Posts tagged ‘freelance writing’

Blogging versus Writing

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Бесе...

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Беседа), 51.1 x 61.3 cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I want to talk/write about the distinction between blogging and formal writing when you are a writer/author or work as a freelance writer. I say distinction because blogging and writing share many similarities as well as differences. I guess the question that I want to address here is, “Do you write as you blog?  No, I don’t, and I hope the answer is no for many.  For me, blogging is more about having a conversation, similar to the conversation you would have with someone at a coffee shop, for example. You let your guard down a bit, enjoy your coffee, the company, and talk about what is going on with you, your work … but also, listen to the other party, and share his/her interests.  When blogging, I may start a sentence with the words and, or, and I may use the words ending in ally with or without disregard, and tons of adverbs, depending on what I want to convey, and the mood.  It doesn’t mean that I advocate sloppy blogging. It means that I feel comfortable enough in the conversation to let go of some rules of writing and talk to readers of the blog as I would talk to a friend in casual conversation.

When writing a novel or working on an assignment, editing becomes the friend. It has been said that there is a conversation between an author and the readers of a novel (and there is); however, that conversation happens in the mind, between the lines, and certainly, after my friend “the editor” has meddle in the conversation.

Another point to consider is the purpose of the blog. Blogs that are formal, informative, and cater to a specific group of readers, should follow the applicable sets of rules, very different from conversational blogs that aim to grow a community, start a conversation, and share among bloggers/readers. I follow the same conversational rules for social media. I’d rather say “see you later gators,” than say, “I will see you later, alligators” – just to give you a common example. If I was writing an instructional, informative, or “formal post,” I would follow suit.

One thing that I find no need or excuse for in blogging or any other social media outlet, is bad etiquette, bad manners, personal attacks, improper use of language, and sloppiness (laziness). But to each its own.

As a writer/author or as a reader, how do you feel about blogging and formal writing? I would love to hear your opinion.

On Writers and Money

Question book

Question book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This may seem an odd topic, but it is one of the most annoying questions I get asked, directly or indirectly by people I know, and by strangers. It is asked as soon as the topic of my writing or books comes up. Besides annoying, I find it intrusive, and a lack of good manners. It comes in many forms, but the root of the question is the same. And the person’s goal is to know if I make money as a writer and how much. Here are some examples of the same question.

  • Are you making a living at it?
  • How much money you make?
  • Is it easy; do you sell a lot of books?
  • How are you doing with it?
  • I see a lot of people publishing books; how easy is that, is there money in it?
  • How long does it take to make it?
  • What else you do to pay the bills?
  • One can’t survive on that, right?
  • I hear the book business is not doing to well; all those book stores closing, right?
  • Oh, do you make good money?

I can go on an on giving you examples of the same question worded directly or indirectly.  When I think about it, the people who ask this question do not understand what writing entails, and most likely, they have a paycheck mentality.  I bet that for most writers who are serious and take their craft to heart, money is the last thing in their minds when they are writing.  Yes, we all want to make a living at doing the thing we love most; this is how it should be. We should all make a living this way, doing the things we love and are passionate about, but most people don’t. Most people don’t understand when someone’s passion goes beyond monetary compensation, or even fame/recognition. I bet that the majority of dedicated writers don’t care about money or fame; it is a byproduct of their love and effort while writing.  However, to be fair to all sides, there are those who write with the hopes of becoming e-book millionaires or gain fame and recognition in the field. Besides, there is nothing wrong about making lots of money and being blessed doing what you love and serving people. To me, writing goes beyond monetary compensation and fame (as a primary goal), and while I hope to one day do exponentially marvelous, that does not mean that I would love the craft more for it, or less if I don’t.

So by now, you are probably thinking what my answer is when I am asked. It usually goes along these lines –

  • I am very happy doing what I do, how about you?
  • I am lucky and blessed to work doing what I love.
  • I don’t price my passions; do you?
  • The day money becomes my story, that day I will stop writing.
  • I let the faeries worry about that part, while my Muse works on the most important one.
  • I am well.

And so along those lines it goes, usually the probing stops there.  So feel free to use those lines if like me, you get annoyed by the question. If you paint, are an artist, or live your passion, most likely, you will be asked the question many times. Some people don’t mind it, some people do, and it has nothing to do with how much money you make. Feel free to comment on the topic, how do you feel about the subject of money and writing?

Thank You Ado Bajic – The Daily Rant

I was very honored and humbled by receiving the Liebster Blog Award – Thank you Ado Bajic from The Daily Rant.  Thank you for reading and considering Inkspeare worth of receiving it.  I don’t take these awards lightly.  I am always happy to know that someone found inspiration in one of my posts.  That makes me happy; and that is all I want – to be able to share and inspire others. I hope I get the rules for the award right.  Here they are.

  • List 11 random facts about me.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and their blogs.
  • Notify these bloggers of the award.
  • Ask the award winners  to answer 11 questions when they accept the Liebster Award.
  • I answer the questions left for me, from the blogger that gave me the award.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I am a vegetarian.
  2. I love avocado.
  3. I can’t have enough coffee.
  4. I love Purple.
  5. I love Owls.
  6. I am nuts about cats.
  7. I don’t welcome negativity or whining.
  8. I love black and white movies.
  9. I like to watch birds and take pictures of them.
  10. I like to observe people, not so much take pictures of them.
  11. I am addicted to pens and pencils, and stationery.

The Nominees are …

  1. Abominations
  2. Belle Grove Plantation
  3. Cocina de Nihacc
  4. She’s Losing It!
  5. The Kitchen’s Garden
  6. The Jittery Goat
  7. Gallivance
  8. Enchantments of a Beautiful Mind
  9. Michelle Proulx – The Blog
  10. Le Zoe Musings
  11. Old World Garden Farms

These are 11 of my favorite blogs that inspire me in different ways.  I know I have mentioned some of them before, in random posts here and there.  Some are more recent blogs that I have started to follow, and so far I love them very much. It is up to the nominees to answer the questions – I know some people do not like to get too personal or want to keep their information to a minimum. So I set you free to do as you wish 🙂 with your nomination. Answering questions is not required in my book.

11 Questions for the Award Winners (only if you feel like playing along)

  1. What is your favorite book?
  2. What is your favorite ink color?
  3. Favorite Author?
  4. Favorite writing snack?
  5. Favorite poem?
  6. Inspirational Moment
  7. Why did you chose your blog theme?
  8. What jumpstart your creativity?
  9. Best day(s) for writing/blogging
  10. Define in a few words “the simple life.”
  11. Favorite Holiday

Questions Left for Me

  1. How serious are you about your writing?  Writing is my life.
  2. Where do you face while showering, towards the shower head or away from it?  Both ways.
  3. Do you like sports?  I don’t like sports, although I enjoy watching a few – car racing, surfing, snowboarding, for example.
  4. What is your favorite book?  Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach is my favorite book.
  5. What makes you angry?  Liars and Bigots make me angry.
  6. What is your happiest memory?  My Grandma telling me a story.
  7. Blue or Green?  Green.
  8. Up or Down? Up.
  9. Do you think the last two questions matter?  Yes.
  10. Would you like to get this award?  Yes.

And here is a picture of the award

liebster-blog-award

A Taste of Ramblings of the Spirit

Here is a small excerpt from my novel Ramblings of the Spirit, Book 1 of The Dinorah Chronicles.

“I picked up the book again and slowly placed it on my bed. I was not sure if opening it or let it be. I laughed at myself. The impression of the dream was so real in my mind that I thought I felt the book’s heartbeat. I turned to go to the kitchen when I heard a thump. I looked back; the book had opened. This time, I mustered the courage to look at the page. It was the page of the boy and the serpent; however, the image had changed. Now, I was looking at my dream. Spilled all over the ground were human hearts; next to the boy, I saw a key, and next to it a heart with wings that seemed to bleed. I grabbed the loupe from the nightstand to inspect the picture. There were initials printed on the heart – DS. What could it mean? Only one thing came to mind – Dinorah Sandbeck” – Chapter 21 – The Thump of the Bleeding Hearts.

I hope that you enjoyed that little bit; you can sample a little more on Amazon.  Here is the official book trailer. I hope that you like it.

 

WWYD? – Questions to Alter Your Reality

Most people dream about something in the future, whether they create goal plans or not.  Our nature is to dream; we are dreamers.  We love to achieve, to go forward, to obtain, as we did once, as hunters, gatherers, and inventors.  We keep evolving, and each step (back or forward) will produce change, and therefore, a reaction.  Whether that reaction catapults us into creating our dreams, or not, it is up to us (always) to go in pursue, set sail, walk the journey, and create the path.  No one can do it for us.

Whether your reality now seems closer or far away from your dreams, it is up to you to activate your path – the path that will take you there.  Most of the time, it only takes a change in mindset, and things start falling into place.  One way to start activating the path to your dreams is to ask yourself questions to alter your reality.  If you know what your goals/dreams are, then, you are one step ahead.  If you don’t, then the first question to ask yourself is “What do I love?”

These questions will serve as a tool to help you alter your reality and inspire you to activate the path to your dreams.  What Would You Do?

  • Do I love my present reality?
  • How do I feel about it?  Why? Why? Why? (keep answering the why until you cannot answer it anymore)
  • Is there something missing in this reality?
  • What would make my reality a Complete Now?
  • Would changing my attitude/perception change/improve my reality?
  • What is the dream that is not present now in my reality?
  • Why?
  • What do I have to do to manifest it? (steps)
  • What is the next logical step?  Repeat until you are closer to your dream reality.  When we work towards taking the next logical step, it is likely that we begin to walk the path.
  • What are my perceived obstacles – the ones that I think impede my dream to become my reality?
  • If all the “perceived obstacles” were removed,  what would I do?
  • Considering the answer to the previous question, is there any step that I cannot (truly) take now?  Why?
  • What would I have to do to work on the steps I can do now?

These are questions that I have asked myself at one point.  The answers have shown the path, as well as the crafting of a road map.  I hope that this post is of some inspiration to you.

photo by Maria Antonia Diaz

photo by Maria Antonia Diaz

It is All About Perspective

While cutting some veggies for last night dinner, I had one of my epiphanies.  I always cut the ends of the carrots, tomatoes, celery, or any other fruit or veggie that crosses my path.  Even when they are cut in halves, if pre-packaged, I go back and cut a slice from the ends just to have a fresh end (not sure if you follow me).  Well, by the time I am done, I have a decent amount of veggie scraps that go into the garbage because I cannot compost where I live now (but that will be possible in the near future – can’t wait).  It occurred to me that my waste was a perfect meal for people in some countries that will give anything to have a tiny slice of that scrap to make a soup – I mean countries where there is extreme hunger and poverty, and food is not an everyday sight.  Not that I am not aware of hunger, for some reason this time, it was different.

Besides feeling terrible and wasteful, I thought of how much perspective matters in how we go through life and do our own thing, and then, I thought of how it affects our writing.  When we write a story, even when we are writing from the character’s point of view, our own perspective of things and life is playing in the background.  I don’t think that it is possible to escape it totally, even when we try to be true to the character and do a lot of research about the topic or character’s behavior, origins, culture … and so on.

My point is, our perspective follows us everywhere, it is how we see things, life, and how we interpret it, besides being influenced by our own upbringing, culture, and experiences.  I have made vegetable soup countless of times, and yet, this time, those scraps meant something different, and have become meaningful somehow.

The Miracle of Senses

The pentagram is used as a Christian symbol fo...

The pentagram is used as a Christian symbol for the five senses, and if the letters S, A, L, V, and S are inscribed in the points, it can be taken as a symbol of health (from Latin salus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I have said before, sometimes I get so focused on a task that I forget everything around me; I block everything else, and many times I forget that I was just making pancakes for breakfast or that I had just put a load of laundry and heard the bell a minute ago.  All I can say is thank God for all my senses.  The smell of starting to toast pancakes or the too quiet house will alert me and bring me back.  The gentle nag of a cat that wants a temptation treat has brought me back from the extreme focus vortex just in time.  This brings me to the topic of appealing to reader’s senses in your writing.

Just as it is important to me to get rescued by my senses, I thought of how important sensory stimulation is on a novel or a piece of writing.  Awakening readers senses gives a new depth to your story, and may rescue some readers from boredom – boredom of too much dialog or description.  Even if you are deprived of one sense, another takes over, keener and improved.  I try to keep this is mind when writing my story, as I tend to run into too much dialog.   To me, the senses are a miracle; it is how we experience the world, and how readers can experience your story.

Sometimes, I tend to ask myself the weirdest questions, and I have asked myself if I was to be deprived of a sense or ability, which one will I give up.  I know, it may sound sinister to many, but I think about unusual things sometimes.  I would give up speech.  I don’t  talk much; I am the silent type, the observer, and I rather write than talk.  As long as I can communicate when I need to in some way, I think I would be happy.  I am a very visual person, and that would be the sense that I would miss the most, probably to the point of insanity, which brings me to this point – readers are very different in their consumption of reading material and learning, so the senses that prevail throughout your story may appeal to some readers more than to others.  My point, striving for a good balance might not be a bad idea.

Do you think about stimulating the senses when writing your story?  Which sense would you give up?  Which one would you miss the most?  If you are missing a sense, how have you improved the other senses?