It’s November. Time for NaNoWriMo – What’s That?



NaNoWriMo – have you heard of it? National Novel Writer’s Month. Honestly, I never heard of it until six months ago. NaNoWriMo is the month (November) writers and anyone who wants to enhance their writing skills commit to their goals for writing. People dream about writing a novel or book or becoming a better writer, but we all know dreams don’t mean anything unless you set a goal because goals have a deadline. NaNoWriMo is the month people commit to write 50,000 words for their novel or other writing project during November. Fifty thousand words divided by 30 days is 1,666 words/day. What activities can you shave out of your day to make time for writing? Less TV, less time on social media, less time sleeping? Maybe you’ll have more time one day than another. That’s okay. The idea is to set your goal and stick to it.

We’re all busy, but if we’re serious about writing, let’s take the challenge. When I plan things or carve out time for tasks I’m able to hit my goals. If exercise, violin lessons, meetings, etc. are on my calendar, I’m more organized and my brain doesn’t have to “remember” things. Therefore, I’m less stressed and have a clearer head to finish things faster and easier.

At this time in my business and life, if I aimed for 50,000 words this month, I’d fail. Wow, did I say that? Yep, but I’d rather say it up front than to say I’ll write 50,000 words this month, not do it and then criticize myself for the next five years! So, my goal for November is writing 25,000 words. That’s 833 words a day which is doable. We’re creating new programs, writing more blogs, and writing a book for 2017 so 833 words on average a day for the month of November is my goal. I can commit to that. How about you? What’s a goal you can stick to and not blast yourself for the next six months if you don’t reach your target?

It’s about having fun, setting a goal, managing your time, and finishing or moving closer to completing your novel or writing project. If you want support during this month, follow us in our Facebook Group, Your Literary Prose Writing Circle. It’s an interactive group where you ask questions, find support, and more. We’re announcing new things to come and provide daily tips and more! We hope to see you there!

We look forward to hearing your goals for NaNoWriMo this month. Comment here and in our FB Group. Peter and I will post our updates daily in the FB Group too.

Here’s to NaNoWriMo and making it work for you – no matter what your goal is for writing this month!

Until next time,

Colleen and Peter

Your Literary Prose

Here’s more information on NaNoWriMo.


Try These Writing and Editing Processes… Your Time Is Money



In the long run, separating the writing and editing process, setting a timer just to write, and avoiding distractions can end up saving you time and money.  We’re all busy and try to multitask everything we do, but sometimes it just doesn’t pay to try to combine doing everything at one time because we end up going back and starting over again. When I write, I find I need my brain’s undivided attention!

Write First; Edit Second.

One common trait many writers and authors wrestle with is disconnecting the writing and editing process.  I struggled with this for years; if I knew something was not correct while writing or typing, I immediately went back and corrected it so I wouldn’t forget to change it later, but realized at some point that I was losing time, and let’s face it, time is money. After years of doing this, I finally started writing the article or blog, etc. and then editing. “Letting go” of this was excruciating for me, to say the least! My advice: Put all your thoughts down on paper or type them on the computer and then revise the grammar, duplication of word usage, incorrect spelling, etc.

Wait to Write Your Introduction.

Introductions are hard to write so if you struggle with your introduction just start writing your first key point from your outline and then after you write your chapter, article, blog, etc. go back and compose your introduction.

Set a Timer.

I’ve mentioned this before in different “writings” but it’s a great habit to start no matter what type of business you are working with; i.e., coaches, speakers, lawyers, Fortune 500, etc. When you determine the length of time you want to write, set a timer and write. You decide the amount of time – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes – it’s up to you, but during this time, until the buzzer sounds – write. Focus on writing; no checking email, making phone calls, checking Twitter or Facebook, cleaning off your desk, etc. Write.

Keep Moving.

What? I mean keep writing even if you want to edit as you are writing. This is one habit I have really worked on; however, it’s a struggle, but I have found that if I keep writing and edit later, I do save time. I have a system for notes or information I don’t want to forget about; I highlight the area and mark it with bold letters. You could try this or write a note to yourself or use {brackets} to record your notes and come back later and edit the material.

DD – Duck Distractions!

It’s difficult enough to write when you aren’t interrupted, but constant interference can play havoc with your writing progress. Some helpful hints to DD:

  • Tell people you are writing and need to concentrate; give them the hours you are not available.
  • Turn off Skype, Twitter updates, your cell phone, office phone ringer, etc.
  • Find a quiet place – a place you can close the door, or perhaps a go to a quiet park or the beach.
  • Put on a pair of headphones – people will think you are listening to something (even if you aren’t) and less likely to disturb you.

I post tips and suggestions on Facebook and received the following comments from two people:

Introductions: Michelle Campbell from Forte Virtual Support Solutions:

“This is a great tip, Colleen. I always do this. I rarely start from the beginning and finish at the end. I jump around from section to section and point to point, especially when I get inspired to discuss a particular point. It’s much more difficult to write if you force yourself to stick to an outline you create.”

DD – Duck Distractions: Patti Cooper from Big Sky Social Media Management:

“I find it very difficult to concentrate when working from home, there’s always someone around. I usually just go in the bedroom and close the door. But the headphone idea is a great one. I’ll be trying that now, thanks for sharing!”

What steps do you take to Duck Distractions?

My tip for you – keep moving along when you write, and edit when you have finished your article, blog, chapter, etc. See what happens. You might find you are more productive and the system works better than editing as you write.  What are some of your tips and tricks? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,


The Easiest Way to Start Your Book Today


Welcome back readers.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I want to write a book?” Or, maybe you’ve heard an increasingly large number of entrepreneurs are writing books and you want to jump on the train. Maybe you want to spread your story and expand your audience beyond your current clientele. We’ve heard these types of comments and questions from many people and we are here to help. Over the past month we have put together a guide for authors, speakers, coaches, and businesses owners to start the book they’ve always wanted to write.

Today I’ll break down what we created and why we sectioned it out the way we did. From the first day of writing to finding your readers’ problems to brainstorming ideas for your cover and everything in between, we have you covered.

What we did?

Making it easier to start your book!

“Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” is our way to help people who want to write a book but do not understand where to start. One of the hardest parts of writing a book is starting. Newton’s first law, as stated probably one too many times outside of the field of physics, still holds true – “An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest.”  The aim of our guide is to help writers to just start, to create a certain time to write in a creative place, and to begin planning the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing their future book.

Each manuscript goes through three main processes, which you have probably heard from us before: writing, publishing, and marketing. We divided our ten days into three, three-day blocks tackling the three tasks in each period block. But, that only adds up to nine days. The last day, and in our opinion the most important day, is the day in which we encourage our writers to take the time to plan out the rest of their book, and to take the next step forward.

If you want to learn a bit more about how to start writing your book, download “Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” today and begin your path to publication. Or, if you know of someone interested in writing a book, please share this post with them. We appreciate it! 

Until next week,


Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You

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Announcing Telesummit Experts and Topics, Oh My!

We’re excited to announce the experts and their topics for our Capstone Telesummit event on April 1. We’ve extended the day since we have two bonus experts sharing their information! The hours are now 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. If you can’t make the entire day, that’s okay; all audio is recorded and we’ll send it to everyone whether you’re online all day or not. That way, you can go back and absorb the material at your leisure!

The next segment of the Teleseminar, “It’s More Than Just Words,” is Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 4:00 PM. “See” you there. Thanks to the following experts. We couldn’t have accomplished this without you!

We’re Grateful For:

Michelle Arbore

Social media marketing for authors; what works for fiction might not work for nonfiction writers.

Michelle Arbore Headshot

Diana Ennen

Best-Selling Author and PR Expert Shares What It Takes to Market A Book; the Pitfalls to Avoid and How to Create Magic for Sales.

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Kay Fittes

From Speaker to Author – The Author’s Guide to Creating Confidence and Credibility.

Kay Fittes Image

Beverley Golden

During her interview, Beverley discusses how “writing was the easiest part. It was the editing, publishing, and marketing where most of the energy was spent.”


Tonya Hofmann

How being published establishes credibility as a speaker, what publishers expect, and once you’re published it’s another avenue of revenue!


James Ranson

Comprehensive Book Plans: Why You Need One to Create a High-Quality Book.


Michelle Scappace

Authors Can’t Do It Alone; Your Focus is Writing. PVAAs Have Training and Expertise, Provide Guidance, and Encouragement…


Janica Smith

Self-Publishing Options: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


Janica Smith and Michelle Scappace are also going to talk with us about how authors can find a certified PVAA and the benefits of someone taking their course through Instruction Smith to become a certified PVAA.

For more information on our experts, visit their sites and also sign up through our expert page!

There’s an extra bonus for you too – Sign up before March 15 and receive all recordings of our audio, all freebies, and one hour of coaching with Colleen and Peter. We can discuss your book, your process of writing, where you’re at and where you might want to go, clear up any objectives or goals… But, the deadline is March 15. What’s stopping you? Your book; It’s More Than Just Words!

Organizing Your Social Media Content

Hi there readers!

I guess this is the first post on our newly named blog “On Record!” Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you back! Like I said in the last post, I am focusing a little more on the business side of the blog and today’s topic sticks to that.

Social Media Is Crazy!

So much to do, so very little time to do it…

If you are not on social media, you are one of the few. In the world today, almost everyone engages on one of the social media platforms; from the “old” Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to the “newer” sites like Tumblr, Reddit, Peach, etc. Honestly, I am willing to bet most of you are reading this blog because you saw the link on one of our social media platforms. This is just the way business is running in this day and age.

Now whether you are already an established user or are still just finding your footing, social media can take a large chunk of your time away from more productive aspects of your business.

I’m not going to take credit for this solution because it has been around for ages, but I would like to give you some insight into how we use the following to organize our social media at The Literary Prose.

Content Is Key

A calendar to keep your content straight

The best way I have found to relieve the stress of posting content on social media is by using a content calendar. What is a content calendar? Well, we use a Google Sheets document to organize all of the social media copy we have posted and will post. We organize the sheet by day and further break it down between all our platforms, currently Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.

For each post we have columns set up for the most pertinent information such as the time posted, the type of post (link, a sale, a photo, etc.), the topic of the post (the name of the campaign you’re running, the name of the blog you are linking to, etc.), the actual copy of the post, and the link you may post within that content post.

Here’s a blank day for you to take a look at:

Content CalendarOrganizing Your Content

Effectively using your content calendar

Now what I love about our content calendar is it provides us with an organized place to view all of our content for one day. We take it even farther and color code our text by the type of content we are posting. For example, content going out for The Literary Prose Presents: It’s More Than Just Words teleseminar series is a dark blue and posts about our blog are in a light purple. This way we can easily tell if we are over posting, under posting, or even completely forgetting to post about a topic for the day.

One way I like to use our content calendar is to work ahead on copy for a campaign I know about already. For example, if you have a free course you are offering in two months you can write all the posts for the campaign in this calendar. You can write the posts for days, weeks, and months into the future.

Another great feature is I can write posts for special holidays and events throughout the year. You can have posts ready for Easter or Independence Day all ready to go.

More Than Just Content

Some other tools to combine with a content calendar

While this will not single-handedly take the stress away from social media, it will if you combine this with a few other tools. Many of you out there probably use either Hootsuite or Buffer. These tools will help because you can write all of your posts in the content calendar and then upload in bulk, if you want, all of your posts for the day, week, or month to be scheduled for release.

Another great tool I enjoy using with our content calendar is IFTTT. Through IFTTT I send all of our new bitly links to a spreadsheet so I can easily access them when writing social media copy. This way I have all the links for our blogs right in the same document so I don’t have to search and search for what I need.


A quick review of what we’ve learned

Content for social media platforms can be tricky but if you use a content calendar your can take you social media presence beyond where you are currently. Also, by using other tools with the content calendar you can become even more effective.

At this time, do you use a content calendar? If so, do you use any of the 3rd party tools? Let us know what you think; we always welcome a good discussion!

Thanks for the read,

Peter Wietmarschen

What’s a PAA and Why You Need One

Nine Ways a PAA Goes Beyond The Words

Many of you might be wondering what a Professional Author’s Assistant (PAA) does. In short, a PAA is someone who helps authors complete their books. From the manuscript to the publishing to the marketing, a PAA guides an author through all the processes of a book that many authors don’t think about but are just as important to overall success of their book. In fact, Colleen wrote a blog earlier that goes into more detail about what a PAA does.  But you still might not know why a PAA is important.

Here are nine reasons why an author needs a PAA.

1. Can an Author’s Assistant Help You?

The answer is YES!

Over 80% of the population desires to write and publish a book, but many don’t know where to go or what to do once the manuscript is finished so it sits in a folder on the computer or in a desk drawer and the paper turns more and more yellow as the months and years progress. Well, no more. If you decide to self-publish your book, a certified author’s assistant can help you publish from start to finish in two to three months. If you prefer to go the traditional route, they can still help, but the time period is longer to publication (closer to 18 months). At this point are you asking yourself who is a professional virtual author’s assistant and how can they help me? They are professionals who have successfully completed an intensive training course and passed a rigorous final exam and earned the title of certified Professional Author’s Assistant (PAA). PAAs have specialized skills and knowledge to work with authors.

2. Keeping You — and Your Books — Organized

A Professional Author’s Assistant saves the author time and money by organizing and scheduling tasks so the author can write. There is much more to completing the manuscript, publishing, and marketing a book than writing it. There are too many duties for one person. The author’s job is to write; we offer worry-free writing to clients and take care of the other multiple details. For a more complete idea of how a PAA can help you, visit our website.

FYI: The PAA can help you through the entire process or for the parts that you need most help; it’s entirely up to you.

3. Have The Best Resources On Your Side

A PAA has professional resources and connections. The PAA is someone who understands the industry and technology and knows where to go and who to use for whatever you need. No more need to assemble your own team to help publish your book. A PAA has a trusted team consisting of professional printers, graphic designers, web developers, book designers, marketing experts, professional proofreaders, and more!

4. The Support You Need

A PAA collaborates and supports the author during the process so time isn’t lost between writing, publishing, and marketing the book. From the very beginning, the PAA works with you on your timeline and budget (remember a professional PAA gives you a reasonable timeline). During the process you aren’t alone; the PAA is a source of assurance guiding you so you meet your end goal of publication and sales!

5. Invest In Your Book

Not only is hiring a PAA a cost-saving advantage, it is making an investment in your book. A PAA knows what the author needs to professionally finish a manuscript, publish and market it. If you try to figure everything out on your own, you actually spend more money than if you hired a PAA. Reiterating, your job is to concentrate on what you do best – write!

If you spend the time and energy to both learn and complete all the administrative tasks a  PAA knows you will lose that time to making money in your field. If you are a psychologist charging $200/hr and you do these tasks yourself that is time you cannot bill. Not only does a PAA already know these jobs, they can help you finish these tasks quicker, meaning you can publish you book sooner, leading to more sales.

6. Keeping The Facts Straight

Did you know when you quote someone in your book you must ask for permission to use that quote? Or, if you use a statistic in a book you must find the latest source document and cite it and make sure that it is the most up-to-date information for the survey or statistic?

There is more to finishing the manuscript than writing it. PAAs help organize the author’s source documents, research the target reader, fact check information in the book, obtain permission to use the work of others, including quotes and interviews. They help coordinate professional peer and target reader reviews as well as research potential publishers and send book proposals, complete a comparative analysis for the book proposal, and prepare the manuscript to submit to the publisher.

7. It’s Time For Publishing

Did you know it’s important to have someone review the printer’s proof other than your original editor? It is also highly recommended that the author does not proof the printer’s preview copy of the book. A fresh pair of eyes will catch more than those who have seen it before.

When it comes to publishing your book and/or eBook, the PAA coordinates the self-publishing process and coordinates testimonial requests. Your Professional Virtual Author’s Assistant assists in managing the information for the book cover, the book interior, and obtaining the ISBN, the bar code, and Library of Congress cataloging information for the book. Your PAA helps you prepare the eBook, if you decide to publish one, consults with you on a printer and publisher, or helps you set up your own publishing company. Let’s face it; you want to publish your book and the sooner you write it, publish it, and market it, the sooner you’ll start selling it. You need someone organized who can walk you through the process from beginning to end. A PAA is detail oriented and knows the importance of deadlines.

8. Becoming a Bestseller

After you’ve published your book, either with a traditional publisher or self-published, did you know it is still your responsibility to market the book? Traditional publishers do not market your book for you. That’s up to you and your PAA has the knowledge to walk you through the process and find the experts needed to successfully sell your book.

Your PAA helps coordinate the book marketing activities including the marketing plan and publication date, obtain industry reviews, helps you prepare a media list, your media kit, and article submissions, coordinate the development of your website, including a social media campaign, and blogging, help you create a virtual and/or live book tour, launch an Amazon best seller campaign, maximize the book’s Amazon web page, coordinate an author video, suggest book award competitions, and the list continues. A great marketing plan is a lot of work but it is fun because it’s when sales happen. Look at it as an exciting time for any published author!

9. Industry Guideline for Services

PAAs have industry guidelines to offer estimates* for the amount of time each service should take (obtaining ISBNs, fact checking, gathering testimonials, coordinating the self-publishing process, managing live and virtual book tours, etc.). Keeping the author informed when the estimated time is close is imperative and goes back to great communication between the author and the PAA.

(*Due to variables, estimates cannot be guaranteed but offer a measure. Comprehensive proofreading/consulting is not included in these guidelines.)

Everyone has stories to tell whether it’s fiction, technical, etc. When you’re ready to tell your story, a PAA has the knowledge to help you organize, save you time and money!

Until next time,


2015’s Top Blog Posts

2015 sparklers

Hey there readers!

As the year comes to a close we take the time to review what this year has given to us. Starting our new adventure this year we decided our review would be a quick and helpful recap of our top five blog posts. If this is your first read we hope you enjoy these next few articles and discover something useful, and if you are a returning reader you might be reminded of something you read or missed the first time around.

5. Five Approaches to Editing; Keep it Fun

When it comes to editing and proofreading, there are many factors to consider. When writing, the main goal is to make sure the message is communicated clearly and effectively. The purpose of the writing project should be known from the very beginning. But what happens when poor grammar and minor mistakes are in the way? The message is lost and the errors distract the readers. Remember the suggested approaches below to avoid common writing errors and keep your audience interested: [Read More] 

4. Five Time-Saving Tools for Every Business Owner

As a business owner, there are many tasks you perform every day. How can you save yourself time on daily jobs? Here is a list of some great tools you can use to save time and energy working on your business. [Read More]

3. Tips for Aspiring Authors

You want to write a book, but you’re not quite sure you have the skills or what you say would be of interest to people. What should you do?  Below are some suggestions to help that aspiring writer in you take shape and write the book within you: [Read More]

2. Six Articles Every Facebook User Should Read

A Collection Of The Best Articles About Facebook

In a 2014 study, the Pew Research Center stated that 57% of American adults use Facebook. With numbers like this, it’s no wonder why some of the largest companies use Facebook to interact with their customers.

Whether you are a large multi-billion dollar company, or a small start-up business, or an individual, Facebook is almost a necessity in today’s world to “stay in touch.” If you are new to the world of Facebook, you might have a few questions about how to appropriately set up your account to maximize your social reach and ROI.

Many a blogger has created their own guide on how to best use Facebook and today I am sharing articles from some of the best sites on how to best use Facebook and all of its features. [Read More]

1. The Four Top Reasons Authors Need a Professional Virtual Author’s Assistant

Yes, most of us would like to think we are superhuman when, in reality, deep down we know we aren’t! Shocking, I know… [Read More]

Now we hope you learned something new. Stayed tuned next year for even more great articles to read.  If you are looking at writing yourself more this upcoming year visit us on Facebook and join our 14-Day Writing Adventure starting early 2016. Write blogs or a book or a newsletter each day. We can provide insights and thoughts if you would like and if you get a bit stuck, we will have a new writing prompt up each day to help you with ideas.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Peter M. Wietmarschen
M. Colleen Wietmarschen

Five Approaches to Editing; Keep it Fun!

editor image

When it comes to editing and proofreading, there are many factors to consider. When writing, the main goal is to make sure the message is communicated clearly and effectively. The purpose of the writing project should be known from the very beginning. But what happens when poor grammar and minor mistakes are in the way? The message is lost and the errors distract the readers. Remember the suggested approaches below to avoid common writing errors and keep your audience interested:

Always write in the active voice

  • Active and passive voice can be used in any type of writing. However, active voice is the clearest. As you proofread your writing, pay attention to verb usage; is the subject of the sentence “performing” the action or is it “receiving” the action? Keep your subject at the beginning of the sentence instead of the end to alleviate this problem and maintain a consistent level of writing.
  1. Passive voice: Those shoes were purchased by me.
  2. Active voice: I purchased those shoes.

Read your writing out loud

  • If you read your piece of writing silently, it is very easy to ignore grammar mistakes. Because we know our intentions and what we are trying to say, it is easy for us to ignore these errors. Once we slow down and read our writing out loud, we find those mistakes that could distract the audience. We can hear the missing words, mechanical issues, redundancies, etc. You don’t have to read your project to anyone else, just yourself!

Check for redundancies

  • Have you ever found yourself repeating words or ideas in your writing? This happens to us all! As you read through your first draft, highlight any words that repeat or sentences that are similar to one another. You may find that you can combine your ideas into one sentence and use a thesaurus to change your word choice.

Read backwards

  • This probably sounds like a strange approach, but it is very useful when trying to catch spelling mistakes! By reading backwards, you are able to isolate your language and how it is used. You will notice individual words instead of your key ideas. Keep in mind this will not help if you are checking for gaps in the content.

Interview yourself

  • Now is your chance to be the investigative reporter lurking inside of you! (Is that just my fantasy?) After you have checked for grammar and spelling errors, read your piece of writing again and focus on your overall message. Ask yourself questions like these:
  1. Did I give enough details to prove my purpose?
  2. Do I sound credible? Have I included enough research or factual information to prove my points?
  3. Is there extra information I can remove?
  4. Did I contradict my own ideas?

These are just a few of my tips and tricks to help you during the editing process. Try a few or all of them to see which will work best for you! Just remember the most important rule of thumb: state your purpose clearly to help your audience understand your writing, and remember to have fun!

Until next time,



Tips for Aspiring Authors

tips for writers image

You want to write a book, but you’re not quite sure you have the skills or what you say would be of interest to people. What should you do?  Below are some suggestions to help that aspiring writer in you take shape and write the book within you:

  1. Join a writer’s club.There are many local writing clubs. Find one in your city or near you that suits your needs. I used to belong to a group of aspiring authors and a published author guided the group. We met every other week. She provided different types of writing assignments each time we met whether it was a poem, research for our proposed book, or a creative writing assignment. Then, the next time we met we shared our “homework” and the group critiqued our work. Talk about intimidating and putting yourself out there! But, we learned from each other!
  2. Subscribe to online or hard-copy author subscriptions, i.e., Writer’s DigestThis is one example of a journal which you can receive online or via mail. Writer’s Digest publishes the magazine six times a year. It is chockfull of information on how you can improve your writing skills, how you can enter writing contests, where you can find writing retreats, which tools help writers, and much more.
  3. Start your own writing blog. Peter and I are starting a new creative writing blog – “” which will be “live” soon. We are doing it for a few reasons. We have a group of friends who eat out weekly on Friday nights (Fab Friday) and we unwind from the week, catch up with friends, and eat at “out-of-the-way places.” No chain restaurants. We are highlighting what’s great about the mom-and-pop restaurants around town and during our travels, and we are sending the restaurants some publicity. We’re also going to publish our homemade recipes and more. Stay tuned! But the idea is we love cooking and critiquing food, we enjoy eating out and during the course of writing the blog, we’ll improve our writing skills and what better way than by writing about something we are passionate about. We chose food. What are you passionate about:  cooking, sports, gardening, music, etc. – whatever comes to mind. The main thing is to write often. Two options for free blogs are WordPress or Weebly.
  4. Improve your vocabulary, spelling, and grammar.  Having a broad vocabulary means you don’t need to use the same words over and over; you have language depth and that makes the story interesting.  Spelling and grammar – so many people believe because you have spelling and grammar check on your computer that you are “safe” from mistakes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One example is homonyms. Homonyms such as their, they’re, and there are so often mistaken and misspelled – they don’t mean the same thing and when written incorrectly in writing it changes the entire meaning of a sentence. Knowing how to spell properly is essential if you want to become an outstanding writer. Excellent grammar is another must for writing; if you don’t understand sentence structure the material will be so difficult for your readers to comprehend you’ll lose them very early in the story. An excellent source for a grammar tune up is
  5. Grab the attention of your readers. Express your excitement and passion in as few words as possible to excite your audience and secure their attention. Let their mind see the story you are telling them.

Which tip did you identify with the most? Which one are you going to make a commitment to starting so you can begin the path to write your book or article? Let Pete and me know and we’ll be happy to help you start the process.

Until next time,


Remember storytelling the old-fashioned way? Give it a try for family time.

Storytelling Blog

I’ll admit to anyone I don’t think I had a great imagination growing up and while I love being creative making crafts, writing, and playing the violin, I still struggle telling stories verbally or through writing and, if speaking, usually stumble over my words or second-guess myself. But I remember the times growing up when I went to camp and at night sitting around the campfire we took turns telling stories. That’s what we did for fun; we didn’t know anything else. We didn’t need a TV, a computer, a Game Boy, an iPod, an iPad, etc. We entertained ourselves through imagination no matter how confident or not so confident we felt.

With all the technology today – eBooks, kids and adults playing video games, people on their computers 24/7, when is the last time you sat with your kid(s) and reminisced about things that happened years ago or made up stories from a camping experience or vacation or other trip you experienced? Or, better yet, have you ever sat around and told stories you fabricated on the spot? How enjoyable was it to see your child’s eyes light up at your descriptive details?

Start taking some time and bring the family together and give everyone an opportunity to use their imagination to tell a story. It’ll bring out their creativity and yours! Below are some prompts, if that helps, or use your own. The point of the exercise is to go back to the days of making up stories and who knows, maybe it’ll become a family tradition you share!

Creative Storytelling Prompts

  • A ventriloquist wants to sing a song but every time he tries to sing the only thing that comes out is “No, No, No!”
  • Every time the football player caught the ball he automatically turned around and ran to the other team’s goal to score.
  • A ladybug makes a friend and wants to play but is allergic to fun.
  • A dump truck rescued a baby kitten but couldn’t get any respect.
  • A scientist invented something but couldn’t find what he was looking for to make it work.
  • Put different items in a basket and pick five pieces out and everyone tells their own story with those objects.
  • Have a “word” jar on your kitchen counter or other place in the house and either print words on paper and put into the jar or cut words out of a magazine and place in the jar. When it’s storytelling time, pick seven to ten words out of the jar and tell a story using all the words!

Setting aside time for storytelling is great bonding time for the family, but it also helps children with spelling, math, and organization and sparks their creativity. Do you remember storytelling time when you were growing up or, if not, what do you think about trying it out with your kids or grandchildren? Let us know if you give this a try, and if so, what you did to bring out the storytellers in your family or friends!

Until next time,