Tag Archives: help

On Using What You Have

4 May

Let me preface this with the fact that I’m a geek. I love technology and use it to help me whenever I can.
So, I was helping my son last night with the first day of his new job. He has started working for a company that puts those annoying fliers on the door of your house. Apparently there are a lot of people who work at doing this, part time. They hire on a daily rate. But when they don’t send you out until lunch time, you start to run into the evening hours trying to get done. So, last night, I helped him finish up his last housing area.
As I walked, I lost myself in soaking up the atmosphere of the housing area we were in. It was incredibly rich with sensory input. The houses lent themselves to places a character might find himself or where one might find herself at some point in the plot. There were sounds and smells and colors and textures that were too fresh and concrete to miss out on. But I had an arm load of fliers in one hand and my purse doubling as a tote bag for the rest of the fliers on my back. I didn’t have time to really stop to take notes, even if I had been carrying my journal and my pen with me (which I wasn’t).
I realized I had my phone. It’s a smart phone. I remembered that people say that there is no excuse for not taking pictures on the spur of the moment when you are out because all phones, now, have a camera built right in. And I remembered that mine also has notepad built right in (that synchs to the cloud so even if I got hit by a truck I would have the notes on another device) and a voice recorder. So as I went, I took pictures. I recorded voice notes. I stopped under trees to catch my breath and took quick notes in text format. I used what I had at hand to capture the moment.
Sometimes it isn’t about being in the perfect place to write, but writing in the place that you find yourself.
I also have come to realize that, given the fact that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and that there are days that I don’t feel up to carrying my journal with me everywhere, I always have my phone. I always have my apps. And it is the perfect tool to allow me to get in a little extra writing when I’m out and about and have some time to take some time. I can be gentle with myself and still feel productive and in touch with myself by using what I can use in ways to fit my life. And I don’t have to spend a small fortune, I can use the apps that are built in or that are free to make do.
It’s important to come to terms with where you are in your writing adventure and make use of the tools that help you with your walk

Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 2

12 Apr
By Nesher Ehrman
Hello again. If you haven’t yet read “Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 1”, do that first. It’s not long, and this series will make a lot more sense. If you have read part 1, and you’re back for more, then hi, welcome back. Now, buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, because what we’re about to do is going to be the hardest part of this whole series.
Really. This isn’t going to be easy. Ready?
All right. This is what you have to do. You have to Change. Pretty scary, right? At this point, you’re sort of wondering ‘but that’s not how this is supposed to work! I already write from the heart, from true, heartfelt inspiration!’.
This is true. However, it still isn’t enough. Let’s go back to our original goal – to be a successful writer. That depends solely on one single thing – people have to like what you write. They have to enjoy reading it, or be moved by it, or learn something. The question which follows from that is – how do you know what people like. The answer is, easy. Or rather, easy to do, and very hard to actually put into effect. But then, no one said being a writer was easy, did they?
So, the first step is getting to know what other people think of your work. To do that, you need to be both creative and active. Print up copies, give it out to anyone who speaks the language you write in. Walk into a bookstore and ask whether they would mind if you do a reading. Send an email to all of your contacts (OK, maybe not your boss, but as many as you can) with a sample of something you’ve written.
The key is to be shameless. If you have a social media account – and statistically, you should have about nine – then share your written material through there. Yes, everyone will know that you’re writing. If you’re planning to be a writer, people are going to see your work. You can even start a blog, put some work there, and refer people to the link. Mine, for example, is at the bottom of this post. See? Shameless.
Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready for step two. This is the hard part.
So now you have lots of people giving you opinions. Some of their opinions are worthless. Some of them didn’t spare an actual thought before dashing off a nine-page scathing critique of your three-line haiku. Internet people can be like that. What you need to do is weed through all the useless opinions to find the actual good advice. If you’ve reached enough people, there will be quite a lot of good feedback.
Then – brace yourself – look at what people think, look at your writing, and try to focus your material. Know who you’re writing for, and adjust your work accordingly. In the end, you’re writing for you, but the people reading your work have other priorities.
Still with us? Congratulations. If you can follow the above instructions to better your work, you’re well on your way to achieving your goal of realizing your writing potential. If you can do something as hard as changing yourself, the rest should be smooth sailing all the way.
In “Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 3”, we’ll talk about different ways of actually getting your book published, and the pros and cons of different publishing routes, so we’ll see you there.
To see more of Nesher Ehrman’s work, hop on over to nesherehrman.wordpress.com/
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