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JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers

Writing Tip — Writing Gifts

christmasw-1785510_1280If you are considering giving someone a piece of your writing as a gift, now is the time to begin working on it. You want to have plenty of time to polish and refine whatever piece, poetry or prose, you want to give.

In my posts for giving gifts at Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I offered suggestions and tips for different styles of writing. Last Christmas, I described writing down holiday disasters for posterity.

This Christmas, if you are feeling ambitious, I recommend keeping a journal of all the holiday related activities you do. If your journal is messy, like mine, polish your entries and transfer them into a form you can give away. If you have children, and their grandparents live far away, this gift is an especially meaningful gift.

If you feel extraordinarily ambitious, and like to have very long-term goals, you can keep a journal of what your kids do each Christmas, and then give them a compilation of these  journals when they are old enough to appreciate it.

But as I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, no matter what writing you do

Edit it!

You only want to give your best efforts.

Have you ever given a gift of writing to someone? If so, what was it?

Writing Tip — Time Management

work-managementw-907669_1280Over a month ago, I wrote a post about how I was struggling to create a doable writing schedule. Click here for that post.

Since that time, I’ve been working hard to establish a schedule and thought I’d share what I had learned.

  1. Analyze your time constraints. I examined the tasks I must do and how much time these take. I can’t alter the school run in the morning. It takes me over two hours to get the kids to school, and that’s all there is to it. When the kids get home, I have to oversee homework. I can’t write and help them with homework at the same time, so the evenings on the weekdays are out.
  2. Figure out the best time to write. This is easier for me than some people because my kids are in school during the weekdays. When I’d completed all the necessary, unchangeable tasks, I found I had four hours during the weekdays to write. Problem was, during those four hours, I still had shopping, cleaning, and other work to do.
  3. Choose a reasonable schedule. If you aren’t finding any time to write now, don’t set a goal of an hour a day. Try ten minutes. With my four hours, I decided to devote two hours to writing, which includes my blog, responding to comments on my blog, my novel, and any other kind of writing.
  4. Once you set a schedule, stick to it. At the Ohio Christian Writer’s Conference, Edie Melson said if you don’t fiercely guard your schedule, no one will take your writing seriously. Give any new writing schedule two months to see if it will work for you.

It hasn’t been easy trying to get in two hours each weekday, and sometimes, with appointments and other one-time demands, I can’t. But now that I have the goal in mind, I can focus my writing efforts, and I don’t get frustrated trying to shoehorn writing in between grocery shopping and school dismissal.

What have you learned about establishing a writing schedule?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts

dinosaurw-1564323_1280So why is a dinosaur appearing in this side view mirror? Yet another trip to Jurassic Park gone wrong? Maybe it’s simply a dinosaur statue, like those at Dinosaur World near Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, the last view of a happy family vacation. Or maybe it’s a evidence of a tear in the time-space continuum.

Share if inspired!

thanksgiving-backgroundw-2872853_1280

Writing Tip — Speculative Fiction

robotw-2256814_1280A few weeks ago, I posted an article about the different genres of crime fiction and suspense fiction. When I found this post, I thought it would helpful for those just beginning to write in the field of speculative fiction.

I learned from author Edie Melson at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference that the term “speculative fiction” is used more in the Christian fiction market, while “science fiction and fantasy” is used in the general market.

No matter what umbrella term you use, any writer needs to know what genre his work fits in best. As the author states at the end of the post, a writer should select one sub-genre so as not confuse readers. Not only will it make it easier to explain your work to agents and editors, it will help you keep focus during your editing so you will remember what’s most important to your story.

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