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The most debilitating thing about writing is that the voice inside us, the voice we trust more than others, says, “You’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, what you wrote yesterday really stinks.” What aspiring writers should keep in mind is that we all hear that voice, and sometimes that voice lies to us. In fact, when it comes to writing, that voice almost always lies to us. Midway through a book you are going to read back and think, “this is awful.” Now it may be awful, but it also may be wonderful and you’ve simply read it so many times your ear has gone deaf. Don’t listen to that voice.—Randy Wayne White

Do not hesitate to give your hero lusts of the flesh, dark passions, impulses to evil; for these dark powers fused with their opposites- the will to do good, the moral impulses, the powers of the spirit-will do to your character precisely what the opposite powers of fire and water do to the sword blade. —William Foster-Harris

One day it dawned on me: writing is not recorded thought at all. Writing is recorded sound, and the melody the words create can enhance the thought they convey, or it can contradict  it, or it can add another dimension that is entirely beyond the tethered confines of the subject-verb-predicate. We all have a little person in our head who reads the words to us when we encounter good writing. With great writing, the sounds of the words work together, and that little person breaks forth in song.–Tom Morrisey

Of all of these, the first by Randy White are the words that best reflect my writers psyche. Yes, I do have a voice in my head. It gives the story idea. I write the words it tells me to, then the voice, when reading my writing, keeps repeating, trash, trash, worse trash ever written. When I tell it shut up, it only gets louder. When I remind it that i wrote the words it put in my head, it tells me I need hearing aids.

I have decided my goal in life is not to shush the voice, not to ignore it always, but to control it by proving it wrong. Easier said than done, I know. But what keeps me inspired are the awful books I read, that have been published, some by best selling authors who had others works that I enjoyed.

How to do this, Follow the advice of the other two writers. Make my heroes human. Have them give into desires, battle the daily demons we all face, make some wrong choices, fail a little but in the end, be the person we all want to be.

Maybe then my words will sing. Not a symphony, not a beautiful love song, not something heard on a classical itunes download that relaxes you, but a rocking, moving, dance number that keeps you turning the page and makes you afraid to sleep before you finish reading it.

What does your voice say and how do you plan to defeat it?

Someday some psychologist will get rich creating a rehab program for the social media addicts

Marty F. Nemec

Phone bed

This picture accurately describes how addicting social media can be. I think it is hilarious because I have been in this position myself, except this happens around midnight for me. I hope you got a chuckle from it as well!

-Marty F. Nemec

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Last week on the website http://www.d365.org the topic was follow. It got me  thinking, something I am not know for.

Follow, means go after or move along behind, go along a route, be a result or consequence, act according to advice or instruction, understand or pay attention (Oxford English Dictionary)

As a writer I am urged to build a social media platform using outlets that need followers. It’s suggested I tweet, search, follow back, like, etc. to gain more followers. That I post, get guest bloggers, link my blogs to others for followers, announce a new posting. In short publishing gurus want me to be followed by the masses. They want to see big numbers in my followers boxes. Somehow according to the scientific data given them by marketing experts, more followers guarantee more sells. More sells, more profit for them. (Okay more royalties for me.)

But that word follow, now so prevalent in our language has been around forever. Think about it.

Didn’t God tell Moses as he led the Hebrews away from Egypt to follow a pillow fire by night and a cloud by day? Didn’t Jesus tell Peter and Andrew to lay down their fishing nets and follow him?

Did he not send out 70 in search of followers?

See where I’m going?

The original concept of Follow? Still haven’t piece together my thought on this?

God gave the first follow but Jesus took it to a social media platform long before the guy who invented Twitter (sorry don’t know his name).

I had set a goal of gaining 20 new followers a week to grow my platform. The stress of trying to write, revise, rewrite and edit (what I do so poorly) was too much. My goals weren’t getting met.  Now I’ve put it in God’s hands. I have faith he’ll provide all I need to land a publishing contract, an agent, and what ever else the publishing world wants and whatever I need to sell a manuscript.

Me, I just want to write. He already gives me the words and ideas.

I never was comfortable with the concept of reaching out to strangers and having to post ideas, blogs, tweet, andI could never use the platforms to sell my books. Now I know why. I’m not God and even though my initials are JC, I’m not Christ.

I love connecting to the world, sharing thoughts and experiences but to feel people must follow me to make me famous, infamous, push me into the spotlight so a publisher will want my books and an agent will want to represent me, no it’s not me. Sorry I’ve never liked attention. God gave me a talent, I am trusting him to show me how to use it, to reach who he feels I should reach.

Yes, I need followers, not to buy my books or to get agents drooling over me. I need them to share with me this wacky crazy life I pursue called writing. I need sane people to keep me grounded. Honest people to keep me humble. I have made  new friends with some of my followers but really shouldn’t we all be more concerned about following God, the original social media man.

I say instead of following me, even though I try to lead the life he wants for us all to lead, walk beside me, hold my hand on this journey in life, help me up when I fall down, grasp me when I start to stumble, laugh with me, cry with me, be my friend.

Follow God instead.

Hi, 

Today i’m posting an article written by one of the young writer’s at Creative Writing Institute. She’s been a great person to work with. Her piece on Writing groups and why join them, I felt was very well done with great information. She kindly agreed to let me share it with you guys.

Thanks Ariel for doing this!  

 

 

 

 

Artists put their soul into every piece of their work. Critiques frighten them because every inch of themselves they gave their work is analyzed. Criticism can leave anyone raw and vulnerable, and writing falls right into that dark hole. Authors might feel compelled to hide their work, keeping it locked inside their computer for their eyes only. How can you crawl free and let your writing shine? A writers group, of course. 

Writers groups are filled with, well, writers. People with similar minds and similar fears who can add a fresh perspective to your work. Members of a group understand how much of yourself is laid bare in your writing. Their critiques, informative but kind, should foster the story instead of damage your self esteem. They will chip it here, add this there, and you craft your story into a masterpiece. While sensitive to a writer’s feelings, constructive criticism will improve any story. Aspiring authors must remember the writing industry is tough; refusing all criticism will land you in the middle of nowhere. 

Constructive criticism isn’t the only reasons to join a writers group. A group will offer you support and encouragement. It’s a friend who pulls you up and pushes your forward when you feel like sinking. They can dispel sudden doubts and reminded of you how talent you really are. The creative energy of a writers group will kick down any “writers block” clogging up your thoughts. These like-minded people can help bounce around ideas until that beautiful moment when something just clicks. And with similar passions, friendships are bound to blossom. 

Writing groups help with one of the most an important aspects of writing; discipline. You know, the little voice always crying in your head that says, “get off the internet and write!” Well, writers groups verbalize that voice. They set goals and timelines that push authors into actually sitting down and writing, or editing, which also takes a lot of self-motivation. Groups also read work out loud. Scary right? but highly beneficial. Reading your story allows let you hear the awkward dialogue, and stumble across those weird sentences. Sure it’s a little embarrassing, but it helps. 

The countless advantages of a writers group can’t be complied one short article. The best way to learn is to go. Trying joining a writers group in the next month and see how it goes. If you’re really sensitive about your work, ask if you can wait for critiques until you feel comfortable. Or, if you want solid advice from knowledgeable people, dive right in and ask how to get started. It’s your life, your work, and your choice how you deal everything. But if you dream about writing books, take a huge, and helpful, step then join a writers group.