Writers Giveaway

Writers Giveaway
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Monday, February 17, 2020

20 Reasons Why Writing Your Book Is Not Being Selfish

Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort. Kudos to the writer who takes on such an endeavor. But what if other people call you selfish? What if you secretly feel that you really are being selfish? How do you step out of the shame and into your book?

Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort. Kudos to the writer who takes on such an endeavor.  But what if other people call you selfish? What if you secretly feel that you really are being selfish? How do you step out of the shame and into your book?

What Does Selfish Even Mean, Anyway?

First of all, let’s define the word “selfish.”

Selfish - (adj.)
  1. Lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
  2. Concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself; seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.
  3. Arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others.
So if you make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and you don’t share, that’s being greedy and selfish. If you go to the movies by yourself when your children are home alone because you simply want to get away from them even though you know it’s a movie they might enjoy, that just might be selfish. But writing?

What Does It Take to Write a Book?

Writing a book takes a great idea and a lot of energy, effort, and persistence. Yes, it takes TIME to write your first draft. It takes time to revise it again and again and again. And again.

It’s a long process. Nothing in the publishing industry is fast. Well, maybe self-publishing -- in comparison. But even that takes time. I mean, you still have to write the book, and hopefully have it professionally edited.

Why would someone think that writing a book was being selfish in the first place? Well, it takes a LOT OF TIME. And time is one thing that most people are short on.

When you get into the story, the plot, and the characters, it starts to take over your life to a degree. You can write and block everyone else out. You might not even stop for mealtime. Or to go to the bathroom. Until absolutely necessary.

That means that you might not notice your dog needing to go out. Or that your kids need dinner. You might not even hear the phone ring.

But does that mean you’re being selfish?

I say, “No.”

It means that you are a writer. That you are putting your butt in a chair and getting words on paper. It means that you understand that writing a back takes a certain amount of sacrifices because it takes effort and time.

If you need help to describe to others about the project you're working on, then create a one-sentence pitch to help you keep it succinct.

How to Overcome Selfish Thinking

Surely you understand by the time you reach chapter 20 that writing is no easy task. That you have to be alone to get the job done.

You have to go to the bathroom - alone - to get the job done too, but that doesn’t mean you’re being selfish. Heck, most moms have kids follow them to the bathroom til they hit double digits! But it doesn’t have to be that way. You CAN go in and lock the door and let them cry for 2 minutes. They won’t die from crying. And you won’t have a mental breakdown by going to the bathroom by yourself.

But if you have a story inside your soul that needs to get out, you just might have a mental breakdown if you don’t take the time needed to do it.

And it takes a lot of alone time.

Spending time alone does not mean that you’re being selfish.

Here are a few tips to help you understand why writing your book is not being selfish. And how to think about it so that you don’t feel bad about it.
  1. Teach those around you how to respect your time.
  2. Explain to them that writing a book is a huge endeavor.
  3. Set boundaries and block out certain times each week, if possible, to get the writing done so that your concern for the welfare of your loved ones doesn’t go by the wayside.
  4. Be patient.
  5. Self-care is love and love is not selfish.
  6. Writing a book serves the world and can help hundreds of people.
  7. Writing is a balancing act. Be proud of your juggling skills.
  8. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  9. Don’t wait until every single need of every member of your family is taken care of before you sit down to write. Multitask.
  10. Celebrate every small win. Do something nice for your family every time you finish a chapter. Every time you figure out a plot twist.
  11. Make a plan together as a family to celebrate in a big way when you get the first draft finished. Go play mini-golf or go to the movies.
  12. Writing isn’t the problem. Thinking that it’s selfish is. Writing isn’t selfish. You are serving others. Your words matter. People need to hear your stories.
  13. Don’t waste time on excuses.
  14. Tell yourself you are a writer. Tell your family you are a writer. Even if you’re a beginner and it’s your very first manuscript.
  15. It’s okay to spend time on things that matter to you. It’s okay for others to have a little extra alone time.
  16. Writing helps you find your purpose and live life to the fullest. That is not selfish.
  17. Take breaks.
  18. Remember to eat and sleep.
  19. You are not alone.
  20. You are a writer and that is amazing.
Now that you’ve stepped into writing your book and you don’t feel selfish about it, what does your project look like, anyway? I’d love to know!

Share in the comments below and let me know how you cope with finding time to write.

Outline Your Novel With a Simple Plot

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Acronyms and Abbreviations for Popular Terms Used by Writers

This list of seemingly random letters PB, MG, ALA, WIP, OP, RWA, ISBN, and SCBWI might be recognizable by some authors, but enough to make other writers’ heads spin.

I have compiled a list of common abbreviations that most writers use at least some of the time. Regardless of how many you’ve heard of before or how many you use on a regular basis, this list can come in handy.

Parts of Speech

N - noun
V - verb
ADJ - adjective
ADV - adverb


JUV - juvenile
PB - picture book
CB - chapter book
MG - middle grade
YA - young adult
NA - new adult


BIO - biography
CONT or CR - contemporary or contemporary realistic
DYS - dystopian
F & SF - fantasy and science fiction
FF - flash fiction
FIC - fiction
FN - fantasy
GN - graphic novel
HR - horror
NF - nonfiction
PAR - paranormal
PNR - paranormal romance
RO - romance
SCIFI - science fiction
SFR - science fiction romance
SP - speculative fiction
SUSP - suspense/thriller
UF - urban fantasy
UR - urban
UT - utopian


ABA - American Booksellers Association
ALA - American Library Association
AWP - Association of Writers and Writing Programs
MWA - Mystery Writers of America
NAIWE - National Association of Individual Writers and Editors
NANOWRIMO - National Novel Writing Month
RWA - Romance Writers of America
SCBWI - Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
SFFWA - Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
WD - Writer’s Digest
WWR - Writers Who Run

Manuscript, Story, and Editing Terms

AN - antagonist
BS - back story
CH - chapter
GMC - goals, motivations, and conflict
HEA - happily ever after
ILLO - illustration
LI - love interest
MC - main character
MS/MSS - manuscript(s)
PH - plot hole
PLI - primary love interest
POV - point of view
PP - pages
SC - scene
WC - word choice
WC - word count
WIP - work in progress

Other Writing Terms

AGT - agent
ARC - advanced reader copy
BIC - butt in chair
CP - critique partner
R&R - revise and resubmit

Other Bookish Terms

APS - Associated Press Stylebook
HC - hardcover
ISBN - international standard book number
OP - out of print
PB - paperback
POD - print on demand
POP - pay on publication
POS - prior owner signature
RRP - recommended retail price
SASE - self-addressed stamped envelope
TPB - trade paperback

That’s all I’ve got for you. But if you want even more, check out Kathy Stenemann's abbreviations or this list of understanding rare books with Abebooks.

What are some of your favorite ones? Is there one you use all the time that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Outline Your Novel With a Simple Plot

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Monday, December 30, 2019

Plot Summary of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is a classic holiday tale by Charles Dickens. Its themes include love, change, and forgiveness. Quite possibly the most-quoted line in this work of literature is one of the most quoted lines in all of the greats across multiple decades. "God bless us, everyone!"

I became enamored with this story after watching the movie, The Man Who Invented Christmas, released in 2017. It's the story of how Dickens came up with the idea for the story and the trials he went through to make it come to life. Of course, I always love watching all the movies about authors and their lives.

Plot Summary of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol

So, what are the five main plot points of A Christmas Carol? Let's dive in...

The Signup

The first main plot point is when Scrooge is visited by the first ghost, the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley, who died 7 years prior. Marley's ghost is cursed with chains of greed as he wanders the Earth. He warns Ebenezer that if he doesn't listen to the ghosts who will visit him during the night, that Scrooge will have a similar curse with chains much heavier, built from years of greed and selfishness. This warning is basically an invitation to change. If Marley hadn't appeared to Scrooge, there would be no story.

The Gunshot

The journey really begins when the first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to visit scenes of his childhood Christmases.

The Halfway Point

Scrooge's goal is to get through the night so he can wake up and go back to work, ending the nightmare. Throughout the story, his goal changes and he wants to end the nightmare and the effects of his cursed lot in life if he doesn't change his ways.

The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to see home and family of his overworked and underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit. Scrooge witnesses Tiny Tim, who will die unless the course of events change.

The Wall

Scrooge reaches his lowest point when the silent ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Ebenezer a time in the future where nobody is mourning over his own death. The only people in attendance are businessmen who are promised lunch for doing so. Scrooge's grave is neglected and he also sees the tenderness of the Cratchit family mourning over the death of Tiny Tim.

The Finish Line

The story ends with Scrooge waking on Christmas morning as a changed man. He sends a turkey to the Cratchit family, gives Bob a raise, and becomes a second father-figure to Tiny Tim.

Wouldn't it be nice if human character could change this drastically so easily? Minus all the ghosts?

Are you a Dickens fan? Do you love "A Christmas Carol"? Do you own a copy? What's your favorite movie rendition of this popular story? Share your thoughts here.

Outline Your Own Novel with the 5 Main Plot Points

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Plot Summary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Let’s flashback to the 80’s. Ferris Bueller is a 1986 classic. Here’s the basic plot summary:

Ferris Bueller loves to skip class because he always gets away with it. It’s his senior year and he wants to ditch one last time. This time, he fakes being sick and gets his best friend, Cameron, who actually is sick, to join him, along with his girlfriend, Sloane. Hot on their heels is Principal Rooney trying to catch him in the act.

Here are the 5 main plot points.

The Signup

Ferris Bueller convinces his parents that he’s sick.

The Gunshot

His best friend, Cameron, who actually is sick, comes over in his car. Ferris convinces Cameron to get the Ferrari and then they pick up Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane, from school.

The Halfway Point

The threesome enjoys a day out in the city: fancy restaurant, a baseball game, and more.

The Wall

They realize the Ferrari got too many miles added to it and in an effort to roll the miles backward, they end up crashing the car. Cameron is beside himself and Ferris feels bad about making his friend feel bad.

The Finish Line

Ferris just barely runs back home and jumps in the bed right before his parents get to his bedroom. Of course, there are tons of things that happened that I left out, but these are the five main plot points, the major turning points in the story.

Plotting doesn’t have to be super complicated. Start off by identifying your own five plot points and pick a scene to write.

What's your favorite part about this movie? Favorite quote? Share your comment here.

Check out the plot summary of A Christmas Carol for more entries in the Plot Arc Library.

Outline Your Novel With a Simple Plot

Keep on keepin' on...


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Three Things Every Writer is Grateful For

Books, books, and more books. Sure, we all love books, but what specifically is every single writer grateful for? Something to write WITH, something to write ON, and someone to read what we have written. Thanksgiving is the time we celebrate the things we’re grateful for.

Thanksgiving is when we take an extra moment to actually give thanks. I thank God for my family, my friends, my fellow writers, my readers, my home, my job, my health, my talents and abilities, and so much more.

As a writer, I’d like to give just a little more thanks today for a few specifics.

Thankful for Writing Utensils

I love me a good ballpoint pen and mechanical pencil. Most writers I know tend to collect lots of writing instruments.

Come to think of it, when I was a child, I had a pen and pencil collection. I collected all the cool, unique pens and pencils that came my way. I had a pen encased in purple plastic. At the end of the pen, it spelled the word LOVE in cursive. I had a short, stubby pen that was clear with colored balls on the inside. It wrote in pink ink. I kept my Piedmont pencil from my 3rd-grade field trip to the airport. That airline no longer flies the skies. I had a fuzzy red pencil with colored stars on it. I had an entire pencil box full of fun writing instruments.

Today, my favorite pen and pencil are from CROSS. Of course, I’ll write with just about anything. Colored pencils, crayons, blood, keyboard, voice, etc. For without a way to capture our ideas, we couldn’t be writers.

Grateful for All Kinds of Paper

Paper has been around for centuries in a variety of formats. Papyrus. Leaves. Gold plates. Bark. Cave walls. Sand. Skin. Screens. Without paper, or an electronic device with a screen, our pencils would be kind of pointless. (Don’t you love the pun?) My preferred canvas is a journal. Though I’ve written many, many words on napkins, cereal boxes, envelopes, bookmarks, permission forms, and lots and lots of sticky notes. Then again, sticky notes come in as a close second to journals.

Without Readers, Writers Would Starve

The whole point of writing isn’t to fancy how we turn a phrase or languish in the fluidity of our words. The point is to share a message. Our ideas. With others. We want someone to listen to us. Maybe even argue with us. We tell stories, persuade outcomes, educate, entertain, inspire, and uplift. Without readers, we would die. Thankfully, the thirst for knowledge and entertainment isn’t going anywhere.

Today, I want to thank YOU for being one of my loyal readers. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for opening my emails. Thank you for comments there as well. Thank you for interacting with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you for being a part of my online world. Thank you for listening and caring. Thank you for being YOU.

One day, I’ll actually have a book to share with you - not just my blog. But until that day comes, I’ll just keep on keepin’ on and continue to write. And of course, AFTER that day comes, I will also continue to write.

With that, I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving full of family, friends, love, and laughter. Full of good food, fun, and all the writing utensils, paper, and readers you could ever hope for.

Keep on keepin’ on…

What’s your favorite pen or pencil? Did you collect them when you were younger? What’s something else you’re thankful for as a writer? Share your comment here.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Writers Who Run Monthly Giveaway Contest


Awesome Author Treasure Box

Many writers struggle with creativity, productivity, confidence, and so much more. I'm hoping my brand new contest for writers will help one lucky winner each month to combat those issues.

free giveaway contests for writers and authors

What's Included

Enter the #WritersWhoRun Monthly Giveaway Contest for a chance to win the Awesome Author Treasure Box mailed straight to your home, which includes:

  • a journal
  • pens
  • a bookmark
  • a mug
  • Dove chocolates
  • a scented candle
  • a framed art print of the "10 Commandments for the Writer"

Confident Writer Resource Bundle

All contestants can also get the Confident Writer Resource Bundle of 4 printable PDFs to help you become a more confident and productive writer. The more you share with others, the higher your chances of winning the Awesome Author Treasure Box.

To unlock the Confident Writer Resource Bundle, all you have to do is get 150 points, and you get 50 automatically just from entering! The Resource Bundle includes the following downloads:
  • Surprising Writer Mistakes TIP SHEET
  • Power Up Your Focus WRITING WORKOUT
  • Persistence to Publication CHECKLIST
  • Writer's Block Breakthrough GUIDE

Share For More Chances to Win

I'll choose a brand new winner every month, beginning in October 2019. Trick or treat!

For every referral who enters the contest from your unique personal invite link, you'll get an additional 25 points, so that's your incentive to keep sharing on your favorite social media channels each and every month.

I can't wait to mail out the very first prize box! Good luck!


Learn How to Map Out a
Basic Plot For Your Own Novel

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Friday, August 23, 2019

You Know You're a Writer (Who Runs) [9 of 10]

Patience, My Friend, is a Virtue

I like to think that everyone has a passion. Maybe they don't. I don't know what the ratio is for those who have a passion vs. those who simply have a hobby, but a passion is something that drives you. It can often become an obsession. It's not passive. A hobby is for relaxation.

I am passionate about writing - and you likely are too. I'm also passionate about running, but writing definitely takes a front seat there. If you like writing and/or running, you'll love today's quotes.

You know you're a runner when running 5 miles is more fun than standing in line.

You know you're a writer when revising is more fun than waiting in line.

Running 5 Miles in More Fun than Standing in Line

You know you're a runner when you have more patience running for over an hour than you do standing in line at the store for 5 minutes.

You could run in place to pass the time. Or start planning next month's workout sessions.

Or you could just be patient like a normal human being.

Revising is More Fun than Waiting in Line

You know you're a writer when you have more patience re-writing the same paragraph for an hour than you do waiting in line at the bank for 5 minutes.

You could get out your notebook and start jotting down ideas for your next story. Or write down physical descriptions of everyone else standing in line and let your mind wander about where they came from and where they're headed. Let your mind wander.

So, the next time you have five spare minutes, take a moment to write something. Or just pretend you're still waiting in line.

Until next time, keep on keepin' on!

You Know You're a Writer [1 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [1 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [2 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [2 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [3 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [3 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [4 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [4 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [5 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [5 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [6 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [6 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [7 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [7 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [8 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [8 of 10]


Friday, August 16, 2019

You Know You're a Writer Who Runs [8 of 10]

When Half the Luggage is Packed Before You Actually Start Packing for Your Trip

When I realized that the only time I ever traveled was for running events, I knew I was a runner. I never said I was fast or rail-thin, but I do love to race! The goal of running is to feel good. Sometimes, it's to get a new PR. Other times, it's simply to get up and move, which consequently always makes me feel good.

Traveling for a 10k Race

You know you're a runner when your running clothes and shoes take up half your suitcase on trips!

One of my favorite races (aside from charity races that promote literacy) is the Cooper River Bridge Run - the largest 10k foot race this side of the Mississippi.

I've even traveled 12 hours in a car just to participate in an 8-mile trail race. We only stayed for 2 to 3 nights. Of course, I stayed with my sister, but my bags were packed with running gear! LOL.

Heading to a Retreat or a Weekend Writing Conference

You know you're a writer when your books, notebooks, and laptop take up [the other] half of your suitcase on trips!

Yes, we writers love to travel for races and writing events. It's a wonder we have any room left in our luggage for regular clothes!

I imagine the day when I'll have a whole BOX full of books to sell at a conference! Until then, I'll keep going to conferences and retreats. Heck, even after that day comes, I'll still continue attending writing retreats and conferences.

SOOO... the next time you travel, be sure to pack your bags (with running gear and writing tools). And try to save a little room for a pair of jeans and your toiletries.

Until next time...

Keep on keepin' on!

You Know You're a Writer [1 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [1 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [2 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [2 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [3 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [3 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [4 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [4 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [5 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [5 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [6 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [6 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [7 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [7 of 10]



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