Post 1: February 1, 2016

For some reason, I entered a health/wellness, brain balancing and successful aging kick since the new year. Here’s what I have been reading–may be of interest to some of you:

Grain Brain, David Perlmutter, M.D.

Live Long, Die Short, Roger Landry, M.D.

Drop Dead Healthy, A.J. Jacobs

The Power of NO, James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher

Super Brain, Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D

I rounded out the above with Dick Van Dyke’s Keep Moving since it also dealt with tips and truths about aging.

Each book presented the basic principles of healthy living and aging: diet, exercise, keep active/busy, social human contacts etc. which we have heard for years, but need to be reminded now and then if only to put us back on track.

Over the next few months, I may elaborate on each of the books if you like.  Send suggestions on which ones you would like to hear about.  Also share what you have been reading lately.  These posts may make for better give and take among us.

Check Amazon.com for See With Words; Capturing the Essence of Writing.  I’m still trying to find a local printer so I can have some soft-covered books available through my Web site.  The printer I have used in the past is out of business.   I’ll stay in touch with the first fiction book I’ve read so far this year.

 

 

SEE with WORDS: June 16, 2015

WRITING TIPS

  1. Write from the heart.
  2. Write a great book.
  3. Study book marketing.
  4. Know your audience.
  5. Have a great title.
  6. Set giant goals.
  7. Time your efforts.
  8. Develop a business plan.
  9. Network through clubs/associations.
  10. Commit to marketing.
  11. Use book signings.
  12. Get reviews – be public.
  13. Give some books away.

 

SEE with WORDS: June 13, 2015

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Before choosing a publisher or printer

  • Comparison shop–get quotes
  • Look at other books the publisher or printer has produced
  • Talk to other writers who have used the publisher’s or printer’s services
  • Understand the terms of the contract; make sure there are no hidden costs
  • Verify any promises made
  • Find out if the publisher has arrangements with a wholesaler
  • Establish a good working relationship with your contact person
  • Reread the printer’s proofs carefullly; they are the last chance to catch any mistakes
  • Join an organization that offers networking opportunities
  • Take a workshop or attend writers’ conferences to find out what resources are available

 

SEE with WORDS: March 19, 2015

SUCCESSFUL BOOKS:

  • Identify a topical or regional niche; study the books already available on the same topic.
  • Bring an attractive and competitively priced book to the marketplace.
  • Reach the target audience through effective distribution.
  • Promote, promote, promote.

PLAN YOUR BUDGET CAREFULLY:

PRODUCTION: Cover design, interior book design, editing and proofreading

PRINT:  Small or large run, extra covers, dust jackets, galley proof, promotional materials

PUBLICIZE:  Review copies, postage, news releases, interviews, book signing events

PROMOTION:  Advertising media kit, displays, catalogues, postage for target mailings

 

SEE with Words: March 17, 2015

5 Reasons to Self-Publish:

Commercial publishers don’t have the time or resources to read all of the manuscripts submitted, upwards of 150,000 titles per year.  They are looking for name recognition or authors who come with certain sales potential and definite outlets.

Within recent years, self-publishing has become one of the fastest growing segments of the publishing industry.  Some of the best authors may not initially be published by a major publishing house, but after the book is printed and marketed in published form, and the author establishes a track record in sales, that book may be picked up by a major publishing house for an attractive contract.

Two such success stories are:

Laurie Notaro’s The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club was originally published by iUniverse, then placed twelfth on the New York Times Paperback Best-Seller List which landed her a six-figure, two-book contract with Random House.

Steven Keslowitz’s The Simpsons and Society was first published by Wheatmark before the book was published by Sourcebooks.

So here are the 5 reasons you may want to consider self-publishing:

  1. Keep control of your project;
  2. Control the time frame for writing, editing, and publishing;
  3. Fill a specific niche;
  4. Be the sole owner of the proceeds from the book’s sales;
  5. Get yourself in print.

Check Amazon.com for books published by Eileen Birin.

SEE with WORDS: February 19, 2015

One More Idea to Consider:

Here’s another important idea you may want to consider as you get started in the writing game.  Check local community colleges for adult continuation or special interest classes in writing.  Some may even offer workshops or seminars on various aspects of writing.  Local libraries are other resources for writing groups, special presentations on writing, or even critique groups.  Signing up for a writing course, taking a workshop or joining a critique group can prove beneficial especially if you are a novice writer and may need the support and incentive from others with similar interests.  A writing course can also provide the structure and basic techniques necessary for good writing.

Along these same lines, if several of your friends or members of a writing class are interested in working together, you might consider forming your own small writing group.  This would allow for immediate feedback and critiquing of your stories, provide opportunities to share similar learning experiences with each other, offer encouragement to get through some of those so called “writer’s block” moments, support each other’s efforts, shed light on new discoveries, and most important, laugh and cry together as you explore the problems of the lonely, yet exhilarating,  life of a writer.  So with pen in hand and love in your heart, be strong–embrace the unforgiving pain and the sublime joy of the writing life.

Writing is therapy for both you and the reader.

 

SEE with WORDS: February 18, 2015

RULES:

  • There are no firm or important rules for good writing.
  • However, know them first before you break them.
  • Follow writing guidelines; they free you to do what works best for you.

Rules are structures that set limits; true artists transcend to heights unlimited; great art has no borders.  But here’s the catch: in order to soar, one needs a solid structure as the launching pad.

Remember those language arts teachers who insisted we bring our journals to class everyday.  And then usually before an English composition lesson, we would spend five minutes writing anything that popped into our heads.  Forget spelling, grammar, sentence structure, just write, write, write.  We were encouraged to free write, to brainstorm all those creative ideas that later would become our coveted “A” English composition papers.  No one would ever see these first draft scribblings of ours, but we knew we could never hand-in anything we wrote in our notebooks until we “fixed” it up and made it better for a passing grade.

So too, true artists have learned, practiced and mastered the rules first which then sets them free to soar into their unique creative worlds.  Imagine this: what if your novel, story or poem resembled the free writing of your school day journal.  How distracting would that be to readers?  If the reader doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say, if your lack of writing efficiently interferes with the story line, how long will you hold that reader’s attention?  Know the rules first before you break them.

That said; let’s explore some useful writing guidelines that have proven successful in a writer’s creative journey.

Materials you may need for your journey:

1.  Notebooks:

You’ll need several handy notebooks, whatever fits into your pocket, purse, briefcase, and glove compartment – use whatever works best for you.  Once you start writing your novel, you will be amazed at how many new ideas begin popping into mind any time of the day and night.  You’ll want to jot down that good idea, or clever quip before it is lost once again.  Good places to keep notebooks are:

ü      bedside table

ü      bathroom

ü      kitchen

ü      den or TV room

ü      car

ü      pocket or purse

ü      outside garden or patio

2.  Tape recorder:

Some of you may prefer to use small tape recorders instead of notebooks.  Recorders work best in cars, especially if you’re driving and that tinge of recollection arises, you’ll want to grab that recorder, click the on-button, and talk your heart out.

Recorders also work well on bedside tables.  In no time, you will train yourself to hit the on-button in the dark and talk softly into the recorder without even waking your partner.

3.  Several more important items to have close at hand:

ü      a comprehensive dictionary

ü      an authoritative thesaurus

ü      an English grammar handbook

ü      plenty of pens or well-sharpened pencils

ü      computer or word processor

Where do you go from here?

Writing is a craft. Writers write. Writers write every day; that’s their job.  By cultivating the habit of writing regularly, it will make the process easier and more enjoyable. Study the craft; exercise the craft by doing it everyday.

Check out Amazon.com for: Excuse My Dust, ten quick steps for writing success; and Come Sit a Spell, Recalling and Writing Memoirs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEE with WORDS: January 26, 2015

What makes a WRITER tick!

Part of the majesty of being a writer is that we don’t fully understand what makes us tick, and if we did, we would lose the edge of our creativity.             –Tom-

Writing is like creating a movie; I’m the author, the producer, the director, and I get to play all the roles, be all the characters.                                   -Mabel-

I get thoughts and inspirations that won’t leave until I write them down.                                            -Val-

Writing is very therapeutic as well as relaxing and fun.             -Sandy-

I write to share what I learn.                     –Marty-

My mind is filled with ideas and they need to see themselves on paper before they disappear in a poof of smoke.                                                  –Linda-

I write because the characters make me!  They won’t let me off the hook.                                 –Zanne-

Writing validates my existence; it feeds my soul.            -Nancy-

I write for the same reason I read – to connect with a greater truth, a deeper feeling.  It helps me find my footing in the universe.                           –Marilyn-

My research over the years has unearthed thousands of stories that need to be told and preserved for posterity.  It is satisfying to share with others and know that the stories will not die.              –Emily-

A writing career gives you the opportunity to help other people – whether that means informing, entertaining or inspiring them.   I feel honored when readers tell me they enjoyed my book.        –Brian-

I write so I can be alone.         –Julie-

When I was 58 or 59 years old, I found out I had suppressed the desire to write all my life.  My friends haunted me until I wrote my first book.  Now I find writing so rewarding I can’t stop.                 –Mike-

I am a disable veteran who finds writing puts me into another world in which time and pain passes me by.                                                               -Sheila-

What can I say, I’m a writing junkie – hooked on ideas and words and other such creative stuff.      –Eileen-

 

 

 

Invoking your guardian angel

If you had a guardian angel, what form would your angel take (human or not)?  On what dilemma in your life right now would you most like guidance?

This is the 2nd call for entries.  If interested, please contact me at Neeliepubl@aol.com.  Could use a few more essays; no time to be shy, just get into that writing mode and jot down some ideas.  Thanks much.

Neelie Publishing is seeking essays that capture the essence of writing.  In 850 to 1000 words explain why you write.  It could be a general overview of your writing experiences or the inspiration behind a specific article, story, book or poem; the things you experienced emotionally during its writing, and the hopes you had for the piece after you were done.  You may even include an amusing anecdote about that first rejection slip.  First deadline for the entries is September 1, 2014.

If interested in participating in this project or for more information, contact Eileen Birin at Neelie Publishing, neeliepubl@aol.com.  Thank you.

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