Writing and Inspiration

How To Write A Book

Part II- Some Tips that Helped Me Along the Way

1. Slow Down
Dreaming of my finished book made me want to hurry the process. But to everything there is a season and the writing could not be rushed. Some days you will be prolific and others, not so, but just showing up, even if you stare at the computer screen is akin to planting the field. Trust the process. Words will sprout and flourish, if you are persistent at showing up.

I remember the sage words of a man I admired, Klaus Hill, who unfortunately died in a plane crash in 1973. He was a heavily accented light boned German guy who walked with a bounce in his step. He lived in the nearby mountain town of Morgan, Utah and dedicated his life to flying and designing one and two seat airplanes. While visiting him in his workshop with all the parts strewn about, I remember him saying that if you just work a little each day, in a year, you will be soaring above the mountains in your little plane. He was an inspiration to many home-builder-pilots.

2. Use the Right Tools
I use a Mac Book Pro— I think the Mac Air would also be an excellent choice. I have used a PC and find the Mac incredibly reliable. It never freezes up or gets bogged down scanning for virus’s. Apple support is five star. You get to talk to English speaking, friendly, knowledgeable techies. The software I use is Microsoft Word for Mac. I get giddy over the: Document Map Pane. To Read The Full POST Click HERE

How to Write a Book Part I- 8 Simple Steps

Do you have a book in you waiting to materialize?

Or a partially finished project that has been shoved to the back burner?

I hope these simple steps will wake a dormant desire within you and fertilize the writing field so the words sprout like daffodils—but all year ‘round.
So little, I ask.

Why do I care? Writing has changed who I am. I like the me that writes. It gives clarity and is a way to be artistic— which I believe, feeds the spirit. I am not the proselytizing type. I don’t think everyone should write but everyone should create—maybe writing is your path. For those of you with this latent desire, I dedicate this verbal vignette.

Step One: Make Coffee.
Get up in the morning and make a cup of coffee. I prefer Starbucks Verona made with an air press. Then I load it up with that creamy liquid, full fat original Coffeemate. I know it is an unnatural blend of whatnot and has no nutritional value but it transforms the taste into a creamy elixir. I would prefer a boatload of real cream but dairy doesn’t agree with me.

Read the whole post at judyliautaud.com

Kicking The Cake Addiction

I hate it when I eat a big dinner and then take bite after bite of the towering mud pie and only stop because shame descends on my reaching fork. And when my belly is tight as a drum and food is creeping up my throat because the stomach is at capacity. Ugh! Certain foods for me, like Tres Leches cake for instance, are like alcohol to an alcoholic.

Many of us have our drugs of choice. Some people have a glass of wine and the good feeling makes them want another. The second one goes down easy and the warm buzz makes the arm keep pouring, until the head is in the dinner plate. What is it that overrides the body’s common sense and prompts us to keep at it when the overdose destroys brain cells, causes ulcers, and pulverizes the liver? The drug addict also ignores these physiological compromises. That sweet reprieve from everyday anxiety oozes through the blood stream in a physical jolt of euphoria. The feeling so compelling that one must increase the dose to recall the effect and soon the body builds a tolerance so the cells need the drug to just function normally.
And cigarettes. Some say this is the most difficult habit to break. Many never quit in spite of the commercials of the woman with a hole punched in her throat so she can get air after years of smoking. Vices persist as you trick yourself into believing in their value. But after the compulsion has a good grip on you, you begin to suspect you are paying a high price-by shortening your days on this earth.

Talking Pictures

Show don’t tell, my writing teachers remind me. While writing, I have to constantly remind myself to talk in pictures. I am tempted to write, “She was so awesome.” As a reader, does that leave you cold? There are just so many awesome people that your image gets muddied and lacks detail. It tells the reader you like this person but they have no idea why –nor do they care. Instead to convey that she is awesome, I could say, ‘she reached down and picked up the hanky the little old lady dropped and then she said, “My pleasure to assist you, Sweet Pea, and planted a soft kiss on her forehead.”’ Now the word awesome is chiseled to mean that she is caring and loving. You get this by the picture painted with the words. Writing practice helps you learn this technique. It doesn’t come naturally. You learn to visualize some scene that illustrates the emotion you want to convey.

Publishing Sunlight on My Shadow

During June and July, I worked half-heartedly trying to find an agent and a publisher. I sent about 20 query letters to agents and small presses.  I heard back from about eight of them with the words, “not for us.”  Many posted something like this on their web page: “If you don’t hear from us in six weeks, consider this a negative signal.”  I wasn’t surprised. Not that I am in the same league but,  I knew that JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was greeted with many rejections.  Steven King had the same hurdles.

I had worked for four years on my memoir and now it was ready, how could I keep sending these letters and waiting for a year or more with a slim chance of success? 

From the booklet by Brenda Ueland, “Tell Me More on the Fine Art of Listening”

I just love this excerpt.  I have read Brenda Ueland’s little booklet many times and am inspired by her wise words.

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. Think how the friends that really listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius as though it did us good, like ultraviolet rays.

This is the reason: When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life. You know how if a person laughs at your jokes you become funnier and funnier, and if he does not, every tiny little joke in you weakens up and dies? Well, that is the principle of it. It makes people happy and free when they are listened to. And if you are a listener, it is the secret of having a good time in society (because everybody around you becomes lively and interesting), of comforting people, of doing them good.

Writing Practice

“Writing is like driving the car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”   quote from E.L. Doctorow

So true.  When you think you don’t know what to write about, you just start writing and then write some more.  Soon the story sifts out and draft upon draft eventually becomes a book.  That’s how I did it.  It took me four years but I loved the writing, especially on the days when tears dripped onto my laptop.  Then I knew I was getting at what mattered.

Writing for me is a spiritual practice, like meditating, or yoga.  I write in my journal everyday and just put down any thoughts that are swirling around in my head.  I find it to be a sort of purging or a way to get in touch with myself.  Sometimes I discover new ways to look at my problems and when I close up my laptop, I think OK, that problem doesn’t really have the turbulence it did.  My psyche is restored to calm waters.