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Insecurity – Writer Wednesday

I’ve been writing for years, and one thing I still deal with? Insecurity.

Oh, I might have months where I shake off those little doubts and feel confident in my abilities, but eventually, insecurity creeps in, and like a rash, it spreads.

Unfortunately, insecurity breeds a slew of other unwelcome, unsavory emotions. Envy. Fear. Comparing. Anger. Making excuses. Laziness.

I don’t like any of those, but let’s look at how they feed into each other.

When I’m feeling insecure about something, I can’t help but notice someone else who seems to be doing better than I am. Without wanting to, I envy them. I envy that they are succeeding at something I feel insecure about. It could be my weight, my word count, my marketing efforts–whatever!

Envy is not welcome in my mind. I don’t want to look at someone else’s success with anything other than joy for them.

Insecurity also pings fear within me. I’m not good enough, smart enough, dedicated enough, working hard enough… As soon as fear hits, it seems as if everyone in the entire world has it more together than I do. Yes, everyone! And when everyone is doing better than I am, I start comparing…

Comparing isn’t welcome in my mind, either. Who cares if someone else is doing better or worse than me? It’s not relevant! Ugh!

Or I might get angry, which goes hand-in-hand with fear. Why am I not good enough? What do I have to do to be worthy of fill-in-the-blank? I slam stuff around, irritated at the injustice of my life not being exactly how I want it. Wow, the arrogance.

But who likes feeling arrogant? Angry? Fearful? Envious? No one, so I slip into making excuses. I would be in better shape if I joined a gym, had a trainer, etc… I would have a higher word count if I didn’t have to make dinner, shuttle my kids, etc… I can’t afford a publicist to market my books. Um, last time I checked, plenty of people are in shape without a gym membership, every writer has tremendous time constraints, and marketing isn’t all about money. But at the making-excuses stage, I’m in no mood for rational thinking.

So the worst of it all comes roaring in. Laziness. It all feels pointless, so why bother eating healthy, pushing for a higher word count today, scheduling a Facebook post? Nothing I do makes a difference anyway.

For me, laziness is unacceptable. If I don’t have control over my thoughts and actions, what is the point of my life? Laziness is a symptom of giving up, not taking responsibility for myself.

Thankfully, I have a tool to fight all this craziness.

I pray.

God promises He’ll be with us every minute of every day. He wants us to pray, to ask, to seek, to knock. He listens to every prayer. He promises peace that transcends all understanding. And I count on His peace through all of the above emotions.

If you ever deal with ugly emotions, rest assured you’re not alone. You don’t have to sit in yucky feelings, and I don’t either. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? Pray!

Phillippians 4:7 (NIV) “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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How do you deal with insecurity?

There are only a few days left to enter my gift package giveaway! Go to my HOME page (linked) and scroll down for the easy entry options! I’m also giving away 5 copies of Her Small-Town Romance, in stores now!!, on Goodreads. The entry form is in the sidebar of this blog!

 

 

Taking Care of YOU – Writer Wednesday

How do you take care of yourself as a writer? This is often referred to as writer self care. Have you heard that term? I have off and on over the years. Whenever I hear it, it brings to mind the following:

  • Move around during the day to avoid the aches and pains of a sedentary job.
  • Eat healthy. Except when the WIP isn’t behaving. Then eat a lot of junk food. Or if you’re on deadline, then you should guzzle caffeine.
  • Set boundaries. Don’t let anything interfere with your writing time.

Her Small-Town Romance

There’s more to writer self care than that, of course. I’m sure we could come up with 101 things that would fit in the box. Today I want to share one way I take care of the writer me. It will sound indulgent. That’s okay. It IS indulgent, and that’s why it’s such a great thing!

Celebrate your success!

I make each release day special. No, I don’t throw a party or expect balloons and champagne. In fact, I tend to celebrate by myself, doing something I consider fun. I always buy myself flowers on release day. Always! And I check at least one local store to see if my book arrived.

Yesterday, my third book, Her Small-Town Romance, started arriving in stores (the ebook will be available April 1, 2016). I took a few hours in the afternoon to do some thrift shopping, bought a pretty bouquet of daisies and watched birds for a bit at a local park. None of this cost much, but it filled my writer soul up in a way I can’t describe.

You see, it’s my way of telling myself what I do matters. My words matter. The hours I spend plotting, writing, revising, editing and promoting all matter.

After my debut released, I promised myself I would do something special just for me every single time I had a new book release. And I have. I hope you celebrate your successes too. You don’t have to wait until release day. It took me years to get published. One time I celebrated a particularly demoralizing rejection by buying pretty glass earrings. I wear them often, a reminder that I didn’t give up.

There is still time to enter my giveaways! Go to my HOME page and scroll down for the easy entry options for my gift package giveaway! And I’m giving away five copies of Her Small-Town Romance on Goodreads. The entry form is in the sidebar of this blog.

How do you celebrate your successes? What can you do to validate that what you do matters?

Have a terrific day!

March Madness? Not for me!

Just a quick post here on this fine Friday morning! I’ve been knee-deep in a novel I’m writing, and the end is in sight. I’m hoping to finish today. Whee!! I am more than ready to resume normal living. Writing a first draft is intense for this lady. Like yesterday I opened our pantry and almost started crying because we were out of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. I needed those yummy candy-coated chocolates!

I know many of you are probably either super excited or couldn’t care less about March Madness. What side am I on? I don’t care about college basketball. Sorry (not really!), but watching basketball on television isn’t my thing. However, I do care about University of Michigan sports, so I’ll be rooting for them tonight. I’ll skip the rest of the tournament!

Do you watch college basketball? Who do you root for?

Have an amazing weekend!!

Her Small-Town Romance Gift Package

*Reminder, I have two giveaways going on this month! You can sign up to win a gift package on my HOME page (just scroll down for the easy entry form) or look to the right sidebar here on my blog and enter the Goodreads giveaway!

 

The Inside Scoop with Linda Rodante

The Inside Scoop With Linda Rodante

Today Linda Rodante is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Linda’s new book, Amber Alert, is available now. I have all the links and book info below!
Let’s get to it!

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH LINDA RODANTE

1. How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I started reading Nancy Drew Mysteries when I was twelve—loved them and decided I might have to write! I began writing soon after and continued through high school, college, and marriage. After I accepted the Lord at twenty-seven, I realized nothing in my writing reflected God, so I threw everything away. I decided if God ever wanted me to write again, He would let me know. Thirty years later, the desire to praise Him with a Christmas short-story was all I needed. After I wrote that, I continued; but this time, I wanted to write stories that would reflect His love and goodness.

2. What is unique about your process?

Often, I write while youtube praise and worship videos play in the background. I switch back and forth—praising God with the videos and then writing again.

3. What inspired your book?

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year, and I wanted to show God’s love for us by writing a love story within that framework. Of course, it had to have a mystery, too. Amber Alert is that book, and it’s Book One of the Dangerous Series.

4. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t give up. I know people have heard that before, but keep on writing, keep on reading writing books, keep going to critique groups and conferences (if you can). Just keep on.

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Linda, I loved reading Nancy Drew (when I could get my hands on them) novels too! I also loved the Bobbsey Twins, and pretty much every book that I opened. Your series sounds so intriguing–Dangerous Series! Mm-mm! I’m with you on the advice. Read. Write. Learn. Repeat. 🙂 Thanks so much for being my guest!

 

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Amber Alert

 

Sharee Jones just wants a partner with whom she can serve the Lord. She didn’t plan on getting involved with a man who resents God, didn’t plan on the mutilated dolls or the threatening notes interfering with her Christmas program—and with the child who’s to play baby Jesus. She thought God’s hand was in it, but how can it be, when everything she hoped and prayed for is crashing down?

John Jergenson thought taking the maintenance job at his cousin’s church meant leaving his guilt-ridden past behind. But he hadn’t counted on Sharee and her program, hadn’t counted on her laugh or the warmth in her hazel eyes. And he certainly hadn’t counted on her wanting to know the truth about his past life. He wants to leave, but Sharee could be in danger; and if he runs again, will he ever forgive himself?
Purchase AMBER ALERT (linked)!

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Linda Rodante

About Linda ~

Born and raised in Florida, Linda loves the salt water, the sun and the swamp lands. She and her husband live in Tarpon Springs, FL. She has two sons. Her mother was a missionary to Israel and Indonesia, and her younger son has followed in those footsteps. He and his family are missionaries in Botswana, Africa. Her other son is a PA at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC.

After becoming a Christian, Linda lead prayer and women’s groups at her church, worked with Concerned Women for America, and was a Center Director for the Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County. Since, 2008, she has been a speaker with the Tampa Bay area’s Community Campaign Against Human Trafficking Task Force (now called FREE). Her blog Writing for God, Fighting Human Trafficking can be found at http://lindarodante.wordpress.com/.
Her author’s blog is at http://lindarodante.com/ Her books have won finalist and semifinalist awards with the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis and First Impressions Contests.

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What books influenced you as a child?

 

Have a terrific day!

Are You Willing to Fight For It? Writer Wednesday

I’m winding up six weeks of a heavy workload. Part of me is tired, part of me is thrilled, and part of me asks, is it worth it? Yes, it is.

 

Walk in Woods

 

Last night I took a long walk to clear my head. I’d put a pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove to simmer, and my eyes were going buggy after six hours of writing. The first quarter mile I couldn’t put a coherent thought together. Birds flew back and forth overhead. The air felt damp. I pushed forward. About half a mile in I thought of all the prayers God’s answered for me. He’s answered prayers this week. He’s answered prayers from years ago.

As many of you know, it took me years and years to get published. All those years I worked really hard. Studied the writing craft, built a tiny platform, networked with other authors and slowly improved. When I signed my first contract, I knew it was a dream come true–but it wouldn’t make all my dreams come true.

My writing life now is similar to when I was pre-published. I still set personal deadlines for writing and revising. Still actively engage on social media sites to expand my platform. Sill LOVE networking (aka, coffee and online chatting) with other authors. But now I have new ways to push myself and new tasks to add to the day planner. And yes, I still struggle to get everything done.

So we come to the title of this post. When I get tired, a little voice in my head asks, “Why don’t you ease up on your marketing plans? Add a few weeks to your first draft goal? Set aside the nonfiction project you plan on self-publishing? Just for a little while.”

And the other voice in my head, the GOOD voice asks, “Are you willing to fight for it?”

Of course I am.

I’m finishing a first draft this week. Whatever it takes. I recently bought Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love. If you’re looking for motivation to help you write more words each day, this is a great book! And the Kindle version is only $0.99!

And yesterday, Heather Sunseri wrote another motivating post about writing more. Check out “How Nora Roberts Taught Me to Be More Prolific.” It’s a goodie!

I doubled my word count yesterday. I plan on doing the same today. 🙂

So if you’re feeling discouraged, ask yourself if you’re willing to fight for it? I’m guessing you are!

How do you fight for your dreams? What motivates you?

Have a great day!

*Don’t forget, I’m holding a month-long gift package giveaway to celebrate Her Small-Town Romance! Go to HOME, scroll down and you’ll find the easy entry options! Also, I’m giving away five copies of the book on Goodreads. You can enter from my sidebar!

The Inside Scoop with Davalynn Spencer!

The Inside Scoop With Davalynn Spencer!

Today Davalynn Spencer is  graciously answering questions about her writing life. Davalynn’s novella, “The Wrangler’s Woman” is included in Barbour’s The Cowboy’s Bride collection available in stores and online. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!

Let’s get to it!

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH DAVALYNN SPENCER

1. How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I not just wanted, but had to be a writer in the sixth grade when I was compelled to put everything into words: how I felt, how something looked, sounded, tasted—you get the idea.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

I doubt that my process is unique, but I tend to work off of flash videos that shoot through my brain in the form of a story. Sometimes, it’s an opening scene to a book; sometimes it’s the final scene. Ideas come during the most unexpected moments, such as when I’m sitting in the parking lot of the local diner/gas station watching a woman in her car talking on her cell phone. Wham—a story idea. That’s when I have to rush home and get it all down on paper before I forget it.

 

3. What inspired your book?

When the call-out came from Barbour Publishing for novellas to be included in their Cowboy’s Bride collection, I knew I had to be part of that deal. After all, I married a cowboy. I could do this! Research takes an historical author to some pretty fun places, and I had recently learned about a nearby crossroads area called Texas Creek, named after the creek that flows into the Arkansas River at that point. However, in 1881, it was known as Ford Junction. Bingo. The setting for my cowboy novella.

4. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

The best writing I ever received is to not quit. Don’t give up. Get discouraged? Okay, maybe for a day or two. But after that, cowboy-up and start the next story, or rewrite the one you’re working on. Just. Don’t. Stop. Writing.

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Davalynn, sixth grade!! That is amazing! I love that you knew so early. And I also enjoyed hearing about your “flash video” process. It’s so fun learning how authors work with ideas. By the way, I’m a big fan of cowboys. 🙂 Thanks so much for being my guest today!

 

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The Cowboy's Bride

 

One of nine novellas in The Cowboy’s Bride, “The Wrangler’s Woman” tells the story of widowed rancher Josiah Hanacker who hires spinster Corra Jameson as a lady-trainer for his young daughter, Jess. He fears losing Jess to his wife’s sister if the girl doesn’t meet her aunt’s ladylike expectations. Turns out, Corra has everything Josiah needs for his daughter. He just never figured she’d have what he needed for himself.

Interested in purchasing The Cowboy’s Bride Collection? Click here for Amazon!

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Davalynn Spencer

About Davalynn ~

Multi-published author Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. She is the 2015 recipient of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Western Inspirational Fiction, second place winner in the 2014 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and a 2014 finalist for the Holt Medallion and Selah Awards. As a former rodeo-market and newspaper reporter, she has won several journalistic awards and has over 100 articles, interviews, and devotionals published in national periodicals. She teaches Creative Writing at Pueblo Community College and pens a popular slice-of-life column for a mid-size daily newspaper. Davalynn makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue and two mouse detectors, Annie and Oakley. Connect with her online at her website, www.davalynnspencer.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

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What fun place have you visited? (I’m a sucker for Mackinaw Island up in Michigan!)

Have a great day!

Ahh…Convenience!

You know those weeks where you have unexpected appointments, ten time-consuming projects, a list of “other” tasks two pages long and you have no idea how you’ll fit it all in? That was my week! My first reaction was to mentally whine and to physically crawl under a blanket on the couch. However, that doesn’t help, so I adjusted the things I normally do to fit in the ones I normally don’t.

 

 

 

As I look back on this week, I am grateful for items of convenience! There are so many things that make it possible for me to fit those extras in on weeks like this.

  1. Frozen food. I’m not a huge fan of frozen meals, but now and then, frozen pizzas or chicken tenders save the day.
  2. The Internet. I could not meet deadlines without the internet. 10am appointment across town? Can do. Because I can go online later to make up the work.
  3. Wireless printer. Until recently, I had a printer that needed to be connected via USB to my laptop. That meant lugging my laptop upstairs and plugging it in before printing. Not hard, but the extra steps take five minutes. Some weeks even 5 minutes are too many!
  4. Apps. I’m on the road today. I copied and pasted info someone might need today into my Evernote App. That way if the person contacts me, I can quickly give them the information. Without Apps, I would have to lug my laptop and stop somewhere with WiFi to check in.
  5. Online banking. I love that I can check our accounts and transfer money at my convenience rather than having to go into a bank during their hours. This helps me every week, not just on hectic ones.

I’m very thankful for modern conveniences. And I’m thankful for weekends! I can’t wait to sleep in tomorrow!

What convenience can you not live without?

I’m heading up to Michigan to see Dad and visit with Mom today, so I won’t be able to moderate comments until later tonight. Please leave one! And don’t forget about my month long giveaway. Go to my home page, http://jillkemerer.com/ and scroll down for the easy entry options!

Have a terrific weekend!!

The Inside Scoop with Sandra D. Bricker

The Inside Scoop With Sandra D. Bricker

Today Sandra D. Bricker is graciously answering questions about her writing life. Sandra writes inspirational contemporary romance, and her new book, From Bags to Riches, is available in stores and online. All the links and book info are listed below!

Let’s get to it.

THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH SANDRA D. BRICKER

1. How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

The love of story has been inside me for as long as I can remember! I’ve been writing fiction since about 6th grade, and I never really wanted to do anything else.

 

2. What is unique about your process?

Let me preface by saying I think the process is very different for every writer. For me, I almost always come up with a character first. A fleeting thought or a quick notice of someone in line at the bank … and I’ll soon find myself creating story around the character that’s already started to take shape in my head.

 

3. What inspired your book?

I spent a good bit of time living in Los Angeles and trying to make my way. Not in fashion like Jessie, but in the world of entertainment where Size 0 and botox was the norm. I was very much a fish out of water in that world, and I wanted to write something about one of their kind falling from grace. Jessie emerged out of that.

 

4. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t spend your time dreaming about a writing career, but spend your time dreaming up characters and plots … and then put your fanny in the chair and stay there until they come alive.”

***

Sandra, I’m fascinated by what sparked Jessie’s story. The fact Jessie is so sweet (can I be her best friend?) just shows how generous you are. Another author might have taken satisfaction in her fall from grace, but you made us sympathize with her and love her.

Your writing advice is spot on! I need to get my fanny in the chair! Thanks so much for being my guest!

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From Bags to Riches

 

Years of hard work may land her … right back where she started.

Jessie Hart put her Louisiana roots in the rearview mirror and has finally put her Adornments boutique on the map. When renegade “husband” Jack turns up again, he’s impressed with the new and improved Jessie and makes every effort to win her back … before Danny gets his girl.

Jessie’s hard work is finally paying off, but amid award shows and photo shoots, her beloved grandfather falls ill and she’s nudged back to the Louisiana roots she worked so hard to escape. Could it be that after years of searching for success, true love, and faith, God will lead her back to the beginning?

 

Click here to purchase From Bags to Riches!

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I had the pleasure of reading From Bags to Riches! Here’s my review:

FIVE STARS!!!

From Bags to Riches is the final installment of the Jessie Stanton series, and it is wonderful! It surprised me over and over–and I’m not easily surprised. Ms. Bricker did an amazing job of showing Jessie’s inner growth in this book, especially in regards to letting go of the past and embracing a future Jessie might not have been open to before she met Danny. I won’t spoil anything for you, but this book ties up all the loose ends and leaves you happy for Jessie but sad that the series is over. I highly recommend! Buy the first two books first–you’ll be glad you did!

*I received an advance reader copy with no obligation to review this book. All opinions are my own.*

 

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Sandra D. Bricker

 

SANDRA D. BRICKER was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years where she attended school to learn screenwriting and eventually taught the craft for several semesters. When she put Hollywood in the rearview mirror and headed across the country to take care of her mom until she passed away, she traded her scripts for books, and a best-selling, award-winning author of Live-Out-Loud fiction for the inspirational market was born. Sandie is best known for her Another Emma Rae Creation and Jessie Stanton series for Abingdon Press, and she was also recently named ACFW’s Editor of the Year for her work as managing editor of Bling!, an edgy romance imprint for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. “I believe in the power of the parable,” she says. “And I just love words in almost any form. From the assembling on the page to the polishing and perfecting, there’s almost nothing more powerful.”As an ovarian cancer survivor, Sandie also gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure.

 

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Do you ever feel sad when a series is over? (I miss Jessie and the gang already!)

 

Have a terrific day!

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