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Writer's Notes - By Jeanne Dininni

WritersNotes.Net: Helping Writers Follow Their Dreams Through Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement!

Interested in Free Writing Advice and Job Leads? Try Freedom With Writing

If you're interested in receiving leads on often little-known markets for your writing, along with informative articles and e-books that can help you advance your writing career, visit the Freedom With Writing website and sign up for their free service. I've been on this company's e-mail list for quite some time and have received some great leads and insights into the writing business. Once you've signed up, every few days the company will send you an e-mail containing a link to its latest article or e-book download.

Of course, just as with anything else, you'll find some of these resources more helpful than others, but don't let that stop you. Though I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of e-mails (since I'm often too busy to open them right away and click through to check out the latest info), overall I've found this site to be well worth signing up for, since I'm rarely inclined to delete their e-mails before checking out the resources they contain -- even though they may sometimes sit in my inbox for a little while before I get to them!

Hope this resource proves helpful to you!

Happy Writing!


“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” — novelist Elmore Leonard

Whenever you write, let nothing get in the way of rhythm, sound, and flow -- three facets of the craft that make all the difference. Read your work aloud and listen to its sound. You'll immediately sense when it needs a syllable here or a shift in accent there and will search the depths of your consciousness to find just the right word. You simply won't be satisfied until you've rephrased and made everything right with the world.

Here's to writing's rhythm, sound, and flow!


A Few Thought-Provoking Quotes on Writing

September 15th 2013 07:12

Quotes from Writers Who Make Us Think

I always enjoy reading a good quote on writing. Perhaps you do, too. If so, here are an even dozen I think you'll enjoy:

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” -- Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” -- Saul Bellow

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” -- Stephen King

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” -- Anaïs Nin

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” -- Robert Frost

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” -- Lloyd Alexander

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -- Anton Chekhov

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” -- Stephen King, On Writing

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” -- Henry David Thoreau

“I write for the same reason I breathe ... because if I didn't, I would die.” -- Isaac Asimov

“Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the official version.” -- Carolyn See

“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls." -- Ursula K. Le Guin

Somehow, the well-conceived ideas of writers on the craft always hold a special fascination. The tiny glimpses they provide into the author's mind can work wonders for our perspective -- and enrich our writing in the process. Hope you've enjoyed these! Now, go and put them to work!

Keep on writing!


Fortune Cookie Wisdom, Round 2

My last post discussed one of two fortune-cookie fortunes I received the last time I ordered Chinese food and how that "fortune" could be applied to writing. Here's the second insightful tidbit of writing advice I received that day:

Profound Principle

"Well arranged time is a good sign of a well arranged mind." Such a simple statement and yet so profound! As I'm sure most of us have discovered, whenever we're involved in a creative pursuit, such as writing, arranging our time can be difficult. This is partly because the most effective writing contains an element of inspiration -- a component that's hard to schedule.

Yet, scheduling regular time for writing can in many ways free us to engage our imagination and collaborate more closely with our Muse to create something special. Perhaps it's because making up our minds that this is the time we intend to work puts us into the right frame of mind to receive the inspiration that will infuse our work with creative power.

Dual Application

The whole idea that well-arranged time signifies a well-arranged mind is really a fascinating one because when we approach that thought from another angle, we see that just as a well-arranged mind can lead to well-arranged time, in a very real sense we can also use well-arranged time to help create the well-arranged mind our writing requires.

When we schedule regular time for writing, we release ourselves from the tyranny of the other activities we might involve ourselves in instead. The mere act of setting aside this time exclusively for writing can free us from the pressing responsibilities that might otherwise distract us from our goal and disrupt the orderly flow of ideas we need to express ourselves creatively.

Ready to Give it a Try?

If you don't already do this, why not try it? Experiment with scheduling your writing time, and see if it doesn't help you clear your head, allowing you to temporarily set aside the other duties that can often seem so pressing. See if it doesn't make it easier to arrange your thoughts in the beautiful, systematic, colorful, and creative ways that lead to enhanced self-expression. When you reach this creative plane, where everything seems to naturally fall right into place, this is the point at which you will do your best work.

Here's to well-arranged time -- and a well-arranged mind!


How does the "well-arranged time - well-arranged mind" paradigm work for you?


Fortune-Cookie Wisdom Returns

I've written about fortune-cookie wisdom for writers before, and the insights were so amazingly suitable to the craft that after ordering Chinese food the other night, I was eager to crack open my two fortune cookies to see what kind of writing lessons they might hold in store -- and I wasn't disappointed. I'll write about fortune-cookie lesson number one today and number two later.

The Lesson

"You find beauty in ordinary things. Do not lose this ability." Could that admonition be any more appropriate for a writer? That's precisely what we writers must do to achieve the level of self-expression that inspires our readers. As writers, we need to see the world in a way most other people don't.

Everything in life -- no matter how ordinary it may appear -- isn't. Why? Because it has so many amazing lessons to teach us. That, in itself, makes almost any object beautiful -- on an internal if not external level. Why not try it. Look at the most mundane object you can find and begin thinking about what that object has to teach you about life and how you can apply that lesson to your writing. This is actually a great exercise -- one that I've engaged in before -- and I was surprised how much I learned from a whole array of common, everyday items.


Here's an example I wrote during one Middle Zone Musings WILF (What I Learned From) exercise:

Trains are virtually unstoppable—as long as they remain on track. They teach us that we, too, will be unstoppable if we maintain our focus, build momentum, stay on track, and keep our eyes on the destination ahead.

Now, you try it. This exercise will not only help you gain philosophical insight that can benefit your writing. It will also hone your powers of observation when you use items you can actually look at, improving your ability to effectively describe the objects about which you write -- a critical skill for every writer to master. Even the items you aren't actually able to look at can bring many insights to your writing through visualization. They can also bring insight through mental, emotional, and philosophical comparisons, such as my train analogy.

Never lose the ability to see the beauty in ordinary things, because that beauty will make your writing extraordinary!

To your powers of observation!

What common everyday objects have taught you lessons that can be applied to your writing?


Writing Market: The Sun Magazine

March 18th 2013 20:01

Good Pay for Your Work

I just came across a well-paying venue for writers the other day and thought I'd share it: The Sun Magazine. The magazine pays $300 to $2,000 for essays and interviews, $300 to $1,500 for fiction, and $100 to $500 for poetry. The actual payment amount is determined by the length and quality of the work. Very short works may may pay less. Payment also includes a complimentary one-year subscription to The Sun. The publisher purchases one-time rights, with all other rights reverting to the author after publication. This publisher is willing to consider previously published works, so this is a great opportunity to earn extra money for your already published writing. Compensation for reprints is one-half the usual fee.

The company also purchases photographs and photo essays and pays well for these, too. For details, visit the link above and click the "Photography" tab. If you happen to be a photographer as well as a writer, this market will give you more opportunities to earn by using your creative talents.

The only negative aspect of the above venue, which might hold some writers back, is the fact that submissions must be made the old-fashioned way: by mail, complete with the traditional SASE (stamped, self-addressed envelope) for the return of your manuscript. But, if you can rise above that minor inconvenience, you'll be paid well for quality work. So, it may just prove worthwhile to go to the extra trouble. If your manuscript is accepted, you'll be glad you did!

Response time can be a bit long with this market: three to six months. Since the company discourages simultaneous submissions, the wait could be tough. But, with previously published material at least, what have you got to lose? In fact, even new material would be well worth submitting, despite the time frame, purely because of the amount of compensation offered. This would likely not be the market for newsy or otherwise time-sensitive work, however.

Only you can determine the viability of this market for you, weighing the pros and cons and deciding whether or not they warrant your involvement.

Whatever you do, have a look at this market. It may just turn out to be a lucrative venue for your work!

Good luck!


Potential Magazine Exposure for Your Work

If you have previously unpublished work -- including poetry, prose (aka, short stories), or art -- you might want to consider submitting it to The Earthbound Review for inclusion in their annual magazine. Compensation appears to be contributor's copies (2), but if you don't mind that, you may be able to get some exposure for your work through this venue.

This appears to be a brand new market -- one I came across through a CraigsList ad.

Be aware, however, that you won't hear back from this one-man operation until sometime between April and November, with accepted pieces slated for publication in December.

Good luck!


Quote on Writing: Do What Works

November 21st 2012 04:12

"There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence--an overwhelming determination to succeed."

Sophy Burnham


Have you published a college-level textbook that you would be willing to license to -- a free educational website that is working hard to change the face of modern education? This company believes strongly that education should be free and offers numerous online undergraduate college courses students can take for certification. While the courses are prepared by accredited instructors, the school itself is not an accredited institution. However, students can still gain a great deal of knowledge by taking these courses absolutely free.

If you've written a college-level textbook, to which you own the copyright, and you would like to help support the Free Education Initiative by licensing it to the Saylor Foundation, please click the button below. Saylor is willing to pay textbook authors $20,000 to use their books in its program. You'll find further information at the link.

Here's to knowledge-sharing!

Disclosure: While the above post is not a sponsored post, the link above is a referral link. If you use this link to submit your textbook to the foundation and your book is accepted into the program, I will receive a referral fee. However, I strongly believe this program to be beneficial to students, who are able to access all courses offered by the foundation absolutely free, which is the only reason I've endorsed the program by writing this post and providing my referral link.


Join Blog Action Day 2012

September 15th 2012 00:07

Links to Blog Action Day Info

Blog Action Day is only a month away (October 15, 2012)! If you're thinking of participating, you'll probably want to visit the Blog Action Day site and setup a blog if you haven't already (check for a walk-through).

I've been so busy with my freelance writing lately that I have to apologize for getting so far behind on my blogging. It seems I hardly ever post anymore. My other writing seems to take up all my time. Well, hopefully, I'll be able to write a post for Blog Action Day, as well as other posts every now and then -- ideally, a little more often than I have been lately! But, we'll have to see how things go. With my crazy writing schedule, I really can't promise anything.

Despite my own lack of posts, I did want to give you the Blog Action Day link, just in case you'd like to participate. This year's theme is "The Power of We," which sounds like an excellent topic -- one about which bloggers should have many fascinating insights!

Write on!


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