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How to Spice Up your Writing Love Life

In honor of Valentine's Day, here's a few quick tips to keep in mind about Finding Your True Love. Of Writing, that is:

Love Yourself and Your Writing First

You need to honor yourself and your writing. Pamper yourself by making time for your writing love. Come to terms with your writing flaws, and discover what you need to make yourself better. Feel good about your work, and eventually others will too.

Put Yourself Out There

If you want your writing to get noticed, you make it available. Submit your work as much as you can if you want to be a published writer. Even if you don't have publishing ambitions, share your work with your loved ones, or some kindred spirits-- other writers.

While you are at it-- Put Your Best Self out There

Especially when submitting, make sure the work that goes out is the best example of your writing that you can give. No typos, spelling errors, mistakes in grammar...This is your time to shine!

Don't be Afraid to make the First Move

Don't wait for someone else to give you permission to fulfill your writing dreams. If you want to be a writer, write! If you are waiting for a teacher, a boss, a significant other to tell you that you are ready to write, you will be waiting a long time. Pick up that Pen! Own It!

Don't play Hard to Get

If you are afraid of getting out there because you are scared of rejection, take a deep breath and dive in. This is one of those times in life when you may need to kiss a lot of frogs to find your "prince".

Also, don't keep your writing to yourself because you are afraid of it getting stolen. Your writing is a part of you, nobody can take it away. (If someone were to actually waste the time and energy taking something word for word from you, you have proof that you wrote it-- rough drafts, computer files, etc.) And, while your writing reflects your individuality, your ideas are not necessarily unique (or protected)-- that's the thrill of story-telling--Boy-meets-Girl has been told an infinite number of times. As a writer, it is your challenge to make that story seem new.

Don't overlook the one that may not seem "Good-Looking" enough

All writers long to see that by-line in the national magazine or have their novel picked up by a top publisher-- but what about all of the other opportunities? A smaller market or contest may lead to recognition, or to more writing assignments. You may find an interest you didn't know you had, or learn something new. Especially when you are starting out, allow yourself these reliable "practice dates". You will build up your writing portfolio as well as your writing skills.

But-- don't settle for something for the sake of Convenience

Are you feeling a little Desperate? Like you will do Anything to be in a writing relationship, already?! That's when you find yourself scouring the internet, open temptation by something that may not be Mr. Right, just Mr. Right Now.  There are many places where you can write online-- and many offer Instant Publishing and Payment! There's much debate on these sites (I'll cover them at another time), but for now, think of this: While it may be fun, and you can work on some of your skills, if you aren't really being edited, if your payment is based on clicks rather than the quality of your work, is this where you want to spend the bulk of your time?  Have flings-- but you may want to consider other places for your work as well.

When you find your Writing, don't shy away from Commitment

If you've spent time making your way through the beginning writing "scene" and still love it-- Put a Ring on It! Commit yourself to your writing. Make time. Treat it kindly. Forgive when it drives you crazy.

Happy Valentine's Day!



Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Experience

The popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is beyond extraordinary. What started out as a multi- rejected book idea has turned into a multi-million dollar book empire. More than 110 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been sold. Many of the books have been translated to 40 different languages. I'm proud that my personal essays have been included in some of these books, and I hope to continue being a Chicken Soup contributor.
My Story
I thought I would share a bit about being published in these collections. I'm very happy with my Chicken Soup experiences, and part of that may be that I went into it with little expectations at first. I started with them because I had a few stories that seemed to fit what they were looking for, and I thought I had nothing to lose. Unlike some of the other markets and contests I was looking at, submitting to Chicken Soup could be done at no cost to me, and I didn't even need to worry about a postage stamp, because they had a…

All the Right Ingredients to Writing Advice

Last time, I talked about people in our lives that are pretty sure they know how to be successful writers, because they spent much of their time reading. Sometimes their advice can be a blessing, sometimes just the opposite. It is the same with the plethora of advice available from other writers. Have you checked out almost every book about the writing process from your local library at one time or another? Are your shelves lined with your own copies of "the-perfect-writing-advice-that-will-get-me-published-once-and-for-all"? Are you a member of multiple online writing communities? Do you hold your breath just a little bit when waiting from the critique from that "certain someone" in your writing group?

Yeah. Me too. And I don't think that gaining knowledge is a bad thing. We just have to be careful.

Don't Let Too Many Cooks Create a Recipe for Disaster
I love great food, I savor the tastes and textures of all kinds of cuisine; but unless I have specific, de…

Why Ghostwriting? Guest Post by Kelly James-Enger

Is it Time to Disappear?  Why I Became a Ghost--and Why you Should, Too
I never intended to become a ghostwriter. After all, why would I spend months of my life toiling away on someone else’s book? No thanks. I only wanted to write my own books, and that’s what I did.
I soon found, however, that the life of a book author wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned. I was working long hours, yet making less money than I had before, when I wrote only articles. The reason was simple—the time I spent promoting my books left me less time to write articles and other books, which cut into my income.
            Fortunately for me, I was approached by a nutrition expert about coauthoring her book. I found I enjoyed collaborating with her, but the real payoff came when we finished the manuscript. As the author, she now had to start promoting it—but I was all done!
That was enough for me. I decided to pursue coauthoring and ghostwriting, and “my” next book was ghostwritten for a client. (Typically a “coau…