Notable Quotable

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. I’m sharing a quote today since it’s been awhile. And great words always get me going. Enjoy!

Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.

-Miguel de Cervantes

 I love this quote because it puts responsibility of our actions directly on our shoulders. One of my challenges as a writer is wishing (aka begging) to be a successful writer. But, this quote hits me with reality and lets me know that I’m responsible to take the steps to be a successful writer. So, Freshman Writers – you’ve got the power to get published!

Happy Writing!

Making a Pen Name Work

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about pen names. I shared previously that a pen name was a way for writers to branch out in various genres without sacrificing their reputations in a particular field of work. According to Dictionary.com, a pen name (pseudonym for writers) is a fictitious alternative to a person’s legal name or a name used to hide an individual’s identity.

Annette Charles was not a writer, but was an actress best known for her role as Cha-Cha DeGregorio in Grease. Last week, while reading about her passing, I also read that “Annette Charles” was a pseudonym and that she was also a speech professor in California. Shocked, I read that Ms. Charles used her birth name to teach classes.  I would have never guessed that Annette Charles and Anne Cardona were the same person.

This is how a great pseudonym works. It effectively keeps two (or more) careers separate. For writing, a pen name allows for a writer to work in different genres. I use my name for all of my non-fiction work and some fiction pieces. But, I keep a pen name on the side for those pieces that would be too racy to publish under my own name.

In this way, writers can avoid backlash in one genre for writing in a different one. Such as writing parenting articles and then writing erotica. All genres have their places, but writers can write in more than one.  A pen name allows for writers to move between genres.

Writers, how do you make a pen name work for you?

Happy Writing!

Travel down Memory Lane for Ideas

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post was inspired by my lack of ideas last week for a parenting blog that I write for. I just could not come up with anything current to blog about.

I actually went back to the blog to read posts by other writers there. We all have children of different ages. My son though is probably one of the older kids written about on the site and sometimes I just run out of things to say.

Cruising on the site for awhile found me laughing at the adventures in potty training that some of the other moms had posted. I laughed because their posts reminded me of my own problems with diapers and potty training. So, I decided to go back in my memory to write about my own adventures. And it worked! I came up with two posts on the spot and then a couple more for future publishing.
Writing consistently for a website can be challenging when you’re idea bank has been exhausted. If you Freshman Writers are stuck on ideas, try going down memory lane to see what ideas jump out from the past. You never know where it’ll take you.

Happy Writing!

June 10 is Ballpoint Pen Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Just wanted to send a happy hooray out to the ballpoint pen. I don’t know about you, but the computer wasn’t the first writing tool I used. It was my handy, dandy Dr. Grip Ink Pen. I’ve used this particular pen for nearly 15 years and I love it! Thinner pens broke in my hands because I pressed down very hard on paper or caused my hand to hurt from writing. Someone gave me a Dr. Grip pen when I was a teen and never looked back.

You can check out Idea Finder for the history of the ballpoint pen, which was years longer than I thought. I’m anxiously waiting for my newest Dr. Grip Pens after losing my last one about a month ago. The cheaper pens I’ve found just don’t do it for me. And no, it hasn’t stopped my writing at all, but missing my favorite pen has pushed me to get back to my portable word processor.

Hope you have a great Ballpoint Pen Day and please share your favorite brand of pen in the comments. 🙂 Happy Writing!

June 4th is Drawing/Pencil Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. I was’t sure of what to post this week until I came across Brownlocks.com’s June Calendar. According to the site, June 4th is Drawing Day or Pencil Day.

Normally, writers think about pens and notebooks or computers. But, do you remember what life was like before computers and pens? I can think about the hours I spent doing homework with my trusted pencil – allowing me to erase my mistakes and keep going. Pencils are cool tools for writers that can often be forgotten with the need to move a bit faster.

Today Freshman Writers, I encourage you to pick up a pencil and draw. Make character sketches for your fiction piece or doodle until you get out of a funk.  You can use it to write outlines for your projects, freewrite or even do some mind-mapping to see where your ideas take you.

For more cool information on pencils (history and such) check out this site.

Happy Writing and Happy Friday!

 

Under Pressure

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about being under pressure and how that affects your writing. I came up with this after going through my own ‘dry’ period and wrote about it here.

For some, being under pressure works. It can motivate you to push yourself harder and further in your writing. That kind of pressure can get you to try new forms of writing, submit to that magazine (that you think is out of reach) or start a new writing project. It can help.

For others (like me recently), being under pressure doesn’t help. It turns our brains into mush, keeping us from writing a coherent thought. Pressure can be intimidating and makes the road to publishing daunting.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. I have a couple of tips that can help you depressurize and get back to your writing.

1. List all of the things that are bugging you. Even the small act of writing out our stresses can lighten the load and helps get the junk out.

2. Separate the things that you can change and the things you can’t. There’s so much that we think about that is out of our control. The weather, the economy, gas prices – there’s just too much out there that we can’t do anything about. So why worry about it? Get rid of the stuff that you can’t fix and work on the things you can.

3. Figure out ways to deal with the things you can change. Maybe change your writing schedule or read a good book. Take a walk or start a journal. Your power is in your hands and you can make your writing happen. No one else can do that for you. Life will continue on without you anyway, so focus on the stuff that matters to you.

4. Give yourself a break. Being under pressure can be hard because you feel you don’t have a chance to breathe. Take five minutes or 30 seconds to just sit and breathe. Take in the oxygen (good stuff) and get rid of the carbon dioxide (bad stuff).  The act of deep breathing (if you allow it) can calm you down and prepare you for the next step.

Life is hard and we all know that. These tips have helped me let go of the junk, empowered me to get back on the horse and allowed me to write again. I just wanted to share with you the tricks that get me through challenging days. Feel free to share what helps you Freshman Writers release pressure and write.

Happy Writing!

Need Inspiration – Take a Walk

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post came from my walk this morning.

When I heard the weather this morning (62 degrees), I decided to walk to work today. The 20 minutes of solitude was great. It allowed me to run through the things I did yesterday, things I needed to do today and things that were picking at my brain.

Sans Ipod, I was able to think about goals, dreams and tasks. I also enjoyed the silence of the morning. There were a few birds chirping, but there was silence for the most part to join me on the walk. 20 minutes was enough to bring me clarity about things that were bugging me and inspired this post.

Writers, if you stuck on a piece or can’t get yourself organized to write – go for a walk. Stepping away from writing for a while can help you stop, breathe and think so that you can get back to it.

Happy Walking and Writing!

Sharing is Caring

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope you are well and writing. I am a believer that sharing is caring and I want to share some great information with you Freshman Writers.

Today’s post is a collection of some of my favorite websites for writers at all levels. As writers, we will continue to learn and grow in order for writing to improve. You can also (if this is your thing) end up teaching other beginning writers or at least give them advice to help get them started.

In keeping with this tradition, here my list of favorite websites that I go to for tips on writing. Some are new and others are classics that I love visiting over and over again. Check them out, see what gets your attention and get to writing.

Keep learning and happy writing!

Women on writing

Writing world

Freelance Writing Gigs

WM Freelance Writing Connection

The Renegade Writer

Freelance Writing at About

Mridu Khullar

Funds For Writers

Problogger

Media Bistro

Writing Moments Galore

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s posts is about writing moments. I recently realized that we have a chance to learn things about writing that we can pick up anywhere and everywhere. In the last post over at my portfolio, I wrote about a learning moment after being at a kids’ party yesterday and another while helping kiddo with a homework assignment.

Learning moments come whenever we gain insight into something new. Maybe a new way of looking at something or a new way of understanding yourself. For example, at that party (held in a large kid-friendly restaurant/play place), I realized how much I hated listening to kids’ music. Once in awhile okay, but not for four hours straight. I also realized how far I really am from my son’s toddler days. And now, I’ve got some ideas to blog about.

Freshman Writers – if you worry about finding ideas to write about, look no further than your everyday life. What do you do on your free time? What is work like for you? Who do you like/dislike? I’ve found ideas just through observing others, acknowledging my feelings, or just reading something.

So the next time you think you’ve nothing to write about, Freshman Writers, take a look around you because the writing moments are all around.

Happy Writing!

Loopy for Limericks

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is a tribute to St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration of a saint, green beer and all the limericks you can read.

I personally like writing limericks because I can be silly, witty, even creative using as little words as possible. So in honor of this week’s special occasion, please join me in writing a limerick and having fun!

There once was a man named Stanley,

who wasn’t at all very manly,

he went to the gym

and got himself trim

then got a beautiful lassie.

Shout out to all my Irish pals on your special day!

Read on for more limericks here: