Showing posts with label D.Jean Quarles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label D.Jean Quarles. Show all posts

Friday, February 19, 2016

Writer's Block - Getting Past Fear


Writer's Block: According to Webster's Dictionary.
The problem of not being able to think of something to write about, or not being able to finish writing a story, poem, etc. A psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.

Yeah, I think writer's block is about fear. Plain and simple. The fear of failure - my work will not be good enough to: publish, win a contest, excite fans, or please my parents. Or it's a fear of success - what would happen if I became famous and everyone was reading my work? How would that change my life? (Many of you might be thinking that would be an awesome problem to have, but almost the same number of people are afraid of success as there are people afraid of failure.) Both fears stop you from writing - they are the cause of writer's block. 

How do you get around the fear?

1. Recognize that fear might be the thing that is preventing you from writing. Sometimes the process of identifying the cause can allow the breakthrough. "I'm afraid, and I don't want to be caught in fear, so I'm going to sit down right now and get to work."

2. If recognition isn't enough - sit with the fear. Recognize that fear is the problem, then determine where your fear comes from and allow yourself to release that fear. Today you do not have to be a best selling author, or show your parents your novel, or do anything else, but put words down on paper for yourself. Push that inner critic who is always striving for perfection away - far, far, far away. You don't need him today. 

3. Change from focusing on the fear to focusing on the love. Why do you write? Love of words? Love of story? Love of the time sitting in contemplation with your journal? Whatever excites you about your writing process, make that what you focus on. When you exchange love for fear your writing mind will automatically open and allow the process to begin. 

Good luck and happy writing!
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D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Solem was released February 2016.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception, and the co-author of The Exodus Series: The Water Planet: Book 1 and House of Glass: Book 2. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.                                                                                             

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com                                      

You can also follower her on Facebook.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Writing is Good for Your Soul & Your Health


For as long as I can remember, I have written. In fact I remember asking how to spell 'tear' for my first poem when I was 5 or so. I wrote through my teen angst years, I wrote during an unhappy marriage and through years of happiness while I finally discovered who I was. Writing just seemed to be a way in which I could take down my thoughts and feelings to create something much bigger than myself. I considered the process healthy and I found it somehow kept me grounded. Now it turns out, others agree that writing can make you feel better and keep you well. Psychologists say that the process of writing through difficult periods can help people feel better, not only mentally but also physically.

Wow! And here I thought my great constitution had something to do with good genes. It turns out that when people wrote about their feelings and concerns prior to surgery and after - they healed faster. Young people who write tend to miss fewer days of school and some studies show that over all wellness is created by the process of writing - lower blood pressure, better liver function, and fewer asthma attacks.

What has been realized is that the process of writing is somewhat similar to that of meditation. In meditation you find yourself in a zone of calm. Writing can also induce these feelings when you enter what is called a flow state. In many disciplines there is what is called flow. Basketball players get into the flow and they score points. Runners get into the flow and they go longer distances. When writers get into the flow they leave many of their cares and worries behind them. This flow takes them away and actually allows them to reduce the stress they feel in their lives - one of the greatest reasons for ill health.

According to experts, even the act of writing before bed can create better health. Writing in a journal about those things you are grateful for improves sleep. And it doesn't even take much to reap the benefits - 15-20 minutes three to five times over 4 months is all it takes to make a difference.

Writing has other benefits:
1. Writers tend to pay more attention to being in the now. They listen better - I know it's just so we can quote the person later, but still.
2. Writing takes focus and concentration. Two things that are more and more difficult to acquire in this fast paced world where we live.
3. It allows us to tell our stories and to tell those of others, preserving history.
4. Writing lets our imagination soar, our creativity to flourish and our words create emotions that can impact others. Writing is good for the soul!

So what is holding you back from sitting down and getting your words on paper?
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D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Let Passion Fuel Your Writing Career


The Four Levels of Engagement & How to Use Them To Fuel Your Work

When you are looking to start a new writing project, here are some things to consider:

Level 1 Engagement: Lack of Enthusiasm: When you find you are lacking enthusiasm for your current writing project, many times this is because you are not following your passion, but that of another person. As a writer, we can all write a variety of things from non-fiction to short stories to novels, and we can choose from a wide range of topics. But when you find yourself writing something that doesn't seem to drive you toward your own goals, this lack of enthusiasm may cause you to stumble. Write what fuels your passion.

Level 2 Engagement: Inspired: Inspiration occurs when an idea manifests. Inspired people are more engaged in their project and may think and speak about the 'great idea' they have. Inspiration is important to fueling your writing, but inspiration alone is not enough. Talking about and thinking about what to write will not get words on a page.

Level 3 Engagement: Motivated: Motivation is an idea you can't put down. It won't let go of you, following you to the grocery store and to bed at night. But its more than just an idea, it's an idea that must, and I mean must, be acted on. Motivation means you will sit down at your desk and write. Being motivated will fuel your writing and provide you with a body of work.

Level 4 Engagement: Passion: Passion is when you have an idea, and it's one that won't let go of you and you writing this particular article or longer piece is part of your destiny, your path. This project will take you where you want to go with your writing career. It is the work you were meant to write to share with the world and it will show in your final product. Let passion fuel your work.

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D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Flight from the Water Planet, Book 1 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Setting to Remember

I love an unforgettable setting. Whether I'm experiencing it, writing it or even reading about one, a good setting can create an unforgettable image that will stay with me long after. The challenge is how to write a great setting? First of all, like all great writing, it's a must to remember to use your five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and probably most important for setting, smell.

Setting is everything that places your reader: you need to let your reader know when the action is occurring - time of day, time of year, and era. That's not all, your reader also needs to know where in the world, or out of this world, your scene is taking place? Finally, also consider the weather as part of your setting.

Just like everything in your writing, your setting must serve a purpose. The setting either needs to work with your plot, work to create your character, or both.

"One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it," Chekhov famously said. In my novel, Rocky's Mountains, the characters are camping in the forest. When a tornado rips through the valley, they are left trapped. 

"We crawled along the edge of the rock face with branches and limbs whipping above us. Frequently Rocky would stop and I could tell he was searching for a way up and out of our tree-tunnel. The world clawed at our clothes and everything smelled of Christmas and death—pine trees and mold. Some of the needles stabbed at me, poked into my skin and were left to hang there—no time to pull them out. We struggled through mud and water. . ." Later they see trees scattered like "toothpicks" and taste blood from their injuries.

Setting can also be used to create a character. Alma's restaurant in Rocky's Mountains is a small Wyoming diner, named after the owner's greatest love - his horse. 

"A cowbell clanged as I opened the door of Alma’s cafĂ© and the intoxicating aroma of old-fashioned grilled hamburgers, homemade French fries and coffee surrounded me. According to the engraved sign over the door, the dive served food and spirits. From the stuffed two headed calf sitting high on a shelf, to the brands burned into the wood plank tables, the diner practically exuded the essence of the old west." 

After your first introduction you learn of the smell of the green stuff that comes in on the boots of the ranchers and it reminds you who frequents the place. You hear the gruffness of the owner's voice as he asks for your order. You see him spit tobacco. You know the characters belong.  

When creating a setting, work to define the space and place in such a way that your reader knows why it's mentioned.

Exercise: write about a room, restaurant, outdoor area or other place you know well. Now rewrite the setting creating an atmosphere of romance or mystery. Finally, take two completely different characters and put each of them in the space. How does each of these changes affect your setting? Give your reader not just a great story, but also a place to remember.
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D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction. She loves to tell stories of personal growth where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is the author of Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception, her latest book dealing with the subject of death and the afterlife. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

Her novels are available in electronic format here, or print format here
You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook
Or you can just contact her at d.jeanquarles@yahoo.com



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