Money and Writing

My other career is as an estate planning attorney. In that capacity, I’ve spent many hours visiting with clients about what will happen when they pass away. To me, the personal matters, family values, and legacy development are most important, but money is what most people think about when considering estate planning.

With that in mind, let’s talk about money. How a family handles it says a lot about their personal value system. Interesting patterns and principles of behavior accompany the accumulation of wealth by those who aren’t born into an affluent family. Many people who do not earn large salaries, teachers for example, end up being millionaires simply because they are persistent, consistent, and committed to saving money and living below their means. In our office, we see a lot of common folks who are secretly very wealthy.

What does this have to do with writing? Click here to find out.

Kelly and Nancy

The Writing Life

The writing life is a battle.

Raise your hand if you feel like you’ve been fighting hard at this writing business. You’re doing everything the right way, but still you’re getting nowhere, and you’re losing. You’re going to conferences, taking classes, getting critiques, yet no publisher or agent wants you. Or you’ve written a fabulous book, you’re marketing like crazy, and you’ve become a social-media guru, and yet your book doesn’t sell.

Anyone relate? I’m seeing a lot of hands go up. Find out more by clicking here.

Kelly and Nancy

Memoir Writing

My father has an interesting life story as well as an interesting family story. He recently approached me to write these two stories down, and I took him up on the offer. He understood that his story wasn’t unique, yet the people were. His goal was to get the details down for the family as a keepsake. I saw something bigger.

Growing up in a small town in the 1930’s and 40’s would make an interesting book in and of itself, were it not for the well-kept—and not-so-well-kept—secrets that abound in every family and every town. The question became how to present the story. Read more.

Nancy and Kelly

Mistakes Authors Should Avoid

Authors need to avoid basic mistakes in the publishing world. Today’s featured article provides some helpful tips for writers.

As any author discovers, there’s plenty of free advice out there for what they should – and shouldn’t do – when publishing a book.

If I had to create a Top 10 list of mistakes authors should avoid at all costs, I’d focus on the following topics, because these omissions can really set you and your book back: Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Seasons In Writing

I used to really love summer: 4th of July, barbeques, fireworks, my birthday, swimming, and relaxing with family and friends. However, now that I am older (and no longer get summers off–soak it up while you can, kids!), I have really come to appreciate fall. My husband watching football on Saturdays while I read or work, pumpkin spiced lattes, baking, crunching through leaves, Thanksgiving, and the upcoming excitement of Christmas all make me smile.

Just as each year has seasons and each time in our lives has seasons so, too, should our writing have seasons. Your writing seasons may not look the same as someone else’s writing seasons; however, everyone should be purposeful about their seasons. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Obstacles

We loved this article. If you read this be sure to read all the comments in the comment section. It is very encouraging.

Writing can be tough. And that’s even without those external obstacles that can get in the way of achieving writerly dreams.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome to be a writer?

Mine was failure to believe that I could actually be a creative person who could actually write a novel. I don’t know what I thought a “creative person” was per se, but I did think it wasn’t me. That is, until I got over that and decided instead to just go for it.

What about you? Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Editing Writing

It is important to tighten up our writing and learn to edit our tomes. This article provides some helpful tips.

I love contests. Besides reading and feedback from critique partners, contests may be the best means by which my writing has improve.

For one thing, most contests give feedback, either through judges’ scoring sheets or through comments from other participants. Then too, contests provide opportunities to experiment—to try out a new premise or dance a little with a new point of view.

Read more.

Kelly and Nancy

Increase The Pace Of A Novel

Here are seven ways to increase your novel’s pace:

1. Know what your story’s ABOUT and understand your genre.
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2. Don’t begin at the beginning of your story. Say, for example, that you want to write a historical romance starring a heroine who’s rebuilding her life after adversity. It might seem logical to begin at the beginning, at the moment when her parents died. Or the moment when she decided to start stealing bread to feed her younger brother. Or the moment when she was arrested, or sentenced, or sent to prison. But remember. Your book is about the rebuilding. Your genre is historical romance. So consider beginning your novel in the middle-to-latter part of this woman’s journey. Maybe at the moment when she steps off a train in an unfamiliar town or the moment when she approaches the town’s ruggedly handsome (well, this is a romance, after all) shipping magnate to ask for a job.

Read more.

Kelly and Nancy

We Are Examples

When my children were small, I went back to college to earn my bachelor’s and teaching degrees, even though in my heart, I wanted to be a writer. Not the most practical profession when one needs to earn an income. School meant being gone two nights a week and every other Saturday for more than two years. I crammed study time between my part-time housecleaning business, shuffling my kids to 4-H meetings and the other myriad of house-wifely duties.

And it wasn’t until graduation night when we stopped for dinner at an upscale restaurant that I realized the true impact of that discipline and persistence. When our waiter asked if we were there to celebrate anything important, my son, then eight, piped up with, “My mom just graduated college. I’m going to do that someday.” He’d been watching. Read more.

Nancy and Kelly