Talk Back: Does Facebook make you an unhappy writer?

August 19, 2013

On my Kindle: Stay by Candi Wall

Talk Back – Tell us how you write!

There was a French research that came out not too long ago which showed that people who spent a lot of time on Facebook tended to be less happy and satisfied with their lives than people not using the social media site.

People tend to show only the best side of themselves on social media, and admit it, beside cat memes, there are a whole lot of pictures of exotic holidays, family graduations and other milestones, adorable babies and luscious meals from various eateries on people’s feed.

Seeing those constantly, made it seems as if our friends have these perfect glamorous and successful lives when ours is just, well, normal.

When it comes to writers, I wonder if the same is true. Seeing series of beautiful cover reveal, news of new contract sales, positive reviews and pictures of writers frolicking with cover model may seems to us as if all our writer friends are having this wonderful party of success to which we are not invited.

Personally, with almost 5000 friends, a big chunk of them writers, it can seems at time like that. While I toil away at writing my little chapter, Facebook makes it sound like everyone is having successes after successes with nothing but exciting news.

And seeing those statuses, I find, is both good and bad for my spirit. I noticed that when I limit my time on Facebook to a few minutes a day, seeing my friends happy news makes me happy and super motivated.

However, scrolling down for over an hour will see me frustrated that my career is stalling.

It’s all a question of balance.

What about you? Are you on Facebook? How do you react to gazillions happy news from all your friend? A tiny wee bit jealous? Frustrated? Or needed to keep you on track?

I’m curious, let me know!

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Musetracks Recommends… Two Books to Help Increase Writing Productivity

August 12, 2013

On my Kindle: WRITE EVERY DAY: How to Write Faster, and Write More and 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron

Musetracks recommends… how-to books for the keepers shelf!

You probably don’t know this but I am a book-on-writing addict. I have at least a hundred of them, read all of them and keep reading more. Last week, I was glad to stumble on two very good short Kindle books that gave me great tips to help me write faster.

The first one 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron is a pretty short book and what I believe a follow-up on a blog post that you can also read here.

Ms. Aaron tells us that you need three things to really boost your productivity, one being excitement about everything you write. It sounds obvious and while I thought I was excited about all my scenes, it turns out that I didn’t always know why I cared about writing some parts of the story. I decided to give her advice a try and wrote a one line “FF (Fun Factor – my words)” at the top of each of my scene (like: FF: it shows the hero is really really super sexy”) to remind myself of what I truly enjoyed in that scene.

It works. As I first read that before starting my edits, I get really exited about the scene and can’t wait to show my reader how fun this part is. I stall a lot less with dread and fear in front of my page.

Speaking of fear, the second book, which goes much more in depth about why we sometimes avoid writing, is by multi-published author Cathy Yardley, and titled WRITE EVERY DAY: How to Write Faster, and Write More.

Ms. Yardley knows what it’s like to be busy with a kid, a day job and trying to write on top of it all. She tackles all our “problems” in layers. Solve the issue of time first, then go to the next issue of energy. Then figure out your fears before tackling your process. I truly got a lot out of this and experienced little light bulb moments from reading various passages such as….

“… if you have to wait until you’re making enough money or getting enough recognition to justify the time to write… you’re never going to have the time to write.”

I discovered why some of my fears were actually trying to protect me, such as how the fear of my family’s criticism is actually a protecting me from having the writing taken away from me. I was glad to have discovered this book through the Amazon Kindle recommendations, especially to see that Ms Yardley has also a great blog of smart writing advice called Rock Your Writing which you can find here is you are interested. I promptly added it to my blog feed reader.

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Disclaimer: I do not know those two authors personally, found both books via Amazon Kindle Recommendations and purchased the books myself.


Talk back: Is your writing a job or your hobby?

February 25, 2013

On my Kindle: Silk Is For Seduction by Loretta Chase

So today I’m asking you a very simple question: how do you consider your writing, like a job? Or a hobby?

My writing is actually a hobby for me. Shocking? Well there are all kinds of hobby isn’t there? And mine is more of the marathon runner kind instead of the week-end photography kind. I’m pretty obsessive about it and I practice writing every day.

The truth is, it’s when I started writing as a job that all things went pear shape for me…

Because I was so scared of it, it all started as a hobby. But then I joined writers groups where I learned that to be successful I had to treat it like a job. So I did and it worked. I sold my first manuscript to a NY publisher very quickly. And I worked at my writing job daily: 8-10 hours a day. The problem was that even though I worked the hours, the money just wasn’t there. Definitely not enough to support a family of 4 in Seattle in this uncertain economy.

My new job made my family very nervous.

So stress started piling up and words were now preceded with dollar signs and I just lost myself as a writer.

So I went back to school and now have a regular day job. And writing is done before and after work. I tell my family that my writing is my hobby. I do it everyday and very seriously but the “hobby” label make them breathe easier.

I found my happy writing place.

So what is yours? Do you need to treat your writing as a job to get respect at home and motivated? Or has it backfired on you? What is your experience?

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox