Real Simple magazine “New Uses For Old Things Contest” deadline: November 14, 2014 Wineglass, dustpan, wooden spoon, smartphone case, belt, soda-can tab, balance/fitness ball, melon baller, coffee cup sleeve, DVD case, cutting board, rolling pin, magnets, shoelaces, garment bag, shot glass, coffee K-Cup, contact-lens case. Winners will be published in a future issue and receive a $100 gift card. Email your ideas for “New Uses For Old Things” to: firstname.lastname@example.org Include the name of the item and how you repurposed it. Photos welcome. Click here for details. And if you win, be sure to let us know!
Guest Blogger Lois Lavrisa writes about the lack of self-confidence and doubt amongst writers. My husband and I attended an event featuring the bestselling financial guru, Suze Orman. We chatted with friends as my husband’s coworker approached us. Beth, a perky lady with a huge smile, approached us. Beth shook my hand. “I’m a huge fan.” I nodded enthusiastically. “Me too. I love Suze. I can’t wait to see her.” Beth’s face froze for a moment, as if registering what I said. Then she gently squeezed my hand. “I’m a fan of yours.” For a few moments, I didn’t know what to say. I finally said a quick thank you to Beth. She was sweet and I was completely flattered. It’s just that I was just taken off guard because I don’t have great author confidence. Instead I have loads of self doubt, maybe it could be called author angst,…
Publishing is a journey, not a destination. — Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, author of The Pet Washer and Guardian Herd – Starfire. Jennifer was an amazing presenter at Writers Forum in Petaluma, summer of 2014. If you have an opportunity to hear her speak, or attend her author’s event . . . go for it! She’s warm, friendly and has a herd of information about publishing . . .both traditional publishing and self-publishing. She has done both and has stories to tell! She is welcome back at Writers Forum anytime! She’s a good writer, too!
In the middle of the night . . . Set your timer and Go. Write! Lifeshotsbylaura
Editing is writing, too. Do you resist editing your writing? Does the idea of polishing your writing make you feel uncomfortable? I hear ya! Do you resist sharing your writing with others? Does putting your writing “out there” feel like you’re sending your precious child into the (cold, cruel) world? Yep, I hear that, too. I used to be very nervous about showing my writing to others. And I still am a bit nervous sometimes. But then I joined writing groups here and there and I began to share my writing. When my writing was published — it happened sort of by accident — I didn’t seek to be published. A friend encouraged me (thank you, Pat Tyler) and . . . now I’ve been published in 6 anthologies. And I have to tell ya . . . it’s fun. Here are my thoughts about the writing process of going…
The way I found out about . . . Start a sentence with “The way I found out about . . . ” and go from there. Write! Just write.
The Southern Review welcomes unsolicited work during reading period, Sept 1 – Feb 1. They consider fiction, poetry, and essays, including creative nonfiction and literary essays. Only previously unpublished work will be considered. They accept simultaneous submissions but ask that you notify them promptly if your work is accepted elsewhere. They recommend that before submitting work you familiarize yourself with the journal’s aesthetic by subscribing. Click here for submission guidelines.
Guest Blogger Ellen Sussman writes about “An Argument for Daily Writing.” You want to be a writer. But… You’ve got a demanding job. A demanding spouse. Demanding kids. You wrote a novel that didn’t sell. You wrote two novels that didn’t sell. Three? Four? You don’t have a snazzy office. You don’t have the latest computer. You write at a café and the moms bring all their screaming babies to that café. You don’t think you’re good enough. Your high school English teacher told you you’re a lousy writer. Your mother told you that your brother was smarter than you are. You have a hangover. You have carpal tunnel. You’re hungry and there’s no food in the house. Excuses are easy. Writing is hard. I’ve got one way of silencing all those voices. I go to work every day. Writing is my job. So I show up. Screw the hangover….
You have ideas what to write about. But how do you get started? Do you sit at your computer, fingers poised above the keyboard . . . ready. . . but your mind swirls, goes blank. . . at a loss how to get started. How about starting your writing time like many famous author do? With warm-ups, using writing prompts. There are many blogs and websites with ideas for writing. One of them is my interactive blog, The Write Spot Blog. You can post your writing (~600 words) and receive comments on your writing. You can also use prompts posted on my Facebook Writing Page and writing prompts on my website. http://www.thewritespot.us/writingprompt.html The joy of writing freely . . . that’s what these prompts are about. How do you start your writing time? What are your rituals? Your writing habits? Or, do you Just Write?
Andrew Sean Greer answers this question in the September 2014 issue of The Writer Magazine. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about writing? “That you be clever as clever, and people will be impressed, but they will only be impressed for so long. After that, unless you are very real in your writing, and donate some piece of your heart, and are vulnerable, someone else will come along much more clever than you. Better to be ready from the outset. There is no competition for vulnerability. We are all in that together.” Note from Marlene: There’s that vulnerability thing again. Feeling vulnerable seems to go along with sharing your writing with others. . . that’s what Steve Jobs and I were talking about in the August 14, 2014 post about the most important tool in life about making big choices. Well, Steve and I didn’t actually have this conversation….