Slaying Giants

This blog post will contain some Christian references, but it also focuses on writing.

Sunday’s church sermon was on how David killed the giant, Goliath. The visiting pastor talked about how big and tall Goliath was, and how he wore heavy battle armor. This Philistine was intimidating to the Israel people. Who could defeat this menacing giant?

To urge someone to come forward to fight Goliath, King Saul offered one of his daughters to marry and for the family to be exempt from paying taxes. Still no one answered the call until a shepherd boy expressed his interest in 1 Samuel 32-33:

“‘Don’t worry about a thing,’ David told him [Saul]. ‘I’ll take care of this Philistine.’”

“Saul replied. … ‘You’re only a boy and he [Goliath] has been in the army since he was a boy!’”

However, David was not deterred even when he threw off the weighty armor Saul gave him to fight the giant. David would slay Goliath on his own terms.

The odds were against David. But with one swift swirl of his slingshot, the rock hit Goliath on his forehead, and the giant fell dead to the ground.

This reminds me of our own writing battles. We work hard to make our work the best we can do. We edit and edit, research and research for historical accuracy, we promote and promote to secure readers and yet at times we feel just like the Israel people – intimidated and hopeless.

This year I made an oath that I would depend upon God and not worry. There are a few days that hopeless feeling returns once more within me, such as this weekend at a writers’ conference.

It took a couple of hours for me to set up my booth, so I could sell my books during Saturday’s lunch and conference breaks. I had practiced reading from my recent historical, clean and Christian romance, When Hearts Rekindle, wanting to entice those hearing my Friday night reading to visit my book booth on Saturday.

For all my efforts, I sold one book, my first book, Seasons of the Soul, which includes a spattering of personal accounts of my two different autistic sons. It took me time to get over my sinking feeling of all my efforts to result in one sale; however, grateful I am for that sale. But to be honest, I had hoped for more, not a lot, but perhaps three to four sales. At least with that, the $10 booth would have paid for itself.

The next day I shook myself awake from my despair and renewed my commitment to God. As a Christian, I must believe the word of the Lord, “all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23) That does not mean there are not troubling times.

However, overall, each year gets better and so, I say to you, keep trudging along. Do not let your fret overtake you and continue to write, tweak your manuscripts and move forward. You are doing better than when you started. Why? Because you have learned from your past mistakes and so you are more prepared today than you were yesterday. Grab your pencil and paper – or should I say your word program and computer? – and  type and write! God bless.

 

Top Five Blogging Hazards

A great post by Tricia Drammeh!

https://wp.me/p31EHB-1m1

Trees and Writing

This is what happened to us a few weeks back. Driveway and back door to house blocked by tree branches.

Storms bring destruction, like the above, with damage everywhere which has lasting effects. We are in a mess and are still trying to pull ourselves out of this. That is true about everything.

We also need to pull ourselves out of our writing destruction. This is when we get sidetracked. Sidetracked by uncontrollable events, such as storms, technical computer issues and the loss of production time.

I faced a storm, where we lost power for three days (which was better than some in the area where they were out of electricity for about five days). However, I was unable to not only write, charge my phone, cook, clean or basically do much of anything. It is amazing how much you live on those electrical items and do not know that until the lights go out.

Prior to the storm, I had technical computer problems and had been on the phone with technicians off and on all day. My computer backed upped the upgraded new operating system I had done just before the storm. I was lucky there for 15 minutes later the storm with 150 miles winds (as some reported) hit, and we were out of power. However, once electricity returned, another trouble developed and that was the upgrade of the new operating system.

This new system would no longer back up my work after it initially worked. Another call led to another call and still the issue was not resolved. Then my other computer, which had been doing great on that end, would no longer backup as well. All these technical calls and spending days on the phone did not fix the issue. It was so, so frustrating. In addition, this lost valuable time in writing, promoting and all those other activities associated with being an author. Finally, last week, after three weeks of this, it got fixed. Praise God!

Writing, though, is like this. Everything is going along fine. Your writing goals are met. You smile on the progress you made and then disaster happens. This puts you behind the eight ball. What should you do?

Well, you must move on for what else can you do? I am trying to get caught up on weeks of lost production time. So no matter what you face, put your front foot ahead of you and take steps forward. Destruction and disasters come and the best is to look up, say a prayer for strength and set your eyes on finishing your project. God bless.

Prepare for a Writer’s New Year

I love this post and wanted to share it with you all. It’s a great idea for writers to say hello to the new year by saying goodbye to the old year.

Bane of Your Resistance

52800366 - man hand writing new year fresh start with black marker on visual screen. isolated on sky. business, technology, internet concept. stock photoThe New Year promises a fresh start, but only if we truly bring the current year to a close. If you don’t resolve the physical and emotional “incompletes” in your life, January 1 will look remarkably like December 31, with the possible minor difference of needing to clean up after the party.

One of the paradoxes of creative polarities is that the only way to finish is to get started. And the only way to get started is to finish.

Let Go of What Should Be

One of the hardest things to be done with is the idea of what your writing (or your reality) should be:

  • I should write this new piece the way I’ve written before
  • I should invent a new way to write every piece
  • I should write for x hours
  • I should be able to just show up when I feel inspired
  • I should always write…

View original post 425 more words

The Secret to Making Tons of Money as an Author.

Everyone’s journey is different and I ask only that you keep comments respectful and don’t point fingers and make the “Well, if only you would do X” comments. the point of this post is not to give people promotion ideas, it’s to remind the struggling authors out there that most of us are also struggling and you’re not alone and you should not judge your self worth – or even the worth of your writing – on whether you make a lot of money or not, nor should you get discouraged and feel hopeless because you’re not “good enough”. You ARE good enough. Your book is good enough. And half of those people you think are selling millions of books, really aren’t, anyway.

7504650884_d53924a482_m pennies for the author

The secret to making tons of money as an author is: There is no secret.

Yeah, that’s right. There’s no “If you just do X you’ll make it big.” It’s not just about marketing, it’s not just about a good book, it’s not just about great writing, it’s also about luck.

Otherwise 50 Shades of Gray would never have been big.

I got into a discussion on Facebook today where I tried to explain that to a fellow author who was feeling down about her lack of success (with only one book out, I think she’s doing pretty good if she’s sold so much as one copy to a stranger. I only sold 25 my first four months, all to people I knew), but of course that explanation was met (by someone else) with the same old same old:

“If you just do this, this, and…

View original post 925 more words

Rejuvenate the Writing Soul

How do you rejuvenate a weary soul when you feel so lost for a long time? You do it by facing the problem and moving forward.

I had to confront that type of problem this fall. For more than a year, my life was miserable. A health issue had plagued me. I tried to deny its existence. But after so much anguish, where I no longer could enjoy life, I gathered up my nerve and went to my primary doctor. He prescribed a medicine, which ended up giving me every kind of side effect mentioned, such as dizziness and foggy vision. I called the office and they referred me to a specialist.

From there, I eventually ended up seeing a woman doctor. She tried one remedy but I could not tolerate that solution. The next option was surgery.

“Surgery,” the word hung on my lips. I had never had an operation. The only time I was in the hospital was when I gave birth to four sons. Now, this avenue faced me.

I tried a chiropractor. He was a nice man and did his best, but my problem had deteriorated to such a point that method did not work.

A friend urged me to get a second opinion. Finally, I took her advice. The smiley doctor came in and gave me his honest recommendation, which was the same as the first opinion – surgery. However, during this visit, he talked about what would happen down the road if I let it go. This frightened me. I had to face the music as they say. After the visit, I returned home and called the first doctor’s office to schedule the procedure.

February first was my day of reckoning. We also all experience those days in our writing. Should we write this story? Will this book sell? Is there enough emotion in this to make this novel work? If nonfiction, can I make this information interesting?

These are difficult decisions, which also must be confronted. How do we decide these? We do through asking others in the field, our readers or taking professional advice as I did. In other words, we rejuvenate our writing souls.

We enlist fresh ideas, we rewrite, we fine tune until we reach the state of proficiency. We are in control of our fate. We edge forward with our next great idea just like I moved ahead to do the procedure.

Where will we end up? We do not know. But after my “surgery,” I can say I am no longer in misery. I again am living my life to the fullest as God provided.

Are you? If not proceed forward, what do you have to lose? Nothing. You do not know what you will miss if you do not put one foot before the other and step toward your next destination. Why? Because you do not know what will happen if you do not, and that alone should keep you moving onward. God bless.

Bookbub

As someone who has been curious about the whole BookBub thing, this is a very informative post.

#Authors – 60 (SIXTY) #FREE Invaluable Professional #Editing Articles Not to be Missed…

Chris the Story Reading Ape has hosted Professional Book Editor Susan Uttendorfsky, the owner of Adirondack Editing, for SIXTY (as in 6-0) articles on editing , grammar, and punctuation. There is some great information here, so I wanted to share it. Remember: you can never do too much editing, only too little!

Your Pick of Publishers

A great post by Tricia Drammeh with an important message. Just because someone is a great person and has the best intentions does not make them a great publisher. Writing is a business, so make your business decisions based on business, not on who your buddies are. Nothing can kill a friendship better than a business disaster.

Creative State of Mind

9947040_s

I’ve blogged about the topic of new and inexperienced publishers in the past, and for those of you who are regular followers of my blog (and probably sick of reading my lectures about using caution when seeking a publisher), I apologize. For those of you who are new here and might be new to writing, I hope I can help you make an informed choice when it comes to making decisions about publishing your book.

I recently read a post by a Facebook acquaintance who is setting up her own publishing company. She’s a very nice lady. From what I can tell, she seems very honest and dedicated. She’s written several books, has organized book signings, and even has her own online radio show. She has many admirable qualities. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t trust her with my books. Not in a million years.

This nice, dedicated, determined lady has almost no…

View original post 426 more words

How to Add a Mailchimp Newsletter to WordPress.Com Blog – with Style!

I had a blog like this on my list of blogs to write, but she has done such a good job I don’t see any point in rehashing it. In this blog she tells you not only how to get the mail chimp (newsletter sign up) form on your blog, but also how to MAKE the form in the first place using Mail Chimp’s site. As a Mail Chimp user, I do recommend them (no, they don’t pay me!) as being simple to use.

Aniko Carmean

The true gift of having a clearly defined definition of success is that you begin to find exactly what you need to achieve that success. I discovered  YOUR FIRST 1000 Copiesby Tim Grahl exactly when I needed a guide for book marketing. I want to get the word out about my books, and I want to do it without being subservient to a cumbersome system I neither understand nor enjoy. Grahl gives me a blueprint to achieve that, and having a newsletter is an integral element in his system. In this post, I share what I’ve learned about setting up a Mailchimp newsletter and integrating it into your (free) WordPress.com blog.

Here are the main points I will cover:

  • Getting started with Mailchimp
  • Customizing Your Mailchimp sign-up form to coordinate with your WordPress.com blog
    • Use Google’s built-in developer tools to find the hexidecimal code for colors on your site
    • Set the font or…

View original post 1,305 more words