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Encouragement Tuesday (For Writers)

When we strive to attain our goals,
we will have days harder than others

We will have laughs, tears, and smiles,
and we will even have some fear

When the journey gets tough,
keep reaching for the stars and don’t give up

Reach_for_Stars_1

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Saying Goodbye…

To 2017!!!
New Year

If you read the title and thought I was leaving, nope! I just wanted to post an overview of 2017 before I left today. For my birthday and new years, I’m heading to Disneyland! Strange place to go, right? Well, this year I didn’t go to a major theme park, so I figured before the year is done, I might as well go to Disney.

I wanted to thank everyone for a full, awesome year of following my blog, reading my posts, and for commenting! We’ve had some excellent discussions this year, and next year, I hope to bring more of that to this blog.

Here are some posts that highlight the year:
All the post below have the most comments (over 30 comments) and engagement from 2017.
Blog Tip Series: Being Active in the Community
Own Your Titles (For Writers)
Blog Tip Series: Responding to Comments
Measuring Accomplishments
Free Content and Readers (For Writers)
Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Next year, I plan to get a full domain name, so that change will be coming. I also want to interact with everyone more, so I’ll be looking for bloggers to do guest posts.

Lastly, I always plan to keep this blog about writing, especially topics that affect the writing community. As I branch out from online writing communities and start going to more conferences, I plan to share that knowledge with everyone.

I’m a little sad to leave 2017 behind and get older, but I’m excited about what 2018 will bring. My primary focus for next year is my writing career, so we’ll see what happens.

What is one thing you accomplished this year, and what is one thing you hope to do in 2018?

I know some people don’t like setting goals, but maybe we can start with mentioning one thing. This year, I finished Clash of Tides, and next year, I hope to get an agent, but we’ll see.

Sharing a Post: The Truth About Wattpad Stars

Hey, everyone!

I’m sure based on the title, you’re wondering what today’s blog post is about. Well, the focus of today’s post isn’t about me, but it’s about one of my fellow writer friends and their experience with Wattpad as a company.

In the past, I’ve mentioned different writing websites: the good, the bad, and most certainly, the ugly. I know I may come off as “bashing” these sites, but I only want to share my experiences and prepare others for what to expect.

Of course, I know many writers like Wattpad, and please don’t let my experience stop you from using the website; however, just proceed with caution. If you are curious about Wattpad as a company and their Wattpad Stars program (a program where Wattpad selects writers to be published through their connections), then please see my friend’s post here: The Truth About Wattpad Stars.

I hope it will be enlightening and shed some light on how these online writing websites work. After hearing all the things she went through, and what some other writers have gone through, I couldn’t help but feel,

Truth

To new and experienced writers, especially those that want to publish, please don’t let anyone pressure you about your stories. If you don’t feel your story is ready for publication, don’t rush it. Publishing shouldn’t be a race, it should be a journey, and once you feel satisfied with your work, then share it with the world.

Remember, you don’t want to end up like this:

Race

If you want to discuss this topic here, then please, post your comments and let’s converse! Hmm, I guess I could ask questions about this.

After reading her blog post, what are your feelings about these online writing sites? Do you feel it’s better to traditionally publish, self-publish, or do a serial novel (using one of these online websites)?  If you had a chance to publish just your first draft, would you do it, or would you take the time to polish your story first?

Please let me know! And remember, no drama, please.

Looking Back: Inspirations From 2017

Hey, everyone! How are you doing this weekend?

Unfortunately, I’m not feeling well today, so I’m sitting in bed. I figured this would be a good time to write a blog post about 2017. But before we get into that, I do have a few updates for everyone!

  1. Clash of Tides is still going through beta, but I already have notes for the second draft. I’m excited to work on the second draft of the story.
  2. I’m still posting the first draft of COT online for all those who want to read the ending. Remember, you can find updates here: Find Me.
  3. I haven’t forgotten about 9/Nine Realms, but I decided to rewrite the story, so it’s going through some editing.
  4. I do freelance writing now, so if you ever need a project done, let me know.

Now, back to the blog post! As the year slowly comes to an end, more and more bloggers are posting about their thoughts from 2017. Today, I want to discuss what stories inspired me this year for my own work.

And of course, I want to hear what inspired you, too.

Here is my list of the most inspirational stories from 2017:

I’m going to break down the list by following: movie, TV show, video game, and soundtrack.

Movie from 2017:

The Shape of Water

the-shape-of-water-poster-copy(image from http://www.joblo.com)

There are so many words I can write about this movie, but I’ll try to keep it simple and spoiler-free. When I think of The Shape of Water, I think of two words: beautiful and unique. It was beautiful because the love between the human and merman (or more like a humanoid mercreature) felt genuine. The depth of the main characters sadness and desire to help another lonely creature broke my heart. Unlike most movies I’ve watched, this presented unique storytelling I haven’t seen before. Of course, no story is perfect. The Shape of Water has its flaws, but they can easily be overlooked by the great acting and storyline. As someone who is finalizing their merman romance fantasy story, this was an inspiring movie to see. Also, it gave me ideas on how to plot the second book in my series.

TV Show from 2017:

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

magusbride(image from http://www.sevenseasentertainment.com)

Honestly, I just binged watch this show and manga this weekend. The world captured me so much that I just had to keep investing in the story. While some of the characters are cliché, I felt the world-building was excellent. The Ancient Magus’ Bride reminds me of a Hayao Miyazaki film full of magic and wonder. It’s almost like around every corner new magical beings are waiting to be discovered.

Video Game from 2017:

LOZ: Breath of the Wild

Zelda-Breath-of-the-Wild-767817

I already did a full blog post on this game, so I won’t discuss it again, but gah, this game was so good! Between the vast world, fantastic soundtrack and an incredible cast of characters, I couldn’t help but be inspired by this creation. Even though Link doesn’t talk in the game, his feelings were portrayed clearly by his actions. I can honestly say this story inspired me to improve 9/Nine Realms, which is why I haven’t blogged about that story in a while.

Music from 2017:

Nier Music Concert

I never played the game to this series, but I found this musical gem will browsing YouTube. As most writers know, some writers listen to music while they write. For me, I’m one of those writers. A good soundtrack helps me see a scene vividly in my mind. When I listed to the Nier Music Concert, I came up with like five new scenes in a matter of minutes.

If you’re interested, have a listen. It definitely has elements of that fantasy feeling.

Well, there you have it, my list from 2017! I’m actually proud of myself. All of these things are in fact, from 2017. Overall, I feel like 2017 was a creativity year.

If you don’t mind, can you share what has inspired you from 2017?

Learning and Writing With Different Styles

Hello!!!!

Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my last post. It’s nice to read what everyone else is working on and see writers engaging with each other. After all, it’s always good to support your fellow writer.

To everyone who is writing and working on submissions, this is for you:

to the writers

Today, I want to write about learning and writing different styles. I’m sure some of you are wondering what I mean, but don’t worry, I’ll explain it.

Just like many of you, I’m sure you’ve been writing online for a while now. In most online communities, I’ve met a good number of writers – writers who of course, want to write fiction. As fiction writers, one of our goals is to publish and keep improving our craft. However, we all know that fiction writing doesn’t always pay well. I want to write, but sadly, I also need to make money. When I finally decided to write full time, I kept looking at the best-paid jobs for writers. If anyone is interested, I’ve posted some jobs below:

Technical Writer
Copy Writer
Editor

You can also read more here: 6 Awesome Careers for Writers

Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking that’s not the same as fiction writing; it’s boring. And as someone who is trying to be a technical writer, I agree with you. But, I can honestly say technical writing has helped improved my craft.

With technical writing, you need to be clear, direct, and concise. In other words, get the point across with no needless words, and make it clear so readers (in layman’s terms) can understand.

That writing has vastly helped my fiction writing. Before, when I used to write my sentences, I would border on purple prose because I liked “flower language.” Now, when writing my stories, it’s easier for me to notice “filler words” and if my passages aren’t concise. Of course, sometimes, you’ll want to throw your readers off during a story, but overall, we don’t want our books hard to read, or we won’t get readers.

In the beginning, it surprised me that other writers didn’t try for travel writing, article writing, or other professional writing jobs. Just because it isn’t related to fiction writing, doesn’t mean you cannot have fun with it or learn from it. In my travel writing class, I learned describing an environment is important. Mostly because in travel writing, readers will want to smell what you smelled and sense what you sensed. It’s a way of giving the readers a motive to visit that location.

The lead technical writer I once worked with told me this, “I’ve read your stuff, and I really think you would do well with marketing writing.”

what

To those words, I arched an eyebrow and questioned what he said. Then I thought, in a way, if you blog, you’re also doing article and marketing writing, so that gave me something to think about ^__^

Maybe that’s something some of you will think about, too.

Question: as a fiction writer, have you ever thought of doing a more traditional writing job? Why or why not?      

 

The Writer Within You

Today, I want to discuss something important. I want to talk about the writer inside you.

If you read one of my recent blog posts, then you know next year I want to focus purely on writing.

For too long, I stayed in the circle of my comfort zone, and I need to break away from its fence.

Comfort Zone

And if you also want to write, I challenge you to the same. Once I asked everyone want type of writer they want to be. Do you want to be the writer known for one major series like J.K. Rowling, or do you want to be a prolific writer like Stephen King?

Before, I said I want to be a prolific writer because I have too many story ideas. In fact, I read an article titled “What Does it Mean to Be a ‘Prolific’ Writer?” on HuffPost.

The article said, “what I believe is the deeper definition of “prolific,” that is, the author’s existential need to continuously create parallel worlds out of the raw material of his imagination.”

When I read that, I decided that’s what I want to do. Of course, being a full-time fiction writer is the dream, but it doesn’t pay bills, sadly. Well, it can, but it’s not easy. Until then, I’m going to work on being a Technical Writer and freelance when I can. I’ve already talked to the man in my life about this, and he agrees I need to make more time to write.

Sometimes, I wish I was a faster writer, like a writer who can turn out a book every 2-3 months, but then my stories may suffer.

For now, I’m going to keep moving towards this goal. I’ve outlined my writing plan, and so far I have seven books to write, including some short stories.

I was never that writer with over 1M reads online, I never got asked to turn my books into a comic, but I’m determined to keep traveling towards my end goal.

The protagonists of our stories need to step out their comfort zones, so maybe we should as well. Great people in history fought on, despite the odds around them, and you can, too.

As the great Lisa Nichols says,

77bd46a385ec78c0149e2b84a602b750--lisa-nichols-quotes-mentor-quotes

For those who don’t know who Lisa Nichols is, she is a motivational speaker who started off poor, on welfare as a single mom at twenty-seven. Now, she is a millionaire who travels all over the world and encourages people to follow their dreams.

The funny this is, in high school, her English teacher said her writing was so bad, she wouldn’t be able to get a job. Well, she proved that teacher wrong. She is a New York Times bestselling author of the book “No Matter What!: 9 Steps to Living the Life You Love.” 

Surprisingly, a teacher in high school said the same thing to me, and now look, I’m a writer trying to get an agent next year!

So, please remember, don’t let other people shape your life. For too long, I’ve let other people shape my decisions, and I can’t do it anymore.

If you write, and I mean love to write, you know there is a writer in you. Let that writer out so your creativity can shine =)

Freedom!!

To end this post, can you tell me what your writing goals for 2018 are? Are you going to step out of your comfort zone?

Also, I made this yesterday! I hope you like it =)  This is the best image I’ve made so far!

Dark Waterfall

(note: images used in this post are not mine. I don’t own any of the stocks)

Life, Updates, and Your Safe Writing Space

So…

Longtimenosee_1

I want to say, sorry for being MIA for the past month. Life isn’t easy for me right now, and I want to tell you what’s going on. For starters, I’m working on the following:

  1.  Still switching careers. This hasn’t been easy, but I’m determined to get there.
  2. I started a new writing venture, so I’ll be busy with that =)
  3. Clash of Tides is still going through beta! I got some great feedback, so I’m making notes for the rewrite and hoping to start that soon.
  4. 9/Nine Realms isn’t dead! I’m changing the first few chapters, and I want to continue writing the story soon.
  5. I want to self-publish a book of horror short stories, so I’m also working on that.
  6. I’m still learning web development and graphic design.
  7. As always, I’m practicing the craft of writing to be the best writer I can.

Yeah…it’s a lot, but I’m determined to make 2018 the year of change. For a while now, I’ve felt stagnant, and I want the upcoming year to be better. I want to leave behind my old thinking process and move to a year of growth.

If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve left some of my social media profiles behind, but don’t worry, I plan to use them again soon. I know it’s essential to grow our platform, and once I get my new venture done, I will return to the world of social media.

As for my stories, they are being uploaded in bulk to Tapas. So if you’ve been waiting to read the end of Clash of Tides, it will be posted soon. I will not post the rewrite online, as things will be changed and edited for submission.

Now, for today’s topic, I want to talk about Perfection and a Safe Space. As writers, especially beginning writers, we want to think our work is good, but sometimes reality is different. Everyone who reads this blog knows my writing journey has been full of ups and downs and all around. I’ve been writing for almost four years now, but I still haven’t published a book. To be fair, for the first two years, I mostly wrote fanfiction, but  I was still writing and working on my craft.

Today, I wished I was further along on my writing journey. I don’t want to just be a good writer, I want to be a great one, to be a perfect…and that’s when I stopped myself. In this world, there is no such thing as perfect. We all know the dream is to be a best seller, but more than likely, that won’t be the case.

So, before we even submit our work to agents or post online, we need to remind ourselves, “I am not perfect; I am going to make mistakes.”

Remember, when you post your stories online or submit to agents, nothing is going to be perfect. The best thing to do is forgive yourself. All you can do is keep working on your craft and improving your skills. You won’t reach perfection, but you will keep growing your skills. In the end, all you can do is read, practice, and keep writing.

tobeagoodwriter

If you find posting on websites where you’re ranked against other writers is too much, then find yourself a Safe Space. You’re probably wondering what I mean by Safe Space. Well, a space where you can post your writing, not feel overly judged, and not question your own writing worth. To me, a Safe Space is a place where you can write and not have your self-doubt grow over your confidence.

There’s nothing wrong if you want a Safe Space while you’re perfecting your craft. The important thing is you find betas you trust, who you can work with without having drama.

So for all of you, how did you get over the perfection problem? What is your writing Safe Space?