Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What is next According to Lilly? and other mind wandering questions.....


How are your writing goals coming along now that we are three months into the year? I am so busy trying to write and submit that sometimes my focus gets scattered, how about for you?


I am finding that having my goals listed does help me stay focused but sometimes I wonder if I am afraid of being successful. As a beginning writer, that is the goal to be successful. But as you work on your career and start getting assignments, success can be frightening. What if I can't keep this up? What if I disappoint the reader? What if the reader discovers I am a fraud...not really a writer after all?


Could that be what holds me back from doing the things needed to move forward. What activities am I doing everyday that keep me busy but NOT really moving forward towards the freelance career that I want?


For instance, I email and blog, read other blogs, look at my goals, and spend time researching and reading magazines and books in my niche. BUT how much time do I write. I have been revising the Lilly story for weeks, and what is keeping me from finishing the story and submitting it? Is it me or is it Lilly being silly and holding out on me?


These are possible road blocks to my story?


1. I am a believer that children need to read about other children in their situation, But I am afraid that publishers may not agree.


2. I am afraid I might hurt someone with my words? I might make someone uncomfortable?


3. I might be successful and asked to write something else and not be able to produce it from my imagination?


How do we overcome those fears?


Lilly would say keep writing, silly. If you did it once, you can do it again. Take one day at time, write and write and write again. Enjoy the process and stop being a worry wart. Have fun, enjoy life, and make up words. And Lilly would also say "wear a funny hat."


Maybe I am beginning to hear the voices of my characters in my head and feel them in my heart. Maybe, just maybe, I could do it again if I am successful once. Maybe.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Editing? Part of the Writing Process.



Editing is most definitely a part of the writing process and the part that many writers don't enjoy.

Published author Nancy I. Sanders has written several books for the new writer and her blog post today also addresses the process of editing in a very cute and humorous way.

Visit her website at www.nancyisanders.com and click on the left hand side under blogzone. You will find a great article on editing. Check out her other resources for new writers while you are there. It is very informative and inspirational.

Now go grab your beanie and highlighters for the editing process. ( you will have to check out her blog to see why you need a beanie and highlighter. lol. ) Let me know what you find.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Passions... translates into writing material.



What are your passions? What is it that makes you happy and what do you love to do?

  • These things, your passions, may lead you to writing ideas, topics, and your niche.

What do you do for your day job? This might give you an expertise and inside look which will give you the perfect slant for articles or a book. Think about it. Who can write about what you love better than you can? And if you love something, chances are that someone else will love it too.

I love pediatric critical care nursing, I love children, but I don't always want to write about sickness and death. I also love quilts, fabric, and learning about women in early America. I also want kids to love the same things. What about a nonfiction piece about quilts in early America? Women in history? Fabrics from the Civil War Era? Teaching younger readers how to quilt?

See what I mean, once you find and identify your passions, the story ideas will flow. Try it. Make a list of 10 things you really like or want to know more about. Now for each of those things, list two topic ideas for articles that you may write if you just did some quick research.

Go forth and write. See you on the page.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Fever

Do you have spring fever? I sure do, and sometimes that is not a good thing for my writing.
  • Children's author Suzanne Lieurance has recently blogged about a success journal and how important it is to record your positive actions which lead to your goals for 2010.

She is so motivating, because spring fever can certainly get in the way of the tasks a writer needs to do daily to reach the 3 main writing goals for 2010. On the other hand, spring fever may be just what you need to jump start your writing activities to ensure a more productive and prosperous year. Here is how spring can move you forward.

1. Spring clean your office. Clear your desk of the piles and in doing so you will discover those snippets of conversation or those notes you made in the middle of winter about a great story idea. This effort can be invigorating and stimulate your brain to actually write more meat to your story idea leading to finishing tasks related to one of your goals.

2. Reorganize your files with your 3 goals for 2010 in mind. Make a pile or folder for each of the goals and place your notes for those goals into the right place. You may have more accomplished towards one of your goals than you think.

3. Get the business side of your writing career organized before the end of this first quarter while you still have a handle on where those pesky receipts are lying and how much ink/paper/postage you have spent thus far. Calculate how much you have made and how much tax you may owe for the first three months in the year. Seeing these figures in black and white will do two things. It will show you how financially successful the year has been and if the numbers are low, it will motivate you to jump start the next quarter to be more lucrative.

4. Take notes when outside enjoying the spring temperatures. There are new article and story ideas all around you. How about allergy season or a new way to use recycled materials in the garden this year? What about your thoughts in essay form about the economy and why you are growing your own food, or how to save more money at the grocery, the car dealer, or when landscaping your yard for spring? See what I mean? Spring brings about a whole new season with new thoughts and new ideas, or the same ideas with a fresh spin on them can be a great way to write and submit more material.

5. A new quarter can be a spring board for new writing habits just like January is a spring board for resolutions for a new year. Re-evaluate your writing goals and make a new plan. Look at what is working and what isn't by reading through your success journal. Be honest with yourself and make a new plan for the next three months, making changes where you need to bump up your writing success.

You may find with spring fever raging that you need to set new goals. Maybe the 3 goals you set in January are not the same ones you have today, or maybe you have already met those goals and you need new goals. Take some time today to rethink your plan for the next quarter. Get organized and renew your enthusiasm for your writing career.

Make this spring your best ever and enjoy the process. Good luck and let me know how you do. Remember, we are looking forward to a successful 2010.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Writer Irene Roth



Irene Roth is an expert. She is a wonderful example of what it means to be an expert and to use her knowledge to write and publish articles. Let me explain.

  • Irene and I belong to the same writing club, Children's Writing Coaching Club directed by Suzanne Lieurance. Here we learn that we need to use what we know to become an expert or to build an author platform.

Well, Irene has done it beautifully. I will show you what I mean by including what she shares in her writing.

: Title: Are you too young to be achy and sore?

In this article, I examine how kids can cope when they feel different because they have arthritis. They may feel slower than their siblings because of stiff and sore joints. They may be slower getting out of bed because of the pain in their joints. I then list a few things that kids could do if they have arthritis to cope with the disease.

Some of the things that I suggest are as follows:

1. Realize that you're not alone;

2. Tell your teachers about your diagnosis;

3. Accept your disabilities by using a few self-management techniques such as pacing yourself and to listening to your body.

About my experience with arthritis: I have been leading arthritis self-management workshops for almost ten years. It is a six week workshop on how to manage arthritis. It includes a book and a lot of reading material on the different types of arthritis. Participants are given a lot of valuable information during the six weeks and feel much more able to live with the least amount of pain.

I was first diagnosed with arthritis in 2000, and I took this very same workshop myself. I felt so alone and out of control. I was 40 at the time and felt that life has somehow cheated me. The workshop so changed my life and my confidence level that I just knew that I had to help others have the very same feeling that I had at that moment.

So, I got trained through the Arthritis Society to run the workshop and have been running them ever since then here in Perth county and London, Ontario. I also run some workshops in Kitchener, Ontario.

See what I mean, she has taken her expertise and experience and used it in her writing and to build her platform. Now what are you an expert at that can be turned into interesting articles?

Go forth and write about your expertise. Soon you will find the same success as Irene. Join a writing group or club to help you develop your skills and enjoy the process. It will be worth the hard work and it will be FUN.

You can follow her at the following sites to learn more about this successful author.

Writer's Blog: www.irenesroth.wordpress.comAdolescent blog for girls: www.adolescentgirlsblog.wordpress.comPhilosophy Blog: www.switankowskyphilosophicalreflections.comMember of: www.scwbicanada.comMember of: Children's Writers Coaching ClubMember of Children's Writers NetworkICL Member Member of CBI Clubhouse

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jump Start Your Creative Side



Do you feel that your creative writing juices are napping?

I have noticed in several different trade magazines the subject of creativity has been addressed, indicating that as winter winds down so does our enthusiasm for our tasks at hand. It seems that our creativity may need a jump start.

Try these tips to jump start those creative juices and get those ideas flowing again.

1. Sit down with a child and color. That's right. Scribble, stay in the lines, make loop De loops, and use a bright color. Feel the tension ease from your soul and let the doodles spark your imagination.

2. Pick a year in your life that was difficult. Describe this in 100 words or less. If the time was emotional, your heart will want you to use more words to have it's say, so let it loose. No editing, just free writing. Put it away and don't try to analyze it. Let your mind be free of that anxiety and allow your heart to move on to something fun. Now sit down and write again.

3. Rewrite a conversation that you have had that went wrong, changing it to what should have been said. Now describe a character that would say those words.

4. Take a quick trip to your favorite office supply or book store. Allow yourself this field trip with a special reward for the work you have completed so far in 2010. Whether it is a new notebook, magazine, or pen, enjoy and think forward to how this will help you create the next writing piece.

5. Take a walk, bake a cake, visit the library, or pick an activity unrelated to your writing. A new scene or action may just trigger something that will get your writing off to a new and exciting trail.

Be relaxed about those periods of time when you do not feel creative. Find ways to stimulate your creativity by doing unrelated and fun activities. Before you know it another great idea will pop into your head and you will have no other choice but to write it down.

Happy writing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Visit Kathy Stemke for her interview of author Katie Hines



Author and educator, Kathy Stemke has a wonderful and informative blog at http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

  • Today she is hosting author Katie Hines and offering a great interview on Katie's new book Guardian.

This is a book for teen/young adults and sounds absolutely entertaining. From the interview, I think it will be a must read for those writers wanting to write for this age group.

Visit Kathy's blog to read the interview and make a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Then cruise on over to Katie Hines website and blog for more great information.

http://katiehines.blogspot.com

www.katiehines.com

Check it out and let me know what you discover.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Market Research....Where do I begin?



  • The path of a writer can be rewarding but it can also be confusing. Where do new writers begin when searching the writing marketplace? It can be a long and dusty path without a plan.

Sometimes it is better to search the marketplace and go over writer's guidelines first.

Try these tips for finding the perfect market match:

  1. Make a list of topic ideas that are of interest to you.
  2. Read the current magazine market guide and locate 5-10 markets that your idea may fit into.
  3. Go over the guidelines with a fine tooth comb and search their websites for keys to the style and topics they have covered recently and in the past.
  4. Sit down and choose one of your ideas that may fit and outline how you want to present the ideas.
  5. Write the article for a particular magazine. Revise and rewrite as needed to fit the guidelines.
  6. When the article is ready for the target market you have chosen, submit it to the first publisher on your target list.
  7. Start the process over with your next idea while you wait for a response.
  8. Be ready to send it again to the next market on your list if you get a rejection. In this way you are consistently working on something while you wait, you have the next place in mind, and you have done research to make certain that your idea is a good fit.

If you work in a routine way to target your ideas to specific markets it will increase your chances of success. Try it and let me know.

By the way, Lilly is working on a recipe for soup. Anyone have any good recipes for soup that are good for a queasy stomach and that kids may like. Send me your recipes for a chance to have them included in the book with your name and bio. Email me at terri.forehand@gmail.com with your soup recipes for kids.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What is next According to Lilly?


If you have been following my new fictional character Lilly Isabella Lane, you know she has spunk, attitude, and a positive outlook on having childhood cancer.


Most of the children that I have taken care of have that same spunk. Children have an amazing knack for living in the present moment and having the hope and dreams that a kid is supposed to have, regardless of the disease.


My dream for the book that I am writing is to honour those dreams and hopes of all the children that I have cared for.

Lilly is an imaginary character with many of the characteristics these kids have displayed. But should she have blond hair or brown, green eyes or blue, brown eyes and freckles or hazel eyes with carrot red hair?

You can help me to decide? Send your ideas by making a comment or emailing the image you have of Lilly so far. It will be fun to discover what you, the reader, imagines that Lilly looks like compared to what I picture in my writer's mind. Join the fun and make your views known.


And here is another tidbit from Lilly herself:


D is for dinner during chemo, which means sprite, pudding, and Jell-O. Delightfully dull and not always delicious.


F is for fun with friends...silly, goofy, crazy fun and forgetting you are kind of sick.


Notice that I have skipped some of the alphabet, but not to worry. When the full manuscript is done all 26 letters will be represented with just exactly how Lilly wants to say it. Should be loads of surprises and lots of fun.

Won't it be even better if somewhere a publisher will think so too? Ah, the adventure of it all.


Until tomorrow....

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