Tag Archives: writing suggestions

Dealing With Rejections

13 May

003And a Happy Monday to all of you writers out there! I hope the weekend was restful and you are ready to send your words out into the world today.

Today we are going to discuss rejection.  I know, not a very pleasurable topic, but it does not have to be depressing if we are willing to learn from it.

Consider the quote of the day……


A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.
Bo Bennett
If you are a writer then you need to learn from your rejections.  The bottom line is that there is a reason why your work was rejected, and that reason does not have to be that you are a poor writer.  Maybe the publisher or editor just isn’t looking for the subject matter that you wrote about.  Maybe they have their plate full and can’t take on any more new material…..and yes, maybe what you submitted wasn’t good enough.

Take each rejection slip and learn from it.  If you want, ask the editor, agent or publisher why they rejected your work.  Many will tell you in the rejection note, but if they don’t, write them back and ask them why they rejected you so that you can learn from it.

Rejections are a way of life for writers.  Find the positives in the rejection and move forward.  Harper Lee, the brilliant writer of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” tried for five years to find a publisher that would take on her project….five years.  She never gave up on her story….let me say it again….five years!  One of the greatest books ever written was rejected for five years, ladies and gentlemen.  Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

It is too easy to give up.  Do not give up on your talent.  Become a better writer because of the rejections you receive.


The Association of American Publishers is a handy site to bookmark. You can find them here.

There you will find hundreds of publishers and links to their sites, and there you will find submission guidelines when the time comes to hawk your next great novel. J


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I hope you are finding these prompts inspirational. The whole idea is to generate ideas and from that articles.  Don’t over-think these prompts.  Look at the picture and jot down first impressions…and then let your mind roam….and hopefully your next article will be born.


I know, I know, it seems I am constantly highlighting friends of mine, but that’s because I know some incredible writers, so why not?

Go see my friend Pearl at her blog. You can find it here.  She writes about what she knows…mainly birds.  If you have ever wanted to attract birds to your yard, this is the lady you need to become friends with.

ps….her blog site isn’t working…you can find her on HubPages here….and her name is actually Connie but she calls herself grandmapearl on HP. 🙂


I hope you are having a great Monday. This is the most productive day of the week for me. My mind is always alive on Mondays….that might have something to do with my resting over the weekend.  Hmmm….perhaps there is a lesson in there somewhere. J


Tips From The Masters of Writing

8 May

003Happy Wednesday to all of you.  This is Hump Day of course, but it occurs to me that, for a writer, there is no Hump Day.  We write….for most of us, writing is a seven day a week job of love. No, it is not necessary to write every day of the week, but we somehow always have something to say that needs to be written, even on days we think we are going to take off.

My next article is never far from completion.  Bev and I can be out for a country drive and I’ll see something and start writing the article in my head while driving.  As soon as I get home I head for the computer and begin.

I don’t know about you but I love writing.  I’m only sorry I started so late in life.  Now I write with reckless abandon, as one who realizes that his days are numbered and I only have so much time left to send my words out for eternity.


I’m going to share several random tips today from some of the greats.  Hopefully you will find something in these quotes/tips that will inspire you.

I’ve always believed in writing without a collaborator, because where two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worries and only half the royalties.


Agatha Christie (1890 – 1976)

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.


C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. “~Ray Bradbury

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”~William Wordsworth


There will be days when self-doubt creeps into your thinking.  Banish it!  There will be days when you receive no positive feedback and you feel like you are wasting your life being a writer.  Ignore it!

There are no guarantees in writing.  The long hours and endless days are never wasted.  We are writing for eternity.  What we write today will be read 100 years from now, and may be the source of inspiration for some other fledgling writer.  Remember always that what you do is important.


The American Fiction Prize has a submission date of June 15th and a fee of $15.  Submissions must be under 10,000 words and the first place prize is $1000.


I have done a lot of business with Vista Print for marketing of my novel.  Their prices are reasonable on such things as business cards and advertising items.  Give them a look if you are in the market for some inexpensive marketing tools.



What say you? Where does your mind go as you look at this picture?  Any memories recalled?


My work calls me. I have another idea for an article, and I have an editing job to work on, and on and on we go….the life of a writer.  God I love it!


Writing For Posterity

7 May


003Welcome back to the writer’s show that never ends…well, until I die of course and then all bets are off.

Are you busy practicing your craft? It is a craft you know, and as such it deserves your very best.  Sure there are days when our very best just can’t be found, but the intention should always be there.  Remember that you are writing for posterity. What you write today will last forever.  Kind of makes you want to try a little harder, doesn’t it?  Try this quote on for size and then we’ll chat a little more about this topic.


The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.


George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)



We are all so similar.  We have so many commonalities, and we share so many experiences and emotions based on those experiences.  I had someone tell me once that they did not write personal essays because nobody would be able to relate to them. I strongly disagree!  When you write about a heartache or a celebration, I can certainly relate.  When you write about the joy of seeing your child mature, or the pain of losing a loved one, I can certainly relate.

Never underestimate the power of your emotions, and never under-value the importance of your personal experiences.  If our job as writers is to entertain and stimulate, then we must use the tools we have been given, and one of the best tools we have is our array of experiences.


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It was 85 degrees here yesterday, highly unusual temperatures for this early in May, and my thoughts instantly went to summertime activities.  Thus this picture as a prompt.  What do you think of when you think of summertime?  Swimming? Picnics? Barbecues?


English Novels.net can be found here.  It markets itself as a novel site in blog form…the downloads are free and you can read a book one chapter at a time.  I find it to be a relaxed way to take a break from writing, and it’s always helpful reading the work of other authors.


If you are into blogging, or you have been thinking about blogging, then I highly recommend Janine and her site, which can be found here.  Janine has got this genre down pat.  Her site is pleasing to the eye; it is the perfect length; and it appeals to a wide-range of readers.  She also has contests and giveaways and some great product reviews there.  Give her a shout out and tell her Bill sent you.


My other life is calling me so that’s all for today. Stay tuned for the next installment of Artistry With Words, brought to you Monday through Friday at this site.

If you have any suggestions or questions then feel free to leave them in the comment section. I promise to answer them before the sun sets on Olympia, Washington.


The Courage To Write

3 May

003Welcome back to the best little writer’s blog on the planet.  LOL  How’s that for visions of grandeur?  It was said somewhat in jest and yet, if you look at the quote of the day below, you will see there was a method to my madness.

The courage to bet on our ideas and take a calculated risk…..wow, does that describe a writer or what?

I’m big on positive thinking, and positive thinking fuels me on those long days when it’s just me and the computer and visions of being a successful writer.  Writers must believe that they have what it takes, and they must visualize being successful.  Let’s face it, we don’t have many people in our corner.  Family, sure, and a few good friends, but for the most part the motivation and courage to write daily have to come from within.



“Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk — and act.”
~ Maxwell Maltz


Don’t worry about selling the story you wrote. Worry about writing a story that will sell itself…..in other words, although I do believe that everyone has a novel inside of them, I do not believe everyone has a great novel inside of them.

Great novels take work and re-work, and if we are writing a novel or a magazine article or whatever, our first goal should be to write an article so good that it will sell itself.  If you do that then wondrous things just might happen to you.


Dream Quest One has a contest for poetry and writing with a due date in July. Find it here.



You get a two-for-one deal today because I’m highlighting two writers.  First, a shout out to a wonderful lady who is a poet at heart.  Her name is Ruby and you can find her on HubPages here.  She has the ability to bring poetry to life and I’m all for anyone who brings beauty into this world.

The second friend I want to point you towards is Sha.  You can find her on HubPages as bravewarrior here.  She writes poetry as well as prose, and a little bit of her heart is in each of her pieces.


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This is my son….and Bev….and they are family.  What does family mean to you? How important is family to you?  Draw on the people of your past….draw on the lessons learned from them….you just might discover your true writer’s voice in the process.


As is my norm, there are no blog postings on weekends.  Even I need a break from time to time, and the weather is going to be gorgeous and it is calling to me.  Some time outside will fill me with the inspiration I need to carry on again next week.  I wish you all a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for taking the time to visit my humble site.


Use Your Own Experiences In Your Writing

2 May

003Welcome back to Artistry With Words.  I’m happy to entertain you for a few minutes during your busy day.  If you are here then you must be a writer at heart and as such you are my peer and friend.

Check out the quote of the day.  It speaks to my writer’s heart.  When I was first starting out I hesitated writing about of my own experiences.  My first thought was that nobody would be interested in my life.

How wrong could one man be?  It wasn’t so much that my life was fascinating; it was the fact that we all have similar experiences that we can relate to.  I found my writer’s voice the day I decided to draw on those experiences and find lessons in them. I found so many people who understood perfectly what I had gone through, and a bond was formed between me and my readers.

Use your past life.  It is a part of you and as such needs to be a part of your writing.


The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.


George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)

I agree with George 100%.  We are each unique individuals but we share common traits with everyone else.  Do not ignore that aspect of your writing.  You have a treasure chest of information to draw upon.


If you have never visited Fivrr then now is the time. You can find it here.

Fivrr is an interesting site where you can sell things for five dollars.  What does that have to do with writing you ask? Well, I have sold quite a few writing gigs here.  I offer to proofread a paper for five bucks. I offer to write blogs for five bucks.  Give it a try if you want some supplemental income. You just might be surprised with the results.


July 11th deadline for this Horror Writing Contest.  First prize is $100.


Well, I already gave you one tip now didn’t I?  How about a bonus today?007

These five tips from author P.D. James:

5 Bits of Writing Advice

  1. Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.
  2. Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.
  3. Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.
  4. Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
  5. Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to a writer—however happy, however tragic—is ever wasted.


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A picture is worth a thousand words….so here is your picture of the day. Let’s call it Word Bonanza Thursday.  What do you see when you look at this picture?  By the way, this is a picture taken in Yellowstone National Park.


I’ll be back tomorrow with a new Writer of the Day, and other goodies that are free for the taking.  Remember to write and write often, and have a great Thursday wherever you are.


Bringing Words To Life

1 May

003Welcome back my friends to the show that never sleeps.  Well, that’s an exaggeration of course, but I thought it sounded clever so what the heck?

Browse around and if you see something you like the make me an offer. If not, thanks for visiting and hopefully next time you stop by you’ll fall in love with some of my merchandise. J


Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.


Carol Burnett (1936 – )


An interesting quote and I honestly don’t know what Ms. Burnett had in mind when she said it.  To me it means that the way we form our words can give life to them, and therein lies the job of a writer…to give the words a great life rather than a mundane and boring life.

Do you breathe excitement into your words, or are your words on life support as soon as they hit the page?  As writers we have such incredible power.  Our words can inspire….thrill…sadden….incite….anger….or put someone to sleep. J


How are you doing with the Ten Second Rule?  Do you remember it?  The rule simply states that you have about ten seconds to interest your readers in your article, so you had better make that opening paragraph a great one.

Ten seconds……about one paragraph….and this applies to all kinds of writing with the possible exception of technical subjects….ten seconds to make your readers excited.

Here is the opening paragraph on a book I’m slowly working on. See what you think about the Ten Second Rule:

I take no pleasure in killing.  Never have, despite my background.  The simple fact of the matter is that some people deserve to be eliminated.  The molesters, the pimps, the drug dealers and the serial killers, they all deserve death.  They deal in death and death they shall receive, and I am the Fed Ex man more than willing to drop by with a little package for them.

What do you think? Did I grab your attention? Are you willing to read more?

Think about that next time you begin writing an article.


The Literarian Short Story Contest.  Guidelines and rules can be found here.

The prize is $1000 and work limit is 5000 words.  Worth looking at if you have a short story sitting around gathering dust.


Allow me to introduce you to a friend of mine. His name is Joe and you can find him here.

Besides being a very good writer with excellent insight, he is also a resident of the great state of Washington, so I’ll always be in his corner. J  Go take a look at his work. He is a good one!



This is from the tiny Alaskan village of Akiachak where I spent a rather long year teaching.  We will call it “Sunrise on the Kuskokwim.”  Does it bring to life any thoughts for you?


Thank you for visiting. I hope you picked up something useful during your visit.  Remember that you have tremendous power with the words that you choose.  Writing is an Art and hopefully you are treating it as such.  Engage your readers.  Breathe life into your writing.  Above all, stay passionate about this gift that you have been given.


Books Want To Be Born

30 Apr

003Welcome back to my humble blog site. I hope you are ready for a few tips and thoughts, and I also hope you are receptive to them. J

I was on a writing roll yesterday.  It was one of those days when my head was full and the words needed to be written, and when I finished one article the next one took shape and was ready as well.

I don’t know about you but Mondays are easily my best days for writing, and the hours of 7-11 a.m. are the most productive for me.  I should never break for lunch because I run out of steam once I sit down and have that meal.


“Books want to be born: I never make them.  They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such.”~Samuel Butler

Oh how I can relate to that quote. When I wrote “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today,” it began as a writing exercise.  Within two days of completing the exercise, which was basically an introduction consisting of free-form writing, the entire book had been born in my head.

The same thing happened recently when I decided to write my next book entitled “The Vision:  Humanity One World.”  I had debated writing it for several months, and the debate had to do with whether to make it a non-fiction or a fiction.  Once I decided to make it fiction, I thought of how to present this serious issue of making a difference in the world in a fictional story.  The story line came to me after waking up one morning and I had the whole story sealed away in my brain by the end of that day.

Here are the opening three paragraphs of my new book:


The Associated Press….May 8th….The jobless rate rose once again in the United States.  The latest figures from April show that 9.6% of Americans are unemployed, a rise of .6% from March.

President Sara Whitehorse woke at five a.m., as was her norm, and rolled out of bed in the Lincoln Bedroom.  She still found it a bit difficult to believe that she was sleeping in the room where the Great Emancipator had slept.  Growing up in the Spirit Lake Nation of North Dakota, her wildest dreams were of escaping the corruption and abuse of the reservation.  Well, she thought, I definitely escaped it.

She hadn’t slept so well in the three years since being elected.  It was the dream for sure, a most unusual dream and yet very peaceful.  She was vaguely aware during the night that she was sleeping, and she remembered thinking that she hoped she didn’t wake up.  Normally she didn’t remember dreams, but this one was so vivid that she recalled it in detail.

She was standing in a field, surrounded by others who were just blurred shapes, and a young girl approached the group.  There was a soft yellow glow enveloping the girl, and the yellow reflected off of her shoulder-length, raven-black hair.  She had jade-green eyes and seemed to flow gracefully across the field until she was standing in front of Sara and the others.  She then reached out and showed them all a large key, similar to the ones politicians give to dignitaries as the key to the city.  On the key was inscribed a string of numbers…..47217 and below that 1225357.

The child, who appeared to be close to Sara’s daughter’s age of ten, then spoke to the group:  “My name is Astarte, and I am the Goddess of Rebirth.  Come join me before it is too late.”  Then she approached each member, stood up on her toes, and kissed each of them on the cheek.  The dream then ended.


Pay attention to your use of commas and periods.  These two types of punctuation control the flow of your thoughts, and misuse of them can make your writing confusing even if the words are clear.


Writing Site Reviews can be found here.  You will find quite a few reviews written about some major writing sites here, including Squidoo and HubPages.  I thought you might find it interesting.


I love this picture of Bev. I hope it inspires you as it does me every single time I see it.

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Dixie City Jam by James Lee Burke.  If you want to read a writer who is a master at painting a scene, try Mr. Burke.  Finish a page of this book and you will feel like you are living in New Iberia Parish, Louisiana.


I’d love to do more but the sun is out and I need some relaxation.  It’s been a long day of juggling nouns and verbs and I fear if I continue I’ll drop a few of them. J  Have a great day and thanks for visiting once again.

Find The Passion In Your Writing

24 Apr


“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”~William Wordsworth


And our tip today comes from a good friend of mine from the writer’s site HubPages.  Janine has written many articles and also has a wonderful blog on parenting.  You can find that blog here.

As for Janine’s tip, I will leave it in her own words:

“I think my biggest and best advice is to write from the heart and what you know about (what interests you). When I first starting writing I just wrote (because I do love writing), but eventually I found my niche and never looked back. See, writing what you know best about shines through every time, and helps you to also connect with other writers/readers who can relate.”

Thank you, Janine, and I agree with you 100%. Whether it is Wordsworth telling you, or Janine telling you, the message is the same:  write from your heart and tap into that passionate well inside of you.


I just came across this writer’s forum called LegendFire.  You can find it here. I don’t know anything about it other than it looked interesting and it covers quite a few genres.


Do you write Tankas? If so, here is a Tanka Poetry Contest with a June submission date and a top prize of $100.  They even explain what a Tanka poem is for those of you not in the know. J


I am in the process of reading “Sell Your Book like Wildfire” by Rob Eager.  It is actually a very helpful book for writers who are overwhelmed by the marketing side of writing, and it gives some excellent insights into the mind of the readers (consumers) and what they are looking for.


I don’t know about you, but there are days when writing is like fighting a rip tide.  The more I fight it, the harder it is to form beautiful sentences. However, if I quit fighting….if I go for a walk or sit and listen to the birds for awhile, then suddenly inspiration comes back and the words flow.

I can find inspiration practically anywhere, but I have to be receptive to it.  If my mind is on other things, like an overdue bill or a car repair, the words just won’t come.  I think that may be why most of my good ideas come to me first thing in the morning shortly after I awake.  My mind isn’t buried underneath the slop of the day yet, and I am most receptive to my surroundings.


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Another picture for you to ponder….this one was taken in Yellowstone National Park a couple years ago.  What do you see? What does it remind you of?  Do you gain any inspiration from it?


Until tomorrow, thanks for stopping by.  You are always welcome.  I’ll always have a cold one waiting for you, and for god’s sake, take off your shoes and get comfortable.


Is There A Book Inside of You?

22 Apr

003Welcome back after a weekend of relaxation and rejuvenation.  I hope you are rested up and your mind is fresh for a brand new week of creation.


“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison


Think about that one for a second.  You and I have heard, often, that there is a book in each of us waiting to be written.  That may nor may not be true. I have read from other writers that they do not feel that there is a book in them, and I think that is much closer to the truth.  If you do not feel a book inside of you then there is no book inside of you.

Why?  Because writing is tightly bonded with feelings.  Writing a book must be felt from deep inside of us. We are, in writing a book, investing a great amount of time and energy.  If you do not feel that energy bubbling inside of you then you will most likely never write a book.

What book have you always wanted to read?  That’s the first question.  Now, do you feel that book inside of you?  If the answer is no, then don’t bother starting because it will never come out of hiding.


An online synonym finder and thesaurus can be found here.

I use this site often because I am constantly looking for new words to say the same old thing.  I never want my writing to become stale, or become a shadow of my former writing. I think it is a trap we all fall into.  We fall in love with certain phrases and so we use them over and over again.  I can tell you that I am guilty of using the word “incredible” too often in my writing.  At least now I am at the point where I realize that and can take actions to rid myself of the dreaded overuse of the word.


I love this picture.  What do you see? I can tell you that it is a window inside of a 200 year old barn about twenty miles from where I live in western Washington in the town of Tenino.


What emotions does it release in you? What memories?  Jot down a quick paragraph describing what you see when you look out that window? Is it the window to your soul, or do you see a secret of life outside?


The Paper Darts Short Fiction Competition can be found here.

As always, I caution you to make sure you read the submission requirements before entering your piece.  I would hate to see you submit an exceptional piece only to have it rejected because it is 50 words over the limit or missing some other requirement.


Is there some other aspect of writing you would like to see me cover in this blog? If so, let me know in a comment and I’ll be glad to do what I can to satisfy your needs.  I want this blog to be a go-to site for you where you can find answers and inspiration.

Have a good day of writing and remember to open up your heart and soul and paint pictures with your words.


Become Your Characters When Writing Fiction

19 Apr


Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.
Roald Dahl

Read that quote again.  When writing fiction, we are always faced with developing characters.  I know when I wrote my first fiction novel, I had to outline who my characters were. I wrote down their appearance, their beliefs and their personality.  That was the easy part.

Next I had to become the characters.  I have said before that the hardest part of writing my first novel was switching back and forth between my characters.  One would talk a certain way, and feel certain feelings, and then I would be another character with different speech patterns and different feelings and beliefs.  That is hard to do, and like the quote says, it is draining.

If you want your characters to come alive, you must step inside of their skin and walk around in their shoes.  It is the only way to properly introduce your characters to the readers and allow the readers to identify with those characters.


Is anyone interested in finding jobs as a freelance writer?  I have used this site in the past and found it a treasure chest of jobs to pick from.

I am not big on bidding for a freelance job.  I think the price is driven down by doing that, and my time is valuable. I refuse to work for a couple bucks per piece.  I pick and choose which freelance jobs interest me and also which ones pay what I am willing to write for.  Sure I miss out on a lot because of that attitude, but again, my time is valuable and so is yours.


I know, it sounds like a silly question, but I assure you that it is not.  Why do you write? Do you just write to earn some money, or do you write because it is your passion?

I can only tell you my truth regarding writing.  I believe writers are artists.  I believe we have been given a gift, one that allows us to alter reality and elicit emotions.  We can soothe the savage beast and we can rouse the rabble into action.  We can comfort and we can excite. We can suspend reality with our words and we can give focus to reality.

I hope that each of you feels the same, that you are an artist with words.  It is a marvelous feeling.


NewPages.com is another site that gives you a list of contests happening.  Again, be sure you read the submission guidelines carefully.


What do you see in this picture?  Can you write a poem about it? Can you write a short story about it, or an opinion essay? Give it a try and see what you come up with.



Parting is such sweet sorrow, but never fear, I will return soon with some more thoughts and suggestions.  If there is something you would like to see on this blog, please feel free to give suggestions. I’m more than willing to add things if I can.

I’m going to give you a break and take the weekend off. I’ll see you all again on Monday.

Thank you for the visit.  You are always appreciated here.