Seven Steps to Guaranteed Success as a Writer

Every author seems to have a different idea of what “success” in their field means to him or her. For some, selling at least five thousand (in Canada) or ten thousand (in the States) books, thereby qualifying them to claim the lofty title of “Bestselling Author” is the goal on which they set their sights. For others, maybe it’s a hundred thousand copies, or a million.

For some, it isn’t about the numbers, but about awards. But which award is the one that will make them feel as though they have finally arrived? Is it the Carol? The Christie? The Pulitzer? I’ve noticed several big-name authors who have won awards in the past entering the contests again, so maybe one award isn’t enough. What, then, is the magic number?

Or maybe it’s a certain amount of positive feedback, a sufficient number of glowing reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, recognition at conferences or even on the streets, enough followers on social media.

You see the problem. Success is a wildly ambiguous and deeply personal concept. Chasing that elusive label can be and, I suspect, is in most cases, a discouraging, disheartening, and depressing endeavour. The intended audience for our work can be mind-numbingly uncooperative when it comes to providing us with the accolades, reviews, purchases, and general awestrucked-ness in our presence that would finally push us up to that mountain peak we are continually scrambling to reach. So too, for that matter, can agents, publishers, editors, and judges of contests….

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Blogging today over at the WordServe Watercooler. Check out the rest of this post at:https://wordservewatercooler.com/2017/06/27/seven-steps-to-guaranteed-success-as-a-writer/

 

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The Sacred Trust of Words

As I write this, the Manchester bombing occurred just two days ago and I am still struggling to comprehend the horror. Only twenty-four hours ago, parents still searched, frantic, for their missing daughters, not knowing if they were alive or dead.

Once again, as it so often does now, the world seems a darker place today. Fear and fury and an overwhelming helplessness hang so thick in the air, at times it is difficult to breathe. Can light ever hope to pierce such a thick darkness?

Genesis tells us that, in the beginning, the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. What an impermeable darkness that must have seemed, with no sun or moon or stars to lift it. But then God spoke. Let there be light.

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And there was light…

I’m blogging today over at the International Christian Fiction Writers website. Check out the site and the rest of this post at: http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.ca/

Press on, my friends. Press on.

Sara

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The Power of Words

One of the things I love the most about being a writer is that I can make my characters say, do, and be anything I want them to. I have absolute control over every little thing that happens in my stories. The feeling of power is heady. A little too heady, sometimes. But once in a while something happens to bring my feet right back to the ground where they belong.

Recently I sought the advice of fellow authors on the type of poison a character in my book might use to taint a water supply. To me this was just an interesting storyline, an intriguing plot development. Then someone responded to ask me to please make sure I accurately depicted the depth of suffering such an action on the part of my character would cause to others. His brother had been poisoned and had died when he was young.

The idea of someone being poisoned wasn’t simply part of a story-line to him, it was real life. He had seen first-hand how the evil or horrifying actions we put into books as entertainment for our readers can, in reality, destroy lives and cause actual pain.

Any excitement I was feeling over incorporating this act into my story evaporated immediately. Suddenly this wasn’t just a plotline to me, either. Suffering had taken on a human face…

Blogging over at the Word Alive Press blog today. Check out the rest of this post and other great posts at: http://wordalivepress.ca/blog/The-Power-of-Words

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Press on, my friends. Press on,

Sara

 

 

 

 

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The Heart of the Matter

Nothing is scarier for a writer than to feel that they are out of words. It happens to me, alarmingly often, and from what I hear I’m far from the only one. The condition is akin to a fireman turning his hose onto a blazing fire only to realize there’s no water. Except, of course, that would matter.

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It is the lot of writers, I believe, to constantly question themselves and their ability to produce anything anyone will ever want to read. And that’s what’s at the heart of what I feel on those melancholy occasions when I start to think I can’t produce such a thing. Does it even matter? If I never write another word in my life, would anyone care?…

Blogging over at http://wordalivepress.ca/blog/The-Heart-of-the-Matter – hop on over and check out the rest of the post!

Press on, my friends. Press on,

Sara

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Oh Yeah, It’s Not About Me

Praise for my work is as difficult for me to handle well as rejection. In a different way, of course. Praise doesn’t crush my self-esteem, destroy my confidence, and send me to bed with a carton of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream. But it has the potential to be just as destructive.

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Praise can go straight to my head.

Don’t get me wrong. I love it. But sometimes I love it a little too much. Occasionally I take the very dangerous turn from loving it to needing it. Craving it, even. I collect the glowing adjectives carefully and methodically, like rookie baseball cards, and store them away in my mind to bring out in times of flagging faith in my writing ability.

I forget that this isn’t about me. That I didn’t give myself the gift. I didn’t invent imagination. I didn’t come up with the ideas for the stories. I’m not my own source of creativity. And my glory is not the intended result of any of the above…

Blogging today over at http://wordalivepress.ca/blog/Oh-Yeah-Its-Not-About-Me

Pop over and check it out!

Press on, my friends. Press on,

Sara

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God Keep our Land

God Keep our Land

It is Canada Day as I write this post. As always, I am filled with patriotic pride as I hear the anthem and see the flags being waved. We celebrate this country, and rightly so, as one of the greatest in the world. This year’s celebrations, though, seem to me to be tinged with a new poignancy, a sadness even. That which we have celebrated for 148 years, the freedoms bought with courage and blood and lives, are now slipping through our fingers… 

For the rest of this post, please go to http://wordalivepress.ca/blog/God-Keep-our-Land

Press on, my friends. Press on.

Sara

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Into the Light Again (reposted)

A new dawn. A new world. A new hope.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. (from Matthew 28, ESV)

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Death is conquered. Despair is turned to hope. Relationship is restored for all who believe. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.

He is risen, my friends. He is risen indeed.

Sara

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