“Inspiration Will Fail You”

A Writer's Path

 

by Kyle Massa

I had a professor in college who often said, “Inspiration will fail you.” She was very right about that.

Many authors wait around to be inspired. They wait for the muse to appear with an amazing idea, one that fills the page with vivid prose and vibrant action.  And when inspiration fails to appear, those writers remind themselves that tomorrow is another day, and they don’t write anything.

That’s why inspiration will fail you. It’s lazy, it’s inconsiderate, and it doesn’t ever show up when you want it to.

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What is a Healthy Identity?

Such an excellent series – join the conversation! 😉

Social Health

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ve probably noticed I have been thinking about the concept of ‘identity’ quite a bit. I’ve tried to define my concept of identity in relation to self-esteem, trauma, addiction, social media, and issues veterans face in transition to civilian life.

I’ve been trying to use a consistent concept of identity throughout these articles, influenced by Erik Erikson’s characterization of role identity, but I keep coming back to a fundamental problem:

Which role identities are healthy vs. which are unhealthy?

In my article on how self-worth affects identity, I describe the unhealthy ‘hero’ role. This is a role taken up by individuals with a low level of intrinsic self-worth who become perfectionists, attempting to gain self-worth through the external praise of others. I then elaborated how this similar process occurs among codependent caretakers who enable a loved-one’s addiction.

I then applied this model…

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Books: The New Weights for Exercising Your Brain

A Writer's Path

by Nadia Sotnikova

When I was a toddler, it took more than a few fake airplanes to make me eat my carrots and broccoli. My mouth remained clamped shut, as my mom would pilot the fork airplane filled with toddler-sized bites of multi-colored veggies. My hatred for Bugs Bunny’s favorite vegetable followed me from childhood into adulthood, and my mouth remained shut no matter how many times I was told how beneficial carrots were for my eyes.

My poor mom never stopped trying to create a health conscious carrot-eating daughter, no matter how many times I fed her carrots to the dog or left them on my dinner plate. Creating a health conscious lifestyle require us to consume a large quantity of carrots, broccoli, treadmills, and multivitamins.

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Identity Crisis Among Veterans

Another insightful post on identity! 😉

Social Health

In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity. — Erik Erikson

Erickson’s concept of identity crisis has been generally associated with adolescents trying out various identities as they find their place in the world. Before my research on veterans in transition to civilian life, I never even considered the fact that many veterans experience an identity crisis, leading to a difficult transition.

Growing up, Remembrance Day ceremonies shaped my idea of veterans as a particular symbol of national pride. Perhaps I assumed they all held strong identities based on this national reverence. Little did I realize, this image was an idealized sacred nationalism that is often irrelevant or forgotten when it comes to everyday matters in civilian life.

One of our nation’s most revered roles is simultaneously one of the nation’s most forgotten and misunderstood. This is a huge…

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Friday Roundup – 11th August

Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

1.  Melinda Clayton at Indies Unlimited tells us of the importance of categories and keywords:

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2017/07/18/the-importance-of-categories-and-keywords-for-your-books-on-kdp/

2.  Jennifer Scott, guest writer on Nicholas C. Rossis’ blog, gives 8 tips to create the perfect writer’s resume:

https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/8-tips-to-create-the-perfect-writers-resume/

3.  Janice Wald at Mostly Blogging gives the 4 worst blogging mistakes:

http://www.mostlyblogging.com/worst-blogging-mistakes/

4.  Peter Adewumi writes of how to induce a spike in your blog stats:

https://adewumipeterblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/how-to-induce-a-spike-in-your-blog-stat/

5.  Joel Friedlander at The Book Designer gives advice on finding your first 10,000 readers:

https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2017/06/find-first-10000-readers/

6.  Cynthia Hilston on A Writer’s Path tells of the benefits of joining a writer’s group:

The Benefits of Joining a Writers Group

7.  Derek Haines on Just Publishing Advice reminds us that publishing is not just Amazon KDP and Kindle:

https://www.justpublishingadvice.com/self-publishing-is-not-just-amazon-kdp-and-kindle/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JustPublishing+%28Just+Publishing%29

8.  Capital Nerd tells us how to get ARCs:

https://mccullum001.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/how-to-get-arcs-a-step-by-step-guide/

9.  Jason B. Ladd, guest author at The Creative Penn, gives advice on how to get book reviews:

https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/07/29/how-to-get-book-reviews-as-an-unknown-author/

10. …

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Identity and Social Media

Another thought-provoking post! 👍

Social Health

Expanding on my previous post, I want to explore the interaction between identity and self-worth, but in the context of social media.

Social role influences identity.

As stated previously, I am using Erickson’s model of identity as derived from one’s social role. When one has a low sense of self-worth, they may take on roles aimed at gaining a sense of self-worth through external validation. ‘The hero’ role is one possible way to achieve this validation, as I described in the context of the family.

Social injustices can influence self-worth. 

Beyond the family, low self-worth can be the result of an infinite number of traumas, social injustices, and other forms of violence. Some may include stigmas or discrimination based on one’s race, class, gender, level of ability, body image, or any other social bias that works to dehumanize, invalidate, and classify a specific ‘type’ of person.

Specific roles may…

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Improve your Prose by Varying Sentence Length

Jed Herne: Writer

Whatever you’re writing, there’s one sure-fire way to make your prose more engaging:

Vary the length of your sentences.

Rather than explain why this is important, I’m going to give an example:

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the…

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Losing Momentum: Snap Out of It

A Writer's Path

by Samantha Fenton

It happens often enough: A writer taking a day or two break, which turns into a week of not writing, then two, and pretty soon your manuscript has been pushed off the table and into a drawer. Not good. Now you’ve lost all drive to work on the thing. You’re procrastinating, and have no desire to start on it again. Let me repeat: This is not good, and you know it.

It started off innocently enough. You did actually want to work on the book, but you had a lot going on. Or maybe you had hit a rut. Still, you had other things you needed to get done. You wanted to read that new book. You were to work on that hard scene tomorrow. You just took of one night because you were so tired, and you deserved one night off after all you’ve done.

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How Self-worth Affects Identity

An excellent post and worth the read!

Social Health

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how our social environment affects our identity. Our social environments shape us from birth, often unconsciously, instilling a sense of security, self-worth, and identity. Those growing up in dysfunctional families may lack a fundamental sense of self-worth, causing them to seek a sense of significance in ways that are unhealthy and unsustainable.

To gain a sense of significance, some take on the hero role, seeking praise for their achievements. Some become jokesters, making others laugh while suppressing their inner turmoil. Some become rebels, seeking approval from deviant peer-groups. Lastly, some may retreat into isolated fantasy worlds. The book, Another Chance by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, elaborates on these roles among families dealing with addiction issues.

Coming from a dysfunctional family plagued by addiction, individuals take on one or more of the above roles, carrying the negative long-term effects into adulthood. These may include underdeveloped coping strategies, low self-esteem, acting…

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EDITING 101: 48 – Using Quotes in Your Book and Research Tips – Part 1…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Using Quotes in Your Book and Research Tips (Part 1)

As often as I run into authors wanting to use song lyrics in their novels, I also run into authors wanting to use quotes in their non-fiction books. (If you missed the post about using song lyrics in your manuscript, you can find it HERE 101:08) It seems that many authors like the way somebody else said something previously and don’t think they can say it any better.

Well, I don’t know about that. But I do know that you cannot simply take someone else’s words—no matter how wonderfully written—and plop them into your for-sale book. That’s plagiarism. And, you cannot simply use a significant amount of material…

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