Category Archives: Writing tips

Just Keep Swimming…er…Writing

One of my favorite Disney movies is Finding Nemo. My favorite character from the movie? Dory, of course. She is one of those characters that may appear a bit thick, but the gems of wisdom she shares…are just that, pure gems. Her motto: Just keep swimming is a great metaphor for life — and writing.

Any writer that intends to stay in the business for any length of time needs a tough skin. There is so much rejection and hard work involved in being successful, you really have to have a never give in attitude. You have to believe in yourself, even when everyone around you may doubt and question. That is what Dory has in spades. There is no obstacle that cannot be overcome if you just keep working at it…just keep swimming.

For each setback and rejection I receive I remind myself of Dory’s words.

“Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. What do we do? we swim, swim.”

I firmly believe if you do, you’ll eventually make it to the other side of the waterway and reach those goals you have set for yourself. No matter how big they may be.

Just keep swimming  writing. 🙂

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What’s All This About Platform: Do I really need one?

Over the past few weeks, I have heard everyone from fellow writers, to agents, to publishers touting the importance of having a writer’s platform. My first question was, “What the hell is a platform? Do I have one and not know it?”

It turns out I do, but I didn’t figure that one out until after I looked up what it was. Let me de-mystify it for you. A platform is merely a presence. A place and way to reach your readers–your audience. In today’s high tech world, there are a myriad of ways to accomplish this, and it doesn’t matter if you have your book sold, or you are still writing it. The sooner you build your name and take steps toward networking and advertising yourself and your writing, the better off you will be when it comes time to start querying agents or if you self-publish, getting the word out about your book.

Here is a list of 5 things you can do as a writer to start building your platform now:

1. Start a blog or website (or both) about your writing and/or anything else you might find of interest to talk about. Once you create it, post regularly — at least once a week.  You can post about anything, really. Just remember that it is your blog, so it should be about you or show a visitor a glimpse into who you are.

          1a. Update your content regularly. This way visitors know and can see that the site is active and updated.

2. Attend readings, signings and book launches. What better way to network and get to know other writers in your area?

3. Twitter and Facebook. Yes, I know they are time eaters, and for many, way more work than fun, but once you get used to using them, they are  not quite as evil as they appear. Besides, they are a great social networking tool and heck, you might as well take full advantage of the resources available.

4. Join writing sites and follow/support other writer blogs. The more you put yourself out there and show you are willing to help others promote, the more you will be promoted by others. While I don’t subscribe to things like giving good reviews to friends merely because they are friends, I do believe in a certain amount of you wash my back and I’ll was yours. We all have been new to this at one point or another. And you know what they say about karma.

5. Attend writer’s conferences and retreats when possible. While I have yet to do this one, it is on my list. I am just waiting to have a complete novel to really go out and push when I am at one. These are great places to meet other writers, agents, publishers and all sorts of people “in the biz”. Networking is really never a bad thing, is it? Kinda like no publicity is bad publicity.

Long gone are the days where an author left the hard work, selling themselves and their work to agents and publishers. In this modern publishing age, it is up to us– the ones that sweat over the work– to really push it, and ourselves to the forefront.  It all goes back to my personal favorite line– and something I truly believe.

If you dont believe in yourself, nobody else will.

Good luck and happy writing.

The Sharp Angle: Conquering the Logline

I decided to cross post this, as recently I had learned about the existence of this thing called a logline. Not to mention, many of you I know check in are in the query letter and synopsis stages, so I thought this might be an appropriate cross post. Thanks to Lydia Sharp for allowing me to share it with you all.

The Sharp Angle: Conquering the Logline: “A blog reader recently asked if we could discuss how to craft a logline, to which I said, ‘Of course!’ I lurrrrrve this topic. First, pleas…”