Advice for Writers

writing notes

I have always had a passion for writing.  As a child I loved telling stories to my friends and writing scripts for plays that my friends would act out at recess.  It was not until my early thirties that I felt that my dreams could become a reality.  I didn’t know any professional writers and none of my friends or family shared my passion.  Without any role models, I felt that becoming a writer was just a dream and would never become a reality.  I didn’t know what to do other than scribble away in my notebooks and share my writing very few people.  My lack of knowledge about the publishing world and becoming a published writer did not stop me from writing, but I longed to see my words in the hands of other people.  I wanted to share with the world what makes me so happy.

In 2008, I answered an ad by a local publication for freelance writers.  That became my first published article.  It didn’t pay very much, but it was a start.  This gave me so much confidence.  It is surprising how something that seemed so small had a tremendous effect on my writing career.  The few articles I wrote for this local publication did not catapult me to international stardom, but it proved to me that someone actually wants to read what I have to say.  What had been holding me back was my lack of confidence.  I had to put my writing in the hands of other people.

After writing those articles, I had a renewed outlook on my writing.  I began writing consistently every day.  I joined a writers’ group with other published authors.  This writers’ group exposed me to a lot of things that I needed to know about the publishing industry.  I was the only person in the group that had not written a book.  The group was very helpful as they had been through the process  and gave me very good advice.

Here are some things that I hope will helpful to those who are seeking a writing career:

  • Write.  To be a writer all you have to do is write.  I called myself a writer long before I published anything.  Get to know the feeling of it and own it.  Write consistently.  Get  something on paper everyday.  Practice writing short stories.  Use the endless supply of writing prompts if you are feeling stuck.
  • Share your work.  This was the most helpful thing to me.  We all need criticism and guidance.  It would be useful to start or join a writers’ group or take a workshop or class.
  • Connect with other writers.  This is very important.  Not being exposed to other writers was the one thing that had falsely convinced me that I could not be a writer.  We exist.  We may not all be international bestsellers (yet), but meeting other writers will inspire you to be diligent.
  • Subscribe to some writing magazines or journals.  Two of my favorites are Poets and Writers and Writer’s Digest.  They both have great articles and resources.  You can find information on MFA programs, contests, and tons of other useful information.

I would encourage all new writers or those who are seeking a career in writing to find out all you can about writing and the publishing industry.  In addition to the tips, it would be in any writer’s best interest to read voraciously.  In reading you can learn much about writing and it will also inspire you to craft your own ideas.

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Good Stuff: Chia Seeds

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One of my favorite cleansing foods are chia seeds.  I love the nutty flavor of them and I especially love the health benefits.  Not only are they delicious, they expand up to 10 times their size and form a bulky gel that gives you that feeling of fullness.  This could be very helpful to those of us who are looking for a way to feel fuller faster.  Like many gelatinous foods, chia seeds bind to the bad things in your digestive tract and escorts them right out of your body.  What I love most about them is how convenient they are.  Here are some ways you can use them:

 

  • Sprinkle them on anything.  I do this a lot.  I toss them in with a salad, add them to a smoothie, or mix them in with yogurt.
  • Chia Shots.  This is something I do when I am in a rush.  I scoop in a teaspoon and a half of chia seeds in a small glass, add water and drink it down.  I then follow with more water and continue to drink water throughout the day.
  • Find a great recipe.  I don’t use many recipes personally, but feel free to click the link for some ideas.

I have also found that chia seeds are a gentle laxative if you are constipated.  Without being too graphic, you will have a normal, but very productive bowel movement after eating chia seeds.  In other words, you will not go running to the bathroom, but when you finally do, you will very satisfied with the results.

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I Did It!: Following your Instincts

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I graduated last week!  I am so happy about that.  It took 20 years to do, but it all happened exactly when it was supposed to.

For a long time I beat myself up for choosing to work after my first year of college and then putting off completing my degree for so many years.  Now I am thankful for the decisions I made.  We can always make the best out of life’s situations.  I have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people of all ages and backgrounds.  I truly appreciate the value of an education so much more now that I am older.  I have a much better understanding of my purpose in life.  At this age, I am able to focus my attention on my personal goals and aspirations.  I trust my instincts rather than following the path that is expected of me.  My instincts have never guided me in the wrong direction.

Although I have graduated, I am still learning.  I still write papers and read books.  I just can’t help it.  I have just started T. D. Jakes’ book Instinct.  I really love it.  In this book it confirms what I have only recently taken advantage of.  Proper use of your instincts are the key to having a successful and fulfilling life. We all can take advantage of this gift.  Here are some ways to do so:

  • What are you drawn to?  I have always been attracted to the beautiful things.  Now what is beautiful to me is sometimes not conventional, but that is  okay.  I love fashion, interior design, architecture, and all creative arts.  I have been told that I have good fashion sense and I am a HGTV junkie, but I’ve never pursued a career where I could exercise those gifts because I felt I had nothing to offer because I had no formal training.  Now I know that is a bunch of bologna.  My first professional writing job was for a Home and Garden publication.  There is a way for me to follow that instinct.  It may not be as a fashion designer or interior designer (or it could be) but I can put that passion into action in another form.
  • Who do you spend time with?  Oftentimes you are drawn to people who feed your soul.  You may have been instinctively drawn to a person who shared a passion of yours or was actively involved in something that was of interest to you.  It may be because they offered stimulating conversation.  Assess your friendships and acquaintances and decide what it is about them that attracted you.  This may be a key in discovering you true instincts
  • Instincts are not urges. One can easily be tricked into thinking that it is your instincts telling you to eat a whole half gallon of ice cream because you may have a calcium deficiency, but that is not the case.  Normally, your instincts have the potential for permanent satisfaction.  Urges only offer temporary pleasure.

These are just a few ways of learning how to trust your instincts.  I would like to encourage all of us to pay attention to that little voice inside of us.  We owe it to ourselves to figure out our purpose and unlock the key to true happiness and prosperity.

I am looking forward to writing more posts.  Thank you to all of my followers!

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