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Why My Opinion Doesn’t Matter…

October 18, 2019– Recently, I received an email from someone who submitted their work to me for consideration. There was one line in the email that hit me, “I’ll take your opinion to heart.”

I’m here to tell you NOT to take my opinion to heart when it comes to your writing. Why? Because it’s my opinion and not absolute, undisputed fact. Let’s face it, I have to send out a ton of rejection letters each month and it’s up there with being one of the worst parts of my job, but that’s the nature of the business. I find that sometimes, aspiring writers tend to get so discouraged when they get a rejection letter from a publisher that they stop writing altogether and that’s the worst thing that can happen. Yes, it’s difficult to accept that people don’t appreciate your work the way that you do, but art is subjective and writing is art. There are a hundred of reasons why your work may have been rejected and sometimes it just comes down to the House being full with upcoming projects.

Never stop writing, write the story that you want to read, and take all criticism with a grain of salt. Now, I’m not talking about being arrogant and saying that the professionals in the business have no idea what they’re saying and that you’re the greatest writer of our time and that we’re all idiots and that you’re the next Poe…(that’s a true example by the way) I’m talking about taking the criticism and doing something with it to improve your writing. A lot of times publishers don’t offer critiques and they just don’t respond at all, in that case, try and get an opinion on your story from a third party, not someone who is related to you or thinks you hung the moon. Get a beta reader group, ask an editor, or find someone that doesn’t like you, (I’m serious, they’ll tell you the truth) and have them read your manuscript and offer feedback.

Never give up. Continue to improve your craft and I promise that the magic will happen. The universe is in love with stubborn hearts.

X LLB

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Why You Need a Mentor…

October 16, 2019– A mentor can be defined as an experienced and trusted advisor. It’s bewildering to me the amount of people that ask for advice from people who have no experience and who are not doing better than them. Never ask anyone for advice that you wouldn’t be willing to trade positions with. Read that again.

Here are three reasons why it’s imperative to have a mentor:

  1. Mentors provide essential information and knowledge. Let’s face it, whatever you’re planning on doing (writing a book, included) someone out there has already done it. They’ve probably done it better and faster and have worked out all of the kinks. They have tips and tricks up their sleeve which will make your life easier because you’re not reinventing the wheel.
  2. Mentors encourage you to do better. Mentors should be people that we look up to, people that we aspire to be like. If you hang around with turkeys you become one. Did you know that you become the five people you hang around the most? Why wouldn’t you hang out with someone who encourages you to be the best  that you possibly can? Mentors force us to level up. That’s why you MUST choose the right ones!
  3. Mentors keep us accountable. The best mentors are the ones you check in with and who check in with you. They ask you how your project is going, they want progress reports, and they want to know what stage you’re at in your work. We have to answer to them and the last thing we want to do is disappoint them along with ourselves.

Whatever you aspire to do or be, make sure you have a mentor. Don’t have one? Get one. It’s essential to your success.

X LLB

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Jacqueline Woodson Ted Talk…

October 14, 2019– Check out this Ted Talk from Jacqueline Woodson about what reading slowly taught her about writing! I’m guilty of reading super quickly and skipping information without retention of what I just read…are you? We should slow down!

 

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Bullet Journals…What Are They and Why You May Benefit From One…

October 11, 2019– What is a bullet journal exactly? It’s a system of keeping track of notes, ideas, storylines, and anything else that is important to you. It’s an easy way to simplify things! It’s a quick and simplified way of getting a snapshot of where you’re headed in your writing life.

Here are some ideas of what you can put in your bullet journal should you choose to use this method of organization for your writing:

  1. Writing inspiration-write down story ideas as they pop into your mind.
  2. Tracking your submissions to publishers-when and who you submitted to along with guidelines if applicable.
  3. Organizing your storyline-plotting your novel and the important events that will take place in your book.
  4. Managing your time-jotting down most important tasks, deadlines, and projected release dates.

Bullet journals can work really well for some writers if they enjoy this method of organization, give it a try and see if it works for you! Happy writing! X LLB

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Why don’t the Yankees Have…

October 7, 2019- On Friday, I was fortunate enough to attend the ALDS game 1 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It was an epic game with quite possibly one of the greatest catches of the playoffs made by number 99 (Aaron Judge). Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love baseball and team sports, but I think there’s a lesson here that has to do with writing…let me explain.

Do you know why the Yankees are one of few teams in the MLB that don’t have the players names on the back of their uniforms? Because they believe that NO ONE PLAYER IS GREATER THAN THE TEAM AS A WHOLE. Read that again and let it sink in. The same thing goes for me and my team-no one is greater than the team as a whole and as a team we are much stronger than individual authors. We have the same goals in mind, we are moving in the same direction, and we all have our specific talents that we celebrate together. Everyone on this team has something special and unique about them, but at the end of the day, we all play for the same House.

The same thing goes for publishing, the author is only part of the story. To get a book to publication and on the shelf, it takes a literal team of people to make it happen. It takes everyone from illustrators, to graphic artists, to marketing people, to cover designers, to book store owners, and a bunch more people in between to get a book to market; that’s why no one can do this alone and it’s important to remember that we are not the ones who make it happen by ourselves even though we may be the ones front and center sometimes.

So, I’d like to personally thank each and every one of my teammates for making this House as strong as it is and for being the amazing people they are.

X LLB

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Photo Writing Prompt…

September 25, 2019-This stunning photo writing prompt is full of inspiration! Look how gorgeous the landscape is! Will your story be romantic fiction? Will it be a mystery or psych thriller? Will it be poetry? There is no limit to creativity with this piece. I challenge you to write a story in 500 words.

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The Four Types of Writing Styles…

September 18 , 2019– Did you know that there are four types of writing styles? Every time we (writers) pick up a pen, we’re on a mission! Knowing all four types of writing styles and how to use them is essential for getting your message across to readers.

  1. Narrative– The style that we all know and love! The main purpose of the narrative writing style is to tell a story. Novellas, Short Stories, Biographies, Poetry, and Novels are all good examples of this style. Simply put, narrative writing style answers the question, “Then what happened?”
  2. Expository-This style explains or informs. The opinion of the writer is usually left out of this type of writing and it’s very subject-oriented. Textbooks, How To Instructions, Manuals, and Recipes are all good examples of expository writing.
  3. Persuasive-Persuasion is the main purpose of this style. It always contains the opinions/biases of the author and it’s meant to convince the reader of something.  Advertisements, Opinion Columns, Resume Cover Letters, and Reviews are common persuasive styles.
  4. Descriptive-Descriptive writing focuses on the details of a character, event, or place and it often incorporates the five senses. Good examples of this style are Poetry and Journaling.

So now that you know the four styles of writing, which style do you use most often? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and write in a different style this week!
X LLB

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The History of Writing…

September 13, 2019- This YouTube video about the History of Writing is awesome from Extra History! Check it out below. Remember to follow our channel Pandamonium Publishing House on YouTube for writing tips, tricks, and marketing advice for authors!

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Our Guest Blogger is…

September 11, 2019– Today, our guest blogger is Tim Ford. Check out his post below about his work, current and upcoming projects, and some insight into his success.

My name is Tim Ford, and I am a writer. I believe everyone has a story inside them to tell.  For yours truly, I have several. Having said this, it took many years to realize my words, or thought process was not just some mumble jumble of words on paper. 

Three things specifically helped me to move forward:

# 1, Confidence in myself. Like with anything in life, confidence is either your best friend, or worse enemy. I have never taken a course on creative writing, in fact when I was in high school, it was all about the girls, sports, partying. Hey, it was the 70s.

# 2, Music. Now just bear with me. When I hear a song, or even a certain note, it consumes me. I am drawn into it like a dream. I can feel the pain, joy, violence, sexuality. When I write, I also need the perfect song to draw me in.  To put me into almost a manic mode, riding that note like a surfer would to shore.

# 3, Editor, this is what completes me as a writer. They tie up my loose end. The majority of my writing takes place at nighttime, and I mean right up till the sun comes up. The fatigue will open up another dimension of writing, but sometimes I am throwing darts all around the bulls eye, but I can’t nail it. The perfect editor, they guide my hand, and put me in the bulls eye.

I currently have several projects on the go. On February 7, 2016. I released the first book in a series called “Strong, A Warriors Journey Through Hell And Back. It is about the making of a career criminal. That book is title Santa Dies Once Again.  The opening scene takes place in 1991. Main character is being interviewed by the cops, they give him the option of the electric chair, lethal injection, or become a rat. The whole series goes back to how and why he got himself into this clusterfuck of a mess.  Other published books in the series are “Summer of Love – Fall of Hate”, “A Jungle Is Still A Jungle”, “Criminology 101”, and to be released this fall, “Chasing Dragons – Slaying Demons”. I am currently in book 12 of this series.

I was also lucky enough to pitch an idea to Lacey Bakker of Pandamonium Publishing House about a DNA conspiracy book. So many twists, you will need a chiropractor after reading this. This book is being written 3rd person along side Lacey… Something I have never done before, but with Lacey’s guidance, and yes support, things are progressing quite well.

Also started a stand-alone book about a 39-year-old strait-laced Canadian who has an affair with an 19 year old American hippie. This takes place in 1969. And it also has to do with the music scene back then. So, you know my heart and soul is truly going to be into this.

Thanks for having a look.

Keep Rocking, Tim Ford. 

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3 Simple Things You Can Do…

August 30, 2019– It’s ME! In this video I talk about three simple things that you can do to market yourself as a self-published author. Subscribe to our channel on YouTube Pandamonium Publishing House if you want to see more content!