10 Ways To Lead Yourself To Writing Success – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

Successful Writer

Before Christmas, someone at my day job sent around an article from Inc that I’ve been pondering ever since: “How Can You Be Sure Someone Has True Leadership Skills?” The article offered twenty examples for the corporate crowd, and several of them offer life-changing opportunities for writers to lead themselves right down the path to success.

According to the article, these skills and habits are quickly changing the game of leadership development. Effective leaders are encouraged to “break up positive leadership actions into bite-sized daily activities, or ‘micro-actions.’” Basically, they’re proving that micro-actions have the power to make BIG change.

Dang, that sounds powerful, doesn’t it? We’ve got to get in on some of that!

Powerful Micro-Actions for Writers

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The Rights Way: A Quick Guide to Image Copyright Issues – From the Writers in the Storm blog

by Melinda VanLone

Are you an indie author about to create or commission a cover? If so, most likely you’ll be using images to design your latest best seller. Did you know that those images have copyrights? Even if you found them on the interwebs like litter on a street corner, they still have rights. It’s that fact that gets a lot of authors in trouble.

It’s never a good idea to pull an image directly off of a Google search because you can’t be sure where it’s coming from, who has the rights, whether they’ve released them, or whether they are still very much the property of the creator.

To keep yourself protected from potential legal action, here are a few things to keep in mind:

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12 Survival Tricks for a Creative’s Anxiety – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Lori Freeland

Anxiety. The word alone is enough to set off a tingle in my fingers, a tightness in my chest, and a worn-out mantra—Breathing is good. Passing out is bad—that rarely works. 

And I’m not alone.

I’ve read so many posts from authors dealing with health problems related to or caused by anxiety—especially in the last few years. The push to perform and market and put more and more out there seems to be ramping up to an almost impossible level, for indie authors in particular. 

What’s really frustrating is that the very things that make us good writers—empathy, sensitivity, being observant, and of course the power to picture in IMAX the very worst thing that could happen in any situation—are the same things that fuel the anxiety.

From the fear of not being able to meet deadlines to not being good enough to straight-up failure, there’s A LOT to worry about. We even worry about the good things! Praise easily leads to pressure.

Sadly, all that yuck doesn’t just stay in the writing part of our lives. It leaks over into everything, and random moments can set it off.

Driving in the rain makes me shake. Claustrophobia in a crowd tunnels my vision. Restlessness spins my thoughts until my mind won’t shut off and I can’t sleep, I can’t focus, I can’t function.

And worse, when I get that way, I can’t write. Like not at all.

Anxiety might be one of the least understood stalkers of mental health. Especially to people who’ve never experienced it. Broken bones, people understand. Even a broken heart gains a sympathetic nod. But anxiety can get brushed off as being all in our heads.

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When Rejection Becomes Connection – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by K. Maze

The alternate title for this post could have been “How I Found My Publisher Through Rejection.”

In 2015 I wrote a YA Thriller focused around the kidnapping of teen characters involved in the theater. I researched thoroughly, interviewed detectives, and hired an editor who helped me through to the end. I queried and waited and heard…. Crickets.

Kind editors and agents responded with honest feedback or simply said it wasn’t for them.  I analyzed and discovered ways to ‘fix’ the novel: rewrite the first five pages, fix weak plot holes, revise characters to enhance the premise and elevate the intrigue. But I couldn’t.

Completing the novel got me across the finish line, but it didn’t mean my novel was done.  For over a year, I had spent my writing mojo in some very dark territory and I didn’t have the motivation to dig into it more.  The only shelf that manuscript would sit on is in my closet.

But I couldn’t give up on writing, right?

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My Favorite Editing Lifesaver – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Jenny Hansen

Do you have critique partners? Editors? Beta readers? Family and friends who look over your Work in Progress?

I’m betting you trade writing pages with someone and, for those of you who don’t know how to use Track Changes, you buy a lot of paper. And ink cartridges. And red pens (or whatever friendlier color you use to write in the margin and remind your critique partner to use an active verb).

Even if you do use Track Changes, are you doing so efficiently? It is one of the most useful word processing features for writers. Best of all, even though this post focuses on Word, Google Docs has a Track Changes feature as well.

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One Quick Fix For “Telling” In Deep Point Of View – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Lisa Hall-Wilson

After launching my Deep Point of View Frequently Asked Questions series here on Writers in the Storm, I’m working my way through those questions. Today’s question is: I struggle with the mindset, how to get there and know when you’re there.

The goal of deep point of view is for the reader to feel immersed in the story, to that end, deep point of view (DPOV), works best when you eliminate the feeling of being told a story.

We don’t narrate our own thoughts or actions do we? We’re alone in our own heads. That’s the shift I call the mindset. We need to shift how we capture story. It’s the deep pov drip – like readers are on a direct drip line to what the character is thinking, feeling, deciding, learning, etc. If you can get that right, then telling often ceases to be a problem.

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Cause and Effect: Does Your Character’s Behavior Make Sense? – From the Writers in the Storm blog

by Angela Ackerman

Have you been in a situation where someone acts erratically, and not in a good way? It takes you by surprise, doesn’t it? Imagine this scenario: you’re sitting around the lunch table with coworkers and pop out a joke. Instead of a wave of laughter, one of your tablemates begins to sob. Or they jump up, shove the table, and walk out.

Your emotional response? Befuddlement (What just happened?Guilt (What did I say?Judgement (Wow, she’s unstable.)

It’s always a bit uncomfortable when we can’t follow the logic of cause and effect. A joke should prompt laughter, head shaking and a grin, or maybe if poorly delivered, an awkward beat of silence. These are reactions we expect.

Cause-and-effect is very important in the real world.

This sequence helps us navigate life. When we know what to expect, we know what to do.

Study for a test to pass it.

Pay the mortgage to have a safe place to live.

It also helps us know what not to do.

Drinking too much causes a hangover.

People who leave a paper trail get caught.
If I tell the boss what I really think, I’ll be fired.

Cause-and-effect helps us plan and gives us a sense of control over our lives.

Guess who else is hardwired to notice cause-and-effect? Readers.

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