Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 02/20/15

LOVE CAN TURN HATE ASIDEthe long shadow

 

The month of February is also the celebration of BLACK HISTORY—recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans from the foundation of America to this very day.  I felt it fitting to highlight this concept of LOVE as stated in the heading, not to dredge up painful events but to demonstrate that WRITERS throughout history can—and have—made a big difference in creating harmony in the lives of millions around the world.

Do you recognize the name Daisy Gatson Bates?  I would have said “no” just a few years ago.  However, this publisher, journalist and lecturer played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957 and is honored for her lifetime accomplishments in the state of Arkansas on February 19th (or the 3rd Monday of every year) right along with remembrances of George Washington’s birthday and Martin Luther King.  As a foster child, Daisy attended the city’s segregated public schools.  In her teens, she learned that her birth mother had been raped and murdered by three local white men. No one was ever arrested and hate festered in her.  Her father told her: “Hate can destroy you, Daisy.  Don’t hate white people just because they’re white.…hate the humiliations we are living under…hate the discrimination that eats away at the South…and at the soul of every black man and woman.…Then try to do something about it.”  And so she did.

As an adult, Daisy and her husband published a local newspaper, the Arkansas State Press, utilizing her writing talents in her chosen field of advocacy journalism.  Stories about Civil Rights ran on the front page as well as the violations of the Supreme Court’s desegregation rulings.  However, the main stories that filled the paper spotlighted achievements of the black community in Arkansas.  Daisy had turned the painful events of her life into actively supporting those who wanted to change the segregated school system and increase opportunities for everyone.  Her clear and organized writing skills and positive attitude eventually led her to a position in the administration of President Johnson, working on anti-poverty programs.

Daisy wrote a memoir in 1962—The Long Shadow of Little Rock—which was banned throughout the South.  However, in 1988 the University of Arkansas Press reprinted it, after which it won an American Book Award.  President Bill Clinton (then Governor) said Daisy Bates is “the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time.”  In her later years, Daisy moved back to rural Arkansas, to concentrate on improving the lives of her neighbors (anyone who needed help) by establishing self-help programs that were responsible for new sewer systems, paved streets, a water system and community center.

Highlighting this woman’s life and accomplishments—as a person, journalist, publisher, author and advocate—exemplifies the points made by author Francine Rivers in my blog last week.

  • Tell the TRUTH, no matter how messy it is and get the details right.
  • Bad things happen. Ugly things. Sad and malicious things. There is also the TRUTH that good people make a difference. Their concepts of love, Faith, values, and doing what is right because it is right will make a difference.

Who is the person (or people) in your life demonstrating this element of LOVE?  Can their examples be incorporated into what you’re writing?  Do you need to write a True Story/memoir about their lives?  What is holding you back?  The WORLD needs more examples like this!  Write it! Get it PUBLISHED!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 01/30/15

SAINTS AND SCIENCE FICTION

Somewhere in my memory I hear someone telling me: Experience is an uncompromising teacher.  She first gives the test then slowly outlines the lesson(s) to be learned from them.  When I shared that thought with one of my writing friends, he immediately agreed.  “Of course!  That is the reason I’m writing my young adult books—so maybe our precious youth can avoid some of the very hard lessons I’ve had to learn.”  He then showed me his Motivation Diary.  Now, I’ve started one for myself.  But before I share a few bullet-points from that list, I’ll offer you the following brief paragraph about “the writer’s motivation.”

The word motivation is a noun.  It is that something that provides the reason behind the act or actions that accomplishes a specific purpose.  For the writer, it is the internal (and often uncontrollable, overwhelming) impulse that spurs us to create the next blog, magazine article, poem, novel or textbook.  It is the incentive or inducement that arouses and sustains the continuation of a writing career.

My author friend has created quite an extensive list of motivation statements.  Below are a few of his and a couple from other writers.  He often uses quotes from other authors OR anything he reads or hears that inspires his writing goals.

  • I write (and expose) errors I’ve made in decisions/choices SO THAT others can see the fault in them and AVOID them. (first entry)
  • I write to let others know there is HELP and HOPE.
  • I write to develop my own Faith in God—and show others that it is OK to have FAITH.
  • When I get discouraged, I re-read what Saint Francis of Assisi said: “Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
  • I must remember that many very famous writers were “rejected” by editors hundreds of times before their work was accepted. I must keep writing!
  • Science Fiction author, C. J. Cherryh says: It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly. I will become a better self-editor every day!
  • I LOVE to watch Star Trek movies! Their author (an inspiration) is Ray Bradbury, who tells writers to FIRST find out what your hero wants, then just follow him! That is what I hope my young adult readers find in my books—a hero worth following.
  • Today I read quotes from two people I admire. General Omar Bradley (US Army WWII) said: Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. Abraham Maslow (the famous 1960s psychologist) said: The ultimate disease of our time is value-less-ness. This state is more crucially dangerous than ever before in history. I must continue writing to give readers examples of ethical maturity and the certainty that every human being is of great value.

AS YOU’VE read through these entries, were you starting your own Motivation Diary?  I hope so!  My friend and I talked extensively about how his (and my) motivations changed over the years as our writing skills improved.  He feels that reminding himself of the specific reasons for developing his characters and various plots they must traverse KEEP HIM grounded.  They also keep him focused on getting his work published—now, through self-publishing—and not waiting for one person in the haystack of publishing houses to accept his manuscripts.  WRITE ON!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 01/23/15

ONE PERCENT INSPIRATION

This headline is part of a Thomas Edison quote: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  I’ve met too many writers who accept that premise for themselves—replacing the word “genius” with the words “a writer” (or their own name), then believing they do not have the “inspiration” to finish their book.  This usually happens when they are in the midst of weaving together the final elements of an intricately woven and/or deeply researched plot and they are teetering on the edge of quitting.  Of course, there is work to be done in creating the writing projects that become noticed and successful.  So it is that I offer my perspective on the division between “inspiration” and “perspiration.”  I believe they are much more equal—45% to 55% on any given day—often re-balancing their positions within each hour that a writer is at the computer.

One of my favorite authors (who happens to be a highly respected American statesman and retired 4-star Army General) Colin Powell said: A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”  His life experiences proved this point.  They also inspired him to say: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.  Stay forward looking, focus on solutions…the spirit of possibility is contagious.”

SO MUST the writer be—a dreamer who taps in to the inspiration discovered in their dreams and visions; a hard worker who is not resentful of the work (research); a positive thinker who keeps-on-keepin’-on; and a solution seeker (plot and character developer).

It is my premise that people who are gifted with the desire to be writers are multitaskers who have access to left/right-brain thinking during most of their waking and sleeping hours.  They may not yet recognize that writing is their true vocation.  However, the mental and emotional motivation will come and must be acted upon or those individuals will be most unhappy as their lives progress.

One of my former advanced writing students has been developing her career in the area of social services.  She has received high accolades from professors and coworkers in her intern placements.  Her natural ability to be inspired by what she’s learning combined with her sincere work ethics—being unafraid of the hard work—is giving her a strong foundation for whatever path she chooses.  At the same time, she’s writing!  Yes, most of her writing is class-assignment-related.  However, her emails (sharing life’s adventures) are rich with metaphor and simile.  Her concise yet strikingly unique descriptions of people and places make me want to be there and meet those folks.  Oh, yes, the writer lives within her and will bring her much joy today and into her future!

So, today, I leave you with another Thomas Edison quote—one that I wholeheartedly agree with: “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”  It is, indeed, common sense to build upon one’s strengths and—for the writer—that means taking that step forward to complete the first book and launch their writing career!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 7/08/14

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Should SFWA Allow Self-Published Authors To Join?

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has invited comment on how to include self-published and indie authors in its membership. The association currently requires members to publish a few short stories or one novel with a publisher paying “professional” rates.

Indie Spotlight on Children’s Authors

This article interviews five successful self-published children’s authors who share their self-publishing advice. This is a must read for children’s authors.

15 Insightful Quotations About Self-Publishing

If you are looking for inspiration or self-publishing words of wisdom, you’ll love this post. It features 15 insightful quotes from industry professionals.

The Guardian’s First Self-Published Book Prize Winner – Finally Some Recognition for Self-Published Authors

The author of this article shares her views on self-published authors receiving more recognition. It is an interesting read for all writers.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 2/04/14

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

15 Inspirational Quotes of Top Self-Published Authors

If you need a little inspiration, check out these quotes from self-publishing authors. This post is a quick, fun, and uplifting read.

Complimentary Self Publishing Guide from BookBaby

BookBaby’s How-To Guide for Writers goes beyond the eBook basics to help you create a digital masterpiece. Whether you’re a rookie or an experienced pro in the eBook world, BookBaby’s How-To Guide has something for everyone.

Follow-Up On Self-Publishing: Readers Are Not Good Gatekeepers

This author provides an interesting perspective on the quality of work that authors self-publish. The article suggests that even if a writer publishers a book that isn’t of the same quality of other writers, it is just a stepping stone to producing better work. The writer urges authors to always strive for their best.

Call It “Artisanal,” And 5 Other Ways To Crush Self-Publishing

Guy Kawasaki, former Apple evangelist and co-author of APE: How to Publish A Book, shares five tips for self-publishing success. My favorite quote from the article is “to be successful the process must be approached with professionalism.”

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.