It’s time for another writing roundup where I share the writerly things I’ve found especially inspiring, helpful, encouraging and insightful over the last four weeks! From motivational, thought-provoking articles and podcast episodes, to must-have craft books and cover design resources, I’m positive you’ll find something that piques your creative curiosity!
Without further ado, here’s my August roundup!
Road to Getting a Literary Agent
I heard the gals on the wonderful “So You Want to be a Writer” podcast discuss this relatable, and quite encouraging, article! Here’s a summary from the text itself:
“If you’re struggling (and what writer doesn’t struggle?), here are some words of wisdom from celebrated authors to motivate you to keep working toward your goal of getting a literary agent. These authors have been through the rejection ringer as well, and they’ve all come out on the other side. The side where you will see your name on the cover of a book that you wrote and worked hard to get published!”
A few of my favorite excerpts:
“Canadian writer Ivan Coyote told me: ‘Here’s a news flash. You’re already not published. The worst thing that will happen is that you still won’t be published.’ That was my lightbulb moment. If I quit I knew I’d never reach my dream of being a writer. So I kept stacking up those rejections—until I got to that yes.”
– Eileen Cook, author of With Malice
“If I had given up after the first book and all those rejections, I never would have gotten my book deal for my young adult retelling called A Touch of Gold about the cursed daughter of King Midas. You just have to stick with it, keep writing, and refuse to give up!”
– Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, coming August, 2018
“For me, focusing on the part I could control, the persistence, is what paid off in the long run.
– McCall Hoyle, award-winning author of The Thing with Feathers and Meet the Sky
Click HERE to read the article!
Two Great Sites for Cover Designs
Period Images provides full-costume stock photographs to cover (no pun intended) just about every era in history. So whether you write epic fantasy, medieval romance, historical or modern westerns or YA steampunk, you’ll find what you’re looking for here!
I’ve found that Neo Stock has more contemporary images, e.g., moody teenagers and thugs with guns. So if you write contemporary YA or crime thrillers, check them out! Here’s a link to their Urban Fantasy gallery so you can get a taste.
The Emotion Thesaurus
I forget on which podcast I heard about this book, but I’m so glad it showed up on my radar! I keep it on my writing desk at all times (I also intend to purchase its companion books, such as The Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Negative Trait Thesaurus, and The Emotional Wound Thesaurus) for those moments when I need help showing, not telling, how a character is physically and/or mentally responding to what he or she is feeling.
The thesaurus highlights 75 emotions and lists the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. Here’s an example of what you’ll find when you turn to the page on Disbelief:
Cocking the head
Covering one’s ears
Doing a double take
Waving something off
Thoughts scrambling to understand
Pretending to have misheard
Cues of Acute or Long-Term Disbelief:
Difficulty speaking, choppy responses
Cues of Suppressed Disbelief:
Changing the topic
Avoiding eye contact
Click HERE to learn more about the book!
Like many entrepreneurs and other business-minded people, I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin. His fairly new podcast, called “Akimbo,” is all about helping others “make a ruckus” for good in their respective spheres of influence. It’s about influencing the culture, sparking and nurturing constructive conversations, overcoming mental, emotional, and financial hurdles, and realizing our potential as passionate individuals with something to say and share with the world.
In this episode, “Shun the Non-Believers,” Seth addresses the negative reviews that we as producers will inevitably receive throughout our careers. He emphasizes the fact that we should focus not on creating books/movies/products/etc. for the masses, but rather for a small, distinct niche. He points out that some of the greatest works of art have been lambasted by critics for whom the works weren’t created in the first place. When you write for your tribe, not for the critics or other faceless consumers of whom you know nothing about, you’ll become less likely to self-censor, and more likely to win fans with whom your message resonates.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the episode:
“All the great books … all of them have one-star reviews.”
“I’m worried that you will censor your work. That you will change your work … because you’re afraid of the person who isn’t going to get the joke … Someone hating it is really important. [That] means you’ve made it for someone else, someone specific. And all the great work we are capable of doing now is for someone specific, not general, but specific.”
“When someone says my work is insufferable … I can say to them, ‘Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this. Thank you for taking the time to care enough to work your way through it. Thank you especially for choosing to speak up in a way that I’m sure you thought would be painful.’”
Listen to the full episode HERE!
(Bonus) Writing Quote to Ponder
“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
That concludes this month’s roundup! Let me know what cool and helpful writing/publishing-related things you’ve learned recently by tweeting me @dandersontyler!