Monthly Archives: February 2016

Writing Motivators and the Muse

You can rev up your writing ability with some simple writing tweaks. Your inner muse needs exercise to stay in shape — but writing sprints don’t need to be tiresome. They can be quick and exhilarating as you see how much you can turn out in a short period of time.


These muse-tweakers should be practiced without self-critique, interior limitations, or worries about what someone else might think about your writing. The purpose is to allow your creativity the freedom to relax and create. You don’t have to show this piece to anyone if you don’t want to, it will be just for YOU!

Try a different tweaker every week to see what moves your imagination and awakens your inner muse.

1. Write about your desk/writing table.

Simply write a paragraph or two about your writing spot. You can write in first person (the “I am” point of view), or write in third person, where you describe what you see as the narrator.

2. Tell a story from your recollection.

This is my fav to do when I am short on ideas. I will just sit down and start writing something about my own life experience and voila! I am off and running.

3. Use writing motivators – or generators

There are a lot of online idea generators, but I can also recommend a book for you to get that will encourage your writing muse to write. It is Ten Tips for Getting that Book Written.

It has a bunch of writing motivators, or muse-tweakers in it and I believe it will help you with getting your writing kick-started.

I also have a Facebook group called “Writing Motivators” and in it I post lists of items to use in a story or book. (Usually these are posted on Friday) So check it out!

No matter how knowledgeable you are, you can always improve your creativity. You can always learn new ways to unburden yourself of your creativity and/or excite a reader.

If you are a writer and have anything to add to this, please leave a comment below.

Be sure to check out the new podcast coming next Tuesday!

WGP Episode 52- Cynthia Vespia, supernatural fantasy

Welcome Groupies! Here we are at episode 52 – which means we have done one whole year’s worth of podcasts. Well, of course, more with my flyby episodes, but 52 INTERVIEWS. Isn’t that great??? And today, I chat with a fun and busy author, Cynthia Vespia. The Original Cyn, as she is sometimes known. You are going to love this interview! Be sure to subscribe to the iTunes feed or the Youtube channel and leave ratings and reviews! And look for Cynthia’s links at the bottom of this post.

So, off we go…and on with the show!


Cynthia Vespia, “The Original Cyn,” is an author, graphic designer, and video editor. Her novels are adventure-based, designed to keep pages turning and hearts pounding. With a focus on supernatural suspense and dark fantasy, Vespia weaves varied genres into her work that deliver cross-over appeal for readers. She has been nominated for a “Best in Series” award for her fantasy trilogy Demon Hunter.

She has also turned her creative energy into Original Cyn Creative Services, an award-winning copy, design, and video source for the development of promotional content. With over a decade of experience her background has included feature writing for a variety of publications; web design; national marketing and promotional campaigns via print and copy; script writing; video trailers and montages for authors and entrepreneurs. Her creative work has won awards for “Most Artistic Trailer” Demon Hunter 2: Seek & Destroy; “Best Video” Bloodlines; and a nomination for “Best Cover Design” Demon Huntress: Destiny Unleashed.

During her downtime she enjoys getting lost in a good book or movie, and keeping active through martial arts and weight training.



In this episode, we discuss:

  • the Original Cyn brand and how it came to be
  • cover design and how it is very important in today’s book industry
  • what important elements are included in a book cover design
  • insider details about typography
  • how Cynthia got started doing design work
  • whether she would prefer to be known for her design work or as an author
  • insider details about her trilogies, Demon Hunter, and Demon Huntress
  • info about a continuing series and how they can keep readers entertained
  • where she finds the time to write so many books, and have a busy business also
  • advice for aspiring authors
  • and so MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!

    Find Cynthia Vespia on these sites:

    Cynthia’s website
    Cynthia’s facebook

    You can also subscribe to this podcast in iTunes HERE


    Thank you for visiting Writer Groupie Podcast! For more writing information and education, try the Articles page (from the home page click on Articles for Writers).
    Like this site? Subscribe to my blog via a subscribe button on any page, or here at my RSS feed and never miss another episode or informative blog post.
    Follow me on Twitter.
    Join the Facebook group “Writing Motivators”

    guest posts/interviews

    What can I do for writer’s block?

    Have you ever gone through a dry spell as a writer? Some call it writer’s block, and recently a friend of mine called it being “out of sync” – but whatever the name, we do sometimes hit the bottom of the proverbial barrel with our creativity.



    Here are some thoughts and my response to them:

    • Force yourself/allow yourself to write crap

    This oftentimes is a good way to get started when we are just not in the mood. If we sit down and tool around the WIP, usually we will dive back in. Start out editing the last thing you wrote. Read what you have written out loud. It will give you the idea/feeling you had when last you wrote and start the idea treadmill. And it is OKAY to write something that we know that we will delete later. The idea is just to get STARTED.

    • Take a break

    You cannot always follow that strict routine that you have been keeping. Sometimes our bodies undergo periods of rebellion. We need to stretch, eat, and sleep. If you have been writing thousands of words for days on end, you will burn out sometimes. It’s okay to take a break.

    Here is a little list of things you can do to use that time away from writing creatively.

    1. Play games. Board games, card games, or video games. The change in using your brain for a different problem-solving skill can help freshen the other side, that writing brain.

    2. Read. It is a proven fact that when we read good books, books that we enjoy and value, we get inspired to write. Or maybe you get inspired from reading really badly written books? (grin) Either way, reading is good for dry spells.

    3. Draw. There is a very good reason why the adult coloring books are so popular. We can release creativity in a new and fun way. And it gives us a chance to focus on something else and let our mind come up with new ideas.

    4. Watch movies. This one usually always does it for me. Something about relaxing with a good meal, some popcorn, and a movie releases my tensed mind muscles and I can imagine again.

    Once the ideas are flowing once again, you can pick back up and write like you always have. Resume that production schedule, fly across the plains on your writing horse.

    Do you have other suggestions for breaking a block?

    WGP Episode 51- Jordan Nasser, romance author

    Welcome, Groupies! This is episode 51 of the podcast, and today I chat with Jordan Nasser.

    Jordan left his dream job behind and took the opportunity to re-examine his life—an experience he highly recommends if you ever have the chance. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he was raised in the South before moving to New York City. He currently lives and writes in Stockholm, Sweden and Nice, France.

    In his debut novel, Home Is a Fire, he drew upon his experiences growing up in the South. Outstanding reviews placed the book on the Amazon top ten rated LGBT fiction list. That story continues in his second novel, The Fire Went Wild.

    So, here we go…on with the show!


    Jordan’s a quiet-spoken, interesting writer. I am excited to have him on Writer Groupie Podcast. Be sure to check out his sites at the bottom of this post.


    In this episode, we learn:

  • How Jordan’s book mimics real life.
  • Why he wrote the second book, first.
  • Insider details about how he wanted the book to be received.
  • Why he chose to indie-publish.
  • Information on what Jordan would tell an aspiring author today.
  • and so MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!

    Find Mr. Nasser on these sites:
    Jordan Nasser’s website
    Jordan’s Facebook page

    You can also subscribe to this podcast in iTunes HERE

    Thank you for visiting Writer Groupie Podcast! For more writing information and education, try the Articles page (from the home page click on Articles for Writers).
    Like this site? Subscribe to my blog via a subscribe button on any page, or here at my RSS feed and never miss another episode or informative blog post.
    Follow me on Twitter.
    Join the Facebook group “Writing Motivators”

    When you want to quit writing…

    Can you quit writing?

    Indie publishing can be tough.


    Uphill Climb

    This past week, I had a new release, and helped a fellow author through hers. There are a lot of resources out there to help authors, I have found. Yes, resources on craft, editing, revising, publishing, marketing, promotions, etc. are in abundance.

    But sometimes, learning all you can learn is not enough to be successful. Sometimes you have to have a bit of luck, and a lot of thick skin. And you always have to not only absorb all that information, but you also have to digest it and put it into action.

    And believe me, there is a lot of information to consume!

    When we are unprepared for the onslaught of reader comments, typo-finders, and other helpful folks who contact you POST-release to update you on their input, suddenly, being a writer isn’t so much fun anymore. Suddenly, you might want to crawl into a hole and drag the dirt in over you.

    It takes SO much time getting a book ready for publication, and your efforts are only welcomed with well-meaning people who tell you it could be better. A lot of authors at this point in their career sit over a steaming cup of coffee and threaten to quit.

    Yes, that’s right, QUIT.

    A few reasons:

    1. You’re getting a lot of negative comments, or reviews, about content issues (ie. formatting, typos, grammar, etc.)
    2. You are not getting reviews.
    3. You have low sales and an abysmal Amazon ranking.

    And there are a few things you can do to develop a writer’s attitude toward this stuff. Well, toward your work anyway.

  • Develop the skin of a rhino. Don’t let this stuff throw you. It’s a business now. The art side of writing is gone when you post it up for readers to get at.
  • Remember: your book is NOT your baby. It is NOT. Repeat over and over. This is not my child, this is not my blood. This is my book. MY BOOK. People are not always going to like it.
  • Go back to the drawing board. Maybe you DO need a refresher course on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. There is nothing wrong with that. Do it, and quit stressing over your lack.
  • Writing a book is easy, editing it is hard, publishing it and putting it out for the general public to gawk at it is the hardest. This business is not for the faint-hearted. But you can do it!

    Quit? No way. Quitting is not an option.

    WGP Episode 50-Robin Murphy, paranormal mysteries

    Interview with Robin Murphy


    Welcome, Groupies! This is episode 50 of the podcast, and today I chat with Robin Murphy. Robin was born in the small coal mining town of Windber, Pennsylvania and remembers a wonderful childhood with her parents and two older brothers. She’s written a paranormal mystery series, beginning with Sullivan’s Secret and I know you will get a lot out of our time together.

    So, here we go…on with the show!

    robin murphy


    Robin is full of great information for authors seeking help with their work. I am excited to have her on Writer Groupie Podcast. Be sure to check out her sites at the bottom of this post.


    In this episode, we learn about:

  • Robin’s writing journey which spans nearly 10 years now.
  • Why the first book morphed into a series.
  • Insider details about her “how-to” book for writers.
  • How self-publishing has grown and changed through the years.
  • What Robin misses about DIY in books.
  • Insider info on what Robin would want to know if she were starting over as an indie author.
  • How writing series of books benefits an author.
  • If setting the first book to free works for an author today.
  • How being an indie author allows freedoms that makes writing fun.
  • Details on being a graphic design artist and how covers are a big part of a book’s success.
  • and so MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!

    Find Robin Murphy on these sites:
    Her Website
    Rookie Writer Solutions

    You can also subscribe to this podcast in iTunes HERE


    Thank you for visiting Writer Groupie Podcast! For more writing information and education, try the Articles page (from the home page click on Articles for Writers).
    Like this site? Subscribe to my blog via a subscribe button on any page, or here at my RSS feed and never miss another episode or informative blog post.
    Follow me on Twitter.
    Join the Facebook group “Writing Motivators”

    Top Ten Rules for Success aka J.K. Rowling

    Not sure what I was doing to stumble across this video on Youtube, but here it is. WATCH IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END!

    If you are an aspiring author, you really need to learn from the greats.

    Do you like blogs? Do you like to follow them so that you get notices in your email when someone updates? Well, I have some information for you that you may find valuable. Blogs are a highly popular means of getting news you can use no matter what your preference of info.

    I recently went out and checked out a ton of sites, just because I was curious.
    They all had some form of “follow” feature.

    Some were using Networked Blogs and so I signed up for it. It has been around for a long time, but wow, I really like it now.

    Blogs have changed since 2010

    I get an email in my box every day with headlines from sites that I follow. I have to tell you that I have learned a lot about writing headlines since joining this site. But that is another blog post for another day. Suffice it to say, you should have snappy eye-catching headlines for your blogs.

    You can also go to the site which is set up in a dashboard sort of way so you can scroll through the sites listed and choose other blogs to follow. Easy set up, easy areas to click through.

    There is a cool “save for later” feature also, whereby you can get that particular blog post to read at your leisure. Sometimes we just don’t want to read an involved post on our mobile device and want to read it later in front of the computer with a cup of coffee at our elbow. This site allows that also.

    So, in conclusion, if you go to Networked Blogs to check it out, please find me – I am listed as Kim Smith, Author. There ya go, a great, informative, fun blog to follow! And I will be sure to follow back, so now YOU have followers!

    Alternately, you are welcome to leave your blog addy in the comments below and I will check it out. But then again, so will every reader of this post!

    WGP Episode 49 – Jim Hodgson, humor author, satirist

    About Jim Hodgson

    This week I am so excited to have Jim Hodgson on the podcast! Jim and I were table-mates at our book signing in March of 2015 at MidSouthCon. I instantly became a fan and started chasing him around the web at all the social sites. He is a fun. busy guy and I know you are going to love our chat.
    Jim Hodgson started writing in the mid 90s, after high school. When his adoptive mother passed in 2006, he turned to his writing as a means of coping with her loss. From there it became an invaluable part of his life.

    He’s the co-host of Crossthreaded, a homemade car show, and the host of Atlanta Explained at Village Theatre.

    He’s the founder and editor of The Atlanta Banana, a satirical newspaper. He’s worked as a standup comic and as a sketch writer for Sketchworks. His work has been published in Georgia Music Magazine, Creative Loafing, Cacti Fur, and Dirge Magazine.

    He’s the author of novels Ten Thousand Gods, Dangerous Dan, and Hearts Racing (published by Soul Mate Publishing).


    • Jim talks about what he’s been writing/publishing/producing over the last few months
    • References to Brandon Sanderson’s BYU lectures some of which you can listen to here
    • Links to Ten Thousand Gods Episode ONE here AND IT IS FREE!!!
    • We discuss the serial story model and how it can be a good route to gain an audience
    • Chat about Ten Thousand Gods and where the idea came from
    • I learn about Ronson’s book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
    • We discuss the freedom of indie publishing and writing.
    • We discuss cons and fried chicken that is to be found in Memphis.
    • What’s coming up next in this author’s life
    • Jim explains what funny is, and how to make it happen


    You can find Jim Hodgson here:
    Jim’s Amazon Page