Tag Archives: Twitter

Tuesdays with…my inner muse

Every once in a while, I like to open my journal and spill my inner thoughts onto the screen. Here. For you all to read…


Comet ~ My feathered friend

9.12.2010 9:50am – on couch, open door, sunny, cool, quiet

I am alone. Alone in my house except for Comet who is picking through her wings and tail leaving an ash of bird dander on the arm of the couch, and the fish who swim silently under the hum and bubble of the filter.

I am alone with my book and terrified. I’m beginning to despise my characters and be bored with the whole plot line. Is this normal? Do I press on, muddle through with the passion of designing monotonous sales reports in Excel? Or do I take it as a “do over,” the white flag of defeat waving at my tired, relieved eyes?

Does every author go through the boredom phase? How can they? If the writer is bored, certainly the reader will be bored, too.

I need more writer interaction, camaraderie to bounce these feelings of doubt and despair off of.  Will they tell me they feel the same? Or, is this just another procrastination tactic, like doing character journals or creating Twitter accounts for my Protag and Antag?

I need to just do the work. Best I can. Read what I have. Read it again. Mark the places that make me squirm of embarrassment or gloss over because it is bland and weak like a wallflower.

Then I need to get in my character’s head, feel what they feel and do the “what if?” exercise. I tell my students to do this; I should practice what I preach.

But is it normal to already be thinking of the next book? Feeling the anticipation of getting to know new characters, new stories, new settings, kind of like the beginnings of a dating relationship. The wonder, the awe, the highlighted sensitivity to every emotion and exterior feeling in the air.

Yes, I guess that is normal, otherwise how would authors produce books so quickly? They have to have their inner muse weaving and developing a small seed of a new idea under the surface of revising the current project.

 Can anyone else relate?

Update: 9.27.11 – I’m STILL revising said novel from this journal entry. Though, I think I had a breakthrough on Friday. Yes, another one. Sheesh!


1-2-3-4, don’tchya wanna have some more? SUBSCRIBE, yo!

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Filed under Believe, goals, Perseverance, writers block, writing inspiration

Final Magazine Giveaway Contest!

How fun has this magazine giveaway month been?

The final contest winner will receive 2 issues of one of these magazines:
Parents * Traditional Home * Spa * Ready Made * Runners

Post your best organizing tip:

  • How to organize your desk
  • How to organize your sample issues and writers’ guidelines
  • How to organize your to-do list of projects with and without deadlines
  • How to organize your computer files
  • How to organize your writing ideas, notes, research, etc.

THINK: Simplify, Clarify and Streamline

One Random winner will be selected, but you can enter multiple times:
Once by posting your organizing tip
Once with a link from your blog or Facebook page to this post
Once with a link from Twitter to this post


Good luck !!

P.S. all left over magazine issues will be donated to Wings – a transitional housing for women and their children in IL


Filed under contests, Give Aways, Markets, Organization

2009: Which goal(s) did you meet?

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Jim Rohn 1930-2009, Author and Speaker

Did this year fly by for anyone else? Summer in Chicago was cool and mild at best, the Halloween festivities lingered in the air until it was time for Christmas shopping and now, the New Year is knocking. The weeks and months seemed to have melded together and floated off like puffs of dandelion seeds. So, when I sat down to chronicle all that I completed this year, I was doubtful my list would add up to much. Funny thing about lists, what feels repetitious and ordinary becomes quite an extraordinary display when lined up together.

Wanna see?

Little Things I accomplished in 2009 (towards my writing/teaching goals)

  •  Won 1st Place in a Fiction Writing contest, placed as Honorable Mention in two others
  • Attended 2-day AWP Conference in Chicago; had lunch with mentor, Christina Katz : )
  • Created and taught one-week Summer Writing Studio for Young Writers
  • Hosted Young Writers’ Public Reading at Downers Grove Library
  • Began FREE monthly Young Writers’ Groups at Barnes & Noble
  • Critiqued several short stories for my young writing students
  • Began writing my 3rd novel (NaNo)
  • Won numerous novels and writing reference books and a membership to an online writers’ group by blogging and posting and “tweeting”
  • Met numerous authors, editors and organization heads via the online community
  • Celebrated 1 year anniversary for both of my blogs with 60k + visitors to this blog alone!
  • Volunteered as Executive Board Member for Capitol City Young Writers (duties incl. conf calls, brainstorming and implementing new ideas)
  • Acted as Editor for Write On! (CCYW’s Qtrly Newsletter)
  • Invited to write my own column for The Motherhood Muse (first issue debuts on 1/1/2010)
  • Taught 2 Young Writers’ classes for FRoG in Winter ’09 and one in Fall ’09
  • Essay, Cravings, published in Underwired Magazine
  • Hosted Fathers’ Day essay writing contest on this blog
  • Made a valuable connection with the editors of WOW! Women on Writing and have been become a regular partner in their author blog tours
  • Created Facebook FanPage for WriteLike CRAZY
  • Taught an in-school writers’ workshop for Ms Courtright’s 4th grade class
  • Met with Mr. Casey, school principal to discuss afterschool program for young writers
  • Beginning discussions with board member of HGNA regarding journaling classes for 2010
  • Began dream of renting blue building on Maple & Main for a young writers’ studio
  • Obsession, short story, published on coloredchalk.com
  • Got caught up and came back down from Twitter addiction
  • Began plans for women writers’ retreat in Oct 2010

So, what did you all accomplish in 2009? I guarantee it’s more than you think! Share with us!


Filed under goals, Little Things, Uncategorized

Top 10 ways to Procrastinate during NaNo

  1. Blog surf  – looks like you’ve got that one down ; )
  2. Catch up with friends on Facebook
  3. Organize your purse or wallet
  4. Search #nano or #nanowrimo on Twitter for other procrastinators
  5. Begin your holiday wish list on Amazon
  6. Organize your files on your desktop
  7. Make new playlists on your ipod
  8. Go out for a brisk walk, look for a hard labored pile of leaves to destroy
  9. Fall into the dreamy eyes of Edward or cutesy smirk of Bella on the NewMoon site
  10. Look up your characters’ horoscopes for today

How do you procrastinate? Come back for part two later…

my word count:_11,635


Filed under NaNoWriMo

What I learned this week

…in writing, marketing, teaching, and life!



  • Found on Twitter (I signed up for TweetBeep: alerts when someone mentions you, your handle, your links, etc. also tracks ReTweet’s)
    http://www.meryl.net/2009/01/50-writer-uses-for-twitter/  This is all a part of the social networking etiquette. If someone mentions me, I will know and can reciprocate (or at least tweet a “thanks!”)
  • Used Mr Tweet to find relevant suggestions /recc’s for those to follow on Twitter (provides lists who follows them, who has RT’d or mentioned them in tweets.) This is helpful, because I will see tweets that relate to my industry, learn about news,contest, etc; find links and possibly buddies!
  • Linked to a great site for Public Relations help. Tips on writing and tweaking your own Press Releases and there is even a Press Release formatting guideline



  • Ha! Always learning in this category. I’m a control freak. Yes, I’ve said it before and it bears repeating. Control freaks have a phobia about asking for help, but I’m slowly overcoming that fear. This week, I needed to reach out for help on things beyond my experience. Car problems, babysitting schedules and in the writing realm: I am asking parents and students of mine for their testimonials and help in publicizing my Young Writers Summer Studio. I also requested and received help from one of my mentors, Christina Katz, with my local platform development.
  • I also learned to slow down, a little. Baby steps, ya know? I scaled back on my responsibilities with Capitol City Young Writers, the nonprofit organization I volunteer with.  I will be phasing out the job of creating, editing and sending the quarterly newsletter and picking up the task of managing their new young writers blog.
  • Hugs! You can never give or receive too many…

What have you learned this week?


Filed under Advice, Organization, Platform/Marketing, Rest, writers, writing inspiration

What I learned…

Throughout the week I research new writing blogs and sites and follow links posted on Twitter.  So, I thought, Fridays would be the perfect day to post “Things I’ve learned” either through experiences of the week or resources and tidbits I found.

This week:


Twitter has become my source of marketing, socializing and information. I learned how to search for “Tweets” about a specific topic, i.e. “young writers,” and how to locate Twitter users that are local (for niche marketing purposes) Follow this superlink to learn almost anything about Twitter:

everything twitter how’tos


It’s a give and take, this game of networking.  This week, I had the opportunity to visit Arnie Bernstein, author of Bath Massacre:America’s First School Bombing, at a local indie bookstore.  Stopping in to visit with Arnie meant I was  a little late to a family graduation party, but it was well worth it.  Not only did I get two copies of Bath Massacre signed, but made a valuable contact.  I will be interviewing Arnie for Writers Inspired in the next few weeks, and he is putting me in touch with many other reputable authors. Lesson learned: Get out there and support other authors! Meet face-to-face whenever you can.

Blog Tours:

If you stopped through this week, I hope you had the pleasure of reading the interview with Elisa Lorello on her experiences of self-publishing her first novel, Faking It.  Not only was the interview extremely candid and thorough, but the comments and replies throughout the day were amazing!  Lesson Learned: when hosting a blog book tour, let the author know what to expect and PUBLICIZE the hell out of it (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, email list.) I plan to write an entire post on Book Blog Tours soon.

So, what have you learned this week? Please share!


Filed under Advice, Platform/Marketing, writing inspiration

Found on Twitter

Just added to my Bookmarks:


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Filed under Education, Get Published, Markets, Platform/Marketing, writers, writing inspiration

“There ain’t no free lunches in this country…”

“…And don’t go spending your whole life commiserating that you got the raw deals. You’ve got to say, ‘I think that if I keep working at this and want it bad enough I can have it.’ It’s called perseverance.”

Lee Iacocca, Businessman and Former CEO of Chrysler

Love this quote. I think we all have our moments of the “life’s unfair” attitude. But seriously, how would we know our true passions if we didn’t hit a bump or two (or ten) on our way to success?

Perseverance is the path that we must take to develop and live our true passion.

What struggles or speed bumps are hindering your writing goals today (this week, this month)?

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed in my day job as an Executive Assistant to the Regional V.P. This drags me down, body and mind, for any creative work I had planned for the evening.

I’ve also been procrastinating tedious technical work I need to get done to move forward with my young writers’ summer studio plans for June. And I’ve been putting off a rewrite of an article that should have been finished by now.

Distractions in the form of Facebook, Twitter, Blog surfing & commenting keep me from moving towards my goals, as well. These social medias are excellent tools, when used correctly and in moderation, so as not to take up all of your “working” time.

Perseverance rounds her head again when I sit in my day job cubicle, or in traffic going to or from said job. I know I can’t get different results from doing the same thing. Perseverance is what will blast through those bumps of distraction, overwhelming feelings and procrastination. The innate desire to write and teach full time as a way of replacing my current income  – that big carrot dangling in front of my nose is what will get me through one more day, week or month. To success. To my goal.

But dreaming and wishing and musing is all a bunch of fluff if there is no action behind it.

I learned the other night that just by speaking about my goals of teaching and the local organizations and schools I plan to contact lit a fire under my ass. Talk about it!

I have decided to open my MS Word doc’s ONLY when rewriting or crafting a rough draft of an article. Email and the internet as a whole is too tempting for me if opened in a tab at my bottom toolbar. Set up blinders to focus and blast away distractions!

The technical issue I’m having that is holding back my next steps for my young writers studio is the time to figure out adding a Paypal button to my writelikeCRAZY blog for easier payment of tuitions.My husband, with his knowledge of all things techy, said to ask if I needed help. Well, I asked, I delegated. Get more info to get past the procrastination (or delegate a task you don’t want to do!)

Please share your bumps and how you’ll use perseverance to get over or around them!


Filed under Advice, emotion, goals, Organization, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing, procrastination, writers block

To Tweet or Not to Tweet…


I caved and joined the birds of  a feather on Twitter.

Why? Because my favorite thing about Facebook is coming up with new witty ways to claim my status on “What’s on your mind?” And that’s all Twitter is – updating your status.

But how cool is it that you can connect with other tweets across the globe even faster than blogging or Facebook? I’ve already (since about 36 hours ago) got in touch with a local author I met last year who has a new release out in April (Arnie Bernstein will be touring here soon!) and other freelance writers, editors, artists and web designers. All anxious to promote their projects and just as willing to guest blog. This all helps me by giving my blog excellent content without the actual brainstorming and writing. Making my fiction writing time more productive.

Speaking of fiction, come back tomorrow for a link to my first published short story: Obsession on coloredchalk.com

So, will you be tweeting soon? Find me by name or search “mjcwriter”


Filed under Author Interviews, Get Published, Platform/Marketing