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Authors: Find a Fun Hobby to Boost Your Writing!

Stepping Stone 001Stepping Stone 004Stepping Stone 006

I painted today.

If you are a serious author and you write, you should paint.

Let me rephrase that.

If you write, you need to find a hobby you can attack when your brain needs a rest from writing.

There is something about engaging that right brain that also engages the left. Since I have begun my painting spree, the words are flowing like water from an open spigot.

A few years ago, when I was trying to find my way as a writer, I read a book by Julia Cameron, called “The Artist’s Way.” I highly recommend this book if you feel frustration in your writing, and you need help unleashing the creative side of yourself. We all have this side, but most people never tap into it their entire lives. If you have always dreamt of being a writer, but were blocked from limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, this book seeks to help you replace them with artistic confidence and productivity.

One of her recommendations is to get into the habit of writing what she aptly calls “Morning Pages.”

In other words, journaling.

Get out the journal first thing in the morning, and let it all hang out.

Write, write, write whatever is clogging up your little head. Write about the little tick you hear in the car, write about having to call your mom, write about feeling depressed or blue. This is what is called stream-of-consciousness writing. You are head dumping onto the page to clear out your mind for your more productive writing time. This was a totally new concept to me.

Not edit as I write? Shocking! 

I am a bug-a-boo about grammar and perfection.

You are not to worry about re-reading, or editing, or correcting. Leave it as is, and don’t even go back and read it right then. If you want to later on, fine. Just don’t do it in that one sitting. I have now been engaging in this practice for years, and I can’t believe how cathartic this process has become for me.

The other recommendation that brought me to the painting table?

An artist’s date.

A date with yourself that you are supposed to set for once a week.

You must honor this date as you would a date with your beloved that you would never consider breaking. You must get yourself out of the house, and go haunt the thrift stores, antique stores, art shows, or whatever. Take yourself someplace you’ve always wanted to go. Go sit on the beach and watch the sunrise or sunset.

Just go.

Writers tend to isolate themselves and sit for way too long (which is another subject for fitness), and we become like bumps on a log. We become stale and stagnant and well, you know what happens there. Our writing gets stale and stinky and we get writer’s block. Get out in the fresh air, treat yourself and don’t you dare not show up!

OK. So back to my painting date with myself.

Am I a master painter like Da Vinci or Dali? No way. I revived this fun little hobby from my youth when I noticed my little cat and dog garden figurines were looking a little shabby. I mentioned it to hubby and he searched high and low (at Walmart) for some multi-colored acrylic paints that I could use to paint to my heart’s content.

My projects began usually first thing in the morning (with coffee in hand, of course) on our wrought iron table out on the patio.

I had so much fun giving both a facelift that I moved on to the faded stepping stone. It needed a good rinsing off under some water, and once dry I got to task in the tropical sunshine, and our faded little stepping stone went from ugh to vrooomm! It is now gracing our garden with its new found beauty. I receive the feeling of satisfaction every time I glance its way—a satisfaction that only comes from knowing it is a job you have completed all by yourself!

Then I got on a tear.

A new thought wriggled its way into my subconscious mind. Hmmm….I can repaint all of the smaller garden decorations the same way–those little daisies and their leaves, the flying bird, spade and bucket and birdhouse. Well, you get the idea. Before you know it, I had repainted every last one of them. Hubby sprayed them with an acrylic to seal them and keep them looking pretty.

Now I’ve run out of things to paint.

Before I start on the furniture inside the house, I believe I will make a trip to Hobby Lobby to see what I can beautify for my Christmas presents and then I will go write some more!

Leave a comment and let me know what your hobbies are. Do you feel they help you to be a better writer?

PenelopeBTR2tiny
Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where “Independent Authors are introduced to the World!”
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.

 

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Ghost Novel: Day 4 | How to Incorporate Writing into Your Day

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Dean Wesley Smith – The writing of Dean Wesley Smith

Penelope‘s insight:
 

Now it’s been four days of writing for Dean Wesley Smith, and he has written 22,418 words. I am checking in with Day 4 to see if human nature will take over and he will take it a bit easy–since he has written a novella already! 

Of course, he was hired by a New York publisher to do this, so we could argue that he had a goal to get it done–maybe this is a lesson for us?

He hasn’t written one word by 5 p.m., so could I be right? By 7 p.m. he had manage to write 1,800 words in between answering e-mail and comments. He took a nap, and then managed another 1,000 by 9:30 p.m. He had a lot of “other” stuff he was working on this day, but by the end of the day, he had still racked up an impressive 5,070 words! Grand total now? 27,488!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and Day 4: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=8967

 

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Ghost Novel: Day 3 | How to Incorporate Writing into Your Day

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Dean Wesley Smith – The writing of Dean Wesley Smith

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Day 3 shares more insights into what it’s like in DWS’s world of writing over 7,000 words per day. He seems to be on a writing pace of about 1,000 words in one hour.

In two days, he has typed 15,359 words into the computer. Day 3’s total? 7,059 words, for a grand total of 22,418 words!

Even if we typed half of this each day, we’d have a small novella finished in a week!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and Day 3: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=8955

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Ghost Novel:Day 2 | How to Incorporate Writing into Your Day

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Dean Wesley Smith – The writing of Dean Wesley Smith

Penelope‘s insight:
 

This is a fascinating peek into Day #2 of the “ghost” writing novel process of Dean Wesley Smith. Day 1 had a grand total of 7,625 written words!  Day 2 is much of the same.

Breakfast, e-mail, writing, mail pick up, lunch, writing, break, e-mail, writing, break, nap with cat, dinner, dishes, e-mail, tea, writing, break, sorting collectibles, tea, snack, writing, watch TV, writing, bed.

Day #2 total? 7,734 words. Grand total in 2 days? 15.359! And we say we don’t have time to write

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and Day 2: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=8943

 

 

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Ghost Novel: Day 1 | How to Incorporate Writing into Your Day

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Dean Wesley Smith – The writing of Dean Wesley Smith

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Life meets art. We writers are always asking the question, “How can I write a novel when I have so little time?” Well, Dean Wesley Smith can do it and you can, too!

He made one post per day detailing his ghost writing process. He slept with the cat, did laundry, ate, watched TV and still managed to write over 7,000 words per day! 

 If he can do it, we can, too. Learn how to incorporate writing into your life by reading about Dean’s book writing journey.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and Day 1: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=8935

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Handwritten Manuscript Pages From Classic Novels – Writing History

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“These days, almost all works of literature are written on computers — from their first inklings, saved in a document called “notes,” to their final, emailed-out drafts — and even, increasingly, read on them. “

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Novelists in this century have it made with Microsoft Word and writing programs such as Scrivener to organize all their thoughts, edits, and ramblings and tie them all up in a neat little bow of a book.

This article gives us a pictorial glimpse into the writing minds of some very famous authors. I enjoy analyzing ones such as the manuscript for Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary”. I can just picture him sitting at a small desk, in a hard wooden chair, with only a small candle lighting the way. He’s got the crinkly paper twisted in such a way (as we were taught in elementary school) to force his writing to head uphill all the way. The first page of Vladimir Nabokov’s first draft of “Invitation to a Beheading” would barely retain any of the first writing, as all of his edits take over the page.

These snippets of pieces of manuscript history are fascinating, and should make us feel very fortunate that we have all the tools readily availalble to us to enhance our writing.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and all manuscripts:http://flavorwire.com/387994/handwritten-manuscript-pages-from-classic-novels/view-all

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Ebook anxieties increase as Publishing Revolution Rolls On

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“Amazon’s bid for rights to sell secondhand ebooks adds another layer of complexity to a world where the certainties of print culture are dissolving.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Secondhand ebooks? Could a patent owned by Amazon ruin authors’ livelihoods? Is this dangerous for publishers? A very interesting article in the ever-changing world of publishing.

This much is known: the patent is for an “electronic marketplace for used digital objects”, where “when the user no longer desires to retain the right to access the now-used digital content, the user may move the used digital content to another user’s personalized data store when permissible and the used digital content is deleted from the originating user’s personalized data store.”

 This news bears watching–for the future of all indie digital publishers.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

 Link to the full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/24/ebook-publishing-amazon

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How to Create a Character | Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage

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Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage – “read with hunger, write with joy, live with passion.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Creating characters is something that writers struggle with from time to time. How soon to give out the name? The distinguishing characteristics? The personal tics? If you are short on ideas for your characters, this article by Holly should give you some great tips for well-rounded characters. She suggests:

o Don’t start your character off with a name or a physical description

o Do start developing your character by giving him (or her) a problem, a dramatic need, a compulsion

o Don’t rely on crutches

o Do empathize with your character

o Don’t sympathize with your character

o Do write from your own life

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article: http://hollylisle.com/how-to-create-a-character/

 

 

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27 Pieces Of Advice For Writers From Famous Authors

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Celebrated authors, editors and illustrators write advice to young writers on their hands for ” Shared Worlds ,” a two-week creative writing summer camp at Wofford College.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

27 Pieces of Advice–all with a powerpoint on the hand of its famous author. Advice like:

o Write, finish things, keep writing

o Read widely, write often, keep going

o Write what you would love to read, finish what you begin to write

o Don’t take anybody’s writing advice too seriously!

o Trust your imagination, don’t be afraid to fail

o Start the next one

o Never give up!

 The consensus among these famous writers? Write, read a lot, and write some more!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and all the writing advice: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/27-pieces-of-advice-for-writers-from-famous-authors

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How to (Really) Make $1,000,000 Selling E-Books – Real-World Case Studies

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Who will be the JK Rowling of self-publishing? Better still: who will be the legions who make an extra $1,000-$1,000,000 per year?

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Do indie authors have even the remotest of chances to become the next $1,000,000 success story? The answer is YES! This guest post on the blog of Tim Ferriss of the “4 Hour Body” and “4 Hour Work Week” has a wealth of information on selling ebooks in this new age of publishing.

Here’s a preview of what you will learn:

 o Why did best-selling Author Barry Eisler turn down a $500,000 offer from his publisher in favor of publishing his own books?

 o Why is Amazon now selling more ebooks than printed books?

 o How can you figure out what niche to choose in to publish your book?

 o How do you go about creating your ebook?

 o What about formatting and designing a cover?

 o What to do about marketing and promotion of your ebook?

 o What is the best price point for your ebook?

If you’ve given up writing an ebook for fear of the competition, read this article and start your planning today. The soon you get started, the sooner you could also have a successful book topping the Amazon charts. 

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

Link to the original article: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2013/04/04/how-to-make-1000000-selling-e-books-tactics-and-case-studies/

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