On October 27th, 2010 I created my Twitter account.
Today, I have nearly 1,300 followers on Twitter, and 50 on my blog. And to each of you, I am grateful.
Seth Godin, in his book "Meatball Sundae," challenged me. He said, write a blog and see how it changes your life. And change it has. I have met more wonderful people than I could have ever imagined. I have learned more than I could properly account for. I am more excited about the future than I have ever been. And it's thanks to you (well... maybe not you. Yeah, you. The one over there, with the red baseball cap. You need to comment more often!)
So, in honor of these two milestone, I want to give away two -- that's right, TWO -- books to my friends.
Both books are by the guru himself, James Scott Bell. These books and Mr. Bell, have helped me in ways that I will never be able to properly repay. The books are:
- Plot & Structure: This is a must for all writers. It has been a game-changer for me
- Art of War for Writers: An inspirational and powerful book for all facets of your writing career
Did I mention that they are SIGNED by Mr. Bell?
Oh yeah. I'm giving away the kind of thing you'll add to your last will and testament.
The contest starts NOW and ends on Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 9 PM PST.
One day before my blog-a-versary.
The contest is open internationally.
The rules are simple. I would love to hear your best advice for other writers. By Writers, For Writers. There are more people now than ever that are jumping into the world of writing. Each time I speak to a high-school student who tells me he/she wants to be a writer, I run through a bunch of things that I feel I need to share and explain. Why not go to the community of writers and ask them? Some of you are already published. Some will be published soon. Some, like me, are inching your way closer.
Your advice can be about:
- What made your writing better? For example, was it something you read on dialogue, plotting, creating better structure, or character development. What made your stories better?
- What helped you transition into a better or more effective writer? This could be a tool--like Scrivener--or an advice--like a writing quota.
- Industry advice?
How will this work?
- Write your advice directly into the comments below (preferred)
- Or if you're really shy, then email me at araTHEwriter [at] gmail [dot] com
How do you win?
+ One winner will be picked by me and a two other secret people. We will debate and choose our favorite advice. Maybe Mr. James Scott Bell can be coerced into giving his opinion also... maybe :)
+ One winner will be picked by Random.org by a entry system:
- Each comment gets +5 entries (for your contribution)
- Follow my blog and get +1 entries (for your good taste)
- Already following my blog, you get +2 entries (for being a visionary)
- Spreading the word via your blog, Facebook or twitter +2 entries (make sure you tell me about it. For example including my Twitter account @araTHEwriter in the tweet is a fast and easy way)
Simple. Got it? Great. Now go and do it.
Just to kick this off, I'll be the first to share with two! ... I hope I win...
Daily and weekly word quotas: For years I floundered. But when I read Plot & Structure I understood the power of the word quota. It immediately helped me create a writing structure that helped me write an average of 1,500 words per day and then up to 2,500 words per day. It enabled me to be focused on producing words on paper. There is nothing more powerful than seeing you inch your way closer to the finish line
One stinkin' rotten word: My mentor, Michael Levin, said every writer should write one page a day, every day. But he understood that sometimes, we were too busy or too tired, or too something else. He said, on those days, write one word. Write "The" if that's all that comes to mind, then walk away. But he knew something that little 'ol me was unaware of. Once I wrote one word, I wrote a sentence, then a paragraph... until I had written a few hundred words. One stinkin' word is all it takes to get things rolling sometimes.
As a bonus, here's The Word Quota advice by James Scott Bell... in his own words...
Check out his other videos on his YouTube channel.
Fight the good fight!