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Posts Tagged ‘Lisa J. Jackson’

It’s easy to get so involved with writing, that reading can become a luxury to push aside.

But, it’s so important to read about writing for the little nuggets of wisdom and pearls of inspiration we know, but somehow seem to forget.

Finding books that resonate with our writing lives and experiences might be rare, so when you find a great book, hang on to it!

A few years ago, Diane highly recommended I read a book on the craft of writing titled Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. I loved it. And it became the first book I ever re-read.

birdbybird2Since I noticed some leaves changing colors over the past week, fall has been on my mind. And with fall, for me, comes renewed inspiration. So, Bird by Bird is back on my desk for its annual reading.

I know how important it is to get words on a page, and more than likely those first words will be junk and tossed later on, but to get to the good stuff, I have to get a lot of words on the page/screen — Ann Lamott reminds me of that — she reminds me that I need to give myself permission to write junk.

We’ve talked about books about writing a few times here. And you can look back at a few posts if you’re in need of something new.

We had the Friday Fun discussion: Should Writers Read Books About Writing. Diane and I shared our Favorite Writing Books, and Deborah had a post specifically on Bird by Bird.

Don’t read to avoid writing, though! Read to improve writing!

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She’s still amazed to have a book she can re-read that gives her new insight into her writing every time she goes through it. You can connect with her on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

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Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the one I’m on the most. I can get drawn in by cute cat videos, spectacular b&w photography images, fun with puns, and the variety of posts my friends share.

I admit to being a bit heavy-handed when it comes to clicking the ‘Like’ button. I sign on, start scrolling through posts, when I see something, I like it, I click ‘Like’ to let folks know I was there, and move on.

But now that has changed.

The other day, a friend posted an interesting article that has led to this post.

The article is “I Quit Liking Things on Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity.” I hope you’ll read through it.

FB_likeThe first item that jumped out at me was that each ‘Like’ becomes part of an algorithm that will throw certain posts in my feed. That’s annoying. I like thinking for myself, thankyouverymuch!

The  second item, the one that got me thinking was about building relationships. I’ve clicked ‘Like’ to let friends know I saw their post, was happy for what was posted, that I truly liked what was posted, that I simply saw the post and was acknowledging it…basic things.

But after reading the article, I see the value in comments more than Likes, although sometimes there are just times to click the Like – such as when someone comments on a post I’ve made – clicking the Like for that response can sometimes be enough. Otherwise, there might be a battle to who is going to comment last, right?

After sharing the post on my wall, I had a few comments, but also had some private messages. And Wow! Private messages are ‘real’ conversations with real people in real time! How great! It felt strange, too. I mean, social media is fast-moving – you click, scroll, keep moving – who has time for an in-the-moment conversation any more?

I found that I did and I enjoyed it. I’m trying to limit my ‘Like’-ing now on Facebook and commenting on posts that catch my attention instead.

Of course commenting does take more time out of the day than a fast click of the ‘Like’ button, but overall, I feel I’ll be more satisfied with the result.

If you’re on Facebook, what do you think about ‘Like’-ing versus commenting, emailing, and messaging?

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She likes a lot of things on Facebook, but is going to give commenting (instead of hitting the Like button) a chance. You can connect with her on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

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Do you ever have days when you look back at your To Do list and only 1 or 2 items are checked off?

Days like that can be frustrating and disappointing. (I know I like to see a lot of crossed off items at the end of the day to feel I ‘did good.’)

Maybe the tasks were large and could be broken into smaller tasks. Maybe the day became hectic and getting the 1 or 2 items done was a feat in itself.

Whatever the reason for only a check or two, it’s okay. Really.

On days like that, you can try this: Sit back for a moment and take a deep breath. Think back on the day and how it played out.

Pick up a pen and paper – or open a new document – or open an online task list.

Write down everything you accomplished — small, medium, and large, business-related and personal.

GotDoneYes, create a Got Done list for the day. (I like to add these items to the bottom of my existing To Do list.)

Then go down the list and mark them off as complete. Because they are, right?

And then…remember the ever-important celebration: Congratulate yourself on all that you did.

It’s funny that when I first started doing something like this (it started with adding tasks I did as I went through my day and crossing them off right away), I felt guilty – or it felt like ‘cheating’.

But, really, it’s your list, items you decided you needed to get done, tasks you DID get done (whether planned ahead of time or not).

So, when a day comes along that doesn’t have many check marks in the ‘done’ column, create a Got Done list and see what happens to your mood. I bet you’ll find inspiration for the rest of the week, too.

Honestly, it’s all about forward momentum. If you’re taking at least one step forward in your business each day, it’ll keep you on track to your ultimate writing goal.

 What do you think about the idea of a Got Done list?

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. It’s not cheating if you add items to your task list after they are done and mark them off as complete. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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If you want to make a living as a writer, there’s one thing you must do – take action.

Take any action that will lead to generating an income from writing.

Stop stalling and do something. Now. Today.

Believe me, I know how easy it is to procrastinate:

  • To plan plan plan so no detail is overlooked
  • To read yet another well-intentioned best-selling book on how to be a successful entrepreneur
  • To organize the office, the desk, and the file cabinets
  • To work toward the moment when you can finally say ‘I’m ready’

It’s incredibly easy to do anything, but take action building the business.

It could be fear of failure or fear of hard work. Who knows.

Take Action!But to make a living at writing, it’s absolutely imperative to constantly – and that means daily – find some task that directly leads toward earning an income and to complete that task. 

It’s absolutely possible to generate money from writing. But you have to work toward it consistently.

Do you want to write for magazines? Then submit queries consistently.

Do you want to write for newspapers? Then pitch ideas to editors on a regular basis.

Do you want to write for businesses? Submit proposals on a regular basis.

  • Make phone calls.
  • Send LOIs (letters of intent).
  • Network with people you want to work with or for, or can help you make those connections.

Just so you know, rejection comes to everyone. Use the rejections to improve the next query, the next pitch, the next proposal, the next phone call, the next letter, the next interaction.

Know that every step you take toward building an income stream gets you closer to your goal.

Take a moment to evaluate your actions.

Are you in constant motion toward building a writing business?

 

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She consistently reaches out to new potential clients for projects of all sizes. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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Wendy, Lisa & Deborah at Bookstock. Event photos by Mark Nozell.

Wendy, Lisa & Deborah at Bookstock. Event photos by Mark Nozell.

On Saturday, Wendy E. N. Thomas, Lisa J. Jackson and I appeared at the Bookstock Literary Festival to talk about writing this collaborative blog.

Wendy kicked the panel discussion off with the story of how the blog started, back in 2010. Live to

Wendy, making a point.

Wendy, making a point.

Write – Write to Live was initially meant to be an on-line writing group, but quickly morphed into a blog about writing, helping newbies and professionals with information and inspiration.

 

Lisa followed with a riff about the mechanics of how eight busy writersBookstockLisa manage to post new content six days a week using a Google Calendar and WordPress.

 

I spoke about how we all use the blog both to teach and inspire other writers and to market our BookstockDeborahown work.

 

 

Here are some highlights for starting a blog:

  • Start with a Good Idea
  • Give value: information and/or entertainment
  • Write short paragraphs
  • Include photos
  • Create good titles
  • Post regularly and frequently
  • Keep posts short, 400-600 words
  • Invite guest bloggers for additional content
  • Spread the word

Our audience was curious and engaged, and followed our presentation with questions we were happy to answer – until we ran out of time.

Afterward, the three of us and Marc Nozell (Wendy’s husband and our photographer for the day) headed off for a fabulous lunch under the tent.

Bookstock is a wonderful, three-day literary festival in downtown Woodstock, Vermont, held the last weekend in July. It combines practical workshops, like ours, and readings by poets and prose writers. It also affords a chance to visit with far-flung literary friends and to make new ones.

After Wendy and Lisa headed back to New Hampshire, I stuck around for a poetry fix. When I finally headed home, I was recharged and ready to sit down to write.

M. Shafer, Photo

M. Shafer, Photo

Deborah Lee Luskin is enormously grateful to be blogging with the seven other women who comprise Live to Write – Write to Live, and to all the readers who regularly read, “like” and comment on the blog. Thank you.

 

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Look out Vermont, the New Hampshire Writer’s Network is coming for a visit!

Don't miss (bottom row l-r) Deborah Lee Luskin, Lisa J. Jackson and Wendy E.N. Thomas as the present at the Bookstock Literary Festival Saturday, July 26

Don’t miss (bottom row l-r) Deborah Lee Luskin, Lisa J. Jackson and Wendy E.N. Thomas as the present at the Bookstock Literary Festival Saturday, July 26

The 2014 Bookstock Literary Festival takes place this weekend in lovely Woodstock, Vermont. This will be sixth iteration of the festival that features, workshops, panels and readings. Panel topics include, How to Get Happily Published, a Young Adult Fiction Panel, and A Story of Writers Blogging Together (more on this in a minute).

There will be food and music and activities for all ages and a used and vintage book sale that runs all three days. You can view an overview of all the events or review the descriptions for each session. All events are FREE and open to the public.

The keynote speakers are novelist Anita Diamont (The Red Tent, Day After Night) and former United States Poet Laureate Charles Simic. But, clearly the highlight of the festival will be the panel at Noon on Saturday A Story of Writers Blogging Together featuring NHNW’s very own Deborah Lee Luskin, Lisa Jackson and Wendy E.N. Thomas*. Here’s the session description:

“Live to Write—Write to Live is a critically acclaimed and highly popular blog about the craft and business of writing. It is written by eight professional writers known collectively as the New Hampshire Writers’ Network, representing a wide spectrum of genres, including literary fiction, mysteries, fantasy, young adult, memoir, marketing, cookbooks, and journalism.Three of the blog’s regular contributors will speak about running a successful blog, working collaboratively, and using the blog to boost their individual writing careers”

You don’t want to miss this!! The panel runs from 12pm to 12:40 pm this Saturday July 26th in the conference room of the Woodstock town hall located at 3 Church St, Woodstock, VT. Most of the events take place on and around the beautiful Woodstock Green. There is limited parking, nearly all of it metered, in Woodstock village. For more information about the event and parking visit http://bookstockvt.org/about/.

If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll come out. Make sure to introduce yourself to Deborah, Lisa or Wendy.

*The rest of the NHWN team will be there in spirit while cursing deadlines and previous commitments.

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Having a plan, goals, and keeping track of accomplishments are all great activities to practice regularly.

As is keeping a gratitude journal.

We’ve talked about all of these things here over the past few years.

It’s something similar to a gratitude journal that I recently discovered and I find it quite powerful.

I do it along with the gratitude journal, but it can be done separately, as part of a weekly calendar, or however you like.

Mantids can turn their heads a full 180 degrees - always keeping their goal in sight.

Mantids can turn their heads a full 180 degrees – always keeping their goal in sight.

It’s a list of items placed under the heading Signs the Universe is Supporting Me Right Now.

A sampling of a recent list of mine:

  1. I have the time I need to work on my business this week.
  2. I have exciting new writing opportunities arriving on my desk weekly.
  3. I have the technology and other resources needed to take my business forward.
  4. I am energized and ready to get my to do tasks done.
  5. My work environment is distraction free so I can focus on my business.
  6. I’m able to connect with the right people who can help me build my business.

That’s easy enough, right? It’s a bit picture way to keep goals in sight.

It’s part “act as if” and part list of gratitude items thought about in a different way.

I challenge you to give it a try — make a list, however short or long, of your proof that the Universe is supporting you with your goals right now.

It’ll be a great way to start your week.

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She believes that keeping the universe ‘in the loop’ is a natural and positive part of life. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

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