Writing on Life

When writing a novel, the entire outside world stops. That’s the way my brain works. I can’t say I am introverted or extroverted. I am both at different times. I’s hard to find balance.

Much of my writing evolves from my life experiences. Spending weeks into years in front of the computer writing narrows my focus. That’s a good thing for my writing.

However, to a degree, living stops. I don’t go out to socialize much. I don’t play games. I don’t get much work done outside of writing. I don’t go to movies. Hell, I don’t even watch television.

If it wasn’t for date night and the need to consume food, I’d never go out to eat or go to the grocery store.

But I get stories written.

The flip side to that is spending time living life offers me much to write about. People I meet, places I visit all have a way of getting integrated into my writing. Life experiences become the ingredients of my writing.

My two favorite quotes on writing and life:

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
― Gustave Flaubert
“In order to write about life first you must live it.”
― Ernest Hemingway

The ideas expressed in the quotes seem on the surface to be in opposition, yet apply to me. They’re understandable.

I’m not so regular and orderly, but I like writing about those things that are beyond the scope of my own comfort zone in living. Granted, I have been known to live a wild and crazy life, but even I have limits. My books know no limits. My characters do things and get involved in ways I never could…in real life.

The old cliché, “Write what you know” comes home to me each time I take my seat at my desk. Having lived a full life and taking long breaks from writing to live life has fed me and continues to feed me.

I am obsessed with life. When I am living life, and not writing, I am driving all over the state, meeting new people from all walks of life and visiting places I never knew existed. Hosting lavish parties with four-hundred guests and attending events with thousands. Life is terrible, grand, scary, comfortable, fascinating, exciting, horrific, and wonderful.

There is nothing dull about the life I live.

Now, on to writing.

I recently participated in the “Give Me Five” podcast with Jimmy McCurry, Greg and Rob. They review all sorts of things: movies, TV shows, games, books, places…all of those things that keep us entertained with living. I will let you know when the podcast airs. They asked me some questions and let me talk about writing, my book, Naked Alliances, and list my five favorites. I chose five favorite literary influences. I will keep you informed when the podcast goes live.

Ten Qualities of an Authorpreneur and How to Become One

As authors, we’ve all been told we have to run our authorship like a business. The French word “preneur” means taker; one who takesEntrepreneurship is the process of starting a business or other organization. The entrepreneur develops a business model, acquires the human and other required resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for being an author!

A fairly new buzz word in the writing world is “authorpreneur”. What does being an entrepreneur have to do with being an author?

A Gallup study of 1000 entrepreneurs and published by Forbes listed the ten qualities of highly successful business entrepreneurs. I’ve considered this list and came up with with some ways authors and business leaders parallel and what you can do to think and act like an entrepreneur. The authorpreneur is an entrepreneur in the writing world.

  1. Business Focus: They base decisions on the potential to turn a profit. Whether you are writing for a living or as a hobby, you need book sales to establish a readership.
  2. Confidence: They know themselves well and can read others. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. Seek feedback. Do you write best in present tense, past tense? Do you work best with an outline? Can writing out character profiles help you with character development? Are you networking to find your audience?
  3. Creative Thinker: They know how to turn an existing project or idea into something even better. Character falling flat? Give them flaws, give them a relationship. How do they handle stress? Explore them deeply. Setting not working for a story? Tweak it. Change it. Kick up the pace, twist a plot. Trust your instincts.
  4. Delegator: They don’t try to do it all. Know who you can depend on. Have you beta read for people? Have they beta read for you? Who participates in blog tours? Do you have an editor you can trust? Is there a proofreader who is particularly adept? If your answer to any of these questions is no, none, or I don’t know, find your resources and delegate!
  5. Determination: They battle their way through difficult obstacles. When you hit a snag do you give up or make a change? Flexibility is key. The only thing constant in life is change.
  6. Independent: They will do whatever it takes to succeed in the business. Never give up. When people scoff at your decision to write, ignore them. Not everyone feels your passion like you do. Share it with those who do.
  7. Knowledge-Seeker: They constantly hunt down information that will help them keep the business growing. Read and read some more. Read fiction, read craft books, read reputable blogs. Write poetry, short stories, novellas, novels. Keep writing. Keep practicing. Keep learning.
  8. Promoter: They do the best job as spokesperson for the business. Become a shameless self-promoter (without becoming obnoxious). Tap all the resources you can, book signings, libraries, writer symposiums, Twitter, Facebook, the blogging community. Don’t have time for them all…pick one or two and be relentless.
  9. Relationship-Builder: They have high social intelligence and an ability to build relationships that aid their firm’s growth. Project a positive business image. You have but a passing moment to make a positive and memorable impression on people with whom you intend to do business. Collaborate when you can, and when you can’t, make certain to offer a professional explanation.
  10. Risk-Taker: They have good instincts when it comes to managing high-risk situations. Entrepreneurs exist to defy conventional wisdom. They know when to break the rules.1421256703-7-traits-successful-entrepreneurs DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?