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Monday, July 31, 2017

New Looks, New Features, New News (sorta)

As you've probably already noticed, unless you are reading this from your email, there have been a few changes to my website . . .

Mainly the look.

Last Thursday and Friday, I worked really hard getting a new look up. I've been thinking about it for a while; my old layout was starting to look dated, and I figured I'd update it sometime toward the end of the year. But at the moment, I'm also looking at pitching to a conference and with Salt Lake Comic Con coming up, I decided to make the jump early, so I can look extra snazzy. ;)

To be honest, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I love the theme, colors, and it looks sleek and clean . . . and it's mobile friendly. (My last layout wasn't, so I actually had two different themes.)

You'll notice on the top header, there are some different buttons.



Social Media


I've got a nice little email subscribe spot near the top.

And I still have my blog post categories, but they are now on the right sidebar.

You can now see related blog posts at the bottom of each post.

Then remember that list of recommended writing books I posted a few weeks ago? You can get to the list through the menu.

But perhaps the best new feature on my site is an index of almost all my writing tips, organized by topic. I'll be honest, it took a few hours to compile and create all the links, but I'm pretty happy with it. So now you can look up whatever I've written on a specific topic.

You can get to the Writing Tip Index through the menu.

By the way, I'm still working on getting more writing tips on my Youtube channel. If you haven't subscribed yet, I'd appreciate it if you did.

I also have a different little profile picture. I just thought it went better with the look.

Anyway, so like I said above, I'm working on pitching to a conference and probably another down the road. I love sharing what I know about writing with others, and if I could get selected as a guest, it would be a really great opportunity for me, not only to share what I know, but to further grow in my career field.

At the moment, I'm also waiting on Salt Lake Comic Con's schedule. I'm assuming I'll be a guest there again, since I've done it the last two years, but it kind of just depends on the programming they go with this year. I'm really looking forward to Salt Lake Comic Con. It's one of my favorite things I do all year. This year will be extra fun since my favorite band, Muse, will be playing in Salt Lake the night before, and I got pit tickets!

Also, I actually do have some other significant news that I thought I'd be sharing in this post, but I ran into some minor delays, so it will have to wait. But it will be another great step and building block in my career (and I might need your help spreading the word if you are so inclined), so stay tuned. :)

And of course, as always, I have more writing tip articles in the works, so come back next week! In the meantime, feel free to peruse the new site and find something interesting in the Writing Tip Index. Many of you did not discover my blog until years after I'd started it, so there might be an article in there you haven't seen.

Last, but not least, thank you to everyone who has been following my blog, whether you simply "ghost" it on occasion, or have come back regularly, commented, or shared it with others. Thank you to anyone who has ever shared my posts. I'm so grateful to know that there are people out there who find writing and storytelling as interesting as I do and actually like to read my thoughts on the topic.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Structuring Events in the Correct Sequence

Lately while editing, I've noticed several stories that are quite good, but are lacking in small areas here and there, one of them is slightly inaccurate structures of events that take place.

These most often manifest themselves in sentence structures. Grammatically, these sentences are fine, but they give the reader a slightly inaccurate experience of the story. For example, look at the following sentence.

Before I arrived at the grocery store, I brushed my teeth at the house.

Technically, this sentence is fine. It's a complete sentence. It's punctuated correctly. But do you see why it gives the reader a slightly inaccurate experience of the story?

Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Deal with People Who Don't Support Your Writing

Last week I outlined some reasons why people may not support your writing and promised that this week I'd have another writer tell us about how to deal with, work with, or communicate with those people. The writer asked to remain anonymous for reasons you'll understand in the post. And without further ado:

When somebody is critical and unsupportive of your writing, it’s important to open an appropriate channel of communication. Communication is NOT arguing your side of a disagreement, getting your point in, or making a home run comment that shuts down opposition. Communication must occur two ways. Real communication, and thus real results, won’t occur unless you speak and, more importantly, listen. Good communicators listen. Great communicators listen more than they talk.
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” –Epictetus

Ask yourself three questions:

1)    Do they matter?
2)    Are they addressing the real concerns they have with your writing?
3)    What is more important, your writing or your relationship with this person?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Why Some People Don't Support Your Writing Goals

One of the weird things about writing is that to many outsiders, you look like you are doing nothing. Often, people don't see the results until months after the work has been completed. That, coupled with the fact that most of the population doesn't actually understand how complex and difficult it is to write fiction, let alone be successful at it, can lead to some negative encounters. Most people don't know how to value storytelling. So much of their experience of it is based on feeling and subconscious thoughts.

And of course, there is the tendency to measure things by income, and to some people, skills and work only have value if they can bring in the money. There is a realm for this kind of thinking, but it's not for everyone and every skill at every level. D. Todd Christofferson once taught, "All true work is sacred." Even those who have made a beautiful income off their writing were writing without it for a long time.

Monday, July 3, 2017

On Talent and Success

Over the last few months, I've been noticing something.

I've been seeing writers who are less talented than others find more success.

At the same time, I've become more aware of talented writers, smart writers, or passionate writers who sort of drift away.

Since I left high school, I've come in contact with a lot of people who dream of being writers. And over the years, I've seen many educated and intense aspiring authors . . . just stop pursuing. Sometimes these are people who have all the right personal qualities to succeed. They are sharp, driven, dedicated, passionate, and they have critical thinking skills. Sure, they may need more practice, but that comes with time. Perhaps, though, it is because they are so intense and critical, they stop believing they can succeed. They don't think they can actually "make it."