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tartanrosepost

"I don't want to earn my living; I want to live."

Month

July 2016

Let’s make friends! #networking

Good evening all!

Short, sweet and unscheduled blog for this evening! I just wanted to share this with all those who are always looking for ways to meet new people, read more blogs and connect with those around them.

So please do follow the link below, and check out the Inspire Me Linky Party! You will find plenty of people waiting for you, as well as all kinds of hints and tips. So off you go and take a look!

Here’s the linky link! 🙂

Happy blogging!

TartanRose.

WordPress Meet and Greet – All Bloggers Welcome

Wonderful idea – let’s help build this community 🙂 Check out opinionated man’s blog for the meet and greet! 🙂

HarsH ReaLiTy

Well this is the third post I have done like this so far and I have seen some great connections. I’ll keep doing these off and on and I think they provide a great way for “active bloggers” to network. This post now has over 2,000 active bloggers waiting to connect in it. I encourage anyone looking for new blogs to view or people to converse with to browse through the comment section and network.

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23 Tips from Famous Writers for New and Emerging Authors

Found this blog post just when I needed it yesterday, sharing for anyone else in need who doesn’t know it! Stop by A Not So Jaded Life’s blog to see the original post!

Can you teach creativity? #Whatdoyouthink

I’m a person with a passion for writing – a person who has also had very little in the way of training in creative writing. But I promise I’ve been practicing!

For a number of years now, I have wanted to take a creative writing course but during a conversation with my brother one day, the question was raised…Can you teach creativity?

I’m curious to see how others will answer this question.

I’m sure there are some who would say that my lack of training probably shows and in many ways I’m inclined to agree with them. I wanted to take that course in the hope of picking up further tips or learning more discipline, the dos and don’ts and things like that rather than trying to learn how to be creative.

I come to wondering, are there others out there who have taken such a course, who had never written a single thing in their lives? Or if they had, had done so with great difficulty. The kind of people who just don’t have story ideas or random pieces or plot take shape in their minds without their consent?

I am one of those who cherishes learning – and aim to learn something new every day, ever expanding my knowledge. But if someone were to ask me, can you teach creativity, my gut instinct would be to answer no. Perhaps that is a little cruel, but it’s my belief that the desire to create is just in you.

I write, because I want to. Stories, poems, screenplays – anything that takes my fancy but I’m more than just a writer. I draw, I can knit and crochet – in fact most of my hobbies are creative ones. That was not a choice I made, it is an in-built desire to create.

Yes, we might not always be very good at it and training from someone with more knowledge can be incredibly useful, but aren’t we then learning mechanics, rather than creativity?

My brother was of the belief, that the course had perhaps been wrongly named. I’m interested to know, how would you answer the question?

Should we write for others or ourselves? #Whodoyouwritefor?

I’ve found myself asking this question simply because not all writers seem to have the same opinion on the subject. As for myself, I think my answer is fairly fluid, neither picking one side nor the other.

For me, if I’m not enjoying the story I’m desperately trying to thread together, the chances are, I won’t finish writing the first draft. I wouldn’t say it would be mercilessly thrown on the scrapheap – more tenderly laid aside in a box in the attic for another day. However, the fact remains, if I don’t like the piece it won’t be finished. I suppose it could be said in that case, that I’m writing for myself?

But of course, that isn’t strictly accurate.

A little over a year ago, I decided to tell my friend a story. It was a sort of practice exercise, an experiment if you will – because I was curious about the time it would take to finish the first draft of a novel length piece of work if I really pushed it.

I broke a golden rule along the way – I was firing out on average, a chapter a day. And as I finished it, I’d give it a quick scan through and then email it on its way to my friend. Dum dum duuuum! :p

So she was reading it as a serial rather than a whole novel I suppose. It didn’t go through a proper edit, it was as rough as rough could be. But oddly, it helped a great deal. I finished the first draft in around eight weeks, working at an altogether steady pace, finishing with 105,540 words.

She loved it. Naturally she wanted more, and I thought, why not? I started the second novel on May 24, and typed ‘The End’ all too eagerly on June 12, while operating the same (type a chapter, send a chapter) method.

Now we all know it was a booboo to do that. And I know, when I finally get around to the edit (just for fun) it will probably break her heart to find pieces missing that have been cut away. But won’t it be a joy when she finds the parts that weren’t there before! J

If that isn’t an example of writing with a target audience in mind, I sure as hell don’t know what is!

Personally, the way I feel when I’m constructing a story is, the first draft I write according to what point I want to convey. The reader of course, still lurks in the back of my mind but ultimately, it’s my own thoughts and feelings I’m adhering too.

When it comes to bringing the book to a finished state, cutting bits away and putting it right, it’s very much the audience I’m thinking about during that process. Surely the whole reason to cut anything away in the first place is so the reader doesn’t have to sit through our insane ramblings, that don’t actually need to be there to move the story forward?

I could then argue, that the reason that I write is because I want to. It’s something I enjoy, something that seems to happen in spite of me at times. Even with something as simple and routine as keeping a diary; do we write that in the hope that other people, one day will read it? I certainly don’t – I’d be mortified if anyone read mine!

In conclusion, I think the answer could well be a little bit of both. What do you think?

TartanRose.

Help! #prettypleasewithacherryontop

Evening all! I have a request to ask of any willing volunteers, a bit of an odd one actually.

As I’ve said here enough times, I’ve been working alongside the Princes Trust for the past year, mostly because I’ve always been wary and a little bit frightened of self-employment. It is after all, not incredibly difficult to upset Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs – no matter whether it was an honest mistake or not. And I for one, am not all that good at maths.

Anyway, a part of this process, is that I have to face a dragon’s den style panel at the end of this month, to show what I have learned and if I am taking a viable risk with my business idea. That means taking along some market research and it is in gathering that data that I ask for your help.

Essentially, what I am looking for is as many volunteers as possible to read through a sample chapter, give it a short review and answer 6 short questions. It shouldn’t take more than twenty mins out of your day and you would be doing an aspiring author and fellow writer a solid.

Of course, I don’t really expect to get swamped with responses or volunteers for this and nor am I in the habit of pestering people – but if you would like to help out, I would be eternally grateful. Just indicate your interest in the comment box below.

For everyone else, thanks for reading – I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.

TartanRose.

Trads vs. Indies: Will This War Ever End?

Following on from the thoughts I posted yesterday, here is an interesting and informative article on the subject, from fellow blogger Lgould171784. Enjoy! TR xx

The Let's Play Ball Blog

0601161425Traditional publishers will probably never embrace independent authors as equals. They will be loath to admit that the terms of engagement in this ongoing battle are changing, that the combatants are becoming more equal, and that some authors even find a way to go “hybrid.” It’s becoming increasingly clear that the trads are losing the high ground they once held in the area of editorial standards.

Examples of bad editing crop up more and more in the traditional world. For example, there are few authors more successful at traditional publishing than Anne Rice. She also specializes in the hottest subjects in fiction, vampires and werewolves. Yet Floyd Orr, editor of the long-running review site PODBRAM, and a rabid Rice fan, reports: “Anne Rice’s 34th book contains more errors than I have ever seen in a top-selling, traditionally published hardback! There are errors of every kind: repeated common words, misused spellings…

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Where Have I Been? My Last 12 Months

Up until yesterday, it really had been a while since I was to be found on WordPress, reading or writing, so apologies for that; I had a lot on my plate!

It’s been a great year. Well, you know, up’s and downs – but as far as my writing is concerned it really has been a good year. I’ve had a few little adventures that have taught me a great deal and I will be eternally grateful to those who have given me those opportunities.

I did a number of weeks work experience with my local newspaper, working alongside a great team of journalists and under a knowledgeable and legendary editor – I learned an awful lot, skills that transfer into most aspects of writing when it comes to the editing process.

I was also pointed in the direction of a monthly magazine by a civil servant who knew the editor and wished me to give it a go. Always one to rise to a challenge, I, of course went for it and I had a fantastic time writing for them. That particular editor had an awful lot on his mind and wasn’t always the sort you could lean on, but he was such a likable chap that you couldn’t hold it against him. My work for him continues on an as and when basis, I hope it continues as such for the foreseeable future!

Towards the end of last year, I suffered a great deal of illness. Being one of those unfortunate people always prone to migraines, I’ve had to learn to live with them all of my life but for some reason, just like that, I was getting migraines or cluster headaches on a daily basis. It was not a pleasant experience and I was terrified that all the ground I had gained in trying to build a career for myself, was about to slide out from under my feet. Not good days.

Doctors didn’t help, but as one of those rare migraine sufferers who have food triggers, I did the best I could to fix it myself. I completely changed my diet in the new year, no processed rubbish, just good wholesome food and over time the headaches went away. After three months of pain and blurred vision, you can probably understand it was a welcome relief.

While all of this was going on, I continued to work alongside my mentor from the Prince’s Trust. She and the trust really have been a godsend – and I’m eternally grateful to have had their support and insight. I wouldn’t have come this far without them.

For someone like me, who had never done anything like this before, it was a lot to have taken on board all in one go. Not that I regret any of it even for a minute, I learned a hell of a lot about writing and about myself along the way. I’ve discovered that I’m a pretty rubbish journalist – not having the right temperament I think; but my god, what a fantastic experience to have gone through! I’ve learned I really enjoy writing feature length articles for a local glossy mag, much more than I imagined I would.

Best of all, I’ve learned that nothing but writing will do – no matter how long or hard a road it may be. I’ve had enough knocks now to know, I’m not giving up on this. And that’s a pretty awesome feeling.

So, again, my sincerest apologies for not having been here to read or write – but I’m back now, and far better organised to keep up with my blog. I’ve many posts planned for the future which I hope will be of interest to you. Wish me luck!

TR xx

Is a self-published author really an author?

Hello folks! It’s been a while I know, apologies for that – I’ve been very busy trying to make a career for myself. My latest research has raised a certain question and I’m curious to see what other blog writers or indeed any sort of writers think.

I recently read a post which suggested that authors who publish on Kindle or other self-publishing platforms aren’t really authors. It’s a fact that there has been a stigma attached to self-publishing and indeed vanity publishing for years, but I had thought that more recently, self-published authors had been more accepted.

But there are one or two articles kicking around on the internet that suggest otherwise. Personally, I don’t view self-published authors as being any different from those belonging to traditional publishing houses. They have after all, for the most part, still sat down and constructed a novel – which as we all know is no easy task. They’ve gone through the editing process, cut away pieces of that work when it killed them to do it, but they did it because it was necessary for the good of their story. Surely that is the very definition of an author?

I respect self-published authors, not just because they do all that a well-known author from a traditional publishers would do but because they do much more than that. They don’t have a team of professionals backing them. They don’t have an agent watching their back. They don’t have a marketing team getting people interested for them. They don’t have someone coming up with a catchy title or a good looking book cover. A traditionally published author for the most part has to give up those things and have no say in it. Self-published authors have to be business people as well as writers, and manage all of these things themselves unless they pay through the nose for professional help.

Okay, I will grant you that there are many terrible self-published titles filling the shelves on Kindle – but so there are too in every book store. Readers all have different tastes don’t they? My cup of tea might not be the same as yours, no matter which way it was published.

As well as all that, I often think self-publishing is actually quite a sensible way to go about things. We all write for the love of it, we all want to share that love. And much as we don’t write for the money (because often there isn’t much, if any!) I’m sure we have all dreamt that we could make a career out of our writing and fill our days doing the thing we love most. Self-publishing more often than not does offer a higher rate of royalties and much more importantly, you don’t have to sell your soul to the devil. Traditionally published writers usually have to sacrifice their rights to get a deal, so swept up and grateful to be given any sort of offer that they willing sign it all away. And a lot of the time, the publishing house never even uses those rights, they just sit there going to waste.

So I’m left wondering to myself – as I stand on the edge trying to decide which way to go for myself, which way is best? In the long run, self-publishing seems to be the way to go but as someone who has never published a book before, I can still see the fascination with traditional publishing houses. I don’t write to be hugely famous but it stands to reason you need a fan base to be successful even in a small way. If you can impress a publisher, surely you have a fighting chance out there in the world? Not to mention that lovely, warm, looked after feeling – even if you know it is all rubbish really.

Either way, I think anyone who has written a book, traditionally published, self-published, vanity published, or even sitting in a dusty old boxfile in the basement – I think all of those people are worthy of our respect. What do you think?

Tartan Rose xx

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