Writing For Regional Parenting Publications For Fun & Profit Quote By Christina KatzWhen the going gets tough, those who are committed become more determined.

On the other hand, when the going gets tough, that’s when a lot of folks quit or find something else bright and shiny to focus on instead.

I like getting out and about in the professional writing scene because I catch a glimpse of the writers who didn’t give up. And I would like to write about one of those writers today.

I met Gary Corbin at the Willamette Writers Conference eleven years ago. We were both there, in 20o5, to pitch our book concepts. We both pitched well and we both made an impression on pitching practice agents and editors. But then, somehow, I got a book deal for my nonfiction book and Gary didn’t get a book deal for his novel.

Flash forward to earlier this year. Gary should have given up by then. After all, over a decade had gone by and he still did not have a book deal for his novel. This means traditional publishing wasn’t smiling on his idea, his writing or him. That may sound like a harsh way of putting it, but I suspect this is probably how Gary felt.

But guess what? Traditional publishing doesn’t get to have the last word on your book concept, your writing, or you. You get to have the last word. And right now, Gary is having the last word, and then another last word, and then another, and another, and another because he’s taken the success of his novel into his own hands. And he’s doing so well that he’s self-published his second novel, and he’s working on his third.

fink_body-300x250Earlier this year, Gary self-published his novel, Lying In Judgment, and committed himself to getting the word out about it. When I interviewed Gary at the Willamette Writers Conference as an impromptu part of my presentation on platform development for writers, he said that every time someone said they didn’t think they could sell his novel, he would think, “I know how to sell it.”

For years, he kept getting rejected, and they kept saying the same thing. And every time they did, Gary kept thinking that he knew how to present, position, and sell his book. And in the interim he made his book better. A lot better. He said over a dozen people had read the book and given him feedback before he self-published it. And this was smart. Because maybe those people, who were saying no all those years were too polite to say, “We don’t know how to sell this, and oh, you need to make it better, too.”

Writers are not exactly inclined to make things better unless someone asks them to. I mean, we are always hoping, wishing, and praying that our last best effort was good enough, right? And sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. In Gary’s case, after over a decade of working on his novel, he zoomed past the finish line to publication-quality writing.

A lot of writers don’t know what publication-quality writing is. And that’s okay. The key is, if you don’t know what that means and you want to be published, either by yourself or by a publisher, you need to not only find out what publication-quality means, you need to write that way. And learning to write well enough might take you some time, and money, and classes, and practice–lots of practice.

Even in the Internet age, I think some folks are still confused about writing and publishing. I think they still want to believe that writers just sit down, write crap, wave a magic wand over it, and then they are done. But that’s not how it works at all. Writers craft in drafts. Writers draft and draft and draft. And then they draft some more. And in between those drafts, they get feedback. They get feedback from professionals, not pals. They work with folks who can help them become better writers, who often cost money to hire. These people are always picky and sometimes are even fairly ruthless on the page. Ruthless, for example, in eliminating typos or word repetitions. Because most writers need someone to be blatantly honest about the quality of their words.

I don’t know how often Gary paid or didn’t pay for editorial feedback on his novel, but I do know this: Gary works as a professional editor. So I am thinking maybe if you hear that a professional editor needed feedback on his novel, you will also be motivated to get some feedback on your aspiring-to-be-professional work, as well, whether you are an editor or not.

Recently, someone suggested to me that Gary might not be ready to present his success strategies to other writers because his success was so fledgling. To which I want to gamely reply, Like heck it is! Gary’s success goes all the way back to 2005, when he got in the game with the other professionals. He has been in the publishing game for the long haul. What we are seeing now is the payoff of over a decade of affirming to himself that he could sell his book better than anyone. Apparently, that is exactly what he needed to prove to himself because that is exactly what he is doing.

So, I’d like to offer a standing ovation to Gary Corbin for sticking with his dream of publishing his novel, Lying In Judgment, for making it better, and for knowing when it was time to take his success into his own hands. Well done, Gary. You are a terrific example for all writers, and especially for novelists who are only a few decisions away from deciding to approve of themselves.

Oh, and by the way, I have jury duty this week, and I swear to God, I didn’t do it. But what if I had…?

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Join my monthly pep talk video series because all the other prosperous writers are doing it. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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Three cheers for hunker down and write time. Set some goals to be more happy and productive than you’ve ever been! Now begins a great time of year to write your heart out.

Sweater weather, yay! Wrap yourself up and go for a walk on a brisk day so your creative mind can get into the flow. Observe the fall beauty and see what comes up for you. (Check out handmade sweaters on Etsy–they are just fun to look at.)

Happy homecoming! Whether you are a big football fan or not, I wrote an inspirational take on the fall ritual of homecoming in my latest ezine (which has recently undergone a name change). See what you think!

Bring the outdoors in with a little nature meditation. What do you have on hand? Grapes, gourds, apples, acorns? Whatever you can harvest from the yard or markets, bring it in, and make a little display out of it. Check out autumn display ideas on Pinterest for inspiration.

Get a head start on that next book. Start thinking about your NaNoWriMo topic now, if you are planning to participate. I am thinking about it. Excited to consider the possibilities.

Autumn scents are awesome. I heard about some cool candles from Makers Of Wax Goods that have crackling wicks that I want to try. But if you know of any other awesome fall candles, please add your suggestions to the comments. (With wicks only, please, no wax melters.)

Dig into some daily rituals. Morning pages? Afternoon tea time? Daily exercise? Planting bulbs for spring? Play time with the pets? Which rituals help you feel grounded and happy? Whatever the answer is, those are the right things to do.

Want to earn more? This seems to be on every writer’s mind lately. That’s why I created my online video course on The Art Of Selling Articles Like A Seasoned Pro. This is the show-me-the-money-course for journalists.

Get ready for winter. Throw yourself into some of those fall chores that just have to get done before the cold weather hits. I know they don’t sound like fun, but sometimes focusing on an methodical external task can do wonders for your creativity. Now that I can spin like Julie Andrews in the Sound Of Music in the wood shed, I am here to tell you that it just feels good, too.

Activate your creativity. Take a look at creativity books from my bookshelf that I highly recommend. I took some time to round them up for you.

Think autumn. I’m featuring autumn-themed posters in my Etsy shop right now. Check them out, if you like digital download wall art.

Do something new daily. I’m doing a #daily #decor post on Instagram and I’m enjoying the routine, as well as the opportunity to take a closer look at my surroundings (which I so often ignore when I am absorbed in my writing).

Celebrate fall and then write about it. So many of my articles have been inspired by personal experience. Either something happens and then I later write about it or I plan an activity and write about it. Check out my autumn idea prompt book for your own stories and articles.

More ideas! I wrote a post on Autumn indulgences for writers a few years back. Click here for more inspiration.

Spruce Up That Platform. Last but not least, fall is a great time to consolidate your online platform and then update it any ways that might be needed. I’ve written about this and I teach three video courses that will help you clarify and communicate all that you offer.

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Join my monthly pep talk video series because all the other prosperous writers are doing it. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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A little over a year ago, I wanted to figure out how to use the most current technology to create a monthly coaching series. I had some ups and downs in the first year, but I’ve settled into a happy groove over the past few months and I think more writers will love what I am offering.

The idea behind BYOWC is that everyone wants a writing coach but not everyone has a budget for personal coaching. For example, my phone consult rate is $150 an hour, and I recognize that not everyone wants to spend that much.

But for just $10 a month, paid by subscription, you can look forward to a ten-minute video pep talk on a specific writing-related topic in your inbox on the first Tuesday of each month. Subscribers also receive a tips lists, summarize the key points in each pep talk, and a goal-setting sheet for the month, which they can update to track goals.

Examples of topics include: finding your voice, getting paid on time every time, and how to do effective research without wasting time.

It sounds so simple, a pep talk, some tips, and a goal-setting worksheet, but writers needs are complex these days. There have never been so many distractions online. All of my tools for creatives center on offering encouraging words and advice for busy creatives. Sometimes we just need someone to remind us how simple it is to succeed in this business. Sometimes we just need someone to help us focus our attention. And sometimes we just need to hear some encouraging words from someone who knows what we are going through.

So what are you waiting for? Why not sign up now for Become Your Own Writing Coach and I’ll send you the pep talk and tips for How To Get Paid On Time Every Time. You’ll have to wait for your first subscription to get the goal-setting worksheets, but they are worth waiting for.

BYOWC BadgeI have been teaching writers how to identify and reach their goals for over 15 years. Writers like working with me because I combine just the right amount of inspiration with just the right amount of butt-kicking.

Nobody offers the level of focused care that I offer. And no one can do what I do. So what in the world are you waiting for? Sign up for your subscription today and I will send you the video and tips that will help you get paid on time every time.

Other coaches and experts offer formulas. But those formulas are not customized to your needs and dreams. My Become Your Own Writing Coach program lets you stop beating yourself up for what you haven’t yet accomplished, and start discovering what you truly long to accomplish.

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Join my monthly pep talk video series because all the other prosperous writers are doing it. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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I heard about these illustrated autobiographies from Brain Pickings and I am utterly charmed by them.

I added a couple to my short list for holiday gifts and thought they might appeal to some of my like-minded friends.

So here you go.

Library of Luminaries: Friday Kahlo, An Illustrated Biography

Library of Luminaries: Virginia Woolf, An Illustrated Biography

Library of Luminaries: Coco Chanel, An Illustrated Biography

Library of Luminaries: Jane Austen, An Illustrated Biography

Aren’t they fun? Let me know what you think!

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Join my monthly pep talk video series because all the other prosperous writers are doing it. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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Prices Slashed For September: Reignite Your Creative Productivity With Inspiring Classes

September 1, 2016

Happy September! As you may have noticed, I’m refocusing my blog on creative prosperity and I’m super-excited about this change. I will be test-driving a lot of potential new looks over the course of September, so don’t be surprised if things seem a little topsy-turvy around here. What I do has not changed. I’m still […]

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Paper-lovers, Practical Home Office Products To Inspire Your Next Organizational Update

August 30, 2016

Is it time for a home office overhaul? I just redid my office this summer and it feels great now that we are on the brink of fall! As you are about to discover, I do not operate on the paperless office principal by any means. As a visual, tactile person, I thrive on using […]

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A Continuous Quest For Joy Is What My Creative Writing Process Is Like

August 29, 2016

Hi folks! I posted a photo on Instagram that prompted a few questions. Here’s the photo: So the questions are about how do I label my paper sorter and what is in those cubbies and on my clipboards? What you are seeing here is the result of how I inspire myself in my home office. […]

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Annual Sale In My Encouraging Words Etsy Shop: Buy Two Posters Get One Free

August 22, 2016

I am pleased to announce that I’ve had my busiest month of sales ever in my Etsy shop, Words, Glorious Words. And this was before I put my entire shop of posters on sale. I am even more pleased to announce that between now and the end day after Labor Day weekend, you can get […]

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Recommended Sessions At The Willamette Writers Conference

August 10, 2016

I am teaching at the Willamette Writers Conference this weekend. This is the writing conference I attended in 2005, where I sold my first book, Writer Mama to Jane Friedman, when she was still at Writer’s Digest Books. I’ve taken a break from teaching appearances for a few years, so I am looking forward to […]

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