I am creative and love to explore all the places my creativity will take me. I have received many blessings from friends; I want to offer support to others who are on similar explorations
of creativity. To that end, I will list here some of the things that have
helped me. Feel free to contact me at: email@example.com
The Craft of Writing ~ Writing is a crazy process, which every individual approaches differently. What works for me may not work for you at all. Try many different ways of writing until you find what feels good for you and results in productivity.
I begin by taking my laptop to a location that allows me to think, observe, feel and write. Today, I am at a local library, sitting beside a huge window that allows me to watch a small lake, with ducks and geese wabbling on the grass, dunking for food in the water and flying in formation overhead. The autumn colors form a full palette of vibrant hues, softening the yearly loss of fullness of abundant leaves in the trees
I like to start writing with a fluid composition, allowing whatever comes to my head to be typed into my computer. This can take the form of a voice recorder or a tablet and pen, for one whom typing is not realistic. Getting the ideas into a form that can be worked with is the goal. It is really fun to just let the ideas flow out, like maple syrup flowing over hot flapjacks.
Then, later, I take the time to begin to organize these thoughts, moving sentences and paragraphs around to allow the flow of the piece to be smooth and reasonable. The organizational ideas usually come into
a) time flow - past, present, future or then, now and coming, or even first, second and third,
b) importance flow - most important to least important or least important to most important,
c) storyline flow - introduction to characters and story, exploration of setting and characters, narrative or building of conflict, resolution of conflict and growth in characters.
Finally, I work through the entire piece sentence by sentence, a paragraph at a time. I watch for grammar, spelling, punctuation and the flow. I like to finish chapters with a hint of what's coming in the next chapter. The last part of this is an oral reading of the entire piece, slowing down to really read each word. This way, I catch many tiny details that need changed, as well as errors.
Getting a Book Published ~
After working so hard getting a manuscript written and polished, it seems a daunting task to get it published. In my journey toward publication, I learned that 98% of manuscripts are rejected. That's a hard pill to swallow. However, I believe that there is a reason to seek a publisher because if your manuscript was worth your time to write and perfect, then it is worthy of further effort to put it in the hands of the public. In my journey of finding a publisher, I sent a hard copy of my manuscript to publishers, e-mailed the manuscript to other publishers and kept a record of rejections, as a remembrance of all the hard work I put into the publication of my book. Today, there is a huge range of publications, from self-publishing to sharing the cost of publishing to the traditional publishing company. Within that range, is the control that you, as the author, retain with respect to the title, the cover design, and the content within. The best thing to do is to research which type of publishing will meet your need and pursue that with all you've got.
Promoting Your Book ~
My efforts to promote my book have ranged from very little to my present level of endeavoring to do something every day to promote my book. A website is essential in today's technological world. Networking is huge and to that end, I have joined with several organizations.
1. Facebook adds a personal perspective, since the format are about people's lives - yours and your reading public. www.facebook.com
2. LinkedIn, advertised as "World's Largest Professional Network," adds a professional perspective, increasing credibility and professionalism to the presentation of your work. www.linkedin.com
Public Speaking ~
When my book was published, I had no idea I would need to do any speaking about my book. I have learned that even mentioning that I am an author opens the door to sharing about my book and the topic I address. I have learned that people are as interested in the author as they may be about the book. When you are open to sharing about your book, often with it comes sales and even more speaking/sales opportunities. The very best organization, I feel, for developing public speaking skills is Toastmasters International. www.toastmasters.org
I was a member of Toastmasters International for 3 1/2 years, attended meetings in my local area, and only left when my focus needed to be more on promoting my book. I learned to project my soft voice, organize a presentation, utilize humor, prepare and use props and challenge the audience with creativity and solid preparation. I am now preparing for my 5th paid speaking opportunity; even though I am somewhat of a speaking novice, I am successful and am selling books as I speak to the issues. With each presentation, I grow in confidence, strength and ability.