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Do you ever feel you are a seasonal writer?istockphoto-692299112-612x612

Okay not everyone can be like Mary Faulkner and keep pumping out books. Some of us (especially me) like to write when the season is right. At the beginning of the year I feel excited to start fresh to tackle my goals of writing, then somewhere during the year life happens and my writing goals get forgotten.

Some of the time I hit a slump in writing that it looks like I gave up altogether but I am always thinking about it in the back of my mind. When I read a good book, I think “Oh that was some good writing” which makes me think about my own writing. Then I feel depressed I have not written in a while and the vicious circle continues.

So how do you break the habit of hibernation? I recently read a great article about 3 steps to help writers become more successful in accomplishing goals. We should all try these steps. The first is to not wait for inspiration.  I know that seems to be my problem right now.

The second is to not give up because of someone criticizing your work. Everyone will have something to say about everything you do. Try not to get offended and keep on writing.

The third is to set up small wins. We all have high expectations of ourselves and feel we are not meeting them. Ultimately, this can hurt your motivation for writing. Make smaller goals to reach each day and celebrate when you accomplish them.

Read more from this article: 3 Surefire Ways to Write More Consistently

Start writing today!

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Taking a break in the summer from writing does not mean to stop reading.  I have challenged myself to read more books this summer.  If you want to challenge yourself and need to keep track too, then try the challenge on Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/

This helps me to also keep track of my reviews of the books.  Sometimes I can read so many books that after a while I lose what I read. Keeping my impressions by writing reviews reminds me of the book. How do you keep track of your reading?

I recently read an article about the summer slide for kids. The data is disheartening for children book authors. Here is an excerpt from the article on Summer Reading 2019:

“According to findings from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 7th Edition, there is a rising trend of kids ages 6–17 reading zero books over the summer: 15% in 2016 vs. 20% in 2018. Among 9–11-year-olds, this percentage has doubled (7% to 14%), and among teens ages 15–17 it has increased by ten points (22% to 32%). To help turn this trend around, the report reveals that if parents are aware of the summer slide, their children are less likely to read zero books (16% vs.25%). Yet, 47% of parents with school-age children are not aware of the summer slide and this percentage increases sharply to 63% among families with household incomes under $35,000. “https://www.cbcbooks.org/2019/05/08/summer-reading-in-2019-is-all-about-kids-empowerment-with-scholastic-summer-read-a-palooza/ 

Scholastic and United Way Worldwide are donating high- quality books to communities providing children access to them through libraries and book stores.  Teachers and parents are also trying to reverse this trend. I do not stop reading so, of course, I do not let my kids stop either.

What are some effective ways that help children (and you) to keep reading during summer break? What do you feel is the benefits for an author to read in their genre or outside of it?

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There are times when every author must wait for a response from an agent or publisher about a query.  We sit on pins and needles.  Weeks go by and even months on end. Then we might get a form rejection letter. That is not what I received recently. I have gotten glowing remarks in rejection letters and even well-wishers for my book to find a home, but never a slap. I mean a cold, Doc Martin-crass-attitude rejection letter. If you don’t know who Doc Martin is well he is a Doctor in Portwenn, who is very blunt and has no social skills whatsoever. I love this show!

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So I decided because this agent went to the trouble of telling me very bluntly why she didn’t like my manuscript and why she “could not read any further”, I thought that I might as well pay attention to her suggestions and fix the problems. She said I used too many adverbs, repeated names a lot and had no voice. I went back and fixed the grammar problems. I edited the manuscript to the point of taking out a good majority of the beginning and now I hope it sounds okay.  The problem I have left is the voice.

With all the negative comments this made me wonder if the manuscript is just not good enough to be published. I mean is it not the editors who decide that a manuscript is worth editing or fixing? They decide whether a story is worth the work. Are they really expecting a manuscript to be flawless? I am not a perfect writer and I really do not know anyone who is. I just wonder if this agent is right and my writing has no voice. Could I be that boring? Just some insecure thoughts here after my hundredth rejection letter. But who’s counting, right? Keep your chin up. Things can only get better from here!

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I have a wonderful book review of MY book! The author, Aimee Ann, gave my book five stars and a glowing review.  FLIGHT OF THE RAVEN has been self-published for a few years now and I have been needing more recognition for the work. I have had great popularity with my book when it is free but because there are no other reviews on Amazon or other seller sites, there are no sales.

If anyone would love to read the review please use the link below:

https://redheadedbooklover.com/flight-of-the-raven-j-r-wilson/

Please go check out my first self-published book and leave a review. Thanks!

 

 

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Reading children’s books has to be a priority for writers in this genre. We need to know what children want to read or why a book is selling. Some of the best books I read this year did not make some of the lists. But here are a few that did.

The NY Times top-selling children books had only one book I have read this year: “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill. 28110852.jpg

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads and you can read my review of it here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2357366254?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

You can also see the full list of books that made the top of NY Times Bestsellers:

https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/childrens-middle-grade-hardcover/?module=DropDownNav&action=click&region=navbar&contentCollection=Books&version=Childrens&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&pgtype=Reference

From Goodreads Best Middle Grade & Children’s for 2018 the top of the list was “The Burning Maze” by Rick Riordan. A lot of my favorite authors made it on this list.  You can see the full list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-childrens-books-2018

Commonsense media is anotherplace where you can find the top children’s books for the year. One book I have added to my read list (maybe because I really like this author and met him once in person) is by Matt de la Pena called “Carmella Full of Wishes”.  His writing is full of emotion, which makes it is hard not to get swept up into the characters lives.  See the full list here:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/best-kids-books-of-2018

What books were your favorite from this year? Comment below what books did not make the list.

And read some great books this coming new year!

 

 

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I hate dry spells in writing. I feel guilty that I have not written in a while. This guilt then turns me away from writing which is the exact opposite of accomplishing anything productive. So what did I do during this period of “no-writing”? Well, I read some great literature, took a couple of college courses and I vegged in front of the TV. Not a lot of writing. When you have to write lesson plans, reports and other forms of documents, then creative writing seems to take a back seat.

This will have to change this next year. 2019 will be the year of more creative stories and time to write some poetry. I recently read that “Improving your writing through the practice and study of poetry forces you to whip out your magnifying glass and look at your writing up close. Whether you apply poetic concepts to fiction, blogging, or article writing, your engagement with poetry will help you produce better writing.” (https://www.writingforward.com/better-writing/poetry-helps-you-improve-your-writing)

I do not plan to just jump head first into writing poetry. Studying and reading other famous poets will help me get my juices flowing. I have written some poetry in the past. Writing poetry will help me flex those brain muscles I have not used in a while. Let me know what helps you get over your dry spells in writing in the comments below.

Good luck to everyone’s writing in the new coming year!

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When we look at all the places we could shop for a book thirty years ago the choices were slim. Today, because of all the different formats of books there are hundreds of places to shop for books. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing. This only creates better opportunities for authors getting their books into hands around the world. Here are the most go to places for self-published and even traditional published authors to have their books sold at:

 

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1330042438

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https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/flight-of-the-raven-8

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flight-of-the-raven-j-r-wilson/1127745179?ean=2940154965856

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https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=2530421

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https://play.playster.com/books/10009781546870623/flight-of-the-raven-j-r-wilson

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https://www.overdrive.com/media/3737358/flight-of-the-raven

This list doesn’t stop here. The library and schools have books that readers can find. Even publishers sell their books on their websites. There are thousands of bookstores around the world. And people even sell books on eBay and other sites where you might not get the newest edition but maybe a bargain of a find. What is your favorite place to shop? Which format of books do you like- digital or physical? And finally, where do you think your book has sold the best?

Happy book hunting!

 

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