Why do you use a pen name? I get this question all the time. New writers ask this all the time too. I’ll tell you my story, but first let’s talk about the reasons a writer might choose to use a pen name. Then we’ll talk about how to choose one right for you. Why use a pen name? There are many reasons to have a pen name. Each reason is unique to the person. My reason is not one I’ve heard about from any other person. More on that in a bit.
I found this beautiful book called The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. That began this whole fascination with stories about books and libraries. Irene is the main character, and she works for The Library–a place between alternate versions of Earth. There are numerous versions of Earth, most of which contain the usual famous authors throughout time, but sometimes in some versions of Earth, writers like Shakespeare, for example, writes an extra play. These works unique to that world are very valuable, as you might imagine. Irene’s job as a Librarian for The Library is to collect these unique books, which strengthens the Libraries ties to that version of Earth. But it is never as simple as a smash and grab. No. There are Dragons and Fae which get in her way. All the while, the mortal humans are none the wiser. Cogman tells the stories quite well. I just finished book 5. Normally, I don’t read past book 1 or maybe 2 of a series. I tire of series books easily. Cogman is the exception and has captured my heart with her stories. And I want to learn how she does it! more...
I missed my Friday post deadline because I went on vacation. My family and I drove down to see family that just moved to North Padre Island. It was a strange vacation with masks and distance. The kids did great wearing their masks everywhere. The family we went to see is family we’ve already been in contact with several times since my step dad passed away in May. My niece and brother in law taught us how to surf and boogie board. The kids loved the boogie boarding more than the surfing. My sister is more of the surfer. I just enjoyed the sun and the company. We also learned what a Blue flag at the beach means: Marine life. In our case…Jellyfish! I got stung 3 times. My sister and her kids got stung too. They don’t feel very good. May I recommend if there is ever a blue flag at the beach, go another day!
I saw that an Instagram friend of mine was doing a 90 Days to Your Novel challenge thing, based on this book. I was intrigued. I mean, who wouldn't want to write a whole novel in 90 days? Can you really do that? Would it be any good? I know there are indie authors out there that crank out 4-5 novels a year. Something I've learned in the last year is that consistency and frequency really help when it comes to growing a following. For example, I started this blog in August 2016. Then, I decided to start grad school to become a librarian. So, from June 2017-Aug 2019 while I was in school and working full time as a teacher, I posted infrequently. Since August, I have (for the most part) posted every Friday. The number of followers since then has nearly doubled and views on the website are way up. I expect by the end of 2020 the views will more than double from last year. BUT that is not nearly important to me as quality content. I try to be consistent. But sometimes I've got stuff going on in my life (my MIL and my Stepdad passed away in the last 9 months) that prevent me from writing quality content for you, so I skip a week or two. Maybe that hurts the SEO, but I refuse to put junk out there attached to my name.
I’m almost at a loss for words right now. For the last few days/weeks/months all my time after work has been on this project. One of the major things I set up was a Writer’s Resources Vault for people who get the book and sign up for the blog with their email address, they can access a vault full of resources I mentioned in the book. Such as these documents that I’ve created…
Today is the day! You get to see the cover of my new book! I can't wait any longer, so here it is!
Lots of people have talked about the mental toll this pandemic quarantine is taking on them. It has been pretty brutal on most everybody. I'm not going to talk about that though because I can't add anything to the conversation that hasn't already been said. I will however, talk about the physical toll this pandemic has taken on me and probably many others.
Sarah Rhea Werner released a podcast about her creative process. That is something I've touched on but not completely, so I thought I'd share my process to see if perhaps this might help you discover a process that can help you.
Finding a critique group that is a good fit for you is HARD! You might want to create your own group. But where do you start? I have it all laid our for you here in this post!
For beginning writers, one of the most difficult things to do is to finish the story they'd started. There is always another story that promises to be better. But that creates a big problem for writers.