Category Archives: A blog on writing

Planning every day of a calendar to work on your brand: People do that?

 

My friend James told me that he was done with his planning his calendar for 2020. He had written out what he would do daily for his brand which is being an author.

Wow I am sure was the first words out of my mouth. Our friend Sandra was equally impressed saying with her full time job she would not be able to do this.

The thought of doing this that far in advance was overwhelming. But not just that not practical. Why? Life. Life always has a way of interrupting us especially when things are going smoothly and we are on a roll.

I know right off the bat there would be the time I would miss while I go back home to Maine to check on my mom. That is always a month long venture at least. I have to include my doctor visits, some that are out of town, my procedures and other stuff doctors throw at me. I have to factor in the days I am not feeling well. There are the trips down to my in-laws for various occasions.

These are just the few things that popped into my head. I am quite confident I left a lot out. And as my mom use to tell me, “This house doesn’t clean itself.” While her house didn’t my house doesn’t either.

So I knew I was not going to approach my planning like James did. I came up with a different outlook for 2020. In my calendar I placed a sheet stapled to each month. On that sheet I wrote what I want to accomplish for that month. It could be looking for reviews, interviews and conferences to researching my current WIP, going back to my writer’s groups and writing. When I did January my list was long but not long enough to be discouraging. I figured if I can get a certain percentage of it I will be okay with that. I wrote up my sheets for January and February. One item on February will be to do March and April and so on.

This is what will work for me. To plan every single day that far is illogical for me. But not just that I could be setting up myself up for failure and disappointment. Who wants that? No, not me.

Do you know your writing voice?

According to Margaret Maron, creator of Judge Deborah Knott: Voice is the most important ingredient in a successful book. The plot may be clever, but if the voice doesn’t engage us, how can we care?

According to John Morgan Wilson who writes the Benjamin Justice mystery series: There is difference between voice and style though it is difficult to get at. To me voice is closer to attitude and the emotional quality of the prose, reflecting the personality of the author.

Jason Pinter, ( an author who I love reading) a former St. Martin’s Press editor states: Voice is the conversational quality of your writing, the way you “talk” to your reader. It’s as important in writing as it is in conversing aloud with someone or speaking to a group. If your voice isn’t confident, assured, authoritative, natural, and appropriate for your characters and story, the writing will feel stilted, forced, ragged, weak, awkward. Just as speaking aloud is ineffective if one is halting, hesitant, lacking in confidence, and so on

Now that is all well and good until I try to find my own voice. My Character Development instructor said he knew my voice and I did as well. I do? Funny I thought to myself for my last instructor told me the same thing. This is a trend for people out of my writing groups concur with these teachers. How come everyone knows what my voice is but me? I try hard not to think on this and just write. Apparently I am accomplishing the voice subconsciously.

One good way is to read your story aloud. It may sound silly but it is a good way to hear one’s errors, pace and flow. Perhaps a writer will discover their voice. Will I ever be able to describe this important ingredient to others, I do not know. Hopefully though my voice is being written loud and clear in my writings.

Amazon Best Selling Author

 

How impress are we with someone being a NY Best Selling author, Newberry Medal Award or any award when it comes to writing? If a person is not a reader by design maybe not. But to those who do read and love it might consider it a pretty cool thing to notice which books get noticed and are considered a good pick up to read. Do we rush to read these books when the news is out? Are these books worthy of us taking the time and money to invest in such novels?

I have found over the years just because a book reaches the NY Times Best Selling list does not mean I am going to love it. That has happened on a couple of occasions. That is when I learned the key word which is selling. They are on the list for how much they sold not how awesome the book was. Granted nothing should be taken away from an author who has the good fortune to have enough books sell to reach this status.

And while I am none of the above I became an Amazon best-selling author. This is something that I keep forgetting to add to my accomplishments. It happened quickly as the book rose to number nine and soon enough it fell. But it occurred and I need to own that. I attended a webinar and that was one of the key points. As a writer we need to own any accomplishments we get regardless how small or big. It is hard to get these awards and we should toot our horn.

To add to this a number of friends keep telling me I can call myself an international writer since a good portion of my books have sold over seas in a number of countries. While I laugh when they tell me this it does get me thinking. Why am I not including these two accomplishments?

Writing a book takes some serious time. The work after that needs to be done after it is done takes so much more time! Getting a book published adds to that. It is not easy so when you manage to get any award we need to include it when we have a chance