Tag Archives: Indie author

7 Deadly Sins of Writing

7 deadly sinsNothin’ takes you to Writing Hell faster!
  1. pride
  2. envy
  3. wrath
  4. sloth
  5. avarice
  6. gluttony
  7. lust

According to medieval theology, the original 7 deadly sins lead to spiritual death. According to writer theology, succumbing to the the 7 deadly sins of writing leads to a  living hell!

Let’s discover how the 7 deadly Evils apply to an author’s demise ( metaphorically speaking) and more importantly, if these sins can be channeled for Good.

  • Hubris is the kiss of death for writers who refuse to take professional criticism. If someone in the publishing biz offers critical advice about your writing or novel, heed it. Arrogance gets you no where fast in this industry. Experts know stuff you don’t! That’s why they’re called experts.
  • Post/tweet/blog  beginning with me me-me-me- I -I -I- buy-buy-buy -like me-friend me-see is vain (and not very marketing savvy).  Posting selfies might be fun for you, but to most of us, it appears a tad narcissistic.
  • For GOOD: Use pride to create  high standards for your writing, blogging, & social media platform building. Feel pride in a task completed with grace, dignity, hard-work and perseverance!
  • Newbie authors yearn for the success of established authors. Remember, it took them years (and years) of writing, networking, and craft-learning to achieve. Envy is destructive–it zaps creativity and pisses off the Muse ( and she’s a temperamental b****).
  • FOR GOOD: Manipulate envy by taking a good-long-hard look at an established author’s work, website, posts, social accounts and then learn from them! You won’t find the big names ranting, whining, or complaining. There’s an old business maxim; dress and act as if you already have the next higher position on the ladder of success.
  • In the words of the revered sage Yoda, “Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Angry writers don’t think ( or bother cooling down ) before posting offensive stuff on Social Media.
  • FOR GOOD: Use the emotion! Is your heart bounding? Veins popping out of your forehead? Jaw clenching? Are you spewing venom? Great! Now draw upon your experience and use those indicators when writing about a wrathful character.  Don’t go to the Dark Side! Write about wrath, don’t “do” it.
  • Lazy-lazy-lazy. Frankly, finding excuses NOT to write/rewrite/edit is contrary to your claim that you love to write. From “I have a hang nail” to “I’m not inspired” to “My coffee is cold” excuses don’t get the damn book written. Neglecting to take the necessary time to write, rewrite, rewrite again (times 7), and edit is a daunting task. Telling a story is one thing, crafting a sentence or plot is another. Some newbies don’t understand the time involved to study your craft, build a platform, write great blogs, or maintain your website. Writing is difficult enough, finding the time and motivation for the other necessary tasks is challenging!
  • Thomas Edison said Genius is 1 % inspiration, 99% perspiration.
  • FOR GOOD: If you must be lazy, at least daydream a solution to a plotting or scene flaw, create characters, brainstorm new blogs, or plan your next book.
 Avarice (greed)
  • Writers who will not share information, experiences, or knowledge. Yes, yes, I know, knowledge is power, but Paying it Forward garners more followers, friends, and good karma. Most of what I learned about the publishing industry and platforming comes  from reading blogs and attending conferences—and I give them a BIG virtual hug and thank you.  As one who teaches literary analysis for a living, sharing my knowledge of authorial techniques and literary craft in my Rock Your Writing blogs helps me Pay it Forward.
  • FOR GOOD: Embrace the greed when its time to carve out time to write. Hoard research or reference books needed for your genre or novel.
  • Excessive consumption of adverbs, adjectives, cliches, hackneyed tropes and other tragic writing no-nos. Spamming your book on social media. Getting drunk on the social-media Kool Aid.
  • FOR GOOD: Indulge in reading delicious novels with chew-worthy themes, yummy characters, and smooth writing styles. Devour flavorful literature and drink in their authorial techniques.
  • Not the erotic kind, but those writers soooo in-love with every single word they write that they refuse–absolutely refuse–to cut or edit!!! Words are like hair. It grows back!
  • FOR GOOD: Use your desire and love of words for writing smokin’ hot sentences, creating sensual imagery, and showing passion for editing.

Just say NO to Writer Hell!

Related Links:  Rock Your Writing; Click  Amazon link to novels.

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Leadership & Authorship

Traits of a LeaderI’m helping students analyze  Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage.

The book chronicles the amazing survival and struggles of  28 men stranded on the Antarctic ice floes for almost 2 years during a 1914 expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton.

It’s really a book about LEADERSHIP and endurance and willpower.

As the class and I discuss the book, it HITS me!

An author needs the traits of a leader to succeed in this new age of publishing and self-promoting.

While there are many leadership traits, here’s a list most relevant to authorship.

Diligence: “Overnight success takes 10 years.” That’s a quote with which most of us are familiar. An author must show dedication to:
  • the craft of writing
  • embracing the kit & kaboodle that comes with establishing a readership
  • working the required hours to build a  platform
  • learning the “business”
  • writing, re-writing, and editing–editing–editing–editing…

Persistence:  “Never, never, never give up.” Churchill understood the importance and value of persistence. Just don’t confuse stubbornness with persistence.

Understanding: An author needs to be well-versed in several fields
  • genre particularities & requirements–and  when/if/how to break the rules
  • the craft of writing–specifically the effects of syntax, grammar, tone, symbol, motif, structure, characterization, diction, POV, dialog, plot, setting, allusion, &  foreshadow
  • Social media methodologies, techniques, problems, & tools
  • algorithms & ranking
  • personal website/blog advanced operational tasks
  • manipulating and proficiency in Word/PhotoShop/Excel/PowerPoint and other computer applications/programs

Confrontation: No conflict–no novel. Pitting bad against good is typical. But confrontations between good against good? Or bad against bad?  Better. And of course, it helps to know when NOT to confront a reader, Facebook friend, Twitter follower, reviewer, agent, or publisher (oh, the stories I could share)

Ambition: We all know people who talk the ambitious talk–but don’t have any follow through. Success–for most of us–takes hard work, long hours and includes lots of angst and setbacks. Ambitious folks don’t make excuses.

Organization: Yep, I know there’s many “pantsers” out there and kudos to you for having the innate ability to craft a story that way, but there’s other reasons why organization is important. An author needs to:
  • schedule writing time with work, family, promotion
  • track social media promotions,  blog tours etc
  • establish/maintain a query/agent/publisher data sheet
  • catalog research
  • create flow chart/timeline/spreadsheet of chapters
  • track business tax info & receipts

Punctuality: Authors with publishing contracts have no choice. Indie authors might be tempted to slack off. Create your own deadlines and keep them!

Street Smarts: A necessary survival skill in any business. One needs to stay au courant with:
  • social media trends & language
  • publishing /agent lingo & trends
  • learning one bit of information and applying it effectively in another media/venue
  • scams to publish, edit, promote, review your work for money
  • dishonest or overconfident folks claiming to have skills in editing, reviewing, promoting
Versatility/Flexibility: Rigidity gets you nowhere fast. An author needs to roll with the proverbial punches with regards to:
  • social media trends ( what’s hot– what’s not)
  • correcting writing/novel problems
  • managing promotions
  • learning to multi-task
  • balancing coffee cup over keyboard
Loyalty: Authors should be true to:
  • their brand/platform
  • friends who help promote
  • their own work
  • improving their knowledge of the craft
  • time spent actually writing
Problem solving: Authors have many problems to solve:
  • plotting the arc of the story
  • grammar no-no’s
  • breaking bad habits ( for example: poor time management)
  • HTML coding irregularities
  • ebook formatting
  • creating new blogging topics
  • promotion quandaries

And let’s not forget Creativity: Leaders must think creatively..to innovate..to energize…to evaluate…to problem solve..to write…to promote…to accomplish the above mentioned tasks.

Authors are leaders of their own destiny!
Writing is the tip of the iceberg.
Writers are amazing!


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A fresh kill. An ancient evil. And the only person capable of preventing the next murder is an unwitting and anxiety-prone recruit.

Divorced, depressed, and dissertation-less, Daphne Sites is stunned to learn that a unique empathic ability allows her to identify otherworldly life. So when a mystical  organization asks for her help, it’s difficult to refuse.
Serik Jalani is the man who must convince the reluctant recruit to assume an awesome mantle of responsibility. There’s only one way to do this. Reel her in slowly.
Except Daphne suspects Serik is not being entirely truthful. About the organization. About the mission. About his identity.
As Daphne attempts to keep her new life secret from two sassy sisters, one jealous ex-husband, and her Bimbo-Barbie neighbor, she struggles to embrace the mysteries of a cosmic technology and realize her own self-worth.

If Daphne hopes to stop the murderer she must first confront her biggest problem. Herself.

At a time when recent theories like Quantum physics confirms the existence of the fantastical, The Merkabah Recruit flirts with the links between treasured legend and scientific possibility. A story that blurs the shadowy line between myth and fact.

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