Insecure Writer’s Support Group day #IWSG Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your writing doubts and the fears you have or have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. ...

 

Insecure? Me? and more...



Insecure? Me?

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group day #IWSG

Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your writing doubts and the fears you have or have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

To join us, sign up here:

 

Visit our Facebook Page here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Wednesday is also Writing Wednesday

Writing Wednesday is the day I like to share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publishing to marketing my first book and then doing it again. The type of information I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Insecurities

I gave up worrying years ago, and attempted to give up anxiety last year. It’s still a work in progress but I’m determined to get there. For 2018 I’m going to give up insecurity for good. That’s the plan anyway!

Who’s with me?

Insecurity is a feeling that is triggered when we think we are either vulnerable or inferior or have a sense that our self-image or our ego is about to be threatened.

With a best-selling book having its 6th birthday this fall and being released soon after, a second book doing well and a third in revision, you’d think I’d have my insecurities under control. I feel embarrassed to admit my insecurities seem to be on steroids this month.

It’s the new book, I thought it was great and then my editor suggested cutting 15,000 words and rearranging sections. Yikes!

She is right, darn it! Why are they always right?

Then there is my blog. I have been so busy writing books, ghostwriting, writing content for others I feel like I haven’t been posting ‘serious’ or ‘heartfelt’ posts on my own site. I took the month of July off from blogging. It was my first break in six- I took the month of July off from blogging. It was my first break in six-years. Now I feel guilty.

Could it be the fiction? I say I want to write fiction but what if I suck at writing made-up stories? I felt extremely vulnerable anytime I submit fiction.

I know insecurity is a side effect of being a writer or in any creative field but I am so ready to give it up.

Do you think it’s possible for us or is a little insecurity a healthy thing?

Happy writing,

Doreen

      
 

I’m Going Underwater Today…

Today I’d like to introduce you to someone special, Tam Warner Minton. I met Tam in a blogging support group. I was immediately a fan of her one of a kind, stunning underwater photography. Her passion for our oceans and all sea life is infectious.

Be sure to check out her brand new book and her blog, you won’t be disappointed.

Meet Tam:

In the back of my mind, I always thought I would publish a book someday. I never thought, though, that I would write a non-fiction book, but it is where my passion led me! I fell in love with the ocean before I can even remember. My family began going to the ocean when I was a very little girl and I have always been fascinated by life above, and below, the water. As a kid I watched Jacques Cousteau documentaries, and I was completely mesmerized by his exploration of the ocean. SCUBA! He actually went below the waves and showed me a world I had no idea existed, but knew I wanted to see. I was on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico when someone said, “do you want to learn to scuba dive?” The answer was yes, and so my passion was born.

 

We live in a time when human activity has brought us to the brink of ecological disaster. As a diver of over thirty years, I have seen the changes in our oceans, and the death of our reefs. Global warming is hitting the ocean hardest, because the ocean absorbs 93% of the heat in our atmosphere. Our oceans are under extreme pressure. Anyone who has read my blog knows I go on citizen science dive trips often, trying to help scientists with their research into the ocean and our ocean giants. At dinner one night, a man said to me, “Sharks are endangered? I didn’t know that.” How can anyone not know that? Only a three toed sloth hanging in the jungles of Panama wouldn’t know that. Is that really how little our society knows about our planet? We simply have to reach out and educate people about the ocean, and get them excited about it! And who better to become enthusiastic than children? We need a generation who cares about the planet, and understands what is happening to it. I thought why not introduce kids (and their parents and grandparents!) to the colors and creatures of our oceans! What better way to get people interested in the conservation of our ocean resources, perhaps to even inspire future scientists, than introducing them to the underwater world? I wanted a project to do exactly that. My vision is a book series of photos and fun facts about different ocean animals including fish, crustaceans, eels, mollusks, stingrays, sharks….the possibilities are endless! The first book of that series was published this month.

I invite you to look at a preview of ALL FISH FACES on Amazon!

ALL FISH FACES is a fun and colorful book featuring my own underwater photography.

Popular tropical fish are present in all of our oceans, but they look different in the Atlantic than they do in the Pacific.

A beautiful Queen Angel in the Caribbean…but Angel fish look quite different in other oceans!

 

I am hopeful that this book will appeal to kids and their elders so we can look forward to the next generation’s care and understanding of our oceans. The book also contains advice on how to help preserve our oceans and ocean animals.

A portion of the book proceeds will go to Marine Megafauna Foundation to assist in their scientific research into our ocean and our ocean giants!

Tam is the author of the empty nest travel blog, Travels with Tam, and is always renewing, revamping, and reinventing life! She has traveled to all seven continents, and is an advocate for citizen science, the environment, and getting out of one’s comfort zone. An avid scuba diver, Tam takes many trips involving diving and the marine world, and is an amateur underwater photographer. Tam challenges her perspective, confidence, knowledge and physical ability by traveling the world, and sharing what she has learned with others. Her book series, Ocean Friends, introduces us to beautiful underwater creatures we may have never seen before! As a former university Lecturer and college consultant, Tam is a believer that knowledge is power, and education is always a positive force.

 

Find Tam

Tam Warner Minton, Member NATJA and ITWP

Travels with Tam.com

www.travelswithtam.com

travelswithtam@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/TravelsWithTam/

Twitter @travelwithtam, http://instagram.com/travelswithtam/, https://plus.google.com/+TamWarnerMinton, Linked In Tam Warner Minton.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/travels_with_tam/albums

https://www.twenty20.com/travelswithtam/photos

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/867056/

And the book:

ALL FISH FACES  Photos and Fun Facts about Tropical Reef Fish, is now available on Amazon, and at several other bookstores!

 

 

 

 

      
 

Twitter Pitch is Coming…

The first Wednesday of every month is officially:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day #IWSG

Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your writing doubts and the fears you have or have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – a good goal is to visit at least a dozen other blogs.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers at any stage of writing from beginner to best-seller!

Please join us, sign up here:

Visit our Facebook Page here:

I am so excited to be hosting this month, let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter Pitch is coming! Visit the Insecure Writers Support Group Website for more information! If you are a writer or blogger this website is one of the best. There is SO much information!

Optional #IWSG Question for July: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?

I would say the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to treat my writing like a job not a hobby and to respect my editors and appreciate that they are doing their job and their knowledge will only make my writing better.

Summer Slow Down

Here in the Philadelphia area summer officially starts for us on the 4th of July. It’s when the temperature starts to get into the 90’s and stays really warm at night. This is no doubt my favorite time of the year.

It’s also my least productive time of year especially as far as writing. I just want to sit by the water and daydream. I want to sleep in and take naps. I want to take long walks with the grandkids.

This was my office for 8-days last month. Not much writing got done but there was a lot of daydreaming…

I promised I would never be that writer that allowed her blog to suffer because she got so busy with other writing stuff. I’m not proud that I’ve become that writer.

As writers we need to cut ourselves some slack and allow time for a bit of daydreaming. It’s necessary to replenish our creative wells.

The answer for us creative types is finding a reasonable balance.

My plan is to get up early and write. No social media, no email and no phone just me and my word count mission. I can balance this out with a well deserved afternoon nap without feeling guilty.

How do you stay on track with your writing and other goals over the summer?

Happy Writing,

Doreen

Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other awesome hosts:

 Tamara Narayan,  Pat Hatt,  Patricia Lynne,  Juneta Key

 

 

 

      
 

Writing Wednesday…

Writing Wednesday

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey to publication, marketing and getting ready to publish again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.

Writing Memoir

Most of us believe our lives are boring but the truth is everyone does have a story to tell. We all have that one thing that happened in our lives that changed our course in either a positive or negative way.

What exactly is a memoir? Let’s start with what it is not. It is not an autobiography which is the story of your entire lifetime. Unless you are somebody famous that has many accomplishments to your credit readers will not be interested in your entire life. It also is not a biography, which is also the story of an entire lifetime.

What a memoir is, finally clicked with me when my editor said, imagine someone is taking a walk around the block and they see your house and walk up to look into your large picture window. This day happened to be the day that “it” happened. The “it” is what changed or altered the course of your life for either the good or the bad. What would that person, who is walking by your house, see? Whatever it is that the person would see is the place you start your memoir. After the “it” event there should be some brief back story, the resolution and how you arrived there and a bit about where you are now.

A memoir is about an event, an incident, something that changed you in a positive or a negative way. It explains how you dealt with the “it,” The author questions what happened, tells the lessons learned and where you went from that moment on.

The memoir can be written in first person from the author’s point of view. It can also be told as Narrative nonfiction which is written like fiction-in story form.

There is little dialogue.

The reader should learn something and their life should also be affected in some way.

Memoirs should never be about revenge and should not be a book length rant.

They are between 65,000 and 95,000 words.

When writing nonfiction it helps to start with an outline.

Make a list of any research you will need to do

If you are writing nonfiction, you need to write the truth. Real names and places should be used unless using them will cause great harm. If you are planning on using fake names and places consider telling your story as fiction, instead of non-fiction.

If it happened to you, it is your story and you own it and have every right to tell it in your way.

An outline starts with a brief description of your story. The description should include the beginning, the middle and the end in a concise three paragraph’s. Next, write a paragraph or two on each chapter. Name your chapters and choose a title for your memoir. Nothing is written in stone, this is just the starting point.

I find it helps to have some photo’s and personal items that remind me of the time period I am writing about on my desk.

While writing The Stranger in My Recliner I kept a photo of Sophie, a few Peppermint Patties and a can of peas, all of which reminded me of her.

Once your outline is finished the next step is to write your proposal. Once your proposal is written you will have a solid foundation to write your book.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

 

 

 

      
 

It’s Time! #IWSG Philadelphia Style…

Welcome to the June 2017 Edition of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

 

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

 Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

To find out more about the IWSG or to join us [please do] visit:

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

Each month we are presented with a question.

 

June’s IWSG Day Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I have come very close to saying I quit but never actually said it and when it comes to writing I hope I never do. That said I have taken breaks from writing. I think a break every now gives our creativity a chance to reset.

 

It also helps to surround ourselves with people that support us and our writing and who we can support in return. A great place to find that support system is a writing conference and it happens to be the Writing Conference time of year. The time of year when writers with big a dream and writers that are living the dream come together to network and most importantly to teach and to learn from and support one another.

 

Last weekend I attended the #NJSCBWIConference. I presented a workshop on marketing to some extremely talented writers, illustrators and several of the agents and editors sat in as well. That was a bit intimidating but fabulous as well!

This weekend is The Philadelphia Writers Conference. I first attended this conference so many years ago that word-processors were all the rage back then. This year I will be presenting a three-day-workshop on The Truth in Nonfiction.

To get the most out of a writing conference, prepare before you attend. Have you followed all of the presenters on social media? Have you followed and introduced yourself to some of the other attendees? Bring plenty of business cards, pens and notebooks. When someone hands you a business card jot something on the back of the card to help you remember them, such as “Met at the Philadelphia Writers Conference.”

One thing you never want to do at a conference is to hand out written pitches. You want to be prepared by being about to say your pitch, naturally in two to three sentences. Practice, practice and practice some more.

You also want to make sure you dress appropriately. Agents and editors are looking for professional writers. You don’t have to suit up but you should wear your best business casual.

At the conference do not monopolize any of the agents time. Everyone is there to meet them and they want to meet as many writers as they can. Keep the ninety-second rule in mind and practice. You don’t want to be remembered as a conversation hog.

No matter where you are in your writing process there is always something to learn. Take the time to listen to learn, not listen to respond.

Most of us creative types are naturally shy and find it difficult to come out of our shells and be more extraverted. I promise you if you if you give it a shot the rewards will be great. It does get easier. We are so lucky in this day and age because we have the opportunity to virtually meet people before actually meeting in real life. Most writing conferences will have a Facebook page and that gives you the opportunity to follow others that will be attending. Follow them and comment on their posts. It is possible to develop friendships before you actually meet in person.

Practice your logline. “Tell me a little bit about the book you are writing?” “What is it about?” If you haven’t been asked this question yet, you will be. There is nothing worse than being asked and your immediate uncontrollable response is to look like a dear in headlights or even worse you ramble on for five-minutes about plot and characters leaving the question asker wishing they hadn’t asked.

Your logline should be a one, two or three (at the most) sentences describing the beginning, middle and end of your book. It is something you need to memorize and practice until it comes out as natural conversation. You may want to have two or three memorized. One that can be used specifically when you meet literary agents, editors or publishers at a conference or workshop.

With the logline you want to sell your story more than tell the story. To create one write down these four questions and then write out the answers.

  • Who is the main character? It is better to use the characters position or profession, anything other than their name.
  • What is he, she or it trying to accomplish in the story?
  • Who is preventing your main characters success? Again try to use position or profession to describe other than a name.
  • What will happen if the goal isn’t accomplished?

Can you fit those answers into a formula similar to this: Protagonist-verb-antagonist-goal-stakes?

Having a couple of loglines will increase your confidence ten-fold. Practice, practice, practice until it sounds like natural conversation!

Relax, smile, make new writer friends to add to your tribe and most importantly have a great time!

Are you going to a conference? Which one?

Happy Writing,

Doreen

Please visit this month’s co hosts:

 

JH Moncrieff Madeline Mora-Summonte Jen Chandler Megan Morgan Heather Gardner

 

 

      
 
 
   
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