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:

summer-reading-svetlana-sewell-large

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  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, 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

Blog, Reading

Holding Yourself Accountable


images

Happy Hump day!

I hope that all is well and your Wednesday is going great! It is still the new year, in fact it is the second month in a new year so don’t feel bad about your resolutions not being met just yet. There is still time. There are 11 months left in the year. I’ve been thinking about reflecting on my life ( as usual) and I want to talk about accountability. Lately, I have really figured out what the word means and how it shapes my life. I was sitting in my bed writing and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I never finish things because I don’t hold myself accountable. Whoa! Now before you trip, I do get things done, but it is usually out of whack or I put things on hold that need to be done. I had to hold myself account for my life, actions and even thinking. In my post  What a Sunday! I was in a bad space and just drained with the days events. But, I read a post or picture that my cousin posted and it said:

accountable

I read this and was like heck yeah! Why am I putting myself through stress of things that are out of my control? This is something that is a constant battle with me and my accountability with life. It’s easy to be sad or a little envious at other people’s success when they have achieved the goals that you want to like marriage and being a parent. I long to have the same things, but one thing I learned is that everything that glitters isn’t gold. Just because it appears to be great, does not mean that it is. But, I recently learned and was told to ” stay in my lane”. I can only focus on what I am doing with my life. My focus is to pay attention to only what I am doing and enjoy the process of my life. I have many things to be thankful for like being a great writer, almost finishing school and working on some writing projects that can take my writing to the next level. It seems that the more you center yourself and put you first, the more success will come to you. There has been plenty of times when I did things for other people without making sure I was okay. Mainly for me, this was an issue financially. When I was good with money I would let fiends and family borrow if they asked. No was not in my vocabulary, but now it is. I have to say no. I can’t get to my goals where I want to be, If I am always doing for other people or allowing them to use me. My friend told me recently that people only do what you allow.  I learned this lesson a lot with dating recently. Man, never again!

 

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..

Creative, Reading

Unprofessionalism


sundays

Happy Sunday, readers! Did everyone have a great day? I know the game was on so I hope your team won and if you betted, I hope they paid up with NO excuses. I was sitting here thinking about how a few clients have been treating me lately. Unprofessional!! With the new year, I promised that I would be positive, but I had to address this. Unprofessionalism is something that I will no longer tolerate.

unprofessionalism

This has become the biggest pet peeve to me so far in the new year. I am usually the passive one and I’m like, ” oh okay, that’s fine.” But, I have to be more aggressive. When it comes to trying to have a writing career and offering writing services, a back bone must in place. It does not matter what it is if it’s someone is supposed to call you back and you hear from them 3 days later, that is unacceptable. People only do what you allow. Never let anyone to be able to make it seem like you need them when they came to you. Your time is valuable and you are an asset to your career and the job you are being paid to do.

I don’t want to seem upset or mad, but I am a bit bothered by the way people have been treating me lately with those that I have and am currently working with professionally. As I am reflecting on what is currently going on in my life, I just notice that I have to make changes with how I allow others to treat me. Now, they may not know they are doing it or think it’s okay. Don’t allow others to dictate how business goes. Instead, business should be professional and respectful on BOTH parties. Working with other people can be fun and rewarding, but the way someone treats you or how their actions are toward you can put a sour taste in your mouth if it is rude of their actions.  Have fun, but be professional and assertive.

 

 

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.

Blog, Reading

Starting Off With A Bang!


Tuesday

 

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone has a great morning and rest of your day. I must say that I am very happy with the start of the year thus far. There has been a few things that has happened that I must share. I am so proud of the moves that I am making so far.

Writing Projects

A couple years ago I did a writing project for a playwright. At first I was very nervous, but excited nonetheless. The book was successful. Now, two years later I was asked to write more projects with him and be a part of his team. I stated that I would think about being a part of the team, but I am definitely working with him again. Garrett flew me out his office and we had a great meeting.

Me and Garrett .jpg

This is what I had for lunch with Garrett.

lunch-with-garrett

This is the Shrimp Trio. It was so good! I love my seafood.

Now, I have some projects that I am working on. Plus, I have started this project as well.

i-am-your-angel-cover

This is a love story about a girl named Angel and Miracle. They are high school sweethearts, but Angel has a problem. He enjoys the company of other women and Miracle has just had it up to here with Angel. But, Miracle is no saint either. Will they stay together or drift apart?

Work

I am still job hunting like crazy. In fact, I had an interview yesterday for a process claim position. I think I got it, but then again i thought I had a lot of others as well.  However, I am writing like crazy making some money, but I accepted an internship as well. I am the Project Assistant for a city council woman in my state named Rysheema. I must say that I am very excited to learn and grow for as long as I can. We had a lunch meeting and it went very well.

lunch-with-rysheema

Check out what I had for lunch:

Lunch with Rysheema 1.jpg

Grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries! It was delish!

How are things going thus far in the new year? Let’s talk in the comments.

Reading

How Can I Carry The Weight Of The World With Just Two Hands?


poor_time_management

If you look closely the picture resembles someone who  make look exhausted. Well, this is how I have been feeling for a while with my life. As the new happens, reflection is still on my mind. When I think about last year and my past, I noticed it resolved around the needs of everyone else expect myself. Well, not this time, not for me. The world is filled with so many other problems, I have decided not to carry everyone else’s problems.

You maybe wondering, what am I talking about? Okay, here we go. 2017 is about me or just about you. If you make other people’s problems your own. Let me break down a few examples of what I am talking about. I will relay them to my life and things that have kept me stagnant by choice.

Actual image of Kristen's Guardian Angel

  • Gossip: This is so easy to get involved in without even trying. As women or at least some women always want to know how others are doing. For example, if you have been out of high school and you hear the head cheerleader is now flipping burgers. Gossip is when someone is telling you someone else’s business just because. They are not out to help the person who is doing less than or struggling.
  • Money: This is a huge one for me. If you don’t have the means to help others, stop doing it when you don’t have. I am totally guilty of this. But, it’s a new year so I am done with that. People always try to take advantage of your kind heart. Well, if you are like I was, NO is your favorite word. I would help my parents and friends who were in financial trouble and when I did that, it left me in the hole. When it was time for me to need the help, the one was around.  Never again. Be smart, be wise. Give when you are able to. Make sure you are taken care of first. Now, you may loose friends and family over this, but that is okay. Don’t make it so easy for people to be able to come to you.
  • Favors: Favors can be asked of you from anyone by doing anything. This can be money, doing a job, performing a task, etc. This is another one that I have stopped doing. Why? Well, I am trying to continue to establish my writing career and I’m in school for my PhD. In a way, I don’t have time to do favors for people. It takes time on what I really need to be focused on. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s something minor or you choose to assist, go for it. I will give you an example, I have an uncle who lost his job and wanted help with a resume, etc. I wasn’t as busy that day so I gave him a price for me to re-do his resume, etc. You must be thinking, why would you charge your uncle? Easy, I am not working right now and writing is my livelihood until something better and bigger comes. So, I charged him $60. Now, what pissed me off was that he had the full amount that I was asking for when I saw him because he pulled the money out. Do you know he only gave me $20 and said he’d give me the rest next week? At this time my blood is boiling and I’m ready to cuss him out something serious, lol. But, I kept my cool and said okay. I finished the work and EVEN applied for jobs for him since he had no computer. He got e-mails and callback galore for jobs i applied for him on his behalf. That was about 6 months ago. I never got the rest of my money and when I called he ignored me and didn’t answer my calls. Til this day I have no wrap for him. My point is doing for people who will take advantage of you is the ultimate no no in my book. It can be family or friends. I don’t care. Once you do me dirty, I have no wrap for you.

No matter if your heart is huge or you are cold due to being burned many times, you can’t carry the world. Sure, you have the best intentions to help others, but sometimes you just can’t. Focus on yourself and when you can do, by all means go for it. But, when it comes to your sanity and at times your pockets, you must learn to say no. This goes for emotional and mental stability as well. I have sometimes would hear my friends or people I know talk about the drama in their life that when we were done talking it drained me. I was so busy focused on their issues that my life was having a back seat. Don’t let this be you. Be the best you that you can be. After all you come first. Put yourself there.