Tag Archives: guest blogger

#MondayBlogs What It’s Like To Co-Author With Your Mother

4 Apr

Intro:

Recently, I had a blast working with young adult author Bronte Huskins and her mother, Sarah Newton. Together, they wrote the novel, Never Mind My Thigh Gap, a story about a young girl joining a model competition to overcome her insecurities while finding friends along the way. (I love this novel, by the way.) When they offered to write an article about their co-authorship, I invited them on here immediately. I hope you’ll enjoy their story as much as I do.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

What It’s Like To Co-Author With Your Mother by Bronte Huskins

The question, “So, what was it like to work with your mum?” gets asked a lot, with the expectation of the answer being, “It was very challenging” or, “It was so difficult and at times I wanted to rip her head off!” But the answer, the real answer, couldn’t be more opposite. Writing a novel with my mum taught me a lot about my writing and actually made me a better writer.

Working with my mum on a novel we are both passionate about was actually a really enjoyable experience. There was never a time where I got so frustrated that I had plotted how I would kill her in her sleep that night. Of course it was hard work; writing a novel is certainly the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, but I think that having my mum there writing it with me actually helped keep my sanity in check. She understood my frustration when the characters were being a bit too moany and cried with me as we wrote the ending. It’s an experience I’m glad I could share with her.

0 (1)The one thing I was surprised about was how much I learnt from co-authoring Never Mind My Thigh Gap. My mum showed me what my strengths and weaknesses were and how to play with them and use them to my best advantage. She taught me that I was great at characterisation, conversation and description, but not so good with the nitty gritty, in-between stuff, which she turned out to be good at. She made me a better writer and we just worked together as co-authors.

We managed to get a rhythm going pretty early on in the process; I wrote the main text and my mum would edit it and write Oscar’s point of view. This involved a lot of sending the book backwards and forwards, and doing it again we realised that it would’ve been a whole lot easier just to send my mum the whole thing once I had written the first draft. We know that now but despite this, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was a learning experience and was a real bonding experience. I can’t imagine writing a novel without her anymore.

My tips on co-authoring with or without your mother.

Start with a plan

The main tip I would give to anyone who co-authors is come up with a plan of action beforehand. Writing this novel could’ve easily turned into a disaster, but we planned the outline of the story before actually writing it. Even though the story did change as we went on, having the first outline was extremely helpful.

Learn to compromise

I would also advise that you learn how to compromise; the trouble with co-authoring is that it’s not just your book, you have to share your baby with someone else. Whilst it does take some of the pressure off, it does also mean that you have to combine your ideas with someone else, and not all of them make the cut.

Be honest

First with yourself and then with the other person. Often the other person may say or do something that you instantly have a negative reaction to. Stop first and think about what they are saying, could it be true, even if a little bit? I remember once my mum saying I use too many words and my first reaction was to scream at her, but she was right – I do and when I got over myself and listened to her, the book was better. Also I felt completely at ease being honest with her and not hurting her feelings. I never held anything back as I didn’t want there to be any tension between us.

Know your strengths

Part of this process helped us both get really clear what our strengths are. I am very good at character development and speech, my mum showing the reader what is happening and the emotional impact of the story. When we realised what we were both great at, it allowed us to settle in to our respective parts.

I know it’s not for everyone, but I found and still find co-authoring with my mum a great experience.

Bio:

0 (1) (1)I am an 18-year-old student at Bath Spa University currently studying Creative Writing and Publishing. My first book ” Never Mind my Thigh Gap” is based on my own experience of entering a model competition to get over my body image issues. I write about ordinary, everyday heroines who are more likely to don a new lipstick than a suit of armour. I want my heroines to be real and relatable, acting like a teenager does in real life; unsure, scatty and indecisive.  With my writing I want to inspire young girls who feel they don’t fit into society’s norm to be comforted by the down-to-earth related characters in our books and realise, in their own way they are heroines too.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

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#MondayBlogs Six Ways to Write Efficiently for Full-Time Workers

14 Mar

Intro:

Let’s face it. Authors are lucky if they write full time. The majority of writers work full-time jobs and then start writing afterward. Today’s guest blogger is tackling how full-time workers can increase efficiency. Today’s guest post is by Kenneth Waldman. Kenneth is a Professional Writer and also an Editorial Assistant at EssayMama.com. The areas of his interest include the latest education trends and technologies, digital marketing, social media.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Six Ways to Write Efficiently for Full-Time Workers

Needless to say, writing activities are rather time-consuming. Therefore, it is essential to be able to manage your time appropriately. Irrespectively of the objectives you pursue in writing, you should be able to allocate a sufficient amount of time for your writing activities.

Those pieces of advice that you can find on the Internet prove to have little value as they are all about finding the will for writing and the right motivation. Some tips may also suggest your prioritizing the writing process over other activities, which means that even in terms of your relationships with friends and relatives writing should be of paramount importance.

However, all of the tips like that are not efficient and there is no need to waste time on them. Instead, we offer 6 top efficient pieces of advice that are sure to provide you with the right vision over you writing time.

Photo provided by guest blogger

Photo provided by guest blogger

You Should Always Stick to Your Best Idea

Of course, if you have several brilliant ideas, you might want to pick one of them to go with, as it suggests that its implementation will consume less time, or you will need to conduct less research. Though, you should not haste. The thing is that it is better to choose the best idea and hold on to it. The only approach to this is to be able to find time for writing on a regular basis, which is possible only if you are fond of writing and the process. It may turn into a problem for you if you choose something else. Thus, once you return home, you might be frustrated by the fact that you need to work, which in turn might result in your quitting. It’s a pity, as you should realize that you had the opportunity to spend this time on your favoring pastime or with friends and relatives.

You Should Divide Your Writing Project into several Parts

Having to write a massive writing project, for example a book, brings about a dreading feeling, as it is rather hard to write up to 150 or 200 pages in one session. As you have a regular job, locking yourself up in a study is not a solution. Therefore, you should deal with the fact that it is essential to divide you writing up into several pieces and write each peace in one session. Despite the fact that the progress is very slow, you will be able to write efficiently and without haste.

Thus, at the end of a month you will assess your performance and be satisfied with the result. It is clear that every person can allocate enough time to write 500-1000 words on a daily basis. At such a speed, you can finish your project in a matter of 4-5 months. In case with blogging, here you will be able to contribute one post a day.

You should stay Consistent

There can be distinguished at least two major arguments in favor of consistency. First and foremost, consistent writing implies that your performance improves in a linear way. Secondly, writing should turn into a habit, since habits are difficult to break, which is especially the case when you are having fun with them. Irrespectively of the workload in your full-time job, you should meet the requirements you set for yourself, which is to write a specific number of words.

You should Always be ready to Generate Ideas at Anytime

You might come up with a brilliant idea in the most inappropriate moment. Though, you should not waste this opportunity, and let an idea vanish. So, you need to always have something at your side to put an idea down. At the same time, your mobile device or tablet can also offer such a function. Any idea can prove to be important even if it does not seem to be so. The thing is that you can build upon it later.

You Should Take Advantage of Small Time Intervals

It goes without saying that life is full of different obligations, like family and daily job, and it might be impossible for you to allocate an hour or two to write the required word count. Therefore, you should be able to make use of each and every moment you have during your day. As a matter of fact, there is a plenty of moments when you write brief pieces. For example, when you are on your way home or to work, you should have your laptop always on you. Thus, you will be able to write in the moments like that. In addition, you can avoid going on a lunch within a week, or minimize the amount of time you spend on your lunches. You can also consider getting rid of several rituals you have on a daily basis.

There is no need to be a Perfectionist

Even though it is great to improve the quality of your writing up, you should keep in mind that being a perfectionist is not a must. The thing is there it is impossible to achieve perfect writing conditions, so it is better to be glad that have managed to find enough time for writing. In case you are not satisfied with the quality of your writing, that’s ok, as you can polish the stuff you have written to the best advantage. And you should keep in mind that practice makes perfect.

In conclusion, it is possible to combine your full-time job and your writing interests. It is all about discipline, dedication as well as the desire to sacrifice unnecessary activities. Everything else depends on you. With these tips, you will be able to manage your time in a more efficient way, so don’t delay using them.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

 

#MondayBlogs Where My Girls At?

7 Mar

Intro:

Shannon, here, but only for a bit. Today, I have a wonderful guest blogger with an equally as wonderful guest post. Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author. Even better? She’s broadening the horizon for female characters by featuring a protagonist in her late 20’s, a very underrepresented group in fiction, and today, she’s writing about why it’s so important that we give this group a bit more attention. Welcome, Kendra!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Where My Girls At? by Kendra L. Saunders

Getting older is weird, isn’t it? I guess for some people it happens at a pace that feels normal, and you sense yourself progressing from a teenager to a young adult, falling in love, getting married, settling down, having a kid, or getting divorced and floating around in a mansion with only your fine champagne, pool boy, and fancy lingerie collection to keep you company.

For me, aging has been a cyclical waking dream of confusing beginnings and ends, exciting adventures, and a few too many sinus issues to keep track of.

Maybe it’s the artist lifestyle, but I never followed the well lit path from an early romance to a kid, steady job, functioning car, and 10pm bedtime. I’ve lived in Texas, New Hampshire, Idaho, Wisconsin, Ohio, and New York City. I’ve been a cool/cute music store clerk, a waitress, a skincare saleswoman at NYC’s 34th St. Macy’s, a telemarketer, a caterer to celebrity guests (yay Oprah), a marketing guru for YA books, and a retail cashier, among many other jobs. I’ve attended New York Fashion Week (twice, and counting), had a book signing at BEA in New York City, spent two amazing weeks in England all by my lonesome for research and recreation, and been front row at some of the coolest concerts ever.

I’ve also lived in a haunted apartment, dealt briefly with bedbugs (eww) and saw a gang leap out from behind a parked car and shoot someone right in front of my eyes in Brooklyn one night while I walked home.

Between all of these adventures and misadventures, I’ve picked up female friends from all over the world, from every pay grade and lifestyle choice. One thing that many of us have in common is that we are in our 20s-40s and still putting the pieces together. The women of our modern world have a new set of challenges that they haven’t before… we live in an expensive world, we work hard for what we have, and less and less of us are finding (or keeping) romantic partners, for a myriad of reasons. Many of us are finding our partners when we are older than ever before, too.

After working for a YA publisher, I saw firsthand that many readers of the increasingly popular YA genre are not actually teenagers, but ladies 20-45yrs who enjoy the fun storylines and fast pace of YA novels. At first I wondered if I had just missed out on something huge and everyone else was reliving the best years of their life. My own teenage years were a blur of anguish, loneliness, religious confusion, and abuse. Did everyone else really have all of these great adventures and romances in high school? I mean, maybe some people really did fall in love with hot vampires, go on adventures to Ibiza, sip expensive champagne, and hang out with fashion designers when they were 16. Hey, the Kardashians exist! It’s possible, sure.

But the truth is, there’s a scary gap in entertainment between sexy seventeen year old girls and the middle age stresses of traditional femininity. Bond girls seem to get younger and younger with every Bond movie. Even the chick lit category seems to be moving younger and older respectively. (Thank God for you, Sophie Kinsella. Please never stop writing!)

Women looking for exciting stories featuring female characters are flooding to the YA genre, because that’s where all the fun stories are.

I don’t see many of my friends in pop culture, and Amy Schumer can’t carry the almost-30-heroine torch alone.

Ebook- Date an AlienWith my upcoming book Dating an Alien Pop Star, I have a female protagonist who’s a lot like the women I know. Daisy didn’t have the easiest time in her teenage years… or her early 20s… or her mid 20s. Somewhere in her late 20s she decided to take a major risk and throw away the safe life that had been pushed on her, and move to New York City. Of course she’s kidnapped by aliens almost immediately, because nothing ever, ever, ever goes how you expect it to in New York.

Daisy also falls on the demi side of the sexuality spectrum, so she’s avoided hookup culture and finds herself at the crossroads of 30, single, and not sure if she feels as guilty about it as society says she should. She’d really like a partner, but until she finds one worth her time, she’s going to take care of herself and her dreams, thank you very much.

It gets discouraging for people like Daisy (and me, or you) when we see all the great, fun, exciting stories only going to beautiful CW-channel teenagers or twenty-one-year-olds who are preternaturally wealthy and well connected. Those stories are fun, sure, but they shouldn’t be all we see. We need first time love stories with a twenty-seven year old woman. With a thirty-five year old. With a forty-one year old. There are vampires, princes/princesses, and cute firemen to be met, even if you’re thirty-one. There are quests to go on, even at thirty-six. There are adventures for aromantic/asexual women who want to do something amazing and don’t care about falling in love. If guys can have movies and books about their life at every single age from 10-98, shouldn’t us ladies?

Bio:

12391420_10153788569476411_2361644470289704466_nKendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can’t learn karate (or ballroom dancing). She is the author of upcoming sci-fi rom-com DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR, upcoming fantastical comedy THE UNLOVE SPELL, the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, the dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT and the poetry collection GEMINIS AND PAST LIVES.

Find her online at www.kendralsaunders.com, on twitter at @kendrybird, and on instagram @kendralsaunders

Dating an Alien Pop Star: Amazon

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I accept original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs Find Your Perfect Editor: 7 Valuable Tips

7 Dec

Intro:

Last week we talked about how to self-edit before you found an editor for your manuscript. This week we’re talking about how to find that perfect editor. This topic is very important to me, since I’m a full-time editor. It’s vital for authors and editors to find the perfect fit for one another. Special thanks to today’s guest writer, Antonio Tooley! Let’s welcome him.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Find Your Perfect Editor: 7 Valuable Tips by Antonio Tooley

Every writer, no matter how great he or she is, needs an editor at some point. Now, it’s not just a matter of going through the ads and finding someone. You need to find an editor who is willing to dedicate their time and expertise in order to help you come up with the best work possible, not just someone who’s going to go through the motions, doling out generic advice that’s only going to frustrate you and have you end up with something you don’t like.

Not being able to get behind your own work is not an option, plus you will waste precious time and money getting nowhere. That is why you must really think good and hard when choosing an editor that will push you in the right direction, and ultimately, help you create something you are fully satisfied with. We have put together a list of 7 useful tips that will help you find the right editor. Here they are.

1. Figure Out What Type of Editor You Need

You need to establish the kind of editor you need for your work. If it’s a book, you’ll want to collaborate with a content editor that is not only concerned with it being grammatically sound, but is also interested in the big picture, and elements such as plotting and pacing. If you want someone to fact-check your work and make sure there aren’t any inconsistencies, you will need a copy editor. If you are simply concerned with getting your spelling, punctuation and grammar right, a line editor would be a good choice.

2. Experience Matters

Just because someone is qualified to be an editor based on their qualifications, is not enough in this case. In addition to having a degree in English, your editor should be someone who has experience, and by experience we mean a good track record in the industry. Although having someone inexperienced cut their teeth on your book or a novel for very little money seems tempting, you should always invest in someone who has previous experience in editing.

3. Know Where to Find Them

Simply going on Craigslist, or googling for an editor is not going to work. We would advise you to ask your fellow writers to recommend you a good editor. If you don’t have any friends that are writers, contacting the authors or editors of books you appreciate is not a bad idea, although it may prove to be an expensive one. You can also look for editors on websites and forums that cater to writers.

glass

4. Find Out How Many Clients Your Editor is Currently Working With

This is really important, because you need an editor who will be able to dedicate enough time to read your work, a few times if needed, and then proceed with editing it. Of course, they may work with some other writers at the same time, but if they are involved on 10 other projects, you may have to look elsewhere.

5. Sample Edit

So, you’ve found an editor with good credentials, but that still doesn’t mean they are right for you. Most editors are willing to do a trial edit for you that involves editing several pages, or a chapter of your book for a reasonable fee. That way, you can decide whether their ideas and what they bring to the table are a good match for your book or not.

6. Talk to Their Previous Clients 

Another way of narrowing down the list of editors you want for your book is to get in touch with some of their past clients which were satisfied with their work. That way, you can get an insight into how they work, and what they can do to take your work to the next level. Sometimes, even a brilliant editor may not be the right fit for your book.

7. Establish Your Budget

Figure out how much money you are able to set aside in order to pay for an editor. Experienced editors are always more expensive, especially if they’ve edited a best-selling book. On the other hand, if they are too cheap, that is usually indicative of their experience. Your best bet would be to look for an editor who fits into your price range, but whose references include books or authors that you appreciate.

book

If hiring an editor is still too expensive for you, there are plenty of online editing services that can help you edit your work, for a lower price. We have chosen the following three:

1. Editage.com – One of the biggest editing services on the web also has one of the largest editorial teams which edit the works of over 72,000 authors around the world. Their team is capable of covering over 1200 different subjects, so if your books, novels, or papers deal with a really specific field, you can rest assured you will find an editor who is an expert on that particular subject.

2. EduGeeksClub.com – EduGeeksClub is one of the leading services when it comes to editing books, papers, dissertations, and articles, among others. Their editors have years of academic experience, and they also work in teams on each project, which means no mistake can get by them. They will perform fact checking, as well as go through your grammar, spelling, structural and punctuation errors.

3. EditorWorld.com – Another top online editing service which gathers scholars, published authors, writers and professional editors whose qualifications are impeccable and whose excellent track records are a guarantee your book will receive the treatment it so rightly deserves. You can personally choose the person that will edit your work.

If you want your book to captivate the readers, it needs to be flawless first, and having a good editor that understands what your work is all about, and who is able to get on the same page with you, no pun intended, is of the highest importance.

Although the ordeal of finding the right editor for your work may feel tedious, the benefits of having one outweigh everything else, plus you will wind up becoming a better writer.

Author Bio:

Antonio is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s blogging and teaching ESL. He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in 2016, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs: My Writer’s Story: Different to the One I Imagined

9 Nov

Intro:

While many claim there is one publishing formula, there are hundreds, and the more writers you meet, the more variations of publishing journeys you hear. I find them fascinating, and I’m always eager to hear another’s story. Today’s writer is sharing his. Welcome author Shane Joseph.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

My Writer’s Story: Different to the One I Imagined by Shane Joseph

Our times are generating many more writers than demand can bear. This is due to better education, improved health, technology, inflated egos in an age of “me first,” and due to our eternal quest for immortality. The ambition to be a writer usually begins in our formative years and is inspired by our favourite writers. As a teenager, I was greatly influenced by Greene, Steinbeck and Hemingway; I dreamt of sending manuscripts out into the world where they would become best-sellers and make me a reclusive millionaire. I would hide out in some remote island and submit more manuscripts and continue to dazzle the world with my brilliance until I was invited to a cold capital in Europe to accept the Nobel Prize. And I would refuse that honour, making me an enigmatic figure like Jean-Paul Sartre, Boris Pasternak or J.D. Salinger. It was nice to dream!

The reality, even back then, was different. I had chosen to gloss over the private demons my literary heroes had to overcome in order to achieve their fame: dual lives, alcoholism, drug addiction, persecution, shell-shock (called PTSD today), hypertension, depression, divorce, estrangement, chronic pain, and suicide staring out of the barrel of a gun. Not forgetting the early struggles with rejection and penury that they each triumphed over. These trials gave impetus to their work and are mentioned only in discreet biographies, not on the glossy covers of their books.

My writer’s story turned out differently to my idealized dream. For instance, I didn’t imagine that after hacking away at this craft in my early twenties in a developing country where English was a second language, and after having a handful of stories published, I would pack up my authorly tools and try something easier to earn a living – Greene, Steinbeck et al, be damned! I never realized that the “other living,” at a corporate job, would come so easily, and earn such a handsome income, that I wouldn’t bother with the writing game again for another twenty years. I didn’t realize that it would be the curse of “guilt” that would bring me back to reopen the dusty toolbox and start to catch up to where the literary world had evolved in the intervening years.

Once “Take Two” started however, the stories and novels came easily, and are likely to continue into the future, health permitting. It was like a dam had burst and all that had been stored for years came gushing out. But the publishing landscape had changed, drastically. Prizes sold books now. And the prize money was cornered among the “1% of the 1%” in the literary hierarchy. There was no middle class in publishing anymore – there was a huge gulf between the self-published and the best-seller, and the only way to bridge the two was with a stroke of luck.

But with every closing door there were others opening. There were now many ways in which to be published, I discovered, thanks to evolving technology that had finally demolished the dominant publishing model of eons, which was: publish a large quantity of paper books on ancient printing presses until unit costs become affordable, ship them across the land in trucks into stores that couldn’t keep track of them, receive most of them back after awhile to be shredded, then start the cycle again, and hope like hell that governments or private donors supported this inefficiency in the interest of promoting the arts. That was the model in which my heroes had thrived, and now it was dying, supplanted by DIY publishing, POD, electronic media, subscriptions services, free story sites, social media, and blogs like the one you are reading. And my heroes were dead too.

Shane Joseph

Shane Joseph

I enthusiastically tried all the models available, traditional and new, and discovered that they all had their pros and cons, but as their readerships’ were distinct, this lack of homogeneity helped plaster me all over the map, assuaging my guilt for having neglected “the gift.” There was also no way I could hide out in a remote island, I realized; I had to be front and centre in the global public domain (a.k.a. the Internet, which also never existed during the time of my literary heroes) selling my wares like a shoe salesman. I even started a publishing house, using the new technology, and have helped bring other writers into print, ones who may have been sitting for years in the slush piles of the Big Five (or is it Four, now – hard to keep track!). The joy of bringing others’ work into the world, to watch them stand on the podium reading from their debut novel at their book’s launch gives me immense satisfaction. I was doing my bit to restore the middle class in publishing. And I finally faced the darker side: the rejection, the shrunken revenue streams, the even further shrunken attention spans, and the need for that other source of income to fuel this one. None of this had been part of my teenage dream.

And so I have accepted that my writer’s story is different from the one I had visualized in my youth. Creative visualizers, take note: it doesn’t always turn out the way you paint it in your mind. But it can be a damned sight more interesting and surprising. Why go on a trip where every stopover is carefully laid out, predictable and boring? Where would the thrill of the unexpected lie? Isn’t that what we try to create in our work – the unexpected?

So Dear Reader, what was your writer’s dream, and how did it pan out?

Bio:

(Shane Joseph is the author of four novels and two collections of short stories, and was the winner of the best fantasy novel award at the Canadian Christian Writing Awards in 2010. His short fiction has appeared in international literary journals and anthologies. His latest novel, In the Shadow of the Conquistador, will be released in November 2015. For details visit www.shanejoseph.com

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in December, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs Your Perfect Workplace at Home: How to Organize It

2 Nov

Intro:

In a writing slump? I’m sure it’s happened before. In fact, it happens all the time to all kinds of writers, and there are many ways to tackle writer’s block. But what if it was as simple as changing up your workplace environment? Today, Emily Johnson from OmniPapers is showing how you can optimize your workplace environment.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Your Perfect Workplace at Home: How to Organize It by Emily Johnson

No matter who you are: whether a sophisticated writer or a newbie, you need to have a well-organized home workplace.

As soon as you have a firm grasp of home workplace organization, you’ll see its positive impact on your concentration, creativity, and cleverness. Obviously, you need to understand how to organize your perfect workplace.

The best interior designers are often expensive, but you can make efforts to learn the art of home workplace organization right now. Take a look at the infographic by OmniPapers to find out more details concerning what your perfect workplace should look.

First of all, it should:

  • be comfortable and cozy;
  • have up-to-date gadgets;
  • motivate and inspire you;
  • keep you productive;
  • boost spirits;
  • prevent health problems.

Ready to organize it?

Demark computer and non-computer zones

You need to have separate zones for work and relax. Don’t confuse these processes, as they can impact your productivity. Time management is your helper: set up small breaks to boost inspiration. You can take a cup of coffee/tea, read a blog post at this site, or take a nap for a while.

Keep your office clean

If you want to stay concentrated, you should get rid of the mess on your table. Take away all dirty cups, throw out rubbish, hide all extra stuff. However, be sure to have items you use daily next to you: a lamp, stickers, a computer, utensils, and a digital highlighter.

Add comfort

Your perfect workplace should help you stay healthy. You’d better have an ergonomic office chair, mini elliptical trainers, and a table for work standing. Take care of your health, as it helps you stay focused and productive.

Remember: a perfect workplace impacts your productivity growth, inspiration boost, and motivation.

If you are ready to start organizing your writing desk, save this infographic. There are many details to discover.

your-writing-cabinet-organization

Bio: Emily Johnson is a blogger of OmniPapers and contributor to many websites about blogging, writing, and content marketing. She shares her writing experience with others, and you can always find more works of hers on FaceBook.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in December, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs Music as Writing Inspiration

26 Oct

Intro:

I never used to write with music. The lyrics would distract me or it simply wouldn’t work. Many years later, I found music I actually enjoyed using, and I’ve used it since while brainstorming. Today, our guest writer is talking about just that. Using music to inspire her, here is Audrey Leaman.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Music as Writing Inspiration by Aubrey Leaman

Ah, yes, that terrifying word: inspiration.  How do we find it? And if we find it, how do we turn it into something worthwhile?

For those of you like me who bump (or crash) into writer’s block, perhaps the muse may speak to you through music.  Here are some specific ways to help get those creative juices flowing:

1) Pop/Rock: Listen to your favorite song, shuffle a playlist, or find new music…there is always a story behind the song.

For example: “Someone Like You” by Adele: who is Adele’s character? Why did she and her lover separate? What prompted her to show up at his door in the first place?

For example: “Mr. Roboto” by Styx: Is the character an actual robot/cyborg? Or is this symbolism for something else? Why does he need to hide, and why is his life in danger?

Music as Writing Inspiration photo

Photo provided by Audrey

2) Classical: Reverse-engineer the story as though it were a movie soundtrack.  Who are the characters? What are they doing? What’s the genre (romantic comedy, drama, action/adventure, thriller)?

For example: To me, Maurice Ravel’s “Valley of the Bells” sounds like a man standing above a valley at the brink of a terrible fate.  ( Here’s the full story )

3) A song you don’t understand: I don’t know about you, but sometimes I will love a song at the same time that I have no idea what it’s actually about.  When you start stringing a bunch of obscure phrases together, while it may sound awesome, I’m not quite sure what the artist is trying to say anymore.  So challenge yourself to take those seemingly random phrases and imagine possible meanings for them.

For example: “Hypnotic” by Zella Day: I understand the chorus, but the verses are less clear: “white threads on my laces / stuck on the hinges, swinging the door to the backyard” could represent all kinds of things.  Maybe the character is a young girl at the time of being in love, or maybe she is just remembering past childhood days.  It could even be representative of how pure and fresh her lover makes her feel.

3) Playlist: shuffle your music library.  Each song is the next action or character in the story.

For example: A love song (One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful) followed by an angry song (Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name) could inspire the story of a relationship that starts out strong but then bitterly falls apart when the girl changes her mind.

Have you tried something like this before? Can you think of other ways music might inspire a story?

Bio: What if mermaids wore suspenders? What if the White Rabbit played an Olympic sport? What if music could take you on an adventure?  Aubrey Leaman loves pushing boundaries by mixing and matching both between and within genres because she believes that the resulting fresh perspective can be both fun and illuminating.  So she uses books and music (and more) as diving boards to plunge into the cosmic pool that encompasses anything and everything that can be imagined.  You know, in a light-hearted, casual way.

You can follow her blog here and on  tumblr.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in December, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

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