My Mission For You:

Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Organization Tip: Writing Backpack #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop
Join HERE


Being a Floridian, I am no stranger to the dangers of brush fires. When I was a kid, a fire surrounded my house on all sides. I had to run inside and grab what I wanted to save. All I remember saving was my blanket and school backpack.

Ever since that day, I’ve had a very real fear of fires. More specifically, a fear of losing my home to one. This worry resulted in something that has come in handy during hurricane season and severe thunderstorms, too.

So, what is it?

A backpack full of all of my writing stuff, including folders of ideas, notebooks for stories I’ve started, a Ziplock bag with a few old floppy disks, a couple of old planners, and anything else I would not want to lose to a natural disaster.

I’ve had this backpack (well, not the exact backpack…I recently got a new one) for years. As a matter of fact, I started doing this when I was a teen and started seriously writing with the goal of publication.

This backpack holds my world…or, I should say, my books’ worlds and my characters.

If a fire ever threatens my home, I will grab this backpack and put it by the door to snatch on my way out with my cats.

I even grab it and bring it wherever I am during a severe thunderstorm.

Any other time, this backpack is in a plastic container in my walk-in closet. During hurricane season, the things I want safe are inside my closet with this backpack. There is even an empty bucket in there for my computer.

Not only does this help for an evacuation, but it keeps all of my writing stuff together in one place 24/7, so I know where to look when I need to find an old story or idea.

If you don’t do anything else that I share on my blog for organization, I highly recommend all writers to do this.


QUESTION: Do you put your writing notebooks/folders in a safe place?


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My #IWSGPit Experience + Bactine for Writer's Depression - Part 2


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.



NOTE: If you're not interested in #IWSGPit, scroll down to my Bactine for Writer's Depression post. This part is long.

#IWSGPit - This was my first time actually participating in #IWSGPit by sending out pitches, so I want to share my experience.

The book I'm shopping around is urban fantasy, but urban fantasy wasn't listed as a genre for participants to use or agents/publishers to look for. I was told I could use #UF in my tweets, BUT I forgot to include #F (fantasy) until the last couple of tweets at the very end of the time frame. By then, not many people were around, so I don't have much faith that my tweets were seen by agents who accept urban fantasy (or just plain fantasy).

Despite that, I did get 3 likes. However...

1. The first like was from a publisher who helps you self-publish for a steep flat fee of almost $4,000. That's not what I'm looking for (even if I had that kind of money), and I'm pretty sure that the other participants aren't looking for that, either. Otherwise, why join a pitch party?

2. The other publisher that showed interest doesn't actually seem to take my genre. They have a paranormal romance line, so I guess that's what they'd classify my book as?

3. This one came the day after. Their covers are amateurish, the only fantasy book they've published was written by the editor-in-chief, and there's not much info on their site.

Pitches for My Mom - I also helped my mom create tweets for her historical western romance and her children's fantasy chapter book. There wasn't a hashtag for western, only historical and romance, and also no hashtag for chapter books.

Here's How That Went:

For her children's chapter book, she got one like...from that publisher who self-publishes your books. Actually, this book got the first like out of all of our books, and I was so excited...until I looked deeper. The disappointment was swift.

For her historical western romance she got 5 likes! However...

1. The first was from the second publisher who had liked one of my tweets. The good thing is I know a few of their authors. The not-so-good? They don't really seem to take her genre, either, but more regency. But we may try them anyway.

2. One publisher only had two authors listed on their site. And when I looked them up, neither of them were on Amazon, not even the book they said was published...

3. The third like came from a small press set up last year. They have a handful of authors, and many of them have several books. The romance category is full of books by one author, which is a lesbian romance series. Perhaps they want to add historical to their romance side?

4. Another one is an imprint for a publisher, and this imprint is for steamy books in sci-fi and fantasy. Since when does historical romance mean sci-fi/f?

5. Finally, the last like came from an interesting-looking independent publisher with an intriguing approach to really help authors, including free marketing training, platform development, and partnering them with a publicist while under contract. They do have historical romance under women's fiction, though the books they have out are regency, but we'll try anyway because of how neat this company sounds.

Lesson for All: That's why it's important to research each publisher/agent who likes a tweet. They may not be right for you after all.

Will I participate in the next #IWSGPit? If #UF is added and I'm still shopping this book around, then I may give it a try again. No harm in sending out tweets, right? (Other than emotional. lol) My decision to join in the future will depend on the response I get next time (if I only get likes from that self-publishing publisher or publishers that don't fit). 


Suggestions for Genre Hashtags:
#UF - Urban Fantasy
#W - Western
#CB - Chapter Book (Children's)
#RS - Romantic-Suspense 
(or at least #S for suspense)


****

Bactine for Writer's Depression - Part 2


I’ve been open about my depression these past couple of years. My IWSG post in July was Bactine for Writer's Depression - Part 1. Blogging saved me during a three-year-long stretch of depression.

Each attack is different, though. What helped once may not help again.

From September 2016 to April 2017, I experienced my worst depression to date. Blogging didn’t help me then. Blogging had actually become part of the problem.

This time, something else helped…reading.

Usually, when depression hits, your favorite activities and hobbies lose their attractiveness. But I hadn’t read for fun in a long time, so when I couldn’t write and didn’t have motivation to do anything, I picked up books. Not fiction books, though, which is what I read for enjoyment. I read non-fiction books—memoirs, feminism-related books, how-to books for authors, and books about Wicca, a beautiful faith.

I read.

I learned.

I believed.

And I found myself.

Read to pull yourself our of depression. Read children's books, books about nature, travel guides, poetry, memoirs, history, myths, anything, especially if it's different from what you'd usually read. New interests are key when depression steals all of your usual interests.


IWSG BOOK CLUB:


Our book selection for August/September is:

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

This one is for our memoir writers and anyone who has ever thought of writing a memoir. The discussion will start September 19th and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you're able. Join Us.


GIVEAWAY!

Book club members have the chance to win a paperback copy of Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. This is a used copy, but it’s in great condition.

To enter, go to this Rafflecopter Form. It’s free to enter, but you have to be a book club member. We will verify this, so join us on Goodreads

One winner will be randomly selected on August 8th, and Chrys Fey will email the winner to get mailing details. All info will be kept private.



QUESTIONS: How has reading helped you? Have you participated in #IWSGPit? What was your outcome? Have you ever thought of writing a memoir?


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