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Showing posts from May, 2010

Who's Afraid of Simon Cowell? Tips for Embracing Criticism

He's tough, brutal and sometimes downright mean, but I think singers with stars in their eyes will miss the unflinching honesty of Simon Cowell on American Idol. Even if you've never watched a full episode of the long running show, you know about Simon. Sound bites and clips of his biting commentary makes us cringe.

And sometimes laugh.

Until we start thinking, what if that was me?

Today's Excuse: I am too sensitive to have my writing criticized.
Public speaking is said to cause more fear in the average person's heart that the thought of death itself. One of the oldest tools to conquer the nervousness associated with speaking in front of a group is to imagine them naked. The irony? When you are sharing your ideas in front of others, it is you who is stripped naked, so to speak. You are no longer safe behind the walls of your inner thoughts, now you are exposing who you are. And it feels a bit drafty.

It's not much different with writing. Your imagination, creativity…

Writing Markets and Contests--A Whole 'Scoop'-full

The Newest Scoop is blasting through cyberspace and into your inbox right now if you are subscribed to the Excuse Editor Newsletter (if you are not, sign up here). 

There are some unique opportunities, including a chance to get your photograph taken by a famous photographer, a no-fee novel contest  with a self-publishing package prize, and  a contest with over 50 CATegories (the entires all have a 'cat' theme).

A few ideas on using the Scoop:
Determine if you have something already complete that meets the guidelines, or comes close.If it meets all guidelines (genre, word count, etc.) and has no entry fee, SUBMIT! You have nothing to lose. If if meets all guidelines and has an entry fee, SUBMIT ONLY IF you feel confident in your work and you can afford the fee (see this post for more thoughts).If you have a work that is ALMOST PERFECT for one of the markets, spend some time getting it closer (always adhere to word count and genre guidelines). You may be able to cut a few words o…

Writing Basics getting lost behind all the Buzzing (with bonus buzzing tips)

I spent the last few days drifting in and out of the SPOC (Self Publisher's Online Conference). As with the last conference I attended (OWFI) I couldn't help but leave ready to write, succeed, publish--even Start an Empire. (see day 3)

And then, this morning, I woke up.

I mulled over all I've been learning and relearning. I love it all-- learning about writing, learning about marketing, hearing the different perspectives. But how much is too much? I figure if all of the hours I've spent teaching myself-- by reading books, magazines, blogs and attending workshops--were added up, I'd be pretty close to an MFA or Masters in Marketing by now.

Just like getting my real degree (B.S. In Human Communication*/minor in Business**) didn't come with instant success in life, learning all of this writing/marketing information does me no good if I don't act on it.

So, that's a plan.

Act on it.
Except...
It can be OVERWHELMING.
I'm appreciative that I've learned …

5 Hints for Agent Meeting Survival

Writing, as much as we love the creative part of it, becomes a business when we decide to become published authors. This becomes very clear when attending a writer's conference. The agent (or editor, or publisher) meeting is one of the staples of these conferences. If you decide to become a salesperson for your writing work (which is a necessity) by attending one of these meetings, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Don't Let Your Elevator Speech Get Stuck Between FloorsYou have 10-15 minutes to pitch your work. This is not the time to be caught closed from your personality or claustrophobic because of the small spaces. Give yourself and the agent, editor, or publisher a smooth ride--describe your work in the most concise and interesting way possible.And by all means, be polite to the person sharing this elevator ride with you. They didn't have to stop on your floor at all.Go Yogi Breathe (in case you forget, it goes: Inhale, Exhale, Repeat)Focus on the moment. The only…