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Pumpkin-Ize Your Writing

July 6, 2020-I’m hoping to grow some massive, prize-winning pumpkins this year to the tune of 2500 pounds; knowing this is quite a feat, I thought I’d enlist the help of experts. I went to Amazon to look for a book on pumpkin growing when I stumbled across a book titled, The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz. The book is NOT about growing pumpkins, but growing your business like you would a gigantic pumpkin, there are steps that need to be taken! To grow a pumpkin, you need to:

  1. Plant seeds
  2. Water the seeds
  3. Remove diseased/damaged pumpkins
  4. Weed the plant
  5. Identify the stronger faster-growing pumpkin leaves and get rid of the rest, repeat until there’s only one pumpkin per vine
  6. Focus ALL of your attention on the big, beautiful, strong pumpkin and nurture it like a human baby
  7. Watch it grow

What does any of this have to do with your writing?

  1. Plant seeds. Brainstorm ideas for your writing, write down as many possible topics or themes as you can think of. Don’t hold back and don’t self-edit at this point.
  2. Water seeds, removed diseased damaged pumpkins, weed the plant and identify the fastest growing pumpkin leaving one per vine.  Pick one idea and go with it, get rid of the bad ideas and focus on your very best one. 
  3. Focus all of your attention on the strong pumpkin and nurture it. Focus on your idea for your novel and forget about writing anything else. Nurture your novel, take care of it, edit, rewrite, be thorough with your research and make necessary changes, add more plot twists, develop characters further etc.
  4.  Watch it grow. Put the work in and watch yourself grow as an author. Keep growing and developing your skills. 

Who knew that such good writing advice could come from pumpkin growing? Happy planting, X LLB

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Do You Know Who You Are?

August 21, 2019– Who are you? Have you ever asked yourself that question? If you don’t know who you are, how are you supposed to find your writing voice?
Your writing voice is different than the narrative you use to tell your story. It’s not third person or first person, it’s much more than that.

Voice is your author style, the quality that makes your writing unique, and which conveys your own attitude, personality, and character. It’s impossible to write a book and not leave a piece of yourself behind. Friends who know me well, know exactly which parts of my manuscript are me. Our tone, choice of words, and punctuation make up our writing voice. It’s pretty consistent, especially when narrating in the third person. Based on these markers, it’s possible to identify the author by reading a selection of their work.  

Author voice is not just what we say, but how we stitch together the words and sentences to create a story. Each author has their own unique perception of the world, we have our own biases and beliefs, we have different experiences, and passions. That’s why when my team says to me, “This story has been told before!” I say to them, “But it’s never been told by us.”

What are you holding back from your work? What parts of you aren’t you allowing to shine through your writing? Why are you being so careful with your words and hiding who you are from the world. It’s time to stand up and time to be you. That’s where your power is. Find your voice and use it to shout your story to the masses.

X LLB

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