You’re a writer, and you’re insane. I’m sure you’ve heard the clichés about writers and sanity. The truth is that writers just don’t think like everyone else, and that’s okay. Embrace your particular brand of insanity because how you think and how you perceive the world are what makes your writing great and unique to you.
1. Your Insanity Is Your Author Voice
I’m sure you’ve heard writers say that they’re going to be the next Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling or Danielle Steel. It’s great that these writers have confidence in their abilities, but the truth is that you shouldn’t strive to be anyone but yourself. Your author voice is what makes your stories come alive. When you think about your author voice, think about those things that make you YOU. What type of sense of humor do you have? Are you overly emotional or muted when it comes to your emotions? Are you missing emotions or have an emotion that you have trouble controlling? These same traits that make you who you are can make your characters unique in ways that other authors haven’t thought of.
Are you ready to get serious with your writing? Are you tired of being an aspiring or wannabe writer? If you answered yes, these nine writing tips for the serious fiction writer are for you. These tips will tell you how to get started on your fiction, increase your productivity, eliminate your distractions and start the process of learning how to edit your own work.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Skip Around
How do you start your novels? How do you get your ideas? Do you see the opening scene first? Does the theme and major plot appear in your brain before everything else, or do you see scenes from the middle of your novel? Whatever you see first is what you should write down. This means that you may be writing down a scene slated to go into chapter nine or 10 before you write the beginning, and that’s okay. When you start a novel, the only goal is to start it.
Most journalists choose to have their novel examined by critics with good intentions. Truthfully, a novel written by an unrecognized writer, is likable to start slow to reach development. In some cases, journalists may research famous well-known writers to request permission to have them provide an influential novel brief or a positive statement, that is usually posted on the canvas of the novel, accessible on the web site where the books are advertised.
Furthermore, many novelists may ask love ones or network for feedback. Realistically, if you’re not a well-known writer that has previous trendy and favorable novels to back up you up. The notion of paid feedback can be a challenge. Furthermore, in case your story is not doing well, you could obtain editors notes, with the risk and hope of a positive outcome.
Every author knows the importance of being on bestsellers lists. The exposure is almost unmatched because you’ll appear on the NY Times bestselling list, Publishers Weekly, USA Today and/or the Washington Post’s bestseller list, and many readers pay attention to these lists and buy books from these lists.
Bestsellers Sell a Lot of Books in a Short Period of Time
The basic understanding of bestselling lists is that they are the books that have sold the most copies within a certain timeframe (usually a week). This is both true and untrue. Books that make it onto bestselling lists have typically sold a ton of copies. However, that’s not the only determining criteria for most lists. When it comes to the accuracy of lists, I believe the NY Times is the least accurate, simply because I came across information that stated you were more likely to be on that list if you worked there than if you did not. The most accurate list, if I remember correctly, was Publishers Weekly.
Going through all those paid book promotion lists is a waste of time. I even got caught up in one so far that I filled out all the information, created the account and then got to a paid wall. Now, imagine how irritated I was. So, let me cut down the time and frustration you spend on this task by giving you the actual sites that will promote your book for free.
Imagine that four is your lucky number. Say you are job hunting, and you get an interview on April 4th at 4:00 pm. What are the chances?
With all those fours in the mix, you know you’ll get hired.
So, of course, you do.
Everything about the job is perfect: friendly co-workers, an easy-going boss, and free parking.
Life is pretty good for a while until COVID-19 lockdowns hit your town. A few months later, your company announces they are creating a layoff list. Anyone without a certain number of years will find themselves on that list and out of work.
The number of years they decided upon is five.
And how many years do you have with the company?
But wait! Isn’t four supposed to be your lucky number? What’s going on here? Not only do you find yourself out of a good job; after several months, you are unable to find a new one. More importantly, you think you can no longer count on the signs from the Universe that once helped guide your path, and you need them more now than ever because you find yourself getting ready to kiss poverty—and you can already tell his breath stinks!
So what can you do?
As a mindfulness practitioner and a person who has experienced a heavy dose of financial hardship, I recommend adopting a few key mindsets.
MINDSET #1 – Deliberately Create a Future for Yourself
That dream of taking a European vacation two years from now is on hold. The money is gone. It went to pay the rent. Heck, you can’t even think about life two years from now when you aren’t even sure where you’ll find the money to cover next month’s electric bill.
Finding yourself in an impoverished state can seemingly rob you of your ability to see yourself doing anything in the distant future. When you held a secure and well-paying job, you could easily conceive of things like a 15- year retirement plan or a 30-year mortgage. However, when a person struggles financially, the individual’s time frame for goals and dreams often shrinks down to months or weeks. Sadly, many who are homeless live a day-to-day existence.
This type of short-term thinking is dangerous, as it can keep you trapped in poverty and lead to depression. Therefore, it is up to you to deliberately create a future for yourself. While the type of goals and achievements in that future might be dramatically different from your previous ones, there are still many things you can realistically see yourself doing.
One thing to consider is learning origami. There are free how-to videos online. Could you see yourself learning this craft and giving away some homemade origami projects to family or friends six months from now?
The important thing here is not what you see yourself doing; what is vital is that you set a goal for yourself at least six months to a year out into the future. If you don’t care for the art of paper folding, envision yourself doing something else. Even seeing yourself having cleaned out and organized the garage is okay as long as you see that as an obtainable goal that you could achieve in the future.
Because seeing yourself as having an extended future and being open to the possibilities that could enter into it creates the space for opportunities to come into your life. Believing you have opportunities increases happiness.
MINDSET #2 – Consider Yourself to be Your Main Investment
Wealth creation consists of saving money and investing it. Poverty can cause an individual to become preoccupied with the first part of that equation and dismissing the second part. Desperation to find savings on everything from milk to raincoats to toilet paper overtakes the brain. Save. Save. Save becomes your mantra. There usually isn’t any extra money left for investigating things like money market accounts or fine art, so the thought of investing leaves one’s consciousness.
Yet, this is the type of consciousness needed for wealth creation.
The best way to maintain this type of thinking is to reframe your thoughts about spending your money. For example, say you decide you want to save money by buying some online food saver bags. Putting fruits and vegetables into these bags will waste less food and reduce spending on produce.
However, you can also view this purchase as a smart investment in your health as you are prolonging the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in your home to improve your nutritional needs.
Notice how that line of thinking is expansive, whereas the notion of penny-pinching to save a few cents on produce is reductive. Having a balance of both thoughts can help relieve some of the anxiety financially challenged people create by continually entertaining thoughts of needing to save every dime.
MINDSET #3 – Turn Your Situation into a Game When Possible.
If you haven’t seen the film Life is Beautiful, please watch it. The story centers around a Jewish Italian bookshop owner who employs various games to shield his son from the horrors of imprisonment during World War II.
Let’s face it. Poverty isn’t usually fun. Leaky ceilings, worn-out shoes, and insufficient heating aren’t pleasurable experiences. Too much focus on these difficulties lowers our vibration, ignites stress, and increases depression. Since leaving your environment usually isn’t possible, making a game out of your situation is often a practical method for maintaining your sanity and optimism.
Here’s one option if you live with others: Get a small box or jar. Every time anyone in the household encounters stress, they get to write down the experience on a small piece of paper and put it in the container. At the end of the month, you can all play “Guess my Stress,” a type of charades played by taking turns pulling the pieces of paper out of the jar and act out, without speaking, the action on the paper.
The more ridiculous and exaggerated the actions, the better. Should you play this game, you’ll discover you’ve found a way to transmute the energy of stress and negativity into something funny and absurd. In that way, you will feel as if you have power over your troubles instead of feeling as if your troubles have power over you.
#Mindset 4 – Continue to See Yourself as Lucky.
Give the number four a break. Wait a while before seeking a different lucky number or talisman. You might not be as unlucky as you think. Had you stayed there, you might have found that downsizing caused your co-workers to become competitive, transformed your boss into a micromanager, and turned the free parking into a memory.
Keep in mind this quote from the Dalai Lama: “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
Understand that his message isn’t saying you have to do cartwheels every time something terrible happens to you. The things that push us into financial hardship don’t usually fill us with joy. Death, disease, and betrayal rarely ignite feelings of good fortune. However, if we can find an element of luck within the situation, we can increase our chances of attracting more luck into our lives.
In fact, according to Richard Wiseman, author of Luck Factor, lucky people see the positive side of their bad luck. They believe that any ill-fortune in their lives will, in the long run, work out for the best.
A mindset like this boosts resiliency and increases happiness. Think about using it if poverty forces its way on you and gives you a smelly kiss. No, you don’t have to love the experience, but you can hold your nose and get through it. Maybe afterward, you’ll meet someone who went through the same thing, and they’ll offer you a free beer or even a job.
You might be that lucky.
In no way has the copyright on that book expired. I have not authorized anyone else to use the name ShadowConn in any capacity nor has anyone ever contacted about usage of the name or purchasing any rights to the usage of the name for any product or service or other useage. All uses of the name by anyone other than myself are unapproved, unauthorized and intellectual property theft. The character ShadowConn was first concieved in the late 1990s by myself for use in fiction, as a character in Vampire New Orleans PBEM RPG (2003 to present) and as a vampire in the Camarilla LARP (White Wolf) Vtm (late 1990s). She is also a character in the Blooddoll series, which is published on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in 2018. And let me make this *very* clear. The owner of the name ShadowConn is MYSELF, Stacey Carroll, and has been for the last 20+ years. I do not authorize, endorse or approve of any other usages of this name by anyone other than myself.
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