Thursday, November 24, 2011

We blog because...

 "Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since
no one was listening, everything must be said again.
    Andre Gide

Thanks to Jan Phillips, visionary thought leader, for sharing this quote, along with her MuseLetter this morning.

Jan is the author of Marry Your Muse, one of my all-time favorite books.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks for Brain Food for Writers

Thanks to Writer's Relief for these brain food suggestions for your holiday weekend. Thanksgiving is a perfect time for inspiration, with time away from the computer, family fun, comfort food and holiday memories. So eat well, tell stories, and listen ... the inspiration for your next essay or article might be passed around the table.

We all know certain foods contribute positively to your physical health, and some foods contribute positively (in inches) to your waistline. But did you know that some foods can support brain function—and maybe even make you a better writer?
You might even see some of them on the table this Thanksgiving!

Antioxidants, like those found in fruits and vegetables, offer disease- and age-fighting power to keep your creative impulses firing at top speed. Blueberries are said to be especially powerful.

Omega-3 fatty acids (from fish oil and flax) are said to boost your brain’s gray matter. That’s like building muscle in your mind. Prepare to do some heavy mental lifting…or just impress people with your mental calisthenics.

Choline is a nutrient found in egg yolk or milk that can help ward off senility. Choline also keeps your memory going strong, so you can actually remember whether your character was wearing a red shirt twenty pages ago or a blue one!

Folic acid: One study found that adults taking regular folic acid supplements demonstrated better cognitive function, especially in memory and critical thinking. So if you’re really having trouble getting past a problematic plot point, it may be time to supplement!

Chocolate lovers rejoice! According to WebMD: “A study by food scientists found that the antioxidant concentration in a cup of hot cocoa was higher than that found in either red wine or green tea.” Of course, getting your antioxidants from veggies (sans whipped cream, fat, and added sugar) may be a better bet. But next time your spouse gives you “that look” for drinking hot chocolate, you can say “I’m doing it for my brain!”

Green tea is good for your brain. People who drink green tea regularly fare better mentally when it comes to aging. This is happy news for writers—especially if you’re the type who stays up into the wee hours working on a manuscript; your green tea can multitask by keeping you both awake AND young! Plus, moderate amounts of caffeine are said to boost concentration as long as you don’t overdo it.

There's lots more. Read full article here:  Brain Foods for Creative Writer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Write today - it's a writer's holiday

Today is I Love to Write Day.
I never heard of this holiday until I saw it on this morning.

In fact, it is the 10th anniversary of the event - so write something for yourself, and then read more about the history of the event here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The true steps to self-pub success detailed here

Jane Friedman, as many of you know, continues to evolve after her long career with Writer's Digest. 
In one of her blog posts she advises a writer about whether to update a book with the current publisher, or because of her following, issue it on her own, for far greater royalties on sales.

Read the full piece here if you wish, but note these salient points made by Jane. These illustrate exactly what you need for publishing success, especially if you plan to self-publish:

  • A strong e-mail list with a good open rate (25%+)
  • Well-established social media network that can help spread word of mouth
  • The right contacts to help place guest articles/posts on the right sites/blogs that target the book’s target audience
  • An existing website that can be quickly adjusted on the fly to focus on the re-release
  • A nice backlog of content connected to the book—or re-purposed from the book—that can be excerpted across sites/blogs interested in your work
  • Resources to hire a good publicist for the first 3 months of relaunch
  • Resources to hire a good cover designer
I know you’re business savvy enough to do this on your own and earn quite a bit of money doing it. The big questions for me would be:
  1. Do you have the time & energy to spend on it?
  2. Do you have the resources to hire help as needed?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Memoir - Essay contest

So if NANOWRIMO doesn't suit your style, how about a fabulous Essay - Memoir contest? This is sponsored by The Writer  magazine and Gotham Writer's Workshop. 
Here are the details.

Entry fee is just $10 and the judge is Lee Gutkind, founder and editor of Creative Non-Fiction.  Ready???

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NANOWRIMO launches today

Today is the beginning of National Novel Writers Month. If you're new to the concept of NANOWRIMO, a gigantic month of speed writing, visit and you’ll see this is for real. A month dedicated to starting or working on an existing writing project. It doesn’t have to be a novel, but a commitment to write every day for the month of November.

By signing up (free) at NANOWRIMO, you’ll be able to log in daily and track the words you’ve written. The goal, of course, is to write a draft of a novel in 30 days, approximately 50,000 words. Think its impossible? You’re wrong. And the motivation is nearly irresistible. You’re accountable only to yourself, and by logging in to track your words, you are setting a goal for yourself to at least try to write every day for the whole month.  You write on your own computer, not online, so your work stays private.
Thousands of participants have enjoyed this worldwide event, making it great fun. Sign up, log in when you write, and the system tracks your word count toward your goal.

So if you need a kick in the keyboard, get going. This is your month to make a difference.