Why Do You Write?

Every writer has a different reason for writing.

Some write from a place of pain, and their writing is both healing to themselves and a message to the world about true hurts.

Some write from a place of joy, wanting to share the positive experiences that tie all humans together.

Some write because they have a message to deliver, a cause they want others to support, or a lesson they want others to learn.

Some write to explore the inner workings of their own minds, or to help others explore theirs.

Some write just to tell a good story.

All of these are equally valid reasons for writing. And there are probably many more reasons that people write, and every reason is valid and important.

If you’ve experienced darkness and evil in this world, and you write to cleanse your inner demons and show light to others who have similarly suffered, don’t let anyone tell you that your writing is wrong or too dark or shouldn’t be written about.

If you’re passionate about a cause or a belief and you write to let others know the value of something they may have never heard of or experienced before, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re being too preachy or that your topic shouldn’t be written about.

If you just want to tell a fun story, full of fictional people and events that never happened, don’t let anyone tell you that your writing is pointless or is silly fluff that shouldn’t be written about.

All writing has a place, all writing matters. If your audience is the world, if your audience is just you, it matters.

Go write your story.

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Twitter Hashtags for Writers

I love Twitter, and I’ve used it for years. I believe that Twitter is one of the best social media sites for writers, because it’s so easy to engage with people. You can follow, be followed by, and actually chat directly with everyone from readers and fans to editors, agents, and publishing companies.

Another powerful aspect of Twitter is the hashtag. The # symbol (yes, it can also be called a pound sign, number sign, or sharp sign) is called a hashtag when used on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The hashtag is a powerful search tool. When you click on a hashtag, it brings up every tweet that contains that hashtagged word or phrase. This can be a great way to reach readers, commune with other writers, find other professionals in the book industry, even find new story ideas or writing prompts.

Here are some powerful hashtags that writers of every genre and level of experience can use on a regular basis: Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late to Set a New Goal

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t done any writing for several weeks. No writing at all. No journaling, no writing on stories, not even blogging.

I’ve been busy ever since Christmas with a new job, and then in mid-January I got sick. Nothing serious in the grand scheme of things – just an energy-sapping bug that lingered for a good three weeks. Getting out of bed and making breakfast left me exhausted for the rest of the day, and so summoning the energy and willpower to write was just too much. Not very professional of me, I know. A professional writer writes whether they feel like it or not. Whether writing is a full-time job or not, treating as seriously as one is key.

But anyway, apparently I’m not quite there yet. I am, however, slowly getting my life back on track, so at least I’m moving forwards. And I’m finally setting my new year’s goals and resolutions. Continue reading

Research for Fantasy Stories: Dieselpunk Research

Yes, you can – and should – do research for your writing, even if you’re writing fantasy. Especially if you’re writing historical fantasy. 

The dieselpunk short story series I’m working on is just that – historical fiction with elements of fantasy. While dieselpunk traditionally involves retro-futuristic technology (think the flying jetpack from The Rocketeer), it can also include elements of the paranormal or the fantastical. And to write any or all of these nuances well requires a bit of research.

Here are some of the things that I’m currently researching for my historical fantasy/dieselpunk series:

Jazz-Age Fashion and Aesthetics

The stories I’m writing take place during the Roaring 20s, and my protagonist, Cornelia Jones, is a wealthy socialite. While Cornelia’s adventures don’t really focus on the details of day-to-day life, I do want to give the readers an accurate feeling for the setting and the time period. The clothes that an upper-class woman in the mid-twenties would have worn, the kind of car she owns, other details like the use of telegrams and iceboxes and gramophones all help to build the world. Continue reading

When You’re Hit with a Shiny New Idea

Most of us creative types are often working on at least two projects at any given time.

So what do you do when you’re going along as planned, making headway (or not) on your current creative projects, and a Shiny New Idea hits you out of the blue?

The way I see it, you can handle this one of three ways:

File it away for later

Whether your Shiny New Idea is just the vaguest form of a concept or a full-blown Idea, write it down. You’ll never bring your Idea to fruition – now or later – if you don’t first write it down. And no, you won’t remember it later. Writing it down and filing it away is a good way to a) remember the Idea when the first Shininess has worn off, and b) let it cool before you interrupt all your current projects to work on it. Continue reading

Blogging Topics for 2018: What Do You Want?

Well, here it is – my first blog post of 2018! Whee!

I’ve been a disciplined blogger for years – I’ve posted at least one blog post a week for several years now, missing only a few weeks here and there in all that time. However, I’ve never been a particularly organized blogger; that is, I’ve never had blog topics and outlines planned out for weeks or months in advance. I count myself productive if I have even one post written ahead of time.

And in all my new year’s resolutions and goals, becoming an organized blogger is not one of them. Sorry, but there it is. Perhaps that makes me less of a professional writer; but I have enough trouble outlining and keeping up with the books I’m writing. Continue reading