Advice on writing in this edition of #WeekendCoffeeShare

Food for the body is not enough; there must be food for the soul.~Dorothy Day, American activist

If we were having coffee, we would most certainly be indoors.

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Tuscan Café, downtown Northville

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The cruller is big as Finse. He and Snufflet could eat it themselves, but Guys share

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We’d be drinking coffee in this quiet café, the kind of place that is a blend of hipster hangout and breakfast-diner restaurant where older people meet and discuss the weather. It’s cold and rainy outside, a strange combo for Michigan in June, but I’d exclaim how happy I am that the coat I wore has gloves in the pockets!
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If we were having coffee, I would totally share my sourdough cruller with you, fresh from a local bakery. I love supporting local, and I know that you’d be tempted to take an apple fritter to go. I just did that, and there’s still two left.
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I’d also gush about my exciting writing news. Of the three entries I submitted to the NFPW Communications Contest, two of them placed nationally. I saw the email subject line and I couldn’t click “open” fast enough. My 10-hour fiction book Jimmy the Burglar won third place! Last year, the memoir about my Mom and our love of Star Trek also placed third. That is such a hoot! I wrote it one a whimsy, and was floored when it won first place at the state level. Only first place entries move on to Nationals. The fact that it actually placed tickles me. I’m sharing this with my Deadwood Writers Group on Wednesday, and they are going to be thrilled!

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My book won first place in Michigan and NFPW contests, then third place at National

I don’t know which stuns–and pleases–me more: that or Second Place awarded to me for my arts-n-crafts articles I wrote for Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine. Last year, my articles earned an Honorable Mention. This year…wowzer!

I’m intrigued to read the comments from the judges. I expect to receive similar criticisms for my book as I did last year. I wonder about my articles. I have ideas why they placed so high, but I won’t speculate here. My creative editor allows me to write whatever topics I want, but I can’t just write with abandon; I have an audience to write for, and that inherently has limitations. But I wrote well enough to place.

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My second place award winning articles: apps for scrapbooking and art journaling techniques

“How do you it?” you ask. I just do. Sounds like a cop-out, but I’m a good writer. I know that. I believe in me, and belief in you is how you do it. In fact, I’m a great writer, bold enough to know my skills yet humble enough to know that I can always be better. That’s why the critiques alone are worth the entry fees. You learn by doing, and an outsider’s eye is the best way for a fresh perspective.

My husband has left for a week-long business trip overseas this morning, so I’m glad for the company. I’m writing–catching up on old blog posts and planning future ones–but it’ll be quiet when I get home. That’s one of the reasons I’m about to get my second coffee refill: I’ll be alone at home. I’m planning to get snuggle on the couch with my new DVD, Mockingjay Part 1. Who knows what else the night will hold?

I’d end by saying, “Let’s hop on over to Part Time Monster’s blog to read what everyone else is sharing this weekend over coffee or tea.

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17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Corina
    Jun 28, 2015 @ 02:12:11

    What great news! I am excited for you. That is one of the things I said, at the beginning of this year, that I wanted to do, submit writing for contests. Then I got sick and everything changed. Now that I am better, it’s time to find some publications and/or contests to submit some of my writing to. I haven’t done that in a lot of years. Eeeek! I just realized the last time i did that was ten-ish years ago!

    Anyway, congratulations! Enjoy your movie and your week alone.

    Reply

    • dwhirsch
      Jul 05, 2015 @ 12:42:37

      Thank you! Why are you interested in submitting to contests? I’m curious, because I’ve been doing it for years. At least, to this one contest.

      Reply

      • Corina
        Jul 05, 2015 @ 14:11:27

        Because it will keep me on my toes with writing. I used to submit to publications and to local competitions some time ago but stopped. I just want to get back to it.

        Reply

  2. Solveig
    Jun 28, 2015 @ 06:51:52

    Congratulations. It’s so important to believe in oneself. I think that it is the basis to success. If you have doubts they’ll slow you down or keep you from succeeding, because often you won’t try. I think that your standpoint is really positive :)

    Reply

    • dwhirsch
      Jul 05, 2015 @ 12:44:40

      Thank you! It’s empowering to believe in yourself. (I know, obvious, right?) It took some time for me to believe in myself. Shaming as it is, I think having a byline justified me as a “real” writer to myself, even though I believed in me long before that.

      Reply

  3. Diana
    Jun 28, 2015 @ 12:48:59

    Congrats! Glad you’re having success on the writing front. :)

    Reply

    • dwhirsch
      Jul 05, 2015 @ 12:51:24

      Thanks! I’m happy about it. Not sure what it will (has) done for me in the long run. I only do it kinda for the future-increased-sales-of-my-awesome-books aspect. Kinda. :) It’s just a really neat thing to do, and the critiques are interesting.

      As an unrelated FYI to you, it’s always startling when you post. Your comments come up as “Diana commented” and my first name is Diana–spelled exactly the same way–so to see “Diana” commenting is a bit weird. But don’t let that stop you! Please! It’s freaky cool.

      Reply

    • dwhirsch
      Aug 05, 2015 @ 14:14:22

      Thank you thank you thank you!!

      Reply

  4. Nicholas C. Rossis
    Jul 24, 2015 @ 04:56:02

    Woo hoo – how exciting! Congrats :)

    Reply

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