Writing Tip: Get Journaling

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Hey all,

Hows things? How are you? Whats happening? I feel so out of the loop when I’m not blogging. Is that sad? I don’t know why that is, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I finish blogging and I start checking what is popping up on my reader. There are some seriously interesting blogs out there! Bravo guys and girls who write them!

I just wanted to pop a quick writing tip up for you – its an unlikely one. I actually hated it. I rolled my eyes when my lecturer suggested it. But now that I got my stuff together and tried it out, it works! Its journaling.

Yeah I hear you. You stopped journaling when you stopped being a teenage girl. You accepted that you were never going to have your diary published like Anne Frank did and you are a little bit thankful your life wasn’t so tumultuous as hers was (May she rest in peace, the beautiful soul).

No. Journaling works. It’s not so much so you can write down what you think about people or what write any deep dark secrets. Its so you can experiment with different ways of recounting events, find interesting and innovative ways of presenting the intangible on paper, and generally get in touch with your voice.

I hate writing to writing prompts. I really do. But I realised that when I am only writing one single story for an entire year, I can forget to stretch myself or reinvent anything. My writing gets stale. But this new writing prompt – the journal – is actually genius for getting through that!

Just thought I’d pass on the tip! Happy Writing People!



P.S. The picture seems irrelevant. But its my journal. And chocolate that said “love your insides.” I thought it was ironic that my chocolate was telling me that.


Unbreaking My Brain – Part 1


Many of you read my post “The Year my Brain Broke.” I am planning on following it up with the steps I am taking to reclaim my brain. It’s working so far! This is the first of the follow-ups. I’m calling this the ‘guilt’ post.

Perhaps some of you out there can relate to this – the guilt you feel when you aren’t doing anything.  Perhaps it comes from life as a business owner (I owned a cafe for 6 years – I still own it, but hubby took over the running of it after I broke my brain.). Perhaps it comes from life as a driven individual who tends towards workaholism. Perhaps it comes from having so many juggling balls in the air that you are sure you can’t stop for fear of dropping them all.

Regardless of where it comes from – it sucks. Not being able to switch off because you keep thinking ‘there has to be something I should be doing’ is difficult. It results in the brain being wired and me being tired and unable to achieve anything anyway. I spread myself so thin that I was doing everything to a mediocre level and doing nothing to an outstanding level anymore.

Not how I want to live life. I felt so guilty about switching off that sleep even became an issue.

Two months ago, I got issued with an order: Get well, write the clients book and do nothing else. I wanted to do it for the sake of my health. But I am the first to say it’s been a difficult transition to make. Every time I see hubby at work, I feel guilty that I am not helping or doing something to assist. If he stays up late, I stay up late worrying. Its a horrible cycle and I had to break it.

They say acknowledging the problem is half the problem, don’t they? Well here is my acknowledgement:

If I stay tired and burned out, I am not at my best in any way. I am not the best wife I can be. I am not the best writer I can be. I am not the best sister, friend, housekeeper, dreamer or daughter I can be. The best work I can do is breaking the negative cycle of workaholism and ‘wideness’ that I have developed. The best thing I can do is learn to live life, not just work my way through it.

I’ll be straight up with you. Even though I have made that acknowledgement, I still feel guilty when hubby works late and I don’t. But I am learning not to do that. I am learning that its okay to enjoy life and not feel guilty about what I should be doing instead.

So this week, hubby and I escaped for a few days to the lovely Philip Island. We went with a couple of friends and its been great! The most work I have done is this blog post and I like that. I can do this. I can un-break my brain.

A little wisdom for the day:

If you’re calling to see if a stranger will sell you the domain name they bought but didn’t develop, check to see where they live. Apparently there is some time difference between Australia and North Carolina!

To Build A Story: The Big Bang

Some good thoughts in here

Coffee. Write. Repeat.

If you’re a writer, the climax of the story is the easy part. Right?

Just add some blood and guts, raise the body count, and throw in an explosion or two.

This is all good and exciting, which a climax should be, but it’s not always right. A climax is not just the moment of high action, big bang in the story. It’s the moment when everything in your core conflict and plotline, comes together, in a dramatic way.

Take, for instance, my original manuscript. I originally wrote the climax as the moment (spoiler) where the emperor sends his army in to crush the rebellion and enslave everyone. Which was all epic and dramatic, with bombs dropped, people screaming, bodies everywhere, and all your good usual climax stuff.

But the core conflict in this story wasn’t Falcon trying to stop the emperor and save her city from doom. The core…

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Can You Make A Living As A Writer?


I am the first to say I live a very fortunate life. I get to do what I love as a job and its something that most people dream of doing ‘later.’ It seems that everyone has a book in them, but very few get to write it.

When I say I am a full time writer/author, I get asked a couple of questions. One of them is this: Can you make a living as a writer?

The answer is yes, and no.

Over the last ten or so years, the writing industry has changed a lot. You can now self-publish or hybrid publish. Because of the internet and social media, you can do a lot of marketing yourself too. There are an ever increasing number of authors out there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those authors are getting noticed.

If you are lucky enough to get picked up by a publishing house, congrats! But regardless of whether you are a self-publisher, hybrid-publisher or an optioned author, you are going to have to do some of the footwork yourself. The more you market, the more you sell. The more author appearances you do, the more you sell. And that is the bit that most of us ‘writer types’ hate.

Most authors make their money off royalties, but the stats are saying that the number of authors who solely write for a living is falling. My take on it is this: You can make a living as a writer, but not necessarily as an author. How do you do it? Here are a few tips:

1. Try your hand at copy-writing. This means helping people out by writing their website copy, their brochures or other publications. This can attract a decent hourly rate. You are still writing for a living. You just aren’t writing your stuff for a living.

2. Try writing for publications. There are magazines and journals that welcome contributors and pay them for their work. I am actually submitting a couple of short stories University made me write to such publications. I hate them. But if they make me $500 then who cares! It also means that I get to add to my resume that my short stories were accepted for publication. I also did a two year stint for a lifestyle magazine as one of their lead feature writers. Handy on a resume and they paid per word. It wouldn’t take me long to knock out an article if I knew what I was talking about, but it was great for exposure.

3. Ghostwriting. This is my favourite! Because I get to do it. I fell on my feet helping someone write a completely dynamic book that is going to change lives! Honestly, I can’t believe my luck. Not only is the subject matter amazing, but it is something I believe in. I can’t tell you much more about it, but I can tell you that ghostwriting is one way many writers make their living. Ghostwriting isn’t for the faint-hearted though. You do the hard yards. You get inside the ‘authors’ head and pull out information you may not have any prior knowledge of. You go on a journey of discovery. You agonize over every word. And at the end of the day it isn’t your name that goes on the cover. For me, that doesn’t matter though. The piece I am working on is going to help so many people and at the end of the day, that is what writing is about to me.

Ghostwriters usually charge per hour and its anything from $35 to $200 depending on how experienced and reputable the ghostwriter is. (This in itself is something interesting, because ghosts tend to keep their publications secret. One guy who broke through this boundary is a man by the name of Andrew Crofts who was so good at what he did, his name was often demanded on the cover beside the primary author.)

4. Market the heck out of your own work. If you are under a publishing house, they will help you with this. You will get a royalty, often a small one but this may be offset by the advance on your next book. If you are hybrid publishing, the publishing partner will take their cut of the profits, and after costs, the rest is yours. Your cut is lower, but trust me, its worth it. Doing distribution and all the marketing yourself is a pain. If you are a self-publisher, its all on you! But so are the profits. Really, its opportunity cost.

So there you have it. There are ways to make a living as a writer. They might just be a bit different to what you think.

Have a fab day all!



(Originally published at my author site: www.claremcivor.com/blog)

P.S. I got my hard cover book samples and book stubs today. They look FAB! So exciting. If you haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of Shadows yet, get across here! You won’t regret it.