Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

Archive for the ‘Writer’s Zen’ Category

Writing Humor

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I’m not sure who to credit for this, other than SJS. Thank you for the laugh!

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Wordless Wednesday

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I’m Hiring Myself

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Today, I got a new freelance job. For myself. It’s on a trial basis, for nine weeks. At the end of July, I’ll have a performance evaluation and see if I was up to par.

No. I haven’t gone crazy. (Although some days I wonder.)

I’m posting about this experimental hiring of myself for accountability. I’ll update occasionally throughout this testing period.

My checkbook prompted this new regimen. Or, should I say the diminishing numbers in the checkbook. I’ve been a full time freelancer for a little over a year now. I’ve made it through this far. Barely. But, between royalty checks being far less than I’d like, and a few assignments falling through, it seems that each month gets just a bit further behind. I didn’t have the money for a new tire last month. I’ve realized that it’s been a year since I made a trip to see my grandkids that are growing up far too quickly. And, I’m looking ahead and wondering how I’ll get to California in November for my mom’s eightieth birthday.

Looking at the financial aspects jockeying for attention, I decided to apply at local libraries for a part time summer position. I applied for four positions. All were from fourteen to nineteen hours a week. It would cut into my writing time, but the supplemental paychecks would add a few (very few) figures on my bank balance.

Except…the positions begin next week…and no one has even called me for an interview.

I should have been perfect for them. I’ve worked in a library before. I’m a mother and grandmother – I know about dealing with children. And…I’m a writer.

Evidently they didn’t think I was as good of a fit as I thought I was.

When I stopped into the dollar store last week for some laundry soap, I noticed a ‘Help Wanted’ poster in the window. I debated about filling out an application, hoping for a ten to twelve hours a week job. At home I pulled up their website and was checking out the employee benefits page before I got a reality check.

For a rough guesstimate, ten hours a week at nine dollars an hour is three hundred and ninety dollars a month. Minus gas. Minus taxes. That brings me down to about three hundred dollars a month.

If I add in a half hour drive each way, probably twice a week, now I’m looking at twelve hours invested to get three hundred dollars. Surely, I thought, if I productively queried for twelve hours a week I could generate at least that much, if not far more.

I’m talking working for that whole time. Not blogging. Not connecting on social media. Not researching. Not adding to a novel that’s still far from complete. Not outlining a new book that tempts me from the netherlands.

Twelve hours a week of queries. Or, writing on said anticipated assignments.

I decided to run a trial period. Nine weeks. The period the library jobs would have run. I made myself a time card. I’m going to log in and out. I’m going to track my time. I’m committing to an aggressive twelve hours a week.

I looked back at the past four months. Three queries one month. Nine another. Four another. No wonder the acceptances aren’t rolling in. Three and four queries a month is pitiful. Did the 30 Days/30 Queries class I took from Mridu Khullar Relph last year not sink in? Did I learn nothing?

If I’m going to thrive in this career and make some good money, not muddling through at just over broke, then I’d better buckle down and treat it with the same respect and hard work that I’d give any other employer.

So I’m hiring myself and will track my progress, much as I’d have to prove to a boss that I’d accomplished the tasks they set forth for me.

Now I’m motivated. There’s nothing like a little challenge to bring out the contestant qualities lurking under my skin. I’ve got something to prove. I’m out to prove that investing the time in myself and my own career will be better financially than any other punch-the-timeclock job.

I’ll keep you posted!

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Writing from a Different Gender Perspective

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Writing from a Different Gender Perspective

I have to admit it, my easiest characters are women, usually in the thirty to fifty year age range. Writing POV from a male perspective? That becomes difficult. (And they usually end up being too close to my ex for comfort.)

I was excited to see this post, Gender Bending: Writing a Different Gender Than Your Own, by Janice Hardy. She has some excellent advice about writing rich, dimensional characters of the other gender. Here’s two of her tips. Go check out Jane Hardy’s Fiction University for the full article.

Focus on the character, not the gender.

If you try to “write a woman who…” you might get stuck trying to be “a woman.” But write about “a character who…” and you’ll find yourself thinking more about what that character will do and how they’ll act in ways that fit the story and the situation. They’re a person first, a gender second.
Remember no two people are alike, regardless of gender.

“Men are like X” or “women always Y” don’t apply. My husband breaks all kinds of those rules, and I’m not your typical gal. Avoid the stereotypes and even have fun with them a little. Have men that love shoes, women who are rabid for sports. Let your men (or women) be as different from each other as they are from the opposite sex. A group of men won’t all have the same feelings about things, same as a group of anything won’t have the same feelings.

How is it for you? Can you write from the opposite gender’s perspective?

Z: Zen in Writing (Affirmations)

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Z: Zen

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  • Peace infuses me as I write.
  • The words flow easily from my fingertips.
  • I am one with my writing.
  • I am connected to the energy around me. This is reflected in my prose.
  • Like ripples in the water – my writing radiates outward to the people that need to see it.
  • Contemplation and meditation focuses my insight and brings clarity to my writing.
  • My intuition strengthens and my writing improves.
  • I am mindful. I focus on my words and story.
  • I focus on today. One step, one word, one day at a time.
  • I write. I pursue goals and dreams. I put forth my best effort. I am at peace with the outcome.
  • I, and my writing, are where I need to be.

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Y: Young Adult

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Y: Young Adult

Here’s a few affirmations for those that write in the Young Adult genre.

  • Memorable characters abound in my Young Adult writing.
  • The details I add bring my Young Adult novel to life.
  • My Young Adult voices are realistic.
  • My Young Adult books tell meaningful stories.
  • My Young Adult characters are well-developed and believable.
  • My Young Adult stories are diverse, imaginative, and unique.

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Thank You from Writer’s Zen

Thank You from Writer’s Zen

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I’m writing my last post for the A to Z Blog Challenge, which ends with ‘Z’ on Saturday, April 30th.

Thank you all who stopped by my blog, liked, commented, and followed. I’ve tried to reply to everyone, go comment on all that commented on mine, and followed those who followed me. WordPress has been pretty good at keeping me current with the likes and comments, but I did catch a comment earlier that I missed, so I’m afraid there may be more. If I’ve missed anything, I apologize.

Now that we’re just about done, the thought crossed my mind that I should have had a standard little blurb somewhere on the blog saying, “I’m on Facebook too!” But I didn’t think of it until now.

I’m on Facebook here. And here’s a link to my Facebook page: Writers Zen

If you have a Facebook page, feel free to leave a link in the comments. I’ll go like your page, and maybe others here will see it and will hop over to like it too.

I’ve enjoyed this time through the A to Z Blog Challenge. I’ve discovered some new friends and found great new blogs to follow. A huge shout out to all the participants that made it through!

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