Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Blogger/Writer Review

As I sit to write the last blog post of the year, I ponder over what to write. I think of what the New Year means to me - new goals, new achievements, and new discoveries. So, what does the end of the year bring? A review over past accomplishments

I began my blogging journey in August 2009 as a way to reach out to the writing world and to document my progress as an aspiring writer. Along my journey, I've gained special friends, shared writing thoughts, and moved from aspiring writer to published Author. It's been a wonderful journey and I owe you, 'the reader and friend,' for making it so.

I'd like to point out the top five blog posts over the journey of this blog.

1) Interview with Cindy Huefner Cromer - Part One
2) Interview with Terry W. Ervin II
3) Plotter or Pantster
4) How important is your email address?
5) Interview with Cindy Huefner Cromer - Part Two

In my writing journey of 2011, I've moved from published short stories to published novellas. I've took up freelance editing, which has taught me as much as the writing during the year. I also finish the year with two partial novels.

I've learned many things this year. Remember opinions vary amongst writers, so it's okay to disagree with my learning experience. We are each unique, if not, what kind of world would this be?

1) A short story is a different species than the novel. (This opinion may change as I stretch my skills toward novel writing. At this moment, novels are a heck of a lot harder to write than a short story.)

2) Writing is Rewriting (I've always believed this, but when I moved to longer works, I went from believing to knowing. While writing my two novellas, I learned to write fast and hard first. Then do the real work with the rewriting - fill in gaps, build characters, add flesh.)

3) For this writer, plotting is a no, no. (I've studied it and tried it this year. It squashes my chances of completion. I must dig the bones out by writing and then connect the joints. Maybe one day I will move to a plotter, but for now I'll stick with what works.)

4) Never give up. (This should be at the top of the list. One of my stories published this year was born many years ago. It went through a few revisions after multiple rejections, but for the most part it stayed the same story. The point is keep sending your story out, sometimes it just has to find the right home.)

5) Organization is an important part of a writer's life. (I've spent the last two weeks sorting through my mess of ideas and writing jots from years' past. 2011 wasn't too bad. I kept good records and placed items in folders and such. But when going through my mess of before this year, I found stuff from 1998. To be honest, I'm not sure where I found the time to write anything that year, but there it was. I wanted to get this done quickly so I did my best not to read over anything, just get it in order and all in one location. Of course, I couldn't help myself from time to time and found some great ideas to work with for the New Year. So, do yourself a favor and stay organized.)

This list could go on and on, but we'll stop with the top five lessons learned.

One final bit of advice: read, listen to music, or explore paintings - surround yourself with creativity - feed your muse. I am guilty of not digesting enough during this year, but plan to fix this issue in 2012. To be creative you really must study creativity. I leave you this year with a quote from Ray Bradbury.

Best wishes to all. See you next year.

“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed quickly, to trap them before they escape.”
—Ray Bradbury

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope Everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Romance Junkies Winter Wonderland Contest

The Romance Junkies Winter Wonderland Contest runs all the way to January 20th. Don't miss out on some great prizes.

To get started, click on the photo or this link:  http://www.romancejunkies.com/winternewsletter/mainpage.htm

You'll find me on Main Street, and then click on the Big Red Bow, or follow this link: http://www.romancejunkies.com/winternewsletter/CherGreen.html

Hope to see you at the gathering!

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How important are the goals you set?

As we prepare to finish up the year and step toward a new one, this is a great time to review and/or set goals. As an artist, it is important to set attainable goals. If you make goals too large, you may feel stressed and this can lead to not achieving those goals.

One way to avoid this is to make two goal lists.

The first is a list of what you wish to achieve in a long period of time, like by the end of the year. Be as specific with your list as you can and make the goal personally achievable.

Bad goal - Publish a novel. (This depends too much on someone else, unless you plan to self-publish.)
Good goal - Write a novel. (The writing is up to you, not another.)

The second list would be the tasks which need to be achieved to reach the larger goal(s).

A breakdown of the goal - write a novel. Depending on your process - plotter or pantser - this goal needs to be broke down into smaller tasks.

A plotter's list may look like: plot beginning, plot middle, plot end, character charts, etc. The smaller you can break down the tasks, the easier it will be to stick to your goals.

A panster, moving straight into the writing, may go with something like: write 500 words per day, or write 2000 words per week. As you move forward the goals will change, like: edit/revise chapter one, chapter two, etc.

These goals need to be adapted to your life, or your life will need to be adapted to your goal settings.

Focus is important when setting your goals. Prioritizing is also important. If you have more than one goal for the year, such as a different interest you wish to explore, itemize these goals according to importance. If you scatter yourself too much, you may find the goals unattainable. 

I wish you all good luck with setting and achieving your goals.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

eTreasures Twelve Day Blog Tour Contest

Come join us for the eTreasures Twelve Day Blog Tour to hear thoughts about Christmas from some of eTreasures' Authors and your chance to win free eBooks. There are multiple ways to win. Go to the opening post for details.

The tour began on December 14th with words from Pembroke Sinclair and a chance to win Bride and Dark Secrets Anthology, which includes my Seduced by Darkness novella.

On December December 15th, we put a little scare in your holiday with Christopher Hivner and a chance to win The Spaces Between Your Screams.

Yesterday, the tour continued with some words from me and a chance to win Sweet Hearts In Bloom Anthology, which includes Escape to Love.

I'm sure there are more authors and some great prizes ahead of us in this twelve day tour. Come join us in the fun and grab your chance for freebies. Visit main blog for latest postings.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Exercising Your 'Writing' Muscles

How important is it to exercise your 'writing' muscles?

Feeling a little out of sync lately, I'm wondering if I've fallen out of shape. I haven't been writing every day. I've discovered a few idea germs, but haven't found the right spark.

So, first, I ask you, what do you do when you are in-between projects, or taking a break from an ongoing project? Do you take a complete break? Busy yourself with playtime writing and exercises? Blog or write to a friend?

One exercise I do frequently, but not as much as I should, is the ten minute writing section. You write whatever comes to mind, not stopping until the end of the full ten minutes is up. To be honest, this is where most of my ideas germinate, but not all sessions produce a spark. The 'left behind' are always great for later motivation, and occasionally you'll find that spark the second or third time around.

There are many different kinds of exercises out in cyberspace and in how-to books. Some target your emotions and life, others work on character building and world building, and still others throw your character into situations to see how they react. I've tried a few, but felt I was wasting precious writing time.

I'm here to say, I'm rethinking the issue. You may end up writing words never destined to be published, but then again you may discover a missing scene you hadn't come up with yet. Besides, if you are stuck and feeling out of sync - not writing at all - what's the harm in doing some exercises?

I'd love to hear from some of you writers out there. Do you exercise when not working on a project? Do you consider your project your exercise? What exercises have you used? What exercises do you recommend?

Notice to all writers (or readers): If you are interesting in guest blogging/interviewing to help promote your work or to simply entertain/inform, email me (chergreen@chergreen.com) and we'll set something up.

Have a great week all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Yes, once again, I'm having technical difficulties here at Footsteps of a Writer, and of course at my other blog.

Warning - Never, ever, paste an image onto your blogger blog.

It took me a good while to figure out what was causing my problem, but finally found the issue. On Thanksgiving, I pasted rather than uploaded the images on the blog(s). This caused the html coding to be extremely long, which caused my feed to be too big, which made bother feed burner and twitter to quit using the feed. Leave it to me to cause such a problem, right?

The worst part is I made many changes elsewhere before I discovered the true problem. So, now the feed to my blog is not the same. Anyone subscribed will have to re-subscribe - I believe. Now, I may be totally wrong in this, but if you continue to not receive updates and such, you will need to re-subscribe. I am so sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for anyone.

Thank you all for your support.

After posting this, I discovered another problem which may be of interest to anyone using Feedburner.com. Google bought them out, seems like a while back, but now I can't get to my account. So, I believe anyone signed up with continue to get their email updates.

I would appreciate it if you would delete that subscription and sign up through the new link on the blog. This gives me the ability to control the output on this end. Again, I do apologize for all the inconvenience.
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