Friday Fun – You Got Writing Questions?

How can we help you?

question in skyUsually on Fridays we post answers to a random writing-related question. This week we’re pausing to invite you to chime in about the questions you’d like us to answer. So … leave a comment and let us know what’s on your mind. Questions can be about craft, practice, resources, experience, daily writing life, writing dreams, writing fears, best/worst whatever … we’ll answer pretty much anything. (Pretty much …)

And if you have a question you’d rather ask anonymously, please feel free to email Jamie and we’ll keep your name out of it.

So – let ‘er rip.

We look forward to hearing from you and to answering your questions in future Friday Fun posts!

The team at Live to Write – Write to Live

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc

31 thoughts on “Friday Fun – You Got Writing Questions?

  1. Hello. I have a craft question about third-person limited point-of-view (TPLPOV) in fiction. I know that you have some choices about how close you make the limited point of view. My understanding is that close TPLPOV would be similar to first person, except the writer would write “she” instead of “I.” A more distant TPLPOV allows us to see more of the world around the character (i.e., the camera is pulling out for a wider shot). My question is this: can you use both types of viewpoints–close and distant TPLPOV–within one work? It seems to me that the work would benefit from it (as long as you keep it limited – no head hopping!), but I wanted to ask a pro. Thanks so much.

    • Interesting question, Dory. While we think on it, do you have any examples you can share of the type of POV you’re talking about? Have you seen this hybrid approach work in stories you’ve read?


  2. Hello, I have been working on my blog, and by that, I mean, I have been trying hard to posting regularly. This has been difficult, fun, frustrating and freeing because I cannot be as attached to what I say. Some weeks I simply posted what I wrote. I guess I need to get to my question. Since I feel that I have finally disciplined myself to write regularly. What is the next step, if I want to become a writer who actually makes a little money? ( You need to give me a small step. Big steps like start writing a book will totally overwhelm me!)

    • Hi, Connie. Thanks for chiming in.

      This is a Big Question, to be sure, but a fun one to dig into. To help us refine what we share, can you give us a sense of what kind of writing you hope to do? There are dozens of ways to “make a little money” writing, and also countless ways to define “a little money.” If you can give us a little more detail around your specific goals, that’ll help us give you better advice.


      • Thanks, that is my situation too. My blog is about being a parent from the view of an empty nester. I would love to find a broader audience and yes, “make a little money” too. Thanks.

  3. I am a freelance writer who has become trapped in a ghostwriting spiral. On the upside, I’m being paid to write which is, essentially, my dream. On the downside, I see no credit or visibility for my commissioned work and its hard to find time to work on personal projects that are all MINE when I’m trying so hard to keep up with the finances. What would be the first step toward earning money for work that’s credited to me? I’ve tried looking at guest blogging, but it seems easier said than done. After all, who am I and why would anyone care what I have to say?

    • “After all, who am I and why would anyone care what I have to say?” <—- THAT is a question that plagues so many writers, and a question I wish we could all stop asking ourselves. (I'm guilty as well!)

      As for finding work that's credited to you, what can you tell us about the type of writing you'd like to do? Are you interested in journalism, fiction, creative non-fiction? Are there particular topics you're interested in, or audiences you'd like to reach? Any additional detail you can share about your specific writing goals will help us provide a more useful answer.

      Thanks for jumping in!

  4. I’m an aspiring author and I want to take part in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’d like to know a few things.
    1) How does one get any inspiration for a story?
    2) Does having a great vocabulary a must in writing anything?
    3) Journaling does help a lot of writers. But does just recording normal day to day events helpful or should the journal contain deep thoughts and topic related topic?

    They are just a few queries I like to know about. Thanks!

    • All great questions. Thanks for sharing them. I have a feeling that they may spawn some spin-off blog posts as well!

    • Hi Vrushali,

      Inspiration can come from anywhere. In regard to NaNoWriMo, each time I’ve participated, I’ve shown up on Nov 1 with nothing particular in mind — I open a Word doc and simply start writing whatever wants to ooze through my fingertips. The inspiration comes along at some point.
      Having a great vocabulary isn’t a must, but I feel having a love and respect for words is. Being a reader is a must (i think) to be a writer. And as you read, your vocabulary expands.
      Journaling is a personal activity. I do short entries daily and they mostly cover daily activities. Writing deep journal posts are great for getting your thoughts on the page and out of your head. I find that sometimes if I’m thinking about something too much, it distracts me from what I want to be doing, so if I do a deep journal entry on that ‘something’, it usually resolves itself and I can get back to what needs my attention. I find deep journaling to be a way to ‘make space’ in my braind.

      Happy writing!

      • Thanks a lot for your help. I am an avid reader and I’ve not really considered me being a writer but from a few months back I’m loving how I can express my thoughts. And I’m journaling for 6 months and I just wanted to know it will really help me in some way.
        Thanks again. πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Friday Fun – You Got Writing Questions? | Mysticalwriter

  6. I have been writing a blog for over a year. I have been successful at reaching followers and getting responses but I want to take my writing to a new level. I have written a weekly Bible Study that I want to publish, but every company or agent I come across has demands that I am unable meet. The company or agents either want a large amount of money upfront or will only take clients who are referred or well-known authors. What are some other ways I can get published without going financially broke or have to be a well-known author? If you can help me, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi, April. That’s another Big Question that will likely require more than a “Friday Fun” post, but it’s an important question that we will try to address in some way. Off the cuff, it’s important to always do your due diligence with any prospective service provider – agent, publisher, editor, etc. As you have experienced, there are many situations out there that are less than ideal for the writer. That said, there are many interesting and viable new publishing options out there these days including a variety of self- and digital-publishing options that are consistently gaining “street cred.”

      Thanks for the question. It may take us a while to explore this one, but good to add it to the list!

  7. I recently self-published my first non-fiction picture book for children. I’ve sold 5 print-on-demand copies, and 3 kindle copies. How can I better promote my book? I’ve posted it on my Facebook page, twice. But I feel funny re-posting it again and again. I’ve also posted in on half a dozen writing pages that I belong to. I even posted in on my website/part time blog. But I don’t know where to go from there.

    • You guys are asking some great, if complex questions. πŸ˜‰
      First – Congrats on finishing your first picture book. That’s great!
      Second – This is obviously a question that will require a longer-than-a-quick-comment answer, so we’ll think on how to break it down into some posts. Book promotion is certainly a HUGE topic that’s important to all writers once they reach a certain stage in their career. Thanks for bringing it up.

    • Hi Maria,

      Selling books has a lot to do with the relationships you have with your readers. Think about how you decide if you want to purchase a book. Are you more inclined to hit that ‘buy now’ button if you’ve been following posts by the author on various topics and getting to know that person at a more personal level? Or if you simply see “buy my book” posts?

      Since you’re on Facebook and follow blogs and websites, it will go a long way to comment and offer something unique to the audience. Posting/replying as you did here (with your full name) is a fabulous marketing tool as it helps people become familiar and recognize your name.

      Having a profile on Amazon can assist you, too. As Jamie said, we’ll find a way to cover this in more detail, but I wanted to share my couple of thoughts now.

  8. I’ve been writing poetry over the years and have a small collection. I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know if they are even any good. How would I go about trying to get them published or read by someone. Thanks! =)

    • Hello, Renee, and thanks for your question!
      We may have to ask for an outside opinion on this one since I don’t think any of the resident writers on the blog are poets. Let us poke around and see if we can find any poetry-specific advice out there.

      Thanks again!

    • Hi Renee,

      Do you have a way to find other poets in your area? Open mic nights and poetry slams are good events for poets. Asking your local librarians about other poets… searching for local poets may also be an option. Coffee shops and poets seem to go together, too. πŸ™‚

  9. I have struggle with writer’s block a lot, recently. How do you motivate yourself to write when you are not particularly inspired? Do you have any tips on finding the inspiration to write?

    • That’s one of those “evergreen” questions, isn’t it? “Writer’s Block” (or, at least Writer’s Malaise) is something each of us struggles with at some point. I’m sure the gang here on the blog will have plenty to say on this one.

    • Hi Laurel — writer’s block is one of those mystical elements in a writer’s life — does it really exist, or do we create it ourselves? Finding your way to the other side of a block is an individual journey — exercise might do the trick, writing in a different space may work, finding a blank page and starting to write whatever wants to come out (no thinking allowed!) is another way.

      If lack of inspiration is the problem when you have something to write, for me, it depends on the priority of the writing. If it’s necessary to get something written, then the old “get ‘er done” method generally works. Sit butt in chair and write until it’s done. If it’s something you want to write but it isn’t tied to a deadline, then lack of inspiration could mean lack of really wanting to get that particular thing written.

      The answers are different for everyone in these cases. The bottom line is that writer’s write, so write and I bet you’ll find your way through!

  10. When you express a strong statement. For example…….I absolutely detest cruelty to animals…………If I were to add for example …but…I also believe children should be taught by example to care. What is the correct way to phrase this. ie. A full stop after animals. and then begin a new sentence But….
    Can it flow in one sentence with …. Or is the new sentence preferable. Also Should I maybe not use but and rephrase the idea. (This is example only. I find I often make strong arguments re stuff and want to clarify with the same passion.)

    • Intersesting question, Faye. I’m going to guess that you could go either way depending on the context and your personal style. I don’t think one option is more or less grammatically correct than the other. You bring up an interesting topic around how to give emphasis to particular statements. We’ll mull it over and see what comes up.

    • Hi Faye,

      I recently saw a statement somewhere that has had me pondering the “but” clause. It said that when you use ‘but’ in a sentence, it negates everything that came before it.

      So, “I like you, but you make me crazy.” is contradictory and it’s difficult to ascertain which part of the statement is true.

      In your example, I’d keep the statements separate (maybe even different paragraphs) so that neither loses it’s importance.

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