Music

Many authors listen to music while they write. I do that myself. Something about having background noise while writing calms me, allows me to focus on my writing, but it has to be the right kind of background noise.

When I write, when I’m not listening to the background noise of NCIS, Dexter, or the various other tv shows I like to spam watch on Netflix, I’m listening to music. Now, this is easy. Most of the time you can go to Youtube and search for what kind of music you like, but for me, it’s usually the ones without words. The words get me all mixed up and I might just start typing the lyrics to whatever song I’m listening to at the time. Instead, I try to listen to the beautiful, instrumental music that makes me feel something – makes me feel anything that I can put into my writing. I used the ups and downs of the music to inspire me to write things that will turn people’s heads.

Try to find something that is right for you – because what works for me might not be right for you! Think on this!

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More Advice from Bree

Writing is hard. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of concentration. You’re often lost, listening to too many characters at one time or you may not have any of your characters speaking to you. At times, you will want to give up – I know there are times when I want to – but when those times come, just stop, take a step back, and breathe. Think about those who are actually hoping for you to succeed. Think about the one person that you want to show that dreams really do come true. Think about all of that and spend a day away from the writing.

That’s what usually works for me.

Mind of Their Own

The one thing we all hate is when we’re writing and we think that we’re in control, but we’re not. The characters speak and they do their own thing – turning your story upside down and changing your plot.

My best advice when this happens is to let them – Listen to your characters and don’t fight them. Them changing your story might be for the better and when you’re not fighting with your characters, the words flow better. Changing your story to what your characters want could very well be just what your story needs. Remember, you created these characters – they’re your babies and like any baby, they do grow up and they decide that they want to make decisions for themselves.

BUT if you don’t want to listen to them,  not all hope is lost. You can still keep to your original plan and to do so, I would take a step back from your story for a day or two and start planning chapter by chapter for your book. Plan everything, the conversations, details, scenes, all to make sure that things stay the way you want. This is something that I don’t advise as your characters will push back (trust me, it’s happened to me) and it will make writing 10 times harder than it already is.

Getting Back to Writing

So, there have been quite a few things that have pulled me away from writing and blogging more often, but I’m here to tell you that I’m going to try my best to get back to making on blog post a day AND writing a little a day (or at least editing). It’s good for me to get back into that daily routine and it’s good for you guys to read my blog posts and get advice on things.

If you know that you’re not going to be able to write for a while, please at least think about what you want to write about the next time you’re on a computer. It will help you gather your thoughts before you sit down and may even help your fords flow better! I know that it helps me to think about it first. Because of this, I have been able to put 1,000 words onto my work in progress and it’s only 10:15 AM.

I love writing and I love blogging. I love giving new and old authors alike advice on things that they request and I’m thankful for them all. I’m thankful for each and every like they give me and I’m thankful that I can help anyone. That’s my only goal here – to help and inspire – and as long as I do that, I feel like my mission is accomplished. I will be more than happy to get back to it!

Please expect more posts on authors, books, and messages from some of my favorite authors and people who support me. All over promotions can be requested in the Promotion Request tab at the top menu!

Thank you!

Expanding Word Count

Now, many people ask this question, wondering how some people can write 90,000 words in a book and such and, well, here is my advice to you.

  1. Show – Don’t Tell: When you’re writing, make sure that you’re showing everything to your readers and not just telling them. Saying “Amelia was angry” isn’t exactly showing your readers what’s going on with your character. While your readers are getting what you mean, there is another way to say it. “Amelia’s face became red and her eyes narrowed at the woman who insulted her. With her fists clenched, she held back her retort.” That alone turns three words into twenty-three.
  2. Describe Details: When your character is in a room, describe the room. Describe the weather when appropriate to show how much time has passed. Maybe it was raining in one scene and in the next, maybe you want to say that the pavement is slick and wet and the sky was still riddled with clouds that are overhead. Maybe the room your character is in makes her feel claustrophobic. DESCRIBE IT! You can get away with describing anything, painting the pictures in your reader’s mind.
  3. Include Dialogue: I guess the best way to explain this would be to show an example, but in between dialogue, you could show what else your character is doing because we don’t just sit there while talking, we fidget around, make subtle movements, use your hands, show facial expressions.

“Come on!” Amelia shouted as she waved towards David. The sky overhead cried as there was a light mist falling from the light gray clouds overhead.

“I can’t keep up!” Behind her, Daniel was struggling to keep up with her, running out of breath and slowing down. “Slow down.”

When Amelia paused, she shook her head and turned around, nearly out of breath herself. She bent her knees and placed her hands on them, hoping to be able to fully breathe by the time her boyfriend caught up. Once he got there, he reached out his hand to her.

“Are you ready?” he questioned as he raised his eyebrows, the smile spread over his lips gently.

 


All of this can come into play when expanding your word count and I’m sure there are other ways, but these are the ones that I try to use frequently. Hopefully they help and I will continue to make new posts if I find other ways!

 

New Author Friends

So, lately, I’ve been trying out some new promotional methods, trying to find one that suits me. I’m not one for shoving my book down their throat telling them that it’s the best thing since sliced bread and all that and well, posting in all different Facebook groups like some people do is also annoying to the point where it clogs up some peoples notifications and I just really don’t know much in the promotion area.

What I do know is that there is a small group that has been set up for a few authors to join to promote each other and well, I have to give a shout out to them. They are all amazing. Click their names below to be taken to their author pages! They seriously are amazing people and amazing authors 🙂

Annelle Willard
A.W. Willard
Ashley Gustavson
Brooke Warra
Heather Kirchhoff
H.R. Lutz
Kate Marie Robbins
Konstanz Silverbow
Lainy Bradshaw
Madison Sevier
Rebecca Jaycox
S.L. Dearing
Sara Nelson
Yvonne Anderson

They are all seriously amazing and I hope you like them too! On top of all of them, please don’t forget to like my own author pages!

Bree Vanderland
Brianna Vanderland

Setting a To-Do List

So, sometimes it seems that things are awry and you just don’t know where to begin. For example, today, I had a lot to do and it was all over the place. I needed to call work, call Verizon, format Dance with Darkness, get that book cover finished and so much more. What really helped me today was setting a To Do list. It helped me stay organized. I had a main list and then a more detailed list. Well, here’s how my day went –

First, I needed to call Verizon about something personal to do with our bill (not that you care much about all that) and then I needed to call work to confirm the next day I work and everything like that. After that was taken care of, I began working on my book things!

Well, for me it was pretty simple today, it was just tedious work like formatting a paperback book – making sure the images were perfect that I inserted (see the image below) and then getting an e-book formatted for it and uploading it onto many different sites. I did make a list, only so I wouldn’t lose my head, even though a list for this wasn’t really needed.

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Now, while I didn’t necessarily need a list, I still made one, only to keep everything organized. I would highly recommend keeping this in practice for the future for anyone and everyone who has a list of things they need to do for their books! It’s definitely by far the best solution I have tried.

Blog on Blog

Yes – my topic for today is about having a blog – while I’m on my blog. Makes sense, right?

Well, I’ve recently started this blog and well, I honestly didn’t think that I would keep up with it since I have had so many in the past and well, let’s just say that I’ve let some of them fall through and I’ve eventually ended up deleting so many of them. But this one is a part of my author website, so I guess I could just delete the one feature and be done with it, but I want to try. I’m bad at keeping up with things, but I seem to be doing  okay for now.

Anyway, what I’m here to talk about today are the pros and cons of blogging – keeping a blog whether it be for personal reasons or as a business tactic, it can still be helpful.

Competition –

To start with, if you look, there are many reasons not to blog. For one, there’s a lot of competition in it – so many people have blogs about so many topics that it would no doubt be hard not to be jealous of so many others and their success. My advice to you is to push that out of your mind and focus on yours and their happiness with what they are doing. If they reach many people and people like them, it’s GREAT news to have anything successful going on. As a writer, you meet so many people who write and to be successful, you kind of have to have your own style and voice,  something that is unique, otherwise it gets lost in the midst of thousands, if not millions of others.  The thing is that many people look at the “so-called” rules of blogging and think that it’s too much work, when in fact, there is no wrong way to blog.

Frequency of Posts –

Somewhere I remember reading that someone said before that in order too be successful, you should post three or more posts a week and it would help your readings and help your blog become more successful with followers and whatnot, but let’s think about it. Three posts a week equals three times 52 and that is 156 posts in a year! That is a lot of posts and while I might be good at keeping up with the posts now, I feel like at this rate, I will eventually run out of things to talk about. I will run out of decent posts, posts that contain good information for all of you readers. But who knows – maybe one of you is or will be more successful at this blogging thing than I am and will find something else to write about other than just this. I’m considering posting some other things that aren’t just about my books to expand, but who knows. Think about it.

Time Sucker –

I will admit right now that blogging is a time sucker – it takes time away from other things just so you can make a post to other people. You could spend hours in front of a computer screen (and us authors already do that anyway, but maybe this is distracting you from actually writing), but still, there are some pros to blogging.

Improving Writing –

For one, it’s been said that while blogging, you can improve your writing for both fiction and nonfiction. I can say that while I’ve been keeping this blog, I’ve learned to type a little faster and gather my thoughts while I’m typing so I know what I’m going to try to be saying a few sentences in front of where I am. With that being said, it helped me become better, faster, and more confident. Eventually, you will become a well-rounded writer!

Author Platform – 

While keeping a blog, it could help you build on your author platform as people come in and view it, but you also get to meet so many people like you as well (refer to blog post about author pages). Because of this, it could help get your name out and about and get people talking.

Spread Your Creative Wings –

Before I started blogging, I had no idea whether or not I had something to say. I felt like I would run out of topics and it’s probably true. I will eventually run out of things to say, but I know that when that happens, I will approach it like writer’s block (see blog post on writer’s block) and I will overcome it, finding something else to write about, but for now, I am approaching it as if it’s all for other people, help, advice, a way to get started.

 

Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, as someone who is looking to improve as an author, the pros outweigh the cons. Who knows! Maybe something like this would help you publish a nonfiction book or something like that! Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to take your blog posts and make it into a book that others would find interesting!

I hope that you find this post useful and there will be more coming soon! Thank you for your patience while I was doing some research and getting this post up!

For ideas on blog posts, take a look at Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas!

Feel free to leave comments on your thoughts! What blogging myth have you debunked?

I’m Drawing a Blank…

So, everyone has those times where they sit down to write and they’re drawing a blank. I know I have them – writer’s block, right?

What is writer’s block?

Writer’s block is defined as something writers and artists fear as it’s a blockage of someone’s creativity, but why do we fear it so much? Why  don’t we just push past it? (For the record, I’m writing this for other people because I have my “writer’s block” moments that I still can’t push past. Maybe you will have better luck than me on this.)

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But maybe the reason we can’t overcome it is because we can’t pull it apart or form our words the right way. These are some ideas to get over writer’s block taken from multiple sites (sources in parentheses).

1.) Step away from whatever you’re writing and do anything that’s creative. This includes making a
collage, painting, writing poetry, anything except what you were originally working on.  “The key is to keep exercising the creative part of your brain and eventually you’ll tap back into the flow of writing.” Some people even recommend a blog – much like this one (by the way – wordpress.com and blogger are both FREE to use). (source)

2). Do free-writing. Now, we all know free-writing is sitting at a computer or staring at your piece of paper for about 15-20 minutes, writing whatever comes to your mind. Write about your feelings, something that you see – for me, if I was free-writing right now, I would describe my fireplace, mainly because it’s what is keeping me warm enough to type this right now. After that time, IMMEDIATELY set back to writing what you were originally writing! You can do it! (source)

3). Eliminate distractions. This is the one that I have the most trouble with – only because I hate the silence and while I LOVE the sound of the keys on the keyboard being clicked, it does give me a headache after awhile. What I would suggest is a quiet classical music – or anything that doesn’t have words – I’m guilty of typing what I’m hearing, especially if someone is talking to me. It’s a hassle, really. Then I just get mad at them and myself and it’s not pretty. (source)

4). Read a book. This is something I like to do. Take a break and try to read something that someone else wrote and maybe you can pull some ideas from it – don’t plagiarize, but you can draw inspiration from anything and make it your own. (source)

5). Go for a run. There are multiple sites that suggest this, but let me be the first to say I’m not in the best physical condition to be doing this. A bit ago, I was diagnosed with Pneumonia and I still don’t have my breathing up to par, but HEY! If it works for you – GREAT! Take inspiration from the world around you or the music you listen to while you run – if you listen to music!

6). BRAINSTORM. Make bullet points with where you would like your book to go and maybe something will come to you.

Ultimately, there’s a lot of things that you can do to overcome writer’s block. You don’t overcome writer’s block by not writing until you think it’s right or procrastinating. You overcome writer’s block by WRITING!