Tag Archive - writing life

Using Life’s Hardships to Make You a Better Writer

Today’s guest post is by fantasy author Ashley Carlson:

“I’ve been thinking lately, about our relationship,” she said, studying her nails.

“Yeah?” he answered, looking up from the couch.

“And how . . . I’m not sure . . . we should be in one anymore.”

This wasn’t a scene from my latest WIP, though I sorely wish it was. No, this was a conversation I recently had with my boyfriend of two yearsUsing Life’s Hardships to Make You a Better Writer—a man I lived with, a man I’d imagined marrying. A man I’d slowly come to realize wasn’t the right one for me. Continue Reading…

5 Writer Goals to Help You Avoid Overwhelm

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do to be a writer? If so, join the club. Sometimes the writing journey feels overwhelming. There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish the mind-boggling amount of things we writers feel must get done in order to grow not just as writers but in order to establish our place in the publishing world.

Years ago, all an author had to do was write a book and send it off to a publisher (one handwritten copy at a time!), and if her manuscript was accepted, the publisher did all the work of publishing and promoting. Now, authors have to be writer, marketer, publicist—and sometimes publisher—in order to make strides to become known and to have their books sold and distributed. Continue Reading…

10,000 Hours Can Feel Like 10,000 Miles

Not long ago I read Malcolm Gladwell’s best seller, Outliers, which got me thinking about the long, tedious road to publication. Although we occasionally hear of the author who gets a contract with a traditional publisher for a first novel in record time, it seems more the norm to hear of stories of authors (like me) who have been trying to get published for five, ten, even twenty years. Through research Gladwell discovered experts agreeing on the amount of time needed to bring a person to the level of an expert in his or her field. He cites examples: Bill Gates, Robert Oppenheimer, The Beatles, as some who put in the requisite 10,000 hours into their field or craft. It just seems to be a very basic rule that to become proficient in any field, you need to put in a lot of hours—which equates to a lot of years of diligent effort.

There are no shortcuts or get-smart-quick ways about it. Unless you’re a prodigy or Mensa genius, you are going to have to become an expert the old-fashioned way—by hard work and persistence. In this modern age of instant gratification in which we can’t even tolerate more than five seconds for a web page to load, the idea of having to take such a long time becoming an expert in our craft is downright annoying. We want it all now—success, recognition, fulfillment. Continue Reading…

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