Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8 Deadly Demons for a Writer... #2 Fear

Yesterday I started a short series about overcoming some of the inner demons that get in the way of writing or any goals in life. Here's a recap of that post.

So let's jump right in with Deadly Demon #2... FEAR

Fear - a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. (*as defined by Dictionary.com)

Out of the 8 Deadly Demons fear is one of the biggest. Think of a tall tree that looms high above while most of it's mass is firmly rooted beneath the surface. Like these roots, most fears are out of sight, but still powerful. People have been trying to battle fear forever. Leaders, poets, writers and many others have given us weapons in the form of words and actions meant to empower and encourage.

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” The famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt encouraged a nation to stand up and take an active part in ending the depression. More of his 1st Inaugural Address can be found here: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/ .

But even with all that history and inspiration fear still rears it's ugly head. So, how do we stop it from interfering with our goals? We don't.

Fear is a natural reaction; a built in safety feature to ensure our survival. In small amounts it can be a great motivator, but when fear gets too big it can be crippling. Finding the right balance with fear is the only way to tame the beast so we can get back to creating. Easily said, right? Now let's do it.

First you have to list the fears that are getting in your way. Decide if they're real or imagined, and then find a way make each one less scary. Ok, here I go.

Fears as a writer...
  1. People won't like my book

  2. Publishers/agents won't like my writing

  3. I won't like my book when it's done

  4. Everyone will love my book and my entire life will change

  5. My kids will spill something on my keyboard, sticking the caps lock key, and I will write an entire book screaming.

Ok, so now I look at my list and decide what is real and imagined. Obviously #5 is not going to happen. (at least it better not...kids, you here me? Keep your stickies away.) I joke but we all have some irrational fears and it does help to write them down. Sometimes just seeing them on paper makes them a little less intimidating.

#1 & 2 are fears I can overcome by rationalizing. I think all writers fear rejection, whether it's a negative review or the 'no thanks' from an agent or editor. As much as I fear it, I know they are a natural part of the process. I take comfort in the fact that many famous authors have their own rejection scars.

#3 is more complicated. It is a fear that, at the end of it all, I will think my book sucks. But before I toss it in the closet or the fireplace I have to be sure that another demon (Self Doubt) hasn't disguised itself as fear. For anyone with a tough inner critic, this can be a common mistake if not an excuse to stop. So, until I deal with the self doubt demon I can't be sure how to deal with this one.

#4 may not sound like a fear to some. One of a writer's goals is to be published and to have their work read and loved by the masses. But with the recognition comes a new fear; of the unknown. What if my book is loved, I land a great agent, and a big publisher offers a contract? What happens then? How much will my life change?

Don't get me wrong, being published again is my goal. My first book, The Truth Lies in the Dark was contracted by a small publisher, so things have been happening slowly; which means not so many changes in my life. I think of this book as a great learning experience. I wrote it knowing nothing about the publishing world. I am proud to have come this far with it, but still feel like I am only at the base of the publishing mountain. It's scary not knowing what's next.

Another part of this fear is whether my family is ready for what may be next. I am a mom first and foremost, and have always been there for my family. Any work outside of the home I have done revolved around them. When they were young I worked as a preschool teacher at a neighborhood community center and as they grew I became a substitute teacher in our town's elementary schools. Writing is the first time consuming work I have done that is just for me. So, there is a fear of change for my family as well that I can't ignore. This is the point where fear starts to grow fangs and transform into another demon, Guilt. This is a now a whole new battle for another day.

Ok, we're almost there now. We have hopefully squished down our big bad fears so that they are not a deadly demon, but more like a Chiwawa with an occasional bad attitude. Just enough bite to keep us moving toward our goals, not running away.

There is one more thing to do to keep fear from bubbling right back up again. Set a reasonable mini goal that can be met today. Prove to yourself that you really did concur your fears. For me it is to to read and edit 2 chapters of my WIP. What will you do?

Writing this out was a very helpful exercise for me. I hope it helped you too. If you want to share your fears or comment on mine I would love to hear from you.


~ Kristin : )

8 Deadly Demons of a Writer

I've been slacking when it comes to my blog lately. I took a break to work on my WIP, which is so close yet so far from being finished. I seem to have hit a wall. Not with the story; I know where that's going. Not with the characters; I love them too. My wall is inside of me. At first I blamed outside forces for my inability to sit down and write. With a large family, both in my home and our extended families, there is always something going on. Always someone who needs a ride, a helping hand, or even a shoulder to cry on. I have no problem being there for them. Of course, not every call is an emergency and if I told them I was busy once in a while they would completely understand. So, I can't blame them, right?

I have been wrestling with finishing this story for a while. I have rewritten it a few times; really trimmed out a lot of fat from it. When I do make myself sit down and write I fall in love again with Brad, Jessica, and even have softened up on Diana. But as soon as I get up to do something else it's so hard to get back to it.

I have been trying to figure it out. Asking myself all the questions I imagine every writer does. Is this story so hard to finish because it's crap? Should I toss the whole thing in the fireplace and start something new?

I always come back with the same answer for myself. If I accept that this is crap and toss it in the fire I will always allow myself to do that when I face a writing challenge. So, now I have to figure out why I am having such a hard time. What's holding me back? What are my inner demons that get in the way of writing. I came up with 7 (well 8 actually, but 7 that I have to overcome). Here there are in no particular order. I will list them today and then spend the next week or so battling them , one by one.

8 Deadly Demons of a Writer

1. Plagiarism - the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.* This is the one demon I don't worry about, but felt that I couldn't list deadly demons of a writer without at least tossing this ugly beast into the mix.

2. Fear - a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.*

3. Guilt - a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.*

4. Self Doubt -lack of confidence in the reliability of one's own motives, personality, thought, etc.*

5. Procrastination - to defer action; delay: to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost. *

6. Overwhelming - to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything *

7. Quitting - to stop, cease, or discontinue; to stop trying, struggling, or the like; accept or acknowledge defeat.*

8. Self Sabotage - any underhand interference with production, work, etc. *

Over the next week or so I will talk about how these 7 demons affect my writing. Like I said, #1 Demon: Plagiarism is pretty easy to battle; you just avoid it. If you feel it is creeping up on you, keep it bay with something as simple as an asterisk (*) followed by a footnote like this...

*All definitions used above came from Dictionary.com, a service of Ask.com.

It may not be accepted APA or MLA styles of citing material but it tells the reader: this is where I found the info. You can find it there too. In other words, it does the trick.

This is a personal battle for me, but I hope that you come along. If you are dealing with similar demons in your writing, or any aspect of life, leave a comment. If you feel I have missed some important demons please tell me and I will talk about them too.


Kristin : )

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Twistory: What's Yours?

What's a Twistory? It's a silly or twisted story in 140 characters or less. There's a lot of flash fiction contests going on around Twitter these days, so I figured why not do something similar. There are no winners or losers, just write a brief story that will make people laugh, cry, or think WT?? Kind of like a writing exercise but smaller. Join in and I'll ReTweet your Twistory on my Twitter account.

Here's my Twistory...

Pilot writes special message across sky: MARRY ME JANE! Plane sputters & crashes. Jane arrested 4 cutting fuel line.

Can't think of a Twistory? Try a Twitter version of a classified ad. Twittified Ad :)

WANTED: body double for live reality type Sit/Com. Housework exp. a must. Long hrs. Low pay.

Leave your Twistory or Twittified Ad in the comment box and I'll share them. Remember they have to be under 140 characters (spaces included)

Have Fun!

Kristin : )

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Monday Again! New Week...New Happenings!

It's Monday again. I haven't taken the time to chat about what's going lately, so here goes.

I've been busy planning some events for the next few months. It is looking like a very exciting Fall for my and my book. Before I share my up coming plans, I know there are some of you who are curious about my movie news. I am too. I haven't heard anything yet, but my fingers are crossed and my hopes are high. If I don't hear anything by October I will look into the progress through email. I will keep you posted. Some more potential movie related good news is I might have my book included in celebrity swag bags for events planned around the Oscar Awards in March.

Yup, you heard right, the OSCARS! A VP of a Media group that specializes in these events found my book and wanted to include it in Swag bags they were giving out at an event for the Primetime Emmy Awards this coming weekend. I had to decline. It was too soon to prepare for and honestly a little expensive, between the cost of books to send and the inclusion fee. I was honest in my response and was contacted again to be included in their events for the Oscar Awards. I am honored and seriously considering doing it. More on this later, now it's on to what's coming soon.


This past weekend my book went to the Florida Heritage Book Festival with my publisher, BlueWater Press, LLC. (http://www.bluewaterpress.com/)


More copies are going out this week to be included in the Orange County Children's Book Festival in California on October 4, 2009. They will be displayed on the Authors Den booth and featured on their website. The festival is for children but is open to adult books too, which makes sense because who brings the children? The parents, right? More information can be found here:
* If you are a member of Authors Den and want to have your book included contact me and I will send you information and links about this. You need to act fast though. All books must be received by September 30, 2009.


In November I have 2 events planned that I get to travel to with my books. YEAH!! I was starting to get jealous ;)

November 13th: I am participating in a Murder Mystery at Zorvino Vineyards in New Hampshire. I am still getting the details on this, since I just agreed to it this morning. But here's what I've got so far. It sounds like a lot of fun.


November 14th: I have a table and will be signing copies of my book at the Somerville Writer's Festival in Somerville, MA.


That's what I've been up to, along with doing some on line interviews and guest posts at other author's blogs. Well that's the promotional stuff anyway. My writing schedule has been just as busy.

I have finished the bulk of my rewrite on my contemporary romance. Painstakingly cut 25 pages of writing. OUCH! It was needed but it hurt to see all those words disappear with one tap of the delete key. It was actually a lot of taps and very little was completely deleted, it was cut and pasted to a new document to be deleted when the story is finished. There was a lot of good stuff that just didn't fit into the rewrite for whatever reason, but some might find it's way back in to the final product. Now I am going back to the beginning to reread and polish.

I am also working on a short story that I am considering submitting to Writer's Digest 'Show Us Your Shorts' contest. It's an idea I've been thinking about for a while and it honors my grandmother, who passed away 5 years ago. She has influenced my life in countless ways, so writing this for her means a lot to me. Whatever the outcome, I will share it with everyone soon.

That about wraps up what I've been up to. Hopefully, I will have more news to share. In the mean time, thanks for stopping by.

Kristin : )

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Resource for Authors & Publishers

Today I have a new on line resource for authors and/or publishers. It's easy to use, gets word out about your books, and best of all... it's FREE! If you haven't heard of fReado.com you have to go check it out. fReado.com uses BookBuzzr to display and allow readers a look inside books.

Here's how it works:

Easy to Use:
It walks authors or publishers through a simple uploading process. You can offer a portion of your book for readers to sample, or your entire book if you want.

Gets Word Out:
This is a fairly new website and it's creators are doing a really good and extensive job of promoting itself and it's authors.

It's FREE!
Yeah, you heard right. It's free. All you have to do is put your time into setting up your BookBuzzr widget and then do your part in directing others to it.

This is my part :)


Follow the link. Take a quick look at my information and then get started on your own.

Good Luck & Happy Sales to all!

~Kristin : )

Monday, September 7, 2009

Come with me to yesterday : )

A day late with this post... but better late than never, right? I should have posted about my latest blog visit with author Denise Robbins. But as you know, life gets hectic and we don't get to everything we want to. On those days we are happy to accomplish what we need to, and hope the rest can wait.

Denise read The Truth Lies in the Dark for her Book-A-Week Challenge and then interviewed me for her blog. This interview was posted yesterday (Sunday, Sept. 6th). It was a lot of fun. I hope you get the chance to stop by and read it. If you do, please leave a comment or question for me and I will respond.



Kristin : )

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Playing *a Little Blog Tag

Recently I was tagged by a fellow writer and blogger, Nick Daws. I met Nick (online) earlier this year when I started promoting my book, The Truth Lies in the Dark. His was one of the first blogs to have me as a guest for my Book Blog Tour in March. I have since become a member of his writing blog ( http://www.mywritingblog.com/ ) and receive helpful updates filled with advice and tips. Through him I also learned about another great resource for writers http://www.mywriterscircle.com/ Stop by and check it out. There is something for everyone no matter what you write.

When Nick tagged me I was honored and of course more than willing to be a part. So, what does getting tagged mean? It is a way to share *a little about yourself and connect with other writers/bloggers. The best part about this is it's not just for published authors. This is for anyone who picks up a pen or pulls up to a keyboard to bring their thoughts and ideas to life and then is brave enough to share them with the world. More details and Nick's post can be found here:


I chose only a few of the questions to answer. I am trying to keep my posts * a little shorter and reader friendly. I know how busy we all are and appreciate the time you take to stop by.

Ok, here goes...

1. Which words do you use too much in your writing?

I try to cut out any words that I think are repeated too often in my writing. Most often cut are these: just or just about, had or had been, little (* I went back and crossed out 3 of these in this post alone).

2. Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

he said, she said alternatives. He/she spoke, orated, stated. I try to avoid fancy ways to say he said or she said, unless it helps clarify the characters tone of voice or mood. He mumbled under his breath or she screamed loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear.

3. What are your other favorite blogs?

There are so many blogs out there and through Twitter I find more everyday. Here are some of my favorites.

http://www.mywritingblog.com/ -A writer's blog by Nick Daws

http://www.bookmarket.com/ -A promotion/marketing blog by John Kremer

http://somethingshewrote.blogspot.com/ -An inspirational blog by Janna Qualman

http://houseofnosleep.blogspot.com/ -Hysterical blog by Cammie the Wine Queen

http://jackwregan.blogspot.com/ -Follow the Ramblings of this funny YA writer

http://misterreereeder.blogspot.com/ -A mystery reviewer who also dabbles in writing

http://deniserobbins.blogspot.com/ -Author blog & friend to writers everywhere

4. Name three favorite words * these are subject to change depending on day & mood :)

happy, vacation, fluffernutter (peanut butter & fluff sandwich...yum)

5. ...And three words you're not so keen on *so are these, except rejection :)

rejection, uber(anything), douche bag (sorry... but this had a VERY different definition when I was a kid & now it's thrown around like idiot or jerk) On the other hand douchebaggery (yes, it's a real accepted word) is plain funny.

6. What would you like to improve about your writing and/or blog?

In my writing, I would like to be more focused on finishing one story at a time. I have a hard time fighting the urge to hop to the next idea that screams out. I have learned to control it better, but I still have to work on it.

As far as my blog, I want to learn some of the tricks I see on other blogs. Like linking to a previous blog or another website without having to show the whole address. I have tried it many times and can't get it to work. If someone can give me a quick lesson I would appreciate it.

That's my part. Now it's your turn. I tag the following writers/bloggers.

Janna Qualman

Jack W. Regan

Denise Robbins


Blog Tag, You're It... Janna, Jack, Denise, and misterreereeder. Can't wait to see what questions you choose and what your answers are. Have fun!

Kristin : )