Unleash Your Creativity – Pull The Curtain Back!


image
Sandra Bellamy With Yeti Pro Mic used for my Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy book trailer

Sometimes it’s hard to describe what goes on in my quirky mind, but to unleash your creativity – pull the curtain back!

So amongst the many projects/tasks I am currently working on, largely to do with my Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy book printed edition – I am on about 6th week of reformatting for the printed version as CreateSpace templates don’t work correctly – the margins setup clashes with page setup – and I had to start over – hence most nights only about 3-3.5 hours sleep recently – I am continuing with my Blog Book Tour.

This next interview for my tour; is like no other before, and I will be reblogging it here after I have completed the questions and it’s been published. It’s about 30 questions in total and is going on an asexual authors directory blog. (I am a heteroromantic asexual – only attracted to guys romantically, not sexually. I like kissing but not sex. I am a ‘Grey’ heteroromantic asexual, because I like ‘passionate’ kissing) Bear with me, I am going somewhere with this. I plan to write some asexual books and have a potential 3 mind.

So these questions she is asking me, are totally focused on me as a writer rather than my book. They are about me, my methodology as a writer, my writer’s mind; and really get into the nitty gritty of my life’s journey as a writer and how events in my life have shaped my writing.

One question was really tough to answer because it opened up old childhood memories of pain and upset – I just have to remember to come back to the now. Because now I love my life – but back then I hated it!

So one question is how I deal with writer’s block. The thing is, much to the frustration of other writer’s, I don’t really get it! I do however, experience things stopping my creativity.

There is a certain point in our minds, that the average person will go to. But there is far more intelligence and creativity that’s often neglected to be aware too. So I allow my creative mind to take over my normal brain to work its magic. The results are beautiful, but I have to let it flow naturally, in its own time, to get the best results.

Over the last couple of days and nights, I have been focusing much more in my mind, on my businesses and where I want to be headed with them. I am sat at the dressing table at work in my day job this morning; and as my thoughts are escalating with all of my future possibilities and options, I am literally pulling the curtain back in my mind and stepping into a new dimension of it. I close the curtain behind me and it feels different in there. Like the curtain was a cloud and is now behind me. At this point I picture the stage I am on from my book trailer, but I am on it on my own, in a safe cocoon of ideas and creative enlightenment. When I pull the curtain back and walk through onto that stage, it’s like I am accessing the other 80% of my brain and it’s like wow! It’s like being on a hilltop and seeing the wider view and perspective. It’s amazing. Can my brain handle all of this new stuff? Yes, it needs to, but I have to be respectful of it having to catch up! I am literally taking my mind to places its never been before and my brain is having to keep with it. So to unleash your creativity – pull back the curtain of your mind!

Embrace your quirky and each other’s.

Write soon
Sandra

Wearing My Tag With Pride


Hello Everyone

My fellow blogger Alastair from kattermonran.com has tagged me. This means he has taken the time to ask 11 questions to some bloggers and I am am one of his chosen few. I feel so privileged. It is great when other bloggers choose to want to know more about me because I feel special and appreciated. Thanks so much Alastair, I will wear my tag with pride.

I need to answer the 11 questions set by him and then ask 11 more questions to 11 others.

tagged

My answers to the Alastair’s questions are here:

1. Do you prefer ridged crisps (potato chips) or flat ones? I can only eat plain salted crisps because of my various food allergies but I don’t mind either plain or ridged as I enjoy both. The last ones I ate were ridged.

2. What was the last music band you went to see live? I haven’t see one particular band. The last time I saw various bands was at a party in the park, it was years ago. One of the groups were Steps and although a lot of people may find their music a bit too poppy or cheesy, I thought in real life they were great, at both singing and at getting the audience jumping and dancing on the spot.

3. Do you prefer tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger? None of those as I don’t drink alcohol and I only drink herbal tea, peppermint is my favourite.

4. How many siblings do you have? None. I am an only child.

5. What was the last film you saw at the movies? A Thriller called Side Effects on Saturday 30th of March. It was slow to begin with but had a couple of great twists at the end.

6. Is there any sports that you like to participate in? None. I don’t like sports. There is an exception, I like finger pumping. This consists of clenching the fingers of my hand into a fist shape and releasing them with a flicking motion, back and forth quickly. I love it because it symbolises that I have written so much my hand needs to be exercised. (Oh! And if writing is a sport, then I love, love, love it.)

7. What is your favourite flower? A red rose. I am a romantic.

8. Is there anything you like to collect? Besides collecting erasers I like collecting Eeyore things from Winnie The Pooh.

9. Have you visited another country? I have visited Spain, Jersey and France but hated flying.

10. Do you have any pets? Yes, 4 guinea pigs. Snuggles, Peaches, Daisy and Cinnamon. They are all one year old but Cinnamon and Daisy are just under 3 months younger as Snuggles was pregnant with them when she came from the pet shop and I couldn’t give them up.

11. What is your favourite food? I have lots of food allergies. My favourite snack food is sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, yeast free chocolate from the health shop. I have to be very careful what I eat out but I like Thai food, a Chinese meal or Nandos.

Now to announce my 11 questions:

  1. Have you ever been made redundant from your job and how did you feel about it?
  2. If you were interviewing someone for a writing job, what 3 qualities would you look for and why?
  3. What is your favourite board game and why?
  4. When you look at the stars, what do you see?
  5. When you look at the ocean, what does it remind you of?
  6. How do you overcome writer’s block?
  7. If you could say 3 encouraging things to another person, what would they be?
  8. Do you prefer to write your stories/books/poetry/prose/articles on paper first, then type them up and edit them, or do you like to type them straight into your computer to edit?
  9. Do you like writing in one genre or more?
  10. As a writer, do you think actions speak louder than words?
  11. What is your favourite quote and why?

My nominations are:

  1. whistlingpassion.wordpress.com
  2. ladylovelyblogger.wordpress.com
  3. sheridegrom.wordpress.com
  4. bbanublog.wordpress.com
  5. globalunison.wordpress.com
  6. helpwithyourlife.wordpress.com
  7. terry1954.wordpress.com
  8. darlenecraviotto.com
  9. marthareynoldswrites.com
  10. mikesfilmtalk.com
  11. landoffun.wordpress.com

To all of my 11 chosen ones, I look forward to learning more about you.

I am fortunate enough to have been awarded a second Best Moment Award so I will post my nominations for that soon.

Write soon

Sandra

Never take your writing for granted


Hi Everyone

My apologies for not blogging for a while. I have been very poorly and although I did make it to London for Valentine’s Day, I had to cut my holiday short due to illness.

I have to say that this has been one of the worst periods of illness in my life to date and I have been so weak that at the worst peak of my infection I couldn’t:

  • Write many texts
  • Write any Facebook messages
  • Write any LinkedIn updates
  • Write any tweets
  • Write any blog posts
  • Write any web content
  • Write any of my book content
  • Write any notes
  • Read my emails
  • Respond to emails
  • Read any books

Sometimes it’s hard to realise just how much of my life is spent writing and doing things related to my writing, such as reading books. I have learnt during this time to always count my writing blessings twice and to never take my writing for granted.

Although I am still off work sick I am able to write again and it is a fantastic feeling.

I would encourage you all to make a list of the writing activities that you do and take time out to appreciate each one of them. Think what your life would be like without writing in it and never take your writing for granted.

Until next time, keep writing and enjoying it.

Write soon

Sandra

 

 

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

 

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

Have Fun with National Novel Writing Month


Hi Everyone

In order to keep the momentum of NaNoWriMo to a peak, I asked Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander, if she could do a guest blog post on how to stay motivated during this event and this is what she wrote.

I rocked NaNoWriMo on November 1. By the end of my first writing session, I had nearly twice the amount of words I needed. When I woke up on November 2—a Friday—I felt a sense of foreboding, “You mean I have to do this again?” By the end of that first busy weekend in November, I was thousands of words behind and worried about catching up. And I wasn’t enjoying creating scenes. Instead, I was worrying about whether the scene was realistic, thinking about how this should be easier, and wondering how long it was going to take me to revise this quickly drafted book. All the time, I had my eye on the counter: how many words had I written. (And I’m a professional writer!)

But recently, I’ve had a brilliant, game-changing aha moment: oh yeah, National Novel Writing Month is supposed to be fun. That tiny thought was all I needed to jump back into NaNoWriMo project with some joy. If you’re struggling with NaNoWriMo and need to add a little fun to your work, here are five ways to rock your story:

1.   Add a pop of color. I hear that advice a lot on clothing shows (as well as in nearly every magazine I read). In order to make an outfit compatible with the season, we can add a pop of color with our nails, shoes, or jewelry. Well, why not add a pop of color to our novels? A few weeks ago, I heard a story on the radio about a guy who had invented a working gun that could be printed on plastic using a 3-dimensional printer. My mind went right to fiction: imagine what would happen if a character could print a gun? Now that would add a pop and maybe even a pop of color. Try it: give your character a printable gun or some other unusual 3-dimensional prop to make and use. See what happens next.

2.  Take a page from fan fiction. Many of the students I am working with during NaNoWriMo this year write fan fiction. They borrow the best elements from their favorite novels and television shows, add new characters and plots, and write forward. When they talk about writing their NaNoWriMo book, they get all giddy because it gives them an opportunity to spend the month with characters they are curious about in a setting they have long admired. Try it: list 5-10 elements you like from your favorite television shows and novels. Don’t limit yourself—write down characters, setting, plot points, props, and anything else you can think of. Once you have your list, add one or more element to your NaNoWriMo project.

3.  Make worry work for you. I’ve been a worrier my whole life. Even happy events leave me worrying about what might go wrong. On the other hand, if you’re a worrier, you can harness your imagination and make it work for your writing. In Josip Novakovich’s Fiction Writer’s Workshop, he invites readers to make use of their worries by listing events that could have happened but didn’t (p. 23). These could be events you feared or hoped might happened. Try it: Make a list of at least five of these events and use one or more in your novel.

4.  Phone a friend. On the popular television quiz show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, participants could get help by reaching for three lifelines: 50-50, ask the audience, or phone a friend. Often both the audience and the friend were not just wrong, they were wildly wrong. In NaNoWriMo, we might get some interesting answers if we ask a friend or acquaintance for help with our novel. And in the world of NaNo, interesting means more fun for us. Try this: ask your friends on Facebook to give you a fun character or situation to add into your novel. Then do it—put in the zombie librarian or the flying pig, even if they have nothing to do with what you are writing about. Trying to add a unique element to your book will puzzle your brain in the best possible way.

5.  Use Found Passages. I’m enamored of artists who can take old materials and shape them into new items. In Paper Made: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper, author Kayte Terry teaches readers how to make purses out of old book covers and bracelets out of scraps of paper. As a writer, you can take found passages of writing and incorporate them into your book as well. Jonathan Safran Foer created his book Tree of Codes by cutting into his favorite book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. What emerged is a novel that is part story, part sculpture. Try this: review favorite books, journal entries, magazine articles, and your old drafts of articles and novels for snippets to mix and match and revise into a part of your book.

Your turn: What tools and techniques do you suggest for letting go and having fun? Comment below! We need your advice!

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

Rochelle Y. Melander 
Author and Writing Coach 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author of the book,
Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days 
(And Live to Tell About It)
(Writers Digest Books, October 2011)
A 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.writenowcoach.com
http://www.writenowmastermind.com
rochelle@WriteNowCoach.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Find me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
 
 

 

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

B is for Brainstorm (A-Z of Writing)


 

Hi Everyone

Whether you are writing a lot about a variety of things or you haven’t picked up a pen in ages, sometimes it’s difficult for your brain to come up with what to write next. Some may refer to this as writer’s block. I prefer to think of it as creative block

The answer to this is to brainstorm. Pick any topic, place, phrase, thing, season, time and start brainstorming. That is, write everything that springs to mind relating to that one particular thing and that should give you ideas for plot, characters, setting and scenery.

For example, if I choose a hot summer’s day, I have already got the weather, the season, as well as the fact it’s daytime. I could also have any of the following:

  • Picnic
  • Stream
  • Grass
  • Children playing
  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Butterflies
  • Flowers
  • Bees
  • Magic
  • Seagull
  • Beach
  • Pebbles
  • Sand
  • Rocks
  • Sea
  • Surfing
  • Drowning
  • Man saved a boy
  • Long lost son but didn’t know it
  • Became friends with boy
  • Lifeguards sacked after ignoring warning signs
  • Newspaper
  • Media attention
  • Publicity
  • Journalist
  • Story
  • Money
  • Fame
  • Fortune
  • Tragedy
  • Boy dies in car crash
  • Organ donor

I could go on and on, you see how one idea can lead to another and indeed I went away from the initial thought and my story began to take shape. I didn’t pre-empt that, I just let it flow.

So when you are feeling a bit down, get pen and paper and just go with the flow, it’s amazing what you can come up with and if you are still not happy because you cannot see the bigger picture from your ideas that have been flowing, store them up to be used at a later date. A good place to store them, is in a notepad that you will refer to over again or on index cards, that way you can mix and match them.

Good luck with the writing and let me know how you get on.

Write soon

Sandra