Dry Those Writer Tears: Dealing with Reviews

LWL Blog Banner - Widescreen (9)#OpenBook

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Ah, book reviews. They can send an author’s heart soaring or sink it like a stone into a deep abyss of despair.  Because a writer is often intimately connected to their works, reviews can have a substantial impact on the creative process.

I have warned new authors to be mindful of the effects reviews have on them, particularly negative ones:

All authors get negative reviews. Reading is subjective. There will always be at least one reader who doesn’t like something about a book, and some will express it in reviews. A lot of new authors are simply not ready for people to express any level of dislike.

Mis Quince Años (13) Continue reading “Dry Those Writer Tears: Dealing with Reviews”

LWL Interview: Huma Z. Ahmed Helping Others Heal

LWL Author Interview (2).png

In her new book 37 Lessons on How to Gain from Loss: A Believer’s Journey from Trial to Triumph, spiritual coach and trainer Huma Z. Ahmed uses her expertise and personal experience with loss to offer advice to help others see their way through grief.

Huma Z. Ahmed is an Author, Certified Spiritual Self-discovery & Mindset Coach, Trainer, Inspirational Speaker, Youtuber and the initiator of Trial to Triumph movement which is all about learning “how to take your trials, losses and lacks as turning points of your life and transform them into triumphs, gains and abundance“. 

Her mission is to heal, align and lead Women from trials, losses and lacks to triumphs, gains and abundance by empowering them with Spiritually Healthy Mindsets for Success and Excellence. Her methodology involves guiding women to use their hearts, heads and hands in harmony to create everlasting happiness in their lives. Her writing like all her other work focuses on the spiritual art of allowing restrained caterpillars the freedom of being enlightened butterflies.

37 Lessons on How to Gain from Loss

Available at Amazon

Blurb

God created trials, so He could test you with your truth. You are born free, but you must learn to be free. 37 Lessons on How to Gain from Loss is my own story of remembering, realizing and reaffirming this basic human truth.

Drenched in pain, I had limped so far on the Road of Loss that I had lost my way back home. I finally approached the point of no return. However, upon setting my last step on the fall’s edge, I was thundered by yet another torment—of losing my mother. Finding myself trapped in the most turbulent flight for the next twenty-four hours, I was taxed by a tremendous choice, not between action and non-action, or belief and unbelief, but rather between choice and none at all. Would I resist or submit to my tribulation?
My story will resonate with every human being waiting to transform their tragedy into treasure.

Huma shared her thoughts on writing, productivity, good habits and writer’s block. Continue reading “LWL Interview: Huma Z. Ahmed Helping Others Heal”

I Don’t See No Stinkin’ Writer’s Block

LWL Blog Banner - Widescreen#openbook

How do you move past writer's block?

I never get writer’s block. I may say I do but not really. What I usually experience is more like a hurdle to clear and keep things moving. A basic definition of writer’s block is, “the condition of being unable to create a piece of written work because something in your mind prevents you from doing it.” Other definitions describe it as an inability to write—as if there a mystical wall keeping words stuck in the mind or a force imprisoning creativity. There are reasons why a writer can’t write, and it is not always psychological or due to “having something on your mind.”

Through years of academic, professional, teaching and coaching writing, I learned a few things about the ominous “writer’s block” and the external and internal factors that drive writers to fall back on what is ultimately an excuse, a justification, for a blank screen.  Covering everything in one post is not possible. So, I will highlight some prevalent ones.

SLBF - FB Promo

Internal Factors

Continue reading “I Don’t See No Stinkin’ Writer’s Block”

Character Building: I Made This

LWL Widescreen (18)#open book

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

I may (or may not—I admit to nothing) base a character on someone I respect or despise, so I will have to be salty and sweet with the response to this week’s OpenBook blog hop post. Let’s start with the people I like.

Sweet

I’ve explained in a Black Glue Podcast interview how the Prophet Muhammad served as inspiration for the male characters featured in the Brothers in Law series.

I reflected on the Prophet (Muhammad’s) life and how he was as a husband … lover … someone out in the community and how he transitioned between those things. What he did when his women were mad at him, and what he did when his women were acting out. [The brothers in law] don’t act exactly like the Prophet, but there are characteristics each one of them has.

Simon is the one who keeps things at a level where it doesn’t get too bad. He doesn’t allow things to get to him as much.  Marcus is the alpha, alpha. He’s the leader. He expects things to happen the way he needs for them to happen because he’s progressing the nation. Adam is that inner reflection.

Continue reading “Character Building: I Made This”

LWL Podcast–Book Reviews: Author Drama

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

LWL Widescreen (10)Book reviews can invigorate authors, but it is not all rainbows and sunshine. Negative reviews may drain and stress writers. In this episode, Lyndell talks about the need for anybody sharing their words to put reviews in their proper perspectives and avoid having them crush creativity.

Subscribe:

SoundCloud-Orange-Badge  apple-podcast-logo-300x77    en_badge_web_music    Stitcher_Listen_Badge_Color_Dark_BG    listen-on-spotify-logo-1-300x124    768px-TuneIn_Logo_2018.svg    libsyn

Transcript

Continue reading “LWL Podcast–Book Reviews: Author Drama”

3 Books, 1 Author: Eclectic Reading that Feeds the Mind

OPEN BOOK (15)#openbook

What are the best two or three books you've read this year?

This was supposed to be an easy question but not so much for me. I read a ton of different things over the course of the year. In addition to reading novels, I am always looking for books that will help me improve my writing skills as an author and writer.

I also am constantly gathering titles to read and analyze with my colleagues at the Muslim Anti-racism Collaborative. I am a strong proponent for life-long learning inside and outside of one’s professional spheres. My collection of books that help me develop as an anti-racism trainer, instructor, managing editor, and self-published author grew quite a bit this year. A few of them gripped me, so it is difficult not to mention any of them.

As usual, I will take the convoluted way to answer the blog hop prompt and include a shortlist of three of the best books I have read so far this year in fiction and nonfiction, connecting each to my life’s work. Continue reading “3 Books, 1 Author: Eclectic Reading that Feeds the Mind”

My Author Ego: It’s Big; Who’s Asking?

OPEN BOOK (12)#openbook

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Ego is an often vilified human characteristic.  Regarding one’s self-image, confidence, and esteem, we all need some ego.  Without a healthy ego, a person can become easily manipulated and hesitant to take the risks needed to put herself out there and achieve life’s goals. Self-published authors especially need that last one in spades. 

Mis Quince Años (9)

Authors take big risks by releasing their work into a world that may be unkind. Writing something that readers may arbitrarily skewer for a plethora of substantial and tedious reasons is damn scary.  I once had someone give my book a lower review because they thought I didn’t show how the main character was Muslim (the character wasn’t) and another because they didn’t like “all of the racism” in an interracial romance.

Yeah, exactly. It takes a humongous ego to read helplessly while people slice and dice away at something that took blood, sweat, and tears—I am not exaggerating—to create.  Continue reading “My Author Ego: It’s Big; Who’s Asking?”

Reader Connections–A Measure of Success

OPEN BOOK (9)#OpenBook

What does literary success look like to you?

I find it interesting that this week’s question uses the word “look” when it comes to literary success because I have a visual representation of it for me.

Let me give a little backstory. I love Zumba. It is one of the ways I get to release pent up tension and clear my head. I’m usually all over the floor during class, wiggling my hips and shouting as I cheerlead people to go higher and have fun.

 Anyway, last week, one of my zeeps (Zumba+peeps) had mentioned that she wanted to read My Way to You, my first book in the Brothers in Law series.  Like most indie authors, I had a copy. You gotta know how to play the game.

I signed and handed it to her. This week, she tapped me on the shoulder between songs, saying she needed more copies of the book. Word?! She explains what happened in the video below. 

Note – We had just finished an hour of Zumba, and we look it!  Continue reading “Reader Connections–A Measure of Success”

Research – A Key Element to Storytelling

OPEN BOOK (6)

#Open Book

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I spend a lot of time researching all kinds of things for various writing projects. I need to research curriculum development and pedagogical methods for my work with the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative. I just spent the past few days hitting Google for historical and cultural research while taking part in an anti-racism workshop.

My job teaching at the college and romance scholarship also requires time researching. Before leaving for Chicago, I looked for additional sources as I edited an essay about African American Muslim romance fiction (yes, it’s a thing) and how female protagonists are othered. It is interesting how Muslim authors use the other woman trope in love triangles.

Focus, Lyndell. Okay.

Mis Quince Años (5)

It may seem that so many demands will make research a tedious exercise. The opposite is true for me. Continue reading “Research – A Key Element to Storytelling”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑