Prompt 34

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Before we get started today, I just want to say that today marks two years that I’ve had this site! It’s crazy to think that it’s been that long. Thank you all so much for the continued support I get from you. 🙂

Today is Friday, so it’s time for another prompt. Two in a row? Dang, I’m getting good at this…

Anyway, today’s prompt is a fun one. And totally based off of my situation right now (not that I’m making it up as I type this. Okay, maybe…). Here is today’s prompt:

What do you write about when you don’t know what to write about? Do you make it up as you go along? Do you sit and think about it for a while? Do you just write about whatever comes to your head, even if it’s just, “I’ve got nothing? What do you do when you just can’t think of something to write about?

Actually, I think that turned out to be a dang good prompt. I know I’m going to have fun with this one. I hope you do, too!

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The Trouble With Writing

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It’s Monday, so it’s another time to look at what the trouble of writing is. These can be quite entertaining.

This week, we’re looking at being so close, yet so far away from the end.

If you’ve been following me on either site for any length of time, you know that I have been hand-writing a draft. I know it sounds insane, but with changing it from first person to third and having a lot of different plot changes…it sounded easier than the daunting task of switching screens back and forth all the time, or making a lot of use out of the backspace. I do that enough already!

I’m getting so close to the end. I have less than 20 pages left (finally!), and I have no doubt that I can get it done fairly soon. Then of course I’ll have to type it…but I’m not ready to think about that yet.

We all get close to the end. Maybe the end you’re facing is the end of a draft, or maybe you’re getting close to the final draft of your manuscript before you publish it. Whatever it is, the end can be an exciting time. The only problem is getting there.

Why does it seem like every single time we get close to the end, there are more distractions than ever? It sure does get frustrating, doesn’t it? Maybe a family member needs you. A friend needs you. Those things are understandable. But every once in a while, there are some that just are not acceptable. You get distracted by the internet, maybe (been there, done that).

I’m not saying the use of the internet isn’t acceptable. How else are you going to research (okay, I know there’s encyclopedias, but when you’re already sitting down in front of a computer…)? Research is important, but so is writing. Don’t get distracted so close to the end.

Okay, I think I’m done ranting about it for now. Wednesday may be a continuation about this. See you then!

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Prompt 33

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Hey guys, the world must be ending!

Okay, now that I have your attention…

I’m actually getting back to prompts. I know it’s been a while since I’ve done these. I’m trying to get back to them. I know I’ve said that before, but…meh. Life happens. Deal with it.

Anyway, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I published my first book recently (and it’s called Days of the Kill, and it’s on Amazon. You should go buy it ;)). In honor of that, here is today’s prompt:

What is your proudest accomplishment as a writer? Is it publishing your first book? Is it reaching your first milestone? Is it just actually getting an idea? What is it that makes you so proud to be in this writing career?

I’m going to have fun with this one. I hope you will, too!

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Lesson 70

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I just realized I went all of March without a lesson…whoops! I’ve been slacking lately, I know.

Anyway, today is Wednesday, and I’m actually trying to do more posts lately. Today is a continuation of Monday. We’re talking about balancing family emergencies and promotion.

Things happen. Family emergencies happen. I get that. It happened to me, too. In fact, it just happened.

So, how do you balance family emergencies and promotion? Well, I admit, I didn’t do very well. The thing is, you have social media at your disposal. It takes just a few seconds to throw a tweet together, put a Facebook post together, or whatever. All you have to do is think about it, and do it.

Now, I do admit I thought about it some while my dad was in the hospital. I thought about it a lot, actually. But I never did it. I know, how disappointing.

That’s a mistake a lot of people make, though don’t get me wrong, I completely understand. My biggest mistake is not promoting it at all during this family emergency even though my book had just come out like a week before. I’m not well known (yet), but yet I wasn’t focused on promoting.

I know it’s understandable, but still a mistake.

I could have made a post or two while I was actually not making a hospital visit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not beating myself up about it. I’m just telling you my mistake. Don’t do like me.

Get out there and promote your book!

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The Trouble With Writing

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Hi, everyone. Look at what  I’m finally getting back to! I guess it helps that I had my laptop turned on for other things, but I’m fortunate that I had enough time to do this, too.

Anyway, time to look at the main reason for this post. Writing is troublesome sometimes. And by that, I mean all the time (even though we love it!).

This week, we’re looking at promotion.

What? Promotion? You mean to say that the publisher actually doesn’t do all that for you?

Sorry, but no. I know, I was disappointed when I first found that out as well. If you want your book to do well, you have to promote it yourself. And take it from someone who just had a book released: It’s hard.

I admit to not promoting anywhere near as much as I should. I’ve had a family emergency going on, and promotion has mostly been the furthest thing from my mind. But now that things are finally starting to slow down, I started thinking, “Oh, hey, I’ve got a book out. I should probably promote it at some point to let people know about it… Good thing I’m a guest on a couple shows that were scheduled way before this whole thing happened.”

I know. Excuses, excuses.

Things happen. I get that. Promotion isn’t always going to be the first thing on your mind. Having just experienced it first hand, I know what that’s like. Family should always come first, and nothing is ever going to change that. But if you think about it, why not just post something up on social media right quick about your book? Give it a little thought.

What it the most effective way you’ve found to promote? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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I’ve Done It

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I realize it’s Wednesday, and you’re expecting a lesson. That’s not going to happen today. Instead, I have some very exciting news to share: As of yesterday, I am now a published author.

Days of the Kill is my first book. It was nearly two years in the making. I’ve complained on here about it. I’ve rejoiced on here about it. Now, the book is available to you, my friends and readers.

In this tale of murder and mystery, a small town girl moves to Oregon to start a new life away from her dysfunctional family. However, after she takes a teaching job she realizes to her horror she had not really escaped the dysfunctional members of her family. As the body count rises she has to face the fact that she is dysfunctional, too. Are any of us really who we appear to be?

Find out more in Days of the Kill, available on Amazon NOW!

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Days-Kill-S-Courtney-Killian/dp/0692673148/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458751427&sr=1-2&keywords=Days+of+the+Kill

Kindle:http://www.amazon.com/Days-Kill-S-Killian-ebook/dp/B01DAGRGMA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1458751566&sr=1-1&keywords=Days+of+the+Kill+kindle

The Trouble With Writing

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Hey all, I’m back to a regular schedule with this series. I’m hoping to get back to prompts this Friday. I haven’t done them in several months and I miss them!

This week, we’re talking about getting motivated to write.

Recently, I started talking to someone that hasn’t written since high school. They found their passion in eighth grade, but due to certain circumstances, hasn’t written since graduation.

This saddens me.

If you find a passion, you should chase after it. It’s what you love. It’s what you need to feel alive. It’s something that just might turn into an actual career with you.

Now, I understand that writing may or may not turn into an actual career, but you never know if you don’t take a chance. You miss one hundred percent of the chances you don’t take.

Now, on to the actual subject: How do we get motivated to write?  We all go through a time when we don’t feel motivated to write, and we don’t know what to write, or anything. I would know, I’ve gone through a month at a time of that. It’s not easy.

So how do we find that motivation? One thing that helped me was to join a writing accountability group on Facebook. In that group, the first post I saw was that someone had written about 2000 words, and saying that it wasn’t a lot. I kind of got the impression that if you don’t write and post up often, I would be kicked out of the group, so I made sure to do so every day. I soon realized that it wasn’t true, but by then I was in the habit of doing so. I don’t do near as much anymore, but I still try to do so every so often so I know I’m writing and editing.

That has worked for me, but what has worked for you? Let me know in the comments!

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Lesson 69

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I apologize for not getting a post up on Monday. I was hoping to, but things happened. Oh, well. I’m back to it today.

This week, we’re talking about not giving up.

As writers, a lot of us think about giving up at some point. I know I sure did. Well, we can’t. Things can start happening.

Personally, I was saving up for months for an editor that I wanted, and even after those several months, I was still nowhere close to having the amount of money that I needed.

I was so discouraged. I wanted to give up.

I thought about giving up for a long time. Then, things started changing. My publisher reached out to me, I gave her a call, and she directed me toward an editor that was actually in my price range.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up before then, because I never would have met them. I never would have been able to afford an editor and achieve my dream.

Never give up on this dream you have. If I had given up, I never would have been able to achieve this crazy dream of being a published author. Mind you, I’m not there yet, but now my final draft is done, and I will be there very soon.

I heard about one author who was published for ten years and didn’t do very well at all. She really thought about giving up, and was planning on it. Well, she did an interview that caught Oprah’s attention. So what happened? This author was invited to be on Oprah’s show. She never would have done that if she had actually given up.

Never give up. Things can always change for the better.

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Lesson 68

Hey all, I’m finally getting back to a normal schedule on blogging. This week, we’re talking about promotion.

I’m new at this whole promotion thing, so I’ll be walking through this with you. I’ve had some help, though. 🙂

Promoting your book is beyond important. How else are you going to let people know about it? It won’t magically appear in the hands of people…trust me.

I used to think, “Oh, I’ll promote it when it’s out. I don’t have to do anything before that. I’ll be rich and famous after saying something about it after it’s out.”

Yeah, no. Promotion doesn’t work like that.

You want to promote your book way before it’s out, and way before I started (well, unless you count bringing it up in blogs countless times…then I’ve been promoting it since the month after I started writing it). Schedule posts for your Facebook page. Schedule Twitter posts. Make connections and they’re more likely to promote your work.

Oh, and word about Facebook author pages… Guys, don’t wait until the book is out to make your author page. I used to think that I would wait. If that were the case, I still wouldn’t have made it, and I wouldn’t have 5,000+ likes. You don’t want to wait. Trust me.

Different strategies for promotion work for different people. Some things that work for me might not work for others. If you have any tips, please let others know.

So, what do you do for promotion? Let me know in the comments!

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The Trouble With Writing

Hey all, I am so sorry for not posting for so long! Life happened, and well, there’s nothing we can do about that. I hope all of you have been fairing better than I have at this whole life thing.

Even though there is big news to share, I am going to stick to the usual Monday thing and talk about what the trouble with writing is. I’ll probably blurt out the big news while I’m writing this, anyway.

Today, we’re talking about how to balance promotion of your book that’s about to come out, (which is the stage I’m at right now!) and writing your other book. Oh, and it’s probably the busiest month of your life, too.

Yeah. It happens.

I’ve found this to be a problem. I meant to schedule a post on Friday to have set for the next day. I got to Saturday night, and…dang. I totally forgot that I was going to schedule that promotion post. And I was gone for the majority of Saturday. Whoops.

Don’t forget, guys. You can’t just forget about promoting your book. Schedule your promotion  excerpts, (it only takes a few minutes, if you think about it…) and then write. And as for it being the busiest month of your life, well, try to take a few minutes out of your day to write. You have time to read this, so you have time to write. Personally, I usually take just a few minutes out every evening to write or edit, whichever I feel like doing. It’s not long – only 15-20 minutes – but at least I’m writing.

So, are you ready to commit more to writing? You must be, otherwise you wouldn’t have stopped by this site. So let’s go, guys. Let’s get to this crazy balancing act of promoting and writing.

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