Thursday, June 26, 2014

Are You Conditioning Yourself for Success? by Dora Hiers

After months of freezing temperatures and dreary drizzly days this winter, on the first warm sunny day in April, I loaded up my dog and headed for the park

With over a mile of wonderful sniffing trails and lots of grass for scratching his back, Bruiser doesn't like to miss his walks. Who could blame him? But on this day, he seemed a bit reluctant to get out of the car. Eighty five scorching degrees and thirty minutes later, we were both out of breath, exhausted, and even I was glad to reach the car and the a/c.

After hardly walking for months, we were out of condition. The long winter left us with weak lungs and stiff joints. The winter blah's.

Maybe you're experiencing the winter blah's in your writing, where days, sometimes months go by without a word ever making it onto a page. Or perhaps you're going through a winter season with your writing. Whether you're working a full time job, rearing children, or caring for an elderly parent, there just isn't any available time for consistent writing. Are you out of condition? Do you need to flex your writing muscles? 

Here are a few ideas to work out the stiff joints:

Blog. A blog is an online journal or diary where individuals or groups of users record their thoughts or opinions. People blog on anything and everything: pets, books, cooking, travel and the list goes on. In case you didn't realize it, you're reading a writing blog right now. I'm the Thursday hostess here on Seriously Write, but I also manage my personal blog, Heart Racing, God-Gracing Romance, where I post book reviews and devotionals. Blogging is fairly easy and doesn't require much technical expertise. Two popular user-friendly platforms are Blogger and WordPress. Find your passion and blog.

Plot. Practice writing a few blurbs along with skeletal plots to go with them. There's no reason why you couldn't plot several books to keep on hand until your current season passes. 

Ideas. Don't let a good idea slip by without jotting it down. Record ideas as they burn in your brain, whether that's with a paper and pen or a voice recorder or notetaker app on your smartphone, and then transfer it to a computer file later. Keep a physical file with newspaper clippings of possible story ideas.

Create a Character Portfolio. Develop characters and maintain a character portfolio. When your spring blooms, bright and sunny, your characters will be ready to hit the first page of your book.

Write Short. Several publishers, like Pelican Book Group, accept submittals for short stories. They accept romances as short as 10k words. Also, publications/magazines like Woman's World contract 800 word romances, and Flash Fiction and Splickety Magazine accept stories between 500-1k words. And did you know that Ellie's Escape, just published with Splickety in the 6/20/14 edition, was written by our very own sweet Wednesday hostess, Sandy Ardoin? Way to go, Sandy! Write short.

Whatever it is, flex your writing muscles on a daily basis and you'll soon discover that you've conditioned yourself for success.

What about you? Are you going through the winter doldrums?
What would you add to this list?


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Five years ago, Emily Mannerson escaped small town living and moved to the big city where nobody knew "poor little Emily" and her miserable background. Now an attorney, Emily longs for what she left behind…her adopted mother and high-school sweetheart. Fire captain Matthew Westerly treasures his small town of Journey Creek and values faith, family, and friendships. When he rescues Emily from a horrific car accident, he's determined to win her back and make up for the lost years. Can a big city girl and a small town boy discover their true treasure? Will they trust God to work a miracle?

Dora Hiers is a multi-published author of Heart Racing, God-Gracing romances. She’s a member of RWA, ACFW, and the Treasurer for ACFW-Charlotte Chapter. Connect with her on Seriously Write, her personal blogTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.