Declare your Independence

Declare your Independence with the Think / Pro Planner

Available Now!

The Think / Pro planner with the beautiful cover  of flowers is Live on Amazon.

8 x 10 size, about a 1/2 inch, very lightweight.
Here’s the raison d’ etre.

Want to be published?  Think / Pro can help.

Think / Pro, a Planner for Writers, available now

Do you start stories but never complete them?  Do you wait on your muse while she hides behind trees and in caves?

Do you know how to write, but the mountainous novel seems insurmountable, with too many words and too few days?

Do you keep telling yourself “Carpe Diem”, but days speed by before you grab several hours to write?

Time to change “Seize the Day” into “Seize the Dream.”  For success, you need to Think/Pro.  This planner can help.

The Weekly Spread

A two-page week keeps you focused on three tasks, with room to record your day-by-day focus as well as a word count tracker for daily and accumulating totals.  The Progress Meter, divided into writing stages and blocks for each ten percent of that stage, is a visual representation of your growing achievement in reaching your writing goal.

While daily word counts are important, I now advise writers to take one day off each week.  Reserve that day for planning as well as completing a creativity exercise.  On a back page is a list of 13 exercises to choose from.  Reminders of the four basic Healthy Habits (walking, water intake, sunshine, and diet) offer daily fill-ins for those who like habit trackers.

Each week also showcases an inspirational quotation from a famous writer.

Analyze your Progress with Reviews and Previews

In addition to the weekly spread are Monthly Reviews & Previews and Seasonal & Yearly Planning pages.  The planner begins with a brief look at your yearly goals, on the following page.

The Monthly Review has a Productivity Tracker and a Progress Meter as well as places to jot down Business Contacts and Expenses.  Once tax time arrives, you will have compiled the necessary information in one location.  And a Tax Tips for Writers lists on a back page the expenses you can record.

In planning, we sometimes neglect to consider obligations beyond our goals and objectives.  On the Previews is a reminder of those commitments that keep us sane.

Seasonal Previews ask you to polish the nuts and bolts of your projected words per week and sharpen up the time remaining before your deadline.  All the Reviews ask you to record your victories and consider your challenges.

The purpose of any planner is to keep us on track as well as to give us a look ahead.  In this fast-paced world, it helps to have a physical reminder, one that is not dependent on the five and more tap-clicks that it takes to access the electronic calendar on a smartphone.

Grab a pen and this planner, and quickly jot down reminders and notes.  As the Think/Pro planner is undated, you can start at any time of the year.

Purchase here!

Think like a Pro: Lesson 3 C: Best Plot Method

The Best Plot Method

When plot methods abound, how do newbie writers know what the best plot method is?

How do newbie writers learn anything?

Drill and practice?  The first million words are simply to be thrown away?  Surely not.

To transform from hobby writer to professional writer, we have to teach ourselves.  We have to learn so many things.  Learning the best plot method for novels is just one step in the process.

Here are the three big questions that newbies ask ~

How do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?  How do we change the mindset that our writing is for escape or entertainment?  If our goal is professional writer, how do we become a disciplined Pro?

In our long “Winter of Discontent” with our writing, we need to follow the example of the crocus:  emerging from frozen snow to new life.

To help newbie writers achieve that goal, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  Like a two-hour seminar, these lessons will seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.  Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea.  This One Latin Phrase means “no days without lines (writing)”.

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

 

Think like a Pro: Lesson 3 B :: 4 of 5 Plot Methods

Plot Methods:  4 of 5 Models or Patterns

Adequate for Short Stories.  Inadequate for Novels.

Writers often talk about this plot method or that one.  All have a purpose and are seemingly interchangeable.  Plotters like to sift through the methods while Pantsters ignore them completely.

But all plot methods are not the same.  And the mark of a professional writer is to know the differences among the plot methods and carefully select the best fit for the story waiting to be told.

How does a hobby writer learn to think like a pro?  How does a hobby writer learn the ins and outs of the nuts and bolts of the writing profession?

More importantly, how do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?

Continuing the third lesson, Plot It, we look at 4 of the 5 Plot Methods.

To help newbie writers become professionals, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  Like a morning seminar, these lessons seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.  Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea.  This One Latin Phrase means “no days without lines (writing)”.

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

 

Last on the Train Wreck

Cassie Sharp says it better than anyone else can:

Open Letter to Faleena Hopkins

And Jessica Fry has a wonderful response:

It’s sad, really.

For everyone.

The indie author.

The font creator.  He was on vacation, and now he has to deal with this as soon as he returns home.  He thought he had protected himself.  After all, the licensing agreement for his original font states that the font cannot be trademarked.

The other indie authors who have been writing and writing, who have books using “cocky” and have published these books long before that indie author (who shall remain nameless) did and have now been threatened by her with Cease and Desist letters.

The other indie authors, frightened by the C & D, who have taken down their books and lost potential sales.

The other indie authors, frightened by the C & D, who burned their swag for their books and are now realizing that the first indie author’s trademark claim will not hold up.

More indie authors who had their books and reviews taken down by Amazon.  In taking down the books, Amazon thought it was in compliance with an official trademark.

Amazon, which has now discovered that it was NOT in compliance.  The trademark issue is not resolved since the trademark could 1] not be issued on the single word “cocky” and 2] not be issued on a font that was not original to the indie author who trademarked “cocky” in that font.  (See the font creator comment above)

Still more indie authors who have weighed in with reasonable logic.

And who are now being threatened with bad reviews by the indie author’s readers.

The indie authors who have now hesitated in their creative process.

I think the only people who must be celebrating are the vultures who thrive on train wrecks . . .

And the trad publishing world, eager to see brakes being applied in the indie publishing world.

My advice:

1.  Write the best book possible.

2.  Know the vultures are out there.  Know what you can and cannot do to combat the vultures.  Even if you try to stop them, they will still be out there, swirling around, seeking who they may devour.

3.  Know the Biz itself has problems and always will.  Nothing is perfect.

4.  Be kind to your readers and your fellow authors who are also struggling.

5.  Consult with other pros–not family, not friends, not readers–before you start the engine on that train.

The Train Wreck Becomes Agonizingly Slow

You have to wonder.

I mean, what happens when things become indefensible?

Flight or Fight.

That’s the two reactions.

Or as Rory Miller writes:  lizard brain, monkey brain, human brain.

Gut.  Emotion.  Logic.

Which should come into play?

“How to Destroy your Author Brand in Two Hours or Less”,  courtesy of Deena Rae.

 

More on the Slow Train Wreck

My goodness!  The train just keeps wrecking.

Romance Writers of America is now involved.

Amazon, at RWA’s request, is no longer removing books and reviews that were purported to be in violation of trademark (which is impossible, since a single word cannot be trademarked).

Here’s more on the train wreck in progress.

Victoria Strauss on SFWA’s Writers Beware blog is “Weighing In”:

https://accrispin.blogspot.com/

From Mark Whipple’s Legal Inspiration blog:

Romance Author Gets Unduly Cocky Over Registered Trademark

And Sasha White gives us 18 minutes that are well worth watching:

Slow Train Wrecks

If you haven’t heard the c*ck-up about trademarking a word (which can’t be done, unless the word is used in a non-usual sense, like Apple Computers), then here’s a brief summary, courtesy of Courtney Milan’s twitter stream.

Click here to read.

 

Think like a Pro: Lesson 3 A :: Plot It

Plot.  According to Christopher Booker in his 7 Basic Plots archetypal study, only 7 types of Plot exist.

Learning the models and patterns of various types of Plot can help newbie writers transitioning from hobby writer to pro writer.

How do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?  How do we change the mindset that our writing is for escape or entertainment?  If our goal is professional writer, how do we become a disciplined Pro?  The third lesson is that Models and Patterns, especially for Plot structures, help us.

In our long “Winter of Discontent” with our writing, we need to follow the example of the crocus:  emerging from frozen snow to new life.

To help newbie writers achieve that goal, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  These lessons may seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.   Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea.  That One Latin Phrase means “no days without lines”.

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

 

 

More: 3 Bedtime Prayers

Now I lay me down to sleep.

The Jewish Guardian Angel Prayer.

The little Hand of God Prayer, adapted from the Five Finger Prayer.

Three little bedtime prayers that can improve our own prayer lives.

Over at Writers Ink Books, http://writersinkbooks.com/more-3-bedtime/