Showing posts with label Write What You Know. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Write What You Know. Show all posts

Record Your Family’s Holiday Stories

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the USA!

But no matter where you live, as you spend time with family and friends this holiday season (in person or just via Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime), record some of your family history and those great stories that are told over and over again every time the family gets together.

Ask permission before you tape anyone's story or conversation, of course.

Tell them you want to record some of your family history as well as favorite stories from your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. so you will never forget this information.

You just never know when you'll want to use some special snippet of your own family history in one of your books or short stories.

Plus, it's always a good idea to have your grandparents and parents sit down before a tape recorder and simply tell the story of their lives so you'll have this information to pass on to future generations.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 40 published books and a writing coach.

Let her teach you how to Write What You Know to Create a New Side Hustle.

And, for more writing tips and resources about writing, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge.

Write What You Know or Write What You Love?

When they say write what you know, do you feel energized or stuck?

Sometimes the things we know best aren’t really the things we want to write about as authors. Take me for instance, I worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for 10 years and always knew I wanted to be a published author. I, at first, considered writing a Self Help book because I was trying to follow the old adage of writing what I know. Maybe it would have been a very helpful self-help book and a best seller but it just wasn’t my passion (helping people is my passion but not writing a self-help book).

Anyway, I then changed professions slightly and became a High School Guidance Counselor. This fit in better with my family life and I enjoyed having summers off with my daughter. Again, I could write a book about the 7 Sure-Fire Ways of Getting Your Child into the College They Want but it’s not my passion. I love helping kids get into the college of their dreams, mind you, but not writing about it.

I was lost as to how to write what I know. So, I just mucked around for a while.

One day a kind friend encouraged me to write what I love. Ah—there you go! It’s all about the passion, not the head knowledge. Well, at least for me it is. And lo and behold a book idea came to me one night or early morning just as I was waking up called The Lilac Princess. I wrote as fast and as furious as I could and completed the essential story in a couple of hours. Let me just say I write children’s books—they’re not super long.

What was really incredible to me about this is that the story just flowed out of me. Not only that but it has a very positive message embedded in a fun magical adventure story—the message of forgiveness. I found my way to help people (the little ones we call children). I had gotten unstuck! All because of one simple change—moving from writing what I know, to writing what I love.

You can get unstuck too. 

Think about what really excites you, what makes you happy, and what you enjoy reading yourself. Make a list of all the things that you are passionate about. I’m sure a fabulous story will bubble up from inside you that has been buried there because you were trying to do something that just didn’t fit for you.

Find your passion, find your story! Do it today.

Please share with me your ideas, insights, and passions.

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 4 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, and Little Birdie). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest. To download a free ebook, visit Wanda Luthman’s website at and follow her on Facebook at

The Best Advice: 9 Writing Tips

Over my writing career I've received a lot of advice. Some of it good and some, well, less valuable. Here are the tips that I find myself sharing with others along the way:

  1. Writing: Just start. However you can, whenever you can, just do it. You will not be alone in seeing the blank page and panicking. We've all been there, done that. The first and most important action you can take is to sit down and begin.
  2. Writers' Block: Okay, this tags onto number 1. When you don't know what to write - write about that. I'm not sure where to begin. I could begin with the beginning, but I think it will take too long to then get to the action. Perhaps I should begin with the action like start with a really exciting sword fight. . . Suddenly you will find yourself writing. Put pen to paper, fingers to the keyboard and get started.
  3. Writing What You Know: I heard that a lot when I was first writing, but I really wanted to also write about things I wanted to learn about. A writing friend of mine learned how to harvest wheat by working on a farm in order to add that element to her story. Write what you know and/or what you want to know more about. Your interest and passion for your topic will transfer to the writing and, most importantly, to the reader.
  4. Show Don't Tell: This advice was another I heard often. So the difference between showing and telling? Telling: He was embarrassed. Showing: His ears turned red.
  5. Dialog: Go to the mall, the nearest coffee shop or stand in line and listen to conversations. People talk in short sentences. Conversation is a give and take. It should be no different in your story or novel.
  6. Characters: Everyone is flawed and complex so each of your characters should be as well. Yes, that includes the heroine, the hero and the villain. The heroine and hero will have flaws and the villain may have a gentle side. That is what makes them interesting. 
  7. Surprise the Reader: Every page should contain a surprise for the reader. Okay, what does that mean? Well, a word choice that is a bit different, a decision the reader won't see coming, a plot twist or a metaphor or simile that makes your reader smile. Something that will keep the reader turning the page. 
  8. Read out loud: One of the best ways to edit and find errors is through reading your work out loud. Find a quiet place and go for it. This will also help you to find areas where the dialog sounds stilted, where you've used the same word too close together or used words with the same sounds too close. (Using the same words or sounds is not bad in and of itself, only when it's done because of laziness.)
  9. Read, Read, Read: Writers should also be readers. 
Now what are you waiting for? Get to it.
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                                      

You can also follower her on Facebook.


Don’t Depend 100% on Your Publisher

By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin) In 2007, America’s Publicist Rick Frishman invited me to participate on the faculty of MegaBook Marketing Uni...