If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
What books are on your nightstand?
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
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Review My Book Community
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Book Shelve of Doom
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We Be Reading
I started this blog to help others do what they want to do in life. For some that means educate their children at home and for others that means eat the most deliciouspeanut butter fudge bite ever. Either way, I am here to share my information with you because learning to be a single parent who homeschools, runs her own business, works from home and manages to stay sane can be difficult.
But with a heaping dose of motivation and time management, I have learned that writing, editing, crafting, and teaching my child are the most important things in the world. So, I built this blog to share my tips with you, so you can do the same thing.
As I've written this blog, I know that I have more to offer you all. I want to provide a full homeschool curriculum that includes online classes for your kids (like a Learn How to Read program), and books that help you stay on track as you try to build your writing career. And maybe a few cookbooks and lit guides. Of course, I'm not there yet, but someday. This coming year, I plan to increase my traffic views and readership in hopes to give the blog more attention.
But before I expand my reach in the blogosphere, I want to tell you how I started this blog, what I am currently doing to build it, and how you can do the same thing (if you're interested!).
Being a writer can be a really rough go. For most of us, being a writer always means having a "real" job to hold us over while we build a freelance career or write that poetry collection. Regardless of what your writerly goal is, making ends meet can be difficult.
Thankfully, there are dozens of writer fellowships out there (albeit highly competitive) that offer a full-time income while you teach, write and even do some serious pondering. I've applied for several of these fellowships and can attest to some of the programs that offer the fellowships.
Fellowships are perfect for writers who are comfortable or want to learn how to teach creative writing, as many of the writing fellowships are offered by universities. Now, that isn't always the case; some fellowships are offered by publications, which give you a full-time gig as you hone your skill.
Some fellowships require you to teach and others just ask that you be available to students or the community to help in an artistic fashion. These fellowships are perfect for writers who do not have too many things tying them down to their current community. As a single parent, I've been able to work as a fellow...so don't let your familial network get in the way...most fellowships allow you to bring your family along. Let's take a look at five writing fellowships coming up in the next several months.
Okay, so this isn't a writing post, but I want to share some of the information I've been collecting as of late! And yes, I know that homeschooling isn't easy, but let's pretend that it is...just for a second. I curated this list and did extensive research (even signed up for a few to see how they really work) and want you to have it. I only listed the ones that actually worked and I could see working for parents who need a job while staying at home...that doesn't consume your life, either.
I am a big fan of work that I can get done before the kids wake up and also makes me feel productive. Probably why I work for a small press...and probably why I write for a living. I don't live on a standard schedule. Our entire family isn't the 9-to-5 type....never have been and never will be. All of these jobs are perfect for the non-traditional working family.
The list is below. I didn't feel the need to write tons about each of the places because you can find out for yourself if it is right for you. There are ZERO affiliate links here...just to be clear.
Money. All writers need it. Money is usually the reason writers stop writing...or just don't have the amount of time to produce anything substantial.
I hate that. I compiled a short list of grants that are upcoming and you should apply for if you are eligible.
I'm not the most successful blogger in town, but hey I am learning to get it together. My mediocre blogging success is more than likely due to having too many other things to do during the day, but hey, I didn't set out to make money from this blog. My site has always been about sharing and connecting with like-minded bloggers. Because you know what? I hate blogs that are overloaded with ads and freeze up my internet connection. That is somebody hungry for money.
BUT, I was curious about how bloggers are so productive. After all, I am a productive editor, but what makes a blogger productive. Guess what? I discovered that it wasn't ingenious material, or knowing others...it was shortcuts. Shortcuts that make blogging and planning blogs easier.
After talking to a few "famous" bloggers, I was able to extract some trade secrets that make them more productive, hence more successful. Here are the most common tools used:
I tried out the HubSpot topic generator and I may actually use it in the future to fill in my writing schedule because it came up with some great topics to write about. On the other hand, some of them were very "stock" and I don't think they would be found given the amount of blogetition out there in the blogosphere.
Oh, and I looked at BuzzSumo...this is where the business is at! I entered in my own website and was able to see what was performing and what wasn't. I am using this to revamp my website as mentioned on the front page.
I haven't tried Buffer, but will take a look at it and report back.
1. Turn off everything around you, but the lights
This might sound way too simple, but don't open your computer. Don't look at your phone. Don't even consider it. While yes, many writers use computers these days to write, they are distracting. From accessibility to the internet, online radio, television, and other tasks, the computer can be the death of your writing. I know from experience. I am writer by paper and every time I even attempt to write on the computer, I find myself editing somebody else's work or producing terrible material. Evidence shows that writing on a computer produces more errors than writing by hand too.
Next time you plan to write, sit down with a notebook, pick up your writing tool and just do it. You will be amazed how quickly you can churn out 2,000 words. Or how much better you can revise that poem that just seems to be sitting on your PC. And speaking of that...if you have tons of fragments and "scraps" on your computer, print them out...organize them and set them in folders. Work on them. Make them what you want them to be off computer.
If you really must use your computer because you've forgotten how to use a pencil, then turn off your wifi. Hell, find an electronic typewriter. Anything.
2. Plan Your Writing Time and Develop an Intention
If you are busy like I am, you need a writing schedule. And sure, that doesn't mean you can't write when it strike at other times, but it gives you the time that you need to write...no matter what.
Set 1-2 hours a day aside for writing. If you have kids and a "job" like I do, then you should try doing it in the early morning or late at night. I get up at 5AM every morning, make a cup of tea, stretch, and then write until 7AM. Two hours. After that, I feel complete and I can move on with the rest of my day.
After you have set up a writing schedule, set an intention. On your planner where you have blocked out some time (it doesn't have to be two hours...maybe it's only thirty minutes), tell yourself what you plan to do with that time.
By creating a structured plan, you will know what you need to accomplish in the time that you have. I have my entire planned, from the time I wake up until dinner time. If I didn't do this for my writing, editing, homeschooling, crafting and exercise, I would fall apart.
Here's a sample of my schedule:
As you can see, I schedule time on one side and a checklist on the other. My to-do list is more of a goal tracker. I don't always get everything done, but that is built into my schedule. The important things get done first. And even when I don't achieve the 2,000 word writing goal which is exclusively geared toward creative writing, I accomplish 2,000 words in my freelance work. Win-win.
4. Set a timer and write
This does not work for me, but for many friends that I know, it is a winner. I am more of a set the schedule sort, but for others the sense of urgency lights their writerly fires. Set a goal of 10-20 minutes and just write about anything...or write about a targeted topic.
The writers I know who use this tool tend to use it as a free write or brainstorming session. The goal is to produce creativity rather than an end result. It provides material for current or new projects.
Consider building in 1-3 short writing sessions throughout the day to keep your mind churning out ideas.
5. Take breaks throughout your sessions
I wouldn't suggest this for only writing! In our house, we do what we call "stop breaks" that last 15 minutes. For every 45 minutes that I work, I take a fifteen minute stop break to play, read and run around with my kids. By doing so, I get to be an active part in their fun AND my brain gets a much needed break.
When I return to work, I feel refreshed and motivated to continue working. Be sure to set a timer for yourself during work and during you breaks. Or keep an eye on the clock. Build the stop breaks into your schedule! Otherwise, you may forget about them.
I wasn't sure if I should include this in my Homeschool section or here, so I chose here. This is a list of words that I like and their origins. Etymology is fascinating and I suggest people take a look at their favorite words more often.
The term blatant is unique in that it was coined by Spenser during c. 15-16. Coinage is the process of inventing a new word and is often seen during a bout of creativity, in which similar sounding and meaning of two other words are blended together. For example, blatant was thought to have maintained the meaning of blaintained.
The word undermine is a combination of prefixes and compounding. First, the word, as a noun of action, means to make something invalid. The prefix, under- is found in twenty-five Old English words and means to “go under” or “below”. In this instance, it is more abstract and means “to make something less than”. In addition to using prefixes, the word is a compound word, too. The prefix under is combined with the word mine, to indicate in the noun version, that it is an underground excavation. One could argue that undermine is an example of conversion, as the word began as a tangible idea (the underground excavation) and morphed into the abstract idea (to belittle). There was semantic change, but not physical change to the word.
This word uses the prefix demi- which is from Latin origin. It translates to partial.
This word is the perfect example of blending. It takes Reagan and economics and blends them together to stand for one man’s version of economics.
This word, zipper, uses the suffix -er to identity the thing that does the “zipping” on articles of clothing. This usage of the suffix -er to identify a thing is more prevalent in the Modern English language, and not in the older versions of the English language, when the suffix was used to identify a type of person (i.e. outsider or teacher).
The word flu is short for influenza. This is an example of clipping a word to shorten it. The word flu is used in colloquial English.
The verb access is shortened form the noun accession. It means to enter or pass through. What is this called? .
The word garlic comes from the word gare and leek, which was blended together during the Old English period. This is an example of blending two words together to form a new one.
Regular Contributor & Guest Post Opportunity
Want to be a regular contributor? Look at the channels I have and if you are interested, send me your writing resume, and what you would write about if you were brought on. This is not a paid opportunity at the moment, but will be in the future.
I'm looking for killer guest posts too. Do you have one? I don't require that you have the entire post completed before contacting me...that seems silly. Shoot me an email and we will throw some topics around and get to know each other better.
Contact me here. I will be honest though; I am not one of the blog folks who believes in littering her website with countless videos and unattractive, over-the-top ads. If you want seamless integration and actual conversions, let's talk. If you prefer a more "Goodie Store Array", I'm not your gal.
Affiliate Link and Advertising Disclosure
Some, but not all of my recommendations are affiliate links. At no cost to you, if you choose to buy the recommended product, I may receive a commission on the product. I only link to products I use and believe in myself. I am not paid to recommend products or services -- all opinions are my own.
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