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Control your content

Hello friends,

Sometimes my writing journey feels like this…

Wooo! It’s easy to feel like I’m getting absolutely nowhere. But I’m determined AF, and so when I come to a realization, I like to share it so that you can move an inch or so forward with me.

Here’s what I want to say…

ONLY SHARE YOUR WORK ON YOUR WEBSITE.

Now I’m not talking about writing guests posts or publishing poems or articles in magazines. I’m talking about using sites like Patreon, Wattpad, Chapterbuzz, or any other such site. But Allie, you say, you’ve used these sites?

Why yes, my darlings, I have, and that’s why I urge you not to use them. I have three main reasons why and here they are:

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Reason One: Those sites are a time suck. I spent so much time working on my Patreon, Wattpad, and Chapterbuzz accounts that I neglected my blog, my poetry, and my novels. In order to find any readers, you have to scratch other writers’ backs to get them to scratch yours. This is to basically falsely inflate your numbers to make it look like you have a lot of readers. It’s getting the sheep to follow a buzz you’ve manufactured. I wish people thought for themselves and dug to find writing they like but really they (not all but a lot)  follow the crowd. Therefore, you have to spend more of your writing time fabricating some buzz. (Patreon actually recommends you find creators to mutually support to grow your numbers. But it’s all false! I want REAL followers.)

Reason Two: Every time you post to these sites and then share via your social media, you’re drawing potential new readers to an external site. Why not draw them to your own? Showcase yourself and your kick-ass website, not someone else’s.

Reason Three: Your readers are yours to keep (as long as you keep them entertained.) Why work so hard to grow the followings of Wattpad, Patreon, or Chapterbuzz when they can decide to kick you off at any moment? If they don’t like or agree with something you wrote, they can boot you. Let’s face it, sharing ideas or stories freely in this day and age is dangerous business. I also don’t want to support any websites who silence anyone who disagrees with a CEO’s political or personal views. I know some may applaud the silencing but remember, one day they may come for you, too, dear writer. Free is free. And on my own website, I’m free to be me.

So, while it might take me longer to find readers, I’m still finding them. It may be a long process, but I’m in for the long haul because writing is my passion.

I’m grateful to all of you who have followed this blog, signed up for my newsletter, leave comments, and have purchased my books. You’re amazing! I will continue to share chapters of my works-in-progress under the sneak peeks tab.

And remember, you can find the link to purchase my books on the books tab or by clicking here or here to purchase a signed copy.

If you’ve read my books, I’d like to ask you to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews go a long way in helping indie authors like me to find new readers.

I’m going to keep on putting one word after another and I have no doubt that I’ll grow a following of readers who connect them.

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Thanks!

Allie

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Listen to yourself.

Hello friends,

I’m a little late on putting out my weekly post. I’ve been busy all month, and I decided to be lazy over the weekend. It felt great, and I feel refreshed.

I have lots of words to make up for NaNoWriMo, but I still feel like I’m going to complete the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month. I know some people that insist that writers must write every day but as I’ve said before, I disagree with that.

While I was taking my break, I thought about my story and what would happen. I jotted down a few notes in the margins. In those ways, I was still working on my novel. Not adding to my word count didn’t put me behind because I know where I’m going and I feel like I want to go there now.

I think it works for some people to chip away at their stories slowly every day. Some of us, though, work internally on our stories for a while before it’s all ready to spill out. We may end up writing as much or more than we would if we forced the words out slowly. It’s like everything else, we need to listen to our bodies and spirits. We know what’s best for us and drowning out other voices is an important thing to learn in the creative process.

Okay, I’ve got words to catch up on. Cheers!

Allie

Please visit my Amazon author page, check out my books, and consider buying one by clicking here.

Listen to yourself

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The sound of silence.

Hello friends,

Well, I gave Wattpad and Chapterbuzz a try and while I was getting some reads and buzz I totally wore myself out. I was so busy trying to write new chapters, edit old ones, read others’ work, comment, and uploading new stuff I burst my bubble.

I haven’t written anything new in over a week. I hate when I get in this space but I know that I have to let the dry spell happen.

But you should write every day!

Yeah, that’s what people say. But I know if I force it, I’ll just be writing crap. And does it matter what I write? Does this blog post count? Do my tweets count? Does it matter if I paint, read, doodle, or think instead? Those are all creative things. I’m going to adjust that old advice to suite my creative style. I’m going to create every day.

The muse is mad.

Don’t tell him/her I said this but my muse is moody and needy. *Looks around worried they heard* The muse wants my full attention and I wasn’t giving it. Now I’m going to have to play hard to get and work on other creative outlets until s/he decides to forgive me or that s/he can’t live without me either and starts telling me the story again.

There’s no need to despair.

This has happened to me before. I thought I’d never write again. And like an oncoming fever, the urge to write takes hold and I can’t stop writing. I’m wiser now. I know I can relax and wait for it to happen because it will.

What about those stories you were sharing?

If you were following along on Chapterbuzz or Wattpad, no worries. I’ll still be posting some work on my Sneak Peeks tab. This way, I’ll be keeping all the follower growth on my blog instead of spreading it out in all different websites/platforms. If there’s a story you want more of, let me know and I’ll add to that story (as the muse allows. As they’re not speaking to me at the moment, I have time).

Creators, what do you do when the muse isn’t talking to you?

Readers, are there any of my stories you’d like to see more of?

Allie

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Blog · Burnished Path · Sneak Peeks

Burnished Path

Chapter One

Babette Watson’s back was rigid. Tears balanced on the rims of her eyes. She clenched her fists to try to calm the tumbling in her ams. Her legs were weak but she tried her best to stay strong.

“Did you do it?” Aaron glared at her through the small slits his eyes had become. His arms were folded in front of his chest and he stood so close to her that she could feel his breath heating the sides of her wavy brown hair.

“No,” she mumbled. It was the only thing she thought she might be able to croak out without releasing a flood of tears.

“Tell us the truth! We all need to know because we’ll all get kicked out if you’re found guilty!” Spit flew off of Aaron’s teeth, almost hitting her.

“I didn’t!” Babette could no long hold back the tears. They streamed down her cheeks, one after another in an endless parade.

“Aaron, think about it a sec.” Dacey wedged herself in between her teammates. “With ‘the eye’ everywhere we go. Do ya think she’d risk it?

The four of them glanced up to the round silver camera hanging in the corner of the classroom.

“Not if she tried when she thought it was inactive!” Aaron stepped around Dacey and glowered again at Babette.

“Man, lay off.” Cabe wrapped an arm around Babette’s shoulder and shielded her from Aaron’s burning stare. “No fret, Babs. I know you wouldn’t do it.”

Babette rested her head on his shoulder and nodded. Her breath hitched as she settled into the comfort that Cabe always brought her.

The door opened and Professor Milch marched in. His heals stomped across the floor as though he were mad at it. He tugged at the bottom of his crisp white lab coat as he stood to face the class. “To your stations.”

Cabe gave Babette a pat on the back before taking his place. Aaron stared at Babette on his way around to his station before snapping to attention with sharp precision. Dacey drifted away, smiling and floating concerned eyes to Babette before standing at attention.

“And sit,” Professor Milch said.

Everyone sat at attention. Eyes forward. Palms flat on the desk top. Feet flat on the floor—shoulder width apart. Backs straight. Butts perched on the edge of the seat.

Though only a few short moments passed by, time seemed to drift on a cloud of eternity. Sweat beaded on Babette’s forehead. Her stomach churned and her eyes refilled with tears.

Professor Milch stood still as a wax figure. His white lab coat was buttoned all the way up up. A thin slice of the white button down shirt and the black and white swirled tie peeked over the top. His black slacks had crisp iron marks down the center. His black hair was salt and peppered at the temples, closely shaved around the sides, and tad longer on the top.

His arms were crossed. The lab coat stretched taught over his muscles. His head remained still though his laser-beam blue eyes scanned back and forth over the four teammates.

The pressure sat heavy on Babette as though an anvil balanced on her head. She couldn’t help but squirm minutely in her seat —just enough to release the unease that raked up her spine. Her watery topaz-brown eyes glued to the top button of his lab coat. She couldn’t bare to look in his eyes.

“At ease,” Professor Milch said.

With those words, Babette’s back curled like a parchment finally released after being rolled out against is will. A tear landed on the edge of her lab coat, leaving an oval circle drip. Another tear caught on the apple of her high round cheek. Quickly, she wiped it away and sniffed the moisture that was threatening to escape her nose.

Babette slowly tucked her curly brown hair behind her left ear to try and get a better look at Aaron. He was sitting with his back still straight in the chair and his hands resting the desk. She couldn’t tell if he looked worried or angry.  She knew better than to turn her head to look at him. Sliding her eyes back to the front, she dropped them quickly to the desktop when she realized Professor Milch’s laser gaze was locked on her. He paused another excruciating moment before speaking.

“Professor Calloway and I stood in front of the teaching team tribunal early this morning. As you well know, Babette was accused of practicing powers outside the classroom.”

Babette’s breaths halted and her heart began to pound so hard she could barely hear what he said. He head swirled. She felt weightless as though floating underwater.

Dacey raised her hand.

“Yes, Dacey,” Professor Milch said with pressed words. One raised eyebrow at her.

“Sir, what exactly is she accused of. I mean, I think we have a right to know since it affects all of us.”

“You think you have the right to know,” he said. Babette couldn’t tell if it was a question or a statement. He drummed his fingers on his forearm and pursed his lips. “Fair enough. Babette’s been accused of attempting binding in her barracks.”

“Wha—,” Babette mumbled. One sharp glance from Aaron quieted her.

Dacey raised her hand so hard it nearly lifted her off the seat.

“Dacey, yes,” Professor Milch sighed.

“If she did anything like that, I would’ve seen. I would’ve told.” She glanced at Babette. “Sorry, Babs.”

Professor Milch uncrossed his arms and tugged at the sleeves of his lab coat. “She did it in the bathroom behind closed doors. You wouldn’t have seen.”

“Seriously!” Cabe said. “How could they tell that? And I thought the eye was supposed to turn off when we’re in the bathroom.”

“Only when using the toilet or entering the changing stall,” the professor said. “And I don’t recall you raising your hand. I also don’t recall ever saying this was a discussion. You will sit and you will listen—quietly. Do I need to put you at attention?”

“No, Sir,” Cabe said. “Sorry, Sir.”

“Class, rise and stand at ease,” Professor Milch said.

Everyone stood. Babette rubbery legs didn’t feel capable of lifting her, but she drifted to her feet. The fate of her team pressed on her shoulders.

***THIS IS A FIRST DRAFT OF A WORK-IN-PROGRESS***

Please feel free to share your thoughts. 😊

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How to overcome writer’s block

How to overcome writer’s block

How to overcome writer's block

A lot of people talk about writer’s block and how to overcome it. They suggest things like forcing yourself to write and while that might work for some, I don’t think it does. I’ve tried to make myself write but I’ve always found writing crap doesn’t help my work-in-progress in any way.

My best advice if you’re feeling stuck is the following:

  1. Don’t sweat it. The writing bug has bitten you before and it will again. If you’re relaxed and not trying to force it, I’m convinced you’ll get back into it much faster.
  2. Keep your work-in-progress in the back of your mind while you do other things. I always find that if I just let it percolate in the back of my mind, the solution often presents itself.
  3. Read something else. Sometimes you just need a break from your own words and worlds.
  4. Watch a movie or two or three. Take notes about how the story unfolds, what you like about it, or what you don’t. Sometimes figuring out what you like about stories helps you figure out what you want to do with your own.
  5. Take a nice, lovely walk. (Take a notepad or your phone to jot down notes that are sure to flood it. They most likely will.)
  6. Take a shower. I always do my best thinking in the shower. I keep a waterproof notepad and pencil in mine because ideas always come. I think water is magic for the brain.
  7. Go for a drive. Turn up the radio. Have some fun. I’m convinced that enjoying yourself opens up the creative areas of your mind and lets the ideas flow freely.
  8. Think about (not worry about) your book while you’re falling asleep. Just have it in your mind, knowing that you’ll find the solutions. I’ve had characters come to me in my dreams and tell me how to work out plot problems.

In a nutshell, just relax. I believe forcing things binds your creativity, but relaxing will let it drift and tap into the universal core of creation. If you were meant to be a writer, and you’ve written before, you’ll write again. Just because words aren’t going onto pages at the moment doesn’t mean that you’re not working on a story idea or building up characters in your mind.

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Wooohooo! Then celebrate when you start writing again and the next time you get stuck remember that it’s not permanent and will pass.

If you’d like to buy my book, ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER, you can get it by clicking here. 

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Writer not writing

Writer not writing

Hello friends,

I cannot remember the last time I opened up my laptop and worked on my novel. Was it in June sometime? Has it really been since May?

So what’s keeping me from writing… writer’s block?

Not at all. The slow down started when I began querying my romance novel, Hearts Mingling. The querying process is extremely time-consuming, but more than that, it takes all the joy out of trying. As a matter of fact, querying kind of makes me feel like I hate writing. It’s a misplaced emotion. It’s not actually the writing I hate, but it does make it all seem pointless–like I’ll never find readers for my work if I can’t get by the gatekeepers.

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I’ve also been taking a few courses. One–a marketing course for a small business I’ll be part-owner of and do the marketing for. The second–another marketing course, but this one is specifically for authors. As you know, in addition to my other small business, I’ve started my own publishing company, WhistlePig Publishing, to independently publish my children’s novels. Who knows, someday I may also be publishing my adult works as well.

All my time and effort has been going into these ventures, but at least I feel like I’m moving forward with my writing and my quest to find readers. I’m no longer stalled out in the querying trenches, spinning my wheels, and feeling like a loser.

I’ve begun building my book launch team and have been fortunate enough to have received excellent feedback from my readers. (And btw, all of you who have joined and been kind enough to let me know how you’re enjoying the book–THANK YOU! You have no idea how much it means that you’re willing to help. I suffer from imposter syndrome and doubt myself daily, so your words pull me out of some serious self-despising darkness).

If you haven’t joined my book launch team but would like to, click here to sign up to get your free review copy. Those who join, download the free ebook on launch day, and post their reviews will automatically be entered to win prizes.

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It’s tough to be a writer who’s not writing, but at least I’m getting closer to writing again. I am now a writer who is planning on writing and feeling the excitement bubble build inside. The bubble that will grow until it bursts and forces me to sit down and write because I won’t be able to think about anything else.

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I’ve decided to finally write the final two books for The Great Connection and turn it into a trilogy. I originally planned to do that, but then the query process smashed that thought into a million little pieces.

But now that I’m an indie author I can officially say, “Whatever, I’ll do what I want.”

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So take that, gatekeepers. You can’t tell me what to write and you can’t keep my readers from making their own choices!

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Be a good little manuscript!

Be a good little manuscript!

I’ve sent my baby out into the world. If my manuscript were a person, he’d have just gotten on the bus wearing a little backpack. And I’m standing in the driveway waving goodbye with tears streaming down my face.  bus-school-school-bus-yellow-159658

Goodbye, my darling.

My stomach is tied up in knots. Is he prepared? Did I do everything I could do to make sure he would perform well out there on his own?

I sent my manuscript to a beta reader, a critique partner, and an editor. I’m very nervous to find out what they’ll think. (It’s stomach churning misery)

This time is difficult for me. I’m already trying to find ways to occupy my time. I don’t think I’m quite ready to move on to a new manuscript but maybe I’ll work on my query and a synopsis. Did I ever mention how much I hate writing a synopsis? I REALLY hate it. It’s torture for me.

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Eh, maybe I’ll put that off a little longer. Ha!

I could paint (I’m not good at it but I enjoy it) or practice my guitar. I might do some reading or binge-watch The Sopranos.

Whatever I do to occupy my mind, I’m excited for my little manuscript to come back to me because however he does out there in the world, I’m very proud of him.

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