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Fall and new beginnings

First Monday in October

Starting over, again.

When I started this blog in 2009, it was part of an overall plan to help writers in order to help myself. Excuse Editor emerged from the idea that I wanted to write, but always came up with reasons--excuses-- why I could not write. Not right NOW. 

So, I wrote about reasons why right now WAS the time to write. I gave suggestions about setting up writing schedules, about sneaking your writing time in, about diving in without thinking about the end result, and about ways to free your mind. Sometimes, I even took my own advice. But, like an addict, I would return to the comfortable numbness of the excuses: I need to focus on my work. I have to make sure my house is in order. I deserve a vacation. Or two.

In between these relapses of Excuse Making, I continued to chip away at my work, mostly a memoir that I didn't think would open up so many raw feelings within me. After all, I was writing about stuff 20 and 30 years in the past. As far as rough childhoods go, mine was in the "fairly easy" category-- most of the time. At least that's what I had always focused on before. Of course, it was those daggers of painful times that took my breath away when I was writing. So I would stop. I let the newly opened scars heal a bit before I dove back in. It has been more like therapy than the few months I actually had therapy.

Because of this, along with a job that was getting more demanding and a drive to become involved in different hobbies (think organic body care and improv comedy), the other aspects of Excuse Editor got lost. My monthly newsletter dwindled to nothing. My list of markets basically went away. I know that a few readers miss this. I will not say it will return in the same way. I'm not in a position to make many promises to others right now, as I need to keep a promise I made to myself over a year ago when my dear friend Paula died. I need to keep writing. Eventually, I need to finish my book.

What happens to the memoir when it's done, I'm not sure. I may not be strong enough to market it. Or, I may find that strength in the editing phase. 

Whatever the case, I will find my daily writing habit again. I've already started with Morning Pages. Every morning for the past week I have started the day with a free write of 3 pages. The sense of calm this instills in me is similar to meditation. Those scribbles may or may not ever end up in any other work. It doesn't matter. It is setting my writing mind in motion. And that is why I'm writing again. 

Happy Writing!



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…