Category: writing

Journey of the Author #5: I’m Torn

So it’s been a while since I have done one of these posts. The unfortunate part of this is that I really have nothing new to give to you. These past few weeks have been hectic and I really haven’t had the time to either write my book or even keep to my blogging schedule on a consistent basis. Life has a funny way of throwing a curve ball your way and messing up any set schedule. But I’m not writing this to discuss that. I want to give you an update on what’s going on with my book.

As you may or may not know part of the reason for me creating this blog is to hone in on my writing skills to help me with writing my book. The last time I gave an update I shared an excerpt from my work in progress. I hate to admit it but it’s been over a month since I’ve worked on Rock Bottom: Rise from the ashes. Rejuvenate your life. After I finished the fourth chapter I felt like this work wasn’t going to convey I message I want it to.

The reason that this post is titled “I’m torn” is because I thought of another idea for a book. If you have ever had the creative spark in your life you know the feeling. When an idea comes out of thin air and compels you to work on it. That is just what happened. I had an idea for an inspirational fiction story and wrote like hell to create characters and a plot for it.

Now most of this writing occurred in a notebook, brainstorming all the ideas that I had in my head. It can be truly amazing in the moment of writing where everything just flows and ideas come at a seemingly endless pace. I haven’t gotten to writing a rough draft for this story and that is why I am torn. I don’t know whether to continue with my first book or to start with this new idea.

Something inside of me is telling me to write this new work. It is an urge of a story that has to be told. I also know that if I continue to ponder over this for too much longer then neither story will be written. Time is something that cannot be wasted.

Hopefully in the next week I will be back on schedule with the blog and will be posting on a more regular basis. I also hope to start writing this book soon as well.

Scribing A Masterpiece

As writers we all want to create our own masterpiece. Something that we are proud of when it is completed. Words that flow harmoniously that form into pages that spark something in the reader’s soul. Something that is so beautiful in it’s own way that whomever reads that work is changed forever. A message that echoes throughout the ages.

What a breathtaking scene that creates for a writer. To have blood, sweat and tears shed for a single work. Putting every fiber of their being into words. Leaving part of their soul for the readers to gaze upon. Giving a work everything with the sole hope that it may have an impact upon others.

Writing is taking parts of life that derive from the deepest chambers of the soul. Practically indescribable emotions, thoughts and energies, with the painstaking process of putting it into words. A battle that has raged since humans began recording history. A noble cause that immortalizes authors for generations to know.

There is only one way and there will be only one way to create a masterpiece. It is to give it your all. To spill your heart and your guts into words and unto the page. To elevate your mind to a station in which it has never been before. To listen to your soul and allow it to be your guide. To make sure that a fire burns inside so bright that stopping your work would drive you to madness. Only then may a masterpiece may be scribed into humanity.

When Writing Flows

When Writing Flows

Writing in a way may be compared to a well oiled machine, when everything runs without a hitch the process flows smoothly. As writers there is no greater feeling than when the words just flow. A fever pitch of creativity where the hours pass at light speed. What a blessing when this occurs.

Writing is a process and that process doesn’t always involve writing. Research, brainstorming, reviewing, editing, writing from start to finish is a time consuming process. All for the hopes of having that writing flow to create a masterpiece. Writing is what etches a story for generations to read.

The flow of writing is what makes writing beautiful, showing from the depths of the soul. Stories to be told that give the imagination of the mind nourishment. Allowing for fantasies to be lived through the pages. Knowledge to be gained and the mind to be fed. The flow of writing can change the lives of the readers forever. What a beautiful event to occur.

If you have ever written before, you understand the feeling of euphoria that comes when writing flows smoothly. The feeling is almost indescribable. Knowing that a story is being built page by page, word by word.

There is no method to have this occur except to keep writing. To continuously build upon your work with the hopes that the words will come to you. More times than not they often do. It is persistence that builds something beautiful. As water slowly carves out the mountainside. The flow of water and the flow of writing are the same. To carve out this earth to create something that may echo throughout the ages.

Writing Everyday

writing everyday

As writers we always seem to have the same question to answer. Should I be writing everyday? For some the answer is simple. For others it is a question that is constantly being pondered. Writing is a creative process. So is it beneficial to write everyday?

To me it comes down to a matter of opinion of what works best for each individual. For those who write for a living, writing everyday is a habit almost by necessity. Always having a work in progress whether it be a blog post, a novel, freelance work or anything in between. Writing becomes a way of life for those who do it full time.

For others it may be a part time job or even a hobby. Just writing for the love of writing. Writing everyday doesn’t become an absolute necessity. Writing could happen in short but less frequent bursts. Usually when inspiration hits. Other times the words may not come easily. A day to be skipped when it comes to writing.

My best advice to gauge if you should write everyday or not is to experiment. If you don’t write everyday then try doing it for a week. Set aside time each day. See how you feel about it at the end of the week. How much did you accomplish? Do you feel the quality of your writing is on par with your previous works? Did writing everyday seem to stifle your creative process? These questions should give you a few insights on whether you should write everyday or not.

For me personally, I try my best to write something everyday. Whether it be a blog post, writing my book or just brainstorming other ideas that I have. To me writing is a habit and a craft that must be continuously developed. It is a process of continual improvement day by day. Do I feel that my quality suffers sometimes because of this? Absolutely. But to me not everything can be a masterpiece. It’s impossible. For me it is about building consistency in my writing and the message that I deliver.

Do you write everyday? Do you have a set day or set time dedicated to writing?

The Million Other Things Involved with Writing a Book

As you all know, I’m currently in the process of writing my first book. The title of it is Rock Bottom: Rise from the Ashes. Rejuvenate your life. After spending some time doing some research about writing and publishing a book. I realized that there is a lot more to writing a book than at first glance.

It’s not just about writing a book then calling it a day. The process is a lot more involved than that. Besides creating content, editing and formatting your finished work. That’s just the beginning.

Okay so maybe there isn’t a million different things but there is more than meets the eye. The first main point is publishing. Whether to go the traditional route or self publish your book.

Traditional publishing entails you going to a publisher or publishing house with your book. They do all of the work for you in terms of marketing, printing, etc… In return you sign a contract with that publisher, essentially giving away the rights to your book. You are paid a royalty for your book sales.

Self publishing is where you are the publisher for your book. A popular way of doing this is using Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) program. There you can upload your book for free. Amazon takes a royalty for each sale, depending on the price of your book. You keep the rights to your book.

I plan on going the self published route when I finish my book. When going the self published route, you are going to be in charge of everything else that comes with publishing a book. Mostly marketing your book.

In the digital age we live in it is crucial to have an online presence as an upcoming author. This is all about promoting your book and building a community with your readers. Having social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to name a few. Joining groups and conversations as well as giving potential readers insights into your book.

Marketing doesn’t stop with just social media.

It also helps to start a blog. Giving your readers a place to go to learn more about you and your book. This doesn’t mean that you have to post something everyday. Once a week can be sufficient. Make your blog an extension of your book. Giving your readers value and having them fall in love with your work.

Going back to amazon, it is important that you price your book right. Price it too high and no one will buy your book. Take the time to look at the prices of other books in your genre. It is also about having the proper keyword strings for your book so that people can find your book on amazon. Creating a great book description that will entice people to buy. Creating an author page on amazon so that potential buyers can learn more about you. Getting those who read your book to write thoughtful reviews to boost visibility.

Advertising and giveaways are other avenues when it comes to promoting your book. Using Facebook ads or amazon to promote your book so that more people will see it. For giveaways, Goodreads allows you to have a giveaway for your book. It is a great way to get more people interested.

So this may not be a million things but writing a book does have a lot to it. Especially when doing a self published book.

Hopefully this does not deter you from writing that book. There are options you can have for aspects you find less appealing. Hiring a professional for your book cover or having someone write out your book description on amazon. Or any of the marketing aspect. It might cost some money but if you don’t have the time it will help you.

Happy Writing! I hope that your book becomes a bestseller!

So You Want to be a Blogger?

You’ve hears the stories of people making a living off of their blogs. The countless success stories of those who earn thousands of dollars per month. Maybe you’re deciding to throw your hat in the ring. Thinking it might be a get rich quick way of making a living. Well think again.

Being a successful blogger is something that doesn’t happen overnight. If you think that you can make loads of money right away then you’re sorely mistaken. Blogging is something that must be built from the ground up.

Building a successful blog takes time. Building up your community, getting engagement with your posts and growing your content to reach your desired readers. This all takes time. Long before you can start making money from your blog, you must grow it first.

You must have some core values set for yourself and your blog. This will help you when the going gets tough. Especially when you’re first starting out and struggling to gain readers.

It can take months or even years to make any money from your blog. Even then the returns might be smaller than you had hoped for.

Making blogging a full time job takes patience, hard work and continuous learning. It is a process of continuous improvement. Developing your craft and delivering messages that your readers will love. The money will eventually come if you decide to take that route with your blog.

Blogging is a journey, not a sprint. So if you want to become a blogger be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Don’t give up in those early days, when you aren’t getting any engagement with your posts. Stick with it. You will be successful one day if you don’t quit.

Journey of the Author #4: First Excerpt

So this past week I haven’t really been able to get to writing my book as much as I wanted. It was a hard week for me sticking to my writing goal of 500 words per day towards the book.

I’ve finished the second chapter of the book titled: Influences and how they shape you. Now I’m onto the third chapter titled: The moment of now. I’m going to be sharing with you the introduction to the third chapter.

Take a moment to forget about everything that has happened to you in the past. All the trials, tribulations, heartbreaks and defeats. Forget about them for a few moments. Let’s take the next few minutes to think about the moment of now. For it is the only moment in time that truly matters. 

Take a deep breath. Exhale. Your breathing and that is a miracle in itself. Place your hand over your chest. Your heart is beating isn’t it? Count that as another miracle for your life. You’re alive. Everything that has happened to you in your past, you’ve survived and are still here. You’ve weathered the storms of life. Take a moment to rejoice, it is a victory for your life. Possibly the first victory you’ve ever had. Today is the first day of your new life. 

    Savor this moment, for it will be the turning point in your life. You still have time left on this earth. You’ve accomplished miracles by surviving what you have been through in your past. This isn’t about just surviving anymore. It’s time that you start thriving. Be at peace with yourself knowing that you are going to have a brighter future. The past is done and over with. It’s time to move on to better things.

From my book Rock Bottom: Rise From The Ashes. Rejuvenate Your Life

So allow me to explain this excerpt in a bit more detail. The first two chapters of the book describe how someone may have hit rock bottom in their lives. From how they view the world to the effect that influences have upon them.

Those two chapters are not happy and cheerful. Because rock bottom is not a pretty place. It is the lowest of lows that you can reach in your life. The first two chapters give a better understanding to how we can be shaped by the world around us. It is about starting to build an awareness towards the negatives that have been ingrained into your daily life.

In the chapter: The moment of now a time shift occurs from thinking about the past to the present moment in your life. To come to the realization that even though you’ve been through hell, you’re still here standing today. That there is hope for you to change the course of your life.

In the moment of now, you will understand that the only time that matters is now. The past is gone and the future has not yet arrived. That the best time to start the climb out of rock bottom is today. To not delay and to start making the changes necessary to begin to live a better life.

Brainstorming Writing Ideas

Brainstorming is crucial when it comes to creating new, quality content. It could just be going through ideas in your head. Thinking about the next piece of content for that blog post, a chapter for your book, a poem, short story or anything in between.

Or maybe you’re more in depth and take the time to put thoughts down on paper. Seeing where those ideas may lead.

Or maybe you are someone who when you think of an idea, begin immediately the process of bringing that idea into fruition with your writing.

Whatever your process may be, everything you write all starts with a thought. It is the creative spark that was written all the masterpieces throughout the times. Brainstorming and pondering is where the writing process begins.

Brainstorming time is necessary to create, crystalize, classify and materialize your ideas for your writing endeavors. This time can be as simple as taking 20 minutes to write down any ideas that come to mind. Whatever project you are currently working on, holding only that in your mind and letting your imagination be free.

This could be for characters or ideas for the book you are writing. New topics for blog posts. An outline for a blog post. Ideas for poems or short stories. Content for a client when freelance writing. Whatever writing endeavor you are currently undertaking, make some time to dedicate to brainstorming.

It will help you improve your writing by allowing you to better crystalize your thoughts. Allowing you to deliver your message in the best way possible. Something that is the end goal for all writers.

Remember, when you are brainstorming there are no wrong answers when jotting down your ideas. You can pick them apart later. The goal is to keep writing, no matter how wild the ideas become. Release your thoughts so that you may analyze them for brilliance.

When the time comes for you to write you are more prepared. Taking the time to ponder your ideas and give your reader something unforgettable.

5 Core Values to Follow When Starting a Blog

starting a blog

So you’ve decided to start your own blog? That’s great! You’re excited to see where the journey will take you and have all these great ideas for content you want to post. You might be doing this for fun, to vent or to give your knowledge in a certain aspect.

Maybe you are more experienced in the world of blogging and want to learn more about building core values to keep your blog growing.

You might want to make blogging a side hustle or even a full-time job down the road. Whatever your experience or aspirations you have for your blog. You must have some core values in place.

These 5 core values will give you a solid foundation to build upon when growing your blog to what you want it to be. Without a solid foundation you can’t build a loyal following of readers. No matter what your plans for the blog are, these core values will guide you along your blogging journey.

The 5 core values are:

1. Niche

Whether it is a personal blog or something more professional, it’s crucial that you find your niche in the blogging world.

If it’s a personal blog, think about the content you are going to post about. What message are you trying to convey to your readers? What topics are you going to discuss? Brainstorm some ideas and get some insight on who might read these posts.

It could be posts about your daily problems or about what you have learned from past experiences. Whatever your personal blog is about, think about who your target readers are to develop your niche.

Now if you are looking to blog about a certain topic such as business, finance, photography, gardening or any of the other countless topics. This is where you must dig deeper to carve out your space. It is best to narrow down your blog instead of going after a broad subject. An example of this would be finance. Finance in itself is an incredibly broad subject. Narrowing it down to something like helping others find creative ways to save up for yearly vacations. Narrowing down your niche allows readers to know what your blog is all about.

Want to post about multiple topics within your blog? Develop a central theme for your blog within your chosen niche. Create a blogging calendar and share it in a post so your readers know what to expect from your blog.

Don’t know what your niche is yet? Don’t sweat it. Start your blog anyway and experiment as you go. Sometimes the only way to find your desired niche is through trial and error. When you have found your niche you can begin to deliver your messages more effectively with the next core value.

2. Voice

Your voice is what differentiates you from the countless other bloggers within your niche. To have readers visit your blog and continue to come back you must find your own voice.

Do you want to be more personalized with your messages to your readers? Do you want to convey your viewpoint from a certain perspective? Do you want to spark an emotion within your readers? Whatever your aims may be its important for you to find your voice when blogging.

How do you go about finding your voice? Unfortunately there is only one answer to this question. Practice. Developing your voice may take some time. Make sure in finding your voice you keep posting. Hone your skills and experiment with ways to deliver your content. When you find your voice you’ll know.

Develop your viewpoint for your content. Build your blog while you find that voice that resonates with your readers. The next core value will aid you in that process.

3. Integrity

This is about staying true to yourself and to your blog. It is about building trust with your readers. Never deviating from the goals that you have for your blog.

Integrity builds reputation between you and your readers. Its about building a great community and treating your followers respectfully.

Don’t go chasing the money or posting about a topic that has nothing to do with your niche just because its trending.

It’s fine if you want to make money blogging. But make sure it aligns with what your blog is about. Take the time to choose the right affiliates and other revenue streams for your blog. Don’t have a gardening affiliate if your blog is about lowering insurance cost for corporations.

Don’t go chasing the highest payout. Keep true to yourself and to your blog. Ask yourself “would I use this product or service?” Is this going to benefit my readers? If the answer is no to either of those questions, then you shouldn’t do it. Keep a moral standard with your blog.

The next core value will keep you going through the tough times when you first start a blog.

4. Passion

Whatever you blog about, you have to have passion for the topic. If you want to have any type of long term success blogging, you have to love it.

Starting a blog for the sole purpose of making money won’t get you through the down times when you don’t have anyone reading your posts. Writing about your topic should fill you with enthusiasm.

Passion is about having fun with your blog. It isn’t about analytics or followers when you are first starting out. It’s about enjoyment. It’s about feeling good about yourself and your blog. Blogging is a learning experience, passion makes that experience an easier ride.

Life is too short to do something that you don’t enjoy. Blogging is no different. You have to enjoy it to stick with it for the long haul.

The last core value has to do with your readers and what you can do for them.

5. Value

When you start a blog, it’s all about your readers. What value can you bring into their lives? Answering this question determines the success of your blog.

Look at things from your readers perspective. What topics would they enjoy reading about? What would they like to learn? Giving your readers something of value in your niche will keep them coming back for more.

Value doesn’t always have to be in terms of new knowledge gained. It can be sparking an emotion or a memory within your readers. It can be something that your readers can relate to. There are plenty of ways to add value to your blog posts.

Give tips and tricks within your niche. Give your readers a free resource or printable to download. Don’t just piece together something, put some time and effort. Your readers will love you for it.

There you have it. The 5 core values to follow when starting a blog. I hope that you apply these into your blog. Don’t give up and keep writing. I wish you the best on your blogging journey.

Journey of the Author #3: The Madness of Writing

It’s amazing how quickly a week flies by. Last week I shared with you that I was in the beginning stages of writing the first rough draft for my book. I also discussed that blogging has become a priority for me. Which it still is. So let me give you an update for where I currently stand with the book.

So I’ve made some progress with Rock Bottom: Rise From the Ashes. Rejuvenate your life. For the past week I have been making time every night to dedicate to writing the rough draft. I even set a daily goal for myself. 500 words a night minimum. Now I know that it isn’t an outrageous number of words to write in a day but I feel if I set a word goal. The book will continue to be written.

Have I stuck to that 500 words per day over the last week? Sadly no. There have been some night where I’ve only gotten 200-300 words written. Other nights I’ve gone over the 500 word goal to make up for lost ground. As of right now I’m at about 3,200 words.

I’m working on the book from start to finish. Part one is something that I had no old notes for so I’ve been starting from the ground up. I have to say it’s been an adventure to say the least. There are times where I’ll stare at the computer screen for 20 minutes before I even put a sentence down. Writer’s block has definitely gotten the best of me a couple days. But I keep moving forward with it no matter what.

As far as progress goes, I’ve written the first chapter of the book titled: Perspective of a Cruel World. I know it isn’t a pretty title for a chapter but my book is about rock bottom. Something that isn’t a pretty sight. I’ve also written about half of the next chapter titled: Influences and How They Shape You.

While I hoped to get you an excerpt from the book this week I feel that there is nothing worthy to share with you. I want to give you something great. With this being the first rough draft, my ideas are like dumping marbles all over the floor. They’re all over the place.

Next week I want to share an excerpt with you of the book. I’m going to make it a promise and do my absolute best to deliver it to you. Even if it’s just a paragraph of the book. So instead I’ll share with you what the first chapter of the book entails.

Perspective of a cruel world is about how you view the world when you are at rock bottom. It discusses the various reasons why one may hit rock bottom or is on the slide down the slippery slope. How you perceive the world and how you can change that perception to take the first step in turning your life around. To view the world with a new set of eyes and to change your thoughts in times when negativity reigns supreme.

The chapter is about having a better understanding of why you’re at this low point. It is the first step to coming to terms with where you are at and starting to make the changes necessary to make your life better.

I’ve learned from starting the actual writing of the book is that writing is a madness. I’ve gotten a taste of it from writing blog posts on an everyday basis but writing a book is a whole other animal. A challenge that I’ll gladly take on. With my daily writing goal in place I’ll be able to continuously make progress. No matter how small it is.

While writing can be frustrating at times. Especially when the words just don’t seem to flow, I’m happy that I’ve made it a habit to get back to writing after all of these years away. Writing gives me a certain peace within that I can’t experience elsewhere on a consistent basis. As weird as that sounds. Whether it is writing the book or writing a blog post for you, my amazing readers I am always happy when I write.

Thank you for stopping by to see my progress!