Can Synchronicity Promote Your Writing? #writing life

What is Synchronicity?

Synchronicity is a connecting principle created by analytical psychologist Carl Jung to explain paranormal experiences such as esp.

Today we use the term to explain what happens when seemingly unrelated events, connect and create something larger than the individual events.

How does this Relate to Writing and Publishing?

NY Times bestselling, romance author JA Huss states in her truly-awesome video series on marketing, that when you strategically plan your social media promotion for a new release on all the major platforms (i.e., your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest …) then a synchronicity happens that pushes sales.

As we’ve all experienced, promoting on one or two platforms can fall flat. It takes our village to get the job done.

But I Hate Spamming

Yes, I do, and most authors I know feel the same way.

I think the trick is to provide content that doesn’t smack of the spam, content that entertains or delivers something to the reader other than the “buy me,” message, which gets drowned out by the million other voices saying the same thing.

And that’s what I’m thinking about today as I ready my next release. How I can share news in an entertaining way on all platforms. Hmm.


Pictures from Pixabay

Meme created on Canva


 

Finding Time to Write – #IWSG #Am Writing

How do I find time to write?

The Zen of WritingThat is this months question from the Insecure Writers Support Group. More about them later.

Writing is an integral part of my life. If I ignore it, I get an uncomfortable feeling in my whole body, which is similar to how I feel when I don’t exercise. It’s somewhere between an itch and a flinch. The feeling that something important is missing. Something fundamental.

I have to write.

I’ve tried, and continue to try, different routines. Mostly I write in the morning after I’ve meditated, exercised and had breakfast, but sometimes life gets in the way and I need to fit it into the afternoon and/or evening. I try not to let that upset me. It’s just life, after all.  My best writing happens when I’m most focused.

This summer I’ve been struggling with a story that literally gives me nightmares because the setting is so dark. I keep putting it away and writing something else. When I pick it up again, to my surprise, I find the words flow like an avalanche. It is as if all those days I left it behind had built up inside me.  I think the story still wants to be finished:)

I’m not sure that what I’ve said is helpful to others, but it’s the truth. My short answer is: I have to write and I do it whenever I can.

For years I put my dreams of writing aside, because I found it too difficult to do while I had a full-time teaching job. I regret that now. My advice to younger people would be to just do it. Even if it’s only fifteen minutes a week. Just do it. Your skills as a writer grow with every word you put out there.

If you find you can’t write there are lots of tricks you can try to get you going. Google it and see what fits for you. In the classroom I found the best practice for motivating students was a timed write. For example I would offer a journal topic and tell them to write about that or anything else for ten minutes. At the end of the ten we would count our words and write the number down at the bottom of the piece where no one but them (and me) could see it. The next day we would write again. The openness of the topic, the set length of time and the individual challenge of adding words made most students write more and their writing skills developed from there.

About the Insecure Writers Support Group

“The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support. ” (from their website). As they say, “Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!” The first Wednesday of every month they post a question and the bloggers write about that question and share their ideas.

I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s response to this month’s question.


I’m madly reading as many posts by other IWSG writers as I can. One that I absolutely love is: Donna K. Weaver’s blog. It has a Neil Gaimann clip that’s both funny and inspiring.

 

My September Courses

Part of being a writer for me, is being a learner and I love that.

Having been a student for many years and then a teacher for many more years, September evokes in me an array bitter-sweet feelings from excitement for new learning opportunities to despair for the loss for the freedom of summer.

Somethings never change. This September I’m taking a couple courses.

  1. Treasure, Artifacts and Curses: Archeology 101 for Writers, with Rachel Grant and Mary Sullivan,Wikipediathrough the Kiss of Death Chapter of the RWA. Here’s the description:
    “Archaeology is the perfect setting for romance, mystery, thrills, and adventure. This workshop is geared toward the writer who wants to weave realistic archaeological details into their story. Archaeology professor and young adult author Mary Sullivan and private sector archaeologist and romantic thriller author Rachel Grant have over twenty years combined experience in the field, lab, office, and classroom.
    Topics covered in this class will include (but are not limited to): common myths and misconceptions; the difference between contract work, academia, and swashbuckling (AKA thievery); the phases of archaeological fieldwork (background research, survey, testing, data recovery, reporting); the basic steps of what to do if you want to conduct an archaeological investigation; the importance of permission and ethics (yes, Indiana Jones was a looter); why a little (pre)history can go a culturally insensitive way (no, not everyone was a cannibal); the tools of the trade: a breakdown of the equipment needed for fieldwork (and which ones make good weapons); what is an artifact and what is garbage (and when garbage is an artifact); how we determine an archaeological site is a site (and why we care); and how to interpret sites from the ground up. is the sad truth about archaeology and fiction: it’s rare when authors get it right. I completely understand why archaeology in novels is so often inaccurate: popular culture misrepresents archaeology all the time. But popular culture gets so many professions wrong; this just happens to be the one we know a thing or two about.” (KOD Website) I’m the moderator for this course, which is already interesting. lol
  2. An Elder College course through Vancouver Island University. I’m not sure which one yet. I’ve narrowed it down to three (i.e., Is Your DNA Your Destiny?, Mini Bridge, or Good Bugs/Bad Bugs) and am waiting until Tuesday to see which one still has room for me. I’ll be teaching a course on publishing with them in January and want to see how the courses run.

So, I have new beginnings this September. I love that.


“Learning never exhausts the mind.” Leonardo da Vinci


Photo credit: Lady in the book: Shutterstock

Egyptian God: Wikipedia

Quote: BrainyQuote

I Joined the Broad Universe #amwriting

I’m writing a post-apocalyptic adventure, which is a new genre for me. As I begin my second draft, I am looking around for distractions ways to become integrated into the speculative fiction genre. That’s how I found The Broad Universe, a women’s group for sci-fi, fantasy, horror and speculative fiction.

I’ve found writing organizations to be extremely helpful and I thought I’d talk about them today.

The Groups I Joined, but Later Left:

The RWA

The first group I joined was the RWA (Romance Writers of America). I joined the large, international organization and a local chapter. They are an amazing group of writers who welcome newbies with open arms no matter how badly your writing is, give you tons of how-to information and monthly workshops. I could see my writing improving week by week. I had dreamed all my life of having time to write, and suddenly I was surrounded by like-minded people helping me along. It was a heady moment.

I entered lots of RWA contests too. For most of them you submit the beginning of your book (5,000 words) and three writers critique and grade it. Sometimes the comments and evaluations are wildly off-based, but usually they offer great insight and advice. Personal advce. I’ve learned a lot from contests.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed belonging to the RWA, I am now moving on. I met great people through the organization, went to two national and one regional conference and on the local level made life-long friends. But alas, all good things come to an end. I’m not renewing my membership because I’m not really a romance writer and it’s expensive ($99. USD). At this point I can use the money better elsewhere.

CWC

I belonged to the CWC, Crime Writers of Canada, for a couple years, but didn’t find any of their programs helpful. Don’t get me started. I gave up on them this year, after discussing with them my concerns. They are very nice people, but this group is not a good fit for me living on a remote island. The good news is that I’m now saving $130. CDN. That’s more than one ebook cover!


The Groups I Now Belong to:

SINC

guppiesSisters in Crime  or SINC is a women’s group for crime writers ($40.00 USD). Their mission statement is to: “Promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers.” (from their website). I would have to cross a border to get to a chapter meeting, so I’ve never been to one, but I follow their Yahoo loop called the Guppies, ($12. USD) which is an on-line support group for writers. The topics discussed on this loop are always helpful and it’s affordable. They also have critique groups but I haven’t taken advantage of that option. I look forward to reading my Guppy digest every day.

The Broad Universe

Logo-300x95

I know it may sound strange that I stumbled upon a universe, but I did, The Broad Universe.  It’s like the SINC only for speculative fiction. “Broad Universe is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.” (from their website.) How cool is that! So for a small cost ($30. USD) I get a closer look at my new genre and an opportunity to meet writers within it. It also offers me the opportunity to list my books on Netgalley, which is where publishers list their books for reviews. I’m excited.


Joining and Leaving Writing Groups

I’m sure I will continue to join and leave writing groups as I carry along my writing journey. It’s a bit like trying on different bras. Some fit better than others and some meet my needs at a given time better than others.


 

shutterstock_104723360 (1)

How about you?   Do you have writing groups you recommend?

 

 

 


Logos from The Broad Universe site.

The Struggles of Summer Writing

I tried drawing a cartoon of me looking baffled, stuck between a lovable, plump angel sitting on a cloud above me, and a fierce, red devil below, reaching up with his pitch fork, but it ended up being a gray smear of erased pencil.

In my imagination the angel sang, “Be happy. You can do it,” to the melody of Pharrell Williams’ Happy

The devil countered in a gravelly voice, “Go to the beach,” with the unmistakable melody of the Animal’s song House of the Rising Sun playing in the background.

As we hit mid-summer, I feel pulled in different directions. Do I feed my muse with sunshine, or coax her to put words on paper? My story bubbles in my head wanting out and I don’t want to lose those ideas, but there is more to my life than that. Much more.

When I write weather conditions melt away regardless of the season, but it’s not the heat that stalls me in July and August. It’s the fun. The fun of being with friends and family, the laughter of grandchildren, the chill of ocean waves on a hot day …  the taste of ice-cream.

My muse is confused, but I’m happy. Very happy.

Hope you are too.


 

Featured Image from Pixabay.

Fear – My Double-Edged Sword

Fear is my double-edged sword.

One side of it’s razor-sharp blade terrifies me, while the other inspires. It slices through bland mediocrity and frees me.

Fear comes to me  in all shapes and sizes. I’m very creative at finding new things to be fearful of. I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying that the story I’m working on:

  • isn’t worthy of lining a kitty, litter box
  • will die after a dynamic opening, as if it were a beautiful bride jumping from an airplane without a parachute
  • isn’t as good as my last one and readers won’t come back for more
  • is too much of a change from my last one, so I’ll lose my old fans who I adore
  • has too much sex to be tasteful
  • doesn’t have enough sex
  • isn’t suspenseful enough
  • isn’t funny enough
  • isn’t romantic enough
  • isn’t thought provoking enough
  • isn’t enough …
  • will fail.

On the other hand, fear excites me, because I know if something I’m working on scares me, it means I’m pushing my creative boundaries, and it is at those moments, the moments when I dance with my fear, that  I feel most fully alive. In those moments I tune out the noise of the world,  and the noise of my mind and write. Not like anyone else. Not for anyone else. I just write. And the words line up on the page like pure magic.

***

“I fear the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.” ~ Virgil


Picture: Pixabay.com

Quote: Brainyquote.com

Favorite 5 Quotes – Elizabeth Gilbert

e7f9c52b_cover.xxxlargeElizabeth Gilbert

“Elizabeth is best known, however for her 2006 memoir EAT PRAY LOVE, which chronicled her journey alone around the world, looking for solace after a difficult divorce. The book was an international bestseller, translated into over thirty languages, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide. In 2010, EAT PRAY LOVE was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The book became so popular that Time Magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.”

But it is her discussion of creativity that really fascinates me. Here are my favorite five quotes.

One

“I don’t think you can come into your wisdom until you have made mistakes on your own skin and felt them in reality of your own life.”

Two

“Part of the elasticity that you need, in order to continue to try to create, is the foregone conclusion that not all of it is going to be fabulously successful. But it’s all going to be part of a long lifetime body of experimentation.”

Three

“Oh, I just want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions and a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever.”

Four

“My writing practice taught me the important thing is steadfastness. It’s not necessarily discipline. Discipline can become a prison. When your spiritual practices become another thing for you to be anxious about, they’ve lost their usefulness.”

Five

“Mine is just a simple old human story – of one person trying, with great rigor and discipline, to comprehend her personal relationship with divinity. “

Okay – one more

“Absolute certainty is not something I strive for anymore. I’ve learned the hard way that destiny usually looks upon our most strident convictions with amusement, or perhaps even pity.”




Photo Credits: Canva and Pixabay

Quotes from Brainy Quote