Some things I’ve Learned


1. NEVER compare yourself to others – never.

2. It’s ok to be frustrated, but don’t let frustration stop you.

3. It is important to be and stay grounded while attempting to build your career. (Refer to #14)

4. Combat writer’s block by doing other creative things or writing in a different genre

5. Pick a quality author’s blog and become a regular reader, also stock your personal library with books on the craft of writing – be sure to read them! And apply some of what you have learned.

6. Familiarize yourself with some of the tools and options available to you as a writer

7. Take some time to just be still and observe.  Writers are observers, Then they write about what they have observed. An over heard conversation makes its way to your characters’ dialog or a hidden situation is exposed in your letter to the editor.  It all starts with observing.

8. If you look to please everyone, you will never get anything done

9. You must believe in your writing

10. You must read! It’s fundamental 😉

11. Your work will be a labor of love. You don’t have to love it, you might not even like it, but you must respect it.  I once read a short story where I could tell that the author was tired of his protagonist.  We went from her story, and then somehow we were more privy to her married boyfriend’s life, and when you think – hey, wait a minute what happened to the protagonist? A few lines later she does show up (the author knew what we were thinking) only to die from  expired medication or something.  How you feel about your work just may leave its fingerprints on it.

12. You should intentionally build your writing community

13. You should be willing to continue to learn

14. Don’t be a jerk! Contrary to popular belief it is NOT cute.

15. You must Write!

“Until you understand why you write, you’ll have a hard time figuring out who you are as a writer.” ~ JAMES GRIPPANDO

While I was writing the post yesterday on the privilege of writing, I thought back to what I wrote the first time I felt as if I was breaking out of the writer’s block.  I thought it was so important to read again, I went and looked for it so I could share it with you. Thanks for spending these past 30 days with me.  It was wonderful to remember some of the things that I have learned. I hope November treated you well!

I wrote it, and it was terrible, but it was mine.  I created something that is now a part of this world, that was only a part of my mind at this time yesterday.

That is awe inspiring. 

In other words, It’s awesome!

I wrote it, and it was terrible (by many standards perhaps) but it was mine! And I can write again tomorrow and perhaps improve it, just with what I think of today.

Writers, do you know how powerful you are? We have the potential to change the world.  At the very least, the potential to change someone’s world.

I forget sometimes…

Maybe you forget sometimes too.

But we should not forget *hugs*.

Hey, did you know that tomorrow is National Author’s Day? I didn’t.  It even has a hash tag #authorday it was already trending on twitter for a while this morning.


Power of the Pen



Never Stop Learning


In other news – Writing Day 27 – Earlier this year, I read a book on the craft of writing that was wildly popular when it came out, but at this point that was almost 20 years ago. Considering that my favorite craft book is from 1938, I was not worried about this mid 90s whippersnapper. I wondered if I should get the kindle book so I could see the words, and by force of habit I ended up in the 1 star reviews, which happened to be only 5% of the reviews, but over 100 reviews nonetheless.  This is sometimes how I choose what to read.  What did the people who absolutely hated the book have to say? As I read the reasons why it was hated- and I mean hated, I noticed something.  Whether or not someone has the right to be…everyone is a critic. 

I think this has become something of an expectation because of competition shows like American Idol, The Voice, or  ANTM.  People who at times are not even seasoned in what they are judging (they just happen to be famous) sit down and pick you, your looks, your voice or your dish apart bit by bit.  Just so, these critics shot down this book by page. I read as people who probably don’t remember a time  before lives in front of a screen talked about how archaic the author’s use of the word “typewriter” was or how inconceivable it was that she had to mail – you know, snail mail – her assignments into work!   They protested -The way we work now, many of our assignments must be turned in within the hour it is assigned!  This author is so out of touch to write about such things, how can she expect to teach us anything?

Well, the author was writing of how she turned in her work at the time – not telling you to turn in your work the same way.  Also, something tells me that she no longer turns in her work through the US Postal service, just a hunch.

Most disturbing to me was the point at which her writing was written off as…clearly talentless.  A person who probably has never published more than a major paper,  –  is so sure of themselves that they can deem another writer-  a writer who has published 20 books…talentless.


I think as long as something can be taught – and writing can be taught, it is…foolish to deem anyone talentless.

Don’t be so busy listening for a shout that you miss the whisper.

Don’t ever think of yourself as so important, so hip, so highly educated, so beyond ever needing help, that you cannot learn something from someone who has been a writer, maybe far longer than you have been alive.

So no they cannot tell you about building your platform and managing your social media, no problem, just pick up one of the 100 other books focused on just those topics and educate yourself there.  Don’t write people off (no pun intended) because they haven’t, and wouldn’t do things the same way you have.  Learn from every source you can.

And by the way, if your critique is not constructive – you might  just be a hater.


A Bit of Tough Love…

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In other news: Writing Day 15 – This tough love is not just for you.  It is for me too.  I’ve been concerning myself more with writing these posts about writing than doing the editing that I said I would do, and in fact started.  Have to do better. I will.
You continue to kill it or start to if you haven’t.
PS – You are NOT a bum!

Congratulations, we made it half way!! We can do this!

A mid-month offering from Pinterest.  A Truly Valuable Chart is what is called.  Perhaps you already have it, but here it is if you don’t.