Showing posts with label deborah lyn stanley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deborah lyn stanley. Show all posts

Purposeful Writing

 

Purposeful Writing: Use Freewriting by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Purposeful writing is knowing why we are writing and who we wish to serve. What is special about our writing that readers can’t just get from the next blogger?

At a loss of what to write? Need to generate ideas? Or, do you want to tell your message in a unique way? I suggest you consider freewriting the topic you have chosen, or one that is your favorite. Make a list of prompts for yourself to use for freewriting, and several photos that tell a story.

Start writing and watch the topic come alive!

Once we have our article drafted, we’ll review it for clarity, grammar improvements, plus description changes to stronger verbs and nouns. Read it aloud. Consider any changes you wish to make to the point of view.

Let’s take a closer look at how to use freewriting to inspire your article or story:
1) Choose prompts that kindle your writing, be it a word, a phrase, or a poem that stirs up a memory or your imagination.
2) Make it fiction, a true story, or part of a memoir.
3) All freewrites are good, there is never a perfect freewrite!
4) Write whatever comes to your mind. It doesn’t have to make sense, just keep writing for ~20 minutes. Write the story you see in your mind’s eye.
5) You are writing for yourself as a starting point for your topic, then you will develop the topic it to get your message across and flowing.

More info about freewriting:
Masterclass.com
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-improve-your-writing-with-freewriting

The Write Spot – Jumpstart Program  (See the “Blog” for prompts)   https://thewritespot.us/

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.

Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
on Amazon



 
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Focus on the Heart Writing

 



By Deborah Lyn Stanley
As you begin your article, blog post, story, or book, focus on its heart. Heart is what the reader wants and narrowing the focus is great for your writing. Plus, remember this is a draft, we will have ample opportunity to make changes and polish this first draft as we move forward with our piece.

Outlining first, last, or in-between? To outline is often a topic of discussion among writers. A few prepare a rough outline, with some detailing every chapter from the beginning through to the end. Mapping an entire book is rare, though some are successful at this type of  detailing. In my mind, the successful authors of this method have been cooking their book for some time. Their layout steps and the details within them flow more readily!

Since we discover much as we write, it appears the freedom of going with the flow of the story and the main character’s actions is best. I need an outline of some sort, even if it is just some guide points noted for the next day’s scene.

Satisfying stories are character driven: about people, weaknesses and strengths, best moments and failures. These hold interest as we identify with the characters.

It is the same for the writer. As the writer identifies with the character or characters, depending on the length of the project, we have more to say. You will find your voice there too, because the words flow naturally and reflect the writer. The syntax, rhythm, tone and pacing all make up voice. Aim for your natural voice, and you’ve found it!

Reading our work out loud is the hearing test. How about revising while listening to your-own reading of your piece?

Now for some fun story tips:
https://www.writing.ie/resources/the-art-of-writing-a-drabble-really-useful-links-by-amanda-j-evans/
by Amanda Evans

A Drabble (100 words exactly), Short Fiction (500-1500 words), & Flash Fiction (commonly a 1,000-word limit.) These include a flow of events as beginning, middle, and end. Being acquainted with various structures can help us and resolve expected questions for readers. It’s about assisting the connection of events and noting significant points within the piece.

Seven story structures every writer should know by Reedsy (In essence, structure refers to the order and pacing of the events, a roadmap.)
https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/story-structure/ 
 
Now that we’ve established the most essential components of story, let’s look at seven of the most
popular story structures used by writers — and how they deploy these components.
1.    Freytag's Pyramid
2.    The Hero's Journey
3.    Three Act Structure
4.    Dan Harmon's Story Circle
5.    Fichtean Curve
6.    Save the Cat Beat Sheet
7.    Seven-Point Story Structure


Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction.
She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.

Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/

 


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Tips for Writing Creatively


 by Deborah Lyn Stanley

We write blog posts, fiction, memoir and non-fiction pieces; But at the core, we are telling stories full of descriptive prose, narration, action and challenges.

Last time we talked about analyzing our writing. It’s healthy to analyze our plan, our goals, and to decide what’s working and what’s not. What if we have forgotten the reader here and there? Let’s backtrack to discover the root cause. Does the delivery have rhythm and flow? Areas of too much information? Is the language active with lively nouns and verbs? When reviewing these questions as we read our plan and the draft, some needed improvements may standout.

So, what is the best way to start an article, blog post, short story, or book? We need to focus on the heart of the article or story. Does it open with a promise of what is coming, a connection to the deeper story, an underlying cause? It’s probably a good idea to write that first chapter or opening sentence, remembering this is a draft, and we may need to change or rewrite the opening at some point. Once we are further along in writing the piece, we’ll likely know more thoroughly what we want to say—when we know the characters and flow of the story better. And how it should end.

Story structure is also called narrative structure, the flow of events as beginning, middle and end. Being acquainted with various structures can help and resolve the reader’s questions. Helping to connect the events of the piece with the significant points.

Most commonly, though, we talk about narrative in terms of Point of View (POV) such as:
1) First Person Point of View—The “I” telling.
First Person narration is the most personal. The reader feels they are hearing the story directly, as if the character is actually talking to them—like having a conversation with a friend. The reader may know a character by the way she/he describes her/his world. And thus gives the character voice.

2) Third Person Point of View—The “he or she” telling.
There are two types of third person POV: limited and omniscient.
It’s not speaking directly to the reader, but consider these options:
Limited viewpoint is specific to a character’s perspective, thoughts and experiences. But you can’t show what that character doesn’t experience or have knowledge about.
Omniscient viewpoint is not restrictive. The perspective can float from place to place, from one character’s thoughts to another character’s thoughts.

3) Multiple Points of View—Switching characters from one point of view to another at the end of a scene, section or chapter. In this way, you can show a situation from different perspectives, show your main character from the inside and out, or even when he/she wasn’t there. It allows you to choose to tell a scene along the most interesting path.

Keep Your Writing Practice 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available: on Amazon
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories



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Creative Writing Tips: The Importance of Story

 

Creative Writing Tips: The Importance of Story by Deborah Lyn Stanley
We often read blogs and books to assist our endeavors in the craft of writing. Many are written with tips and guides to approach: plot, character, setting and structure. We may write blog posts, fiction, memoir or non-fiction pieces. But we all are telling stories as we use descriptive prose, narration, action and challenges to overcome.

Dinty W. Moore, author of The Story Cure, has an intriguing approach. We may be planning scenes for a book or articles for a magazine series. Whatever we plan may be helped by Mr. Moore as he breaks down “just what the Book Doctor orders”.

Mr. Moore frequently uses metaphors to make his points and engage the reader. It’s not “pain-free” but, even-though writing is painstaking, it should not be painful. Don’t let negative thoughts and doubts overcome the thrill of creative discovery!

As we travel along, read and listen to this intriguing method, whether we are in the midst of a project or at the start, it’s healthy to analyze our plan, our goals, and decide what’s working and what’s not.

Explore the Heart Story you are writing. What’s first in importance for the flow of humanity that runs underneath it? Identify the primal concern or desire in your book, story, or post and focus on the heart of it. This is so much more than diving into “theme” or “meaning”. There’s action and power with the heart to guide the story.
   
For example, Dinty Moore, points to David Copperfield by Charles Dickens’s. Throughout Copperfield’s adventures, setbacks, and unexpected events, we become aware of what he wants most. Copperfield wants an end to the abuse of weak and helpless orphans, debtors and the mentally ill by the wealthy and powerful.

Our goal is to engage readers, to write something of value, purpose and inspiration!
So we want to write vital posts, stories, books—ones the reader can enter, that incite a desire to see what happens next.

To that end, What does your character really want? What is his/her chief desire?
Once known, consider the emotions involved. What is it really about? Disappointments, fear of being left, safety, failure—go deeper.

Next, go through your piece making a list of the areas that are clearly connected to what your character really wants and strengthen others as needed.

                        Using Metaphors Adds Story to Articles, Posts & Interest to Narratives

Recommended links:
•    The Story Cure by Dinty W. Moore
A Book Doctor’s Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir
https://www.amazon.com/Story-Cure-Doctors-Pain-Free-Finishing/dp/0399578803

•    What’s The Story by Melissa Donovan
The Storyteller’s Toolbox—Building Blocks for Fiction Writing
https://www.amazon.com/Building-Fiction-Writing-Storytellers-Toolbox/dp/0997671300/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1676233579&sr=1-1

 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories



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Fundamentals Make A Good Impression

Fundamentals Make a Good Impression: by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Each article we write, be it blog post or book chapter, is a chance for us to make a good impression. It shares who we are and our love of the subject. Make it clear so the words stand out: fluent, confident, and persuasive.

You’re a writer, so think of yourself as one. And the writer’s job is to communicate, encourage, and inspire. Stay with your voice so as not to lose your personality. Write like you speak.

Keeping your reader in mind will help guide your word choice. The goal is to create a meaningful piece that doesn’t lose the feel of natural speech.

Be personable in your delivery. Avoid the formality that is often used for business messages. Show your readers you are enthused about your subject. Choose words that convey your enthusiasm and let your subject speak for itself, making it meaningful for the reader.

These points are fundamental for our next step, which is to edit the draft. Sometimes an edit needs a rewrite, which to me sounds like starting all over. Not necessarily. We often need to rewrite or reorganize a sentence, or several sentences, but that’s good. You are moving your article closer to polishing for the finish line with each revision you make.

Let’s consider the following questions as we re-read our article, post, or chapter:
1.    Was the main point introduced early?
2.    Is it straightforward and understandable?
3.    Does it grab the readers’ attention?
4.    You’ve set out to communicate a meaningful message, did it?
5.    Does the information flow, sentence by sentence, logically?

Keep your reader’s hat on as you ponder these questions.

6.    Check the word choice:
    a.    Any unnecessary words?
    b.    Is the information the reader needs included? Is it accurate?
    c.    Was the message delivered in a positive tone?

Online Grammar Aids: ProWritingAid and Grammarly,
Identify Trouble Areas. But We Often Need More

 Self-Editing Book List:
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White: “The Elements of Style”
Renni Browne & Dave King: “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers”
Carolyn Howard-Johnson: “The Frugal Editor”
Bruce Ross-Larson: “Edit Yourself”


 



 Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and    stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available on Amazon



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Creativity Sparks the Writing Practice

 


Creativity Sparks the Writing Practice by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Brainstorming is a technique for generating ideas and creative solutions. It’s a wonderful way to grab a bundle of topic and story ideas. Several pathways can be used for group or solo gathering.

Creativity of any kind is helpful.
* Do you love art? Check out paintings from the masters online.
* Do you stitch or work with yarn? There’ are lots of videos on YouTube.
* Do you paint or draw? A walk-in nature is sure to inspire!
* Ever wished to paint? Check out Facebook groups or Pinterest.

My first experience of brainstorming happened during a company training session. A problem was presented and discussion began, guided by a facilitator.  Throughout the discussion, ideas written on small pages lined the walls. Each participant was encouraged to contribute, no idea is too quirky to build upon. When each member is involved in developing solutions, it’s more likely to find a solution.

Four Techniques have been used for Effective Brainstorming:
1.    Starbursting focuses on forming questions instead of answers, beginning with who, what, where, when, and why.
2.    Mind Mapping may be the most classical approach and the one seen most often. The written goal is noted in a center circle, with lines branching out to subtopics, and again for subcategories. Circled notes continue as ideas continue to form.
3.    Blind Writing is free-form writing, forcing you to put pen to paper for a minimum of 10 minutes to open up fresh ideas. The one rule is that you must keep writing for those 10 minutes.
4.    Reverse Storming is idea generation in the opposite, gathering ideas of how I can stop a goal from succeeding. It helps to uncover fresh approaches.

For additional information see:  https://www.edrawsoft.com/MindMap-Examples.php
 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories

 


 



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Fitness for Writers || Tips for Action

 


Fitness for Writers - Tips for Action by Deborah Lyn Stanley
Fitness for writers includes: A daily writing practice to stay fit and physical exercise to support writing endeavors. As writers, we need both.

Let’s start with tips for maintaining physical fitness to support our writing time.
1)    Walk! Walking is a great exercise. We are after a refresh time, not a full-blown workout. 10-20 minutes is good.
        Listen to audio classical music or your favorite tunes.
        Listen to writing craft audio books.
        Record notes that come to mind & transcribe later.

2)    Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water! Soda, coffee and tea don’t count here—Chips and chocolate don’t count either.

3)    Remember to be realistic, watch your expectations and make adjustments. Create a plan that will work for you long term.

4)    Exercise in spurts. Spread the good through-out the writing day to keep empowering thoughts, ideas and typing.

5)    Promise yourself breaks; every 1-2 hours take one. Spend 10-20 minutes moving—Do you have stairs in your house? For your break, go up and down.
Avoid “a quick snack” and eat a meal. Your brain with thank you.

6)    Be innovative, use a standing writing desk. Even above your treadmill. Walk between 1-2 mph. You may find you are more creative and have less back and leg aches.

7)    Other ideas include stopping for:
       Several push-ups, pull-ups, squats, or sit-ups
       Use a balance ball chair. How you sit matters. Bad posture strains the neck and the spine.
       Place your computer screen at a distance to avoid strain with the top of the screen at eye level
       or slightly below.
       Move & Stretch regularly, make it a routine

Be proactive concerning your health and well-being.
Your writing will thank you.


Tips for writing daily, which is sometimes a hurdle.
1)    Stock the tools for your favored writing area, desk or office with all you’ll need. Include reference books, your goal plan, and project list.

2)    Write every day. Start with journaling for 10-20 minutes to get the wheels rolling, then dive into your specified project for the day. Make this your practice.
Also, use your journal to create a strategic plan to reach your goal(s).

3)    Include writing exercises. Write poetry or short pieces using a prompt.

4)    Free writing is a great starter. What are you thinking about? Start writing about it and let it flow. You just may find inspiration for a future story or article. Let your creativity bloom!
       *Free write with limitations, such as no ‘being’ verbs, or without using pronouns.
       *Use a dictionary or newspaper. Choose one word at random to start.
       *Use a line from a favorite poem or story as your inspiration.

5)    Create a Metaphor List to draw from.

6)    Use your Commonplace Book to jot down notes, any which way line breaks, in the margins--whatever, record ideas for writing a story or poem from a different perspective—note anything that comes to mind. You’ll remember as you read it later!

Have Fun & Keep Writing!

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories



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Short Story Writing Builds Skills for Tighter Text


 Short Story Writing Builds Skills for Tighter Text by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Writing short stories is a great way to build skills and a daily writing practice. Don't try to understand what people want. Instead, figure out what you want to say and write the heart of it.

We will be more satisfied with our stories if we learn from the master authors of classical short stories. For a worthwhile reference see: https://americanliterature.com/   I am quite impressed with their menu options as well as creating a personal library for my quick “planning ahead” reads. At the top right, open the “login” and create your account with an email with password. Now start building your personal library.

Short Stories have traditionally ranged from 1,500 to 5,000 words (but 3,000 is more common). Short Stories use the 3-Act structure (beginning, middle, end) used for novel writing. A short story is condensed, with setting and action beginning from the start. Structure with art in the delivery.

How do we find great story ideas?
I have a book by Fred White titled: Where Do You Get Your Ideas? A Writer’s Guide to Transforming Notions into Narratives. He mentions:
* Sometimes a newspaper report will catch your eye or hit a nerve, and become a story.
* You might retell an ancient myth into a current tale.
* You’ve grabbed an idea you can work with. Here are some pre-drafting activities you might find useful. Lists can provide inventory for content; Maps help create a layout for events; Profiles help develop your characters; and Collages visualize your story idea.

In How to Write Short Stories, Jerry Jenkins includes several points. I have included a few below:
* Learn to recognize the Kernel of an idea, a memory, a problem or fear.
* Make a practice of jotting down notes to expand upon during free writing, discover what comes to mind. Descriptions of characters to add or a setting for the story might pop in from your notes.
* We come in contact with people daily: at the supermarket, walking, and on the web. Use some of those traits to help develop your characters.   
* Now start writing. There’s plenty of time for changes and additions once you have a draft. If something doesn’t seem quite right, cut it out (at least for now).
* Be sure to craft a satisfying end, that leaves the reader appeased for the time well spent.

The Take Aways:
•    When you have a collection of 12 or more Short Stories, consider combining them in book form as an anthology. Consider thematic clusters, or maybe choose all 12 of a similar theme. Plus, remember, a powerful, interesting title is key for grabbing the reader’s eye.
•    Approach magazine publications and propose adding one of your stories to a coming issue.
•    Where Do You Get Your Ideas? See: https://www.amazon.com/Where-You-Get-Your-Ideas/dp/1599635305
•    Jerry Jenkins https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-short-stories/
 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories


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Short Story Benefits

 



Short Story Benefits by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Writing short stories is a great way to build skills and enrich our writing practice. Many writers use short story writing to develop a strong style and voice.

Free writing is a useful method for starting. Use prompts if you prefer. Anticipate that you will hit a kernel you can develop; go on with it and choose an inspiring image that relates. Paste the image to the top corner of your first page as a thumbnail. It will help you focus and to ignite your story.

Writers garner income from competition wins, and selling short stories to magazines. Competitions and Magazines expect short stories to be fiction. If you have a personal experience you want to use, fictionalize it.

Story starters or prompts work your imagination. You can use images, nouns from your life’s journey, nouns from the dictionary, or historical events; ex. While traveling to a new job, in a new town, he gets lost in unknown territory—a forest or desert, etc.

Now Write! Add structure, characters, descriptions, setting, dialogue to your story. You might select your characters based upon people you know. Describe interesting traits, habits, and looks---but mix it up so they are fresh characters. Stories are expected to have a crisis, a defining moment, that changes a character’s life or perspective forever. Build it.
(Check out Now Write: https://www.nowwrite.net/fiction/ )

Stories love structure!
The links below help empower your storytelling adventure!

Mia Botha, Writers Write
https://www.writerswrite.co.za/how-to-write-a-short-story-all-the-tips-youll-ever-need/

How to Write a Short Story That Captivates Your Reader, Jerry Jenkins
https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-short-stories/

And my review:
How To Write Short Stories and Use Them to Further Your Writing Career by James Scott Bell,
a Book Review

https://www.amazon.com/Write-Stories-Further-Writing-Career


Each chapter of this book broadens our knowledge and paints an exciting picture for growth through short story writing. Its focus is crafting stories, fundamentally strong; flash fiction, short stories, or book length. It includes samples of five short stories to emphasize key points of structure that identify and analyze the strength of each story. Best of all, the book encourages writing short stories; it will improve our writing.
The author’s intent is to strengthen writers for a lasting career of productivity and publication. I used the book to learn the keys to story structure and to help me develop viable story ideas.

I recommend this helpful, instructive book to enhance our writer’s journey.

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories.
She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
at Amazon & https://books2read.com/b/valuestories


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Strategic Productivity for Writers

 


 Strategic Productivity for Writers by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Time management is important for writers who want to get more work done each day. A strategic look at our day-to-day writing practice, work load and goals is, time well spent. A better work-life balance allows free time for ideas to flow and for other pursuits.
 
The benefits of better Time Management include:
A boost to your productivity
Minimizing stressors; both known and those unexpected surprises
Improved workflow management
Meeting deadlines more consistently

But How? Here are some adjustments you might make:
What’s on your plate for today? Start with a plan
Prioritize important tasks and time sensitive projects
Break down tasks into workable chunks
Limit distractions: meetings, email traffic. Say NO or reschedule.
Batch similar tasks or projects to better organize your time
Avoid multitasking—remain focused on the task at hand
Mark your calendar for undisturbed blocks of time by scheduling appointments with just you.
Delegate when possible.

It is helpful to review your day and summarize what worked, and what needs to change. Revise areas as required and make a list of all that worked well.
List the things to be addressed tomorrow.
Make note of what inspired you to keep writing today? Do it again!

Consider trying out The Pomodoro Technique: a focused writing time then breaks technique.


 
Or use the Eisenhower Matrix:


 

Links of Interest:
Upwork Time Management Strategies
https://www.upwork.com/resources/time-management-strategies  

USA EDU Time Management Techniques
https://www.usa.edu/blog/time-management-techniques/

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
On Amazon Mom-Me-Story-Dementia-Power
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories






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Time Management for Writers

 

Time Management for Writers by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Time Management is a frequent topic among writers. We juggle meetings and deadlines, step-out goal plans, and handle a myriad of correspondence tasks each day. How do we keep track of all of this? We need a flexible system, because most systems require modification to work well, and it takes testing until we find the system that fits.

Though we might want to create a most aggressive plan that causes our production to soar, “life happens”. Be flexible with yourself and relax your plan for a time if needed.

A writing friend mentioned her scheduling strategy—The Bullet Journal. She showed me how she was successful in using the Bullet Journal over several months. So, I tried it. I set up my Index, Future Log for 6 months, Monthly Log and Daily logs. I liked how it flowed for a month and continued. It worked, but I found it tedious, taking too much time noting here and there constantly. I needed to keep track of goals and schedule, BUT I needed to get to work first!
Check out the Bullet Journal: http://bulletjournal.com/.

Then, I set up a color highlighted Goal Plan Schedule on Excel to list:
•    Year End Completion Goals
•    Monthly Deadlines
•    Meeting Commitments
•    Weekly Progress
•    Notes
It worked well as a bird's-eye view for the year by week and month. I keep it open on my desk. Did it help guide my work day by day? No. I needed something more.

Finally, I have settled on a day/month/year planner. Daily I make entries that review the activities/accomplishments of the day briefly, similar to a diary. I use a journal for resolving issues and planning. Plus a digital calendar to schedule meetings & appointments with pop-up reminders.

Why does managing our time well matter to us?
It’s all about productivity, meeting deadlines & goals, and gaining a footing for our writing endeavors.

So, what does it take? It takes a careful review of what is working for us and what is taking us off track. Some questions to ask ourselves:
    *Do I need to limit email tasks? Would scheduling an hour each day avoid these interruptions?
    *What distracts me? Phone calls? Meetings? Schedule in blocks of time?
    *How can I reduce daily stress?
    *How can I improve my work flow and meet deadlines more effectively?
    *What is my goal and my destination?
    *Do I have milestones in place?
Katie Forrest, a guest for The Creative Penn, posted a helpful article here: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2020/02/13/9-time-management-tips-for-writers/

Since time management is a constant concern, and writers would appreciate some useful tips, the post was designed as a step-by-step guide through the journey. I appreciate Katie starts at where we are right now, analyzing what’s working and what’s not.


Are you looking for a writer’s community, with more tools and help?
Check out Good Story Company by Mary Kole
https://www.goodstorycompany.com/  
Mastermind / blog / community


Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories


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Grow Contract Awareness for Magazine Work

 

Grow Contract Awareness for Magazine Work by Deborah Lyn Stanley

As we grow writing skills and expertise through magazine submittals for publication, we must be contract wise.

Magazine work is a great way to earn money and to promote various topics to gage readership response. The online world has made it possible for the rapid growth of digital magazine publications. So, be sure to research the magazines that catch your interest for the right fit for you and your audience. Plus, a topic focused specialty is attractive to a publisher.

Once you land a deal with a publisher, a contract will follow. If for some reason, no contract is sent to you, create your own. Don’t work without a contract describing all conditions.

Contracts cover all pertinent information and must be considered point by point. Take it slow and break it down item by item. Be thoroughly aware of the publisher’s expectations and your commitments. For example, the delivery date must be doable.

The Contract’s main and subsections include:
1.    Payment method and rate
       a.    Payment upon acceptance or on publication, but typically between 30-90 days
2.    Rights and responsibilities
       a.    First North American Serial Rights,
             1.    Provides the publisher exclusive rights to be the first to publish your article. Note the time   period for this exclusivity, commonly 90 days.
       b.    One Time Rights,
              1.    Gives the publisher the right to publish your article one time
       c.    Second Serial Rights or Reprint Rights,
              1.    Grants the publisher a nonexclusive right to publish, one time, a piece already published somewhere else.
       d.    All Rights
             1.    You are selling all the rights to your article to the publisher—this takes careful consideration. What if you want to publish the article somewhere else? And, what if they rework the piece so much that it’s not yours any longer?
       e.    Electronic Rights
             1.    This means all forms of electronic media: CE’s, DVD’s, games, apps, etc.
3.    Deadlines, format for delivery, and Word count
4.    Magazines often have their preferred contract format; However, I have included two links that might help you get acquainted with a couple.

Basics Tip: An essay is all about the writer; whereas, an article is all about the reader. An essay is an analytical or interpretative composition, and an article is informational non-fiction prose.


Helpful Resources:
Writing for Magazine - Is It the Perfect Job for You?  By Suzanne Lieurance
https://www.writersonthemove.com/2014/02/writing-for-magazines-is-it-perfect-job.html

Contributor’s Agreement Sample  —    http://publishlawyer.com/contrib.pdf 

Memorandum Agreement Sample —   https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/LIGHTSPEED-Original-Contract-Short-Story.pdf   

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories


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Grow Your Skills with Magazine Publication

Grow Your Skills with Magazine Publication by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Grow your writing skill and expertise with Magazine Publication. It is a great way to monetize your writing and to promote various topics for readership response.

The good news is the online world has made it possible for the rapid growth of digital magazine publications. Be sure to research the magazines that catch your interest, for the right fit for you and your audience. Also, specializing in a particular genre is attractive to a magazine publisher.

The list of Genres/Categories for magazine writing is extensive but here are a few for your consideration:
•    Consumer topics
•    Trends
•    Local news, highlighting merchants or events
•    Interviews with notable people in a field or industry
•    True crime
•    Sports
•    Parenting
•    Trade Journals
•    Health & Safety, Alternative Health
•    Aging, Seniors
•    Retirement
•    Travel
•    Humor
•    How-To
•    Arts & Crafts
•    Food & Cooking
•    Personal Essays
•    Writing to Inspire
•    Business to Business
•    Seasonal and Holiday pieces
Tip: An essay is all about the writer; whereas, an article is all about the reader. An essay is an analytical or interpretative composition, and an article is informational non-fiction prose.


Uncovering New Topic Ideas:
•    Do you have a notable vacation spot in your area?
•    Do you like to Travel?
•    Do you have specific or specialized knowledge for a certain topic? Write about it.
•    Are you into car repair and maintenance? Write tips and money-saving ideas.
•    Start a clipping file of articles, columns, newspaper/journalistic reports that have captured your attention, interest, or imagination.

Helpful questions to evaluate each selection you research:
•    Use a Marketing Guide to select the periodicals you want to study.
•    Would you be proud to promote the magazine and your writing included there?
•    What is the magazine’s specialty? Will your work fit?
•    How long is its typical article—300-500 words and an occasional 1,000-word piece?
•    Do the articles include the advice from experts? Is it an interview?
     What are the expert’s qualifications? How many quotes are included?
•    Which magazine would increase your byline influence?
•    Would the periodical send readers to your website or blog for more?
•    Does the magazine have a good reputation?
•    What is its readership base?
•    Would you consider working with a smaller magazine?
•    Does the magazine offer online and print subscription? Where would your work run—online and print?
•    Check your market guidebook and the magazine’s website for detailed submittal requirements.
•    Are the submittal requirements doable for you? Make detailed notes of the submittal process conditions missing no requirement, as the process varies from magazine to magazine. Don’t let a missed detail in your submittal be grounds for dismissal of your piece.
•    Does the magazine accept simultaneous submittals?
•    Consistently double check found information to confirm it as a credible resource.
•    Disclose your sources of information.
•    Use your personal experience, & be your own expert!

The “Writer’s Market” is an excellent resource to find the magazine that fits for your piece or interest.
Note:
•    Contact information for departments for freelancers
•    What they are looking for
•    Conditions for query letters
•    Word count requirements
•    Pay rate
•    Tips for landing an assignment.


Links of Interest
• 21 Magazines for freelance writing jobs:
https://makealivingwriting.com/write-for-magazines/

• Robert Lee Brewer: Writing Submissions for Magazines: How to Submit Writing to a Magazine
https://www.writersdigest.com/publishing-insights/writing-submissions-for-magazines-how-to-submit-writing-to-a-magazine

 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories

 

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Write True Stories

 


Write True Stories and Make Them Lyrical by Deborah Lyn Stanley

A grand way to practice flourishing your stories and word choices is to write true stories. People connect with stories they can relate to. Use your life and your experiences and build the theme of your story around them.

Consider writing about a grade school, junior high and high school or college event; including conflicts and successes. Our earliest memories are a great place to start. Your life gives a plethora of source material! Grandma’s favorite times are worth repeating. Was there a town square decorated for a gathering every holiday? Did you grow up in the city or the country? Where did you travel for vacations? What was your favorite part?

Last night my husband read aloud “Grandmother’s Porch Swing” by Mary A. Morman, a delightful family story of several generations. It has a hometown feel of the early 1900s; a friendly neighborhood willing to sit-a-while and share a glass of lemonade. After he finished the story, the lyrical nature of Mary’s writing struck me, and I decided she must have played a musical instrument. The rhythm, pace, and flow of her descriptions and the setting were refreshing! So much so, that I’ve included some comments here.

As I mentioned last time, writers need to build-up a strong descriptive vocabulary to handle the many aspects of storytelling and article writing. To enhance your next story, give it the sound test, read it out-loud. Does it flow? Does the sound of your words conflict with what you want to convey;  is it confusing? Read classical authors. Read poetry that you relate to, and write scenes from your story’s era. Also, consider how you might write or revise your piece for a more lyrical feel.

Lyrical writing tips:
1.    Patterns of rhythm or meter, cadence, and sentence length of words and strong memorable images,
2.    Alternating short and long sentences,
3.    Its sound when read out-loud—Does it flow? Can you picture what’s read?
4.    Use metaphors related to nature, for example–scent of the wind blowing strong,

Goal Tip for Today: Create a Doable Writing Schedule
The 5 of 7 rule by Debra Eckerling

https://www.writersonthemove.com/2022/06/featured-productivity-tool-5-of-7-rule.html


More:
Imagery Speaks to Your Readers by Karen Cioffi
https://www.writersonthemove.com/2022/06/imagery-speaks-to-your-readers.html

Five tips for crafting richer prose
https://www.nownovel.com/blog/lyrical-writing-richer-prose/

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories




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Word Choice Matters

 

Word Choice Matters
Sentences Build Paragraphs 

by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Writers need to develop a strong vocabulary for building up the many facets of storytelling and article writing. Word lists of favorite, unusual, fun sounding words to compose a selected topic helps. Test the flow of sounds and experiment using some for creativity in your next piece. Expand your reading collection with classical, by-gone authors, to become familiar with how they expressed dialogue and scenes in their day, or lyrical stories and poems. Jot down words of interest. Note them in your Commonplace book, and create a collage of word pictures to describe scenes.

Enlarging your vocabulary with lively and interesting expressions, and writing like your natural speaking voice, is engaging. It’s a good way to empower your articles or poems.
Just write, remembering we always follow with revision and polish to honor clarity and communicate well with readers.

My Commonplace book includes a long word list of random words I’ve noticed while reading—including ones I am not familiar with, seeming unique, especially in the way used. These can be a welcome addition to my usual; for example; sweet Elysium (paradise), rose-colored visions, desecration, petitions, syncopation, provincial, and sexton.  You might also, choose topical words for particular projects, such as tranquility, shelter, botanical or courage.
Try it. You’re sure to be inspired!

Writers Read!

Sentences Build Paragraphs:
Effective communication elements: Clarity, Coherence, Control, and Credibility are key.
Points to Consider:
1.    Clarity—Help your reader by telling them where you are going, the information you plan to present, and offer your conclusion.
2.    The three-part paragraph structure gives a map for topic, development & resolution.
3.    Coherence—Paragraphs help to contain your thoughts. You may have several points in a paragraph, but in a unifying theme, each sentence supports that focal point.
4.    A natural, coherent flow to a paragraph begins with the first sentence; so, reorder the sentences of your paragraph if needed. A logical order of things leads to what comes next.
5.    Control—You are in control of the pace of your piece. Use paragraphical emphasis: longer is slower, shorter is faster.
6.    Credibility results from several things: language, knowledge of the subject, word choice, and your writer’s voice.
7.    The better you know your audience, the more successful you will be in delivering your information.

Write Sentences
Think in Paragraphs

Revision & Polish Tips:
1.    Keep the focus, the theme, of the piece consistent throughout,
2.    Sentence structure: a subject—a noun or pronoun, and a predicate/verb that explains what the subject is doing,
3.    Use nouns rather than adjectives and remove over used adjectives such as very,
4.    Verbs are where the action is—choose strong ones,
5.    Avoid adverbs that diminish the strength of a sentence.
6.    Vary sentence length within the piece.
7.    Make it personal and professional, convey the message, be specific.

Helpful Tools:
Melissa Donovan’s 10 Core Practices for Better Writing https://www.writingforward.com/books/10-core-practices-for-better-writing

Mastering the Craft of Writing by Stephen Wilbers 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Craft-Writing

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories



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A Call for Writers to Find Balance

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin Within the publishing world, I’ve often heard it is harder to sign with a literary agent than to locate a publ...