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Why Can’t I be As Successful As Rowling or King???? (Or, the reasons why you’re not successful yet)

sucessThere are many writers out there who are feeling discouraged.  Why can’t their work be recognized by others?  No one’s buying or reading; or, they have only a few buyers/readers.  Rejection after rejection keeps hitting the email box.  What are they doing wrong?  What aren’t they doing right?

Realistically, you can’t (although it does happen) expect fame/stardom over-night or instant recognition for a work well-done.  Like Rowling or King, success didn’t just come.  It took several years.  Hundreds of rejections.  Eventually, it came to pass.  For these two, they made millions (both in dollars and in fans); but for the rest of us, success comes in various sizes.

So, why aren’t you successful?   Hmm…success means different things to each writer.  It could mean selling 1,000 copies of your memoir.  It could mean earning more than $3,000 each month through various copywriting projects.  For another, it could mean having thousands of followers/subscribers on a blog.

Here are some general reasons that I’ve come up with (feel free to add your input!):

1. Your craft/niche may not be developed enough. Write. Write.  And, then write some more. Learn what your weaknesses and strengths are, and how to play them up or down.  Find your voice.  This will set you a-part from the others.

2. People may not know you’re out there.  Start a blog and write about the things you’re passionate about.  Check out other writers’ blogs and web sites, and comment on their posts/articles.  Many of them will return the favor.  Seek out guest blogging and interview opportunities.  In a nutshell, this is called networking.  Marketing.  The more you put yourself out there, the more people will take notice.

3. The world isn’t ready for you (yet).

4. You may need to start at the “bottom” and work your way “up.”   You have a science-fiction novel that you love to have published, but no one and I mean no one is looking at you or your manuscript.  So, you really enjoy writing science fiction.  Try writing a few short stories in this genre, and then find small magazines/ezines to publish them. Get your name out there with a few minor publishing credits.  This will help improve your credibility as a serious writer.

I’m sure there are many other reasons, but these are probably some of the major ones.

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Filed under artists, genre writing, writing

Writing and Artistic Creativity for Mental Health

http://cdn.blogosfere.it/arteesalute/images/Writing_depression-thumb.jpgOur guest post today is by Valerie Johnston who talks about something that affects many people, and how writing can help.

Those with mental health disorders like bipolar may find that they often feel alone, confused, and depressed by their lack of control over thoughts and emotions. Often, those feelings can become so overwhelming that they don’t know where to turn. While there are many different approaches to dealing with the symptoms of mental health disorders, one solution that has proven to be effective is writing as a form of creative expression.

In fact, in a fairly well-known case, a woman who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression) for years began writing her own blog about her condition, her thoughts, and anything she felt like. Since she began her blog, she continues to condone writing as a manner of better dealing with mental health. Why does putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard have such a direct effect on mental illness? There are several reasons why artistic creativity can work.

Expression without Judgment

Almost anyone who suffers from a mental health disorder will indicate that they often feel lonely. Because of their disorder, they separate themselves from others in fear of constant criticism or judgment. Unfortunately, there are outsiders who think conditions like clinical depression or bipolar are signs of weakness. They are not weakness. Anyone can be affected by mental health disorders, no matter how strong or weak they may be.

Someone who feels alone or too often criticized because of their disorder will be able to express themselves – their thoughts, hopes, dreams, and emotions, without feeling like they’re being judged.

Organizing Thoughts

Another problem that people with mental health disorders may deal with would be disorganized thoughts. They may have trouble focusing on daily tasks, and this can interrupt their work life as well as their personal one. By writing down the thoughts, they may find it easier to put them into some type of organization. This can make it easier for them to put that organization to work in the rest of their lives.

Releasing Emotions

People who suffer from bipolar disorder have the most trouble controlling their emotions. They may go through episodes of severe depression when they feel hopeless or even suicidal. They will also go through episodes of uncontrolled elation. These are called “manic” episodes and they can be dangerous too since the person may make poor decisions, may forget things they’re supposed to do, or may even specifically put their life in danger.

Often, a bipolar person feels that they have to bottle up their emotions and not show the episodes from which they suffer. By keeping those feelings to themselves, they may eventually not know how to deal with them anymore. By writing and creative expression, they can get those emotions out on paper or on the computer screen. This release may be just what they need to get through an episode.

Understanding the Mind

The mind works in mysterious ways to most of us. It can go from extreme happiness to sadness in an instant even for healthy people. For those suffering from bipolar or clinical depression, these severe changes in emotion can be amplified to a point that their lives are ruled by this aspect of their mind. Often, the mind simply needs a controlling factor or something that forces it to think in a different way.

Through creative expression, someone with emotional or mental health disorders can ease a number of their symptoms. The writing process forces the brain to think in a more organized manner. It also allows the person to feel like they have an emotional release for their feelings. It can even make them feel less alone and judged, even if no one ever reads what they wrote.

Thank you, Valerie! If you have any questions for Valerie feel free to use the comment section below.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

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Filed under Guest Post, Mental Health, writing

Interview: Mel Trent

For this blog’s next interview, I’d like to introduce Mel Trent, author of Patient Zero as well as several other science fiction and poetry books.
 If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say? Probably nothing!  I’m terribly shy.  I wait for others to make the first move.  It also depends on the situation..
How long have you been writing?  26 years.

What do you write?  Poetry and urban fantasy with occasional forays into science fiction and more traditional fantasy.

Did you always believe you were meant to be a writer?  Or was it an accidental discovery?  I don’t believe I was meant to be anything, as that implies a kind of predestination I don’t buy into.  I was always passionate about reading.  I started writing because I loved telling stories.  The passion for writing solidified when I read Stephen King’s It.  I guess that makes it accidental.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kinds of music?  Yes.  All kinds—classic rock, rap (in small, very specific doses), heavy metal, classical, country (again in small, specific doses).  It depends on my mood, rarely on the mood of the story or poem. Sometimes silence works, too.
What do you consider yourself: introvert, extrovert, ambivert? Total introvert.

What seems to be the recurrent theme(s) in your stories?  Anger. It’s a powerful motivator, and the outcome of actions based on anger can go either way.
If you could be any character of any books, who would it be?  It’s almost impossible to answer this with one character, so I’ll go with my current fictional crush – Istvan, from Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy.  He’s charming, he’s gorgeous, he’s talented, he’s smart, he’s
tough, and he has a hot boyfriend.

 You consider yourself as: poet, writer, author, essayist, screenwriter, blogger, or more than one of these?  I usually stick to the term writer.  It’s simple and direct and encompasses many things.

Do you name your Muse(s)?  No.  He’s just Muse.
Which do you prefer: traditional, self publishing, or both?  Both have positive attributes, both have drawbacks.  I think it depends on what your goal is.  Self-publishing through Lulu has worked for me just as a way to say, “Look, I wrote an actual, physical book!”
What is the one advice you would offer to a new writer?  Be a student of the craft—write and read everything you can, and never stop being a student.
Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?  Absolutely, but more so as single images than as a whole. Dreams, when I try to narrate them, lack real narrative structure.  Images from dreams, such as a group of men plugged into some kind of power station to act as human batteries (used for the last NaNoWriMo I participated in), are easier to work with.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  Let’s see.  I see myself being five years older.  That’s about it.  I don’t plan well.  I don’t
know what I’m doing five minutes from now much less five years.
Who is your favorite author? Why?  There are many, but Samuel R. Delany might be at the top of the list.  You don’t see the gay black man’s perspective in science fiction, and I love the fact that he’s willing to take a good hard look at gender, equality, sexuality and
humanity while wrapping it all up in science fiction packages that are every bit as well written as any “literature.”
What is your favorite quote? Why?  “If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate, and you would begin to die, act
crazy, or both.” –Ray Bradbury.  Because for me it’s very true, although sometimes, I like to let the poison build for a few days before I let it out.

Thank you for visiting us, Mel!  :)

Want to read more about her?  Visit her blog, The Thoughtful Trickster.

Also be sure to check out Mel’s storefront at Lulu for Patient Zero as well as all her other books!

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Filed under Cult, genre writing, Interview, writing

Ways to Advertise Your Web Fiction

Okay, you started a web serial so now, how do you go about letting others know it exists?  One of the reasons you started this was to gain readers.  Right?

Here are a few possible ways:

1. Facebook

2. Twitter

3. Your personal or writing blog

4. Enlist it with the Web Fiction Guide

5. If you’re a part of a writing community, you can let your fellow writers know that you started a web serial and would welcome any comment and/or feedback.

For those of you who have successfully launched your web fiction, share with us (newbies) any other ways we can increase our readership base.

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Filed under genre writing, Serial Writing, Web Fiction, writing