So You Want to be an Author

I retired from teaching quite a number of years ago, and like so many before me, I longed to write a book.

I told myself it would be easy. After all, I knew grammar, sentence structure, paragraph construction. I was aware of the importance of using adjectives and verbs to make a story exciting.

Without going to school each day to teach, I knew I had the time to write.

I began writing, telling the story that had been in my head for eons. The process was exciting. I was living out my dream. And, I must say, I was pretty proud of myself. 

Until I shared the first chapter with a group of seasoned writers who burst my bubble. I was “telling” the story, but they said I needed to “Show, Not Tell.”

I found that just because I had been a teacher… just because I loved to read… didn’t mean I could naturally write. That began a months-long quest to learn the writing “rules.” Reading books, taking classes, going to conferences.

I joined professional groups. I studied the craft of writing.

Writing is fun, but it is also hard work.

Several years later, with a few books under my writing “belt,” I started the blog that you are now reading. It has been five or six years of sharing what I’ve learned with others once every week.

Each of my blogs is archived on my website under the heading “BLOGS.” I invite you to visit my website and spend some time reading on subjects that interest you as a writer. I am not the end-all of writing information by any means, but there may be usable information there for you.

My website:  (You’ll want to start your own website at some point, so when you follow the link, look around to see all of the “parts” that need to be included and click on the various links to see how they all work together for the benefit of your readership).


Writing In Its Many Forms



So, you’ve tried your hand at writing a novel, but it just didn’t work out for a number of reasons. You’d like to write something, but your head is spinning.

Have you ever thought of writing in a different format? 

Here is a list I made. Perhaps you’ll find a new possibility: 

  • Novellas
  • Short stories (Guideposts is always looking for inspirational stories.)
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Blogs
  • Tweets (yes, you can write and sell your original Tweets. They can be humorous, quotes, inspirational, etc.)
  • Newspaper articles
  • Magazine articles
  • Newsletters
  • Greeting cards
  • Directions for products
  • Directions for games (such as board games)
  • Jokes (yes, there is a big market for you jokesters!)
  • Skits
  • Educational textbooks
  • Wants Ads/ For Sale Ads
  • Screenplays (Movie scripts)
  • Television Scripts
  • Plays/musicals
  • Menus (believe it or not)
  • “How-To” Manuals
  • Television Commercials
  • Sky Mall Magazine Product Ads (The daughter of a friend of mine wrote for this airplane magazine for several years).

Thanks for Sharing Your Cookies



I was reminded this morning about a story I’d heard before. Maybe you’ve heard it, too.

It is about a lady waiting at the gate for her plane to begin boarding. The man seated next to her reached over and took a cookie from her bag and ate it. She became more and more irritated at his brazenness as he kept helping himself to one cookie after another.

The lady, afraid he’d eat all of the cookies, began to eat some as well. When they both had eaten their fill—and only one cookie remained—the man broke it in half and gave the lady one half and kept the remaining half for himself.

Still harboring anger toward the stranger for just helping himself to her cookies, the lady boarded the plane. It wasn’t until later that she looked into her over-sized purse, embarrassed to see her bag of cookies inside, unopened.

Sharing should be such a simple thing.

Such a natural thing.

But, it really isn’t.

Authors, like those in other professions, have the potential to be competitive by nature. However, I have not found that to be the case.

Over the years, there have been countless occasions for writers to share what they know with others—conferences, blogs, podcasts, and so on. And each time, they share their expertise with seasoned writers as well as those just starting out. 

If you are one of those authors who have invested your time and expertise in others, I just want to say

“Thank you for sharing your cookies!”


All Things Visual: The Video Blog



I mentioned in my last post that we would embark on a short venture together in order to learn to do things that would be visual and thus equate in BOOK SALES, according to the latest “research.”

The first idea I came across is the suggestion that authors create a video blog.

So, instead of writing posts each week, like I do, and pairing them with interesting pictures, we are being encouraged to make videos, upload them to YouTube, and then embed them in our blog posts.

In the videos, we can answer questions, do interviews, recommend conferences, teach writing skills, or endorse our books.

In the visual age, this is just one of many ways to drive sales to our website or Amazon page.

We will explore others in the weeks to come.