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Three P’s of Writing Success: Practice, Patience, and Persistence

Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre’s “Three P’s of Writing Success: Practice, Patience, and Persistence”

Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre

Practice

In a nutshell, practice is writing and continuing to write. And when you are done with that continuing to write again. And to edit and to rewrite. And to write. You get the picture. Keep it up. Keep at it. It is a lot of hard work.

Patience

Patience means you are putting work out there into the world. It may not be recognized right away. It sometimes takes years. A lot of times overnight success stories of authors who have received multimillion dollar advances from publishers or hit the best-selling self-published charts didn’t do it overnight. They were at it and kept working at it and were patient. And that’s where persistence comes into play.

Persistence

I have been writing over thirty-years. There are certain cases where I am very much aware that it is only after time, after a lot of hard work and after a lot of blood, sweet and tears that I am actually getting to where I wanted to be as a writer.

Source: Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 001. A podcast for writers.  Episode 001 features an interview with Steve Vernon, author of MARITIME MURDER, SINKING DEEPER, The Tatterdemon Trilogy and the Flash Virus Series with Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre. See: http://kobowritinglife.com/category/kwl-podcast/page/2/

Five Podcasts I Listen To On a Regular Basis

There are many resources available for writers. One resource I love is a podcast. Here are five podcasts that I listen to regularly.

Mur LasffertyI Should Be Writing Podcast

http://murverse.com/podcasts/

Winner of the Podcast Peer Award and the Parsec Award, this is a show about a writer going from wanna-be to pro. Focusing on the emotional roadblocks one finds in a writing career, this show speaks to over 8000 listeners every week.

I have been listening to Mur Lafferty since 2006. She won the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is an award given annually to the best new writer whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the two previous calendar years.

The Creative Penn Podcast

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/

Podcast Description: Audios will be posted at least every two weeks and will cover Interviews, Inspiration and Information on Writing, Publishing Options and Book Marketing.

Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers on the edge, as well as non-fiction for authors. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013.

AuthorMBA Podcast: Conversations About the Business of Books

http://winningedits.com/authormba-podcast/

Podcast Description: AuthorMBA features one-on-one conversations with today’s brightest authors who excel at the business of books. Conversations feature insights into successful business models, revenue streams, publishing strategies, marketing know-how, author platform must-haves, content essentials, career decisions, and more.

Matt Gartland is the Founder of Winning Edits. He is the 
Editor, Writer, Strategist.

The Odyssey Writing Workshops Podcast

http://www.sff.net/odyssey/podcasts.html

These podcasts are excerpts from lectures given by guest writers, editors, and agents at the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Every month or two, we release a new podcast. Each one is ten to fifteen minutes long. You may download a particular podcast, or you may subscribe to the podcasts so you automatically receive them when they are released.

Self-Publishing Podcast

https://selfpublishingpodcast.com/podcasts/

Every week we offer in-the-trenches writing, business, and marketing advice on what’s working for full-time indie authors. Join us and sell more books!

Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, and David W. Wright are the hosts.

Photo:

Mur Lafferty headshot CC BY-SA 2.0

My Spiritual Birthday – July 11, 1977

Benita, Jimmie, and Kristopher Kepler 1977

Benita, Jimmie, and Kristopher Kepler 1977

July is the birthday of America. July is also my spiritual birthday.

What’s that? You don’t know about spiritual birthdays? My physical birthday is the day I was born. It was November 25, 1953 at Brooke Army General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. My spiritual birthday is when I was “born again”. It is when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It is when I was “saved”. It was July 11, 1977 at the First Baptist Church of Lakewood in Tacoma, Washington.

Did you know being good doesn’t get you to heaven. Being “saved” does. Here’s my story of “being saved”.

On July 11, 1977, my life changed. If you look up that date in history, you will find nothing historically significant happened on that Sunday. It was a noteworthy day to me. That day was the watershed event in my life.

July 1977 found me on active duty as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. I was serving as Battalion Maintenance Officer, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Life was good. I had a beautiful, intelligent wife. I had a new son born in January that same year. I had just gotten a commendable rating during an annual general inspection in maintenance. It was the first commendable rating since the division had returned from Vietnam. Named an Outstanding Junior Officer of the Ninth Infantry Division because of the commendable rating, I received an offer of a regular army commission. My career was going great.

I always tried being the best I could be, and doing what was right. I was a detail-oriented perfectionist, high-achieving, and a workaholic. I excelled at most things I did. However, after all of this, I still had an empty, unsatisfied, void, and alone feeling. Beginning in my college years I tried drinking adult beverages, women, materialism, partying, and hanging-out with the right crowd to fill this unexplained need I had. I knew something was missing from my life.

I was also attending church. At my church I noticed a group of men my age that seemed to have what I was missing. I attended a Bible study with them. Here I found that God has given us an important manual for life — the Bible. He has the answers to the problems and emptiness we may face. I found out I was here for a purpose, and not by accident. I learned Jesus loves me, and desires to have a personal relationship with me. However, sin separated me from Him.

I realized I had a sin problem.

The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 But no one is perfect! Not even a perfectionist. We have all sinned and therefore cannot save ourselves by simply living a good life. Why?

I learned there was a penalty to be paid for my sin.

The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

I learned God gives us a promise.

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

I learned that God made provision for me.

The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. – Romans 10:9-10

I prayed to accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus.

I prayed, “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the grave so that I might have eternal life in Heaven with You. I willingly repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart and life. Take control of my words, thoughts, and actions. I place all of my trust in You for my salvation. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, and this free gift of eternal life. Amen.”

What came next?

Since then my life has not been perfect. It’s been far from it. I have messed up from time to time, sometimes failing miserably in my decisions and choices. However, I have had direction and purpose in my life. I know where I am headed. I have the Bible to give me the principles for daily living. I am never alone. I have had real peace for the last 37 years.

How about you?

Have you ever been “saved”? You can do like I did. Romans 10:9-10, 13 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Can an intelligent person or intellectual/scholar believe in God?  Can an Intelligent Person Believe in Christianity?

The Real Question — The answer to the above question(s) is, “Yes, of course! We cannot deny that many intelligent people do believe in God and Christianity.” So a better question may be, “How can an intelligent person believe in Christianity?” or “Why would an intelligent person believe in Christianity?” Click HERE for more the answer.

About the photo: It was taken in February 1977 in my military quarters at Fort Lewis, Washington. In the photo in Miss Benita, my bride. We have been married since 1974. Also in the picture is our first child, Kristopher. Yes, I look tired. I had just returned home from a fourteen day training exercise. I had not had sleep in over 72 hours at the time the picture was taken. I was very tired. The picture was taken by my late father-in-law William Clarence Breeding, Sr. He and my mother-in-law had came to Washington State to help Miss Benita with our new son Kris.

Yes

Summer in Dallas

Dallas, Texas USA

Howdy, this is Jimmie Kepler. I don’t know where the readers of my blog live, or what their weather is like. I live in Dallas, Texas. Dallas is in the southwestern part of the United States of America. It is summer in Dallas.

Long time residences and native Texans refer to this time of year as “the blast furnace”. Why do we call it that? It is because the weather is usually as hot as if you were near a blast furnace.

Speaking of the word hot, it is not used by the weather person on the television or radio until the temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When we are just in the 90 degrees range, they say it will be warm today. My guess is where you live 90 degrees is considered hot. It isn’t that way in Dallas or north Texas.

Most days when I get off work, if the temperature is below 100 degrees I do not turn on my car air conditioner. The exception is when I am just sitting in traffic.

To stay cool in our homes in the summer we run fans and air conditioning. My house is normally cooled to 78 degrees with a fan running to keep the air moving.

My day job considers the warm weather. We are allowed to wear shorts to work twelve months a year. On the warmest days, you will find me in khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It is very casual business dress.

Why not leave me a comment about where you live and the weather you have in July? I would love to hear from you!

Read, Write, Edit, Rewrite, Submit, and Repeat

Summoned to my high school guidance counselor’s office, I learned not everyone thinks being a writer is a good idea.  I still recall the meeting as if it were yesterday.

“Why can’t I be an author?” I asked. I wanted to be the next Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Roth, or Ray Bradbury. They were the best-selling authors of the day.

Her career choices for me came from the father role models on the popular television programs of the era. She wanted me to be the next Mike Brady (the architect dad on The Brady Bunch) or an aerospace engineer like Steven Douglas (My Three Sons).

“Jimmie, you’re a boy. You need a college degree in engineering, math, science, or accounting. You have to earn enough money to support your future wife and family. Forget your silly notion that a man can support himself by writing. It is okay to write for a hobby, but you will need a real job. With your grades you could even aspire to be a doctor or dentist,” she said.

I was heartbroken. Raised to believe I could do anything, now I wasn’t so sure.

Has anyone ever laughed at your vision of writing? Perhaps you have been told you lack life experience or you don’t stand a chance because everyone is writing now that they can simply self-publish on Amazon.

You may have feelings of doubt, thinking if only you had an MFA. If only your family and spouse supported you more. If you could quit your day job. Maybe you are in your sixties like me. You think it is too late. You say I am just too old. If only…

We all experience self-doubt. Friends and family do not always understand our passion.

Everyone faces such challenges. My faith as a Christian also helps me overcome such thoughts. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned.

Some people will never understand your passion for writing. Don’t bother trying to explain. Just let them watch as you write.

Read. Reading is necessary for writing. Not only is reading the fodder for writing, it is fun. It also helps me relax as well as grow.

Write. I know it sounds silly, but to become a writer you have to write. I have heard for years that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. 10,000 hours is five years worth of forty-hour weeks. Maybe that is why it takes ten years for so many to get that first traditional book deal. Do not be a want to be a writer. Write.

Edit.  This includes proofreading, rewriting, and polishing. No one is perfect. Critique groups help as well as reputable professional editing services. Rewrite as needed.

Submit.  To your surprise, someone may like and buy what you wrote.

Rejected. Being rejected is not personal. Your writing may be bad. It may be good, but just not meet the publisher’s or editor’s needs. You may have submitted to the wrong market or not followed the submission guidelines (both guarantee a rejection). Every writer gets rejections. The photo is a rejection I received from the New Yorker Magazine. I’ve been rejected by the best.

Accepted. Selling a book or an article doesn’t guarantee success. Many times it means the real work is only beginning. Having your work accepted by a publisher feels good. It feels very good.

Writers’ Groups. Consider joining a writers’ group. I have belonged to three over the years. I have changed groups as I have changed. Some groups I have belonged to were for critique. Some have been to learn the business of writing. Some have been for the encouragement.

I know the thoughts I have shared are all items you have heard many times before. Sometimes a reminder is good.

We all have people like my old high school guidance counselor in our lives. Do not let their negative words keep you from writing. If you have the urge to write, write! It’s not too late.

The formula really is simple. It is read, write, edit, rewrite, submit, and repeat. If your writing is good enough and if what you write matches the publisher’s need, you just may see your story in print.

 

This was originally published by “Author Culture“.

Dallas Area Writing and Poetry Websites

Writing

http://www.utdallas.edu/ah/reunion

http://www.obscurajournal.com

http://www.americanliteraryreview.com

http://www.thefirstline.com

http://www.theboilerjournal.com

http://carvezine.com/

https://smu.edu/southwestreview/

http://dappledthings.org/

http://www.redriverreview.com/

http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/colleges/humanitiesSocialSciencesArts/departments/literatureLanguages/publications/mayoReview.aspx

http://lingerpost.org/

http://www.writersgarret.org/

http://oralfixationshow.com/

http://www.wordspacedallas.com/

http://dfwwritersworkshop.wordpress.com/

http://dfwcon.org

http://dallaspoetscom.org/

http://www.dallaspoetryslam.com/

http://www.creativeartscenter.org/

http://writersguildoftexas.org/

Book Review: “Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America’s Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II” by Jay Stout

Jay Stout has written a fine book about the citizen of airman of World War II. This is an oral history instead of a traditional history. It is the remembrances of the ordinary men who answered the call of their country.

Reading the book reminded me of sitting at my local coffee shop and listening to the old timers tell the stories of their youth when they served the USA. It doesn’t give you the global, geopolitical strategies or the military master plan. Instead you get snap shots of the young men as you put their piece of the puzzle into the larger picture. It helps to see the bigger picture a little more clearly from the average airman’s point of view.

“Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America’s Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II” by Jay Stout. The publisher is Casemate Publishing. It is enjoyable, easy reading, and well worth the purchase price. Well done!

Winner Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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BOOKS BY JIMMIE A. KEPLER
The Prairie Dogs Have Coal Miners' Helmets with Lights and Other Stories
by Jimmie A. Kepler
Short Story Collection: Available on Amazon

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