Reading, Writing Tips

Jobs For Writers


Writers block

Being a writer is hard work. There are many people will believe in your gift, and others will laugh in your face. I’m sure writers like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were laughed at, but look at them now! I would LOVE to be on their level one day and even write for Huffington Post or a great company like it. Speaking of writing for a living, I have been applying to several writing jobs.  Now, I’ve worked as a writer before, but I am looking to do so on a full-time basis. If you read my plea for wanting a career as a writer, I was speaking for us all when I said we wanted to make it through our words. There are many jobs out there that writers can do. To name a few:

  • Content Writer
  • Staff Writer
  • Freelance Writer
  • Creative Writer
  • Fiction Writer
  • Screenwriter
  • TV Writer
  • Contributing Writer
  • Blog Writer
  • Journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Technical Writer

These are jobs that I have applied for in various companies. Let’s hope one of these turns out to be a winner. But, if not, I am still writing. My suggestion would be to ALWAYS write. The more you write, the better you will be become in your craft. But, there is one thing a writer should always do as well. That is to:

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A great writer is also a great reader. I LOVE to read as you know if you’ve been seeing my  Goodreads page, and book reviews. I watched a few interviews with Stephen King and he said that he reads all the time. It helps strengthen his writing.

stephen-king-writing-tips

Writing is already a job within itself, but sometimes we have to get day jobs, too. I used to work full-time, go to school and STILL would write before I went to bed. Lately, I have been writing a lot of samples for the writing jobs that I have been applying for. My point is that writing should always be precedent if it’s something you plan on doing for the rest of your life. As for myself I want to be like Stephen King and just write for a living. In time I have no doubt that it won’t happen. I am going to re-read On Writing by Stephen King just to get inspiration to keep going. This journey can be a lonely road, but I will not stop climbing. If you want a writing job and to continue your own projects, keep striving. Don’t let or allow anyone to tell you differently.

Reading, Writing Tips

Editing 101


editing2

This is the area that I lack the most. At first I used to think that editing was just spell check on Microsoft Word and that was it. Then I realized it was so much more than that. Granted, I have been writing for a very long time, but my mind was not on editing. I just wanted people to really understand my story of what I was trying to say. Who cared that I didn’t put a comma in the right place? I can remember in high school my English teacher would give us a sheet that had ” common mistakes” on it which did not help because  I still needed work on my papers.  I have a come a long way, but I still lack editing. When something needs a fresh pair of eyes I send it to one of my friends and have them look it over. Here are some things that will help the process of editing.

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  1. Proofread – Always have your work proofread. I know we as writers think our writing is perfect,  but it is good to go over every piece of writing with a fine tooth comb.
  2. YouTube Videos – Call me crazy, but this really helps! I have watched many videos on how to edit. It may seem redundant or tedious, but it has helped me.
  3. Books – Books that focus on editing can help a ton as well. In fact I am about to read a few because I still need all the help that I can get.  Here are a few
    1. On Writing by Stephen King
    2. 100 ways To Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost
    3. The Manual for Writers by Kate L. Turbian (Eighth Edition)
    4. Line by Line by Claire Kehrwald Cook

There are some of the books that I will be reading as well. My goal is to write for a living so I have to make sure that my editing is tight! When you edit what style works for you?

Reading, Success, Successful, Syd Field, Writers, Writing Tips

A Writer’s Cry For A Career: Help Me, Help Us!


Do What You Love .jpg

I’ve been out of work for going on one year now. I’ve had tons of interviews for everything ranging from research, administrative jobs, and even retail. Granted at age 32, I feel like i should already be in my career. It doesn’t always happen for everyone early on. If you would have told me ten years ago, that I would be jobless/career-less I would have laughed in your face. Yesterday, I was taking a step back and reflecting on my life now and where it is headed or where I hope it will lead. This for me is writing. Having a career as a columnist for a magazine, or even in a studio. After all, my creative writing degree should stick and stand for something right?

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As I sit on my couch listening to Maxwell while writing this blog, I often wonder, why am I not successful? I have great skills and education just like the next person who is in a suit and tie. Why can’t I find my success with what I want to do? For a while, I was so all over the place with no structure or knowing what I wanted to do. First it was writing, then it was research, then it was having a publishing house, then it was being a consultant. I have exhausted my mind and in turn my life with so many ideas and things I wanted to do because I was in the moment of the next big thing. Now that I think about it, it has all been brought back to being a writer. Sure, I’ll still write for myself with my own books and screenplays, but I want to write to make a difference. Allowing people to understand my life through words or even their life through my words. I want to be able to convey a message that will reach all through the written word. As writers, we have to fight to belong to the world. Its like saying, ” We are here, just read us or better yet, hire us so we can show you that we exist.” No matter what company you work for, TV or movie you watch, magazine you read or even commercials that make you chuckle, that all starts with a writer. Someone who is me or like me. All we want is a chance. A chance to be read by anyone who is willing to click on the screen and read. We have a voice. We can become popular and well-known without even being seen. Our introverted minds bring out the best in what we have to say in order to please our readers and the ordinance to hear our words in some fashion whether you watch our words come to life, read our words in a magazine or have our words in your most intimate place–your hands. Give us a chance. Give me a chance. Hire me and let me show you what I’m made of.

Reading, Write, Writers, Writing, Writing Tips

Excerpt: I’m Your Angel By Krystol


i-am-your-angel-cover

 

Coming in August of  2017

Here is an (unedited except)  of my next project. Feel free to give feedback in the comments!

 

“ Angel! I can’t do this with you right now.” I yelled as he was driving through old Baltimore Pike.

“ Miracle, I told you that I was sorry. How many times are you going to continue to punish me?” He yelled back.

The snow was coming down hard and he was speeding. I was scared and my heart started to panic.

“ You had her pussy smell all over you!” I barked back.

“ Mamita, I don’t want us to get a divorce. I am going to get help.” He said.

“ Angel, you had the last time. Just tell me how many more did you fuck?”

“ Miracle, it was just the two times and that was it. I love you and I’m committed to you.” He retorted.

“ How are you committed to me when you fucking cheated twice. We aren’t in high school anymore, Angel.”

I started to cry.

He hated when I cried.

We stopped at a red light and I looked out the window at the Christmas lights. Christtmas was my favorite holiday of the year.

“ Look. I love you. We are not getting divorced. This marriage is going to work and it’s going to last. We had vows, Miracle.”

“ Vows that you broke. Just tell me why? Is it because I work so much?”

“ No. Baby.”

He sighed.

“ She came on to me in the office. I told her I was happily married. We had the Christmas party last year and both were too drunk to drive. She kissed me. I called her Miracle and she played along with it.”

Tears started to roll my down my eyes even harder.

“ Since you were drunk the first time, how the fuck did it happen again?”

This go round I was furious. I wanted to grab the wheel and make him feel the same pain that I am, but I couldn’t kill us.

“ Miracle. Please calm down. I don’t want your asthma to act up.” He said trying to hold my hand.

“ Fuck you and your damn asthma.” I yelled.

“ Please stop crying.” He said as tears started to stream down his eyes.

“ We don’t need this shit.” I said.

“ Who the fuck is we?”

Cars started to pile up behind us and were blowing the horn.

“ Angel, I’m pregnant!”

Before I could say anything he stared at me and his foot hit the gas on the car.

“ Angel, look out!” I screamed.

I could hear the crash, but after that it all went black.

***

stephen-king-writing-tips

Stephen King ( my favorite author)

Thoughts and Tips: I wrote this prelude with the thought of NEEDING a dramatic beginning in order to grab my readers attention. I hope I did a good job. My style of writing is to always have a problem with a solution. I like to write about things that people can relate. My love is YA then Adult or New Adult as some readers may say. The names Miracle and Angel came to me because I used to have a big crush on someone and I always called him my angel. He never knew that, but it always stuck with me. I look forward to see what Angel and Miracle are going to become. Do you?

 

Blog, Reading, Writing Tips

Promoting My Latest Book


writing-prompts

I had a story to tell and I was told to tell this story. So, here it goes! I noticed that my writing style was shifting about 4 years ago. I was reading more Stephen King and different psychological thriller books. Before you knew it, I was hooked! Yes, I had to try my hand  at another psychological thriller. Trapped is a book that will take you to a different place in life. We met Candice who  is a girl trying to live her life and want the best of it. Her parents  look like the part, but at home, it’s a different story. Being an only child, most kids needs attention or someone to play with. Candice had that in her best friend Damon. At home, things were SO rocky because Candice was dealing with a great deal of physical and emotional abuse that it took her emotions to a different place. Have you ever in life wanted bad things to stop so that good can come in and do damage in the best way?  Candice archives just that! Well, sort of.

I really enjoyed writing Trapped because I was able to have a different story to tell. In life we want to win so bad that we will do anything to make it happen. At times I was Candice. I know what’s it like to want love from someone and they don’t see your existence or choose to not go there for whatever reason. But, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Readers who love the written word, if you are into psychological thrillers, give this one a try.

Trapped Cover

Synopsis:

Nineteen years old, psychology major, Candice Hertz worked hard on her studies. After losing her father to cancer, Candice decides therapy would help with her loss. The therapy session turned into a nightmare. While reliving her past, Candice recalls the traumatic experience of being physically abused by her father at age twelve. Unable to deal with the memories, Danielle, another memory appears and become who Candice can’t. Danielle becomes Candice’s vehicle for revenge on those who caused her pain. Will Candice be cured from Multiple Personality Disorder or will she remain trapped with Danielle forever.

Pages: 314 pages

Copies: Paperback and Kindle

About The Author:

Krystol Diggs, the award winning published author & writer for multiple news & magazine outlets, has captured the attention of readers around the world with her thrilling & captivating stories of love, loss, and life. Krystol, of The Krystol Meth(od) has written numerous books & screenplays, including “Through Her Eyes”, her first book published in 2008, and “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”, a screenplay that won 2nd place in the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Screenwriting Competition in 2014. You can find Krystol in 2015 getting her Ph.D in Educational Psychology at Walden University, highlighting as a Reporter for CNN iReport and releasing another published book titled “Trapped” and adapting a property for the producer of the film ” I DO, I DID”, Cherie Johnson.

Purchase:

https://www.amazon.com/Trapped-Krystol/dp/1503350681/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486353848&sr=8-2&keywords=Krystol

Reading, Writing Tips

Balance As A Writer


Tuesday

Writing is something that is near and dear to me. If you have read my ” about me” section on this blog, then you already know some of the things that I have done as a writer. I find it hard to balance life and writing. I am writing a new book about that very thing. Stay tuned! Anyway, I have been talking to a lot of people who have the dream of writing, but are afraid of the outcome. I was the same exact way. I wanted to write, but yet I was afraid of the success and/or failures that came with writing.

How Do We Find A Balance With Writing?

My writing Process

I posted a blog about the writing process a while back, so check it out. I’m Married To My Writing, But I’m Having an Affair With Life This sort of touches on my life and how writing was starting to be secondary and primary. Don’t be afraid this happens to the best of us. Now we know that writing does not pay the big bucks right away, and often times we have to work. I am in the same boat. I am currently looking for a job in addition to my writing career and I’m a phd student as well. Finding a balance is very important. Here is what I always tell myself even when I slip up, ” NEVER FORGET TO WRITE!” If you think this sounds stupid, it probably does. But, I interviewed Orlando Brown a couple years ago I asked him if he had any writing advice. He gave me this jewel, ” He said, ” Write daily. Writers write. Always focus on the craft and try to better yourself. Always read. Writers are readers too.”  When it said it, it made sense. You ever have someone tell you something that you heard before or even know but it clicks when they tell you? Yes, that was my ah-ha moment. I know that life gets in the way of what we want to do, but we have to make time for what we want. Anyone can work a 9-5, but if writing is what you want to do, the time has to go in on that too until it can be your life. I want to write for a living and do research for a hospital or academia.

What helps with the balance of writing is to make writing a priority in your life. I’ve tried to-do lists, a white board, and calendar. I still get off track and flunk, but I am going to continue to try and see what works for me. Bullet journals are very popular and help those organize their life. I do have journals, but I haven’t written in them daily. I am going to start writing in them again. See, the balance! Doing what you want to do and not always what you have to do. My issue is the internet. I won’t even lie. I just deleted Facebook from my phone. I can be scrolling for hours when I could have written a blog, worked on a project or been focusing on reading (which is what I want to do this year. My reading goal is 5o books). It is good to know what your addictions or triggers are that will keep you from writing. Get those in check first. The more you write daily, the more it will become a healthy habit as I call it. I think it was the reason why I was so successful with Nano in November, honestly. Having the goal and my writing buddies holding me accountable really helped.  When you are confused or feel like you can’t find a balance, take a deep breath and remember why you are writing in the first place. It will be and is okay.

I write because..

Reading, Writing Tips

When Your Writing Shifts


Friday Reading

Happy Friday, readers! I am SO glad that this day is here. Thus far, my day has not been a very productive one, but I am changing that RIGHT now. I wanted to talk about writing today. When we are writing sometimes the words take us to a different place. It is almost as if the story goes against the outline that you wrote.

How can this happen?

My Writing Process

Trust me, it’s crazy, but it can happen. When it does let it. The story may get even better and more descriptive. This is that ” inner word” that we writers have when things happen. This is how you know you are writing something that has to be told. Ever read a book and hear the voice when you read it? I know this may sound silly, but it really does happen. For instance, I am hearing a voice read this blog as I type it, lol. When something doesn’t make sense in our writing, we often question it. Usually it is our right to question our writing, but go with what your characters are telling you. Give it a try. You never know it maybe the best thing happening in your story. For me this often happens in the middle of the story. I am fine with my outline at first, then it just changes up. New people develop and things change, sometimes even genres. But, I say don’t let it sway away from your story too much or you will start to have a different story altogether.  Writing is all about taking chances and seeing what works. Don’t worry about messing up or things not fitting, that is what the delete button is for.

Reading, Writing Tips

What Helped Me Get Started With Writing


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Hey fellow writers and readers! I am asked this question ALL the time about what got me started with writing. For me, I always enjoyed watching movies. Seeing the way that stories were told fascinated me. I wanted to tell my own stories. Before I started film school, I was writing. Here is what I did.

  1. Writing Utensils: Now, this may sound silly, but I had to figure out what was comfortable for me. Typing on a computer, writing in a notebook, or writing with pen and pencil. At first, it was writing with a pencil. I could always erase the mistakes. As I got older, I went from pen to computer. Now, for you it maybe different, you may want to write everything first in a notebook and then convert to a computer. They even still sell typewriters as well. Figure out what your best writing utensil is.
  2. What to Write: Deciding what to write can be easy for some, but hard to others. You have so many ideas going on in your head. This is totally fine! Write them all down. Get a journal is that just for ideas and ideas alone. I have a small one and let me tell you, it works wonders especially if I am out and about and something just ” pops” in my head.
  3. From Ideas to Story: This part will be the most rewarding yet challenging part. Breathe. Don’t panic. Take it slow. Make an outline or jot notes of what your story is going to be about. This can take a few days up to a couple of weeks. You have to have as much information as possible without going into too much detail. For example check out my character profile blog that will help you.
  4. Once I made the character profile, I was ready to write. The words came to me. It won’t for everyone, so don’t try to rush the process of writing. What worked for me when I got started was a chapter a week. I would re-read over and over and made changes until it was perfect. Don’t do this! You will have time to edit and change things when the story is done. Just write until the story is finish no matter what you think it’s crap or not.
  5. Read. Whether you have been writing for a long time or not, reading will help you. It categorizes the genre you think you want to write in and brings newness all around it. Now, I don’t mean read books and then mimic the same story. What I mean is to read to get perspective. See how other authors write and produce page turners. I love to write fiction in different genres such as contemporary, romance, literature, psychological thrillers, horror and young adult genres. I am ALWAYS reading books.  But, read books on writing as well. I recommend On Writing by Stephen King. He talks about his writing style and how he got started. It is so inspiring.

Check Out These Other Writing Books

 

 

Blog, Fun, Reader, Readers, Reading, Success, Successful, Writing Tips

Goal Setting: Is It Really Important?


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Hey readers! I wanted to talk about goals and setting them. Me and a couple of my friends were talking about how to say ” no”. It took me a while to say no, but now it is my favorite word ever in life. Then, I started to think about my goals and where I want to be in life. Ever think to yourself, ” how did I get here?” ” I should be more accomplished in life?” Yep, that was me tonight. I was not thinking bad thoughts, but it made me think about my goals and what I really wanted in life.

Then It Hit Me… 

Actual image of Kristen's Guardian Angel

It may sounds cliche or you could have heard it before, but FOCUS ON YOU! Life is hard enough trying to stay a float with bills, children, school or whatever else that maybe going on. Jim Carey said, ” If you can fail doing something that you hate, why not try to fail at doing something you love.” This maybe hard for some of you to read, but it is time to take over your life. You have one life to live, why not live yours instead of worrying about anyone else, because I bet if it was between them or you to be chosen, they will choose them. After talking to my friends and having the long conversation with myself (hey, I am a writer, I talk to myself all the time), I decided to set goals for me.

mind map for setting personal life goals
My goals are structured different, but you get my point, right? 

I had read a blog where a girl had several copies of her goals listed everywhere. This is where I thought I would be creative. I set my goals on my computer, the tasks portion of my phone, Evernote( organizing app that is AMAZING, also can be used on any computer or device) and in my journal of to-do lists and goals. Once I did that, I felt like I was ready for world. Here a few tips to go with goal setting.

  1. Make sure they are obtainable. I mean, don’t set something that is too hard to do like ” buy a house in 6 months”. Be realistic with it.
  2. When someone asks something of you,anything, if it is not helping you with your personal goals, say NO. ” DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200″  You don’t have time to do, you are FOCUSED on your OWN GOALS!! Often times people may ask for help with what they got going on and you get sidetracked and may never finish your goal.
  3. Give your goals a due date. When do you want to achieve by?
  4. Keep your goals to yourself. This is something I am doing for myself. When you tell people your goals, some may not be as positive or happy about them as you are. After all they are YOUR goals, not EVERYONE’S goals. I honestly used to tell everything that I was doing and as soon as someone said, ” Oh, I would not do that because of X,Y,Z and then you don’t because you listen to that person who probably does not even know what a goal is because they don’t set them and then you don’t do it. When you don’t do it, you have regrets of what could have been. Trust me, I have been there and done that. It’s over rated. Keep your mouth shut and just DO YOU!
  5. Celebrate  as you achieve your goals. These are milestones in your life. No matter how little or big the goal is. Getting an A on a hard paper is worth celebrating for. If no one wants to celebrate with you, do it alone. You don’t need anyone to validate your success and awesome you are.

Goal setting is something that has been taught to me a lot this past year. I did not focus on them one bit. I was too busy worrying about what other’s thought or being lazy. Let’s keep it real, Facebook and YouTube had my full attention instead of me achieving my goals. Make a list, plan it out, and do some incredible things that you never thought was possible. After all, you do so much for everyone else, now it is

Your turn

Reading, Writing Tips

Tomorrow Is The Day!


Good evening

Hey readers! I must say that I am a bunch of nerves in an exciting way. Tomorrow is the first day of Camp NanoWriMo and I feel like I am going on a date, lol. I proclaim myself to be a writer and now I’m really getting back into doing what I love. I came to the conclusion that I am a YA writer. Sure, I have written mystery, erortica and even thrillers, but this new book if I had to give it a genre, I would say psychological thriller. The characters are young adults, but the genre in itself, I am so excited about it. Woohoo!

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This is the mindset that I am going to have tomorrow when I am tired from a long work day! I am ready to get started and I have my plans mapped out, scheduled set and etc. I am excited to be getting my own desk on Saturday that I hope my dad can put together for me. We shall see! I don’t want it to sit in a box all day when I could get writing. I feel that I write best in bed or at a desk of some sort. What about you?  Do you ever feel excited about new things even if you have done them before, but they are new again? This is how I feel about Nano. It’s a fresh start to prove to myself that I can get this manuscript completed.  I was at work talking to my boss and he told me to make sure I have time for my dream. I need to make my goals and write since that is my passion. I really have great ideas and outlines for projects that I want to do, but I didn’t have the time. Well, I did not make the time. So in the next month, I will be blogging with my progress more and watching less TV. It dawned on me all of the famous writers that came before me like Stephen King or James Patterson, probably only watched TV as aa form of research. Well, I can do research and still continue to write.

Goals …

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I wrote in my journal with my lists and ideas of the goals and outlines that I have for myself. Tonight, I made the outline for my book and goals that I wanted to achieve with this manuscript.

  1. Write the manuscript– Just get the story down and don’t worry about plots, premise or editing.
  2. Obtain an editor– I have an editor in mind for this manuscript. She is my old high school English teacher and I am excited to work with her again. I am not good at grammar myself ( I am still learning), so I want someone who I can trust to tear the book up so I can fix it.
  3. Query Letters– While in the editing process, I will look for people to query (mainly agents) who are in my genre. This will take a lot of research and time to find the top 5 agents. (Yes, I am going traditional publishing with this one).
  4. Re-vise Novel– Once the first round of edits are done, I will re-read the manuscript and make the corrections. This is the part I am most excited about because I get to read my book all over again with fresh eyes.
  5. Back to the editor– After I have made corrections again I will send it back to my editor. She will look over it again with a fine tooth comb and begin again.
  6. Beta Readers– After the 2nd round of edits are done, I will make changes add/delete if need be and then search for beta readers. I have never utilized beta readers before so this area will be new to me. I’m not even going to lie, guys, I used to get my books edited one time and then get it typeset and publish on amazon. PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW IN MY FOOTSTEPS HERE!!!!!!!!! 

My Writing Schedule 

When you become a writer

Here goes nothing! My writing schedule will be a very tight one since I’m doing Nano. I will be writing 1.334 words per day! This is manageable if I stick to my SCHEDULE! Sorry, the caps in bold was for me. So I have this writing goal every day for the next 30 days. It will be difficult at times, but if I stick to the schedule, I will be good.

Monday- Wake up at 6:45 am, shower, eat breakfast and read for a half hour. Work: 8am,-5pm. Get home about 5:30, cook dinner and eat. From 7-8:30 is homework time and from 9-11pm is writing time. 11:30 is bedtime.

Tuesday-Wake up at 6:45 am, shower, eat breakfast and read for a half hour. Work: 8am,-5pm. Get home about 5:30, cook dinner and eat. From 7-8:30 is homework time and from 9-11pm is writing time. 11:30 is bedtime.

Wednesday-Wake up at 6:45 am, shower, eat breakfast and read for a half hour. Work: 8am,-5pm. Get home about 5:30, cook dinner and eat. From 7-8:30 is homework time and from 9-11pm is writing time. 11:30 is bedtime.

Thursday-Wake up at 6:45 am, shower, eat breakfast and read for a half hour. Work: 8am,-5pm. Get home about 5:30, cook dinner and eat. From 7-8:30 is homework time and from 9-11pm is writing time. 11:30 is bedtime.

Friday-Wake up at 6:45 am, shower, eat breakfast and read for a half hour. Work: 8am,-5pm. Get home about 5:30, cook dinner and eat. From 7-8:30 is homework time and from 9-11pm is writing time. 11:30 is bedtime.

Saturday-Wake up at 8:45 am, shower, eat breakfast and read for a half hour. Run Errands (Grocery shopping, pay bills, etc. get home about 1:30pm, cook lunch, eat, and read. Homework: 4,-6pm( reading assignments), dinner is at 7pm and homework ( writing papers) is from 8pm-9pm.  From 9-11pm is writing time. 11:30 is bedtime.

Sunday- Wake up at 9am, shower, cook and eat breakfast, read from 10-12pm, wash any clothes and clean up.  For 12pm-1pm its lunch time and a nap. Write from 2pm-4pm. From 6-8pm  cook dinner, catch on my youtube videos and more reading. 9-11pm setting up my calendars for the next work and school week, plus writing in all of my journals. Then bedtime at 11:30.

 

There you have it. What is your writing schedule like for Nano?

Dreams