Do you dream? One way to start your day is to start by writing about your dream. Brainstorming and writing everything down you remember from it. Spend a few minutes daydreaming about your dream and what it meant to you. Don’t let yourself immediately get pulled into your daily routine, problems and responsibilities. Take a few quotes minutes and focus on your dream and make notes from it. Write about the environment, a character or what you were doing, or who you were talking to and what the conversation was about. For 15 or 20 minutes every morning, challenges you to write, brainstorm, and think about your dreams.

Did you know that James Cameron sited lucid dreaming as bring the muse for Avatar? Salvador Dali used his dreams to create ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate’ and 'Second Before Awakening’, Chris Nolan mined his own lucid dreams to conceive 'Inception’, and Stephen King writes about lucid dreaming in his 1995 novel, 'Insomnia’. You will be keeping extraordinary company.’s contest ends October 31, 2012.

[Photo: Lucid Dreaming by Amelia Fletcher, via Flickr]

Reading Makes You a Better Writer

If you want to write, read. Learn what other writers are doing and writing. Absorb everything you can. Become your own spongebob. What are you reading right now?

George Orwell

George Orwell authored 1984, Animal Farm, and Down and Out in Paris and London. He was a passionate defender of good writing.

Some of the questions he asked himself while writing:

1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

A few other tips to follow:

• Stay away from metaphors, or overused expressions.
• Never use a long word when a short one will do.
• Always cut a word out when possible.
• Never use the passive where you can use the active.
• Never use a foreign, scientific or a jargon word when an everyday English equivalent word works.

Today’s writing exercise is based on the attached photo. Use the photo in one of the following four ways, or use all of the following four ways ;). Stretch your creative writing muscles. We encourage you to post your responses below.

Make a personal connection to the photo (e.g., “It reminds me of when I visited _________”).

Write a question the photo brings to mind (e.g., “Where is the light coming from?) Then answer it in detail.

Write a detailed observation about the photo (e.g., “The color, the light, the background, etc”).

Make a guess as to where the photo was taken and why and white about the location, who took the photo and why it was taken. (e.g., “This looks like an excavation trip in India. The photographer was recording the trip for a future picture book.)

What Do Readers Want?

I was on LinkedIn yesterday in one of the writing groups. Someone posted a discussion asking, I’m paraphrasing, what do readers want? Here’s what I came up with:

A connection with the book, its characters and the author
Factual, well researched and organized story
Focused and clear writing
A logic presentation and format of the material

I know the list isn’t complete. We all have different things we look for when reading. What do you think? What do readers want in a book?

The new book, “I Trusted Him : The True Story of Anna Lynn Hurd,” methodically documents the months and days leading up to her gruesome murder, a murder that no one in the small town of Northern St. Paul.

“I Trusted Him: The True Story of Anna Lynn Hurd” is a thought provoking inside look at teen dating violence and a violent murder that could be happening in your back door right now.

Release date: Oct 1, 2013.
Available on as a FREE download.

Today's Writing Challenge

Write a 3-minute flash: You are taking your dog for a walk when he starts talking to you. In fact, all the animals in the world have just become extremely conscious and have begun talking to their masters. How does this change things? A new civil rights movement, perhaps?

Click ‘Write’ and post your flash in the comments. Thanks!

Have you created your Guerrilla Marketing team?

We’ve all heard the saying before, “No man is an island.” It’s true; we don’t thrive in isolation. I know a few writers that write in isolation, but once that phase is done; we need people. If we’re going to succeed, we need team support. Do you have your team in place? Have you thought about your team?

We talk about self-publishing like it’s a solo sport, a team of one, but it’s not. It is a team sport. A good team consists of people who can help you with your guerrilla marketing strategies, keeping your social media sites updated, proofing and editing before you even publish, and a test group of readers [Hollywood has beta audiences, and will re-film an ending when needed], etc.

Switching gears from writing to marketing takes planning. Have you planned? Are you planning? Have you recruited your team? Do you have a marketing calendar? What about a marketing budget? Are you ready to execute? Does everyone know their roll?  If you are planning on giving your book away, do you have all your free platforms lined up? Don’t forget to max out your bio on all your platforms. We know at that readers check bio’s before downloading books and that more books are download when authors have bio’s completed.

Remember, you’re working in real time and using social media, most of what you’re doing should be free to start, and you should be prepared to change on a dime if it’s not working. Don’t be afraid to refine and improve.

We’d love to hear from you. Tell us how you’re preparing and what else other writers can do and should do to make it easier when launching their marketing campaign. Post your feedback. It’s the only way we all grow. Thank you.

Do you have a book in you? Sure you do. Figure out what you want to write about. Why is your book unique? What market need will it fill? Create an outline. Then table of contents. Write the first 3 chapters. Then write the next 3 chapters, and so on and so on until you have a solid draft. Then you edit, rewrite and proof! After a lot of blood, sweat and tears you’ll have a book you’ll be proud of.

CONGRATULATIONS to our Winners. These participates won in our launch contest. Please give them a round of applause. Join and download these ebooks. Both are great reads!

Your Life or Mine, Sci-Fi Fantasy by author Bobby W. Lee

Rem is a bounty hunter, who just wants to find a good woman and settle down but his world is in chaos as demons, vampires, Fae, and humans all battle to reign supreme in the world.

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Being a writer means your willing to take risks. Your willing to put yourself and your ideas on display for everyone to see and read.  To improve your creative skills, you have to take these risks. You must follow your hearts desire.

Not every story or novel will be a success but every time you take the risk and put yourself out there you win. You increase your creative skills, you boost your self-confidence, you come one step closer to that “Ah-ha” moment that is accompanied with satisfaction, joy, and sense of total accomplishment!

Write everyday for at least 30 minutes to develop strong creative skills!

Join and let the Wizard help you through the creative process. Make connections in the community and get help brainstorming new ideas, techniques, plots or characters. The help is limited only by your imagination. See you there …