Write For Yourself: Because YOU matter too!

Inspired by the blog, “The Other Side of the Story” by Janice Hardy, author of The Healing Wars Trilogy.

As writers, we all have times when we just struggle on certain parts of the process, and even though we keeping telling ourselves to be patient and keep trying we’ll one day achieve the results we strive for, and being patient with ourselves can often be harder than waiting to hear an editor or agent wants to buy our book(s).

“I Write For Myself.”

How many times have we heard or been told this same advice from other writers, often those who’ve achieved some level of success that is noticeably greater, if not eons beyond, what we have experienced so far, and I believe while many of you, like myself, really want to believe it, it simply may not be easy to achieve, simple as it is to say. 

Does that mean we’re pathetically lazy or impatient? 

I don’t think so. 

Contrary what I hear from some writers, some of us don’t find adopting this mindset an easy, or straightway thing, and here’s why-

We just lost our way. Nothing else to it.

This is what happened to me, AGAIN, and it’s a strong part of why I’ve been MIA from the blog so long, and I really missed those of you who are T.A.A. faithfuls, and I continue to appreciate the support my fellow bloggers and writers have been gracious to give me during this time, and I hope I can return the favor someday. 

While I’m still in recovery mode, and even if my updates remain inconsistent for the foreseeable future, I will keep it going, because I love doing it, and hope sharing my journey as a writer and reader will ease some of the pain of writers who feel or have felt similar frustrations.

If I can help one writer among you feel less alone and hopeless, I consider that a special kind of success, and you can’t measure it with money or stock charts, but that also means we all have an equal chance to give it, and maybe get some back ourselves, because at day’s end, we need community and understanding now more than ever.

Even in those times when we must stand alone to face our fears and right our wrongs, we need to remember the community who got us to this point, I believe we all need some amount of it, this just varies from writer to writer, no different than books that work for some readers versus others.

We spend so much time thinking of our readers needs, and I’m in no way saying this is a bad thing, all writers and readers who don’t write need to stretch their horizons, but we can’t let allow it to devalue and neglect our own personal feelings and taste in books, and that’s not fair or healthy to us, because we’re readers too. 

Tomorrow, I will talk about what’s helping me climb out of the new hole I fell into this year, and share what’s helping me fight back, and I promise an update tomorrow, and here’s some encouraging proof, I’ll give the first two replies to Friday’s post the following prizes-

Reply Prize #1:  $20 Barnes and Noble E-Gift Card*
Reply Prize #2: $10 iTunes gift card*

(*Prizes can only be awarded to residents in U.S. or Canada)
2nd Note: Hawaii and Alaska are eligible! I hate contests and giveaways that leave them out They’re part of America too.)

Check back tomorrow, I look forward to lots more discussion, and if you’ve got questions or would like to comment on your personal battle with this subject, feel free to share in the comments, or if it’s more personal or intricate, but would help writer’s morale, e-mail me, and you can chose to be anonymous, but give me an alias so my responses can read natural on the blog. I’ll update my new contact info later today.

Until then, May The Fantastic Fauna be with you,

Editor-in Chief
Resident Frazzled yet Unflappable Literary Rat

P.S. If you’re interested, read the post on Janice’s blog that sparked this topic here.

Self Study Book Club For Novelists, Poets and Short Story Writers

Someone on a forum I frequent told me my tastes in reading were too narrowingm, and I should open my mind to new books and writers I was frankly either too afraid or envious to read.

for the purposes of this idea, I’ll assume you have or are searching for books on the craft of writing, this books club will focus on reading books in the genres or type of books you want to write or are writing now.

When choosing books to read, they should fall into the following catagories-

Books You Love Reading No Matter What
Often these are the books and writers who made you want to write in the first place.
Books You’re Afraid To Read (And write too!).
Books by writers you’ve envied too much to give a chance.
Look for tee the joy and/or lessons they can teach you.

To show you how this looks, I’ll share some of the books I’m going to read starting later today, burning the midnight oil a bit-

Books You Love Reading No Matter What
Often these are the books and writers who made you want to write in the first place.
Books You’re Afraid To Read (And write too!).
Books by writers you’ve envied too much to give a chance.

Look for tee the joy and/or lessons they can teach you.
To show you how this looks, I’ll share some of the books I’m going to read starting later today, burning the midnight oil a bit-

Books You Love Reading No Matter What
Anything by

Books You’re Afraid To Read (And write too!),
Anything By 

Books by writers you’ve envied too much to give a chance.

Look for tee the joy and/or lessons they can teach you.
To show you how this looks, I’ll share some of the books I’m going to read starting later today, burning the midnight oil a bit-

If you’re feeling brave enough, please share the books you want and need to read in the format and categories above in the comments.

As for me, once I’ve made some headway on my to be read list, I’ll start doing book reviews, and I’ll have a new regular feature on the blog that chronicles my Self-Study reading.

Until next time,
Be Inspired,
May The Fantastic Fauna Be With You

Your Earnest Yet Scatterbrained Literary Rat,

This Literary Rat’s hitting, or rather, I mean "Reading" The Books, This Time,With Joy!!

As many of my writer friends know, I’ve had a hard time reading books without either jealousy or feelings of inferiority cloud my judgement. Many warned me to start putting my self-pity in check, and they were right, but it just took a long time to get there, but I have and I’m ready to fight back!

I’ve got a lot of reading to catch up on, and I don’t mean books on craft (Though I need all the help I can get with query letters!) but actual books. The novels, Poetry, and nonfiction books I was not able to enjoy because trying to improve my craft like I did, came at the price of not reading like I should, and used to before query letters broke my resolve more than once the last two years.

I know many writers do well thinking about books in this manner, many of my favorite writers go by their own version of the self-study method, but for me, it just makes the frustrations I already felt even worse. For me, books I read for me, and not for school, need to be fun and engage my interests.

I have to first read to enjoy it, and maybe after I can find some technique I can use to help my writing.

But first and foremost, I have to enjoy the book I’m reading, the books that made me decide to be a writer in the first place. I lost touch with that part of myself for too long, when I struggled so hard to fix my weaknesses, but I’ve got it back and I’ll make D*** sure I’ll never lose it again.

I’ll explain more on what I’m doing differently for the better later on today.

Until Then,
May the Fantastic Fauna Be With You


The F.U.N. Factor – How To Make Your Writing and Reading Life Both Productive and Pleasureful!


It’s one of my favorite words I learned as a kid. It speaks to so many aspects of life. Symbiosis is when two separate entires rely on each others strengths to help compensate the weaknesses of one another.

A more personal way to say “Teamwork.”

For example, vegetable gardens not only need water and nutrient rich soil, but sunlight as well. Sunlight, water, and rich soil all play their part in keeping life cycle of plants and trees in balance.

The water cycle is also dependent on the sun. It’s the light and heat from the sun that causes water to evaporate, become clouds, which brings rain, snow, or hailstones  rushing to the ground .In addition to sunlight though, wind speed and climate temperature also play key factors in the water cycle.

As we each walk down our own writer’s path, we may want to achieve similar goals, like daily sharpening of our craft, writing new material on a reasonably consistent basis, getting an agent. Or make our first sale. We achieve these goals in different ways and at different times, usually (But annoyingly) on a longer time frame.

Regardless of how different your road differs from others, many things are a constant to all writers, whether fiction or nonfiction, short vs. long.

We must write, of course,  but we also must read, which is where our love for language starts after we learn our first words through sound as toddlers. Just like Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Bacon and Eggs, and Fish and Chips, Reading and Writing are of equal importance to writers.

But this is also where new writers especially face one of the first big challenges prior to or shortly after either getting an agent or miraculously sold your book by going direct to a publisher, something that’s getting harder to do now versus decades ago.

Sometimes, you may find reading is not the same as it was when you weren’t writing, which for the purposes of this topic, writing with publication being your eventual goal.

Before, you read what you loved and didn’t have to justify or explain it to yourselves, you just appreciated it when a certain story or writer’s style speaks to you and your interests and experiences.

Once we start writing, and want to publish some of that writing, things change a bit. Now you take second looks as books you normally wouldn’t because they’re causing a serious buzz among readers and fellow writers, and winning an award or two only adds fuel to the fire surronding the accolades of a certain book, series, or author.

Some of these books you may like too, others you simply will not, even if it’s in the same genre or type of book you’re trying to write. First, know that it’s OKAY not to like it, or to simply not be good at a book you like reading, I’m sure many writers like books in certain catagories they don’t feel good at or have any interest to write themselves.

Think of how people have gone loony for memoirs this past decade, but that doesn’t mean all the writers who loved memoir, should or frankly want to write their own.

Now you’ll hear many writers who say they don’t have this problem, and I’m seriously glad they don’t, I don’t wish this kind of pain and frustration on anyone, even my worst enemies.

For those of you T.A.A. readers who know or have once felt this pain, or know someone who has, it is REAL, and thankfully, can be healed. For the next week starting today, I’m going to put into practice, a way of making peace with the rivalry issues writers who want to get published and build a writing career always face and how to rise above them.

Readers, it’s time to get the F.U.N. back in READING, not just writing.

I know many published writers, and publishing insiders, tell you not to let the market solely dictate everything you write, or READ for that matter.  At the same time, new writers are also force fed the saying, “Study the market” often more so than, “Show, don’t tell.”

But this isn’t about arguing one over the other, because they are both important, this is really about learning how to write, and read, that doesn’t sacrifice the pleasure for the practical. This is about-

The F.U.N. Method for reading and writing-

F for freedom
U for understanding
N for necessity

Over the next week or so, I will explore each aspect of the what the F.U.N. method is all about and how you can tailor it to fit the kind of writer and reader you are.

Snow or no snow, for all you four seasoners, Spring is coming soon, and it’s time to take back the fun reading and writing gave us, while still pushing yourself toward excellence in your craft one day at a time.

Check back tomorrow for our first stop-


Until then, may the Fantastic Fauna be with you.