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Popcorn, Peanuts, and other Addictions

And you thought this was only about writing. It’s about life, too. I’ll warn you that today’s blog is a bit of a ramble, but it is about being a writer.    Image

Get a group of writers together and they are as varied in personality as you’ll find anywhere. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (and I said it more than once myself early on) “I’m not sure if I”m really cut out to be a writer. I keep writing but I’m not published. Is anyone going to be really interested in this stuff or should I quit? ” Most of us write because we must write. It builds up in our brains and we can’t not write or we would explode. That is all part of the writer’s life. Most of us would write whether anyone read it or not. Don’t get me wrong. It is much better if someone reads it, publishes it, and our book makes the New York Bestsellers list. I’m still working on making the list. 

Remember the old commercials for potato chips? Bet you can’t just eat one? How many hands full of popcorn and peanuts can you eat? That’s how developing story lines is for many writers. For those who are beginners, don’t give up. Let yourself give in to the urge to write another story. Reach for another potato chip and enjoy it. Enjoy the process. Some chips are over cooked. Some stories aren’t as good as others. It doesn’t stop us from going back for more. Keep writing.

Stories just keep on developing in a writers head. They won’t stop. Ideas tumble over one another. That doesn’t mean we don’t get stuck sometimes. Blocked. Either too many ideas and there is a log jam or we experience it as no idea at all. Take a deep breath because the next idea is just around the corner. Relax. Read a good book and then start writing again. Go to a movie and eat a large bucket of popcorn. Come back to your keyboard refreshed and ready to indulge your addiction to writing. 


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Can a Writer Quit Their Day Job?

Most of us have a day job that pays the bills and then we write as our second job. All of us have the dream – our book makes the New York Times Bestseller list and we make tons of money and quit that day job. There are actually very few authors who can do that. If all you depend on is a best seller to make your dream come true, then you may want to rethink your plan. Since most of us won’t realize millions from a breakout book, we need to develop multiple sources for income that are related to our writing.

Consider developing some of the following:

1. magazine articles – online or print

2. write articles for Article Banks – top 10 on some lists are:


3. Participate in anthologies

4. Books

5. eBooks

6. Speaking and presenting to writers groups and conferences

7. Teaching writing classes

8. Blogs

9. Newsletters

10. Websites

You don’t have to do all of them at once, but you can decide which ones are your priority and add others over time. Then, you can plan to quit your day job one of these days. Be persistent and keep on working at your craft. I’m sure there are additional resources for income not listed here but this will get you started.


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Mid-Summer Reading

It’s mid-July and most of us are spending a lot of time outside and at the pool. Reading by the pool or on a swing in the backyard are great ways to pass a few hours and get away from it all. If it’s too hot outside for you, then stroll the isles of a local bookstore or visit your library. If you haven’t been to the library lately, you might try it.

With a tight economy, most of us are watching our budgets. Unfortunately, that might mean a decrease in the number of books that we purchase. (not something I like to think about as a writer) Have you read all of the books you own? Most of us have an ongoing list of books on the “to read” list. So many books, so little time. lol

I think there are many reasons to see what your library has to offer. Children reading programs for every age encourage them to read books instead of spend all their time playing computer games. My grandson loves computer games, but his mother limits his time each day. He plays outside with friends, goes to the pool with his parents, and loves to read. At ten years old, he is not afraid of tackling Harry Potter or any other book. We have taken him to the library since he was two years old for story time and read to him. Love of reading is something that I believe is a wonderful legacy to leave our children and grandchildren.

Other advantages at the library?

The New Book Shelf – watch for the latest releases

Looking for a popular book? Put a reserve on it so when it comes back you’re next in line to read the hottest new release by your favorite author.

Most libraries have online catalogs that you can use at home. Search for what you want and make a list, reserve them and go pick them up at your convenience.

Your library may have book clubs, programs, and author events that you could attend for free.

Our library has movie nights, reading festivals with authors appearing for Q&A as well as reading from their latest book.

The Friends of the Library probably have a used book sale in your area. I’ve picked up books for as little as $5.00 a bag (grocery bag). The proceeds go back to the library for new books and reading programs.

Read all the books in a series.

Borrow movies or books on CD. I listen to books on CD in the car.

As a writer, one of my best friends is a reference librarian. They can help you with any kind of research you’re doing. They know sources you may never think of and are diligent in their search.

Many libraries provide book downloads and audio book downloads through their websites.

The best thing? It is all free (in most places) and all you need is a Library card.

Enjoy your summer!

Stop by the VBT – Writers on the Move website to find authors and books. It’s a great place to go!