Write Your Heart Out

I had the pleasure of reading a young writer’s manuscript recently, and though it wasn’t perfect, every line held a breath of excitement and anticipation. I could feel the enthusiasm for the story. She was writing her heart out.

Sometimes, we get in a rut–as writers–and we forget to write our hearts out. We’re too concerned about right and wrong, political correctness, diversity, or any of a number of thrill killers. We forget the most important element–the story. Without the story, none of those worries matter–even a little.

Don’t you think, sometimes…it would be nice if an editor had a problem with one of your characters. Wouldn’t it be nice if my publisher hated my hero because he was a complete a$$hole, I think to myself.

Because that would mean you had an editor! And a publisher!

We start stories in excitement for the characters, the turning points, the idea of this amazing [or funny or quirky or sad] story, and we have to hold on to that excitement or never get to the end. How do we do this?

  1. Ignore everyone: that simple. Get off social media, find the voice inside of you, and write.
  2. Make time everyday: an hour to sit and just write, to be in the story and get excited.
  3. Talk about your story: tell a friend, writer, spouse…someone! Talking about your project nurtures that excitement and gives you the courage to keep going!
  4. Acknowledge the joy in the process of writing: Whether you love the creativity of imagination or the science of putting words together, enjoy the process, sink into it with all of your author instincts…

and write the book. 

And don’t miss the release of book five, Counter Strike, coming in July!! Sign up for my newsletter to get all the updates!

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Things that Make You Ask WHY #authorlife #writingcommunity

Hi, all

So, I was reading another author’s blog the other day and something she said on it has been sticking in my mind. She said one of the best things you can do for your mental health and to manage your time as a writer is to continuously ask yourself “WHY?”

For example:

Why am I not taking my writing more seriously?

Why do I care so much about reviews?

Why am I on Twitter?

Why do I want an agent?

I really think this is important to do, because sometimes we do things that zap a lot of energy or cause a lot of stress and have no reason why we’re even engaging in that activity that’s causing us so many problems!

That being said, there is no need to rationalize or defend our answers to these WHY questions we ask ourselves. That’s not the point! The point is to get rid of or change anything in our life that we don’t have an answer for why we’re doing it.

I probably should have done this at the beginning of the year, but better late than never! And to be honest, a little self-evaluation every few months is probably good for our mental health and the soul anyway.

And considering my joy has been dipping recently (although probably more due to the media than anything else), I now really need to ask myself WHY?

 

Question: When was the last time you’ve asked yourself why?

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

SPRING FLING ROMANCE AND MORE GIVEAWAY #amreading #giveaway


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Good luck and happy reading!

 

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Write like a Runner #writetips #writerscommunity

I write like I run—slow and steady with much complaining.

I think that’s why when my author friend introduced her method of getting her word count in for the day, it resonated with me so much. She told me to simply write short word count goals on a piece of paper and then cross out with an X those goals as you hit them.

Simple. So I decided to try it. And believe it or not, it worked.

Here is an example of my sheet:

10,735 10,985 11,235

I obviously set 250 word count goals. As I wrote, and hit each goal, I took a pretty gel pen color and made a X over the number. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to do that. Just like Tony Robbins said, “Progress is the ultimate motivation.”

So true.

I soon found myself wanting to write a little more just so I could cross out a number. And then I found myself squeezing in writing time so I could simply hit a goal and cross out a number.

All mind games, really. Much like running. But little by little, I hope to end up completing a 5K (word count) before the end of the month. J

As I explained to my critique group, this little trick isn’t reinventing the wheel, but sometimes just looking at writing differently, can help change your progress.

Try  it and let me know if it helps you!

Do you have any writing tricks to help you write more?

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

MEGA VALENTINE’S DAY #ROMANCE #GIVEAWAY

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Grand prize of High Def Kindle Fire and more than fifty romance novels, including award winners and New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers! All you have to do is follow us and/or other romance authors on BookBub.

The more profiles you like, the more times you’re entered.

 

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About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Plan to Write…or Plan to Fail

In the past, I’ve always used my phone to plan my writing time and word count for the week. That has worked for the most part. However, on some days, I’ve noticed it’s a little easier to “forget” to check my phone.

We call those non writing days.

Unfortunately, the non writing days became more frequent. I needed to get back on track. Then quite a few of my critique partners began singing the praises of actual paper planners.

Huh. Actual physical planners?

Since the invention of Smartphones I had thought they’d gone by the wayside. But no. (Thank goodness) I guess much like physical books after the ebook surge, they have come back stronger than ever. And I can see why.

There is something immensely rewarding about sitting down with your planner at the beginning of each week and planning it all out in front of you. Physically writing down what I intend to do makes me feel so much more accountable. And now, I’m actually getting more writing done, even though I don’t have any actual deadlines!

The next step is gel pens. I have yet to use different colors. But I feel it’s imminent.

Do you use a planner? What’s your favorite?

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

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