Getting outside of yourself to get into the story

Just for a few hours I wasn’t me. I invented a new name, smiled as the barista called it and enjoyed my newfound persona. Then I sat in the corner of the shop and watched others come and go.

I washed my coffee down with the atmosphere, drank in the patron’s demeanors and shamelessly imbibed in the conversations of those waiting in line for their preferred caffeinated fix.

Hurried mother’s with their misplaced teenagers standing beside them battled silently next to each other, mannerisms revealing more than words ever could. I observed. Young men fresh from the gym, bags slung over the shoulders and held in place by sweaty hands, exchanged war stories of reps and trainers. I took note. A grandfatherly figure held a small boy against his chest while his much younger looking wife ordered their food with a side of chocolate milk and a cookie. Granddad seemed so happy and proud. Grandmum was soaked in some bitter brew long before she ordered one. I saved this for later.

In public forums, we have the right to observe, record and use. Of course, me being me, I would change the names to protect the innocent. In these cases, I had no names. And I didn’t need to take notes either –mental ones are enough.

“Why did I do this? Am I some crazy stalker?” Continue reading

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The Art of Self Promotion through In-Person Networking

It’s only a few days until Christmas and I’m tempted to write about all the great gifts that writers want and need.

Books, books, and more books!  Okay, okay, I admit that’s what I want for Christmas.

And I could talk about all the other gifts that are great for writers, me included.  Take note all of you who are friends of mine.  *hint, hint*  Just to name a few: a writer’s retreat, the content driven organizer tool for writers that I’ve been hearing rave reviews about from my writing friends called Scrivener, a Scratch subscription to learn all about the “business of good writing” as a fellow writer puts it, a coffee gift card (Gotta have coffee!) and there are plenty more.

Instead I’ve a few suggestions on how to network yourself as a writer.   Yep, that’s right you need to market yourself if you want to be noticed in the writing world.

Attend social gatherings and cocktail parties.  Be real while there.  Not braggidocios or arrogant.  Don’t be shy either.  Find a middle road.  Relate with others on topics outside of writing.  That’s not to say you can’t talk about writing.  Just don’t let that be all that you talk about.  Let them see you as the person behind the story, book, screenplay or whatever it is you specialize in writing. Continue reading

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