Tuesday, December 22, 2009


For the next several posts we are going to look one of the most effect ways to build a platform. 

What is a platform?

It is something that you must have to sell your book, or your work to major periodicals—that is unless your last name is Roberts, Grissham, or King. 

For instance, if you were in a crowded mall, so crowded that no one could move. A person thirty yards in front of you wouldn’t be able to see you. But if you got a ladder and climbed up to the top rung, shouted, and waved your hands above your head, everyone could see you. 

That is a platform. It is your visibility to the people who might purchase your work. And these days that is the first question out of editors and agents mouths, “What’s their platform.”

Why do they ask that?

Because they expect you to not only write, but market your work as well. Gone are the days of creating, getting accepted for publication, and then creating again. Now we must create, get accepted, create buzz for our project, sell our project, then create again. And the best way to do that is public speaking.

I hear you groaning. 

It really isn’t that bad. In fact, I’m writing a how-to book on public speaking for writers and in this blog I will highlight some of those ideas. 

So get ready to start on that platform.

NEXT UP: What kind of Speaker are you?

Saturday, November 28, 2009


During one of my speaking engagements where I encouraged my audience to start blogging. A lady raised her hand and asked, "Does anyone really read them?"

I do.

One has to be discerning, realizing that just because it is written doesn't mean it is necessarily true or 100% accurate. However, a lot of information can be gleaned from other people's experiences. Travel blogs, gardening blogs, cooking blogs, writing blogs, and many other how-to blogs are great tools. Devotion blogs and humor blogs are good for the soul. Then there are the ranting, political, blogs. I avoid them like the plague. But there are those who get energy from them.

This morning I read an email from a person named Shelia. She found this blog via a search engine and featured it in hers. Her blog is about gardening and since I use nature to describe different writing techniques, Daydreaming on Paper came up.

As a courtesy I would like my readers to check out her site: http://garden-planters.com/
They have some really great stuff.

Now, my question is this, do you read blogs? Do you have a blog? Looking forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Remember a time when the lights went out during a stormy night? The glow from a candle flame is a welcomed sight. It illuminates the room and helps you find your way. A fire in the hearth chases away the chill. Watching the colorful, dancing blaze is mesmerizing and gives the audience a cozy feel. The first thing we notice when walking into a room is the captivating blaze in a fireplace, consuming wood and oxygen. The glow from a fire is welcomed as long as it warms and doesn't burn out of control.


You write in a blaze of inspiration. There isn’t a genre’ or a subject that you consider off-limits. You are bold and brave. Controversial subjects do not intimidate you, rather, you get energy by going where others fear to tread. You often expose lies and illuminate truth by your passionate prose. There are times that your writing settles into a warm, endearing, piece that comforts your reader. All of it depends on what is fueling you.


Glowwriters inform and challenge their readers. You are not afraid to try different styles. You are also prolific, but only when in a season of inspiration. When you enter a room, it isn’t long until your presence is greater than anyone else there. You challenge those around you to reach higher with their writing and often push them through doors they were afraid to enter. People are fuel to you. You surround yourself with them because they give you oxygen to write by discussing ideas, story-lines, and current events. 


Although you write in a passionate blaze of inspiration, you also burn out quickly. You depend on others to feed your fire, but your need for fuel often burns and consumes those around you. Your edgy writing may become caustic and your glow is lost in a damaging wildfire, burning everything and everyone in its path. Once your flame is snuffed out, it is hard to rekindle. 

Remember to glow, to illuminate without burning. Consider those around you and remember to give to them as much as they give to you.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Terra firma ~ solid earth. Think about the earth – stable, productive, resourceful, and multilayered. Treasures are hidden in those layers and people have to dig to find them. When you walk in the garden or the woods, notice the details that come from the earth– the colors, the aromas. Earth treats all of our senses. It gives us soft moss to lie on, sweet fruit to taste, purple asters to gather, the rustle of leaves in the wind, and fragrant honeysuckle on warm evenings. Earth is rich in itself and supports all life.


You bury yourself in your work. Once you sit at the computer and begin writing, you become lost in your prose. Hours may pass before you look up. Even when you take a break, words and ideas swirl in your mind compelling you to return to the keyboard and lose yourself once more to the depths of creativity.


Writerterras produce. The reason you are so prolific is that you prepare. You are an exquisite researcher because accuracy and details are important to you. You aren’t a big group type person, preferring one-on-one type encounters.  People have to earn your respect in order to be in your inner-circle. However, you are nurturing and willing to help other writers from the depths of your writing wealth.


Your strength can also be your weakness. Sometimes your writing is paralyzed by your over-preparing and fastidious attention to details.  This may make your writing tedious to your reader who is forced to wade through page after page of details, history, and description. Because of your tendency to stick with the rules, you are unwilling to take risks which may cause your writing to become stilted.

Take breaks! Even if you have to set a timer. Get up from your desk or laptop, take a short walk, breathe. Be kind to your body and mind. When you return to your work, you will see it with fresh eyes and identify any redundancy in your work. 



Saturday, September 19, 2009


Have you ever sat by a brook and watched the water flow lazily along? It sparkles and reflects as it seeks the lowest level, the path of least resistance. If there is an object in its way, it flows around. A brook is sometimes shallow, sometimes deep. When there is too much rain it overflows and floods with fury, but eventually settles back into an easy meandering around the rocks and along the banks. This is inside the writerbrook.


Writerbrooks are usually deep thinkers. The may sit for long periods of time and reflect before writing. They can easily get into the flow and write for hours. Sometimes moments of inspiration flood them and they burn the key board up with their fingers. When something blocks the flow of inspiration they may dry up for a short time. However, most likely they will write all over the place until they find a way around the obstruction and clean up the mess later.


You are able to gracefully tackle the harder subjects. Your style is conversational, easy, and deep and you always write forward, in other words, you write continually. Your readers are motivated to reflect when reading your work. When you come to a writer's block you write around it. Some of what you write you may never use, but it kept you moving.


Because you are so deep you tend to get lost in your research. You gather too many details and facts, then feel compelled to put them ALL in your piece. I suggest you use a highlighter and mark only the facts that are necessary to your story and keep your story moving forward.

You conform easily. Be sure that you stay true to yourself and not allow your "voice" (a writer's unique style) to be changed by those around you.

Don't be a "seasonal" brook that dries up for long periods of time. Write everyday, even if it is a trickle. We need to be refreshed by your words!



Thursday, September 10, 2009


Hi Everyone!

My book is published and doing good. Now there is time to get back to blogging. I have a new series idea that I’m going to start today about our “writing personality.”

What is your writing element? Are you like the breeze that blows about, moving, changing, having fun, forgetting where you are going? Are you a sparkling stream flowing, reflecting, going deeper and deeper, taking the path of least resistance? Maybe you are terra-firma, a pathway, grounded, complex, with many layers. Are you a flame, lighting the way, glowing, purifying, enlightening, blazing a path?

Each element has it’s own writing style, strengths, and weaknesses. First we will examine the “Writerfly” because that is what I am.


Picture a butterfly flitting from one flower to the next. Why doesn’t it stay on one flower? Because it has tasted it already and is ready to move on to the next. Each flower is an inspiration, a new adventure, fresh nectar.


Writerflies cannot sit too long in one spot. We get bored and need new nectar. I will work on one project but not in the same place. Each time I move, I get new inspiration. Even the walk from my office to the front porch fills my mind with fresh oxygen that sparks new ideas. From my front porch I move to the back. From there I go to the chair in my bedroom, then it is back to the office. When changing writing spots in the house no longer inspires, I go to Barnes and Nobel.

If, after a long day of flitting from one flower to another no longer works, I do something else. I may read – remember, good writers write but great writers read – take a walk, clean house, or cook my husband dinner. All the while keeping a paper and pen close by to write down all the great thoughts that fill my mind. That gives me a great jump start the next day.


Don’t berate yourself because you cannot bury yourself in a project. Your writing will always be fresh, uplifting, touching, and clear. With the starting and stopping help you with clarity because you think about what you just wrote and if it will work or not. All that exercise as you move from one spot to the other infuses your creativity with oxygen.


We writerflies are easily distracted and sometimes forget to land in a “writing spot.” Rather we land in front of a television, talking to a friend on the phone, working on a project in the garage, playing solitaire on our computer, surfing the net, or shopping. Knowing this about yourself, give yourself boundaries – no flitting away from your writing garden!

Another problem area is that while we are extremely creative, we are not good with editing. We love details as far as painting a picture with words, but we can't be bothered with boring things like using the correct tense consistently, or spelling the word correctly. And we've also been known to use there when we should have used their. So, make sure a writerterra checks your manuscript. (I'll tell you why a writerterra is the best to edit your work)

Writerflies tell such good stories that even writerterras get involved in our stories and miss our mistakes. I've found that out the hard way after TWO revisions of my book, Inspire! Even my editor missed them. So here is an editing tip: take a pen and touch each word and read it outloud. It keeps you focused, albiet boring. But this is better than the embarrassment of having a book full of mistakes. And you will save money on bookdoctors! That leaves more money for coffee at your local Barnes and Nobel the next time you fly there to create.