The Art of Tireless Pursuit: The Expression of Faith in Creativity pt 3

Faith is not only defined by giant leaps but is often reflected in the tiny steps.” ~Candice Coates

A few years back, I was sitting in front of my television, watching some show on HGTV, eating a plate full of room temperature leftovers (good leftovers nonetheless,) when a thought popped in my head:

You will never know where you are going if you never take a step.” ~Candice Coates

The thought seemed simple enough, for, as I was watching HGTV, eating room temperature leftovers, I was also thinking about this creative platform, my writing career,  my art, and all the other things I had planned to do in that year which seemed to have been getting derailed from every angle. Truth be told, I am still thinking about all of these things.

But when I first had these thoughts, I was thinking about my serial-blog-novel, ASCENSION GRAVEYARD. I will be honest, AG (for those of you who are just now tuning in, AG is my blog novel that I started writing in June of 2014…it is still a work in process and progress,) had given me some reason for creative pause.

I felt like it might have turned out to be a far longer novel than I planned for it to be, and coming to terms with that had been difficult. I have said this before. But even with my previous mention, I felt like the thought alone had caused me to stop my creative motions.

Even now, I am planning to charge at this unfinished body of work with full faith and force this summer. This will be my fourth attempt at writing this novel. If that is not fighting tirelessly, I don’t know what is. But still, there are some questions that remain unanswered, that need answering, as I continue on with my creative pursuit.

What do I want for this novel? What do I want for this creative platform, for my art, for myself? Where am I going?

I want a lot and sometimes I feel like the chasm between here and there is just so wide. But that only leads to the next question.

How do I know it is wide unless I take a step? 

It’s like looking into the rippling waters of a pool and trusting my first impression that the waters aren’t that deep when in reality they might actually go twelve feet down.

The realization that I have come to, is that none of it really matters, the true depth or my perception if I never take a step forward at all. And how will I have the faith to step? I have to want it enough and be willing to fight for it until I get it. I have to be willing to count the cost and press until I have a breakthrough. (Luke 14:28)

We all must step forward. We all must have the faith and tenacity to pursue our dreams even at the risk of error. Sure, we will reach moments where we look at how far we have come, scan over our maps and wonder if we have gone the wrong direction. That is part of the faith process.

But even if we have gone the wrong direction, that is not a cause for us to cease proceeding forward, to set up shop in the place of the unknown just for fear of having lost our way. It is all about recalibrating, getting your bearings and then stepping forward in the right direction, again.

So what you may not know where you want to end up exactly. Maybe the answers will only come once you start walking.

So many biblical pictures come to mind; Abraham being told to leave his home by God and go to a place  He (God) would show him (Genesis 12:1). God didn’t tell Abraham where exactly he was to go, he just said go, take a step of faith. Believe.

Then there is Psalm 119:105, which says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” That to me indicates that more times than not the steps ahead of our current footfalls are shrouded in the dark, but we have got to take another step to discover that which lays hidden from view.

For me, I have just got to keep pressing forward, keep stepping through the darkness and trusting the Light to make my way plain. If I want ICFTS to flourish and to nurture the creative growth of myself and others, then I’ve got to keep seeking the Lord for answers to creative questions and sharing what I find.

If I want my art to stretch itself out and grow, then I have got to give it a platform to do so. If I want my writing career to take off, then I have got to keep writing. I have to take steps and keep stepping after that. And I have to have the confidence in the Lord that HE is guiding me and has made room for me for the times that I stumble.

 “Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” ~HEBREWS 10:35-36

No matter how big or small the step you take toward accomplishing your dream, celebrate the courage that you displayed in the step that you took and the ones that are sure to follow.

Each stone you put forth is one more to add to the foundation of your future. Be grateful for your progress and keep moving forward no matter how long it takes! Keep stepping, tenaciously in your creative journey and see how the Lord honors that faith.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow wearyand lose heart. ~HEBREWS 12:1-3

So getting back to the original thought I had, it is true that we will never know where we are going if we never take the first step…but that is only if you plan on going nowhere.

Press forward. Keep dreaming. And keep seeking.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

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Like a Sapling through Soil: Flash Fiction & Musing

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“You’ve gone quiet,” Their words weren’t condemning, still it drew her attention with enough force to make her spine go rigid.

Forcing her nerves into a sense of calm, she shook her head. “I haven’t really gone quiet.”

“No?”

“No. I’ve been in the dark, much like a seed.” Without looking at them she could almost feel their interest peek and a smile bloom with interest.

“Explain if you can. I like seeds, so much potential there.”

This made her smile. “Like a seed I’ve been in the dark. I have a lot of things pressing on me from every side, but the pressure is only promoting change. I have much to say. The words are on the tip of my tongue but I need to allow the right moment to arrive.”

“Like a sapling through the soil,”

“Precisely! Like a sapling through the soil. Seeds planted in Fall burst forth in the Spring.”

“Spring is right around the corner you know?”

Another smile. “Yes, it is. I can feel it in my bones.”

THE BEGINNING…

A Moment for Musing

Hello there friends! If you haven’t figured it out the above story would be my conversation with creativity and my work here on I came for the soup. I’ve struggled with my blogging rhythm here, yet again and it has produced a level of anxiety.

There is so much I want to say, so many stories I want to tell, and yet only so many hours in a given day.

I want to thank all of you who have stuck with me as I build up my Author Site and prepare for Indie Publishing. If you haven’t already, please swing by http://www.candicecoates.wordpress.com, follow, share with others, and partake in reading the sample chapters of two of my novels, Warden and Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal. After reading, cast your vote for the novel you think should be published first.

Polls for voting will be available February 20th through March 25th.

I will have more information about what is going on here in the soup bowl, especially in regards to my blog novel Ascension Graveyard, coming soon.

Stay tuned!

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Click HERE for more about the Battle of the Books! The Battle is already on. Be sure to read and cast your VOTE today!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

Planning Ahead: Making Way for an Organic Blog Schedule

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Hello all! I just wanted to share a bit of my progress as 2016 slow crawls into 2017.

If you haven’t noticed, I have experienced a pleasing level of success in  reworking old blog postings as well as sending others to the archive graveyard. In addition to that, I’ve had to scrap my weekly Monday’s Muse writing prompt as I was the only one partaking in the challenge.

With some of those things wrapped up, I’ve cleared of some ‘plate’ space for other things.

As I mentioned before, I need to go back to the basics of this blog. I need to remind myself, again, and stay focused on why I created I came for the soup in the first place.

That being said, here are some reasons why I need to keep reminding myself as I press forward into a new creative year.

A FEW REASONS WHY:

  1. As it goes with platforms that thrive from ‘follows’, ‘likes’, and the always welcome comments, one tends to make those things the driving force for how they schedule their blogging journey…schedules are good as I’ve said before but not if they become shackles that choke your creativity. I had scheduled myself into a choke hold.
  2. Too many items on my plate and not enough time to eat and enjoy them all like I should. I’ve enjoyed the postings that I’ve shared over the last near three years but having a 5-day schedule is not for me. I need more room for flexibility.
  3. Why the need for more flex? Well, my needs have changed. Creatively, I’ve achieved levels that have moved from the realm of dreaming to doing and onward I march to CONQUERING!

PLANS FOR THE ROAD AHEAD:

As I said before, I am going back to what I originally had at the start of this blog, organic free-flow writing, art as I am inclined to create it and, of course, my blog novel Ascension  Graveyard.

  • Weekly blogging schedule will be organic. I will post as the creativity calls…for the most part. If I do one free flow write a week, I will deem myself a creative success.
  • You can expect to see weekly/biweekly installments of Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal, as well as an encouraging quote to wrap up the week.
  • Chapters for Ascension Graveyard will resume posting ever THURSDAY, hopefully beginning November 17th.

So in short, random free flow writes here and there, Writing Tips on Wednesdays, AG Chapters on Thursday and a Quote to polish us off when one moves me to share.

As mentioned, my creative needs have changed. I have two manuscripts out of Beta that need polishing up in time for my Author Page Launch! I am aiming for Monday, December 5th, 2016 sometime in JANUARY 2017! There will be a blog party over there and EVERYTHING…mark your calendar and show your love and support.

My desire is to have one of my novels published no later than April 2017!

There is a lot of TLC that goes into this process, thus, the need for flexibility.

More than creating content for quantity and schedules sake, I want to create for quality. I want what I share to inspire you and aid you in your creative journey. Anything else is to miss the mark.

So that is in in a nutshell. Plan for fun, plan for free flow, plan to join me on the next level of my blogging journey!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Welcome back to the party! A creative return to blogging

celebration-chairHello, all! We are back in business…well back to blogging and that means we do a good ole’ happy dance. I don’t know about you, but I missed you guys and I am so happy to be back.

SO HOW WAS MY TIME AWAY?

Well, I did get a lot done and learned even more in the process. The scripture that comes to mind is

Proverbs 19:21:

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Basically, we are free to make our plans but we have to remember that the Lord Yeshua Jesus will have the final say.

I am comforted that everything He has to say about me and my life, and the paths He’s set for me are nothing but GOOD!

With that being said, with a good four weeks or so having passed I am STILL doing maintenance on ICFTS.  The reality is that there was a lot more to be done than just ‘weeding’ and ‘pruning.’

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM HERE:

  • I intend to return my focus back to the basics of this blog, to remain organized but not so formal as I feel like I got so caught up in ‘branding’ (which is important) that I lost my purpose which has always been to just create and discover more of myself in the process.
  • I intend to blog Monday through Friday, so expect at least one post daily.
  • I am putting Monday’s Muse on a trial. Although I’ve enjoyed it, it seems as if I am the only one participating. That being said if there aren’t more participants by the end of November October 2016 it will have to go…gotta let things go and I’m okay with that.
  • I will resume my participation in Blog Battles which take place every other Tuesday.
  • Tuesday will also be a day to discover more about Faith.
  • Wednesday will be Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal
  • Thursday/Friday…Random awesomeness.
  • I will continue to edit older postings and reblog those that I feel need a second time on the stage.

WHAT ABOUT ASCENSION GRAVEYARD:

Ascension Graveyard is still a blessed WIP and although she has taken way more time to write than I anticipated, I will continue until the beautiful words ‘THE END’ appear on the original document.

CHAPTERS WILL RESUME BEING POSTED EVERY MONDAY STARTING NOVEMBER 7th, 2016.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR OTHER PROJECTS:

Shizen Brook, my Etsy store will relaunch for the holiday season TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1st, 2016. So if you haven’t already, follow my Etsy Shop as well as my Facebook and Instagram page. All will be in order soon!

And my Author Page…Puts a smile on my face! It will be ready for its reveal and blog party by MONDAY DECEMBER 5th, 2016. And, of course, you are ALL invited! I will share more details about that shindig as we get closer to the day, as well as the novels that I am polishing for publication!

ANYTHING ELSE?:

Nope. I think that is it in nutshell. We are just going to keep on dreaming, imagining, believing, doing and CONQUERING!

Til later gators!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Image originally from Unsplash, found on Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/chair-balloon-celebration-party-731171/

5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Blog

Having a blog requires maintenance just like most things in our lives. If you own a car and expect it to run at full peak and power you need to make sure that you have it tuned-up, the oil changed, tires rotated etc.

If you own a house, you need to keep the gutters clean, make sure your air filters are changed on a proper schedule…you need to clean the house period.

Goodness, even our own bodies need regular maintenance and the occasional sprucing to ensure we look and feel our best and operate at our highest and best capacity.

The same goes for our blogs. When our blogs lose their ‘new-car-smell’ and fall dull where they used to have a bright luster, we lose our focus to create our post. We lose our drive in the dust of a neglected blog platform. We lose that magic that called us to blogging in the first place.

The good news is that we don’t have to!

HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO SPRUCE THINGS UP AND KEEP YOUR BLOG SHINING:

1. Change it up! Be willing to try on a new theme: Sometimes what keeps not only readers from visiting our blogs again but you from posting is a boring blog theme that doesn’t make you feel engaged.

We eat with our eyes, first. And yes we do judge books as well as blogs by their covers. If you feel like your theme is boring and you just don’t like it, odds are it is and no one else does either.

If you want bees to seek the nectar of your blog, attract them with your petals. Use an engaging theme.

2. (If you’ve changed your theme and still aren’t sure) Ask your blogging community what they think your blog space needs to make it pop: Your followers and friends care about what you’re doing. They are the best ones to lend advice.

It could be that your new theme is smashing! and you are simply overthinking things. If you still are sure, give the new theme a week before trying on something new.

3. Narrow down your menu items: Unfortunately, the human brain tends to turn into mush when it is presented with too many options. Narrow things down for your audience when it comes to tabs in your menu.

Hey, I need to do this myself, (Just being honest) but 5 menu options tends to be the magic number, 7 might be growing on people…it is the number of perfection after all.

4. Recycle some of your older blog postings: If you’ve been blogging for a while, it’s safe to say you have over five-hundred posts. Some of your great ones got lost in the shuffle. Spruce them up and give them another curtain call!

5. Trash your old posts that just didn’t cut the mustard and frankly, don’t really connect with your blog brand or your audience. I’m not an SEO pro by any stretch but from what I understand, too much clutter is, well, clutter.

Bad clutter keeps people who could be potential followers from finding you and following your blog. Yes, this is going to take time, just like good-ole-spring cleaning, but it is worth it.

Set yourself a weekly goal and start sifting through your postings. You’ll have more room to breathe AND this might even help you narrow down your menu options.

BONUS: Make a list of at least 3 reasons why you enjoy blogging and post it near your work space. This reminder will keep things in perspective, and focused postings keep you as well as your audience happy!

Happy blogging!

Writer's Table

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Taking a Rest for Celebrations! And Other Things

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Hello, shiny, happy, people! I just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a break from blogging this week. 

Why? Well apart from it being Independence Day week here in the States, it is also my Birthday week! (Happy dance.) So I will be away, eating cake, watching fireworks and just celebrating.

In other news: The blog will return to its semi-regular posting schedule, Wednesday, July 13th with Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal, followed by a Friday Quote.

Our regular blogging schedule will return on Monday, July 18th.

Also, for those of you who’ve been keeping up with Ascension Graveyard, Chapters will be posted again starting Monday, July 18th and will only be posted once a week until further notice. 

Thank you all so very much for sticking around for my creative growth journey, and for your well wishes for my new year.

Until later, gaters!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

7 Ways to Cultivate A Happy Blogging Life: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Happy Blog LifeEach year I go through moments of blogging introspection. I ask myself why I continue on this path of blogging and why I started in the first place. What has been the benefit?

Over the past few years, I’ve faced the challenge of number crunching, statistics, likes and all the other heavy downers that any newbie will face. You know, the things that make you want to power down your computer and never create another blog post again.

With these things in mind, I’ve decided to take my  4 Personal Rules for cultivating a happy blogging life and transform them into 7 Ways to Cultivate A Happy Blogging Life, ways that any Blogger can glean from.

Here’s some ways to do so:

1. Keep to the path. Blogging is about discovering your creative world. For many of us, starting a blog had more to do with stepping out of our comfort zones and growing than it did about how many likes we received.

Keeping growth as your first point of focus will help you stay contented as you continue to blog.

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Expression is a form of playtime. Playtime is fun and adventurous. Yes, you can talk about weightier issues without dragging yourself down and others along with you.

Lighten up even if you tighten up. You can create sharp content without being a pretentious bore.

 3. Give what you have at the moment and spruce it up later. The first thing you must do is to create something to share. You can always go back and fix grammar or add jazzy images later.

Don’t allow ‘perfection,’ or lack thereof, to hold you back from sharing.

For encouragement on how to just create a post, check out this article called “The Almighty Quarter.”

Concerned about your poor grammar? Take a look at the free computer app called Grammarly. It goes above and beyond the built-in grammar checks on our word processors and can be used on and offline.

 4. This is not a 9 to 5, this is “Creative Therapy”. If your blog is not monetized then don’t allow it to stress you out as if your light bill depended on it.

Jobs can be hard, but don’t let blogging be. It’s supposed to be a joy. As long as you think of it as a treat to do then it will remain cathartic and not become a chore even if you create a weekly blogging schedule.

5. Blogging is about developing your craft first and the numbers second…should numbers ever become relevant.

No matter how many followers you have, always give them your very best. Show loyalty and consistency with your blog and if you plan on changing things up, give them a heads up.

6. Give your creative quality consistently.  Yeshua Jesus put it best when He said, that a person who is faithful over little will be master over much. Luke 16:10

People are drawn by authenticity. They stick around because of consistency. If you are looking for a larger audience to share with, gain it by growing a rapport built on trust with the audience you have now, no matter how small or large.

You do that by…being consistent with your creative quality. As Joann Rosario put it, “Sing your song for two as you would for 1000.”

And last, but not least, but definitely my favorite way of cultivating a happy blogging life:

7.  Nurture your writing/blogging community: You’re not going to be BSWF (Best Supportive Writing Friends)  with every blogger, but when you do start seeing saplings of friendship-promise growing, be sure to nurture them.

All relationships are like houseplants, one waters, and the other brings the sunshine. Both you and your BSWF’s need to be consistent with each other.

Writing communities stretch beyond the blogsphere. These are the folks you share your new storyline with. The ones who honestly tell you about what your writing needs in order to be it’s very best. They are also the people who support you when a troll comes calling.

When you nurture your writing/blogging relationships you know that there will be someone just as passionate about your creative growth as you are waiting to give you a thumbs up, and let’s face it, we all need that.

Happy blogging!

Writer's Table

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

The Balancing Act: How to Balance Blog Life by Kristin

Hello, and welcome to this week’s addition of Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal. 
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Today we have with us Kristin, the mastermind, and wordsmith of The Pursuit of Another Adventure: A Chic Lit Blog Not only is she a great blogger, but she is also an Indie author.
To find out more about her, you can do so by following her blogor follower her on Twitter

Without further ado, here are 9 things Kristin recommends for us to better balance our Blogging lives.

1. Get Up Early

Easier said than done.  If I get up one hour before I usually do to get ready for work I never have the excuse to not blog.  And when no one else is awake yet, you get a lot done.

The only way to get up early one day is to set an alarm and go to bed early the next night.

2. Pick Your Place

I prefer to write in quiet.  I like to be alone with my thoughts.  But some people like to be in busy coffee shops, hotels, and now I hear airports are great for people watching.

Some people get along well in nature where I will never dare bring my MacBook.  But you have to choose what’s right for you!

3. Set a Timer

It’s easy to promise yourself to stay put even if it’s just forty five minutes.  That’s ample time to get your mind going.  Even if you sit for five without inspiration, it will come to you.

4. Consider it an Event

If your blog/book/whatever is really that important to you, you will make a date with yourself to make time for it.  Everyone has time.  We only say we’re too busy when everything else is a priority.  It has to be a priority.

5. Stay in One Night

Some people are busier in than out i.e.: children, etc.  But the idea is to have a night where you set up your posts for the week.  Or you promise to write x amount of words of your novel.

6. Make Good Use of Your Time

It really depends on the lifestyle one has for all of these to work for you, so do what’s best for you!  But, if you have ten minute breaks at work, use them to devote to responding to comments and Tweeting out your promotions.

If you have an hour lunch and it drags on in a poorly lit break room, use that time to write whatever you can.  It’s also a good way to really take a break from your job because writing gets you out of reality.

7. Use the Same Computer Every time You Write

There was a time and by once upon a time, I mean last month, where I had three computers going.  It was a mess.  I work from home and I had my work laptop in my office, my old laptop next to it, my new MacBook on the side and I would have bought a bigger desk had I not been moving out of the country!

I wiped the old one out, gave my work computer back to my boss, and consolidated everything onto the new one.  For a while, I would sneak writing into my work laptop which isn’t a good idea because if you’re not smart about it or your boss hates you they will find it.

But I worked from home, there were just too many laptops on my desk!  Or, you have to transfer all these files over, you aren’t paying attention to character names, etc., and things get weird.  It’s better to have it all in the same place.

8. Sit at a Desk

You need to be focused.  Not in bed where you get tired.  That just hurts my back from the slouch-a-while-nestly.  Not at the dining room table where things spill.  Not at the coffee table where your partner is watching television unless you really tune it out, and not next to your bills, accounts, receipts, phone, email, and whatever else is open to distract you.

9. Second Drafts

OK I’m totally not guilty of doing these in a previous life (like my last blog).  I would get overzealous and post things immediately, like without reading them.  Because it’s a blog, not a novel, right?

Wrong.

That was fun in the beginning and if that’s what kind of carefree blog you want to have then I say go for it.  I don’t think writing is meant to be polished.  And I started my blog just as a whatever kind of thing but it morphed into much more once I got more serious about it.

I thought the seriousness would = not fun anymore, but it’s really not the truth!  I take time to do visuals now which is something I loathed.  I reread my stuff the next day to check for tone and add anything I may have thought of after.  But tone is a big one.

Sometimes I think I’m being funny and then I’m like, you just went very, very dark, dude lol.  This extra twenty minutes of your life will be the difference between good and better.

Escapades of an Indie Author & Publisher by Rachael Ritchey: 7 Ways Blogging Makes You a Better Creative Writer:

Writer's Table

*Welcome to this week’s addition Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal. It is my pleasure to pass the pen off to blogger,  Rachael Ritchey, the author of The Beauty Theif and Captive Hope, the first two books in the Twelve Realms Series.

e2583a5e-9a28-4d3e-aa87-7627dd165240Rachael is also the mastermind behind the #Blogbattle extravaganza that competes weekly. All are welcome to participate.

To find out more about Rachael, you can do so by following her on these platforms:

 

Where to friend and follow Rachael:

Website/blog —  Facebook — Twitter —  Pinterest — Google+ — Goodreads

And now without futher ado here is Rachael and:

Escapades of an Indie Author & Publisher: 7 Ways Blogging Makes You a Better Creative Writer

First off, I gotta say thanks to Candice for this chance to share on her blog! It’s not every day I get the opportunity, and she is a lovely hostess.

If there’s one piece of advice I could tell you today, it’s this: I write, therefore I blog.

I hear the “huh?” reverberating through the air. Rene Descartes said these famous words: “I think, therefore I am.” It’s generally seen at the most basic level to mean something along the lines of “because I have the ability to think there is no doubt that I exist.”

So, “I write, therefore I blog” is best interpreted “because I have the ability to write (and want to be a great writer) there is no doubt I should blog.” Want to know why this is true?

Blogging can and does make us better writers, and here are seven reasons why that is so:

1) Can give you a focus and vision

Blogging can be willy-nilly, but the best blogs have a focus, a reason for being, and they stick to their vision but in the most creative ways.

It’s easier to create consistency when you start with a specific focus such as “Writer Advice” “Funny Anecdotes for Life” “Short Story Paradise” “Poetry Corner” “A Sarcastic Look at Everyday Living” “Little Blessings” “A Place to Be Creative” “Current Science” “Science for Science Fiction Nuts.”

If you notice from these pithy, visionary statements, they range from specific to not-so-specific, but you will also observe that each one gives you an idea platform from which everything on your blog can spring. For me, the focus of my blog is “Escapades of an Indie Author & Publisher.”

If you find your focus or vision changing over time don’t be afraid to update your blog to reflect that. The only advice I’d give in that regard is make the transition easy for your readers. If you go changing names and titles it can really confuse your loyal peeps (that’s ‘people’ for all you non-nerdy-savvy people out there)! I learned this the hard way, so take heed, my friend.

2) Opportunity to create a personal brand

Having a personal brand, something people recognize and often remember, is essential for writers who plan to share their writing with the world.

A personal brand involves using consistent branded content, like a signature with pictures, words, or even logos that are unique to you. Your individuality will shine.

When you create a personal brand you are helping to solidify your focus and vision, which will in turn, help you write with purpose instead of rambling about, talking a lot without saying anything at all.

3) It requires you to write regularly

You don’t have to post regularly to have a blog, but all the best writer-bloggers do.

Writing regularly, even if you like to write fiction but blog non-fiction topics is essential to any writer improving his or her skills. A blog that is regularly maintained is a huge asset for turning oneself into a writing master.

All the best advice givers say one should write every day, even if it’s just a shopping list. The thoughtful act of pen to paper or fingers to keyboard helps move thoughts through the mind, and anytime you make the effort your writing craft will improve; like any other skill, practice makes perfect. Blogging is a perfect and central place to keep your writing and make it shareable.

4) Practice your editing skills

Yes, we all must edit (even if we have an editor) because if we leave mistakes all over the place people will begin to notice and will run the other way.

Writing for a blog gives you plenty of opportunities to improve this essential writing skill because if you are writing regularly you are also making mistakes more often, which in turn require fixing.

Hey, whether we like it or not, being able to edit our own work as much as possible is one of the most important things we can do as writers to make our readers (and editors) happy when they read our work.

5) Be social and read more

Blogging makes you a better writer because you start to make connections with other readers and writers who also blog.

When you are spending time reading other blogs you are learning what works and doesn’t work; what you find interesting and not so interesting; and what others enjoy reading.

Reading (and mentally editing) makes you a better writer because you are regularly exposed to the written word with different voices, styles, and creativity. It’s like visiting the Baskin Robins of writing when you socialize in the blogging community; you not only see all the choices, you have the opportunity to try them out yourself.

6) Offers the opportunity for feedback on your writing

Since you are now focused with a vision for your regular blog writing that reflects your brand with edited prose, and you’ve begun to build a following by being social you are ready to receive feedback on your writing which can be both encouraging and difficult.

By blogging you put your creative work out there in small, easily managed pieces that give others the ability to read quickly and make comment.

Writers need feedback on their work so that they can stay grounded and gain valuable insight from extra pairs of eyes, people who see the world and imagine things differently. This is a huge way a writer can learn and grow. Blogging is such an easy and essential way to get feedback and become a better writer every day.

7) Connects you to other writers

This is one of the most essential ways blogging improves your writing skills because it puts you in contact with other writers who have more experience to offer you as well as those with less experience to whom you can offer assistance. After all, one of the best ways to learn is by teaching.

Other writers are fantastic at offering encouragement and help when you get stuck or need advice about a variety of writing topics.

This also gives you a great network of friends to help improve & promote your work (and vice versa). Writers are a supportive, encouraging lot. We love to help each other in any way we can, so you can’t go wrong by blogging when you will have a plethora of on-hand, skilled, talented, and gifted writers at your disposal, all ready to lend a hand!

It’s abundantly clear that blogging is not only a fun activity, it is a perfect outlet to help us become better writers. If you aren’t blogging yet, now is a great time to start. You’ve already got a great beginning network of fellow writer/bloggers right here, so jump in and have fun.

Remember, I write, therefore I blog!

Thanks again, Candice, for letting me stop in and share some insight on why blogging helps us be better writers. It’s been fun!

Writing Tips You’d Give to Your Younger Self: 5 Words of Wisdom from Blogger Blonde Lucy

Welcome to the Writer’s Journal, a place where creative wisdom and encouragements are shared with all at the table!

Part of developing as a wordsmith or visual artist comes with learning, not only from our own process but gleaning wisdom from those around us. This is what the Writer’s Journal is all about.

ae8f55cd-fe45-4c4a-9684-5d7f5249adbeThis week, we have the pleasure of  learning from a super blogger and brilliant wordsmith: BlondeLucy, the mind behind Blondewritemore blog.

I encourage you to not only eat of her wisdom here but follow her blog as well as these other platforms:

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/blondewritemore

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blondewritemore

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/blondeusk/

Thank you, BlondeLucy, for stopping in and sharing. The pen and pad are yours!

5 Encouragements I would give to my younger writing self on what is most important about writing. By Blonde Lucy

 
As a fresh faced and eager newbie writer, you need lots of encouragement. Writing is not easy and at times, it can reduce you to a snivelling wreck. 
This is what I would say to my younger self:
 
  • Forget the Writing Course at the local college. Expensive and a waste of time. 
  • Forget the ‘Writing’ self-help books. Expensive and a waste of time. 
 
Write! Just sit and write. 
 
Write until you have nothing left inside you and then wake early to write more the next day. 
 
Write and write until words dance in front of your eyes. 
 
Writing every day for a few years is what makes a writer grow and develop.
 
I would say:
 
  • Start your blog. Post daily and use this a form of writing training. It is your daily workout. 
  • Grow your Twitter following. Don’t be shy or afraid. Don’t think you are bothering people. Tweet. At first, no one will re-tweet or like your stuff but just keep tweeting and hash-tagging. Be consistent. 
  • Listen to your gut instinct. You know what you want to write. Don’t be led by others. Don’t be persuaded to write for others. Write what you want to write. 
  • Take part in a weekly blog battle or writing contest. This will be hard but it will sharpen your writing and enable you to forge friendships and networks with other writers. Learn from other writers through doing this. Make a point of reading all the entries and comparing them to yours. Look to see how the more advanced writers are describing objects and events. Look at their sentence structure. Soak it up like a sponge. 
  • Enjoy it! Don’t get wrapped up in ‘when will I be published?’ daydreams. They are just a distraction. Be mindful and enjoy the little things about your writing; the mad scribble which starts an idea, the burst of excitement when you think of something new, the first time you hear a character talk to you and that feeling of pride when you complete your first draft. 
 
Write my friend. Don’t stop! 
 
Learn your trade and be grateful for your creative gift. 
 
 ~BlondeWriteMore