Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Advice to Aspiring Writers

Why Write?


Writing brings your dreams to life. Or your nightmares. Depending on what you are writing. When I first started dedicating time to writing ten years ago, I read scores of books, mostly from the library, about writing. So here's the short list of my advice for aspiring writers:

1. Write everyday

You may say, every day? And I'll say, every day. If you start making excuses, it's easy to get out of the habit. Now, I didn't say you have to lay down a bazillion words that day. But you should write and keep in the habit of writing every day. On Sundays, I write letters to loved ones instead of working on my story.

2. Learn the craft

I think too many people assume you either have writing talent or you don't. Writing can be learned. Check out books from the library. Read articles and blogposts on line. Do everything you can to improve your skills. I enter contests for feedback. 

3. Don't try to publish too soon

When you've worked so hard to write a book and you've finished, the first thing you should do is celebrate. Writing a novel/book is hard work. Finishing one is a miracle! Then you should let it sit, at least two weeks, before going back over it again. Have patience with your work. Make sure it is in the best possible shape before sending it out to the world.

4. Don't wait too long to publish

This may sound anti-thetical to #3, but don't wait for perfection either, because it ain't gonna happen. I think you'll know when you are ready. Don't give up, but don't keep putting off something until "it's perfect." Be patient, don't be a perfectionist.

5. Don't be jealous of others' success

The green-eyed monster of jealous is an awful creature. He steals your happiness and your energy. Don't let him do it. Be happy for others. Celebrate their success. You cannot become what you secretly despise. Bitterness doesn't make friends.

6. Be patient with your success

Writing and publishing take a long time. It's not an overnight success for most people. Work to build your audience, your fans. Be gracious and generous every step of the way. When you do reach success, mentor others. There is room enough for us all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Why I write comedy

Why I love to write funny books

One dark January day after I had my third child, I was in the throes of Post-Partem Depression. Mix baby blues with the grays of January and you get a terrible color. Thankfully, we had a family tradition of going to the library on Saturdays. While there, I was browsing the Young Adult fiction and I came across a book, a third in a series. I had read the first book previously and wasn't impressed enough to pick up the second. However, I opened the third book and started reading and it was pure yumminess. It had a light-hearted love story, fun action-adventure and comedy. It was like eating after a fast or melting shaved ice on your tongue during a hot day. It was delicious to me. It hit the sweet spot in my brain. I was so rude to the people who came to dinner that night. I literally opened the door with the book in hand, waved them in and went back to reading.

It was healing

To me, laughter is healing. Fiction connects us with people, with humanity. Even more than film, fiction in book form gives us compassion. It helps us to see the world from a different point of view, experience a different life. Walk in the proverbial shoes of someone else. I lived another life between those pages.

And I wanted to do that for other people.

Books change us

Do you have a book you reread often because it is just so well-written that even though you've read it a thousand times it still makes you feel something? I have a list of my favorites. Princess Bride is one of them. I love it because it is again, the comedy, action-adventure and it has a love story. 

What is your favorite funny lines from Baker's Dozen or from any other book?

What's a book you love that you read and reread?

THE SWISS MISHAP is nominated for the Swoony Awards

Did you know these awesome people created an award just for clean romance?  It's called the Swoony and now you get to voice your vote fo...