6 Tips that will change the way you write

What is your Best Unconventional Writing Advice?

It has nothing to do with grammar, or the English language, or what sells or doesn’t sell. I follow a few simple rules.

  1. I think I read this in Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott) “You have to stop writing as if your mother is reading over your shoulder!” I paraphrased, but you get the idea. Tell it like you see it and feel it. Be true to your thoughts, heart, and feelings.
  2. Develop a thick skin—armor. You’re going to need it. Bite your tongue at the critics. Remember if everyone loved the same things, there’d be no fashion industry or book genres, or millions of songs on the market. We are all different. Your readers will be from different walks of life and you will get reviews that hurt. Forget about them. Focus on the ones that think your work is great.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up about your writing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a writer, but after agonizing over a novel you can’t seem to get it finished. It’s three years and still, it’s incomplete. It’s not from lack of time, writing might not be for you. If it’s not, let it go. When I was younger I took ballet. I loved it, but I couldn’t follow the line. I’m a good actress, I love to perform. But I can’t memorize a sentence! Hah, I could never make a career of acting! Let the dream go and enjoy reading instead.
  4. Editors and first readers will want you to write a certain way. One of my best friends enjoys giving me plot ideas. Recently I went crazy for about 6 weeks, trying to work with a plot idea that wasn’t right for me. You have to let that stuff go. It’s your story, book, novel, blog, whatever. It’s yours to write any way you want. I struggled to read my first Bukowski book last summer—Women. It was horrendous. Yes, he’s brilliant. But the plot was about an alcoholic loser writer and all the women he used and threw away. Really? And yet he’s considered a great author. I finished the book… I don’t know if I bothered to review it.
  5. Sometimes you have to turn off Grammerly or whatever editing program you are using. You will have a style. Not everyone will like it. Get over yourself. Think about it this way: Some will, some won’t. Next reader coming right up.
  6. Last, as an author if you are looking for someone to motivate you, forget it. Writing is a solitary career. You literally turn off the outside world and go into the one you have created in your mind. You’re the only one who sees the pictures you have created. And you are the only one who can pull those ideas away from the invisible muse and get them down on paper. You are unique. And you have to find that voice inside of you and believe that you can do this. You have to become your very own cheerleader.

Now stop hanging out on Quora (Lynda) and get working on book 7 in the Code Raven Series!

Reprinted from Author Lynda Filler on Quora

BY THE WAY, I almost forgot!! Book 2 in the Code Raven Series, ABDUCTED IS FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW!

I’m shocked! Paul Coelho reveals…

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The image may be subject to copyright, poem by Kahlil Gibran

 

I’m obsessed with the writings of Coelho. I find his work and way of thinking stimulating and inspirational to my own personal growth and advancement in writing.

This recent post of his is so incredibly open and beautiful I had to share it with you: 

When I was young, my parents sent me to a mental institution three times ( 1966, 1967, 1968). The reasons for my medical files are banal. It was said that I was isolated, hostile and miserable at school. I was not crazy but I was rather just a 17-year-old who really wanted to become a writer. Because no one understood this, I was locked up for months and fed with tranquilizers. The therapy merely consisted of giving me electroshocks. I promised myself that one day I would write about this experience so young people will understand that we have to fight for our own dreams from a very early stage of our lives.

When I released  “Veronika decides to die”, a book that was a metaphor for my experience in a lunatic asylum, the press started asking me if I forgave my parents. In fact, I did not need to forgive them, because I never blamed them for what happened. From their own point-of-view, they were trying to help me to get the discipline necessary to accomplish my deeds as an adult, and to forget the “dreams of a teenager”.

Khalil Gibran has an excellent text about parents and children:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2018/04/16/on-a-mental-institution/

 

Check out Lynda Filler Poetry on Amazon

LOVE REHAB COMPLETE

The Top Love Stories of the 21st Century.

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Image may be subject to ©

I found this lovely article and thought I’d share TOP 10 LOVE Stories of the 21st Century.  Thanks, BookPage at Kobo

Everyone has a different opinion of Valentine’s Day. It’s a groan-worthy Hallmark holiday. The most romantic day of the year. An occasion to watch bad romantic comedies with friends. An excuse to eat an entire box of Russell Stover candies.

No matter how you feel, you can probably agree that books that celebrate love—whether pulse-pounding romantic love, obsessive love, familial love or love between friends—are books to cherish. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we want to share our Top 10 Love Stories of the 21st Century (so far). Now grab a hunk of chocolate and keep reading . . .

Bel Canto (2001): Would any list of love stories be complete without this novel? The relationships in a group of terrorists and hostages sound anything but sexy—but trust me that this unusual cast will have you crying and sighing after about 30 minutes of reading. Bonus: You’ll find yourself in love with opera after author Ann Patchett has cast her spell.
Read more in BookPage.

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003): Audrey Niffenegger’s story of Henry (a punk-loving, time-traveling librarian) and Clare (an artist) has become a contemporary classic. It’s clever, heart-breaking and romantic—and I envy the reader who hasn’t discovered it yet.
Read more in BookPage.

The History of Love (2005): “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.” Need I say more about Nicole Krauss’s wonderful book?
Read more in BookPage.

The Myth of You & Me (2005): Leah Stewart’s graceful story attempts to answer this central question: Can a friendship ever be mended once the bonds of trust have been shattered? This is one of our favorite novels about the complicated love between friends.
Read more in BookPage.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005): Lisa See writes beautifully about two girls in 19th-century China who build a friendship that exceeds even their love for their own families.
Read more in BookPage.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007): Junot Díaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel addresses teenage love, obsessive love, unrequited love and more. It’s hip, high-energy and hysterical.
Read more in BookPage.

The Post-Birthday World (2007): Lionel Shriver’s cleverly constructed novel (think Sliding Doors) is about passionate love, comfortable love and the love that could have been. If you love to ask “What if?” this book is for you.
Read more in BookPage.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2008): This delightful novel about the people of the Channel Island of Guernsey includes a tender love story that will make your heart flutter. Even better, the novel itself is practically an ode to book lovers. (And the way author Annie Barrows finished the book for her dying aunt Mary Ann Shaffer is lovely, too.)
Read more in BookPage.

My Abandonment (2009): This pick falls into the “unconventional” category of love stories, but we think Peter Rock’s spare, haunting novel is one of the most fascinating stories of parent/child love published in recent years.
Read more in BookPage.

Marriage and Other Acts of Charity (2010): Kate Braestrup’s memoir of navigating a later-in-life romance and a new marriage will leave you moved and filled with joy.
Read more in BookPage.

Do you agree with the list? What are your favorite love stories of the 21st century?

I would LOVE to add my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On

3

My 10 All-time favorite books

 

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You know I’m right in the middle of the action in a great plot for novella #5 in my JET Kindle World series, but I can’t resist answering this Quora question. But it’s not going to be what you expect at all. Each book has affected me on an emotional level or given me “ah ha” moments that stayed with me forever.

  1. Outliers: The Story of Success – Kindle edition by Malcolm Gladwell. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. (Ah ha) He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? Brilliant. As a Canadian, the explanation about hockey players and their success stays with me.
  2. LOVE The Beat Goes On – Kindle edition by Lynda Filler. Self-Help Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. A journey from incurable to healed. “What would you do if the doctors gave you six months to live?” Everything in this memoir has changed my life and is changing the lives of others.
  3. Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole – Kindle edition by Robert Moss. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. In 2017 I published the above book—a memoir of a healing journey. In desperation for a cure for an ‘incurable’ diagnosis, I traveled to Sedona Arizona and worked with a Shaman named Akal. He introduced me to Robert Moss. I’ve been analyzing my dreams as a way of healing my soul ever since. This book has a special spot on my shelves.
  4. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Kindle edition by Anne Lamott. Reference Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. (Emotional-for me) An authors’ handbook with all the encouragement and acknowledgment of what it takes to continue on a path that seems impossible at times.
  5. https://www.amazon.com/Lone-Wolf-Novel-Jodi-Picoult-ebook/dp/B005JSV0ZW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= (totally gut-wrenching reaction to an incredible story) The reviews are very mixed for this book, but there was something in the story of wolves that rocked my world.
  6. You Can Heal Your Life – Kindle edition by Louise L. Hay. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. I bought my first copy at a psychic convention in 1985 with my sister. Then I bought the 25th year anniversary copy. I lived with this book for most of my adult life. I’ve since written my own book on healing from incurable LOVE The Beat Goes ON.
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Kindle edition by Stephen R. Covey. Self-Help Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. Yes, you can learn from books that are perennial best-sellers.
  8. Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia: Elizabeth Gilbert: 9780670034710: Amazon.com: Books I remember where I was sitting on the beach in Puerto Vallarta when a 26 year-old-woman who had recently graduated in Marketing told me about this book. The recent graduate had landed a job with a PR firm to work with this relatively unknown writer who’d penned a ‘travel’ book. A few months later I began a journey, a drive from PV, Mexico to Canada, that would change my life forever. On that trip, I stopped in a bookstore in a mall in Arizona and saw stacks of Eat Pray Love and bought it. Yes, LIz Gilbert affected so many women including myself with this amazing ‘travel’ memoir.
  9. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series) – Kindle edition by Stieg Larsson. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. It was so incredibly different than anything I’d ever read.
  10. The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon Series Book 1) – Kindle edition by Daniel Silva. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. I have several authors I read in the thriller/suspense/spy genre. I don’t care what any critics have to say. I don’t bother with reviews. These authors are my constant companions. And Daniel Silva is #1. I LOVE Gabriel Allon. How could you not fall in love with an Israel spy who’s also an art restorer and lives in Venice, restores works for the Vatican, and chases bad guys?

So there you have it.

I’d love to add my own books to the mix but if you’re interested you can check out what I’ve written. I published 3 this year and should be working right this minute on a 4th to add to my JET series.

Happy Holidays!

And don’t forget to check out my books on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Filler/e/B00JNP2CS6

 

 

 

28 Of The Most Powerful Pieces Of Writing By Women In 2017 Sometimes collective rage turns into beautiful words.

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There were times in 2017 when it felt like rage might burn me up from the inside out. At times, that anger felt paralyzing. When there is so much happening at once, how do you focus your energies?

During these moments, it was always reading that jolted me and my colleagues into action ― a piece about the Women’s March that made us get off our couches and show up, or a piece on a raucous summer blockbuster that made us remember that joy can be a radical act. So for the sixth time, we’ve curated a list of pieces that had an effect on us as readers over the last calendar year.

To make the list, an article had to be (1) published in 2017, (2) written by a woman and (3) available online. Below are 28 of those pieces that moved us this year. They are a reminder that even in the darkest of times, storytelling matters.

Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine

In this extended moment of reckoning regarding sexual assault and harassment, we are all implicated, Rebecca Traister argues. Because when you’ve spent a lifetime both experiencing violations and being complicit in a system that allows them, the process of a collective reckoning is a difficult one. It brings painful self-reflection, anxiety over a brewing backlash (“A powerful white man losing a job is a death, and don’t be surprised if women wind up punished for the spate of killings”), and, potentially, the promise of catharsis and eventual equality. Some women, Traister points out, might realize they’ve waited their whole lives to tell stories they didn’t even know they carried.

 

Ijeoma Oluo, The Stranger

Ijeoma Oluo wanted to avoid Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who passed herself off as a black woman for a decade. But when that became impossible, she interviewed her instead. What followed is a striking piece of journalism, an interview that really digs into the core of what drives the relationship Dolezal has with blackness. As Oluo writes, “I couldn’t escape Rachel Dolezal because I can’t escape white supremacy. And it is white supremacy that told an unhappy and outcast white woman that black identity was hers for the taking.”

 

Lindy West,  The New York Times

This piece has one of the best headlines of the year. And it only gets better from there. As Lindy West outlined in the wake of the first round of Harvey Weinstein allegations, “The witches are coming, but not for your life. We’re coming for your legacy.” As 2017 comes to a close, the hunt continues.

 

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, GQ

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s stunning long read on Dylann Roof, the now 23-year-old man who murdered nine black parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, attempts to answer a big question: How did “one of the coldest killers of our time” come to be? Ghansah spoke to Roof’s teachers, classmates, friends and family members, concluding that Roof is a terrifying omen. He is “a child both of the white-supremacist Zeitgeist of the Internet and of his larger environment […] It is possible that Dylann Roof is not an outlier at all, then, but rather emblematic of an approaching storm.”

 

Jenn Gann, The Cut

For Jenn Gann, fighting for justice for her beloved son who was born with cystic fibrosis means considering that he should never have been born. Gann’s exploration of “wrongful birth” cases ― in which the parents of a child with a congenital disease claim that medical professionals failed to properly warn them of their child’s condition before birth ― is deeply personal, raw and heart-wrenching. This story complicates the narrative people usually consider when discussing terms like “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” “After all this pain and humiliation and anger boiled down to records and money and who did what,” Gann writes, “the love I have for my son feels like the one thing that can’t be taken from me.”

 

Ashley Nkadi, The Root

The headline says it all. “There will come a day when the same nation that stepped on black women will run, shouting, at our doors to save it,” Ashley Nkadi writes. “And we will whisper ‘no.’”

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, The New York Times

This is the piece of journalism that set off a reckoning. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey spent months reporting out this story about the years of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. We will be sorting through the consequences of this stellar piece of journalism for years to come.

 

Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine

There is so much to say about Hillary Clinton, the equal-parts-beloved-and-reviled woman who almost became president. Rebecca Traister draws a portrait of a candid, exhausted, powerful, funny, worried, determined and (understandably), angry woman, recovering from a grueling presidential campaign and looking toward an uncertain future for the nation she spent her life working for.

 

Maris Kreizman, The New York Times

In a moment when we often get our news, our life updates, our job opportunities and our dates via algorithm, sometimes it’s healthy ― and downright heartening ― to remember that “the best things in life are unquantifiable.”

 

Jessica Bennett, The New York Times

I cried the first time I saw “Wonder Woman.” Jessica Bennett, who saw the film in Brooklyn, surrounded by girls and women of all ages, gets to the root of why viewers like me had such an intense reaction to seeing the superhero on the big screen. “There was something deeply visceral about it: a depiction of a hero we never knew we needed, a hero whose gender was everything but also nothing.”

 

Doreen St. Felix, MTV News

In January, Doreen St. Felix dove into the conundrum that is Omarosa’s public image, career and eventual position within the Trump administration. “She has not risen high enough to elicit any emotion besides pity,” St. Felix concluded. In December, knowing how Omarosa’s time in the White House ended, St. Felix’s assessment feels even more vital.

 

Gemma Hartley, Harper’s Bazaar

There’s a reason that Gemma Hartley’s piece on emotional labor struck such a chord. Not only is it a perfect mix of personal essay and reporting, but it also defines a type of work that women have been doing without acknowledgment or much public discussion for years, for decades … for forever.

 

Jennifer Weiner, The New York Times

In a year that was sometimes difficult to find anything to be grateful for, Jennifer Weiner’s beautiful love note to brave women is an editorial salve for the soul.

 

Allison P. Davis, New York Magazine

Cardi B is a celebrity for our time: a bombastic rapper with raw talent and a powerful lack of shame about her body, her roots, and her monetary success. Allison P. Davis’ profile of the artist is as fun a read as Cardi’s hit “Bodak Yellow” is a listen.

 

Continue reading at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/best-writing-by-women-2017_us_5a37f219e4b0ff955ad54274

Thanks, Huffington Post and Emma Gray

The Little Voice Inside Our Head

I looked up the #1 book on Amazon on CREATIVITY. Do you want to know what it is?

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.  And # 2 is The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles by Stephen Pressfield. When did the art of creating become such a painful process? Or is it cliché?

I love Dr. Brown’s lectures, writings and stories. The first time I watched her on TED, I was overwhelmed by emotion; and related to the simple principles she teaches. Vulnerability. Imperfection. Inadequacy.

Stephen Pressfield describes his book as overcoming “roadblocks” and setting up “battle plans.”

Are we really at “war” when we decide to create?

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I will admit when writing LOVE The Beat Goes On, my new release on Amazon, I dug deep. But I kept it together. I wonder how memoirists can spend years writing about past pain, trials and tribulations. I can’t imagine what it takes to go back and dig all that crap up. In LOVE, I chose to keep it short, and still… I cried. And cried some more. When you’re told to get your affairs in order–and I don’t mean the romantic kind–it’s scary! And dredging up those memories was super painful. But, the messages I’m receiving from first readers more than makes up for it. I would say the challeges of the creative process are worth it for me.

I choose to keep pages of quotes to inspire me. I throw them on my FB page. I do it for me. I use them as screensavers. There’s always a message that jumps out at me when I need it. And they help me by reminding me of my “Why.” Many talented people have gone before me, and I cherish their brilliant sound bites.

I think lots of creatives have become successful without fighting “battles.” We’re not all alcoholics, drug addicts or damaged people. But we all share one thing: we must be brave enough to put ourselves out there, to be open to criticism. I suppose that might classify a lot of us as… strange okay, maybe a wee bit crazy!

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Yes, these are quotes I can live by.

And finally, I found myself writing the initials I A E on my wrist this winter. Every time I felt inadequate, unworthy or just plain freaked out, I would look at my wrist and smile. And know in my heart that through my words some day in some way I could let someone know that LOVE is out there and you are not alone.

This one’s for YOU:

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Pablo Neruda, on the Intersection of Politics and Poetry, Longreads

In 1970, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) sat down for an interview with The Paris Review just months before abandoning his campaign for president, running as the Chilean Communist Party candidate. American author Rita Guibert conducted the interview at Neruda’s home in Isla Negra, just south of Valparaiso: Oh, there is no advice to give to […]

via Pablo Neruda on the Intersection of Politics and Poetry — Longreads

“An overnight success is 10 years in the making.” Tom Clancy

Think Long Term. Create A Body Of Work.

This is an excerpt from The Successful Author Mindset. Out now in ebook, print, workbook and audiobook formats by Joanna Penn.

When we see stories in the media about a particular author who made it big, who seemed to come from nowhere, there are usually years of hard work behind the book that went stratospheric.

There are also plenty of authors making a decent living who you have never heard of. Of course, there are always lightning strikes when an author hits a zeitgeist, but that’s not something to base a business plan on.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2016/07/14/create-a-body-of-work/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare