Monday, October 15, 2018

#IWSG -- Save Your Work! Twitter Pitch / WEP Challenge / Anthology Contest

We've all seen it. An author posting on social media saying their computer died and they didn't save their current masterpiece or that they lost power and lost all their major edits.

It takes seconds for hours worth of work to just disappear and that can be the difference between being a happy author or being a homicidal maniac author ready to pull out their hair.

There are lots of options for saving your work, a quick save to the device you're on, saving to a jump drive, or getting an external drive that can be taken off site.

My favorite way to save? Email. If I make major changes to my manuscript I send the whole file to three different email addresses with a version number and date. This way, I know it's not just on my computer and I can access it anywhere I can access my email.

Now we just need to REMEMBER to actually save!

Do you have any great tips for saving your work?

We have a date for the next #IWSGPit Twitter pitch – January 15, 2019!

Visit the IWSG site for details.

You don’t want to miss it.

Don’t forget that the IWSG has partnered with Write…Edit…Publish!
This month’s challenge - Déjà vu or Voodoo.
Add your name to the list, write your story, post on your blog or Facebook, and visit others.
And there are prizes!
Full details at the WEP site regarding genre, length, etc.
Déjà vu or Voodoo – do you?

Finally, this is the last month to submit to the IWSG Anthology Contest.
Young adult romance is the genre and masquerade the theme.
Entry is free, just need to be a member of the IWSG on some level.
See the SITE for details.
Don’t miss this opportunity to be in a royalty-paying anthology!

Monday, October 8, 2018

More About Cross-Pollination

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with cross-pollination. I’m not talking plants; I’m talking about linking up with endeavors of different kinds. I have a lot of writer friends, and I value their insights and knowledge, but it occurred to me that all of us should be looking at other fields for inspiration and information, too. Why not? I believe there are universal principals that can guide us to success, and maybe we can tap into some of that by extending beyond the writing community. How about looking at successful people in say, the arts, history, or science? What are their guiding principals, their strategies that have placed them at the top of their occupations?

In my article about Annie Leibovitz that was posted in ALLI last month, I took a foray into the art of photography and connected it with the art of writing.  I enjoyed that so much that I started looking for other possible connections. I didn’t expect to find exactly what I wanted about secrets to success in the financial world, but I did. I stumbled on Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge-fund firm, and here’s what caught my attention: “Without pursuing dreams, life is mundane.”

What writer can’t agree with that? Well, this one, for sure. But then he talks about what he calls hyper-realism. So, because I’m curious if nothing else, I wanted to know what that means and what that does. He explains it as being a deep understanding, an acceptance and being able to work with reality as it is and not as he wishes it were.

Okay. I got it. And I’m paying attention.

Later he gives what he says are his secrets to investing and managing money and—most importantly—getting through the next 24 hours. I can use all the help I can get when it comes to “getting through” another day and actually accomplishing something, too.

Here are Galio’s Secrets: 

  • Know your goals and run after them. 
Identify and face the problems, however painful, that stand in the way of your goals. 

  • Diagnose the root causes of these problems. 

  • Design a plan to get around these obstacles. 
Execute on your plan, pushing yourself to do whatever is needed. 

Are these secrets to success universal enough?
Thanks Morguefile
I see why this man is so successful. He has a philosophy that is overarching, much larger than one that’s about making money. He spoke directly to me here: “You will lose something or someone you think you can’t live without. You might think your life is ruined and there’s no way to go forward. But it will pass. There’s always a best path forward; you just don’t see it yet.”

Okay, now I stop and push back in my chair because the day before I read this article, my Zen teacher said, and I paraphrase, when you’re in doubt about making a decision, give it time. Don’t rush it. Let the right choice come to you. It will.

I’m now feeling as if I’m in a cosmic vortex, and my head’s filled with how I can use this, how others can use this. As writers haven’t you had times the plot won’t work, the agent fails, the book languishes without sales, or you’re undecided about which path to publication you want to take? Have you agonized over what to do? I certainly have, so I’m making notes about this waiting and giving it time and not catapulting into a ill-advised decision. And I’m thinking about what Dalio says about there being a “pathway” to  the right decision when I find, “Unfortunately, you probably won’t like it…”

Well, try me. So I read on.

He calls it radical open-mindedness. Wait. That means I can’t be right all the time. Really? But please continue Mr. Dalio.

“Your deepest-seated needs and fears reside in areas of your brain that control your emotions (I’m inserting the amygdala, you know, the old fight or flight part of us) and are not accessible to your higher-level conscious awareness,” Dalio says. “And because our need to be right can be more important than our need to find out what’s true, we like to believe our own opinions without properly stress-testing them.

“We especially don’t like to look at our mistakes and weaknesses.” He adds, “We are instinctively prone to react to explorations of them as though they’re attacks. We get angry, even though it would be more logical for us to be open to feedback from others.”

I’m all for learning more, not less and I’d love to make some good decisions in just about every aspect of my life, including the writing part. As I read more, I started asking myself if I’m living up to my potential or falling short because I’m not paying attention?

And you, do you shut down when someone criticizes your work, or do you take a look at that criticism and consider it? Do you practice radical open-mindedness instead of shutting down in anger? As a writer, what do you think about cross-pollination, learning from people who are in   different fields?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

IWSG October: We Need Your Stories

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 3 posting are: 
Dolorah, Tanya Miranda, Chemist Ken, and Christopher D. Votey.

Optional Question this Month: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest needs your stories!

Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group. 

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

Our previous IWSG anthologies:
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life
Parallels: Felix Was Here

Gwen Gardner, Jen Chandler, and LG Keltner know what it’s like to have the winning story.

Yours could be next!

Are you on Instagram?
This month, we are prepping for NaNoWriMo (if participating) and staying motivated in our writing lives.

Do you Write, Edit, Publish with WEP?
October's WEP Challenge is:

Do you have a story for the anthology? Are you writing one? 
Write it and send it!