Writers & Personal Style~

22 January 2019

 

Hello, everyone,

 

I love to watch a good movie, preferably anything of either the superhero kind or a romantic drama / comedy. Everybody has their own tastes and preferred genres when it comes to movies. Some like horror movies or can’t seem to get enough of Stephen King flicks. Others watch only inspirational movies. For myself, it’s a mix. Around Halloween especially is when I really get courageous enough to see a new horror movie. But the point is: everyone has their own tastes.

 

The same is true for artists – some prefer watercolors; others, a different type of painting style. For writers, we all have our own genres that we prefer as well. I prefer romantic suspense, because I love a good love story, wound together within a intense mystery where the reader gradually pieces together a puzzle. Maybe that’s why Kate Morton is my favorite author. Also, there’s nothing wrong with the genre you prefer, or the type of writer you are.

 

The only thing wrong is when somebody makes it their priority to try to hurt you or else ruin the objectives to your dreams in which you’re currently working so hard for. These people are called bullies. Online, they’re called cyber bullies. Now there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism – the kind where people kindly correct you about how to be better at your dream career or hobby. That type of stuff I happily accept. But, as many of you probably know very well, there’s the ugly type – those who purposely try to say cruel and untrue things about you. They may post an ugly comment on a social media page of yours, or share your information just to publicly humiliate you or else try to destroy your public image on social media.  I’m not sure what causes people to want to purposely harm others to get what they want or maybe to even make them feel better about themselves, but I’ve dealt with it enough times to realize that these people are not worth even corresponding with. So whenever someone does try to purposely get you, just remember one thing: nobody can ever prevent the dream career or hobby you’re trying to reach. Absolutely nobody. All you must do is block them, maybe fix your privacy shields a bit if you need to, and move on. It’s not even worth trying to defend yourself to people who are not keeping an open mind or open heart about the kind of person you are, or the art you’re trying so hard to create.

 

Writers aren’t perfect. Human beings aren’t perfect, and we haven’t been since before Adam & Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. If writers make a mistake, maybe they aren’t aware of it. Maybe they need some kind advice. But don’t berate them, embarrass them either publicly or privately, and don’t belittle them. In the long run, such cruelty isn’t going to benefit you, especially if readers discover you’re cruel to other authors/writers. Don’t you want people who follow you on social media to look up to you?

 

Writers – we are all in the same boat here. We all want the same goal: to be published, and to positively affect the world through our stories. But how exactly are you doing that if you’re being a bully to other fellow writers/authors? Still, I forgive you. This post isn’t about shooting daggers at anyone, but rather, showing people the right and wrong ways to criticize art. The art of writing is a beautiful thing. God blessed us with the talents to commit pen to paper and create amazing stories. But God did not create us to harshly or cruelly criticize other people’s mistakes or personal styles. Such negative attributes are straight from the devil.

 

Constructive criticism is beneficial and is much encouraged. Going forward, please make sure that the criticism you give others is not going to hurt them in any way, and is said in the nicest way possible. As an artist, writer, or whatever hobby or career you’re passionate about, you’re always going to receive criticism. You’re also always going to have the chance to give criticism. But just make sure that both are done in the right way. Otherwise, it not only tries to destroy that artist or writer’s character, but it begins to eat at your character as well.

 

There are millions of people out in the world longing to make a difference to the world. Don’t try to ruin that for them, especially when you’re trying to make a difference yourself. Instead of being an enemy, be a friend, because friendship will change a person’s life for the better; enemies only destroy.

 

So writers, I encourage each and every one of you to write in your own personal style! Work your hardest and be the best that you can be, and don’t let anyone ever create doubts in your mind about yourself. Don’t ever let anyone try to thwart the dreams you’re working to accomplish. I especially encourage you to pray about it, because with a little bit of hard work and a little bit of fervent prayer, God WILL bless you.

 

Have a good week, everyone. And remember, be nice. 🙂

 

JMK~

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There’s a Lack of Beauty in the Worl

2 March 2018

Hello everyone,

I love a good book as much as the next person. My favorite are suspense novels, a genre I also write, where the story incorporates drama, romance, life lessons, and everything else in between. Kate Morton books are the best; with every twist and turn, you expect the book to end one way, when it actually ends a different way. I have a short pile of suspense novels in my home bookshelf just waiting to be opened into, read, and enjoyed.

It’s the same thing with a person, isn’t it? Every person in the world has their own unique abilities, their own beautiful personalities. Only God can see who is good and bad, true to His Word or ignoring it completely. But He also sees all the disrespect in the world; the anger, hatred, and rebellion. All that terrible sadness – don’t you think that makes God sad? This world that He created torn apart like this?

More and more these days, I see nothing but negative headlines in the news today. For some odd reason, people find it funny or at least interesting to have disrespect toward things or people that they shouldn’t have disrespect to. Whether it’s players in the NFL, the NFL in general, celebrities, executives, governing leaders, musicians – you name it, the disrespect is there. Even more so, the HATRED is there. There’s too much impatience in the world today, too much rebellion, too much ignorance of God and His Word. But this isn’t just about God and His Word – it’s also another matter, a subject that many of us ignore because we don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. People are gonna do what they’re gonna do – that’s the way we think.

But we shouldn’t think that way. Instead, we should reach out to others and help out as many as possible. We should set a good example toward others. You know, a smile in a stranger’s direction goes a long way. It could even make their day – or, even better, be the best experience they had all week. Give food to the homeless. Set an example to your children, nieces, and nephews that all of the world is not all ugly. Parts of it is, but we can’t make it all good. All we can do is do our part – and the best part of that is by living the way Jesus wanted all of us to live. Obey the Gospel. Have a faithful & regular prayer & Bible study life. Make solid time for God & His Word. Then, go out and spread the Gospel to others. Something as simple as giving a spare Bible away is planting the seed.

I look at the news today and see that there is so much ugliness, especially in the media. People are wrongly accusing others of wrongdoing. People are not being kind to others. There is too much anger, frustration, and hatred. Too many people protesting for stuff that is really not going to matter at the end of the world. What IS going to matter, when we all stand before God on Judgment Day, is whether or not we lived according to His Word. Whether or not we obeyed the Gospel, gave respect to others, never talked badly about others, always held your tongue, and tried your hardest to set a good example to others and helping others out. The best example I have is whenever you see somebody in the supermarket, in a coffee shop, on a sidewalk – maybe an elderly person fell down. Maybe accidentally spilled their coffee all over the floor. Maybe somebody was carrying a stack of books and one bump and they all fell to the floor? Instead of watching that person, watch how many people ignore them and continue on with their lives as if that person clearly didn’t matter? Perhaps they didn’t NEED help, but just think about the kind of wonderful day you’d give them if you stepped out of line to get your coffee, to go to your job, etc. just to help that person? And you know what? It’ll make your day, too.

I think I’ve told this story before, but I remember when I was in college, I was on my way to class. I passed by a hallway just in time to notice a woman, who’d been pulling a wagon filled with books and supplies and other things for the department in which she worked. Suddenly, the wagon toppled over, and dozens of pens, pencils, notepads, and books toppled out.

And of all the crowd of students heading toward the doors leading outside in which I was headed, I was the ONLY ONE who stopped. The only one!!! I was absolutely appalled. For a moment, I stopped walking to observe the lady who clearly could’ve picked all that stuff up herself, but think of the embarrassment she probably felt, making a mess while everyone glanced her way on their way out the door. Think of the stress she probably felt, because she’d piled those supplies in her wagon just right. And I was the only one who stopped and hurried over and instantly began helping her put her stuff back in her wagon.

“Thank you so much!” she exclaimed in a relieved smile, a big bright smile on her face. “I really appreciate your help!”

“No problem at all!” I insisted, and cast her a smile of my own.

And for the rest of the day, and still to this day, seven years later, I still think about how relieved and happy she was for me to help for only a couple minutes. To help her, when everyone else had decided not to.

Don’t be so in tune with your own lives that you forget about helping others, about looking after others who aren’t just your loved ones, they are strangers. They’re children. They’re people in need or even people who aren’t in need but could use a helping hand – just to make their day! J How wonderful that’ll feel.

Come on, world, let’s stop being so disrespectful and angry. Let’s stop the hate and all the rebellion. Let’s listen to our parents, who always know the best thing for us, and let’s help others. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt. Let’s work on our road rage.

Don’t get me wrong – nobody’s perfect. But if we all worked a little harder to make someone else’s day and being more respectful and kinder – wouldn’t the world be that much more beautiful?

Think about it.

Enjoy March 🙂

JMK~

The Mysterious Secrets of a Blank Mind ~

Hello everyone,

And yes, if you didn’t understand my title, I am a writer and I do have writer’s block. 😦 I’m struggling with my current novel (see Current Novel page), with my black cat Felix’s tail looping over my keyboard, and I am staring at a blank screen. I usually don’t enjoy donating plasma and writing in one day, since I’m often found drinking ten gallons of water, haha. But I decided to be a little more productive today.

While I was donating plasma, though, I was skimming through Pinterest and found a ton of writing pins that I liked quite a lot. They gave me a lot of great inspiration, too (as I slam yet another bottled water), and I decided to share some inspiration with you. So here are the top six ways to get over writer’s block and start writing like you should!!!! 🙂 🙂

1.) Write about what you love that won’t get published. Remember those writing exercises you did in creative writing classes in middle high school, high school, or college? Neither do I. But anyway, write about your favorite memory growing up, your favorite food, write about your pets, or just whatever you like. Let your mind explore the possibilities.

2.) Watch your favorite movie. This always inspires me, because after all, most movies are based off of books.

3.) Read your favorite novel, or just excerpts from it. Aside from the Bible, my favorite novel of all time is “The Secret Keeper” by Kate Morton. The smallest or greatest word, beautifully sewn in intricately perfect font, is such passionate artwork to me. That really makes me want to write as great a story as a fantastic author.

4.) Outline your book on a separate sheet of paper, or in a notepad, or even on a Microsoft Word document sheet. This particular exercise helps me sometimes, but not all the time.

5.) Get away from the story for a while and let your mind wander. While you’re in the shower, or brushing your teeth in the morning or evening, imagine yourself in the character(s) shoes. Where would they go from here? What happens next and how can they go about it? This especially helps me whenever I am desperately craving a lot more passionate artwork in my own writing, like now, haha.

6.) Don’t be afraid of making the first draft a dud. That’s what editing and rewriting is for! Write out the scenes that are bugging your mind most. Get all of those good and ugly scenes out of your mind, and then polish them later. When I wrote my debut novel, “The Magic Suitcase,” this helped me a lot. When you don’t feel like writing this scene, or if you’re like me and its the only scene of the book left to write (I tend to skip around a lot when I write, which also helps me), just vomit it all out and worry about polishing it later. It’s only when we learn to like and enjoy that particular scene when it deserves the most effort and also when we give it the best effort. 🙂

My surprise should be hopefully posted on my blog this week, so keep your eyes peeled for exciting news soon!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂

Have a blessed week 🙂

JMK~