Dive In. Now.

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~Gloria Steinem

I may not agree with Gloria on everything.   But her take on writing is spot-on.  Know what I mean?  There’s something about writing that, if you’re called to it, is mysterious and mesmerizing.  Fantastic and hair-raising.  Startling.  Compelling.

The nuts-and-bolts of writing is a solo flight.  Others may offer help, advice, or corrected grammar, but no one can do your writing for you.  That job is yours alone.

A Camaraderie

Writing can also be the basis for camaraderie.  A bookish “Band of Brothers,” to borrow from the venerable Bard.  No one appreciates the frustration or fulfillment of writing like a fellow writer.

Few realize how much work it is to haul a bunch of characters around in your head all day like another novelist.  No one appreciates the expenditure of mental energy that goes into rewrites, or the incessant search for just the “right’ word or phrase.  Only another writer truly understands the ouch! of that last rejection letter, or the swirling delight attached to an editorial “Yes!”

Gloria was right.  Writing really is the only thing that, when I ‘m doing it, I don’t feel like I should be doing something else.  If you’re a writer, you know what I mean because you, like me, are fulfilling your calling when you write.

Don’t Put It Off

So, exit this blog and get busy writing.  Don’t jump to another article on writing, update your status or start tweeting.  That’s not writing, it’s dilly-dallying.  Knock out a new story.  Outline a holiday piece.  Submit that memoir that’s been sitting in your bottom drawer gathering dust.  Revise a rejected manuscript.  Polish a poem or publish an Ebook.

Whatever you do, don’t put it off.  Take a deep breath.  Close the door.  Unplug the TV.  Mute the phone.  Whatever it takes.  No more excuses.  Dive in.  Now.

It’s takes guts to be a writer, but you can do it.  Not only because you’re doing what you were called to do, but because we need you.  Your voice.  Your perspective.  Your willingness to learn and grow and inspire us along the way.  We need your story.  And you’re the only one who can tell it.

What’s your story?  Share it in the comments section in 50 words or less.  If you don’t have time for that, choose a one or two word genre that best describes what you’re working on, like short story, historical fiction or memoir.  We’re waiting to hear from YOU!

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Nearly Nine Terrific Tips for Writing Humor

It’s a wet, rainy day here on the Peninsula.  Rain is slamming the house  sideways.  The wind is howling like a banshee.  (How does a banshee howl, anyway?)  It’s a perfect curl-up-with-a-good-book-by-the-fireplace kind of day.

If only we had a fireplace.

Well, even though it’s anything but dry weather around here, one thing we’re not short of is dry wit.  In honor of this surfeit, I’m throwing in a shameless plug for my newly released micro Ebook.  (It’s not only free, it’s also a quick by-the-fireplace read perfect for a wet, rainy day.  First time in downloadable Ebook format.  What a deal!)  It goes like this:

Have you tried humor writing only to crash and burn? Would your best material outlast the expiration date on a milk carton?  If so, do not despair.  My newest  micro Ebook, Nearly Nine Terrific Tips for Writing Humor, offers clear, concise and user-friendly tips that will have the crankiest curmudgeon laughing in no time!

Download your FREE copy today and do me a quick favor.  Post a review or “Like” it on the Smashwords page.  Then join the party at Kristine Lowder, Writer.  Stop by, leave a comment and be sure to share your own links!  For more, visit: Nearly Nine.

Also, for those of you who write memoirs and/or creative non-fiction, check out: Dream of Things.  Lots of good stuff here.  Worth a look-see.

What writing resources have you found in the last week?  Who or what has helped you pursue your calling as a writer?  Share in the comments section.

Holiday Story Showcase

Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol?  George Bailey and It’s a Wonderful Life?  The Grinch down in Whoville? What are the holidays without great stories?!

Welcome to the second annual Holiday Story Showcase for Roads Diverged!  I’m opening up the blog for an informal showcase of your great holiday stories.  Submissions open on October 15 and close on December 15.

You must be the author of any story you submit and hold the copyright for any submission.  You retain all rights.  I just ask for the right to post your story.  Here are the basic rules:

– Each submission must be your original work.  Please include at the top of your submission (email only): 1) Your name; 2) A word count; 3) “Holiday Story Showcase” in the subject line, followed by your title.

– Length: between 300 and 1,500 words

– Any genre. Stories may be inspirational, fiction, non-fiction, or humorous.  Just make sure they’re G-rated.  (I reserve the right to reject any submission, for any reason.)

– I’m looking for clean, uplifting, family-friendly stories that have been thoroughly proof-read.

– First-person narratives are preferred, but not mandatory.

– Stories can be on any winter holiday.

– You may submit more than one story.

– Posting is up to the sole discretion of the blog owner (yours truly), and there is no monetary remuneration for any submission.  This is simply an opportunity to share your gifts and stories with the rest of our loyal readers!

– No anonymous submissions.  Please include your name.

So, pour yourself a steaming mug of hot apple cider, plop in a cinnamon stick or two and let your creative juices go to work!  Spread the word about our Holiday Story Showcase.  The more stories, the merrier!

Please send submissions in the body of an email (NOT as an attachment) to: kikero@juno.com