Welcome our Guest Blogger: Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse!!!!!!!!


I’ll never make it.
I should just quit.
I am a total loser.

Bleak words, aren’t they? Still, a familiar echo to anyone receiving the soul-consuming rejection letter.

A perfectly good day can go sour at seeing, ‘Dear Author’. Our breath cuts off, our chest tightens, the shoulders sag and despair slams us down. We ask ourselves why we put ourselves through this, why we can’t just catch a break.

Unfortunately being rejected (or e-jected) is just another part of the writing gig, like metaphors and modifiers. Rejection is out there, it will come for us at some point. Some letters hurt, others can devastate. All of them challenge our self belief.

Staying positive in the face of rejection is tough. Each time our confidence is scraped, the rejection a message that our writing isn’t good enough to take on, which we translate into meaning WE are not good enough.

Sometimes moving past rejection is as simple as firing out a few more queries, tightening a synopsis or revising that first chapter for the 900th time. Other times, rejection can cause our foundation of determination and self-belief to quake. We feel like we’re letting everyone around us down, including ourselves. Maybe we should face facts and pack it in.

During these black moments, it’s important to find a way to shift our thoughts out of the self-critical mode. This is difficult, but it can be done if we look at the rejection in a different light: as opportunity.

I know what you’re thinking—rejections are closed doors. What opportunity could their possibly be from a ‘sorry, not for me’ type rejection?

There are always things to learn, even from form rejections to queries. The trick is shifting the way you think from the negative to the positive. When a rejection pulls you down, consider these questions:

What does the agent/editor need?
What is my responsibility to them?
What can I learn from this?
How can I see this rejection differently?

Let’s look at each one of these for a sec.

What does the agent/editor need?

The sarcastic answer to this is, ‘Not my work, obviously.’ But if you can set aside the hurt and place yourself in their shoes, there’s insight to be had on their side of the desk. Pretend you are the agent or editor opening this query—what do they need from you? What will make them successful?

They need to see a compelling query, well written with a character and voice that calls to them. They want to find something different, something that peaks their interest & makes it a no-brainer to scribble a note telling you to please forward the book. At the end of the day, this person wants to sign great writers, and they’d like nothing better for this query to make them tingle in anticipation! They need a strong story and polished writing. They want to see a query from someone who has targeted them specifically because of who they represent/publish.

What is my responsibility to them?

It is the writer’s responsibility to write a strong, inviting query that offers enough information to make the agent/editor NEED to know what happens next–not too little, not too much. Give them the shape of it, a strong sense of the character, voice and style. Your best work shows them you are dedicated to this story being published. You do this by slaving over the query, polishing it until it shines as brightly as your belief in the book itself. You also show that you chose them specifically because they are a great fit, not that you spammed them with your query, hoping for the best.

What can I learn from this?

Once again, turn an honest eye to the query. Evaluate whether you satisfied the editor/agent’s needs and fulfilled your responsibilities. Is there something you can do better, or did this query simply hit your ‘good enough’ meter at the time you sent it out? Have you done all the research on the market that you can, do you feel a niggle of guilt over a corner you may have cut somewhere? Did you edit enough, critique enough, tweak enough? Have you done all you can to make this query a success, as well as any materials you sent with it (synopsis, bio, first chapter, etc?)

How can I see this rejection differently?

Of all the questions above, this one is the most important. When depression hits over a rejection, asking yourself this will lead you to a balanced perspective again. Because a rejection is in essence a negative, this question challenges you to find the positive.

Think of the positive things this rejection symbolizes for you, or write them down if you like. First, it shows you had the courage to send out your work. It proves you believed in your story enough to get it published. This leads you to think about how far your writing has come, how your talent has grown, how many stories you’ve written or how long you’ve worked to perfect this one.

Seeing the rejection differently sets you on a path that allows you to re-appreciate your own growth as a writer and your determination to reach your publication goal. How many writers have you helped along the way? How many writers believe in you, cheer you on and know you can succeed? Focus on your strengths and your accomplishments.

Finding the positive in any circumstance can revive confidence, lighten mood and bolster determination. Too, your body responds to positive thinking, helping to slough off despair and doubt. Breathing is easier, tension leaks from the muscles. Posture straightens as thoughts return to moving forward, and what can be done to ensure success. Suddenly the rejection is put back into perspective–one person’s opinion, not a career-ender.

Try this for yourself the next time a rejection hits you hard–it really does work!

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Angela Ackerman

Angela Ackerman is a Canadian who writes on the darker side of Middle Grade and Young Adult and is a strong believer in writers helping writers. She blogs at the award winning resource, The Bookshelf Muse and is co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, a writing tool which helps writers navigate the challenging terrain of showing character emotion. Covering seventy-five emotions, this brainstorming aid provides a large selection of body language, internal sensations, actions and thoughts associated with any emotional moment.

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What’s Up…

Hey Everyone, I just wanted to fill you on in on what is happening in my writing world this coming week. Author interviews, guest bloggers and the winding down of the February Writing Challenge.

On Monday the 11th we will be having a guest blog post and the guest herself will be sticking around to answer and questions or comments that you may have!! Her blog is VERY popular and I am very excited that I was able to convince her to do a post for us!!

Later in the week, the writing challenge will be ending and I am very bummed that we don’t have any entrants yet. So fun and easy, maybe next time.

I will also be posting another author interview toward the end of the week and I love that!! I am always excited to hear from other author’s and what makes them tick and stuff. ha ha

One last thing, you may notice that when I make comments and posts, it may say from, “FRaPS: Family, Relationships and Personal Situations” …no worries, that is still me, but it is for my business (as my writing is for fun) and my company just expanded onto the internet and I will be blogging for them. I love WordPress, but I can’t seem to figure out how to have more than one identity at a time on here. Oh well. Either way it is still me that you are talking to. 😉

 

Author Interviews & Guest Bloggers…

You have all heard me ask questions on this and thanks to all of your help, I am making it happen. I have already done two author interviews that I will be sharing with all of you very soon and I have one other blogger that will be sharing an article with us.

I want to try to keep things interesting for everyone. I am very lucky to have such amazing fans/followers, whichever you prefer. So I figured that the key will be to keep all of you and not lose you due to boredom. So I will do my best to keep you all interested.

A writing blog has so many directions that it can take. It can post writings of a particular genre, or give writing tips, or tips on absolutely everything after you have done the writing. There are just so many. The one thing that I am excited about, is that I have interest in all of it. I don’t want to focus on just one direction; I want it all. Now ain’t that just like a woman? ha ha

Anyway, I hope you all stay happy and continue to give me feedback on what you like and maybe even what you don’t like, as long as you are nice and don’t make me cry. 🙂

 

I Was Nominated for Another Award – The Liebster Award!

Liebster Award

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Angela’s World of Writing (that is me) has been nominated for a Liebster Award by one of my amazing fans Luke Manion over at Blue 88 !!!

Thank you very much!!

I hope everyone takes a moment to appreciate each and every award they are nominated for and pays it forward to the next deserving blogger.

The rules are:

1) Post eleven facts about yourself.

2) Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create eleven questions for people you’ve nominated.

3) Choose eleven people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in your post.

4) Go to their page and tell them.

5) Remember, no tag backs.

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Oh gosh, do you really want to know eleven things about me? I will try not to bore you to death. Ok, here goes nothing…

1)      I am turning the BIG 40 in May. Six months ago I was scared of it, but now I say, “Bring It ON!”

2)      I was a teen Mamma. J

3)      My goal is to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary in Hawaii with my hubby. (I have three years to make it happen!!!)

4)      My best friend and I are complete opposites in every single way and that makes me love her all the more!!

5)      I was born and raised in Maine and I will always keep this as my home. (I want to travel, but I don’t want to live where there are things that can kill me…poisonous snakes, scorpions or spiders. YIKES!!!)

6)      I started dating my “now” husband when I was 14yrs old. (Holy macaroni and cheese!!)

7)      I am addicted to water!!! I love it! Not the yucky flavored stuff either, straight from the well, country water!! (after my two to three cups of coffee in the am, of course)

8)      I was born to be rich and have a maid. I am not a fan of cooking or cleaning but yet, I love to eat and I love having a clean house. (But I would be so super nice to my maid…I really would. :-))

9)      My husband, my kids and I can sit around and laugh for hours. We are a pretty funny crew…a little crude, maybe, but funny just the same.

10)  I am not big on taking orders. I don’t mind suggestions though. Lol

11)  I would love to have a big house and have my kids live with me forever. With their own families, and with our maid of course.

 

And my nominations are:

http://stilettoadventures.blogspot.com/

http://viewfromabookshelf.wordpress.com/

http://jadventurous.wordpress.com/

http://christianvoicesbexhill.wordpress.com/

http://gateauxmaliniak.wordpress.com/

http://bloggedcharityfashionshow.com/

http://onewaytowonder.wordpress.com/

http://sheshoots-shescores.com/

http://daniellehale.wordpress.com/

http://stickyegg.com/

http://4mothers1blog.com/

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My questions, from my nominator: (Not the questions for you to answer…like I did…by mistake)

1) What hours of the day do you usually sleep? I try to be asleep by eleven at night and wake up anywhere between six and eight in the am.

2) If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Maine!!!

3) Who is your favorite actor/actress? Sandra Bullock

4) In your opinion, what would be the worst way to die? Fire, I am so scared of fire.

5) How many glasses of water do you drink daily? At least a million; no, seriously, maybe between 4 & 6 – 20oz bottles of water a day.

6) How many hours a day are you on social media sites? At least twelve. Dead serious. This is how I make a living.

7) What is your favorite zoo animal? Honestly, I have only been to the zoo once. It was when my kids were little and the female lion I thought was beautiful, until she saw my son. He was four and she wanted him…bad! He was hiding behind us while the zoo people tried to calm her down. They said that they had never seen her act like that. She wanted my baby!!!

8) What are your first memories? My grandmother in the hospital dying when I was like four. L

9) What was the name of your High School team mascot? RAM!!

10) Do you speak other languages besides English? Yes, it is called Mainer slang.

11) What is your favorite band? AC/DC

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(You are not even going to believe what I just did. I answered the wrong eleven questions. BLAH!! Oh well, I posted them below anyway. Read or delete – no sweat off of my back.)

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1) Who is your favorite author? Stephen King

2) What would you do if you found a wallet full of money and you knew who had lost it? Um, obviously drool over the money and then send a text to them letting them know I was holding it hostage. J

3) What would be the one wish that you’d possibly choose as your last one? Perfect health for my loved ones!!

4) Your favorite movie? Hmmm, there are so many. Any movie that makes me feel like I am going to pee my pants from laughing so hard would be my best.

5) Your favorite book? The one I am writing – The Will

6) Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash

7) Your favorite place? Jackman, Maine

8) Are you in favor of a dog or a cat…..or simply no pet at all? CATS!!!! Ha ha just kidding. In my house I have two BIG dogs, a husky/white wolf mix (Jasmine) and a boxer (Cooper) and we have three kitties, all black one, Tipsy (hubby’s cat), all black with white paws and a little white under her chin, long-haired, Himalayan look, Sophie (my baby) and a grey and black striped Maine Coon cat, Boots (my daughters baby). I love them all, but cats are just easier. J

9) If you and your friend were dying and you could save either one, who would you save? Well, that depends on which friend. Ha I would do the right thing. Oh, is that still not answering the question? Sorry, ya, ya I would save her.

10) What is it that you like to do when you are free? WRITE!!!!

11) Your favorite thing? (It could be anything ranging from money to food.) Money and food!! JK, I would probably have to say WRITING!!

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And now, my questions for the future award winners:

1)      Choose a movie title that would best describe your life:

2)      What was your most embarrassing moment?:

3)      Which way does your toilet paper hang on the wall?:

4)      What is the one thing that you could tell us about yourself that would shock us to know?:

5)      What is the most unusual thing that has happened to you while on vacation?:

6)      What would you be willing to do for a million dollars?:

7)      What is your favorite genre of movies?:

8)      What is your favorite genre of books?:

9)      Are you a player or more of a long-term relationship type?:

10)  Kids or no kids?:

11)  What is your favorite thing to do in your down time?:

 

Thanks again to Luke at Blue 88 for the nomination…

And thanks to everyone who follows Angela’s World of Writing!

~~Angela~~

Very Inspiring Bloggers Award

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Very Inspiring Bloggers Award

I was nominated for “The Very Inspiring Blogger Award” on Saturday by fellow blogger at The Jenny Mac Blog and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Chelsea Brown for this award.

Thank you very much Chelsea, I truly appreciate this and I am paying it forward now.

Rules

1)   Display the award logo,

2)   Link back to the person who nominated you,

3)   State 7 things about yourself,

4)   Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

Alright, let me try to share seven things that you may not know about me, without scaring you all too badly. J

1)      The music that I listen to is as random as my writing. A great mix of multiple genres’.

2)      I very rarely remember my dreams, but I always fall asleep thinking about something new to write about.

3)      I have two children and raised one of my nieces and treat her as my own.

4)      Due to tragedies in my family, I fell into a depression which has actually helped my writing tremendously.

5)      I started dating my “now” husband when I was fourteen years old. J

6)      One of my brothers committed suicide when I was 18 years old.

7)      I am turning 40 in May!!!! YIKES!!!

Nominees

(In no particular order)

 

Fiverr – I chose Fiverr because of the amazing people I have met there, not to mention the income!!

Mommifried – I chose Crystal from Mommifried because she is a dear friend and an inspiration!! Super funny

Prayers for Cheyenne Rae  – Cheyenne Rae and her mom, Amy, have inspired me more than I could ever put into words.

Joyann8 – Joyce has been a huge inspiration to me on a personal level and we met through my personal blog, My Crazy Family Life.

Independence Chick  – Another personal inspiration.

Damian Trasler’s Secret Blog  – Another personal inspiration.

Creatrixblood – Claire has inspired me the most as far as continuing with my writing. Thank you Claire!!

Terrible Minds – Chuck is an excellent writer and I take all of his tips and tricks very seriously.

Imagineer Books – One of my newer inspirations.

Coastline Books – Another one of my newer inspirations.

Michelle Proulx – Another one of my newer inspirations.

Where Have All the Flowers – Another one of my newer inspirations.

Oprah – This is probably a no-brainer, but I have been inspired by Oprah since I was a child.

Cell War Notebooks – Julie’s amazing story is so heart-felt and inspiring.

I am Charm – Charm is an inspiration to everyone that has ever read her blog.

 

Congratulations to all of my nominees!!!

very-inspirational-blogger

Looking for Five Authors…

I have joined a free book tour so to speak. I have already been tagged in a post, and now it is my turn to answer some questions and do the same. The details are below, but I am looking for five authors who would like to participate. If I don’t get any responses here, I am adding it to Goodreads tomorrow and the rest of the spots will be filled. So, if you are interested, act fast. Thank you and here are more details:

“You may  be interested in the Next Big Thing (NBT) author chain blog. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s 10 questions about your work in progress and then you tag 5 other authors to answer the same questions. And they tag 5 others. And so on.

It’s useful in several ways. NBT posts by those 5 you tagged will have a link back to you with their thanks. So you increase traffic and exposure from their readers. And it connects you with other writers that you tag — consider asking at least one writer you don’t know well to join you in the chain. It can expand your network. And, it helps you look at your work in progress in a different way.

Finally, it indirectly exposes your current book that you’re marketing while directly exposes you as a serious writer who has another ms in progress. If anyone wants to check it out, I’ll post a link here to my NBT post.”

Marketing

Alright, so we have written our book, designed our cover, self-published or had it published and now all we need to do is sit back watch them sell like hot-cakes? Ya, no, I didn’t think so. There needs to be some marketing somewhere.

Personally, I have yet to pay for marketing because I am very cheap. But I know that I need to for my book that I am working on. Duh, if I am going to be in Oprah’s Book Club, then I need Oprah to actually see my book, right? But how? What is the most bang for your buck in the world of books?

I have friends that are marketing Queens, but me…I am not even a marketing pawn. The best that I have is this blog that automatically sends posts to my Facebook and Twitter. Yup, that is it. I know, I know, you are so very surprised that you have never heard of me. I know, me too. ha ha ha Kidding aside, I need some serious marketing advice.

I am willing to put out a little bit of money for my book, but I want to make it count. I know there isn’t a guarantee of sales or anything, but I would like to get it in front of people’s faces that would actually consider buying it. I have mentioned the virtual book tour previously and am thinking that will run me about $299.00. So if you guys think that I could do better somewhere else for that kind of money, then please share with me. And I am not very familiar with some of the marketing terms, so please keep that in mind and keep it simple for me! 😉

Thank you all very much!.