A young man died yesterday. He wasn’t someone I knew well but there are others who loved him deeply. It was a sudden unexpected death. Death is always hard but the ones that come like a thief in the night stab a little deeper. The void felt from the disappearance of a bright smile or the absence of a contagious laugh leaves a quietness that is more powerful that any sound near. People cry for the loss of a great friend, a brother, a co-worker, a son. Strangers mourn because they understand that any given moment they or someone they love can be gone too.
There are not words to write that will take away the grief. There is no one person who can make it all better. There is just this tiny hope that through this most difficult time there will be a moment, a symbol, a feeling experienced that makes us believe they are still with us even though they can no longer be kissed, hugged or spoken to.
Our days are not promised, and when you are young and excited to live that’s unfortunate. No, I will not claim to have known this boy but I do know he left a lasting impression on a sea of people. His light seemed bright and it’s nice to know that he impacted people he didn’t even know. That’s an accomplishment some will never achieve.
JOIN A COMMUNITY
If you’re a writer then consider joining a writing group. Writing groups offer support, provide information, alert you to writing events such as conferences, meet and greets etc.
You can find a writing group whether you write picture books, science fiction, poetry or romance novels. There are groups for every type of writer. Below are a few that may interest you.
Do you belong to a writing group or organization?
•SCBWI– (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) One of the largest international organization for children writers. The SCBWI provides valuable information for writers, organizes two annual international conferences and has over seventy regional chapters which host their own conferences. Members of the SCBWI can apply for scholarships and grants. Click here to read more about the SCBWI.
•Writers Café-An online community that allows writers to post their work, receive reviews, meet other writers, enter contests and enroll in writing courses.
•SFWA (SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS OF AMERICA)-An organization dedicated to science fiction and fantasy writers. You can participate in the discussion boards and get acquainted with other sci-fi/fantasy writers. Ray Bradbury is just one of the popular sci-fi authors who was a member of this organization.
•AMERICAN CHRISTIAN FICTION WRITERS-An organization for Christian fiction writers. You can find critique groups and online workshops,blogs, and conference information on their website
•MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA- An organization dedicated to crime writers. They give out Edgar Awards each spring. If you are interested in writing crime this is the organization to join.
•ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA (RWA)-Do you write romance novels or hope to one day? If you do then you want to check out this growing organization. Each year it holds a “Reader’s for Life,” Literacy Autographing. The money collected is used for literacy organizations.
I’d love to hear more about the communities you are a part of. How did you hear about your organization and how has it benefited you?
Writing Like Crazy
We all have days where we find ourselves sitting on the couch staring into space while internal conversations run amok.
For me, they go something like this, “What are you doing? You should be writing. The laptop is less than two feet away. Go pick it up!”
I promise the voices I will write in five minutes, right after I check Twitter, Facebook, my e-mail, look through the photos I took over the past month, take a quick nap, make dinner and then what the… it’s time for bed. I hate those days! Why does it sometimes take effort to do the one thing I love to do?
Is it laziness, tiredness, fogginess, stupidity or writer’s block? I think it may be a combination of all of them. But, there is always a little voice off in the distance trying so hard to be heard. It’s a small voice that…
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Thank you to everyone who came by and offered their congratulations and left a comment on my blog. Today is the official release day of Chicken Soup for The Soul Miraculous Messages from Heaven.
It coincides perfectly with my announcement of the winner of the book.
Congratulations Lesley, you have won a copy of the book.
I hope you enjoy my story King Kong along with the other one hundred inspirational stories.
Check back soon for new posts, giveaways and author interviews.
Lately, I’ve been in a funk. I’ve been wondering about my writing career, asking myself if I really think all the dreams I have had for the last decade or so will ever really come true. Most days I’m an optimist, but there are those few days that I sit questioning everything and anything.
I got to thinking, What if someone who sees the future told you they can tell you with absolute certainty if you will ever break through? Would you want to know? Would it make a difference?
What if the answer was no, would you keep writing?
Let’s face it, writers are filled with dreams of the future. The possibilities of what can be are great motivators. Sure, we all write because it’s our passion, our love, our sanity, but a great amount of us write hoping that someday our words will be read by thousands maybe even millions of people.
It would be nice to know for sure if that moment we are waiting for will eventually come. However, I’m not sure I’d want to know for sure.
I write because my soul feels complete when I am putting the pen to the paper. I’m hopeful that my perseverance will pay off. If someone told me my dreams will never come true it would crush me. On the reverse, if they said I will one day be a best-selling author, I might write more furiously so I can get to that point quicker, but still it wouldn’t be the same.
As much as I hate not knowing what will become of me and my words, it’s the not knowing that pushes me forward, keeps me going, and drives me to produce more.
So, if someone with a crystal ball said, “I can tell you if you will find success.” It’s a possibility that I’d say, “Okay, tell me.” but then I might find myself regretting finding out.
How about you? Would you want to know?
There are days when I look in the mirror and think, not bad, could be worse. Then there are days I look at my reflection and mumble expletives while stripping off a closet full of clothes. Nothing I try on looks good. These are usually the days I receive a random compliment, like “Hey, your hair looks good today,” or “Did you lose weight?” And before I know it, I’m skipping through the day with a smile on my face. The image in the mirror looks a little better than it did an hour ago even though I didn’t change a thing. Why? Because someone else helped me see myself in a different light. I needed to step away from the mirror.
Looking at your own writing is like looking in the mirror. Some days you read through your work and think, “Not bad, could be worse.” and then there are days that you convince yourself that everything in front of you is junk and no one is ever going to enjoy reading anything you write. You compare your words and tales to those that have found success much like we compare ourselves to the bodies splattered across the magazines. Some days we feel like we have just as much to offer and others we convince ourselves we will never compare.
Here are a few things you can do before you start deleting your words or ripping up manuscripts that weren’t as bad as you thought.
1. Step away from your work. Return a day, a week, a month later (whatever it takes) with fresh eyes and a clear mind.
2. Read through some old material. This will allow you to see how far you have come.
3. Read success stories. They often touch base on the insecurities the writer felt at one point. Just knowing someone who succeeded once felt the way you do now will help erase the pessimistic thoughts running rampant through your mind.
4. Clear your mind. Do yoga, meditate, take a walk, lie on the couch and stare into space.
5. Grab your journal and write down all of the negative feelings cluttering your mind.
6. Develop your own personal mantra to say. Mantra’s have a way of changing your energy