Sharing is Caring (Part 3)

Hello and welcome back to another session of Sharing is Caring!

I haven’t done this in a while and it’s nice to just sit back, read a bunch of stuff and share it with you guys.

Below are eight links to the web pages that I found either motivational or helpful and interesting in some way while I was away. Obviously, if I tried to share any more than this you’d go nuts, but this little list is sure to be helpful or at the very least insightful. I thought so. Honestly, I find them very truthful or something I can relate to in terms of newly acquired knowledge, and as such I’m sure you will appreciate them, too.

I’ve divided the links into two sections, the first being Self-revision or You as a Writer, and the second as Interactions as a Writer. The first set of sites I think have a lot to do with those of you who are still looking for advice and the best way to edit, the get the words down to the page. The second set, only a few sites, are for those who are writing and trying to figure out the best way to get noticed.

Self-revision or You as a Writer

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-write-a-plausible-character-3-key-tips

I think we need to start out with this one because I’ve seen some crazy things with authors these last few weeks. I’ve read pieces where the characters are just plain bonkers and I can’t even deal with this. READ THIS! Please! The point of writing characters is because you have a story to tell, but if the characters suck then you have a serious problem. You want characters are real as you or me. If you settle for mediocre or a static figure then you’ve wasted everyone’s time.

http://www.writingforward.com/writing-ideas/how-to-develop-your-best-novel-writing-ideas

Now, this is a new site I found and I can’t say for sure how good it is, but I did like this post because I always have novel ideas. ALWAYS. It’s insane how many I am currently working on. I mean, I’ll get to chapter six and say “Okay, I’m bored now.” And move onto the next one. I’ve got five in progress right now. Anyway, a little help on what you can do to get those ideas down to paper and maybe actually finish them never hurts. The best advice I can see from here is to go where your heart tells you. If you love something keep going with it. My issue is a short attention span. Hehehe.

http://writerscircle.com/2014/04/very-and-other-useless-words-to-erase-forever.html

A site I found via Facebook via my wonderful writer friends. I usually wouldn’t posts something about editing, especially when too specific as this blog post, however, they do make a lot of sense. There are a lot of things that writers do that can improved on, even if it’s removing a few words. It’s especially important when you’re doing a flash fiction piece or just to seem more like a pro. Watch your words!

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2013/11/five-signs-that-you-may-be-sabotaging-your-writing-career/

Writer’s Relief is constantly on these lists. I can’t help but find them to be a good source of advice and sometimes motivation. This one will be really helpful for those of us who have lost the edge or are on a search of finding their muse. In this post you get five signs of how bad you are messing yourself up when it comes to getting published or even writing something down. And that’s okay, it happens to everyone. Even me.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-s-parker-/never-tell-me-the-odds_b_6443966.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books
This is probably one of those motivational posts I was talking about. Really, it’s how you take it. I personally enjoyed reading this piece because the author was seemingly honest about his experience. And sometimes it’s better not to told how likely of a success you’ll be. The only thing we as writers want to hear are words of encouragement. And nowadays, in the current market, it’s extremely difficult.

Interactions as a Writer

http://writerscircle.com/2014/09/how-to-take-feedback-and-trust-it-too.html

Time and time again I find the lack of trust to be astounding. Then again, I can’t blame you. In my writing circle I’ve gotten some pretty bad critiques, if not any at all. The worst is when you get a critique that says “I like it,” points one or two things out and blabbers on without actually saying anything else. It’s a pain because you’re so desperate for real material to work with that you spend several hours peeling back the lines to find something that you can use to edit your work. Or maybe that’s just me.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/21/literary-journal-fees_n_6510292.html

Everyone seems to complain about how much a literary journal costs. Professors constantly say that you should read them and if you don’t then you’re only screwing yourself over. And they’re right. I’ve probably said this before in other posts, but the best way to get out there is to submit to journals no matter how small they are. The point is that you get published and Literary Journals help do that. The majority of these journals are not for profit, and that means they run the magazine as volunteers and without pay. Every cent goes to the publication and sometimes payment for the author’s work, too. Choose your magazines wisely. Follow the ones you truly enjoy. READ THEM or you will look like a fool when submission period comes around.

http://writerscircle.com/2014/10/how-to-get-published-in-literary-magazines-and-journals.html

This goes along with the above post. Besides reading a literary magazine, you need to know your audience. Be open-minded about where you submit, and even if you don’t get paid, it’s still one more notch in your “publishing to be a pro” belt. The point is to be seen. I recently met with a literary agent who said she read a small time literary magazine and actually went to meet the author to publish a book with him. She also said she’s never done that before. So, you never know what could happen. Getting paid isn’t everything, and be smart about how you go about your selection folks. If you do it the wrong way the magazine editors will probably feel insulted.

Alright, so here’s your list. Check out the posts, read them, tell me what you think. I’d love to hear some suggestions from you all about more sites that you believe are helpful or topics you’d like to hear about. Send me a line through Facebook or twitter! I’m always happy to hear from followers and readers. You guys are so awesome!

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A Short While in the MFA (Part 4)

Well, my first week of classes have certainly been interesting….especially since there were no classes. It’s a little upsetting because I was looking forward to meeting my new professors and classmates. Luckily, I didn’t start the week off to badly. In fact, the first thing I did was  apply for an internship at a literary agency! Even better, I got an immediate reply for an interview!

Can you Imagine getting that email right after submitting an application? I’ve never applied for something like that and it was so nerve racking. You can’t imagine how many times I wrote that email over and over and over and over…oh my god. When I finally got the courage to push that send button, I set up a day to meet my interviewer (the founder of the agency) and we talked. We had bagels, talked about books, experiences, and it was fantastic.

But I didn’t get the job. And that’s not a bad thing. When I met with them I found that this is all about meeting people. She just wanted to get to know me. I did all the things I read online about, the eye contact and put in how much you would like to work there, say what you now about them, etc. In all honesty, I really enjoyed meeting someone who loved books as much or even more than I did. It also helped that I wrote a good cover letter and resume.

Seriously, work on that thing. It will save your life!

Anyway, interview aside I got a rejection letter/email, but a kind one. One where my interviewer really seemed to want to work with me, but it turned out the wouldn’t need an intern after all. It was a last minute decision and she was kind about it. A better experience compared to most is what I like to think. And I wasn’t hurt. I got a free book out of the meeting, so hey!

The best thing you can do is take these kinds of things in stride. I know now how the best way to act in an interview is: Be confident, do as much research as you can, and always be thankful. They’ll remember you for that. As for classes, they were canceled due to the ever wonderful blizzard this week. Though short lived that it was. I went to campus only to receive an email saying classes would not be open. Sad really. But what can you do?

I only have classes twice a week, so I suppose my objective will be to read, buy a bunch of books for class (the unending pain of college life), and find my groove to write again. This semester will be interesting. I’ll be focusing more on short stories, and linked stories/novels. Hopefully, I’ll learn enough to share with you guys. This semester will be interesting especially since I want to do a little more than the last.

My time is short here in the MFA and I need to put that time to good use, don’t you think?

I haven’t even been to class yet and I’ve learned two things: (1)Rejection is never bad, especially when you make yourself memorable my being you and (2) Do the most that you can and enjoy your journey. There’s no sense in doing things you won’t enjoy. And if it’s for something you want, something important, then push yourself. HIT THE SEND BUTTON!

I believe in you.

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In the mean time, I’ll be back soon with some more updates/stories, etc., and hopefully some new advice or facts to share. See you soon!

For The Year To Come

I was going to write another post about my thoughts on another writerly subject, but that just didn’t feel quite right. In fact, it’s the first year I’ve actually gotten a chance to blog about New Year’s. And quite frankly, I don’t think you want to hear/read another one of my rants tonight. Because tonight is a good night.

Tonight is New Years Eve. And I have to say it’s been an amazing year. And it’s really thanks to all of you.

I started out with a blog just for a class, a thing to pass the time and it turned into something I genuinely enjoy and take time to think about and do. I changed sites at one point, made a new name and put on something fancy to show you. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing some thoughts and receiving some wonderful responses from you. I’ve interacted with wonderful writers and bloggers for the first time and it’s been fantastic.

I’m glad I had this time to share with all of you, and I will continue to post and come up with new ideas and hopefully stories to share in the coming years. Because you make me want to go on with writing and reading and everything that has to do with literature!

So, I want to thank you for your time, for reading my blog and the kindness you’ve shown. I was very nervous at first, but thanks to all of you who write your amazing blogs, your stories and rants and criticisms and just flat out being you. Because of you out there I have a greater sense of confidence as a writer and blogger. I feel welcomed.

Next year will surely be more awesome.

So, in the spirit of the New Year and with my sincerest gratitude, I say: enjoy your family, enjoy your friends. Enjoy that lovely cup of wine and a good book or your Christmas specials tonight. Snuggle close with one you love, and if you can’t Skype/Oovoo, whatever! When the clock strikes twelve celebrate the old days that have passed, for new ones are on the way. Let’s make this next year one we’ll never forget.

Because we are all a part of a wonderful community of writers, bloggers, readers, critics. And in every which way you are amazing, beautiful, handsome, funny and just incredibly talented individuals.

Happy New Years to all my friends: new, old, and those to come.

Thank you for the best year ever.

Signed,

D. Arlene