An excellent way to break into the writing realm, or boost your already established writing career, is to submit a short piece of work to an anthology. They usually consist of short stories, poems and nonfiction ideas. It gives you the chance to work with an editor and get valuable feedback on your writing skills. Plus, you’ll meet other authors, personally or virtually, and maybe make new friends.
Find 2-3 writing groups who publish collections of work and join the groups. They’ll likely have an annual or bi-annual call for submissions for a new book.
Earlier this year I sent off five submissions altogether and was excited to have two of my pieces chosen. I write Christian Speculative Fiction and Christian Fantasy stories, so both anthologies are from Christian groups.
Anthologies make great gifts for all ages. I’m delighted to share with you the ones I”m in this year —
Christmas – Stories and More
Christmas with Hot Apple Cider
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
I’m currently updating my first published book, an autobiography as a mother with an autistic child. My son, Benjamin, was non-verbal as a small child and was later identified as having High-Functioning Autism. He is now a published author and speaks at churches and schools about his experience growing up with autism. You can still get a copy of the first edition but some of the links in the resources are outdated. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of the book.
Where do you go to, My Sunshine?
“You have the most beautiful blue eyes, my handsome baby boy. Why can’t I see you behind them? Where do you go when your eyes wander away from me?
I hold you in my arms and stroke your tiny face, run my fingers through the yellow strands falling across your brow and I search for a glimpse of soul connection, but you are nowhere to be found.
If I let go of your small hand you’ll run away or you’ll walk in an endless straight line and not care where you’re going. You won’t see the people on the path in front of you or the tree that blocks your way. You won’t run excited to play with the other children on the swings because they’re not there in your world.
We walk by the lake. I point at the birds, gracefully gliding, skimming over the lapping waves. A young puppy barks and, for an instant, I see a puzzled frown on your tiny forehead, then it’s gone.
I show you the delicate, colourful blue petals of the Forget-Me-Not and we stop for a while to listen to the rustling of the birch. But you walk where I walk and stop when I stop only because I hold on tightly to your little fingers so you don’t slide down the bank and disappear. You have no response to these wonders around you.
I tell you how God made all these things. How He loves you and created you as part of His masterpiece too. How you have a purpose inthis life and how I’ll do my best as your Mummy to help you find that purpose He has planned for you. But you don’t seem to hear a word. You just stare into the distance.
We walk back on the path and I sing to you “Forever Young.” You don’t sing along or dance in circles around me giggling. But oh how I love you my Sunshine.
Where do you go to, my sweet baby boy, when your eyes wander away from me and you’re lost in your autistic world.”
Do you ever wonder if any author who isn’t famous ever makes a decent income from writing?
I was wondering this after two years of little in the way of sales from my first book. I did eventually realize if I could just write more, that would increase my income. But who’s got time to write more?
Here’s how I did it – I took what I’d already written on my social media and made it into a book!
Seriously. That’s what I did. All my blogs about writing, my posts about my life, my tweets of writing tips and coaching, my pins about my interests, all became tidbits to expand and form into a book! It was a lot of fun, and I’m using these methods to write more books. So, I wanted to let you know how to use what you’ve already written and get started with that income too. Still with me but wondering how the heck I did that?
Here’s How I Used These 5 Simple Ways to Create Income From Writing
From Blog To Book – The Novel Author’s Workbook I created an Etsy downloadable 99-page workbook from blogs I’d written over the course of a year on how to write fiction, as I was doing the research. It takes the author from the beginning premise and outline of a novel, through to publishing and marketing.
From Pin To Print/Nonfiction —Hosting a Shire Party is a simple ebook about a cosplay party I had. I wrote about creating easy costumes, food, and games, as I pinned the photos from the party.
From Tweet To Tutorial – Your Write Voice For His Kingdom is a course I wrote from tweets about my workshop notes as a Christian Life Coach and writer’s coach. I coach students through the decision process of becoming a writer and how God has equipped them to write for His purpose.
From Post To Published – Life at White Rose Shire is an ebook in-progress of a collection of devotionals which I’ll be posting on my blog under a sub-heading and later publishing as a Kindle devotional book.
to get news on all the new courses as well as exclusive cheatsheets, writing tips, resources, and other insider goodies!
Another Way to Create Income From Writing
I’m still working on the ‘full’ part of my income but here’s a colleague who’s grown a full-time income and has permitted me to add her blog link for you. Because she’s published by a royalty publisher, she brings a different perspective.
Ann-Margret Hovsepian has a full-time income from her writing and engagements. She shares her success tips on her blog ‘You Asked Me’:
I’m an optimist most of the time, a perfectionist never, so I made mistakes occasionally as I tried to do things my way, before I gave my writing over to God. It kind of showed in the chaos that was once my office.
This was my office as I began writing seriously. A converted closet my husband created so I could keep ‘organized’. The shelf to the left houses my binders and a carpet for my cat who likes to help me type. The water bottle is for times she ‘helps’ me too much. It’s where I wrote my autobiography of raising a child with autism, and my fun ebook about hosting a shire party.
So, I tried to minimize things. Here’s my hobbit office in the sun room.
Canning jars? I think they ended up being outdoor lighting for a party. The small stool behind me was for current projects. If it seems a bit on the ‘condensed’ side, I should add that I’m 5’1”. This office was definitely way too small once I started my business and writing online courses.
I now have a nice corner of the sun room with an old secretary desk from the 40s, complete with the pull-up shelf for a typewriter and drawers with slots for file folders! It’s huge and I love it. I have several piles for projects I’m working on so I can grab a pile and work away as I need to. I’m still not too tidy but I know where everything is among the chaos. Being more organized has cleared my head, some what, so I can hear God clearer and be more peaceful. I need that for my creative writing.
How about you? Where do you write? Are you organized or do you ‘fly by the seat of your pants’? Whatever method pleases you, keep on writing.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
How can we write women characters better in this modern world of equality without losing a woman’s femininity? Benjamin tackles this question in his latest post. I found it extremely helpful, so I thought I’d share it with you. He’s covered other topics including ‘Villains’ and ‘Heroes’. Lots of great tips and insight into good storytelling. You can catch up on all his other ‘Storytelling’ posts on his blog-
The most common mistake I see male writers make when writing women is to write every woman the same. All women are written as stereotypical women who are good at cooking and cleaning and staying at home and not having an opinion. Then there’s other male writers who, trying not to seem sexist, go in the complete opposite direction and write all women as aggressive, leather-bound power bitches who are really good at fighting and making witty comebacks.
Neither approach works, because in either case the writer is painting all women the same. Now here’s the thing, some women are stereotypical, and some women are tomboys. And neither of them feel that they need to be anything different, because they don’t. That’s who they are. They’re individuals. Every woman is different. The problem comes when we write all women as being one way or another. It’s unrealistic because that’s not…
My next blog was going to be about compiling a playlist to inspire you as you write your fantasy novel. Instead, I’m letting you, my fellow bloggers, know I’m switching my focus on this site. I’ll let you know how you can still read the playlist post later.
I’ve completed the series of posts I wanted to share with you about Writing Fantasy and the steps I’ve taken on my own journey writing my first fantasy novel. I’m very excited to start the actual writing process this November for my second NaNoWriMo! If you’ve followed my posts over the past few months I hope you’ll join me in November as we fire out 50,000 words together.
As most of you know from reading my profile, as well as being a writing coach I’m also a Christian Life Coach and Certified Lay Pastoral Counselor with many years experience coaching and encouraging believers in their walk with God. This will be my main focus on this blog going forward.
I’ll be blogging about Your Sacred Path, Finding Your Life Purpose, Hearing God’s Voice, Choosing Careers and possibly sharing a few gardening tips along the way. I love to network so I’ll be giving you links whenever I can for you to explore further.
My newsletter will be about the books and courses I’ll be writing, plus I’ll let you know when I’m launching something new, and I’ll have giveaways and social media events exclusively for my blog readers. If you choose to continue following me here that would be lovely, if however, you’re interested in continuing to follow my posts on writing, head over to White Rose Writers and follow my posts there, along with branding and marketing tips from my social media partner, Kirstie Shanks.
Thank you for taking time out from your busy life to read and comment.
So you’re ready to start the first draft of your novel – great! What if it’s so epic that a huge producer (as in hugely famous) wants to make it into a movie? That’s even more fantastic! Some of you reading this may have to do that one day. How awesome would that be? Have you already been daydreaming of who you’d cast in your movie? Let’s face it; most of us envision our stories on the screen even before we put fingers to keyboard. This is actually very helpful when considering how your characters will respond to events in your story with their mannerisms, quirks and personalities. Here’s an exercise to get your producer juices flowing.
If Steven Spielberg called for advice on casting for your movie, who would be your first choice?
Is your story a swashbuckling adventure with a shot of rum humour? Maybe Jonny Depp is who you have in mind for your hero. Or do you see the dashingly romantic Orlando Bloom as your protagonist?
Are you writing a sci-fi novel? Do you see Leonard Nimoy as your strange wise man, or perhaps he fits the role of a High-Elf wizard in your fantasy novel?
Who would you just love to cast as your main Protagonist?
Who would be perfect in the role of your main Antagonist?
Your Protagonist’s Love Interest?
Your Protagonist’s Mentor?
Your Protagonist’s Sidekick?
Your Protagonist’s 4 Main Followers?
Your Antagonist’s Sidekick or Main Henchman?
Pinterest For Role Call
By now most of you know how much I love to play around on Pinterestand create secret boards for what I’m working on. I create boards for my character roles, costume ideas, writing tips for the genre I’m currently writing in and so on. After my book is published, I make all the secret boards public to, hopefully, gain readers from my boards. (This a little sneaky tip I learned about social media marketing from a lecturer at WriteCanada, the annual writer’s conference I attend in Toronto).
Do You Need To Fire A Famous Actor?
As you write each scene, ask yourself if the actor you’ve chosen fits the role you’ve cast them in. If the actor isn’t working for your character – cut them loose! Don’t feel too bad. I’m sure Brad Pitt can find employment elsewhere. I find this casting exercise very helpful and inspiring. There’s freedom in ‘hiring’ professionals to play around in your imagination. And it’s so much fun!
If you missed my other blogs on writing characters, you can catch up here: