5 Super-Sized Tips For Encouraging Your Inner Writer

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You are a writer. Creator of stories. You fabricate realities–transforming letters and words into DNA strands; giving birth to life and breath from your imagination. By your skilled hand and chosen tools—pen, paper and keyboard—you pull dreams and fantasies from the atmosphere and fashion them into literary portals through which everyday people can book momentary vacations: temporary escapes.

Unfortunately, in a world of constant remakes, recycled and retold stories, reprocessed and  regurgitated content—though creativity in some areas of the Arts, and advancements in various regions of technologies may shine bright,—originality suffers a long time creative-imagination drought. As a result, the business of writing has caused many exceptional writers to go on hiatus, while others leave what they love, to find different ways to create an income.

Still, more and more writers struggle with their craft. Most crave encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to push forward. Others need to hear some confirmation that it’s okay to take on other jobs, including freelance writing jobs to pay the bills, while they continue working through their literary works. Sometimes, it’s the simple, free and practical tips that are the most help.

Here’s 5 Super Simple, Yet Highly Motivational & Practical Tips For Encouraging Your Inner Writer.   

1. See Your Own Work In Print

On a few occasions I’ve taken various collections of my poetry, shorts, devotionals, and essays, sent them to http://PrintingPeach.ca so, once I got them back as a printed booklet I could flip through the pages, not only to get a feel for its flow—and make changes so the whole work reads better—but also for the feeling it give me to see and hold, in my hands, the project in a finished (though first-print draft only) form. There’s nothing that encourages you more to work through the kinks; break through any block, and submit your work, than holding and seeing it in print form. It can be the sunrise in your long literary night helping you to find new fresh momentum for reaching the finish line.

2. Professional Business Cards

If you don’t have professional business cards, WHY? There’s really no reason for a writer—or any kind of creative for that matter—not to have a business card on their body at all times. It’s never when you plan on handing them out that you end up being asked; it’s those times when you don’t expect it all that you run into THE person who could change your writing future. Then, if you don’t have any cards, you feel stupid. And you should. Cards are easy to make and really cheap. I get mine from VistaPrint.com. Don’t be the one who misses that amazing opportunity because you wrote your contact info on a napkin and your contact accidentally throws it away after needing it to clean up a productive sneeze. You can spend $10 right now, for 500 cards.

That’s basically the cost of one dinner out or, two fast food lunches or, two venti caramel macchiatos. You can do that.

3. Take Head shots

Some writers come by it naturally, others really get uncomfortable with the thought of having someone take photos of them. Either way, once you have your head shots finished and you’re looking at them, it just feels good. I was browsing the web looking for character ideas and I stumbled across smilesunlimited.ca and thought, ‘you know, it’s time for some updated head shots.’ I was dreading it at first, but afterwards I really liked how they turned out. Some were professional-business, and others were just us having fun. It was great. There’s a wonderful, ‘I’m a creative professional’ feeling that comes with having your own professional head shots done. There’s also great to have for interviews, speaking engagement advertisements, and to use on your website, social medias, and blog posts.

Here’s a few of those goofy shots.

sam looking down thought 2sam thumb up 3  sam angry 4 sam square 6 Sam main 2 sam no yes 3

4. Your Blog

If you have a blog than this point may be a commonsense point, but there are still way too many writers that I run into that ‘just haven’t gotten to it yet’. Most businesses have a website and more and more are finding the benefits of having blogs. Even real estate agents, like KimAlvarez.ca., have blogs, and they’re finding ways to make their websites and services reach more clients through relevant social campaigns.

A blog, for writers, makes perfect sense. A blog, after all IS a result of content creation. It helps people, fans, editors, and potential clients connect with you; it allows you to showcase your literary skill; helps you solidify yourself as a professional and—something I never planned on when I started mine—it can open doors (if you’re open to it) for you to pick up some extra cash and experience, writing guest posts, being featured on other sites, and writing ghost posts for other companies.

I have 5 blogs, [TastingThePlanet / AShotOfLiteraryCaffeine / SippingOnLiteraryEspresso / SamTheWriter’s Tiny Tips For Writers / Perception Speaks ] (a three special project ones I can’t mention at the moment)  and I also write ghost posts (when I can handle the workload) for 44 different national and international businesses and storytellers. I hate that they’re ghost written, so I can’t take credit for my work, but I love knowledge and I’ve learned so much about so many companies and authors; sharpened my skills around conducting interviews, investigative reporting, journalism, deep research, data mining, conducting various market analysis, uncovering stories and hidden people and information; furthering my experience and success with many writing processes, social media strategies, SEO, B2B, B2C, and all the other alphabetical business combinations (ha ha I’ve been wanting to throw that in somewhere).

I’ve learned how to write effective newsletters, employee manuals and handbooks, create effecting social media strategies that have seen measured increase in business connections (in two businesses I created a multi-social-platform strategy that saw a 300% and 325% increase in social traffic–which specifically resulted in greater sales…one was over a 3 month period of time, the other took 6 months. However, the average business strategist that many companies spend between $60,000 on east coast, $40,000 in mid-west, and $80 – $120,000 on the west coast (Annual Salary) can’t usually ever boast a 200% increase in an entire year.) I say that to say this: I learned these skills while conducting interviews and working as a ghost for many international companies.

Most of my ‘luck’ came from interactions with my blogs. Blogs, my friends, are powerful tools.

5. Revisit Reader / Fan Comments

Where have you posted your work? It is on a website? Writer’s community site? A blog? On your Facebook or other social media? Maybe you have some work in a writing competition? In most of these cases there’s a place for readers to add comments or feedback. Go visit those comments. When the writing life gets hard and stressful—and it does, unless you’re brand new to the writer’s life and haven’t submitted much—the encouraging words you’ve received on past works can revive a weary spirit.

A fictional literary poetry project that I started a few years back started to wear on me. I loved what I was writing, but life was demanding other things from me. I almost lost faith in my work, until one day I received a notification that someone had commented on a past poetry work. It was an email from a University English Professor asking for my permission to share a few works with his students, because “I am very inspirited with how you merged the literary life with a romantic relationship with the artist’s muse…” This made me feel wonderful. I looked through a few other comments and found a treasury of reader appreciation for my works. I printed 27 pages of comments off to keep around me as a reminder of the beauty and escape my work has provided for others.

Here’s a few of those comments:

“I really enjoyed this poem. ‘Kiss me My Mistress Muse, your lips are the ebb and flow of the art-spring we call literary life.’ This really sums up the passion of the prose.” – Janet R.M

“‘A ray of sunlight cracks through the morning cloud cover. It touches the earth several miles away, and works its way towards me. It’s you my Love, and it’s even more beautiful because the rest of the world is still sleeping.’That is what makes it so special. that is what keeps the phone from ringing. That is what makes the coffee taste right. Thank you for this.” – Opeo Tao T.

“Yes I’ll take this dance! I agree with Jordan, it has been waaaaaaaay tooooo long since your last post. I got this one yesterday while I was in my office and it made my whole day. It really did, so I went back and read, “I Will Love You,” and “I Feel You Tonight,” and it really took my breath away.  You need to keep writing, I want to keep reading! – Melody W..

“Amazing post! absolutely amazing.” – Lua

“ ‘All of life moves and lives and begins to create an orchestra of beautiful existence…’ Yes, it makes perfect sense to me…Merry Christmas.” – Jingle

With such amazing reader / follower/ fans, how could a writer not be encouraged and super inspired to keep writing?

I encourage you to keep doing what you love. Keep writing because you must, and know that it’s ok to do what you must to keep writing. Writing is in your blood. Writing is not an option for you, it’s a necessary for you as exhaling. If you could no longer write, you would cease to be you.

You’re a superhero of sorts. The greatest kind. The kind that challenges and shapes perceptions. Keep fighting for creative inspiration. Keep recording your ideas and dreams, even if you feel like you’re the only one who believes in what you do. The truth is that there’s a whole world full of reader / follower / fans starving for a writer, like you, to save their day.

Write, Write, Write, and submit.

Cheers to you Writer.

-SamTheWriter

Let’s Connect:

Online – SamTheWriter.Com

Twitter – @SamuelWConnelly

Of Writers & Wroters: Pressing in to your Future or Settling Somewhere in your Past

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Where do you find the inspiration you need to make it to your writing desk faithfully? Is it your financial obligations pushing you forward? Is it your desire to prove everyone wrong who told you that you wouldn’t make a living as a writer; those family members and childhood friends who still crack little sarcastic jokes, asking when you’re going to get a ‘real job’? Are you in the fresh young love stage: you’ve recently discovered your passion for writing and have been caught in the honeymoon phase? Or, have you been writing long enough to realize that there’s nothing else able to bring real pleasure to your life than releasing the stories that are constantly being birthed inside you?

When I moved to Wichita Kansas from Northern California, I had a really hard time acclimating to the midwest culture. Over the next few years I became pretty impressed with Wichita’s music, art, and Independent film scene. Being excited about the art scene—and being the social butterfly that everyone says I am—I was invited to several Writers groups and I jumped at the offers.

Unfortunately, these groups didn’t bring any encouragement to me as a writer at all. In fact, after ‘hanging out’ at these so called ‘Writer’s Groups’ I ended up depressed with nothing to show for all the time I’d spent each week at these meetings. I wasn’t being encouraged to write. I wasn’t being encouraged to push myself; any encouragement I gave to the groups, to press on and believe that their best was yet to come, was shot down. I soon realized that:

(1) At these writing groups there wouldn’t actually be any writing happening

(2) There wouldn’t be any talk or challenging of each other to write

(3) Everyone was more than satisfied to live in the memories and stories of the few things they had written and had published somewhere in years long past.

The ones who had invited me to these groups, and those who filled the chairs in the quaint houses and local coffee shops where they met to tell their publishing stories from the ‘Good Old Days’—a time and place, within the stories of past moments. A place that I am not willing to live my future in—were all wonderful people. I love to sit and sip on a mug of hot coffee or tea and listen to their stories. I still do it today. I couldn’t, however, do it any longer as part of a ‘Writing Group.’ They were not writing groups; they were all reminiscing/talking groups—which were great for hanging out and reminiscing and talking. Not for writing or becoming better writers.

In a recent post, Gary Bizzo (www.garybizzo.com), shares an interesting quote from one of his friends. A quote that has been rolling around in my mind all morning:

“Some entrepreneurs are emotionally tied up in their smallness.”

Although Gary was using the quote to make a point about the potential that many small business owners miss out on because they’ve allowed themselves to find comfort in the ‘safety’ of what they are used to; the comfort zone of present success.

They’ve become satisfied living within the unsatisfying refuge of what they’ve already accomplished; giving themselves to the fact that thought that they’ve done their best, there’s nothing else to give, and they’ve accomplished all they are going to accomplish.

I don’t fit in with a group like that. You don’t fit in with a group like that. Those Writers (or I should say, Wroters) won’t be having cups of coffee or tea at 4 or5am—eyes barely open, still half dreaming—to continue working on their latest WIP; to edit pieces from the day before; to start their morning writing exercises; begin their routine submissions process, or—if like me or any number of literary Jedi out there—juggle the insanity of all-of-the-above.

Tenacity, Confidence, Addressing a Real Need.

These are what the patent specialists (www.2innovative.net) call “Key Concepts” when patenting business ideas. The same is true in the life of a writer.

  • TENACITY, to go against the flow; against the whispers and little cutting, sarcastic jokes; and against the temptation to find a home among the ‘Wroter’s Groups’ living in yesteryear. Tenacity to keep writing even when technical issues and computer crashes cause you to lose hundreds of thousands of words. Ouch, yes, I know and it’s happened to me too many times as well. That’s why God created Google Drive, iCloud Storage, BOX, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and the Calitso it guys [ok maybe God didn’t create them but they can all be your literary salvation when your computer crashes.]
  • CONFIDENCE in your personal passion as a writer. The kind of confidence that propels you towards your computer, tablet, pen & paper, or typewriter every day to create the kind of literary magic that you do. It also takes confidence to respect your work enough to stay with it through edit and submission.
  • ADDRESSING A REAL NEED is at the heart of your talent. Humanity isn’t happy. Everyone is looking for happiness. Everyone is running after it as fast as they can; though no one is quite sure where to find it. Stories, books, novels, movies, comics, graphic novels, television shows and series, etc., ect., – these are the momentary escapes which, no matter how bad the economy is, continue to become more and more popular—and even more so when times are harder on people—because people want escape. People need their temporary escapes from reality to cope with a life that they’re not happy with. You and I are the writers, artists, filmmakers, who dream up and create those escapes.

Our creative talents and abilities create the alternate realities and escapes that fuel the mental vacations keeping the masses from becoming infected with the ‘crazies.’

For me, this is more than enough inspiration to meet my computer every morning over coffee. This is more than enough reason to keep romancing my Muse, to keep faithful with daily edits and rewrites; more than enough reason to keep submitting regardless of the rejections slips and resubmissions. With each published work we share another opportunity to offer hope and momentary relief to our fellow friends and family of humanity.

What inspires you to write?

What inspires you to keep meeting that computer each morning?

What inspires you to honor your heart, respect your purpose, fight for your freedom to be a creator?

I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers to you, Writers!

-Sam

@SamuelWConnelly

www.SamTheWriter.com 

10 Life Saving Rules for Writers

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How many times have you found yourself hunched over your desk, eyes barely open, brain so overloaded from all the things you, ‘have to come up with’ to please some editor you don’t even like writing for, for a paycheck that really wasn’t worth all the time, effort, creativity, and burnt brain cells it took to write it?

As a full-time independent writer, I’ve experienced this on way too many occasions. I know what it’s like to get so stuck in a financial rut that you’re doing everything you can to get those jobs that pay something, but, then you find yourself weeks or moths or—God forbid—years down the road without any real literary work to take pride in; bitter that you have wasted so much of your creative talent; and stuck with what feels like an imagination-drought.

Although it seems impossible to recover after one of these ‘dessert’ moments—and many writers give up on their writing dreams altogether—it is possible to not only revive yourself, but thrive again as a writer. Let me throw you a few literary life-preservers.

10 Life-Saving Rules that saved my literary (possibly mental and physical) life:

  1. Find something every day that makes you laugh a good belly laugh.
  2. Make a point to read daily for pleasure—not work
  3. Write something for yourself once a week
  4. Organize your day so that it includes breaks, a walk, and real food.
  5. Stop when you’re body tells you it needs to stop
  6. Make sleep a priority
  7. Discover a routine that works for you and keep it.
  8. Work diligently towards Someday without sacrificing your relationships Today.
  9. Make time for a hobby
  10.  When it’s time to write, Write!

Be proud that you’re a writer, but don’t make the mistake that some many others have made by getting so overloaded with ‘projects’ and ‘stuff’ that they stop loving life and miss out on everything that is meaningful in the world around them.

Someday is coming, I promise. You will get there. But remember that Someday will be a product of what we do and how we live our lives Today. Like the old saying goes: Practice Makes Perfect. Be careful then what it is that your perfecting, heed what you’re practicing.

Cheers to you!

Sam

10 Writing Tips to Help You Kick Off Your 2015, w/ Advise from Bradbury & Baker

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“I make my films because I have to! I have stories I have to tell and I won’t be satisfied until my movie is done, and out.”  

– Kelley Baker

“...writing is survival. Any art, and good work, of course, is that. Not to write, for many of us, is to die.” – Ray Bradbury

Ok so we’re already seven days into 2015 and between your routines of trying to lose 25 pounds, attempting to stay warm, creating a new habit of writing ‘2015’ on your checks and homework (because you really didn’t even get use to writing ‘2014’), and already making amendments to your ‘new year resolution daily planner’, you’re a writer and you’ve determined to be that. So I want to offer you a few tips to help kick your new year into full gear.

Let’s face it, the beginning of the year is one of the best times to kick yourself into gear and start training yourself to cultivate new and better habits. Why? Because our minds are already in this ‘new year, new me, new life, new choices’ kinda thinking. Why not use the time to examine ourselves: get rid of old habits that are not working and start some new ones that just might.

With ‘new year habits’ in mind, I’m going to break this list into 10 habits: 1 – 5 are HABITS TO STOP and  6 -10 are HABITS TO START, maintain or re-cultivate.

I enlisted two amazing experts to help with these 10 Tips: The legendary Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing’, and The Angry Filmmaker, Mr. Kelley Baker,The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide, Part 1: Making The Extreme No-Budget Film.’

This is a longer post than usual so lets jump right in…

Tip 1: NO EXCUSES

“I never waste my time lecturing people who claim they ‘used to write.’ You either write or you don’t”. – Kelley Baker

Truth is truth: To be a writer you have to write. No more excuses for not writing. It takes work to sit down, and writing is not for everyone. It’s for writers. If you’re not a writer and won’t find time to write, then stop telling people that you’re a writer. If you are a writer, then by nature you must write. You have to make it happen. As the old saying goes: ‘Where there’s a will there a way’. Find it.

Tip 2: NO DISTRACTIONS

To be a writer you have to write. You cannot write if you’re allowing yourself to be distracted. Netflix is one of my big distractions. I love having sound in the background as I write so, I turn on some movie to play and before I know it I’m fully enthralled in the show, having wasted all my writing time. I had to realize the problem and put a stop to it. Now I turn on Pandora, the music works to my creative advantage.   

What distracts you? Is it music, friends, your local coffeehouse, social media — do you have to check your Facebook and Twitter feed every hour? Social media can be great but they’ve been the reason many writers never finish their WIP (Work In Progress). Many writers let their ideas waste away in their minds, or leave them locked away in a first draft in some desk drawer or filing cabinet  for years, because they allow distractions to take all their time. It’s time to turn the TV, radio, social notifications and text messaging OFF. And WRITE.

Tip 3: NO FIRST DRAFT EDITS

This is a really hard rule to follow, but it’s important. Allowing yourself to look at the screen and see the red underlining from autocorrect will not only slow you down but it becomes a serious distraction that’ll pull you out of your creative flow; this is the most important element to capture in your first draft. Creative flow: Passion, and firestorms, and literary hurricanes. The first draft is for explosions.

Ray puts it like this:

“Tomorrow, pour cold critical water upon the simmering coals. Time enough to think and cut and rewrite tomorrow. But today–explode –fly apart– disintegrate! the other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, reading your story, will catch fire too?”

Tip 4: DON’T WRITE WITH PUBLICATION IN MIND

To be a writer you have to write. Putting this limitation on yourself is a sure fire way to extinguish the creative passion-flames that your Muse desires to help you consume those blank white pages with. The biggest ball and chain we writers weigh ourselves down with is writing for publication alone. Not only is it impossible to stay on top of what sells today, but writing for publication alone keeps you from exploring what’s in you, what you have gathered over your life; trading it for a short-lived space on the ‘Today’s Trending Reads’ shelf. Which is nearly impossible to get on anyways. Don’t sell yourself short by writing only to sell.

“Do not, for money, turn away from all the stuff you have collected in a lifetime. Do not, for the vanity of intellectual publications, turn away from what you are — the material within you which makes you individual, and therefore indispensable to others.” – Ray Bradbury

“I don’t believe you write something because you know that it has been tested and it will appeal to a certain group. I know, I am in the minority here. But if you’re going to go to all the trouble to create a story, write it, and rewrite it, again and again, then you should be passionate about it! Don’t do it because of a marketing survey!” – Kelley Baker

I don’t know about you, but if being in the minority puts me in the company of guys like Ray and Kelley, the minority sounds like a pretty freakin awesome place to be. Count me in!

Tip 5: TALKING ABOUT IT ISN’T WRITING

To be a writer you have to write. It’s way too easy to get caught in a coffeehouse or Barnes & Noble sipping on coffee with your laptop or ipad in front of you with the best ‘intentions’, but lets be honest: how many times do you end up hooking up with friends and telling them about what you’re gonna write, and by the time you leave the place, you had a great chat with your friend and not a paragraph to show for it?

I’ve been caught in this situation too many times and, I just about fell out of my chair when Kelley basically called me out — from his book — while in my favorite coffeehouse trying to write, read, and chat it up. Multitasking has NO PLACE at the writer’s first draft desk. Here’s the words the Angry Filmmaker used to pimp-smack me straight out of his book;  

“Talking about your great script idea is not going to get it written. You can sit in all the coffee shops and cafes you want and tell everyone about your movie, but until you sit down and write it, your idea doesn’t mean squat. You’re a poser.”

Tip 6: READ TONS

If you hate to read you’ll never be an effective writer. We learn our craft, learn about ourselves, learn writing styles, and learn the meaning of literary flow, or as I call it ‘read-ability’, as we glean from those who have paved the literary pathways before us with the yellow-brick-road of a billion stories, upon which we travel.

“Books! that’s what I’m afraid you’re going to have to start reading. that’s right, books. They’re not evil, and they won’t bite. They can actually teach you something. Like storytelling. Storytelling, what a concept…I just don’t get people who don’t like to read.”  – Kelley Baker

Tip 7: WRITE DAILY

To be a writer you have to write. Let’s go back to the Angry Filmmaker, Kelley Baker, for this point because he ‘gets’ it. He not only understands the importance of creating the daily habit as an exercise as Bradbury mentions in the quote below, Baker also shares the simple, practical and effective side of writing daily. Even if that means sitting in front of the computer screen for an hour or writing one page and calling it success.

A screenplay doesn’t write itself. You need to sit down, clear your desk and your mind. Then start writing. It takes commitment. Personally, I make myself sit down every day to write. I psych myself out. I only have to write a single page, then I can stop. And why not? If I just write a page a day, then in less than four months, I have a screenplay. How easy is that? …”

And Baker’s money quote…

“Sitting down to write is not rocket science. If it’s a habit, and you set up the same time every day or every other day to do it, then you feel bad when you don’t. So you do it. Simple, right? Make writing a habit!”

Bradbury reminds us of how important this daily habit is as well,

“The smallest effort to win means, at the end of each day, a sort of victory. Remember that pianist who said that if he did not practice every day he would notice, if he did not practice for two days, the critics would would, after three days, his audience would know.”

Tip 8: WRITE FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, YOUR SANITY

I’ll let Ray take this one…

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you…The horrors are not to be denied. In my own circle , an aunt, and uncle, and a cousin, as well as six friends, have been destroyed by the car. The list is endless and crushing if we do not creatively oppose it. Which means writing as cure. Not completely, of course. You never get over your parents in the hospital or your best love in the grave. I won’t won’t use the word “therapy,” it’s too clean, too sterile a word. I only say when death slows others, you must leap to set up your diving board and dive head first into your typewriter.”  

Tip 9: The Angry Filmmaker’s ‘3-Easy-Steps for Writing a Screenplay’

I hate giving away too much, but I believe that the Angry Filmmaker wouldn’t mind me sharing his  ‘3-Easy-Steps for Writing a Screenplay’ and they are brilliant. Perfect for ALL writers of ALL experience levels.

Step 1. Put Your Butt In The Chair!

Step 2. Put Your Butt In The Chair!

Step 3. Put Your Butt In The Chair!

[ NOTE: These 3-Steps are from ‘The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Chapter 2 ‘Scripting, Scripting, and more Scripting’. This is one of the highest recommended reads I could ever encourage any writer to eat up. It’s a 6-course steak dinner. Get it, read it, devour it, read it again. Then repeat the process until it’s apart of you.]   

Tip 10: WRITE BECAUSE YOU MUST

To be a writer you have to write.

“I make my films because I have to! I have stories I have to tell and I won’t be satisfied until my movie is done, and out.”  – Kelley Baker

“…writing is survival. Any art, and good work, of course, is that. Not to write, for many of us, is to die.” – Ray Bradbury

Final Thought:

I plan to go for the Gusto in 2015. Hold nothing back. Give my best. Write more than ever before. Get to know myself better. Write never before ‘as a man on fire’. I want to encourage you to do the same. If you’re a writer, WRITE! Examine yourself and discover those habits that hold you back as well as those habits you want to maintain and cultivate. Begin new habits. Find time to be productive, to cultivate YOU the Writer!

-Cheers

SamTheWriter

Featured Quotes:

This post’s featured quotes come from books by Ray Bradbury and Kelley Baker. Both books mentioned below I highly recommend. If I had the money I would honestly buy a copy for anyone seeking to be a better writer. There’s thousands of books out there that are marketed as ‘Writer Help Resources’ that end up being a watered down writer’s devotional, but no meat, no practical application advice.

Bradbury’s ‘Zen in the Art of Writing’ is full of amazing essays that truly get you into the mind of one of the greatest writers to ever live. Get a copy at Amazon.

Baker’s ‘The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guides Parts 1 & 2‘ are exactly what they’re branded: survival guides. In my opinion these guides are ‘The Survival Guides’ and could honestly replace almost every ‘Writer’s Help’ book in my library — had I known when they were first published I would have saved hundreds of dollars.

Get your copies NOW at the AngryFilmmaker.com. Let him know that SamTheWriter recommended you.

 CHECK OUT ALL MY LATEST POSTS AT SAMTHEWRITER.COM 

Don’t Miss The Magic!!!

Go ahead, make a wish. Do your best not to pass up this opportunity

Magic, for me, it’s the biggest and possibly most important part about the writing life. You create characters, events, towns, worlds, and moments. What is more magical than that. Recently one of my micro-fiction stories were published in an inspirational anthology. The story is called ‘The Mystery of the Artist‘, and I wrote it as part of a writing-prompt competition.

The short, is about the tree used to make the cross that Jesus was crucified on. The point of view was from the wood’s perspective of what was happening. The tree, wanting to be used for something great, now cut down and laying around, dried lumber. For me there was magic in the idea of this tree and it’s perspective of what was happening with this man, Jesus, and what made him so bad that everyone wanted him dead.

I never really thought much of the maybe 450-600 word short, but to my surprise I received a ton of feedback, and finally a request to publish it in the Best of FaithWriters collection, ‘Hidden In The Hymns’ by Winepress.

The story came from a seemingly insignificant moment. A moment when I was walking a bike path to think about all I had on my plate and how overwhelmed I was. A moment when I had so many writing deadlines that part of me really felt like just taking a huge break from writing.

As I sat there on an old wooden bench, thinking, and listening to the wind blow through the trees I put my head down and was going to just close me eyes when I noticed ‘J+C’ carved into the old bench. At first I wondered about who J and C were. Then I began to make up a story about them. In my mind I had created a story of young love and love lost, and how Jason Whitfield would come visit this path every year and sit on this bench and close his eyes and remember the magic lived and loved between him and his now passed on Love, Caroline.

After I wrote a few notes I thought about how amazing it is that an object, like the old wooden bench, being significantly insignificant in the scheme of life, can become a magical escape for someone like Jason, taking him back to earlier beautiful times.

Then I thought about the bench, and the wood, where it came from, and what life it may have had from sprout to tree. Even after its birth and death, it sits here with eternal purpose and meaning. That’s when I thought about the tree that would grow up, be cut down, and used to crucify a carpenter.

That magic gave birth to ‘The Mystery of the Artist’.

I hope that this little blurp is of some encouragement to you writers. Sometimes deadlines, or life, or other circumstances weigh on us and it can be easy to miss the magic that is quite literally all around us.

I want to encourage you to get out and walk around a bit, visit a park, walk a bike path, or sit in the back yard and give yourself the permission to dream a little. Find that magic around you, close your eyes and listen to it whisper in the wind, open you mouth and stick out your tongue and taste it, like falling snow flakes.

You are a writer, a person who creates moments for others. It’s important that you find the magical moments of life, and romance them, experience them, and then pour it out into your creative words so you can share them with the readers. That’s magic. That’s beautiful. That’s real. You did that!

Hope this Moment encourages you.

Write, write, write, and never quite. The world needs you.

-SamTheWriter,

signing off.

The Writer’s Month NaNoWriMo? What’s Your Story?

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THE PROBLEM:

There are planets inside of that head of yours trying as hard as they can to get out. You, are the artist, the creator, the only one that has the ability and power to bring those worlds to life.

The characters that live in your mind have no other way to fulfill their purpose, of living out their destinies, in the realm of two-dimensional pages, unless you put them there.

And here you sit; pen in hand, paper laying ready, ink desperately longing to kiss and make contact with that irresistible white page, and yet, you sit.

A TOOL TO BE USED:

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month). I want to encourage you to take advantage of November. To be able to join writer all over the nation: all ages, all genres, all faiths, all cultures, in the spirit of literary creativity to find that encouragement to push yourself forward in your novel writing endeavors.

Sometimes the help that we need, as writers, is nothing more than the knowledge that we are not alone, and that stories are being written, books are being sold, and readers are being born every single moment.

Men and women will continue to write and be published. The biggest reason that writer’s don’t get published, or books get written is simply because they are not being written. It’s stupidly simple, but painfully true.

NaNoWriMo is a month devoted to help you dive back into that pool of creativity, rediscover your dreams, and find the courage to pick up that pen and write.

You Have A Story to Tell

I was at a #140 Conference today in Hutchinson, Kansas, listening to many amazing people share how they use Twitter and other social medias in their daily lives, (I was there for ideas for another blog I am writing and about to launch, which is super exciting…and I’ll share later) and, Andrea Springer, Springer Coaching and Consulting, said, “Everyone has a story to tell.”

That little statement is so true, and it’s a truth that has filled books, entertained readers, and inspired people to make history since time began.

There are so many that have made a living telling their story or someone else’s story. Why not be one of those people? What really is stopping you?

Here’s the Challenge

One month

50,000 words

Anything you want to write about.

 

Check out the official NaNoWriMo web site and get involved.

This post was not at all crazy informative, with all the How-To tips on accomplishing your writing dreams- it wasn’t supposed to. I want to just encourage you, as a writer to a writer; an artist to an artist: Don’t give up, don’t stop. Don’t listen to that silly little voice that says that no one wants to hear or read your story.

Jump in, because you’re a writer. That’s what you are, that’s what you do, you write, you create, you make amazing art; people, places, creatures, planets, and no one, NO ONE, can bring to life the story, with the magic that you can, because it’s yours.

So come on, join me, and many many others on this November Adventure. Go to NaNoWriMo, sign in (you can find me in there too and we can be buddies Smile sweet!) and write, write, write.

…you never know what may happen.

SamTheWriter,

Signing off.

 

You can also follow me on Twitter @samuelwconnelly

or friend me on Facebook/samuelwconnelly

Gadgets and the Pen and the Dance

There are several amazing gadgets out there for getting all your notes and writing ideas quickly recorded on a cell phone (or some other on-the-go-gadget) and shot off into the electronic unknown universe, where mysterious invisible creatures magically synchronize all of our Blackberry’s, desktops, and laptops. It is amazing, I must admit.

I, personally found a few gadgets I use for everyday notes. My favorite (at the moment) is a free note tool called Evernote. It’s perfect for my Blackberry. I think the IPhone has a similar product called AwesomeNote.

Although these tools are amazing, and yes, even necessary for keeping my planets all organized, I find myself, at this very moment, standing in Office Depot, in front of a million different pens. With a bundle of four, thick 250 sheet, college ruled, spiral notebooks; it seems clear to me that I have already decided that I am going to buy one of these crazy expensive pens.

Why?

There is a power in the pen. There is magic, it seems, in the dance between the hand and the pen, as they grip, embrace, and move gracefully, as one, across the finely pressed paper dance floor.

To me, writing is both business and passion. Sometimes I get so caught up in the business and the stress of getting paid for my art, that I can forget the passion and the magic, that romanced me in the first place and caused me to fall in love with the art.

The gadgets are good for the business, but the gadgets do not bring the romance that the pen brings. The magic for my readers should be in the end product, but the magic for me (as the writer) is in the lovemaking process which comes in the dance. The dance happens after the bones have been laid down and before the editing happens, the dance happens when I grab a pad and pen and look over the bones (my ideas) and then let my passion set my mind, and paper ablaze as the hand and the pen romance the paper dance floor.

The business of writing is always calling. As writers, it is always nice to have the freedom to wake up, get some coffee, and produce a day’s worth of writing from home, or a hotel, in our underwear, but the truth is: The business never stops calling.You can write and romance the thought of being where you want, when you want, but for the real professional writer, it is a life of constant deadlines, mental breakdown in the creativity room, and the struggle to keep a healthy flow of story ideas.

This is where it is good to have the gadgets. Think, type onto your phone, press send, and you have it.

Yet remember the romance. Remember that the dance floor is always ready and wanting the dance. Remember that the pen, as our patient loving dance partner is always longing for her dance mate, and the Muse, our other-world creative lover, is constantly reaching her tender hand out to us, bidding us: Come.

I could have saved you the last minute of reading by summarizing this idea as a ‘Business of Writing How-To’, but I was in the mood to dance.

It is a business

It is a passion

We are the Writer’s

Write, Write, Write!

Signing off,

SamtheWriter

PS

Oddly enough, I was very passionate about this as I walked around at Office Depo, so this post was writing and submitted from my Blackberry Curve. 🙂 silly little gadget.