Nicola Alter published this article about ‘Reading Guilt’ on the website of ‘Fantasy Faction’. I thought it was worth spreading the word about these seven steps, since I very much suspect I am suffering from reading guilt. Thank you, Nicola!
Every year, countless readers suffer from a condition known as Reading Guilt. According to a prominent scientist (or possibly, to no prominent scientists), anxious or time-strapped readers are particularly vulnerable. Sometimes the condition can be so debilitating it actively prevents the reader from reading, which can lead to a dangerous spiral that only further exacerbates the problem.
Signs you might suffer from Reading Guilt of one form or another can include:
1. The pile of unread books on your shelf, be it virtual or real, makes you feel anxious every time you look at it.
2. You occasionally dust off that book your friend loaned you and pretend you are about to read it, knowing in your heart you are just preparing it to collect more nightstand dust.
3. The sight of a bookstore evokes complex feelings of longing and guilt.
4. The book-devouring speed of a well-read friend makes you irrationally envious.
5. The question, “have you read…” elicits an instinctual dread, because whatever it is, you’ve usually never read it.
6. When someone recommends a book to you, you smile and make enthusiastic noises to cover the sinking feeling in your stomach, because it’s just another to add to the endless list and you’ll probably never get around to reading it anyway.
7. You are so behind on that reading goal you set that it just serves to depress rather than motivate you.
8. You have a vague but pervasive feeling that you haven’t read enough of the “important” books.
9. The hunt for bookmarks depresses you, because you realise they are all wedged in half-finished books and you can’t bring yourself to remove them.
10. You participate in online “How many of these books have you read?” quizzes, even though you know the results will not cheer you up.
It’s the romantic version of being a freelance writer.
Take a vacation, and write about your adventures. Survive your toddler’s terrible-twos and share your advice. Dabble in online dating and tell others the good, the bad, and the ugly about your experience.
Sounds pretty good, right?
If you have a unique perspective, experience, thoughts, or advice from your side of the fence, you can get paid to write personal essays…in just about any niche.
But you need to know where to look to find these gigs, and how to pitch an editor when you do. Note: There are still plenty of opportunities to write personal essays, but not all are well-paying assignments.
Have something to say? Check out these 16 markets for places to get paid to write personal essays:
Today, I’d like to talk about guest blogging. After all, that is what I am here for. So, let’s chat.
Why is it worth it to Guest Post? Why is it beneficial to write articles on someone else’s blog? Can’t you just write it on your own blog? Surely, the people will flock to you, right?
Your blog home is equivalent to your real home. It is your house, your rules and you can pretty much do what you want. Well, I hope you aren’t getting crazy (we’re still on the World Wide Web) but it is your domain. Naturally, you are going to behave differently on your own blog.
On the other hand, writing articles on other blogs, preferably ones more established than yours, gives you the chance to showcase your work on a larger scale. Whether you are writing an article, an inspiring post, or…
Writing was not my first career choice. In fact, I avoided the career path like the plague. It was not a logical choice, or so I was told. Being a writer is a dream. What if being a writer is a destiny and sometimes there are some destines you cannot escape. Hello nice to meet you. Let me introduce myself I am a writer.
To be honest I have been telling stories since I was 4. They were all in my head acted out via Barbie’s, or She-Ra action figures or me with my friends outside on the playground. This made sense for my first step into the writing world was being a comic book script writer. Writing was a destiny I could not escape. I’ve been writing in this business off and on for nearly 8 years. Freelancing writing is the kind of job that is a side job not your main job to pay the bills with. “Writing” was a dream. I almost believed it. I had stopped writing when one day I got an email from a total stranger. They said they missed seeing my work. When was, my book coming out that I had mentioned I was writing? One person even offered me money to help with my writing career (I declined in case you are wondering.). Next day another email from a young girl who said I inspired her to write herself could I read a sample of her book. BAFLING!
I decided to dive back into my writing taking a serious stab at freelancing writing as my career. I found jobs, but they were usually low paying, no recognition, plus they worked you like a mule job. Hey it was a job, right? You had to start at the bottom and you’re your way, up right? Problem was what I didn’t know was I was selling myself way below my worth. Add onto it these jobs were getting me nowhere. I was writing anonymously. I was not getting KNOWN. All the articles I wrote were basically ghostwritten. If I was to show someone my portfolio what did I have to show?
Writing You’re Worth
It took the help of my husband to finally convince me I was not writing my worth. I believed since I did not have the prestige like most writers do of going to college my experience did not count. I schooled myself actually learning first-hand the world of authors and publishers. One thing I learned was that when you are passionate about something you instantly possess that thicker layer of skin they talk about. The literary world can be brutal my friend, and the grammar police are very REAL. I got truly convinced though when I wrote an article for my husband’s boss for his business and he paid $50.00 for my top-notch work. He loved the article saying to my husband his wife was a phenomenal writer. This made me think. Maybe I WAS not writing my worth. I decided no more taking writing mill jobs. No more charging low prices because I am some little indie writer.
Discovering My Worth
So, what happened? I avoided the sent per word pricing. You can say I am at intermediate level so I just went with a flat rate. I do book promotions and each package includes a complementary book review that goes on Amazon and my blog as well as a promotion week of their book. I had 3 packages people could choose from. $10.00 for one book $20. If you had two books and $30. For 3 or more books. I was very cheap, thinking indie authors will love this. I am so affordable! I was only drawing in $30 to $40 bucks at the most. After discovering my worth I raised my prices to $15., $26, $60. This seemed to draw more peoples interest in me. More orders started coming in. I had one client order $103.66 dollars ‘worth. It seemed I was doing better charging more that I was charging less! I also had the proof to back up my work via my blog and website I created.
If you feel like you’re struggling, ask yourself are you writing your worth?
About our guest author JannyC:
JannyC is a published author (Writing under the pen name of Jan Marie.) and freelance writer. She currently writes at Indie Promotions where she helps writers and entertainers promote their work. follow her on
This article follows on from How Do I Create A Facebook Event? and you should read that one first if you’re starting out on the process. Today we’re talking about how to communicate to the guests who are attending your Facebook event.
How can I get in touch with people attending my Facebook event?
There are two ways to do this: add a post to the event, or message attendees.
Adding a post to the event
Once you’ve created an event, when you go into the event page, you will find that it looks quite like a normal Facebook newsfeed. On the left-hand side, you will find an option to Write Post / Add Photo/Video or Create Poll (you can create a poll to find out people’s music or food preferences, for example).
Type your message into the text box and hit Post and your message will be visible on…
I’ve been surprised by the differences of copyright offered in the countries an Author resides in, along side how long it can take to get Registered Copyright, especially in the USA. So what is all the fuss about, why do some authors go for registered and other, like myself, don’t bother.
Well the answer to why I don’t bother with registered copyright is because it isn’t an option here in New Zealand. According to research I’ve done we only have what some authors call ‘The Poor Man’s Copyright.’ So are we in New Zealand as protected by International Law as others. Yes we are. So why is registered copyright so important in the USA? Why is it so slow?
In the UK they do registered copyright online. I have yet to establish if anyone world wide can apply, or if…
“There’s no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges,” – Ernest Hemingway
To many writers, Ernst Hemingway is an idol, the ‘ultimate writer’. He is undoubtedly a legend. The legend once said, an unhappy childhood was the best early training for a writer. Malicious gossip has it that Hemingway wrote his best work while unhappy and drunk.
Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, was said to be notoriously depressive, and drew on his creativity from the deepest abyss of his sadness.
There are so many amazing authors, and each one of them is driven by a different motivation. But what if motivation is resting and creativity hiding? How can the sleeping muse be awoken?
Numerous ways to find motivation:
coffee or tea
read a good book
listen to stories
a nice dinner
the desire to create a world/story/fairy tale
peace and silence
spending time outside (on the beach or in the woods)
calm backyard in the shade
This is only a small number of possibilities. After all, there are so many more – too many to count.
But what if an author can’t find it? What if the muse is on vacation, creativity asleep and motivation in a coma? What if writer’s block has kicked in?
The American Author, Joyce Carol Cates, said: “I don’t think that writer’s block exists really. I think that, when you’re trying to do something prematurely, it just won’t come. Certain subjects just need time… You’re got to wait before you write about them.”
Erica Jong states: “All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged.” And Norma Mailer informs: “Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.”
These are famous authors who tell you what might cause it, but how do we end it? Hilary Mantel advises: “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, bot to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise, whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”
But who is right? The ones telling us that writer’s block doesn’t exist, or those who believe it can be overcome? Does it matter? What authors want, is to write – having or not having writer’s block or ‘just being stuck’ is not a question that needs to be asked.
So how can we kiss the muse awake again?
Many famous writers have discussed the benefits of working and writing in piece and silence. Their advice is to get your own room and be able, and willing, to close the door.
Some writers work with background music, others write around their cats or with their dog, sleeping on their feet. I figure there are as many writing preferences as writers exist.
I personally love to write in the backyard, by the pool. I don’t mind hearing street workers, tree saws, or sirens in the distance. Dogs barking or a kid screaming or laughing is fine with me. When I’m in my story, I am too focused to really hear these sounds.
When I worked on a romantic short story a while back, I tried to write within a romantic and unusual environment, and found a spot near a waterfall. I love waterfalls – normally. That day I was delighted – for about 25 minutes. After that, I was bothered by the sound. The permanent flow of water made me nervous and fidgety, and I had to repeatedly interrupt the flow of the story to go to the bathroom. No need to say I didn’t write anything useful that day.
If you find the perfect place and surroundings in which to write, I personally recommend that you stay with it. Decorate away – create a space you can feel comfortable. Nobody else will be there. Make it yours. Wake your motivation by doing something that builds the perfect situation to make your inspiration flow.
If this means the room needs to look like an Arabian Harem or an Abbey cell, so be it. Rumors are that Barbara Cartland spoke her books on Dictaphone, within the silk and tulle of her Barbie pink bedroom.
I have to admit, writing romance within a romantic surrounding is one thing, but building a room that rots my teeth (sickly sweet) would be taking it a little too far. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t suit another writer. As the saying goes, ‘To each his own’.
To end this article, I’d like to quote one more famous and excellent writer:
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King
This is another great blog post which might help many writers. It’s written by Kristen Lamb and does answer many of my questions. I’m sure I won’t be the only author who learns a lot from this article.
Image via Flikr Creative Commons, via Mikko Luntiala
Publishing, like most other things, is not immune to fashion. This is what makes teaching craft a moving target. What is en vogue today could be passé tomorrow. And yes we are artists, but I believe most of us are artists who’ve grown rather fond of eating. This means we do need to keep audience tastes in mind when we are “creating” since they will be the ones who fork over cold hard cash.
Today we will touch on a question I get a lot from new writers.
To prologue or not to prologue? That is the question.
The problem with the prologue is it has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years, especially with agents. They generally hate them. Why? In my opinion, it is because far too many writers don’t use prologues properly and that, in itself, has…