Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't Give Up!

This week I received two encouraging e-mails in reference to the weekly newsletter I send out to new writers. These e-mails meant a lot because I've been doing this newsletter since August and I've wondered if anyone has even read it.

A lot of times it's easy to become discouraged and give up on your writing because you can't see the immediate results. However, if you know you're writing to help solve people's problems and you know there is a need for what you write, keep on writing!

It will pay off in the end.

In fact, let me help you get started. Here's a writing prompt:

"The people who need to hear my writing are __________________________ because they need help in the area of ________________________."

This will help you to establish your target group and write what they want and/or need to read. If you are unsure of their needs, please do some research to find out. You can do it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Ask Why?

Have you ever received a rejection letter from a publisher? Or have you had someone to give you a negative critique on one of your writing projects?

If you have, I'm sure you've asked "Why?" I can understand your need to ask this question, but let's face it: You probably will never know why someone said no to your writing. You could spend an entire day, week, or even year wondering why a publisher, editor, or fellow writer didn't like what you wrote. However, you can also spend that same energy perfecting your manuscript. What are some steps you can take to improve on your writing?

  • Put your current manuscript away for awhile.
  • Read a book on writing in an area where you would like to improve your skills - subjects may include: marketing, shaping your characters, writing a book proposal, etc.
  • After about two weeks, pick your manuscript back up.
  • Reread it with a fresh eye.
  • Make the changes.
  • Send it to other publishers
  • Start working on your next manuscript.

While you could waste your time wondering why someone said no, you can just as easily use that same time figuring out ways for your reader to say yes. Keep writing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What If?

When you consider all the bad things that could happen to you in a day, it's enough to paralyze you from writing. However, just as you could experience bad things, you could also think about the good things that may occur.

For example, you may:
  • Win a prize
  • Get a new job
  • Find Mr. or Ms. Right
  • Receive a gift card for your favorite restaurant
  • Get published!
Ahh! Get published. Doesn't that sound like a neat idea? However, you won't get published unless you write. I encourage you to write today. It will give you a sense of accomplishment today and it may be that manuscript you need to see your name in lights.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Quick Solution To Writer's Block!

The best way to end writer's block is to write. Okay, so you say you don't know what to write. I'll help you. Finish the following writing prompt and write at least three sentences. If you go further great!

"I regret the mistake I made when I..." OR "My life is perfect because...."

I'm sure you'll be able to finish one or the other. If nothing else, it will help you to get something on your paper or computer.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

5 Obvious Reasons Why Your Manuscript Was Rejected

Let's face it-- None of us enjoys rejection.

To many of us, receiving a rejection letter is just another reminder that someone else dislikes our writing; or did they?

Sometimes the editor who read your manuscript may actually enjoy your writing, but there are some minimum requirements you may have missed which caused him/her to send you the bad news.

Below you'll find a few reasons why your manuscript may have been sent back to you:

  • Submitted your manuscript to a publisher that doesn't publish your genre of writing.
  • Did not submit your manuscript by the deadline.
  • Did not do spell or grammar check, so your manuscript is filled with misspellings and typos.
  • Submitted your entire manuscript instead of the query letter or book proposal they requested
  • Exceeded the required word count

Even if you're guilty of some of these mistakes, there is good news. You can solve these problems using the following strategies:

  • Keep a calendar nearby so you'll be aware of the deadlines for particular publishers.
  • Always spell check your manuscript before closing the document.
  • Hire a good editor to check if you meet the writing guidelines for the publisher you're submitting your manuscript to.
  • Buy and read books on writing good query letters and book proposals.
  • Find out the proper word count and adhere to these guidelines.

If you follow these steps and still receive rejection letters, you'll at least know you've done your best. In addition, you can keep sending your manuscript to other publishers until you receive that letter of acceptance. Whatever you do, don't give up!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The 4 Deadly Sins of the New Writer

Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, new writers come on the scene with a boat-load of enthusiasm and great ideas. They're ready to take on the world...and the publishing industry. I wonder if they know what they're getting themselves into.

While they start out with zest, however, somewhere along the line, many new writers fall into the pit of discouragement. They forget about the words they wanted to write in order to change the lives of their readers. The thought of writing to solve people's problems goes right out of the window.

Where did they go wrong? I believe they committed one of the 4 deadly sins of the new writer. If you're not careful writer, you could fall into the same pit. Below you'll find these 4 Deadly sins:

1) Procrastination.
Solution: Write something everyday

2) Allowing the discouraging words of others to stop you from writing.
Solution: Refuse to believe negative words and write a response to the comment that was made in your writing journal.

3) Allowing a few rejection letters to stop you from writing.
Solution: Work to improve the manuscript you sent off to the publisher(s) and send it to another publisher.

4) Allowing unexpected or traumatic circumstances to stop you from writing.
Solution: Write through your pain. You can even write about the experience. It's therapeutic!

While there are so many things that can prevent you from writing, you must be willing to press through your mess and write despite your hindrances. After all, life happens, but as a writer, you can respond to it through your pen and paper!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Do You Like Your Job?

Stress. Frustration. Unending responsibility. These are some of the reasons why people continue to stay in a job they simply hate.

Maybe this doesn't sound like you, but let me ask you a question: Do you like your job? If so, what are some things you like about your job that make it so great?

If you don't like your job, then what are you going to do to make a change through your writing?

If you don't know where to start, here are some points:
1) Don't quit your day job yet.
2) Write down 10-25 things you know about your job.
3) Consider how you can use your work experience to help someone else.
4) Write an article on some of the features your job can offer to those looking to get into the same career.
5) Go to and submit your article.

You never know who your job experience may help. In addition, you're getting published!