This Week Is Banned Books Week

If you missed it, this week was Banned Books Week. Yes, I am aware it is Friday so there is still a chance you could read one of these books. However, most are too long to finish in a few days unless you have cleared your schedule ahead of time and if that is the case you should probably supply me with the winning lottery numbers too. Seriously though, great job on that x-men like foresight ability.

There are a myriad of reasons a book might be considered banned: misrepresentation of a government, a religion, a socioeconomic class, overt use of sexuality, etcetera. Some are classics that shaped our required reading in high school or college. Others have fallen out of favor because of a shift in thought or advancement of culture. Nevertheless, these books have a place on this list because they pushed boundaries for good or ill.

Below are a few links to reference various sites that list these so call banned books. If you already have this list via your ability to read the future, well done once again. And send me those numbers when you can.

BannedBooksWeek.org

Five banned books that you should read (that you probably haven’t) via Forbes list.

100 Most Challenged Books – American Library Association

Keep writing.

Cheers,

Bob

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Relive the Jot Writers Conference

Jot was great. It could not have been so without the attendees, excellent questions, conversations, and overall excitement about the craft of writing in whatever sense of the word that meant to those present.

Serious it was a madhouse. If you look closely you can see the Weaklings.
Seriously it was a madhouse. If you look closely you can see the Weaklings.

Though it has been a little over a week — thank you for coming. Sincerely, thank you on behalf of all of the members of the Weaklings.

If you missed Jot II or are wondering what Jot is and who the Weaklings are, you might want to follow the hyperlinks provided. The video stream starts about 30 minutes in. You do have to sign in using your Facebook account or create a free log-in.

This is a short post but I would just like to say: keep writing and keep dreaming. Keep doing what you do every day to move in the direction of these dreams amidst the very busy life you have.

Make a plan.

Find some semblance of a groove and don’t give up. You might be an inch away from that breakthrough or possibly, that contract.

Cheers,

Bob

The Fastest Way To iWrite?

My friend Matthew is brilliant. Not just because he’s the poetry editor of Structo magazine out of Manchester, UK but because he introduced me to a spectacular function on my new iPhone. While I know the word iPhone can cause people to gag (and wonder if it is actually a word. What does the “i” in iPhone stand for? And why is improper grammar accepted with the spelling of it’s name? For another time “i” suppose) but please don’t hate me. I’m just trying to share a little trick that might help a struggling writer.

I bring up the iPhone today not because having constant access to email and internet distractions is cool but because of the dictate function in the notes app.

Calm down man, you didn't solve world hunger.
Calm down man, you didn’t solve world hunger.

When Matthew mentioned it I was a little skeptical and guessed that it would come out like Spanglish or Frenglish. But thankfully, I was wrong. I can talk much faster than I can type. The main danger, besides the one of phone addiction which many in our world suffer from every day, is forgetting to edit the speak-type (writing like you talk).

This technological sweetness may not seem like a novel idea to you, or of much use, but it has helped me. And that is what this blog is about. Trying to help writers get “there”. I can finish a blog post or talk out some Tweets and then copy them from my email, do a quick proofread and schedule. It frees up a lot of time to do what I want to do, namely, work on my novel.

So my challenge to you is to try it. If you battle the endless war of book vs. platform like I do all of the time, and have a device like mine, this might be for you. You could talk out the post, edit in your free notes app, and email it to yourself for a quick copy and paste to your blog or website. This technology may have been out for years but sometimes I am slow to pick up trends – fashion, gadgety, or otherwise – so please forgive me. But while you are doing that, try it. You won’t be sorry (No, I don’t get a ikickback for this post).

One thing’s for sure. If Mr. Dickens had this technology, he’d probably have taken over the world.

Keep writing friends.

Cheers,

Bob

Plan, then Do. Fulfill those Dreams.

So, here we are. It’s Monday, there’s a brand-new week of us. We have the opportunity to fulfill our dreams or to crush them. There’s so much time ahead. We haven’t done anything with it yet. I know some of this time will be filled with work, family obligations, and even more with work around the house. A lot of things will be competing for this time.

Right now it’s unused. And now is the time for a plan. You know what you want to do. I know what I want to do. I want to write. And not just anything. Not just blog posts, or Tweets, or Facebook status updates or comments. I want to write a novel. That is what I want to do.Clock - Spain

Today, aspiring writer, this post is for you. Look ahead. Find the time. This may mean sacrificing sleep or a lunch time. This may be sacrificing hanging out time with friends that are going out to places you love. But remember. Remember what you want to do. That is key. Then plan out your time to make it happen. Do not deviate.

Write well this week. Don’t give up. Look for ways to eliminate distractions or new ways to write as fast as you can!

Cheers,

Bob

Panel Discussion at the Jot Conference

Tell Better Stories

JOT II is right around the corner (next week Friday, September 13th, to be precise…) At this JOT my writers group will be hosting a panel discussion. We, the Weaklings, will be the panel. We’ve never done something like this before. To be honest, the whole thing feels a little pretentious. We certainly don’t mean it to be, and I hope on the night of JOT it doesn’t come off that way. But I thought I’d tell the story of the panel discussion here, just in case anyone thinks we’re getting big heads. 🙂

The last JOT totally surprised us. We couldn’t believe 60 people showed up to hear us talk about writing. It was a jaw dropping night for us. We made new friends, we connected with old ones, and everyone that came was so responsive to our presentations. We didn’t count on any of that happening. Honestly…

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Become A Professional Writer

I am amazed by professional hockey players. Of course you think I mean their ability to keep their balance but this is only part of what keeps me in awe. What captures me most is that for all but one month of the year they fill their days with routines of diet, exercise and discipline to be prepared for game time.

Nicklas Lidstrom former Detroit Redwings Captain
Nicklas Lidstrom former Detroit Red Wings Captain

This makes me think of my goal – to be a writer. I want to be a published novelist and I am waiting to hear back from an editor as I write this. But I do not have a routine. My writing time is not consistence and while I do my best to find that time each day, I still struggle with consistency and it shows in many places, especially here on my blog.

So, I have a question for you writer. How are you becoming a professional writer? How are you getting your writing time in, educating yourself and progressing? Books on writing speak of a thousand ways to improve and hundreds of things to consider when putting a book together. But they all settle on one main ingredient that is essential to becoming a novelist – showing up and doing so with consistency.

Today my alarm went off at 5:15am. I decided it was time to create “office hours” for myself to make sure I have writing time every day. I might make this earlier if needed, but I realize the importance of routine. Writing is hard work. Good writing even more so. I think it’s time we roll up our sleeves and get to work.

How about you?

Have you recently made a new dedication to the craft?

Do you need to?

There is no right time.

Start now.

Start today.

Cheers,

Bob