This link has some great pictures of famous authors notes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2326630/Notes-diagrams-famous-authors-including-J-K-Rowling-Sylvia-Plath-planned-novels.html

I loved this little note from writing and had to share.

writing habit

Is a Pseudonym a Good Thing or Not..?

May 5, 2013
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Pseudonym – definition: a fictitious name used by a writer to conceal his or her identity : a pen name

What do you think? Is this a good idea or not? My own pen name is actually a combination of my given names so not really a pseudonym in the true sense of the word. Many ‘famous’ authors have used pen names, some to experiment with another genre or to avoid a misconception by their readers. Using initials can ‘hide’ the true gender of a writer – well for a time anyway. But is it really a practice required in this day and age?

stephen-king

Let’s look at Stephen King (yes I know – but he’s my hero!) King used the pen name Richard Bachman for seven short novels in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s. There are two trains of thought about why he did this. 1) He wanted to find out if he could replicate his success to ensure it was not an accident or 2) the publishing standards only allowed a single book per year. As a prolific writer the restriction must have been very frustrating. (If only we could be so lucky)

English: Portrait of Charlotte Bronte by J. H....

English: Portrait of Charlotte Bronte by J. H. Thompson Русский: Портрет Шарлотты Бронте работы Дж. Х. Томпсона (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pseudonym was also used to hide gender when society dictated a woman’s role, such as Charlotte Bronte, writing under Currer Bell while Emily Bronte used Ellis Bell. Another surprise pen name is George Orwell, whose Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm caused such a sensation in the 1940’s. He was actually named Eric Arthur Blair. More recently Joanne Rowling used J.K. Rowling in an attempt to attract boy readers. It was thought if they perceived the author to be male they would be more likely to read the books about the young wizard.Is this really the case? Do you have a pen name? What were your reasons for using one?
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P.S. No Sunday Snippets today from me but please pop over to:

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

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http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

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http://jlroeder.wordpress.com

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http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/

Is it really Dross?

January 10, 2013
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Dross – definition: 1) the waste slag or scum that forms on the surface of molten metal 2) waste or foreign matter : impurity 3) something that is base, trivial or inferior

No matter if you are a new writer or a seasoned one, there are times when we read a paragraph or short excerpt and just despair. It can be the premise, the interaction of characters or just how the scene reads. We’re just not happy with it. Depending on your mind set at that moment, there are a few spur of the moment actions that may occur. Pressing delete is number one for most of us as we berate ourselves for writing such dross. Another is to focus too hard on it and become bogged down, re-writing again and again, usually having the result of making us even angrier and unable to concentrate creatively.

Image

If you are absolutely sure that deleting the passage is the only way, then do it but if not, save the offending article in isolation – may be create a ‘dross’ file? Leave the work and do something else, non-writing related. A walk, a workout, make a cup of tea and read a book for a while, no matter what it is distract your mind. In the terminology of the computer age – reboot your mind. Once you return you can see the article with fresh eyes and if you are lucky a revision will reveal itself.

Another aspect of ‘dross’ thinking is when you have finished a project and second-guess yourself as to its merits. Is it good enough? Will anyone like it? Is my writing worthy of submission to a publisher, a magazine or beta readers? We are uncertain literary beings at the best of times and unfortunately compare ourselves to the ‘greats’. All of us have heard the stories of successful authors receiving many rejections before being ‘found’, such J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and John le Carre. Make yourself feel better just look at this link – http://www.examiner.com/article/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers

ImageImageImage

There is always a golden phrase or sentence that is worth saving or revising. Juggle the words, mix the sentences around or write it from a different characters perspective.  Do not give up hope – your words are precious after all.

Interview with Jason E. Maurer…

September 26, 2012
mandyevebarnett


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Jason was kind enough to interview me for his blog and when I offered to reciprocate his reply came back so quickly I thought it best to get it on here PDQ! Thank you Jason for being so kind to me and as promised here is my interview with you. Find him at – Jason’s Writing Corner.

• Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I’ve had so many over the years that were great- but unfortunately most of my older stuff is long gone.
Right now, my favorites are Phoenix and Milo, from a work-in-progress.

• Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
It all depends what the story is about. I’ve tackled mystery, vampire, teen issues, a children’s book, as well as erotica. Unfortunately, most of the my older stuff has long since been lost. This is why I tell everyone the importance of backing up EVERYTHING (or at least having it in printed form).

• Have you got a favorite place to write?
I like to go into the mountains and sit by a stream somewhere, it’s relaxing and enables me to think clearly.

• What inspires your stories?
I have so many ideas running around my mind that it’s difficult to say precisely where any particular one came from. Family, friends, everyday events, people-watching, everywhere.

• Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I belong to several author groups on facebook, but that isn’t exactly the same thing.

• What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I wrote my first story around age 12, something about kids being lost in the forest. I used to write poetry all the time through my teens, but all of that is gone now.

• Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
I have one novel, one novella, and several short stories for sale on amazon and smashwords.
http://www.amazon.com/Jason-E.-Maurer/e/B0080HHLPC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jasonmaurer

• If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?
Tough choice. My favorites have always been Dean Koontz and Anne Rice [and eventually J.K. Rowling when the Harry Potter series arrived]. I couldn’t choose just one.

• Where can readers find you and your blog?
If you check out the About Me / Links page on my blog, everything is all in one neat and tidy place.
http://jasonemaurer.blogspot.com

• Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
A few of the best friends a guy could ever ask for- Amanda, Ang, Krysta, and Theresa. They’ve been my support group for the last few years, pushing me to write, and telling me my stories were good even when I didn’t think they were.

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