Friday, July 27, 2012

Keeping yourself Inspired

Today, I am guest posting at Misha’s Blog- My First Book. My topic is Keeping yourself Inspired. Inspiration is important for every profession, be it writing, dancing, singing or anything else.

 I tend to have these low inspiration days. During these days I am ensnared by all negative thoughts and feelings, where  my writing is concerned. I need to constantly motivate myself, else I will end up in a puddle of self-pity.

I would love to know the different ways you all inspire yourself. Is there any book you find particularly inspiring? Any person who is your inspiration?

I would love it if you all visit Misha’s Blog and let me know what you think of my post.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Post with Australian Writer Lynda R.Young

Today, I have one of my earliest blog buddies, Australian writer Lynda R. Young on my blog. Lynda was the first person to read the first chapter of the manuscript I am querying. I had won the first chapter critique on her blog. She urged me to find a crit partner. Its thanks to her critique and encouragement that I had the courage to seek crit partners.

Firstly, I'd like to thank Rachna for inviting me to appear on her blog. I've known Rachna through blogging for a couple of years now. It's a great honour. Despite the title, this post is not only about writing, it's about gaining the confidence to do the things you want to do in life, and do them well.

How to Trust Yourself as a Writer

Learn the Rules: Whatever it is in life you want to do, you'll first need to learn how to do it. The same goes for writing. Sure, anyone can string a few sentences together and call it writing, but not everyone can do it well. Learning the craft will give you the confidence to be the writer you want to be.

Find Support: Find a supportive writing group, a family member who believes in you, a friend who will cheer you on. Keep going back to these people to find the encouragement you will need. They will keep you positive in the face of rejections. They'll hold you up and tell you the words you need to hear, such as: Yes you made the right decision to pursue writing. Yes you can do this.

Don't stay in isolation: Writers tend to have a distorted view of their work. We fluctuate from thinking our work is pure genius, to thinking our work is dog's body. Critique partners, beta readers, editors, and mentors will help to give us a clearer picture of our work. And they will help to improve our work, which in turn will give us confidence. The more we share our work, the easier it becomes.

Be Realistic: Give yourself realistic, achievable, measurable goals and your confidence will remain high. The moment you start getting unrealistic, like thinking you'll become the next J K Rowlings, is the moment you've set yourself up for a fall.

Don't compare yourself to others: because your work will never measure up.  Why? Because you'll never be able to write like someone else, and neither should you try. Everyone is different. Everyone will take their own time to reach their goals. Comparing yourself to how fast others reach their goals will only hurt you.

Write everyday: The more you grow accustomed to the habit of writing, the easier it becomes. And the more you write, the more you'll improve and grow in confidence. If you can't write every single day, then at least try to write regularly.

Remember to enjoy what you do: When I enjoy doing something, I worry less about the little things associated with it. When I remember to enjoy my writing I don't get bogged down with worrying whether or not my words will measure up. My writing is a gazillion times better when I let go and fall in love with the process.

What helps you to trust your writing?

 P.S. For those of you who have not yet met Lynda, you can always meet her at her blog. She has a wonderful blog, full of great writing advice and tips.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Guest post with Author Alex J.Cavanaugh

Today, I welcome a very talented writer  who is also my blog buddy, Author Alex . J. Cavanaugh. Alex is one of the most generous of bloggers, and a selfless writer I have met online. He is the author of two very successful novels: Cassa Star and Cassa Fire. He is always ready to help other writers. Alex will help make our writing journey easy with many useful tips.

Rachna graciously asked me to do a guest post. She was specific with her request – must be writing related. Now, anyone who knows me is aware that my blog is the last place to go for writing tips. If I started posting writing tips it might take some of you years to recover from the damage. So instead I will offer a few things that just might make the journey easier.

Don’t follow trends
Write what you enjoy. Write the story you want to read, even if it’s not a popular genre right now. (When I was writing CassaStar, everyone said science fiction was dead. I wrote it anyway.) The timing may still not be right when you finish, but you can hang on to it until the trend cycles around again. Besides, if you’re not writing what you really enjoy, your lack of passion will be evident in the words. If it doesn’t excite you, it won’t excite anyone else.

Use critique partners
The idea of sharing our work with others can be scary. But what a difference it makes! Critique partners are a fresh set of eyes. They can direct you by making suggestions and finding mistakes. You might not realize you used the word “that” five hundred times in your manuscript, but your critique partners will notice. And you don’t just learn from the critique of your work – you learn by critiquing your partner’s work. Double bonus!

Listen to fans
We’re not just writing for us – we’re writing for our fans. They become just as invested in the characters. Plus they are the ones who will fork over the bucks for our next book. Individual reviews and responses aren’t as important as the overall picture, though. When the same issue or request is repeated often, take note. Maybe you’re too detailed or world-build too much. (Maybe you’re like me and don’t do enough!) Maybe the fans are all hoping you’ll go a certain direction in the next book. (“There WILL be a female character in the next book, right?”) Write the story you want but be sure to make the fans happy.

Let your blog be true to you
Your blog is a representation of you – your personality, tastes, style and attitude. You need to be true to yourself on your blog. (Unless those things are all bad. Then you might have a problem.) Yes, we want people to like us and read our blogs. But if we’re not posting with passion, no one will care anyway. There’s no standard formula for a writer or author’s blog, either. (Mine’s about as unconventional as they come!) Whatever your angle, have fun with it.

Support others
The greatest part of blogging is the support we get and the support we give. Generosity and encouragement go a long way. Writing isn’t a competition. There’s room in this world for all of us. If we’re willing to share in the joys of others without expectation of reciprocation, it always comes back to us. Supporting others is as simple as leaving positive comments on other blogs or shouting out someone’s accomplishment on your own blog. It’s all about friendship and what we’re willing to give.

Those are the best writing tips this Ninja can offer! Now, where’s my Hot Tamales?

Alex J. Cavanaugh

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of Amazon Best Sellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Thankyou Alex, for sharing your views with us. Here is wishing you loads of success in life.

P.S .If any of you have not yet met Captain Ninja (Alex) you really are missing a wonderful friend. Change that, by following him ASAP.

Friday, July 6, 2012

About two eBook Promotions

This post highlights fellow author Carole Ann Carr’s eBook promotion giveaway. Carole is a warm and generous person who I consider a great blog buddy. She is also a constant source of inspiration, always urging me to keep querying.

Author Bio, Carole Anne Carr – Children’s Author 
B.Ed.Hons.(PrimaryEd), Dip.Ed.(Medieval History), HDTheology, HD.Child.Lit.(Open), Office of Reader - Church of England (WEMTC), 
Member of The Society of Authors, Nat. Assoc. of Writers in Education, National Children’s University (Shropshire), Society of Storytelling, Women in Rural Business, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, W.I. Speaker. Author of First Wolf, Little Boy Good-for-Nothing and the Shongololo, Candle Dark, Thin Time, River Dark

Candle Dark - a children’s historical fiction adventure story set in a Victorian mine that is being promoted as a free eBook from the 6th to the 8th July inclusive – Pacific Standard Time.

 Candle Dark
Book One - Ironbridge Gorge Series
Joshua was nearly eleven and he worked down the Blists Hill coal pit in the Ironbridge Gorge and he hated it down there. He hated working in the dark, he hated the rats and the stink of the tunnels, and he especially hated it when the mine flooded and his boots got soaked and rubbed his feet raw. Then the day that Mr. Bradley the horsekeeper gave him another beating so bad he ached and ached all over, he made up his mind to run away and find work on the Severn trows. But what would happen to poor Drummer, left behind in the dark? What would happen to his mother, left to the mercy of the evil Isaac Whitlock? And how could he sail to Bristol when his father had been sent to work in the most dangerous part of the mine? Afraid of the river gangs, and sick with worry about his dad, Joshua must decide whether to run for his life, or to stay in Coalport and protect his family despite the terrible danger.  
(the sequel - River Dark - to be published in September 2012)

First Wolf – a children’s quest adventure story is set in 8th century Northumbria that is being promoted as a free eBook on the 12th and 13th July – Pacific Standard Time.

First Wolf
Book One - Wolf Series
It was Toland’s twelfth year of life when his father hurled the wolf’s head at the mighty Eorl Uhtred, bringing his childhood to a violent end.  These were dangerous times, with people driven from their settlements, tribal wars, and bands of robbers on the roads, but Toland must keep his solemn promise to save the Lindisfarne Gospels from the Vikings, protect his family, and find his father.  With his faithful hound Bodo, he sets off on his quest through Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. Surviving the first Viking attack of Lindisfarne, his many adventures lead him to the mysterious hermit on Inner Farne, Bamburgh fortress, the slave girl Kendra, the mystery of the stolen jewels, a blood debt, and a terrible discovery at the White Church…..

 Carole's website:

P.S. It would be great if you participate in the free downloads of both these books and make the promotion a success.