FAMILY TIME

 

There are times in our lives when a particular subject is on our minds and won’t let go.  This is when I indulge in putting my thoughts on paper – just let the words flow and see what happens.  It is very therapeutic, and I have found a ready market for these kinds of articles/essays because so often a reader’s reaction is “That’s exactly what I was thinking… what I was trying to deal with.”   Here is one subject that I managed to clarify for myself by putting my thoughts down on paper.

There is a wise Jewish saying : “A little hurt from a kin is worse than a big hurt from a stranger.” (Zohar.Gen.151b)   Why is that?  Strangers come and go in our lives … some remain to become friends; others are barely remembered and, as we move on in life, we leave them behind.  But family – that’s a different story.

The closest bonds we will ever form are with our parents and our siblings.  They know us intimately, and even with all our faults – or perhaps despite them – they still love us.  Next comes the extended family – cousins, aunts, uncles etc. Some of them we just tolerate, often in an amused way, because families are like fudge … mostly sweet with a few nuts! – but we do care about them because they are kin.

Within our own close family circle, we are proud of each other’s accomplishments and boast of them; we hurt when a family member is unhappy; we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries; and we try to be together for important  holidays.  That is what family means.

I’ve always loved the description of her family by the late Erma Bombeck:  “We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”  I think most families can relate to this warm-hearted description.

When there is a break in a family circle, it can be unbearable.  It’s not just a matter of location, for these days communication has never been easier and we can connect with family wherever they live.  But when there is a misunderstanding and angry words are exchanged, it can be heart-breaking.  We feel as though we have a deep fracture in our very being and life will never be the same again if the family member we once loved is lost to us.

Teenagers are known to be rebellious and that is considered normal.  It is necessary for them to become independent, to break away from the sheltering family structure.  It can be very hurtful for parents to see them break away, but if they were nourished with your morals and standards of ethical behaviour in their childhood, and educated with love, they won’t stray far.   Siblings may have very different ideas from each other as adults, but no-one – not even a spouse – can have the same kind of bond with its childhood memories, shared experiences, old family jokes.  It is special.

When strangers hurt you, you may become disappointed or angry, but it doesn’t tear at the fabric of your being.  You are not obsessed by it and whatever has happened, you know that you will get over it in time.

It is not the same with families.  When there is a break between parents and children or brothers and sisters, it colors every aspect of your life.   For the family is your haven, your soft resting-place.  When there is a break, your emotional security is gone. We need to feel ourselves one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, yet allied to us by an unbreakable bond, which nature has welded before we are even born.  A family quarrel does not just leave aches or wounds;  it is more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.  Author Dodie Smith described her family as “that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.”

So cherish your family while you still have them.  Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family , which is one of nature’s masterpieces.  Having a place to go – is your home.  Having someone to love – is your family.  Having both is a blessing.

_________________

Thank you for your comments.  Let me know if I can help you with any writing problem.

If you have trouble finding my books, you can contact me at dwaysman@gmail.com

 

______________

 

 

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WRITING A BOOK PROPOSAL

First an apology.  There has been no Blog for a few weeks as I broke my right hand, but now the cast is off, and I can write again.

So, in the interim, you’ve finished writing your book.  And now you want to send it out into the world – either to an agent, or direct to a publisher.  The first requirement is that you have a book proposal and for this, you want a succinct yet comprehensive summary.  A book proposal should never be more than 10 double-spaced quarto pages, and even that is a lot.  Most of my book proposals were only 1 page, but nevertheless I put an enormous amount of effort into them.  The primary function is as a selling tool.  It uses as few words as possible to generate the maximum enthusiasm for your proposed book.  It must answer every question an editor may have , so that he has no reason to say “no”.

A proposal is a map. A solid outline will enable you and the publisher to see where you are going. Writing 2 sample chapters will show whether you can and really want to write the book.  If you prove that you can research, organize and write non-fiction, you can sell a book with a proposal consisting of an introduction, a chapter-by-chapter outline, and 2 sample chapters.

With fiction it is more difficult.  You need an exciting synopsis of not more than one page.Another page should be your bio … what work you have had published up to now,  and your accreditations if any.

A paragraph should cite what genre it will belong to – e.g. romantic fiction, historical, sci-fi, thriller etc.; who your target audience is and why you think  you are the person to write it.  You must also state the length (50 – 60,000 words is an acceptable ms.)  You must also state how you will help promote it  – e.g. lectures, book signings, TV or radio appearances etc.

The cover page must give all your contact details.  Finally, you can send 1 or 2 sample chapters so that the publisher can assess your style.  Never send a complete ms. – it will simply go in the slush pile.  If it interests them, they will ask to see more.  If you want your ms.  returned, you must send stamps to cover the postage, or if it is overseas, you send International Reply Coupons that you buy at the Post Office.  If they are willing to read it online, they will tell you so.

You can send multiple submissions.  Don’t worry – more than one publisher will probably not be interested.  You can use an agent, but I have only had an agent find me one publisher – the other 12  books I approached publishers directly,  although my New York literary agent  often gets me better deals on the contract.  Read books like The Artists & Writers’ Year Book (U.K.) or “The Writers’ Market (U.S.A.) to research which publishers are interested in your genre and any specific requirements they have.  You can also use Google to find publishers interested in your  genre, and their web page will give you guidelines and whether or not they accept unagented queries. Then be patient – you rarely get an answer in less than 3 months.

I’m always happy to hear your comments, and you can also contact me if you’re interested in purchasing any of my book, or need help with a writing problem.  Write to me at dwaysman@gmail.com

Good luck!

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WRITING ABOUT NATURE

 

I am currently having a love affair with pigeon who has just built a nest on my kitchen window-sill.  She must have heard that my place is a good b. & b. from her friend, who just  recently hatched her eggs in the same place, fed them worms until they were big enough to fly, and left me with an empty nest syndrome.  But now  I am happily watching the process all over again.

My morning rendez-vous with the birds on the balcony of my Jerusalem home began many years ago, when I first met my son-in-law’s mother, a Holocaust survivor.  At the time, bread was highly subsidized in Israel, very cheap and many people threw it out when it became a day-old.  She told me how a crust of bread often meant the difference between life and death in the Auschwitz  concentration camp, and she would beg her neighbors to give her what they didn’t want.  What she couldn’t transform into breadcrumbs, she would take down the street to a place near her home in Yavne, a small development town,  where there were donkeys, and she’d feed it to them.

There are no donkeys in Beit Hakerem where I live , but I never forgot her words and since then  could never throw away a piece of bread.  So I decided to feed the birds, putting out the crusts and stale slices every morning on my back balcony where I grow my herbs.  For most of the year, when it’s sunny, that’s where we eat breakfast and now the birds come and breakfast with us every day.  At 6 a.m., there are one or two sitting in the branches of a tree below our balcony.  They know me now – they twitter a few notes, and soon there are thirty or more different birds coming magically from surrounding trees, waiting to partake of their breakfast.  For me, feeding G-d’s creatures is like a song of praise to the Creator, and they repay me with birdsong.

I have read that there are 470 species of birds that visit Israel through the seasons – very few regions in the world can boast of so great a variety within such a small geographical area.   The reason for this wealth of birdlife  is that we are situated at the meeting-point of three continents … Europe, Asia and Africa.   Israel is also located along one of migration routes of Eurasian birds, forming almost the only land  bridge between the Meditteranean and the Arabian deserts.  Birds visit on their way south  to Africa in the autumn  and back north again to Europe and Asia in the spring.

I don’t think many of my birds are visitors, because they come back every day no matter what the weather, so they must mostly  be resident birds.   The little brown  birds that send a message to the others as they watch for me to open the door to my balcony every morning are wrens.

Each one takes a tiny portion – sometimes just a few crumbs – and either eats it on the ledge or flies back with a piece in its mouth to a nest hidden in some nearby tree.   Then come a few sparrows, which seem to congregate in flocks and like each other’s company while they dine.    If  I’m lucky a lark will come, and sing me a song of gratitude after his breakfast.  The turtle doves should be arriving  soon  and will stay until the summer is over.  I love to hear their deep-throated cooing.  Last year they made a nest on the ledge outside my study.  They laid three eggs.  The mother sat on them, and her mate brought her food regularly in his beak (as a good husband should).  I watched every day for the eggs to hatch and finally they did.  I didn’t open my study window all summer for fear of frightening them away, but they soon learned to fly and were gone.  I am hoping they will remember and come to nest again.

Near the bread, I also put out a container of water, and many of them appreciate this – either to drink, or they land right in it and have a bath.  The most unusual bird that has come to visit so far, I identified through a picture in a book as a Red-throated Pipit.   It is about 15 cms. .long, a wingspan of 27 cms.   The throat is russet brown and so is the breast.  I found out it comes from northern Scandinavia, and it turned up one winter morning.  Then it disappeared for a few months and came back in the spring.  I don’t know if it was the same one, but I like to think it was, that it had enjoyed my hospitality and remembered my balcony.

It is very therapeutic to make a special place in your home where you can enjoy nature, whether it be birdlife, flowers, herbs or trees.  No matter how elegant or comfortable the interior, make a spot on a balcony where you can overlook a garden or trees if you don’t have your own.  There you will find beauty and stillness, free from noise and distractions.  It is very calming to take time to meditate, watch a sunset or in autumn the  leaves turning gold.  And remember the lovely Chinese proverb:  “ Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.”

If you also commune with nature, then write about your experiences for others to share. There are lots of eco-friendly magazines that will be happy to publish them – just look them up on a Search Engine and read their Writers’ Guidelines and you’ll be delighted how quickly the editor gets back to you.  Happy writing!

 

 

(850 words)                               ___________________

 

Dvora Waysman  5 / 5 Karmon Street, Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem 96308 Israel

Tel: 972 2  6513096  e-mail: ways@netvision.net.il  website:  www.dvorawaysman.com

BREAKFAST  WITH  THE  BIRDS

by   DVORA WAYSMAN

 

My morning rendez-vous with the birds on the balcony of my Jerusalem home began many years ago, when I first met my son-in-law’s mother, a Holocaust survivor.  At the time, bread was highly subsidized in Israel, very cheap and many people threw it out when it became a day-old.  She told me how a crust of bread often meant the difference between life and death in the Auschwitz  concentration camp, and she would beg her neighbors to give her what they didn’t want.  What she couldn’t transform into breadcrumbs, she would take down the street to a place near her home in Yavne, a small development town,  where there were donkeys, and she’d feed it to them.

 

There are no donkeys in Beit Hakerem where I live , but I never forgot her words and since then  could never throw away a piece of bread.  So I decided to feed the birds, putting out the crusts and stale slices every morning on my back balcony where I grow my herbs.  For most of the year, when it’s sunny, that’s where we eat breakfast and now the birds come and breakfast with us every day.  At 6 a.m., there are one or two sitting in the branches of a tree below our balcony.  They know me now – they twitter a few notes, and soon there are thirty or more different birds coming magically from surrounding trees, waiting to partake of their breakfast.  For me, feeding G-d’s creatures is like a song of praise to the Creator, and they repay me with birdsong.

 

I have read that there are 470 species of birds that visit Israel through the seasons – very few regions in the world can boast of so great a variety within such a small geographical area.   The reason for this wealth of birdlife  is that we are situated at the meeting-point of three continents … Europe, Asia and Africa.   Israel is also located along one of migration routes of Eurasian birds, forming almost the only land  bridge between the Meditteranean and the Arabian deserts.  Birds visit on their way south  to Africa in the autumn  and back north again to Europe and Asia in the spring.

 

I don’t think many of my birds are visitors, because they come back every day no matter what the weather, so they must mostly  be resident birds.   The little brown  birds that send a message to the others as they watch for me to open the door to my balcony every morning are wrens.

Each one takes a tiny portion – sometimes just a few crumbs – and either eats it on the ledge or flies back with a piece in its mouth to a nest hidden in some nearby tree.   Then come a few sparrows, which seem to congregate in flocks and like each other’s company while they dine.    If  I’m lucky a lark will come, and sing me a song of gratitude after his breakfast.  The turtle doves should be arriving  soon  and will stay until the summer is over.  I love to hear their deep-throated cooing.  Last year they made a nest on the ledge outside my study.  They laid three eggs.  The mother sat on them, and her mate brought her food regularly in his beak (as a good husband should).  I watched every day for the eggs to hatch and finally they did.  I didn’t open my study window all summer for fear of frightening them away, but they soon learned to fly and were gone.  I am hoping they will remember and come to nest again.

 

Near the bread, I also put out a container of water, and many of them appreciate this – either to drink, or they land right in it and have a bath.  The most unusual bird that has come to visit so far, I identified through a picture in a book as a Red-throated Pipit.   It is about 15 cms. .long, a wingspan of 27 cms.   The throat is russet brown and so is the breast.  I found out it comes from northern Scandinavia, and it turned up one winter morning.  Then it disappeared for a few months and came back in the spring.  I don’t know if it was the same one, but I like to think it was, that it had enjoyed my hospitality and remembered my balcony.

 

It is very therapeutic to make a special place in your home where you can enjoy nature, whether it be birdlife, flowers, herbs or trees.  No matter how elegant or comfortable the interior, make a spot on a balcony where you can overlook a garden or trees if you don’t have your own.  There you will find beauty and stillness, free from noise and distractions.  It is very calming to take time to meditate, watch a sunset or in autumn the  leaves turning gold.  And remember the lovely Chinese proverb:  “ Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.”

 

(850 words)                               ___________________

 

Dvora Waysman  5 / 5 Karmon Street, Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem 96308 Israel

Tel: 972 2  6513096  e-mail: ways@netvision.net.il  website:  www.dvorawaysman.com

BREAKFAST  WITH  THE  BIRDS

by   DVORA WAYSMAN

 

My morning rendez-vous with the birds on the balcony of my Jerusalem home began many years ago, when I first met my son-in-law’s mother, a Holocaust survivor.  At the time, bread was highly subsidized in Israel, very cheap and many people threw it out when it became a day-old.  She told me how a crust of bread often meant the difference between life and death in the Auschwitz  concentration camp, and she would beg her neighbors to give her what they didn’t want.  What she couldn’t transform into breadcrumbs, she would take down the street to a place near her home in Yavne, a small development town,  where there were donkeys, and she’d feed it to them.

 

There are no donkeys in Beit Hakerem where I live , but I never forgot her words and since then  could never throw away a piece of bread.  So I decided to feed the birds, putting out the crusts and stale slices every morning on my back balcony where I grow my herbs.  For most of the year, when it’s sunny, that’s where we eat breakfast and now the birds come and breakfast with us every day.  At 6 a.m., there are one or two sitting in the branches of a tree below our balcony.  They know me now – they twitter a few notes, and soon there are thirty or more different birds coming magically from surrounding trees, waiting to partake of their breakfast.  For me, feeding G-d’s creatures is like a song of praise to the Creator, and they repay me with birdsong.

 

I have read that there are 470 species of birds that visit Israel through the seasons – very few regions in the world can boast of so great a variety within such a small geographical area.   The reason for this wealth of birdlife  is that we are situated at the meeting-point of three continents … Europe, Asia and Africa.   Israel is also located along one of migration routes of Eurasian birds, forming almost the only land  bridge between the Meditteranean and the Arabian deserts.  Birds visit on their way south  to Africa in the autumn  and back north again to Europe and Asia in the spring.

 

I don’t think many of my birds are visitors, because they come back every day no matter what the weather, so they must mostly  be resident birds.   The little brown  birds that send a message to the others as they watch for me to open the door to my balcony every morning are wrens.

Each one takes a tiny portion – sometimes just a few crumbs – and either eats it on the ledge or flies back with a piece in its mouth to a nest hidden in some nearby tree.   Then come a few sparrows, which seem to congregate in flocks and like each other’s company while they dine.    If  I’m lucky a lark will come, and sing me a song of gratitude after his breakfast.  The turtle doves should be arriving  soon  and will stay until the summer is over.  I love to hear their deep-throated cooing.  Last year they made a nest on the ledge outside my study.  They laid three eggs.  The mother sat on them, and her mate brought her food regularly in his beak (as a good husband should).  I watched every day for the eggs to hatch and finally they did.  I didn’t open my study window all summer for fear of frightening them away, but they soon learned to fly and were gone.  I am hoping they will remember and come to nest again.

 

Near the bread, I also put out a container of water, and many of them appreciate this – either to drink, or they land right in it and have a bath.  The most unusual bird that has come to visit so far, I identified through a picture in a book as a Red-throated Pipit.   It is about 15 cms. .long, a wingspan of 27 cms.   The throat is russet brown and so is the breast.  I found out it comes from northern Scandinavia, and it turned up one winter morning.  Then it disappeared for a few months and came back in the spring.  I don’t know if it was the same one, but I like to think it was, that it had enjoyed my hospitality and remembered my balcony.

 

It is very therapeutic to make a special place in your home where you can enjoy nature, whether it be birdlife, flowers, herbs or trees.  No matter how elegant or comfortable the interior, make a spot on a balcony where you can overlook a garden or trees if you don’t have your own.  There you will find beauty and stillness, free from noise and distractions.  It is very calming to take time to meditate, watch a sunset or in autumn the  leaves turning gold.  And remember the lovely Chinese proverb:  “ Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.”

 

(850 words)                               ___________________

 

Dvora Waysman  5 / 5 Karmon Street, Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem 96308 Israel

Tel: 972 2  6513096  e-mail: ways@netvision.net.il  website:  www.dvorawaysman.com

BREAKFAST  WITH  THE  BIRDS

by   DVORA WAYSMAN

 

My morning rendez-vous with the birds on the balcony of my Jerusalem home began many years ago, when I first met my son-in-law’s mother, a Holocaust survivor.  At the time, bread was highly subsidized in Israel, very cheap and many people threw it out when it became a day-old.  She told me how a crust of bread often meant the difference between life and death in the Auschwitz  concentration camp, and she would beg her neighbors to give her what they didn’t want.  What she couldn’t transform into breadcrumbs, she would take down the street to a place near her home in Yavne, a small development town,  where there were donkeys, and she’d feed it to them.

 

There are no donkeys in Beit Hakerem where I live , but I never forgot her words and since then  could never throw away a piece of bread.  So I decided to feed the birds, putting out the crusts and stale slices every morning on my back balcony where I grow my herbs.  For most of the year, when it’s sunny, that’s where we eat breakfast and now the birds come and breakfast with us every day.  At 6 a.m., there are one or two sitting in the branches of a tree below our balcony.  They know me now – they twitter a few notes, and soon there are thirty or more different birds coming magically from surrounding trees, waiting to partake of their breakfast.  For me, feeding G-d’s creatures is like a song of praise to the Creator, and they repay me with birdsong.

 

I have read that there are 470 species of birds that visit Israel through the seasons – very few regions in the world can boast of so great a variety within such a small geographical area.   The reason for this wealth of birdlife  is that we are situated at the meeting-point of three continents … Europe, Asia and Africa.   Israel is also located along one of migration routes of Eurasian birds, forming almost the only land  bridge between the Meditteranean and the Arabian deserts.  Birds visit on their way south  to Africa in the autumn  and back north again to Europe and Asia in the spring.

 

I don’t think many of my birds are visitors, because they come back every day no matter what the weather, so they must mostly  be resident birds.   The little brown  birds that send a message to the others as they watch for me to open the door to my balcony every morning are wrens.

Each one takes a tiny portion – sometimes just a few crumbs – and either eats it on the ledge or flies back with a piece in its mouth to a nest hidden in some nearby tree.   Then come a few sparrows, which seem to congregate in flocks and like each other’s company while they dine.    If  I’m lucky a lark will come, and sing me a song of gratitude after his breakfast.  The turtle doves should be arriving  soon  and will stay until the summer is over.  I love to hear their deep-throated cooing.  Last year they made a nest on the ledge outside my study.  They laid three eggs.  The mother sat on them, and her mate brought her food regularly in his beak (as a good husband should).  I watched every day for the eggs to hatch and finally they did.  I didn’t open my study window all summer for fear of frightening them away, but they soon learned to fly and were gone.  I am hoping they will remember and come to nest again.

 

Near the bread, I also put out a container of water, and many of them appreciate this – either to drink, or they land right in it and have a bath.  The most unusual bird that has come to visit so far, I identified through a picture in a book as a Red-throated Pipit.   It is about 15 cms. .long, a wingspan of 27 cms.   The throat is russet brown and so is the breast.  I found out it comes from northern Scandinavia, and it turned up one winter morning.  Then it disappeared for a few months and came back in the spring.  I don’t know if it was the same one, but I like to think it was, that it had enjoyed my hospitality and remembered my balcony.

 

It is very therapeutic to make a special place in your home where you can enjoy nature, whether it be birdlife, flowers, herbs or trees.  No matter how elegant or comfortable the interior, make a spot on a balcony where you can overlook a garden or trees if you don’t have your own.  There you will find beauty and stillness, free from noise and distractions.  It is very calming to take time to meditate, watch a sunset or in autumn the  leaves turning gold.  And remember the lovely Chinese proverb:  “ Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.”

 

(850 words)                               ___________________

 

Dvora Waysman  5 / 5 Karmon Street, Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem 96308 Israel

Tel: 972 2  6513096  e-mail: ways@netvision.net.il  website:  www.dvorawaysman.com

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take your characters on a journey

There is a great feeling of relief when you finish writing a book.  I’ve just completed my 14th, and finally typed it into the computer (I always write in longhand first);  wrote a satisfying The End  and sent it off in a Word doc. to my literary agent in New York.  First, I felt sad that I wouldn’t be living with the characters every day as I have been doing for a few months; but then a great feeling of freedom came over me that I now had time for other things, including this Blog which I have been neglecting lately.

I want to write today about taking your characters on a journey.  Readers need to go through the ups and downs, experience the traumas, revel in the successes of your characters; they need to live vicariously.

The destination is never as important as the journey itself.  To begin, your characters must be on the verge of change.  They  might only journey in the smallest , least noticeable of ways, yet we feel utter satisfaction.  Not all journeys are the same.  There are overt ones, like losing a job, getting a promotion,  falling in love, having children – but beneath the surface there are also the inner journeys, the profound journeys.

Seeing other people for who they are is not easy.   While it is a profound journey in its own right, it is still only a partial journey.  An abused wife might get rid of her husband but a year later fall back into the old relationship, even with a new partner.   Breaking a symptom does not necessarily break a pattern.  The character needs self-realization – to take personal responsibility for their lives.  It can be triggered from within, but often it is caused by an outside source such as the words of a teacher, a friend, the clergy.  Then it should be followed by action – the kind that your reader will find deeply satisfying.

Friendships can change a person’s life.   Physical changes in the body  can cause a powerful surface journey , as our appearance is often equated with identity.  The search for knowledge can also be a powerful motive for undertaking a journey.     A character who starts out with no children and has three by the end of your book will be a different person, as will one who gains  a sibling (by birth or marriage). While family feels like the most permanent thing in the world, it is always changing – birth, death, marriage, divorce. Obstacles are helpful tools at your disposal – they prolong the journey, cause conflict and aid in suspense.  When you take your characters on a journey, you’ll find you travel with them until you – and they- reach their final destination.

Happy writing!  I am always happy to hear your comments.

 

 

 

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COMING TO THE END

I apologise that it’s been a while since I wrote a new blog.  The reason – I was finishing my novel “Searching for Sarah” – my 14th book.  All kinds of emotions fight for supremacy … relief that I managed it; but sadness at parting with the characters I’ve been living with for such a long time.  As any author will tell you, they become as real as the members of your own family … you laugh with them, cry with them, ache at their losses and celebrate their achievements.

 

I always write my fiction in long-hand into a notebook; I find that writing it straight on the computer somehow interferes with the creative process, so I am now involved in typing my words into the computer.  I make a few little corrections as I go along – sometimes I find I’ve used a certain word repetitevely and I need to find a synonym; sometimes the punctuation needs correcting.  But basically, after all these years of writing, I find there is little to change.  Now I have to let go, and think if – at my age – I should start a new project.  As I am an optimist, perhaps I will!

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SUCCESSFUL WRITING STRATEGIES

Can you imagine selling 350 million books?  It takes your breath away, but one writer reputedly has done it – Stephen King with 70 books of horror, science fiction, and fantasy to his name.   He has shared some of his writing strategies that have contributed to his success.

TELL THE TRUTH! You can write anything you want, as long as you tell the truth by imbuing your story with life.  Make it unique by blending in your own knowledge of life, friendship, relationships and work.  Be brave.

DON’T USE BIG WORDS IF SMALL ONES WORK.   It’s like dressing up your household pet in evening clothes.

USE SOME SINGLE SENTENCE PARAGRAPHS. It makes the reader feel welcome. The single sentence paragraph resembles talking more than writing  – it’s seduction.

WRITE FOR YOUR IDEAL READER. All novels are really letters aimed at one person – the ideal reader.  In King’s case, it was his wife Tabitha.

READ A LOT.  Always have a book with you to read in small sips as well as in long swallows – waiting rooms, theatre lobbies, long checkout lines and the smallest room in the house.

WRITE ONE WORD AT A TIME.   It’s that simple.

WRITE FOR THE JOY OF IT.   He said he’s made a lot of money, but never wrote just for the money. He did it for the buzz and the pure joy of writing.  He said that if you write for joy, you can do it forever.

So now you know.  Happy writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FINDING THE TIME

It is not easy, sharing precious time with your family, your job, your responsibilities and writing.  If the latter takes up too much of your time, you start feeling guilty and that’s not the recipe for success as a writer.

No matter where you are on the writing spectrum, from fledgling to accomplished, not having enough time is a common problem.  Having a home office, where intrusion is absolutely forbidden, is one solution.  But this is not available to everyone.  With young children, who do not understand that there are times that their mother (or father) is unavailable to them, especially when they are home, the answer lies in hiring babysitters if you can afford it, or enlisting help from other family members.

 

The feeling that writing is as much who we are as what we do, can keep us working  It’s not like a coat that you can put on or take off; it’s more like the blood running through our veins.    So here are a few tips to make the process easier:

  1.  Get up early.  For projects that need a lot of concentration, this is the best time to work.
  2.  Take your work with you.  You never know when a slot of time will open up that will give you the time and privacy you need.
  3. Cook less – make the freezer, crockpot and microwave your friends.
  4.  If you can afford it, hire a cleaning service or a high-schooler who needs pocket money, to do some of the more time-consuming chores.
  5. Set goals.  Give yourself a minimum number of words you have to write every day and you’ll find that you can do it.
  6. Get a portable word processor and take it with you everywhere.
  7. Let go. The house doesn’t always have to be perfect.  Cookies can come from a package. Prioritize what’s important, but also allow some time for family interaction and just to relax.  Enjoy life!
  8. I’m always happy to hear your comments, and to help you in any way.  You can contact me or buy my books by writing to me at dwaysman@gmail.com.  Happy writing!

 

 

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