Category Archives: Inspiration

Is Getting Published a Matter of Luck?

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Saint Patrick’s Day is almost here, and along with it comes wishes for luck. Maybe you’ll buy a  lottery ticket hoping to win the big prize. Maybe you’ll find a rogue and lucky four-leaf clover tucked among the shamrock plants at the garden center. Or maybe you’ll send your query letters out on March 17th wishing for luck to get your book published.

But what is luck really?
The Oxford English dictionary says luck is:

Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.

Are you relying on luck to get published? If so, you’re playing an endless game of wishing and hoping. Luck is something outside your control. It’s the toss of a coin at the beginning of a football game.

Let me suggest something better. FAITH.
Oxford defines faith as:

Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

That sounds better than luck, doesn’t it? And better yet—Faith is something within your control. You can control how much faith you have in your writing skills, and you can control your confidence in your ability to learn. How? By thinking positively and by trusting God to lead you.

sb5ciWell-known authors have relied on the power of faith. E.B. White, winner of many awards including the National Medal for Literature, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, said, “Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.”

In the introduction to the tenth anniversary edition of her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron writes: “Artists are visionaries. We routinely practice a form of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance—often visible to us, but invisible to those around us. Difficult as it is to remember, it is our work that creates the market, not the market that creates our work. Art is an act of faith, and we practice practicing it.”
This applies not only to artists, but also to writers and anyone else engaging in something creative.

Every word. Every sentence. Every paragraph
is an act of faith.

imagesSo, on this Saint Patrick’s Day I don’t wish you luck! Instead, I pray that you embrace the power of faith.

You have it in your heart to write. Add to that, faith in your God-given ability and confidence in yourself. Keep moving toward your goals. Stop wishing and hoping. Just believe.

YOU CAN DO IT!

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If you are on Facebook, Check out my page where I post articles
and inspiration for writers.

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

 

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Filed under Aspiring Writers, Encouragement, Inspiration, motivation, St. Patrick's Day, Uncategorized

5 Things to Do If You Lose Your Muse

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We writers think of a muse as a source of inspiration, a guiding genius rife with ideas. But what if you lose your muse? What if she takes a vacation or bails because she’s sick and tired of working for you!

Here are five things you can do if you lose your muse.

1. Maintain a mob of muses. It’s risky business to rely on just one muse, so have more waiting in the wings. Muses come in many forms. They inspire us through words, music, pictures and the great outdoors. A muse might even be a real person, maybe your very best writing buddy. You can find some muses online at:

Fun with Words. Grab a cup of coffee and get inspired.

Pinterest. Did you know that you can look around without signing up? Type any topic into the search bar, and you’ll find tons of pictures to inspire you. Click on any picture to go to its website.

Pandora Radio. Set up a free account. Type in the name of a music genre, artist, song or composer, and Pandora will build a playlist for you. Pandora, and other similar sites, are perfect for music inspiration!

Virtual Travel sites, like Armchair Travel Company, take you on virtual tours around the world. Explore the Taj Mahal, a Russian submarine, Westminster Abbey and more. There are many online travel sites, so dig around for one you love and add it to your muse mob.

2. Call in the retired muses. Pull out all those old manuscripts and brainstorming lists. The muses you sent into retirement in earlier writing days might still be there waiting patiently for you to rediscover their wisdom and creativity.

3. Be your own muse. Well-known writing teacher Natalie Goldberg says, “Just keep your hand moving and write!” For ten minutes, write whatever comes into your head. You might find your own inspiration hiding in the gibberish.

4. Go museless for a while. Leave your missing-muse crisis behind. Get out, and do something fun. Muses sometimes like slipping into your house when you’re not there. What a surprise if when you return you find one waiting for you!

5. Give your muse the silent treatment. Stop begging her to come back. Some muses are very shy. They like to whisper gently to you in quiet thoughts. In her article, “6 (Easy!) Ways Anyone Can Become a Writer,” Natalie Goldberg writes, “Silence can be the door to listening, which is one of the great cornerstones to writing.” Be quiet, and listen carefully to your thoughts. Someone might be speaking to you.

And remember—be good to your muse.
Sing to her sometimes!

LYRICS

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Filed under Creativity, Encouragement, Inspiration, motivation, Uncategorized, Writer's Block

5 Ways to Push Forward When Your Head Says, “Stop!”

f070fa2970d13d6c90097dcc1a47c19cA key lesson I’ve learned as a freelancer is that self-motivation is essential for success. So when I’m without a project I don’t stop working. Instead, I follow five steps to keep moving forward.

1. I change my venue. I get away from my regular writing spots and go somewhere to clear my mind. I search for places where ideas grow. For me, it’s getting close to nature. For someone else it might be visiting a museum or attending a writing conference. The goal is to find a place that gets you thinking about new writing topics and opportunities. A change of venue is like a clean slate begging for words.

2. I Read. When I’m not working on projects, I increase the time I spend reading. I read fiction and nonfiction. I read about publishing trends, and I check out writers’ blogs. Reading is great motivation for writing. It inspires me to explore new directions.

3. I Write. After I finish a project, I switch gears and write something entirely different: a blog post, a short story, a poem. I don’t write with the idea of publication. I just write to free myself from my last project and get ready for the next. Switching gears forces me to keep my writing skills polished.

4. I look beyond my boundaries. Writers tend to label themselves as children’s writers, educational writers, freelance writers, or whatever. I set aside labels and explore what else might be a good fit for me. I look at new genres and then for opportunities where I might try them on. I look at what publishers want, what’s selling, electronic publishing vs. print. I try to break out of the mold that I’ve set for myself, and stretch.

5. I communicate with other writers. I look for positive communication to boost me up instead of pull me down. Teaming with other writers who are excited about their craft is the best form of motivation. It’s also a good way to get referrals. Often, this sort of networking has led to my next project.

Martin Luther said,
“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.’”

So, remember: when you have nothing to do,
doing nothing is not an option.
Try my ideas, or your own, and
stay motivated.

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If you are on Facebook, Check out my page where I post articles
and inspiration for writers.

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

 

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Filed under Encouragement, Inspiration, motivation, Uncategorized, Writing Tips