Showing posts from February, 2017

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Last week, I visited my granddaughter's fourth grade class for Career Day. Since I wear a lot of hats, the kids decided I was rich. Hah! Not likely. Still, it was fun to talk to them about writing, training, editing, blogging, and speaking. I started by asking them what they want to be when they grow up. Every one of them wanted to share. I had twenty minutes and twenty-four willing participants, so I didn't hear from everyone, but I was amazed at how many of them wanted to work in the sciences. Then I told them what I wanted to be at their age.  Here's a hint: Courtesy of Yep. I wanted to fly through the air on the trapeze. Of course, I explained, I never got a chance to do that ( I have zip-lined, though ). Then, I told them I, also, wanted to be a writer and a teacher at their age. I even showed them the book I wrote , illustrated, and "bound" when I was ten. For fun, I  brought in every journal that published one of my stories or essa

Waiting to Proofread: 5 Issues to Look For

After you finish writing your novel put it in a drawer and ignore it for three months. I heard this tip during a panel at a writing conference. Around me, the attendees groaned or exclaimed with shock. I didn't like the idea any better than they did, but I knew the writer offered great advice. One of the worst things a writer can do is finish their novel and try to submit or edit it immediately. Why? For the same reason I tell my business writing students to not proofread their own documents. You will read what you expect to read and miss glaring and subtle problems. If they can't have someone else proofread a business document, I advise them to let it sit for a time before checking it for problems. The same advice works for creative writing. It's amazing what you'll discover if you wait. I've forced myself to revisit my work weeks or months later and been surprised by the issues I discover. Of course, there's the typical typos, but what else have I

The Birth of a Story Idea...or a Two-Headed Dragon

Victoria in one of her creative moments. If you write, someone has probably asked you this question: "Where do you get your ideas from?" The number of possible answers to this question probably exceeds the number of people writing stories. Ideas develop from several common sources, but how they transfer into a story idea, for me at least, is almost impossible to map. Take this recent conversation I had with my granddaughter as an example: Victoria :  Did you know lizards can lose their tails? Me : I think I knew it, but then it might be because you've been talking about it. Victoria : I saw a video of a dog chasing a lizard. He tried to bite its tail, and the lizard dropped its tail and ran away.  (She giggled) The tail was wriggling. Me : Chickens do that. Victoria : Huh? Me :  When you chop off a chicken's head, its body will keep running around. That's why they say "running around like a chicken with its head chopped off." Victoria

Can I Deduct That? Some Tips for Writers

My author table at a workshop where I taught several classes © Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved. After attending an out-of-town writing workshop last year, I reminded a friend that the cost of the workshop was tax deductible. Her response? I don't bother with that. Why don't writers claim deductions? I keep track of my writing expenses, and if you write for a living or to seek publication, you should, too. I've had this conversation with more than one writer, and the most common objections include: I don't have time to track the information I won't have many deductions I'm not making money/profit from my writing right now For some reason, writers believe they must show a profit in order to claim the expenses related to their work. Although you will eventually have to show income and profit, you can claim expenses. (For clarification of acceptable business loss time frames, ask your tax expert.) What qualifies as writing income? I