Writing Resolutions


Hi Everyone

Happy New Year.

As the new year has just begun, it’s time to reflect on your writing journey throughout 2012 and think about how you can improve your writing or how you can make more time for your writing, or both. You need to consider:

  • How much you write?
  • When you write?
  • What you write about?
  • How long it takes you to write?
  • What things you could give up or do less of to spend more time writing?
  • How can you find ‘spare’ moments to write?

If you are writing vast amounts but not seeing an outcome, in other words you are not seeing a story forming, it could be that quantity has taken over quality and you need to have a re-think and focus on practicing writing shorter pieces in order to develop the quality of your work.

If on the other hand, you found it hard to get started on your writing and you hadn’t written much in 2012, then it’s time to get creative.

Grab a pen and ten sheets of paper. On each sheet write one of the following category titles:

  1. Animals
  2. Birds
  3. People
  4. Family
  5. Jobs
  6. Hobbies
  7. Locations
  8. Foods
  9. Objects
  10. Magic

You should have a total of ten pages, each with a title from the above list.

Next, you need to write anything that springs to mind under each title. For example, for animals you may write dog, cat, horse, pig or sheep.

For Birds you could write, emu, peacock, sparrow, finch, duck, chicken.

For family you could write, mum, dad, sister, brother, uncle, cousin.

For people you could write anything from a detective to a boy called Peter.

Write whatever comes to your mind for each title. Go crazy if you want to, the more absurd and weird the better. This exercise is not only good for unleashing your creativity and to get you thinking differently but when you get writer’s block or just crave for fresh story ideas, you can get inspiration from these pieces of paper and can make a story out of one or more of the things you have listed for each category or from just a few categories. This means you will have no excuses for not having a new year’s resolution to either write more or to improve the quality of your writing.

My new year’s resolution is to change my quirkybooks.net site into a much more sophisticated and attractive design, incorporating an e-Book store, so watch this space for future details.

Whatever your writing resolution ensure you have one because without setting any goals you won’t take action and nothing will be achieved. If you want to progress with your writing, you need a resolution. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

Write soon

Sandra

 

Quirky Shine On Award


Hi Everyone

I was recently nominated for the Shine On award by Sharla from http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com

As always, with any award, there are rules to follow, so here they are:

1.) Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post.  Done.

2.) Add the award logo to your blog. Done.

3.) Share 7 things about yourself.

  1. Besides writing, I love going to the cinema.
  2. My favourite type of movies are dance, action or thriller. I also like Disney/Pixar movies.
  3. I prefer writing to reading.
  4. I have an Apple Imac computer that I use loads and I adore.
  5. I hold a PTTLS Level 4 Teacher/Trainer qualification that I got this year.
  6. I have an IAG Diploma (Information, Advice and Guidance) Level 4 that I achieved this year.
  7. I believe dreams can come true.

4.) Nominate 5 – 10 or so bloggers you admire. Here I go:

http://ohshineon.com

http://liveblissful.wordpress.com

http://kattermonran.com

http://utesmile.wordpress.com

http://inspire1life.com

http://motivatingdaily.com

http://russelrayphotos2.com

http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com

http://hutchagoodlife.wordpress.com

http://hamsterdiaries.wordpress.com

5.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know. Will do.

6.) Optional questions – Here are my 7.

  1. Do you prefer art or literature?
  2. What is your favourite film and why?
  3. Would you prefer to read to a child or for them to read to you?
  4. What makes you happy?
  5. What are your wisest words?
  6. What is your favourite insect and why?
  7. If you could choose any words to be your last, what would they be?

I look forward to reading the answers to my 7 questions from the above nominees. Congratulations to all of you and may your blogs continue to Shine On.

Write soon

Sandra

Shine On Award

 

Celebrating Two Year Blogging Anniversary


Hi Everyone

I recently received a message from WordPress to say congratulations on my two year old blog. Wow! Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun!

In celebration of this wonderful achievement and all of the people who have contributed to make this blog so successful, I have decided to list below, some of the most popular blogs posts for you to browse in case you missed them before.

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/the-liebster-award-thanks-and-nominations

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/the-beginners-guide-to-succeeding-at-national-novel-writing-month

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/whose-birthday-is-it-today

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/own-your-niche-book-review

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/researching-what-your-reader-wants-to-read

I also want to share with you, some posts that I think you may enjoy.

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/10-reasons-why-writers-should-retreat

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/super-8-ideas-for-stories

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/top-five-tips-for-how-to-stay-focused-on-your-writing

quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/seven-ways-to-write-and-excite-your-valentine

To top off all of the fun, I have been nominated for two more awards, The Shine On Award and the Reality Blog Award from http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com These will soon be displayed on my blog and nominations will be given.

Happy celebrating and thanks to all of you for making this possible.

Write soon

Sandra

Write-A-Thon Winner – Close Contest


Hi Everyone

quirkybooks’ latest competition to win a signed copy of Rochelle Melander’s Write-A-Thon, was a close contest, with many people trying several ways to win.

I am pleased to announce that Casey Jo Roach is the winner of the signed copy of Write-A-Thon. Congratulations Casey.

Thanks to everyone who entered and made the competition a great success.

For this competition I asked the question: “If you could buy any self-help book, what topic would you choose and why?”

Amongst the answers were books about:

  • How to write well
  • Writing resources
  • Writing an interesting Novel
  • How to write a novel quickly
  • Getting published
  • Overcoming Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • De-stressing
  • Anxiety

I thought it was remarkably interesting that two main categories shone through: Writing and Health and Well-being. Two of my favourite subjects to write about. So watch this future space!

If you could buy any self-help book, what would it be? Please leave a comment below.

Next post will be about my nominations for the Liebster Award, so don’t miss it.

Write soon.

Sandra

The Beginner’s Guide To Succeeding at National Novel Writing Month


Hi Everyone

Back due to popular demand is guest blogger, Rochelle Melander, taking beginners through the process of preparing for NaNoWriMo. You also have the opportunity to win a signed copy of Write-A-Thon (closing date 26th November) by clicking on this Rafflecopter link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get entering to win now and follow Rochelle’s guide below to have a successful NaNoWriMo experience.

National Novel Writing Month gives wannabe writers the opportunity to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days (or 26 or even 11, it’s up to you). Chris Baty started the popular program with a few friends in hopes of giving himself a deadline—the magic element that he believes stands between most writers and their finished book manuscript. For writers and wannabes all over the world, National Novel Writing Month gives them accountability, structure, and a community. If you’re interested in jumping into the National Novel Writing Month waters, here’s how to begin:

1. Sign up. Though you don’t have to officially sign up to participate, it’s going to be a whole lot more fun if you do. Visit the National Novel Writing Month site and create a profile. You’ll add author information and create your novel profile (don’t worry, no one will hold you to your working title).

2. Join your regional group. When you create your profile, be sure to specify your region. Your regional advisor (RA) will send you NaNoMail about virtual and in-person events. Your regional advisor will also let you know if your region has other ways of communicating, such as through a Facebook group or a Twitter feed.

3. Get yourself a Buddy or two. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo for 5 years, but I didn’t win until 2009 when I got the support of buddies. Your buddies can be friends that are doing NaNoWriMo with you, acquaintances you meet at regional events, or strangers that you connect with on Twitter. Find ways to encourage each other (such as messaging on Twitter or Facebook). And you can count on this: nothing will get you inspired to write more like seeing how far behind or ahead of your buddies you are.

4. Ready, set, sprint! I’d never heard of writing sprints until I joined National Novel Writing Month. In a writing sprint, writers try to write as many words as possible in a set amount of time (such as 15 minutes). The one who amasses the most words wins. You can set up a writing sprint with a friend, at an in-person write-in or on Twitter using the hashtag, #writingsprints.

5. Write in, anyone? I’m a solitary gal: I like to exercise and write alone. But attending a few write-ins convinced me of the value of hanging out with other writers, especially when I am behind on my word count. The peer pressure keeps me in my seat writing. In addition, a group provides the opportunity to share ideas, tools, and do writing sprints. Plus, there’s always someone to watch your laptop when you need to run to the bathroom!

6. Prepare! If you want to succeed at National Novel Writing Month, make sure you do some pre-month novel planning. Create a group of characters that will sustain your interest for a month, design or borrow an intriguing setting, and give the characters a plot that will keep you awake and writing! If you need help preparing for the month, get together with some NaNoWriMo buddies for a book brainstorming party. Or, if you’re the solitary type, visit my blog. Every Wednesday since September 26, I’ve been sharing fun ways to prepare for the month-long writing challenge!

7. Get Your Bling! If you reach the coveted 50,000-word mark, don’t forget to collect your winner’s treats at the end of the month! Half the fun of participating in NaNoWriMo comes when you can collect your winner’s badges and post them on your Facebook profile. You’ll also get the opportunity to print out a winner’s certificate. Most regions also hold celebratory parties for the winners (and even the almost winners).

Oh, and one final note: have fun. National Novel Writing Month is an opportunity to let down your hair and write with abandon. Go for it!

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! For more tips and a complementary download of the first two chapters of Write-A-Thon, visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com

You can contact Rochelle:

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to enter the competition to win a signed copy of Write-A-Thon by clicking the Rafflecopter link, the competition closes on 26th Of November, good luck and keep writing.

Write soon

Sandra

Own Your Niche – Book Review


 

Hi Everyone

In Own Your Niche, Author Stephanie Chandler, takes the opportunity for creating your own niche business, to another level.

Packed with “more than 175 links to resources ” this book is invaluable for anyone who wants to set up their own business in this current economic climate and create not only an impact within their own field but within the global business market.

In her clear, down-to-earth, no-nonense manner, Stephanie takes you through the process of every basic component of creating a thriving business with an online profile. She includes:

  • Establishing a niche with authority
  • Building an audience and engaging a community
  • Using website know-how to convert clients into paying customers
  • The benefits of blogging
  • Marketing tactics and PR
  • E-Newsletters and Email marketing
  • How to create revenue streams from the internet

I very much enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend that anyone interested in creating on on-line business, gives it a read.

Write soon

Sandra

 

Write-A-Thon Winner?


Hi Everyone

We have had an amazing 57 entries to the win a signed copy of  Write-A-Thon competition, written by Rochelle Melander. In order to select a winner fairly, I let Rafflecopter make the decision by choosing a winner at random.

And the winner is ———– Amy O. Who answered the question, “What does writing mean to you?”

Amy’s answer: “It means I get to say what I want, when I want, however I want, and as often as I want.”

I thought her answer was great because I could relate to it myself, although I would probably have added “and no one can tell me I can’t.”

Some of the other answers were:

“Writing is how I express ideas and opinions that come to me and communicate them to others, using my words to make them feel what I felt while writing.”

“Writing is my ticket to sanity after a long day of classes and work. It’s how I blow off steam and stay calm. It is my safe haven.”

“Writing is leaving a legacy.”

“It’s a way to talk back to the world, to express what I see and feel and understand in a way that can move others.”

“Everything! Without writing I’m not sure I could consider myself sane, there are plot lines and character quotes roaming around my head that keep telling me I must be written. ”

“A way to put my overactive brain to good use.  In other words, everything. An enormous thanks to everyone who has taken part.”

All entries have been amazing and it has been wonderful to read your comments, see your Likes and to interact with all of you.”

Write soon

Sandra