Wednesday, December 13, 2017

3 Gifts Authors Offer Their Readers

Pin This!

Let’s face it: There isn’t a guaranteed and instant pay off for the writer who works hard at finishing his/her book. Especially when this book isn’t under contract.

Perhaps you’ve invested hours into growing in your craft and writing your book—only to receive harsh critiques. Maybe you’ve been tempted to give up on this dream altogether and find a more profitable way to spend your time.

The ugly truth is, you’re not guaranteed success in this industry. You’re not guaranteed that this book will become a best seller, receive a literary award, or obtain shining literary reviews. So is the little income you might receive from this book worth the blood, sweat, and tears you’re pouring into this project?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

5 Must-Haves for the Writer Struggling to Focus

I've recently been working hard at meeting my tight fiction project deadline that arrives this month. (Which is to explain for today's short post!) Even though I absolutely love working on this project, it's sometimes tough for me to eliminate distractions and focus. I often struggle with hitting the pause button on my life and hitting the play button to my character's life. 

However, the ability to eliminate (distractions) + concentrate is a quality that every serious writer must work to cultivate. Especially those who hope to complete a book.

So if you, too, are struggling with concentrating -- whether you're writing your first book or working on the edits to your NaNoWriMo project -- perhaps you'll find these must-haves useful. I've chosen the top five things that have helped me to block out the world, get into the zone, and lose myself in the story. 

1. Your preferred writing method.

Some writers can't even consider using any program other than Microsoft Word to complete their project. Me, on the other hand? I have to use Scrivener. I love the special features it offers that helps me to keep track of my scattered notes and organize my plot. 

Whatever writing program you use -- or even if you prefer to write by hand -- make sure you're comfortable with your method. If you're writing by hand, choose a nice pen. If you're typing, select your favorite font and size. 

2. Inspiration.

Every serious writer knows that it's best to write even if you lack inspiration. But why not try to find the inspiration when it feels lacking? 

I create a Spotify music playlist for every fiction project I work on, and this is usually the music I listen to as I write. I also create a private Pinterest board for my projects which contains "pictures" of my characters, the setting, quotes and scriptures that relate to the theme, etc. Then, when I'm working on this project, I set the background wallpaper on my laptop to display these pictures (sort of like a slideshow). 

3. The perfect writer's space. 

Okay, so we can't always write in our dream writing spaces. Sometimes, especially when we're on a deadline, we have no choice but to work wherever we are -- whether it's in a car or even on our iPhone. But if you have the flexibility to arrange a writer's space, I recommend that you do so, as it might aid in your concentration. Find a room in your house that eliminates distractions. You might want to add an inspirational ambiance as well by lighting candles, opening windows, cleaning the space, etc. (Fun fact: A clean work area promotes productivity, whereas clutter will often hinder progress in our work.)

4. Snacks + drinks.

I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to write unless I'm sipping on something. In the morning and during the day, coffee and smoothies are my preferred drinks of choice. In the evenings and at night, I put on a pot of hot tea (decaffeinated), or I sip on other healthy and low-carb drinks -- such as Kombuchas, carbonated water, or Zevias.  

5. A timer.

Does it often take forever for you to get into the zone? Here's a tip: Set your timer for a short period of time, between 15 and 30 minutes. See how much you can get accomplished in that short amount of time. Usually, once we get past that first hurdle, the words start to flow easier. But make sure you don't stop typing until you hear that timer go off!

Trust me: Once you can get into the zone, there's no turning back! In fact, you might just find yourself struggling to hit the "pause" button on your character's life so you can return to your own. Not a bad problem to have, if you ask me!

Click to Tweet:

5 Must-Haves for the Writer Struggling to Focus #writingtips #writerslife @TessaEmilyHall

~ ~ ~ 

How do you "get into the zone" and focus on your current writing project?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to Prepare for Pitch Sessions at a Writing Conference

I attended my first writing conference when I was sixteen-years-old. This is what lead to the publication of my first novel, PURPLE MOON.
Since then, I’ve attended conferences yearly and have grown in my craft, established connections that were beneficial to my career, and made lasting friendships and memories.
But these conferences can be intimidating for newbies — especially if you’re a teen like I was.