Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences

So many potential mistakes that costs time… . These first three articles discuss the importance of attending writers’ conferences and how to best utilize them and save time. This third article reveals two other very common mistakes to avoid in order to save even more time. Of course, I made these mistakes as well… .

writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke, Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences
Karen with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and          Jayne Ann Krentz
Learning the Craft of Fiction Writing
writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke
Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences

I studied and worked hard at learning my new craft of fiction writing. How-to books filled my shelves, and yes, I not only read them, but I studied them. There were books on

  • character development,
  • plots,
  • showing not telling,

to name just a few, along with workbooks where you can practice — and practice I did. Finally, I finished the first draft and applied for one of the few select spots in a fiction clinic with a great publisher and editor, Jeff Gerke.

The Fiction Clinic
writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero
The Journalist

This book was my baby. I spent countless hours creating a strong heroine in a field that fascinated me – journalism. That’s right, I was fascinated with journalists who covered exciting, dangerous events so I made my heroine a journalist.

Jeff asked me a simple question that changed the course of my book, Hidden Bloodlines, (and my series — The J.C. Classified Series). “Why isn’t your heroine a lawyer?” He sagely pointed out that it’s better to write what you know. As a lawyer myself, I’ve lived the life, and if my character lived what I know, she would feel “real” to the reader and have a greater impact. You want your readers to fall in love with your characters.

writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke
Scales of Justice

Jeff then asked me to tell him the entire story in a nutshell. Most writers like to tell their story and I held nothing back. My story was too complicated — there were actually two books within one and they needed to be separated. I was back to the drawing board with a heroine who was now a lawyer and a plot that needed to be simplified.

The Plotter vs. Pantser

If I were a “plotter,” a writer who creates detailed outlines prior to starting, at least the overly complicated story may have been identified prior to writing the entire manuscript. However, I am a “seat of the pants” writer where this risk is higher. I’ve attended conferences where the recommendation is to blend the two. That may work with some, but not all, and certainly not me. That’s part of the excitement for me to write — the developing story and the twists and turns of events.

How about you? Are you a “plotter,” “pantser,” or a blend of both?

Save Thyme & Avoid Common Mistakes — The Beginning

In my first article, Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes, I discussed the importance of attending writers’ conferences and a common newbie mistake — pitching a book that was not written. This next article will focus on the beginning — the beginning of your book, your writing career, and essential tools of the trade.

Save Thyme & Avoid Common Mistakes — The Beginning

If you don’t take into consideration the two years my story brewed in my mind, this first writers conference was my beginning. If you can get into a clinic at a writers’ conference, I highly recommend it. It’s intense, and you get one-on-one assistance with an experienced writer, agent, editor… . This input is invaluable.

Because your application for a clinic typically includes the first 15 pages, you want to make sure those 15 pages are the absolute best they can be. Write, rewrite, and write again. Have others read it and see if you have a writer friend who can also give you input (more on writers’ groups and critique groups later). When you think it’s there, set it aside for as long as possible (I prefer a week) so that you see it with fresh eyes, and read it out loud. It’s amazing what your ears catch that your eyes miss.

CCWC: Estes Rock Banner 2016

Although my manuscript was not written, I did write the first 15 pages to apply to a beginners fiction clinic that was team taught by two well-known authors. The beginning is always critical to capture your audience, whether it’s an agent, publisher or your reader. I realized during this particular clinic that I was chosen not because of my story (the first 15 pages did not reveal much), but because of the mistakes I made in the beginning. Nothing I had grabbed my reader — not the title nor the first sentence, first paragraph, or first page. Nada.

supernatural, fog, night, writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles
The Supernatural – Fact or Fiction? Night Fog …

This first clinic got my act together. At the start of this clinic, we went around the room reading our first sentences. The rule — NEVER begin a book with the weather. Most of us did. Think about how you choose a book, whether it’s your next library choice or book to buy.

Most people:
  • Check the title. Does it sound interesting?
  • Read the back cover copy. Still interested?
  • Open the book to the first page and read the first sentence. Still interested?
  • Read the first paragraph, and maybe even the first page. Getting it?
Writers’ Tools
writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles
The Author Toolbox

 

This first conference also gave me a glimpse into what type of tools of the trade would make my life easier. Instead of sharing what I learned here, I recommend a more comprehensive source that’s tried and true — The Author Toolbox by Candee Fick.

 

 

The Title
Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

 

I needed a catchy and unique title. First, I brainstormed a list of 10 titles. Next, I did the research necessary to assure none of those titles were already taken in previously published works. I created survey sheets and waited outside each service at my church one weekend and asked people to choose and rank their top 3 titles. An overwhelming majority chose Hidden Bloodlines as their top choice.

 

I threw out my first chapter and started over. My first sentence went from the weather to:  “Victoria prosecuted the wrong man.”

What captures your interest?

Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes

So many mistakes … so much time wasted. Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes is the first in the Common Mistakes Series geared to help you save precious time getting that book published. I have first hand experience on making most if not all of them. With this new year upon us, my goal is to share my journey to make yours smoother and easier with quicker positive results.

The Story
writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference
Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes

As I mentioned in my article, Never Give Up!, I am a writer by profession. Although I have more than 100 published articles (most of which were ghost written), my heart’s desire was in the story. I yearned to write that novel and see it published. Even though I was an experienced writer, I quickly learned that fiction writing was a totally different “animal” and I set out to garner the necessary skills.

Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

Hidden Bloodlines started as a story triggered by a stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. After this story brewed in my mind for two years, I decided that the time was now and I attended my first writers conference.

A Conference Mistake

I successfully pitched my story to agents and publishers during that first conference, but made my first mistake as an conference newbie — I pitched a story that wasn’t written. It was in my head, but not on paper. Every single one of the editors and agents I pitched to, wanted to see a manuscript that did not exist. By the time I wrote it, revised it (I can’t remember how many times) and had it ready, 5 years had passed. Oops — a little late for that group of agents and editors who were either with different publishing houses or made career changes.

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

During those 5 years I worked on learning the craft and developing my skills as a fiction writer — essential if you want to be taken seriously and get published. I highly recommend attending writers conferences even if that story is not written. There are workshops and sessions geared toward honing your skills. Appointments are usually available with not just editors and agents, but writers, and other writing professionals. If you want to pitch a story idea, let the agents and editors know that it’s not written yet, then get on the horn and write it. They may be interested now, but not a year from now.

Do you have a story brewing?

If Writing Is Your Passion – Never Give Up!

If writing is your passion, never give up! So many things may get in the way — time or the lack of it, discouragement, the need to earn a living, life …. The list goes on and on, especially if your goal is to be published by a traditional publisher.

Resources
The Author Toolbox

Candee Fick talked about the time issue in her article, So Little Time to Conquer this Mountain where she shares her tips and strategies in her busy life and offers a very helpful tool, The Author Toolbox. This article is about perseverance —  keeping that goal in sight so that we never give up.

 

 

The Journey

As writers, we all deal with discouragement whether we are trying to get published, or are already successfully published. Our journeys may be different, but the difficulties are similar if not the same. In today’s publishing industry, the age of the ebook and ease at which someone can get published independently has changed the course of the industry.

Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

Why do we write? For me, it’s a passion for story. There is a story I can’t get out of my mind until I put it on paper. That’s how Hidden Bloodlines started — it was a story that perpetuated itself for two years before I attended my first writers conference in Estes Park, Colorado.

As an attorney and dietitian with multiple articles and one published nonfiction book, writing was my life, but my passion was fiction — a story to share. However, I quickly learned that writing fiction is a totally different “animal” than nonfiction. It is a different art and it was important that I learn the craft. Future articles will talk about this craft and how to achieve the necessary skills for success.

writing, perseverance, journey, publishing, author, mistakes, writers conferences, fiction, nonfiction, craft of writing, traditional publisher, indy publishing
Thyme for Writers
The Journey

For those interested in becoming published by a traditional publishing house, the road may be long and bumpy with uncertain forks. If you are not interested in the years usually involved with a traditional publisher, you may want to go the Indy way. Regardless of which avenue you choose, when you reach that publication goal , it doesn’t end. There are millions of books out there and you may ask:

  • “How will anyone find me?”
  • “Can I make a living writing?”
  • “How successful can I be?”
  • “Is it even worth it?”

Thyme for Writers will help you discern the path that’s right for you. It will hopefully answer your many questions and help you avoid time consuming mistakes. I for one made mistakes that cost me years. Keep your eyes open for future posts that will steer you clear of these mistakes and make your road smoother.

A Writer’s Journey with Tracy Krauss

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Tracy Krauss to Thyme for Writers. Tracy is a multi-published and award winning author and playwright with several books and plays in print. She lives in Tumbler Ridge, BC with her husband of 35 years and teaches secondary school Art, Drama and English.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
Tracy Krauss, Author or Conspiracy of Bones

When I first started writing over thirty years ago, I was just happy to clack away at my typewriter (yes – typewriter), dreaming of the day I’d see one of my books on a library shelf somewhere. I was in no hurry. Good thing, since it took me sixteen years to finish my first novel and another seven to finally find a publisher! Those were the days of researching at the library with a pen and paper, and filling actual (as opposed to virtual) wastebaskets with crumpled paper.

By the time I’d finally signed that first contract, this writer’s life had changed. Drastically. And in the past nine years, it hasn’t stopped changing. Although the traditional ‘agent-publisher’ route is still an option, it is no longer the only scenario. I’ve pretty much done the entire gamut – agent, traditional deals, royalties, fee for services (vanity press), and self-publishing using Create Space and Lightning Source. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, but gone are the days of ‘just writing’. Modern authors have to be savvy business people, too.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
Thyme to Write

The biggest wake-up call for me after my first book came out was learning I was expected to do 90% of my own marketing. Beyond a word document, I hardly knew my way around a computer, let alone the internet! And social media? Phth! What’s that? But… necessity is a mighty teacher, let me tell you! The learning curve is still steep at times, but it feels more like a mildly paced yet enjoyable roller–coaster than one of those horrid spin-you-around-until-you-puke rides that nobody actually likes.

What’s my point? If the call is there, you’ll stick with it no matter what. Even after 20 plus books and plays in print, I feel excited about sitting down to write. I can’t imagine a day when I will say, “That’s it. I have no more stories to tell!” It just ain’t gonna happen.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
Conspiracy of Bones by Tracy Krauss

Speaking of that first book, I got the rights back to it after seven years and decided to revamp and re-publish it, and I’m giving it away on amazon absolutely free – no strings. (My way of thanking my readers.) CONSPIRACY OF BONES (formerly AND THE BEAT GOES ON) is available on amazon as an ebook for free. (Sorry – the paperback still costs money, but totally worth it!) If you’re interested, here’s the blurb:

Canadian born archaeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men.
But scepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as Mark’s very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the bones.

I’d love for you to check out any of my other novels as well. My work strikes a chord with readers looking for thought provoking, faith based, romantic suspense that is authentic and sometimes ‘edgy’. (Although not overtly, in my opinion.) All my books can be found by going to my website’s ‘Books’ page.

Thanks to Karen for having me here on Thyme for Writers.

Visit with Tracy or purchase her book at:

http://www.tracykrauss.com -fiction on the edge without crossing the line-
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon Author page

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs with Donna Wichelman

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Donna Wichelman
Light Out of Darkness

Donna Wichelman is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Donna holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication/Journalism and worked in community and employee relations for ten years. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications. She now writes novels and screenplays. She and her husband live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs

By Donna Wichelman

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orgs
by Donna Wichelman

Before LASIK surgery at age forty, severe nearsightedness distorted my vision without corrective lenses. At Christmas, I saw an advantage to this condition when the tree went up with its strings of colorful bulbs. Without vision aids at night, the lights on the tree appeared as hazy orbs, blending together in a dazzling display of color. I could sit for long stretches of time mesmerized by the beauty.

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs
by Donna Wichelman

Yet my distorted vision kept me from viewing more extraordinary things on and around the tree. With my glasses, I could see the ornaments friends and family had given us, reminding me of dear ones who’d touched my life. Some ornaments had been collected from travels my husband and I had done over the years, invoking sweet memories. The Christ child in the manager under the tree centered my focus on the truth of Christmas and the purpose for which we gathered around the tree. Letting go of my distorted vision and putting on my lenses showed me the beauty, wonder, and joy beyond the fuzzy orbs.

The first time an editor solicited a manuscript I had pitched, my heart soared. When the manuscript went to committee, I knew it would be accepted and become a best seller. Months later, I received a rejection letter in the mail with constructive notes and the acquisitions editor’s good wishes. I felt crushed. My mother fell ill with cancer soon after, and I never implemented the changes.

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Light Out of Darkness
by Donna Wichelman

The first rejection letter was not my last. Over twenty years of writing, I’ve sold several personal essays, a couple of short stories and a handful of devotionals. Two years ago, I self-published my Christian romantic suspense, Light Out of Darkness, and I will have the sequel out next spring. In spite of modest success, I’ve also experienced much rejection and have even thought about giving up this seemingly hopeless cause.

Yet a writer’s journey is a little like finding the wonder and joy beyond the distorted vision of my hazy orbs. It took a while, but eventually I was grateful for that first rejection. I realized the onus was on me to keep honing my craft, never to be complacent about my work, to accept constructive criticism and throw out the chaff.

I also learned that rejection doesn’t mean I’m unworthy. My value as a person isn’t dependent upon whether my work gets accepted. I am much more than my writing. As a person of faith, my worth comes from my position as a child of God.

Ultimately, I’ve grown to understand that my purpose for writing isn’t about the glory, notoriety or money. I write, because God has laid it on my heart to bring people along with me on this journey of joy, wonder and discovery. If I’ve touched one heart, if one morsel of truth gets passed along, if one person was encouraged, then I’ve done my job. My hope is that you, also, will find the beauty beyond the fuzzy orbs.

You may contact Donna or purchase her books with the links that follow:

Website: www.donnawichelman.com
Buy Link: Amazon
Social Media Links:
www.facebook.com/DonnaWichelmanAuthor
www.twitter.com/DonnaWichelman
www.donnawichelman.blogspot.com
www.linkedin.com/in/donna-wichelman

 

The King and I with Diane Egge

I would like to welcome my next guest, Diane Egge on Thyme for Writers. Diane has had several poems, short stories, newspaper articles, and children’s stories published. According to Diane, she is currently being challenged by writing her first novel. Her frequently visited places include the back of her horse (especially in the mountains), behind the lens of her camera—still trying to take the perfect photo, playing the keys on her piano, or traveling with her husband to see their three kids and seven grandchildren.

children's stories, write, publish
How Many Cats Are in My Bed by Diane Egge
The King and I

by Diane Egge

God had Samuel anoint the young man, David, to be king over Israel. Being a shepherd and the youngest of eight brothers, I’m sure he felt awe, excitement, and confusion as to why he’d been chosen. Perhaps he had some unbelief also.

Thyme for Writers, Diane Egge
Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone
An Anthology of Wyoming Writers

God spoke to me that He wanted me to write. He said go to the local college and take creative writing classes. I did. I received all A’s, and I had some of my stories and poetry published. I had fun, and I loved to write.

David learned much about being a king by playing music in the courts of Saul. Then he proved himself as a warrior when he killed Goliath. Later, he led Saul’s armies into victory after victory. He seemed ready to be king.

God gave me a story to write. When I finished my first draft, I thought it was ready to be published. After all, God gave me the story, right? Wrong. I had not learned about POV, show not tell, and the many other things involved in writing a novel. I went into a season of revision.

When King Saul heard the people shout praises to the mighty warrior, David, he became jealous. He decided to kill his competition. David entered into a season of running for his life.

For both David and I, there have been obstacles and more obstacles. Even though mine haven’t been the life and death kind, they’ve still been discouraging. As the months turned into years, I’m sure David had some doubts about his calling, as I have. Did I hear you right, God? If this is you, why is it so hard and taking so long? Maybe I’m supposed to stick with poetry and short stories. After all, that’s what I’ve been successful doing. Success is the goal, right?

Yet, God’s answer to me is always the same. Write and get your book published. I’ve finally figured out it’s not so much about telling my story as learning to persevere and be obedient. David is my inspiration. He persisted until he became king.

Thyme for Writers, The King and I
Diane Egge

In spite of being stuck in revision, I still feel it’s fun to write. I’m thankful God has called me to create stories and put them on paper. Maybe this will be the year my manuscript gets published. If not, I will enjoy the journey.

You may either contact Diane or check out one of her works through the following links:

Facebook: Diane Egge Author
website: www.dianeegge.com
https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Water-Wind-Stone-Anthology/dp/1944986030/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505249974&sr=1-1&keywords=blood%2C+water%2C+wind%2C+and+stone

Single Mom Survival with Linda R. McCutcheon

I would like to welcome Linda R. McCutcheon as my guest today on Thyme for Writers. Her path to writing came about as she faced a new challenge in life — that of of single mother. Here is her story… . 

SINGLE MOM SURVIVAL

by Linda R. McCutcheon

Suddenly, I became a single mom with two young children. I was faced with going back into the workforce, healing my broken heart, and learning who ‘Linda’ really was. Many times, I was working two jobs, taking night school courses, and keeping the home together. Exhausted? You bet! Overwhelmed? You bet! Empowered? Absolutely. I didn’t think I would be single for twelve years and I had many discussions with God about that, but He knew best. Who would have thought I could take the battery out of the lawnmower, use a saw, or balance my little paycheck? I learned much from taking night school courses, but the most I learned was from the School of Hard Knocks knowing I could trust God to protect my little family. Keeping endless schedules, working full-time, and spending weekends alone were challenging. God kept saying ‘just hold on’. Because of that, the girls and I became a team. We still smile and talk about our family traditions. God did bring a wonderful man into my life because I trusted in Him to ‘hold on’. It was so surreal when my daughter and I were dating at the same time. Many days weren’t easy but hard work paid off.

Writer, Pen, Paper, journey, writer's journey, tips, write, author
Writer’s Tools

As a single mom, I began to put my thoughts on paper and little-by-little doors opened for me to publish articles for on-line magazines. I always have a piece of paper and pen handy because you never know when an inspiring thought might come! There was nothing more satisfying then to know I was encouraging and helping others as I told my story. I certainly didn’t know I had a gift for writing or how much I loved to express my heart through the written word. It was an amazing time for me to continue to heal and understand this new Linda. Because of my life experience, I help mentor women on-line, have a blog for single moms, and published a book to inspire those who are on the same journey. My greatest joy is knowing that God is using me to reach others all over the world reassuring single parents that YOU CAN DO THIS! and claim Isaiah 43:18-19.

Single parent, survival, writing, tools, tips, journey
SINGLE MOM SURVIVAL SUCCESS: Tools and Tips For The Journey

I have walked in the shoes of single parents whose path is tough, challenging, and many times downright frightening. These pages are written to encourage single moms (and dad’s) in their journey. For me it was the most challenging but most blessed as I choose not to be defeated. I share issues such as loneliness, grieving, contentment, making memories with the kids, forgiveness, and re-entering the dating scene. There are questions my daughters asked which will hopefully help in discussions with your children. You will find questionnaires to inspire and help as you move one step in front of the other. Hopefully this backpack of helpful tips can help you believe that YOU CAN DO THIS; not only survive but succeed!

Buy Links (e-book will be out in October)

1.Essence Publishing
http://essencebookstore.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&keyword=single+mom
2. Amazon.com/ca
https://www.amazon.com/Single-Mom-Survival-Success-Journey/dp/1460007956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504818239&sr=1-1&keywords=Single+Mom+Survival+Success

Social Media Links

Bi-monthly Blog: www.singlemomsurvivalsuccess.com
Facebook: Linda R McCutcheon https://www.facebook.com/lindar.mccutcheon.1

So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain with Candee Fick

writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Candee Fick author of The Author Toolbox

I am so happy to have Candee Fick as my guest today on Thyme for Writers! Candee Fick is a multi-published author in both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain

by Candee Fick

Most writers fall into the “I wish I had more time to write” camp while those lucky few who seem to have plenty of writing time are still members of the “My To-Do list never ends” club. The pursuit of publication or a writing career can seem as daunting and exhausting as scaling Everest, but every year thousands put their fingers on a keyboard…only to discover—or rather remember—that everyone has the same limited amount of time in which to get it all done.

And by all, I mean life. Take me for example. As a wife and mother, my days get filled with cleaning, cooking, laundry, homework, carpools, and sports. Relationships with family and friends require regular interactions and if I’m not taking care of myself with enough rest, exercise, and mental growth, I can fall apart quickly. Add in a day job and my calendar is stuffed to overflowing.

Except I’m also a writer with a coaching business. I dream up adventures and arrange words on a page in order to bring characters and settings to life. Once those polished stories are in the capable hands of my publisher, I do it all again. It might be easy to squeeze in an hour or two per day before the kids get up or in lieu of television in the evenings, but crafting stories is only one side of this mountain.

time, mountain, writing, perseverence
So Little Time to Conquer This Mountain

The other side of writing’s Everest is marketing. It’s the side that beginning writers don’t see in the excitement of starting a book, but soon the rumors swirl as old-timers drop words like social media, platform, website, tax deductions, book launches, and blog tours. The faint of heart stick their fingers in their ears, yell “Lalalalala,” and revise their first chapters again or jump from idea to idea, never finishing anything. Those who are serious about writing perk up and listen for tips about how to navigate the trail ahead.

The Author Toolbox

There are two main reasons that I wrote The Author Toolbox. First was to share what I’ve learned the hard way so newer authors can work smarter as they build their books, platforms, businesses, and careers. But mostly, I wrote it all down in order to give writers hope. It’s a long climb, but there is a way to get there and you are not alone in the journey.

If you know what the next steps of your personal journey involve, then you can deliberately and strategically focus your limited time on the activities that will move you closer to your goals. Your writing goal this week might be hitting a first draft word count or editing another chapter. You might even block out an hour to pre-schedule the week’s social media posts or organize office paperwork.

We have so little time available to conquer the mountains in our lives, but my hope is that you find your next steps…then take them. Because the view from the top is worth every moment of work.

You may reach Candee or obtain her works at the following links:

www.CandeeFick.com
www.TheAuthorToolbox.com (shortcuts to a page on my site with the index of blog posts)
www.Facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick
www.Twitter.com/CandeeFick
All of my books: https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/
The Author Toolbox: https://www.amazon.com/Author-Toolbox-Practical-Platform-Business/dp/099920100X/

The Author Toolbox is filled with over 100 practical tools to help today’s author build a book, a platform, a business, and a career. Why? So we can get it all done while freeing up both time and mental energy to do the one thing we really desire…write.

Thyme for Writers

Thyme for Writers is a new blog series for writers and book lovers. As many of you know, my website focuses on adding spice to your life, whether it be with nutrition and health tips, delicious recipes, or through Hidden Bloodlines, my romantic suspense novel and associated adventures in creating it and its sequel.

writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Thyme for Writers
Adding Spice to Your

Most of us are writers in one form or another (whether by choice or necessity). The purpose of this series is to help you along the way with

  • tips,
  • direction,
  • encouragement,
  • inspiration,
  • the research and adventure behind some of your favorite works, or
  • just something interesting and fun to bring a smile to your face.

While I may be authoring some, my goal is to invite fascinating guests with different life experiences and areas of expertise.

The Author Toolbox
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
The Author Toolbox

My first guest will be Candee Fick, author of The Author Toolbox. She is the reason I am able to create and maintain my own website. As a genuine techno-idiot, I volunteered to be Candee’s beta test project. Our goal was to determine if it’s possible for someone like me to gain the skills necessary to build a website and how long it would take. Needless to say, Candee is a miracle worker. In fairly short order, I learned the skills necessary and have continued merrily on my way.

Candee is an incredible writer and teacher and painstakingly created a blog series meant to help writers in all stages get their work created and a website begun. She compiled and added to this series in The Author Toolbox. Keep in mind, the tools provided and skills taught aren’t just for writers of books. Many pursue different artistic careers and businesses, but in today’s business environment, websites and social media dominate the marketplace if you want to succeed. The days of the telephone book are over. The reality is that websites and social media require writing.

Where to Start
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Candee Fick
author of
The Author Toolbox

There are thousands of writing guides and resources out there, but where should one begin? I have personally found that The Author Toolbox is the best first stop. Candee not only provides “how to…” information, but makes recommendations on easy to use resources to make life easier. On September 7 I am excited to have Candee Fick as my first guest on Thyme for Writers. Stay tuned… .

If you have something to share and you’d like to be a guest, please email me at karen@KarenVanDenHeuvel.com.