Tag Archives: Wordpress

A Day In The Life of A Real Writer

8 Oct

Okay, so we all knew it would happen some day! Sean needed a little credibility so he sought out some established “real writer” to lend a guest post and some much needed “actual content” to this blog. So I called up my distant cousin,  Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy, the Rebel Writer (actually no known relation) to fill in for me on a new segment that the kids are calling, “Meet My Guest Writer”.

Forget glamour.  Erase any notions or preconceived ideas about fun.  Writing is work.  And yes, it can be enjoyable.  I love what I do and can’t imagine returning to working nine to five for a corporation or business.  But it’s also time consuming, frustrating, and at times difficult.  I prefer the rewarding moments over the hard but in this business, you’ll have both.

Rewind my life a few years and I dabbled in writing.  Although I wrote almost every day and turned out a lot of stories, articles, and other literary efforts, many of which found published homes and earned me a little money, I didn’t approach it as a job.  If there’s any secret to my success, a turning point moment, it’s when I decided to treat writing as if it were a paying job.

I made up my mind and decided it was time to get serious.  The housework took a back seat to writing and I began keeping a routine, a strict one.  I stopped for a lunch break at the same time each day and within six months I signed my first book contract.  Two years and two months later, I signed my thirtieth this week.  Most are full-length novels by any standard and a few are what is sometimes called novellas.  These days, more and more people just call them “books”.  All are available as eBooks, four are also available in paperback.  I also have work in more than twenty-five anthologies and several short story credits including a few in national publications.

So if you want to make it in this business, make writing a job.

For the curious, here’s a rundown of how my basic day begins. I get up early, as in before daylight.  I’m also a mom so I rise before the kids and after a cup or two of coffee to get my mind alert, I check emails.  I also start a to-do list for the coming day.  After I feed and get my children out the door to the bus, I spent several hours either writing or doing writing-related tasks.  It can include editing, filling out cover art forms, writing blurbs, keeping up with my four blogs, using social networking to keep up with other writers and the reading community, and other details.  I may pause long enough to start the laundry or let my Jack Russell terrier out into the yard but otherwise I work until lunch.  After a brief stop, I bring in the mail and get back to work for several more hours.  Then it’s time to meet the kids, cook supper, talk to my husband when he gets home.  After dinner, I pay bills, play a little online, keep up with friends, and make phone calls to family.  Sometimes I get a little more work done, sometimes not.

My schedule doesn’t vary much even on weekends.  I’ve been known to work on holidays too, at least a few hours worth.  If I go on vacation, it’s usually a working trip with a visit at a writer’s conference or research for an upcoming project.  And the laptop goes along too.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t hobnob with the rich and famous, attend galas, ride around in my limo and I’m far from rich.  I’ve done a few local television appearances but I’ve yet to mark The Tonight Show off my bucket list.

I work long, often hard hours but I enjoy what I do.  Reader feedback makes a positive impact too.  I often urge people to remember I’m not home watching television or playing Farmville.  I’m working because writing is a job and once I began to give it the same respect as any other employment, my career moved in new directions.

Contact and links:

leeannwriter@gmail.com

Twitter: leeannwriter

Facebook: my personal page is Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy plus I just kicked off an author page – From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

https://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Sweet-To-Heat-The-Romance-of-Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/287540748010934?ref=hl

Website/blog: http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogpspot.com

Blog: Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I

Now that you have had a taste of a “real writer”, can you ever go back? 

Sure you can! And you will! See you tomorrow!

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). Thank my “cousin” for lending me some much-needed quality content by sharing with all of your friends! This time it is not a polite request, it is a mandate. I brought the share buttons so you bring the shares,buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

A little Rx from the Good Dr. Hunter S.

7 Oct

 

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says, ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.” – Hunter S. Thompson

 

How the Dr. cures writer’s block! Write. Edit. Reload.

I don’t have anything amazing to share this Sunday. I am behind schedule on the novel. A lot of what I have written is going back and meshing with some “plan of attack” novel planning. I am considering NaNoWriMo? Any advice? Is it helpful or poison to a new novel. I think it was Hemingway who said, “Sometimes you just have to sit down and write the damned thing!” If he didn’t say it (and I have no reason but hero worship and an active imagination to attribute it to him) then maybe the good doctor did. In any case, I have nothing to update except that  I am taking it all back to step one. Hopefully, next Sunday will be a real true update about “The Novel”. Until then let’s chat about Thompson, tommy guns and NaNoWriMo as a laxative to the mental block.  Hit me in the comments. Tell me to make something more of these posts lately and to stop blaming my dreaded day job for not having time to be so “very novel”.

 

No, I have NOT been drinking…it is the wee hours of Sunday morning, my goodness…you crazy bloggers!

English: Hunter S. Thompson, Miami Book Fair I...

English: Hunter S. Thompson, Miami Book Fair International, 1988 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Am I the only one that misses the mad doctor?

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

 

 

 

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found any of this dribble valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares or not this time…I mean it is really up to you but the buttons are there waiting on you to fulfill their one and only purpose!

 

 

 

As always your comments are appreciated.

 

 

 

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

Freewriting Friday (10/5)

5 Oct

Do you remember way back to Freewriting Friday (9/7)? I don’t blame you if you don’t. I put “Freewriting Friday” on a sort of hiatus while  we finished out our challenge. I was a little spotty on some of my writing routines with the new “day job” as well.  I think it is time to come back to it now almost a full month later (not to mention breaking a sort of radio silence since the end of September). Where were we? Oh yeah…

 

“Something Completely Unexpected That Happened to Her”

 

It was late evening and her time for a long soaking in the tub. She had become of the habit of running the water just as hot as she could from the tap and just barely safe from scalding. What was it her writer friend, Alex called them; “Lobster Baths”? She was taking one of her “Lobster Baths”.

 

She dipped her head back slowly and her hair drifted out around her body. She felt a few air bubbles escape her ears as she lowered her head. She tipped her neck back and reminded herself of the flexibility of the first aid mannequins that she was using in her class. It wasn’t a glamorous comparison. She was certainly much more feminine than the stiff almost androgynous dolls. As if to reassure her she felt a slight chill on the tips of her nipples and her knees. If she could have one wish at this moment it would be a tub deep enough that she could be fully submerged knee caps and nipples. She pulled her bright red hair across her chest. She had her eyes closed and head almost completely beneath the water. Just enough of her nostrils out to get air.

 

Ever since she was a girl she had an affinity for the water. She took swim lessons at the local YMCA from the time she was able to walk and spent most of her summers at the community pool. She dreamed when she was young of swimming in the Olympics but her father barely made the money to keep her in swim suits and she took a job as a life guard to ensure that there wasn’t a sunny day that she wasn’t near the water.

 

Her dad had a small aquarium in the front room. It wasn’t anything extravagant. There were only tropical freshwater fish that you could buy at any pet store. She would lounge in her father’s recliner for hours and just stare. There were bright yellow and blue African cichilid fish that would dart around the rocks and driftwood that her father had piled in the aquarium to give the fish a place to hide. It was a perfect daydream to pretend that someday she could dart and dash beneath the water with no fear of drowning. She would sit there and wait for her dad to come home from work and it was always later than either of them liked. She would have dinner ready for him in the oven. He would know exactly where to find her when he got home. Sometimes drifting off to sleep just imagining herself beneath the waves.

 

When she was very little she had made her dad buy her posters of mermaids to cover her walls. Even as a teen she was attached to the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and had drawn something in high school art class and framed it. It was a mermaid lying across a rock with her eyes scanning the waves. She had been inspired by the fairy tale but for her the tale was in reverse. She was the little girl who longed to live her life beneath the sea with the fish and crustaceans.

 

All of this reverie and she had forgotten where she was and her head fell beneath the water. She didn’t panic but opened her eyes. She had lots of time in the water and knew that while drowning could happen in an instant that fear was worst than the water to a person who finds themselves beneath the water.

 

It had been twelve hours give or take ten minutes since she heard about her father. She wondered what it must have felt like to him. Was he afraid? Or did he just accept it? It was nothing she would have imagined for him. He was never much of a swimmer but in her mind he was still something of a great big sea lion. He was large but his movements were always fluid and natural. He knew how to tread water and to do a water crawl that always got him to safety. He rarely had much free time but what he had he always spent with her taking her to lessons and sitting there watching her intently with a smile.

 

He wasn’t a perfect man.In many people’s eyes she was the daughter of an absolute failure. He drank daily since her mother died. He pushed a mop many more hours than he spent writing. He spent his time cleaning up after the messes of others. To her though, he was something elemental and amazing. It was impossible to imagine a world without him in it.

 

The bath had gone cold. She let all of the air escape her lungs.

 

She didn’t drown.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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750 Words says that I am sitting just around 795 with that one. I just wrote for the time that I had this morning. I wrote not even sure what the conclusion was going to be as I was writing it or even where I was going from the start of it. Freewriting can be prompted by anything. It can be something you have done (as routine a daily task as bathing) or a memory or anything. I use different prompts every day. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be 750 words (or a little more). Give yourself grace with spelling or grammar. There is nothing that needs to be corrected. This is just a sort of way to break past our blocks. Now freewrite and share with me here in the comments,please.

 

Your prompt for next week:

 

How He Spent His Saturday

 

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

 

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

 

As always your comments are appreciated.

 

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 30)

30 Sep

My Name Is Not Bob Platform Building Challenge Day 30 

Yippee…this calls for some graduation clip art!!!

We’re done. Stick a fork in it. Who wants pie? I am going to miss the challenge. Except of course, it isn’t over. This was just the first 30 days of a commitment to a long term platform to network, connect, engage and promote. Go over and thank Mr. Robert “Not Bob” Brewer for designing such an excellent challenge and I hope that you enjoyed my commentary and few deviations from the set course. I know I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. I hope you did too.

It is also the 50th post published in Very Novel! That makes us like legit!!!

I am leaving you with this final challenge and call to action. Please, please, please….

If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 29)

29 Sep
"WE'RE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE TOMORROW. ...

“WE’RE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE TOMORROW. LETS DO THE JOB TOGETHER” – NARA – 516115 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MNINB Day 29 Challenge

Tomorrow is the last day of the challenge. It is sort of bittersweet. I am simultaneously eager for the challenge to be over and certain that I am going to kind of miss it. For this feeling, there is only one antidote.  We must continue to challenge ourselves. Sit down and make a list for next month (October) and give yourself a challenge or task for each day. There’s no more guide to tell you what to do. Now you must make these decisions on your own. If adding new social media sites doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. If joining some pages or groups just for writers does feel right then do that. Somewhere near the end of next month write make a list for the next month. Then that month, you must make a list for the next month. You got it. The challenge never ends in that way. We continue challenging ourselves and growing for our entire careers and lives.

For those who like things in bold print:

Make a list of challenges for next month.

It is important that we continue challenging ourselves. It is only by challenging ourselves as writers and as people that we grow. Thanks for playing along. Thanks Robert “Not Bob” Brewer for designing the challenge. I’ll see you tomorrow in cap and gown for the last day of our challenge. We are almost graduates.

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 28)

28 Sep

Do you smell that? It smells like…

…victory. We are on our final lap. Well…we are in our last three days. By next week,you will have graduated from this 30 Day Challenge! I guess that calls for a fairly easy challenge today.

Read a new blog and add a comment.

Be sure to include a link back to your blog. If you remember we did this at the mid-point of our first week and here we are in our last week and we are repeating the challenge. There must be a lesson in that. It must be important to continue to read new blogs and break out of our insular little habits. Hey, I didn’t say it first. Remember I am just following along with you on Mr Brewer’s Day 28 challenge.

I love the smell of blog in the morning…

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 27)

27 Sep

Social media is old hat to you now. You navigate the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn like a pro. What you need is a new challenge! Today’s challenge…

Join a social media site.

Why not add Pinterest, Goodreads, or RedRoom? Or add a difficulty level to this challenge and join all three. If you are already a member of all three sites then social media really is old hat to you now and maybe you should be hosting a challenge on your blog. If you just can’t get into adding one more social media site then don’t blame me; blame “Not-Bob” and take a look at his Day 27 challenge. “Not-Bob” relates an anecdote about how he almost didn’t get on board with Facebook for the comfort of Myspace. Take a look.

I don’t have a related anecdote to share.  I do have an amusing social media related cartoon however.

 

Internet bullying is a serious problem.

 

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 26)

26 Sep

Déjà vu all over again! Remember Day 19 of this challenge? 

Guess who’s back,back again. Sean is back, tell a friend. We are repeating the challenge from a week ago.  Write a blog post including a call to action and remember SEO. Then share it. While many of you post more than once a week, at least once a week is a habit to form. Giving your readers a consistent day (and even time) will help you build an audience. People will know how often to look for you and it will become a habit for them to check your blog as well.

It’s all about building an audience and rewarding them with regular content…

and a kitten.

A kitten opens its eyes for the first time

A kitten opens its eyes for the first time  Awww….(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 25)

25 Sep

In lieu of actual content, please accept this cute cartoon.

 

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. After a short away and a look into Klout with Day 24, we are back on the MNINB Platform Building Challenge as Mr. Brewer designed it. His Day 25 task will also be ours and it is…

Interview an Expert.

There are a lot of good reasons to include interviews with experts in your blog. It allows you to make connections with experts in your field. It shows that you are aware enough of your field to spot the experts and ask them interesting questions. It can lead you into new areas of thinking for your blog as the experts may point out facts or relate stories about things that were previously unknown to you that you can follow up on. It might be the perfect set-up to a guest post in the future.

My nine year old daughter frequently asks me, “If you are following along with this other guy’s challenge then why don’t you just tell them to read his blog?” Today, that sounds like an excellent idea. Mr. Brewer lays out very well the steps of conducting an email interview from asking for the interview (easier than it sounds) to crafting a few short questions (more challenging than it sounds). Please do click on the link above that says “Day 25”. Read along with Mr. Brewer’s advice and then report back to me if you accept the challenge. Oh, and how cute is Robert’s son in that picture? Sincerely, very cute kid.

I am going to call this one “done” for myself as I regularly interview experts for my freelancing. However, I will be working interviews with various writers into this blog as soon as next month. We are keeping it short as we are in the home stretch. Truth? “Day Job” is very hard on my soft writer’s behind and I think I am coming down with a case of the Mondays.

 

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares, buddy!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 23)

23 Sep

First take a moment to congratulate yourself.

horloge Musée d'Orsay

horloge Musée d’Orsay (Photo credit: Stephen Rees)

After today, there is only one more week of posts left in this 30 Day Challenge modeled after Robert Lee Brewer’s April Platform Challenge and if you have been with me this far then there is no reason you can’t hold out one more week. Today’s task is…

Develop a Time Management Plan.

It is a challenge that all of us face; there is only so much time in a day. Strict management of that time is a must. As a writer, we must make our platform work for us and not the other way around. I will terribly paraphrase Neil Gaiman who said he had discovered one morning that he was someone who answered e-mail for a living and wrote as a hobby. Each minute spent on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn is one that you could have been writing.

Social media is a Time Sink!

It is a very useful tool for self-promotion and networking but it is very easy to spend much more time than you mean to with it. Not every comment needs an immediate answer. Be sure to block off how much time you will need for your social media platform and then use only that much time. Set alarms if you have to. Block out your day. Use calendars,planners, alarms, and whatever bells and whistles are necessary to keep you from spending too much time on any one task. Develop a time management plan that allows you to be active on your social media while still spending the majority of your writing time…well…writing!

Develop routines.  Block out time for your writing, your social media, blogging and make them fit with your lifestyle. Remember that a platform is a marathon not a sprint. Develop habits that will last.

Reward Yourself.

If you are addicted to the social aspect of social media and can’t leave a comment unanswered or a tweet without a reply then choose to reward yourself with an extra fifteen minutes of social media time after you complete one of your assigned writing tasks.

Or if you detest social media then do the opposite reward yourself for spending at least 15 minutes every day on your social media with time doing something you enjoy such as bike-riding, reading, playing a game with the kids or whatever.

Be deliberate. Plan your day to have at least a little time for everything you need to focus on then work to that plan.

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If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:

Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). If you found this information valuable then please feel free to share it with others. I provided the share buttons so you bring the shares.

As always your comments are appreciated.

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