Welcome Back!!

I know it has been awhile since there has been any activity on the blog. I have been really busy with school and honestly I just needed a break. I felt like I had so much on plate and I just needed a breather. I have been doing okay in school and have been wanting to get back to all of you and seeing the amazing new works that I have been missing out on!

As you can see the sight has been re-vamped to look a lot nicer! Let me know what you think of the new design for the site, is it better or worse? Also, right not the spotlight writers section is empty, but if you have any stories that want to be featured reach out to me!

Now onto the big news that I wanted to tell you guys about! Each month from the first of the month till the end, I will be holding a little raffle. Anyone can enter with their works, either a free book that can be read online or a book to be purchased up until $5.00 (I would do more but I need to save some money lol) and at the end of the month, I will use a random generator to pick someone and I will buy and read the book, as well as put up a review of the book that will remain up for the month and will give weekly shout-out’s on my Twitter account for many to see!

What do you guys think? Something interesting or no? Let me know down in the comments below so I can work on getting it set up!!

A Huge Thank You!!

So this week marks featuring 100 people!!!! That’s absolutely crazy to me, when I first started this blog, I was seeking out amazing writers asking if they wanted to be apart of this new thing. Since then, I have had people reach out to me to thank me and let me know good things about the blog!!

I honestly want to cry because all I ever wanted to achieve with this blog was to give people the support they needed for their work! I love that we have grown and now also have over 100 subscribers!! I want to thank everyone who has been featured and for giving me the chance to support you and I want to thank those who have given the blog your continued support!!


There are some people I want to shout out specifically for the help they have given:


1. @J_H_Hope: You decided to go along with this lone idea I had and agreed to be my co-author on the blog! I honestly could have not made the blog what it is today without all the help and support you have given me since before day 1. I love you to the moon and back and wouldn’t know what to do without you in my life ❤
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2. @escapist07: I know we have spoken a lot since starting this blog, but your kind words of encouragement have helped me so much over these past weeks. You have made me feel like I am doing everything right with the blog although I still have a lot to learn lol But You have also supported me unconditionally and let me week after week feature the amazing poems you have written!! So thank you so much for everything!!
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3. @SecondTimeAroundHomestead: Although I have not spoken to you directly, does not mean I don’t notice the support you have given the blog week after week! It makes me happy to see you liking each post and not only showing your support for the blog but for the writers featured on it!! So thank you for all you have done and I hope I can continue to do great in your eyes!!
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4. @Meg: I have you down on my list as well for those who support me!! You are another person that I have not spoke to directly but has always been there liking my content! This has given me such a boost of confidence and showed me that what I am doing is going in the right direction! Thank you!!


I hope we can continue with the blog for a long time and build a strong community of writers and readers who all support one another!! So cheers to 100 featured writers and cheers to many more in the future ❤

Becoming an English Major: The Discouraging Set-backs you Might Experience

By: @J_H_Hope

Hello writers! I hope you all are maintaining your physical and mental health as we continue through this chaotic year. Recently, I was having a conversation with my mom, who I must give credit for being my biggest supporter, about the things English majors go through on their journey in higher education.

I have recently finished up my Associates degree in English, so in reflecting on all the things I went through to get to this point, I thought of all of my fellow writers who might be attempting the same thing. I thought of all of you guys who have thought of pursuing a career in English or writing, but was deterred from that path for one reason or another. Whether it be self-doubt or harsh words from outsiders, I am here to give you all my advice that I have collected over the span of these two years as an English major.

Hopefully this will put that spark or drive back into some of you, or for my younger writing friends, maybe it will give you something to consider before stepping into college or the work force. Nonetheless, I hope you learn a little bit about some of the things that English majors encounter along our journey into the unknown of writing.

#1. “Oh, so you want to teach.”

The amount of times I have heard this assumption about me is absolutely uncanny. I’ll cut the people of my small town some slack, the few English majors from here are 99% teachers. However, where the frustration lies is that they don’t ever think about the English majors who wrote the articles in their newspapers, or the English majors who typed up the “how-to” manuals for their nursing or engineering majoring sons and daughters. I want to make something very clear; I am in no way knocking English majors who are going for their teaching certificate!

Teaching English on any level of education is absolutely commendable, and I appreciate the hard work and the strong mental capabilities that is required from each and every one of them! However, the list of careers in English does not end in the education system. English experts are needed in nearly every field of work or study! If writing novels isn’t your thing, try writing up contracts for big business companies. If business isn’t your scene either, look into editing! Everything from textbooks to science fiction novels and each piece in between has to be edited, and if you have a degree in English with a focus in grammar and composition then you are highly sought after! Don’t let the stereotypes surrounding English majors blind you from your potential! Dig into research and find the career that sparks your interest the most!

#2. “Where’s the money in English?”

If I had a nickel for every time that I was asked this question, then I would not have to worry about where the money is to be found in this major. This is the biggest concern among the doubtful members of my family and peers. How am I going to make enough money to sustain myself with a lousy English degree? The response to this is simply that the money is where ever you look for it. I have never understood why people ask me this, but when someone wants to coach football at the local high school so they become a biology teacher they are considered some sort of hero.

Again, I think genuine teachers should absolutely be considered heroes! But it is tragically obvious that there isn’t much money to be made being a teacher. Do I think teachers should be paid what they are worth instead of the bottom of the barrel? ABSOLUTELY! Do I also think any English/writing focused career should also be paid what they are worth and not hidden away as if they are shameful careers? YES! I know that some of you share that pure passion that I have for writing, so I know that you all can understand exactly where I am coming from when I say that I will work however many jobs it takes in order to sustain myself, as long as I can work in a career that I get to write, edit, and create in.

There was a teacher at my high school who taught classes during the day, and then turned around and took on night shifts as a nurse at the local hospital. Why did she exhaust herself by doing this? Because she was passionate about the healthcare field! She taught anatomy to future nurses and doctors by day, and then continued to play her part in the field with patients at a hospital by night. I will be the first to admit that if I have to be a college professor by day and then work my fingers to the bone editing and writing at night in order to live comfortably, then you can all bet money on the fact that I would do it without complaint! However, this isn’t always necessary. English and writing careers, just like every other field of work, are ladder climbing careers.

I am well aware of the fact that as soon as I step out into my first job I will be on the bottom step. All careers have ladders to climb. And if I get to a rung on the ladder that I am most happy at, then I can halt my ascent. We all have the power to do that! You have the power to do with your skills and knowledge whatever you want to do. If you like baseball and you get to be an editor in a popular sports magazine, and you are comfortable and happy with doing that type of writing for the rest of your life, then by gosh you do it! Again, do not let the scary stereotypes of English/writing careers being low paying deter you from reaching for the career that you want!

#3. “Do you really expect to be the next New York Times best seller?”

In short, no I don’t expect this, but I mean come on, that would be pretty cool right?! When I made the decision to pursue this path my senior year of high school, I got so many discouraging comments like this one. Even some coming from my own doctor (who I go to in order to cope with my anxiety!). Ultimately, you have to decide not to let comments like this get you down. This is where your passion and love of writing will be tested the most. Comments like this one, to me hurt the most, because the person saying them truly doesn’t believe in your hard work and drive for success. But, my friends, you have to establish where your definition of success lies.

As a perfectionist, I started out with a VERY high standard of success for myself. I’m talking, if I’m not studied in high school literature classes in the future then I haven’t been successful, type of standards. While having standards like this did drive me to work that much harder and strive for perfection, they ended up really taking a toll on my self-esteem and self-conscious. While in college, I learned to set reachable standards and goals for myself. Every time I reached a new goal my crushed self-esteem began to build itself back up again. I am here warning you not to make the same mistake I did. Don’t do that to yourselves, you all deserve so much better!

Measure your success in a way that flaunts your accomplishments, not in a way that points out what you haven’t done yet. Point out the goals that you have reached above the goals you haven’t made yet. If your goal is to get two reads on a story you’ve posted. Then, as soon as that second read appears, you celebrate! That is a success! If you keep doing this, then who knows, we might just see your name on a New York Times best sellers’ list after all!

#4. English is more than just composition and literature

When taking the first step into higher education you will be overwhelmed by all of the classes that they require you to take in order to get a degree. I’m sure my fellow college students will back me up when I say that general education classes feel absolutely pointless when starting out. If you’re like me, then you might question why you are required to take a landforms class in your last semester as an English major on a daily basis. Trust me when I tell you that general education classes are never fun for anyone, especially people seeking out some sort of art degree.

When pursuing your English degree, be sure to seek out all of the English options that your school of choice offers. They won’t advertise the more abstract or detailed English classes, because the composition and literature classes are what all students need to graduate. I had no idea that my school offered a creative writing class until my favorite English professor asked me if I’d taken it after I turned in my intent to graduate form. It was a palm to the forehead moment for me, so I’m trying to save you all from that annoyance.

Unless the college or university is known for their English and writing programs, (which is rare) they tend to not advertise the detailed and abstract degrees or career options to students, because they just aren’t as popular. Did you know there was an English degree path in writing and rhetoric? I didn’t; not until I went looking for it. If you know you have an interest in a specific line of study, and this goes for anything, then go out and actively look for all of your options in that path.

I’m afraid that, sadly, the colleges and universities just want students to take the most popular or most focused on paths so they can take their money and get them graduated. The student is responsible for making sure the degree they are pursuing is the right one for them. I encourage you all to constantly be on the search for the perfect degree path, career option, and even class schedule for you all.

Don’t just settle because the institute you attend doesn’t hold your line of study as highly as other math or science studies. And if you find that the composition and literature classes you take are not really your cup of tea, then ask yourself these questions. Is it the course material or the professor that is making this experience a poor one? And does my disliking of this class mean that I no longer like English, or does it mean I just haven’t found the branch of English that I am most interested in? If you end up falling out of love with English as a field of study, trust me it is FINE. People change and interests evolve. Don’t sweat it.

However, don’t get discouraged just because you have a bad experience. I had two really bad experiences with my first two composition classes. The first two semesters of my college experience were really tough for me. I didn’t have caring professors and the other general education classes really distracted me from the classes I was actually interested in. But I knew I still loved to write, so I persisted. Then my third English class and professor ended up being the greatest thing to happen to me. I fell back in love with literature and reading because of her.

All I ask of you all is that you stick it out through the bad experiences, especially if that same love and passion for the subject is persistent inside you. Don’t let a bad class or a poor professor ruin the whole subject for you.

The thing that has helped me the most through all of these set-backs and discouraging moments is having a really good support system. My mom warmed up to the idea of me pursuing an English degree fairly quickly, when I proved to her that it genuinely is the only thing that I can see myself doing in the future. She has been my biggest supporter since day one. I have friends who I’ve added to my support system along the journey as well, and I owe a lot of my persistence to them.

My best advice to you all is to find a grounding support system and allow them to help you along this long and tedious path. Whatever path you take, be it English, engineering, medical, or anything in between, none of you should have to walk the path alone. If your support system only consists of one or two internet friends, then I promise that is just as solid as any other group of supporters.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the very best on the road to your own successes! I hope these tips helped you all, or at the very least entertained you. Thank you for reading!

Best wishes and happy writing!


https://www.wattpad.com/user/J_H_Hope

Why I Started this Blog

By: @blackangel1212

We have had many authors in our life publish amazing works, but these amazing works aren’t limited to select individuals. I have met and spoke with so many people who are phenomenal and create amazing stories filled with emotion. Your works come from a special place that automatically make it amazing and it upsets me when people do not believe they aren’t good enough or quit on the WIP’s because they do not get the support they were hoping for. I always wondered why some people were noticed while others were not. But I know many of you can do great, if just given the chance. So here I am creating something for the Writing Community, and I hope many more writers ask to join this small community of supporters, that I hope to grow! We lean on each other for support and give one another the courage and pride to continue writing. For all of you out there who feel they aren’t good enough, or that they don’t deserve to continue their stories, throw that thought out the window because you are truly one of a kind and there is no one on the planet like you!!

So many people although thanking me for doing this have also been asking me why I am doing this. So, I make this small article to explain why.

Growing up and even now I have always been overweight, no matter how many sports I played (I played baseball for over 10 years) or how many diets I went on (Going to 3 different nutritionist over the course of my life, weeks and weeks in the gym and even resorting to supplements) but no matter the case I rarely lost the weight. I am fine with that and how I am now, I’m healthy with no conditions and I couldn’t ask for anything better. But growing up being healthy didn’t mean anything to those around me. At this point in time, I know that all of you know what bullying is, either from being bullied yourself, seeing someone be bullied or even you were the bully. When I was younger, I was the one being bullied. I hated it and eventually I started to hate myself and the people around me. I sat by myself and learned to do everything myself so I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone. But no matter how bad everyone around me was, when they needed me for something I was there. I never said no. My kindness was all I had, and eventually I learned that I didn’t want to stoop to their levels.

I often retreated into books. I read a lot of fiction because it helped take me to another place, where I could get lost for days. It felt nice to not be me for once. And I was pushed so far down that I lost myself, I got so used to being alone that I ended up not even giving people a chance to show me any different. Everyone was the enemy and I was alone to fight it all myself. There were people that I did consider my friends at the time and I would be happy when they were with me but I felt disconnected, the happiness wasn’t genuine and only made me feel worse that this happy feeling was not something I could witness and truly feel all the time.

High school was different and the people I considered a friend got different schedules and we rarely saw each other. But I was fine being alone. Nothing changed either way. Then somewhere, during the 10th grade I met some people who didn’t laugh at me or ask me for something. They just wanted to hang out with me and get to know me and when they did learn more about me, they never asked me to change. They liked me for me. They brought that little spark back into my life that helped me to rebuild that connection I thought was broken long ago.

I will be forever grateful for this because a year later I started speaking to a guy. At first it was nothing serious and then after a couple of months it became something beautiful. My first boyfriend became my fiancé and then my husband and we have been happily together for 6 almost 7 years now. He brought a smile to my life that I thought I would never have, he brought me joy and laughter and most importantly self-confidence. He showed me that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was beautiful (or according to him the only one for him *faints from all this love!!!*) I can’t help but cry at this point lol, honestly I never thought I would have something like this in my life. I went all throughout elementary, middle and half of high school with people bullying me and bringing me down. I faced depression and was in situations that I do regret now, but I promise things get better over time.

That’s why I help people when I can and give them hope and do things like this blog. If I can be the first person that brightens your world and resparks that connection, then I am happy to know that I have brought someone out of the darkness that consumed a lot of my life. This is also a reason I have you guys give me some background information and talk about what inspired you to start writing, so everyone else reading your work can understand on an emotional level and see how much you really put into your work. Everyone has a different mind set and no one is the same. This doesn’t make us bad, it makes us unique and sometimes people just don’t understand that, thus giving you a chance to explain yourself.

I hope this explains in detail why I do this so those who ask me, know why. I really want to do well with this blog and bring joy to everyone who takes a part of it either by being featured or reading what is put on it.

So if you ever want to be featured on the blog or just need someone to talk to you can reach out to me here through my email, on twitter (@proudhutcher12) or Wattpad (@blackangel1212) if you have it! Until next time ❤

Tips for Optimizing Your Writing Skills

By: @J_H_Hope

Hello writers! If you are a frequent visitor to our blog, I could probably go as far as to guess that you really care about your writing and wish to make it the best it can possibly be. Any good writer hopes to present a final draft of a work that they can confidently say they did their very best on.

If any of you are like me, you are your own toughest critic. You are stuck continuously striving to be better, yet you never actually reach “better” in your own eyes. I’m here to tell you that simply by putting the effort in to make your work the best, you are progressing and becoming better from an outside perspective. We are here to help you in your never-ending journey towards greatness, so here are a few tips we use for you to try.

#1. Make an outline.

We’ve all had to do this in school at some point in our lives. As a college student, this tip really saves my life with any paper I am assigned. When beginning a story or simply making notes of ideas that come to your head, it helps to organize those thoughts into an outline. If you have the plot thought out, make a section in your outline just for your plot. I usually start with a detailed (and spoiler filled) summary of the plot for myself. It’s basically my whole story wrapped up into one or two paragraphs without dialog. Then I move on to making a list of plot points or scenes that I want to include. If I have specific dialog or descriptions that I want to use I will put them in this list.

Often times I have ideas for what I want my characters to say or actions I want them to take, so I make checklists to follow as I write. If my story has specific characters, I make a list of them and write down a brief summary of each of them. I take note of how I want them to look (hair type/color, eye color, height, etc.) and the different traits that I want them to have (awkward, confident, loud, shy, smart, clueless, etc.). Before I begin writing any story, I make sure that I know each and every one of my characters as I would know my own child. After I list out my characters, if I know that my story will have chapters or parts, then I list out what I want to happen in each chapter. I usually make a beginning, middle, and end of each chapter. This part of your outline does not have to be extensive or detailed, this is just to keep you on track and working toward all of your plot points. For example, you could say “Chapter One: Leyna and J.D. are introduced. They visit the junkyard and the gang is introduced. J.D. gets a tattoo and his love for racing cars is introduced.” That’s a beginning, a middle, and an end of a chapter rolled up into three short and sweet sentences.

Your outline should be just as much a living work as your story itself. I know that I personally lose so many good ideas if I don’t write them down in my outlines as soon as I can. Even after you start your story, do not forget about or drop your outline. Continue to use it as you go about writing your story. If you change an aspect of your plot, take note of it in your outline so that you can make sure everything adds up in the end. If you have a new idea for chapter seven but you’re only to chapter five in your writing, use your outline to take notes. Don’t lose those ideas! They’re too good to be forgotten by a distracted mind!

#2. Proofread and grammar check your work.

I know this tip is kind of a given, but it is important none the less. For me, proofreading is kind of a time consuming and grueling task. I have to make a cup of coffee and put on a specific proofreading playlist. I have to put myself in a proofreading mood and it usually takes half a day, depending on the length of the story. When proofreading, I like to section my work off and read through piece by piece. On the first read through, I highlight the mistakes that I see instead of immediately correcting them. This prevents me from falsely correcting something that I thought was wrong on the first read through. I might be the only one this happens to, but it happens to me all the time.

I have the tendency to second guess myself and assume that I’m wrong. This is a bad habit to have when proofreading, so my compensation is highlighting first. I also highlight sentences or phrases that I feel need to be reworded or rewritten. If something looks weird or doesn’t flow with the surrounding sentences or dialog, I highlight it to come back to it on the second read through. Once I’ve read through the section once, I take a little break and look away from it. I’ll walk through my house or take my dog outside, then I will sit back and start the second read through. In the second read through, I begin correcting things and rewriting things. This is usually the shortest read through because, if I’ve done well in the first read through, I have highlighted the portions that need attention. I take another short break after this read through (do you understand why this is a time consuming task for me?) and rest my eyes a bit before returning. Then I begin my third, and usually final, read through. My third read through consists of reading my work out loud to myself or to my dog. I don’t normally do this around other people because I’m shy and self-conscious, but if any of you are comfortable reading to someone then go for it.

Hearing your work aloud can help you hear and pick out places that don’t quite flow as well as you thought they did in your head. If your work flows well aloud (especially dialog) then it will flow smoothly in the minds of your readers. I repeat these three steps as many times as it takes to proofread my entire work. These steps and techniques may seem excessive, but keep in mind that I am a chronic perfectionist. These steps work for me. If you think they might help you in your proofreading ventures, then try them out next time! If they don’t work out, keep searching for the method that fits you the best. As someone who is working toward being a professional writer and editor, proofreading is very important to me. It’s almost on the same importance level as the initial creative process. It is also important to remember that proofreading and editing is step two.

Step one is to write! Get everything in that beautiful mind of yours out on paper first! To once again quote the great Ernest Hemingway, “The first draft of anything is shit.” If you spend too much time trying to perfect your first draft as you are writing it, your creativity and ideas might drain at a rapid rate. Just write! Worry about editing in step two.

#3. Get good and effective feedback.

Okay, I know we push this one a lot, but there is a good and a useless kind of feedback. Feedback and criticism is meant to give you a different perspective on your work, so that you know how at least one outside reader views and interprets your work. In order for feedback to help you it has to be thoughtful and genuine. The useless kind of feedback is the short and unspecific little comments that seem very unpersonal.

If, like me, you let your mom or your sibling or a friend read your work and they say “Yeah it was really good. I liked it,” then it does nothing for your progress. It’s important that readers enjoy your work, but what do they enjoy about it? Specific and detailed feedback and criticism answers questions like that. If a reader tells you the parts of your work that stand out to them or parts that they think could be revisited, then your journey towards continuous improvement is made so much easier.

The useful and good kind of feedback is when your reader tells you something like, “I loved when you gave Charlie an interest in baseball. It really reminds you that he is just a kid. I think you went too deep into describing the dreamy color of J.D.’s eyes, they’re just blue.” This kind of feedback gives you specific portions of your story to look at. This particular reader likes when they are reminded that a tough character has youthful interests and qualities. They don’t like the over describing of seemingly simple features. This feedback tells you what to keep doing and what you should take another look at.

Remember that just because one reader gives this feedback doesn’t mean all of your readers perceive your work the same. And your feedback does not mean that you have to rewrite anything. If you think the description of your protagonist’s eyes should take up a paragraph, then by all means keep it! This is still your work, and you have complete creative control. But who knows, maybe you hadn’t realized that you took a whole paragraph to describe the color blue.

Seeing your work from another person’s perspective allows you to notice and see things you might not have noticed or seen before. Just make sure you are receiving the good and useful kind of feedback and criticism. I’ve found that I get the best feedback from fellow writers or avid readers. Reach out to someone in the community and exchange feedback. You could make a life-long friend!

#4. Expand your vocabulary.

We have already established that writing is an art, which is why expanding and understanding broad terms of vocabulary is so important. Some of you are probably painters, so I’ll make this analogy: If a painter were to paint all of their pieces using the same two colors, say red and blue, then eventually all of their canvases will turn into similar red and blue blobs. It will eventually get boring or even difficult to look at, and viewers might not be able to make out the theme or meaning behind this art. They will tire of looking at this work and move on.

If a author writes with the same dull or simple vocabulary, then readers will tire of the same descriptors and terms and look elsewhere. You can begin to recognize and improve your vocabulary during your proofreading. If you read through and realize you used the same verb or adjective for five sentences too many, then highlight them. Research synonyms or similar phrases to replace some of the phrases that you’ve used. If you’ve used “she looked” six times in a row, try replacing some of them with “she glanced” or “she gazed.” As a reader, I really appreciate when an author has a broad vocabulary and uses intelligent and colorful terms. If I have to pause my reading and search a word’s definition, then the author has succeeded in my eyes. Now this does not mean to use Shakspearian or unnecessarily complicated terms for simple things.

Try to center the complexity of your vocabulary around the feeling and complexness of your work. In other words, don’t just throw big and complicated words into your story at random. Keep the complexity of your vocabulary consistent all the way through to the end of your story. You don’t want to describe your protagonist as “cute” and “quirky” and then suddenly call them “vagarious.” If you want them to be vagarious then start with that. An example could be: “Lisa never could sit still. When she was young, her parents sent her to therapy to try and understand her restless spontaneity. Now at twenty-three, her vagarious actions had gotten her into trouble.” This flows better and makes much more sense than: “Lisa had been a outgoing and quirky person her whole life. Her parents never understood her vagarious behavior.”

A broad vocabulary can really help in your creative process and overall makes an author seem much more professional. Something that I do to broaden my vocabulary is to learn a new word every day. I go on Pinterest every day and get a word of the day from all kinds of different boards. Try a word of the day from the platform or website of your choice! I’ll kick it off for you:

Word of the day: Vagarious- (adj.) erratic and unpredictable in behavior or direction.

#5. Know your grammar.

This goes along with proofreading and checking your work for simple yet important mistakes. For me personally, poor grammar is very frustrating as I read a new story or work. I’m sorry, I’m an English major. Writers should have at least a basic understanding of the do’s and don’ts of grammar. I keep a grammar rule book close at hand anytime I am proofreading just to double check and make corrections on my work.

With that being said, I understand that grammar is a difficult and complex subject especially in English. Again this is where getting an editing friend for feedback and help comes in handy. Grammar can be very difficult when writing in a language that isn’t your first language. Trust me, I took four Spanish classes, it isn’t an easy thing to grasp while working with a language you aren’t as familiar with. If you speak or know English as a second language and are struggling with English grammar, reach out to someone who knows and understands the rules, and who can explain them to you and help you with your work. The same applies to English speakers who might be attempting another language. Reach out to someone who understands and knows the rules, and have them explain things to you and help you in your editing adventure.

While writing papers in Spanish, there were a number of times that I had to reach out to my Spanish speaking friends for help. Reaching out for help shows that you really care about your work and want to learn, and people will respect you all the more for this. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Asking where a comma goes or for the proper arrangement of words in a sentence is not dumb in the slightest! It shows your professionalism and the effort you are putting into something important to you.

By reaching out and getting help with grammar and editing, you will be taking yet another step in the direction of making your work the greatest it can be.

My friends, by you putting in the effort to make your work the best that you possibly can, you have already won in my eyes. That effort and passion is so admirable, and I really am proud to be apart of this community with such hard working and passionate people. These tips are all things that I do on a daily basis to work toward greatness.

By sharing them with you all, I hope you can use them in your own great journey. I know you are all so creative and amazing, so I hope these tips help you to optimize that creativity and greatness. I want you all to be the best writers that you can be! We are here to help you become your best! I really hope these tips help!

I wish you good luck and happy writing!

https://www.wattpad.com/user/J_H_Hope

 

The Perfect Book Cover?

By: @blackangel1212 and @J_H_Hope

Despite what we want to believe, creating the perfect book cover will most likely never happen. However, before you go throwing things at me or saying harsh words, remember I said most likely. Who knows maybe you can be the one to deviate from this and create the perfect cover. Just remember that there are so many people in the world, meaning that there are so many different opinions, and from my perspective it can be hard to please them all.

Well then, why am I here reading this article?

Well thank you for asking my dear readers, let me tell you why. Despite my position regarding book covers, there are things we can do to make our cover look appealing.

Is the cover of a book even important?

Wow, another great question from you guys! (I am literally cringing while writing this article, I’m sorry XD, just bear with I promise the tips are good!) While most of us were growing up, we were told to never judge a book by its cover, and indeed this is an important lesson, but many only really apply it when meeting new people and not actually to book covers. Why? I really don’t know. But when people go shopping for a book, the cover is what attracts them. The only time I notice that a cover isn’t that important is when the author is well known, and the readers are waiting for the next book.

Besides that, we must do everything possible to draw them to our books. We are confident in the words we wrote and that once they start, they will want to finish it, but until then a book cover is fundamental for many writers. I mean, how many of us have chosen to read a book based on the cover? I know I am definitely guilty of it. To most readers, if they don’t see a good cover, they can automatically assume that the writer didn’t put any effort into the contents of the book because they put no effort into the cover. (Don’t look at my books, my covers are horrible XD, I am not a good example for this! *coughs and looks in the other direction*)

Get on with the tips already!!

Alright, I’m sorry my dear readers, you came here for some tips so let me give them to you: (*There will be examples of covers at the end, to show you that the look of one can vary.*)

#1. Title

The title of your book is very important. It gives the readers an example of what they will be reading. A great title can draw anyone in, making them wonder what can be inside the book. For me I always felt the title can be the hardest because we wonder how we can sum up our entire book into just a few words. But the title of the book isn’t the only thing. The font, the color, where it’s placed can mean the difference between someone choosing your book or not. By paying attention to these little things, you can increase the chances of your book being chosen out of the many others surrounding it. Remember not every writer is the same, and not every story is the same, so what may work for someone might not work for you. Test different options and get feedback on what you have done. See which option draws more people in. I’m here feel free to reach out to me or the co-author and ask for feedback.

#2. Cover Design

I know for many of you this is a very hard concept, where others know exactly what they want. You are the writer, you know how your book is and what it’s about. This in conjunction with the title will give the reader a sneak peek into what they are to expect when choosing your book. For me the design of a cover can be many different things, sometimes it’s important to put an image and other times it would be better to just leave the images out. When you design your cover, imagine what emotion you are trying to invoke. What is your message?  Put yourself in the place of a reader or ask someone that you know (but does not know the plot of your story) and ask them what they think when looking at it. Feedback will be your best friend and can help you perfect your cover design.

#3. Subtitle (Necessary or not?)

Many authors put a small sentence or phrase that gives an example of what the MC of your book will face, or maybe a decision they will face, or it can be related to the plot of the book. But there can be times when it isn’t necessary. Sometimes the cover design or the title can be more than enough. But other times, like with a fiction novel for example, (it’s not limited only to fiction!) a subtitle can give the reader more insight. Writing a subtitle can be another way to draw in a reader without them having to pick the book up and read the description. If you do decide to put a subtitle on your cover, it is usually placed near the bottom under the title, and the font size is a lot smaller then the title, but big enough so that it’s readable.

#4. Font

Okay so it might not be a big deal to some of you, but the font can make a huge difference. But if you ask anyone there is one forbidden font that should never be used unless there is a specific reason! That font is Comic Sans (*Hides in the corner, afraid to look*) For those of you who do not know, the comic sans font is, oddly, used frequently. Why? I have absolutely no idea, but it is. I’m not saying that it’s forbidden to use but, it is mostly used in books of comedy, and even then, that’s a stretch. For whatever reason put on this Earth, publishers and professionals have deemed this font the least professional to use. Anyone else feel sorry for the Comic Sans font or is it only me. Although there are other fonts that are considered unprofessional, none have ever compared to the hate Comic Sans have received. The font is just as important for the cover of your book as the title and cover design. It will help set the tone for whatever your book may be about, so the next time you create a cover just be aware of this small tip.  

#5. Layout (No, you can’t just throw everything onto the cover *takes a second to breathe*)

So, when looking through Wattpad for a story, you already lose if your story isn’t completed. Lots of people are wanting to read something that they don’t have to wait for. I mean how do we know if the author will continue writing the book, they may just give up on it or run into personal problems which, regrettably have happened to me. I mean it took me a little over 5 years just to come back and finish one of the books I have started. The second thing that is an automatic loss for you, is if your book looks overall unkept and messy. Once you have everything done that was listed in the previous tips, the last and most important step is putting them all together. Don’t let all that hard work go down the drain. You must be able to bring all the pieces together to complete the puzzle. If one piece is lost or misplaced, then the overall picture just looks wrong. Luckily for many, the layout of books is almost the same, well the same in their respective genre. I would suggest trying different types of placement and asking others what they think of it, but in the end it is your book and you know how you want it to look, so don’t ever feel that you should change what you worked hard on.

#6. Relevance

When creating your cover keep the images, colors, and fonts relevant to your story. If your story is about a vampire, then you don’t want to have an image of a puppy as your cover. If your story is one of romance, then you won’t want to write your title in a spooky font. If your story is dark and mysterious, then you shouldn’t create a cover with neon colors. I know this seems obvious, and I am exaggerating a bit to get my point across, but these things are important. On the latest cover that I created I got the image and font all settled into place, but something was still off about it. Then I began playing around with colors and saturations and discovered that I needed cooler tones rather than warmer ones. Simple and slight differences like this can make all the differences in the world. You know your story and you know what images, colors, and fonts fit best. Trust your instincts! If something doesn’t feel right, play around and make changes. I know we sound repetitive at this point, but it really does help to get another person’s point of view.

I originally started this blog for Wattpad writers because it is the platform I use as well. After spending a lot of time on Twitter I have made friends and met people who are writers outside of this platform. So, I know that these tips might not follow along exactly with what you may need, but I do hope that a couple of them do help you.

My fellow Wattpad writers, I know the struggle of getting the perfect cover. I’m sure every writer feels this way, but for us and other platforms like it, our cover is the main thing readers see besides the title. So, it’s important for us to nail it in order to get those views, especially if our books are not completed. You have many things you can do! You can try to create a cover yourself which at times can be hard. You can utilize the forums, there are many people offering their services of creating covers (such as @GalaxyGazer_12 who created my cover for Dangerous Obsession, I’ll leave the link below to her forum where she is accepting people!). Most of the time they just ask for a follow and to check out their stories, but they indeed can make beautiful covers that I know you will love. Lastly, you can also use sites that offer a service of creating a cover, some that may charge you money and others that can be used for free.

https://www.canva.com/create/wattpad-covers/ (This is just an example of a site that you can use to create a cover. There is a free subscription, that allows you to choose from templates and so on, if you feel it can help you, you should definitely check it out, but I would suggest checking out the forums on Wattpad first before attempting this site or others.)

I know these tips aren’t the absolute best, but they are good to help you get started and even catch some things you may have missed. I sure do hope that they help you in one way or another! You can always reach out to me or the co-author of the site @J_H_Hope if you ever want us to tell you how your cover looks. Remember, feedback is a powerful ally in the writing community, use it wisely!

Until next time my dear readers ❤

https://www.wattpadwriters.com/t/book-covers-for-anyone-who-needs-one/266127 (The Link to @GalaxyGazer_12 forum!)

Updating with a Busy Schedule

By: @J_H_Hope

Updating schedules are an important element to writing when you are sharing your work on a platform like Wattpad. When readers take interest in your work, they look forward to that certain day or time which you give them more of your story.

If you leave readers hanging for too long, they might start to lose interest and you will lose reads. I know this, unfortunately, from personal experience. If any of you are like me, life can sometimes get in the way of your nice and organized writing schedule.

There are some things you can do in order to maintain your updating schedule and keep your readers intrigued.

#1. Fit your updating schedule into your “every-day” routine.

If you know that you go to class four days a week, make your updating day the fifth day. If you have work seven days a week, set a time before or after work to post your update. I enjoy updating, so I look forward to posting. My updating schedule acts as motivation for me when I’m working through class and homework. Try seeing your updates as something to look forward to in the busyness of your day or week.

#2. Avoid long periods of writer’s block.

Take it from someone who knows, writer’s block can quickly become the death of a story. Not only in popularity, but potentially altogether. That happened to my first ever work that I posted. It died a tragic death. Your works deserve better than that! If you need tips on avoiding or getting out of a writer’s block rut, see our article on that exact topic!

#3. Set realistic goals.

You and you alone know what you are capable of realistically. Keep your limits in mind when making your update schedule. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself just to impress readers. Be realistic in your updating goals so that you don’t fall behind. Readers will be much more impressed with you and want to keep reading your works if you have a schedule that you can keep as opposed to one you fall behind on.

#4. Keep your readers informed.

Life happens! It happens quickly and unexpectedly, and it happens to each of us. Sometimes life might come at you and interrupt your pristine update schedule. An emergency, a family matter, or a personal issue could come along and prevent you from getting your new part posted. I know how it feels to think that you are letting your readers down, but if you inform them of the interruptions you might be facing they will understand. Let them know if your schedule is changing or will be interrupted in some way. I know personally, as a reader, I appreciate when an author keeps their readers in the loop about their schedule and doesn’t just leave them hanging. I will gladly wait an extra week or two for the next part of a story, if I am assured that it will be posted eventually.

#5. Let your (and your reader’s) excitement motivate you.

When I know that someone is excited about reading the next part of my story, it pushes me to keep up with a schedule. Your readers love your work! They anticipate the next addition to your story, so by keeping your schedule you won’t let them down. Allow the power to satisfy your readers to push you to work that much harder toward keeping your schedule. That is IF any of you need motivation. I know sometimes I need the little push after getting discouraged or distracted from my writing.

The most important thing to remember is not to let your update schedule or your work stress you too much. If this creative passion, that I know you all have, begins to stress you, then it will become a task instead of something you love and look forward to.

Don’t let writing become a grueling task for you! Keep writing and keep loving to write! The writing community is here for you if things start to get too much. Humans are more comfortable when their lives operate in routine, so once you get into a comfortable schedule, things will get easier.

If your first attempts at a schedule don’t work out, then continue trying! Never give up!

I wish you good luck and happy writing my friends!

https://www.wattpad.com/user/J_H_Hope

Finding time to update can be a grueling thing, and I know from experience that I have never been good with that. We hope that these tips of managing your personal life and updating your book’s are helpful to you! If you would like to know some more tips for other problems you may face, comment below what you would want to hear about next! Remember to stay safe and healthy ❤

Tips for Writer’s Block

By: @J_H_Hope

Writer’s block. An antagonist that all writers face at some point in their lives. Although writer’s block can feel like you are perpetually stuck in the mud, there are some common ways to combat this enemy. I am here to help you on this journey, so I will list and explain some of the ways that I personally battle the dreaded block.

#1: Read

I know it might feel like you’re wasting time by doing something as fun as picking up a good book and settling in for some reading, but trust me on this one. All writers must have an undying love for reading. You might pick up a book and feel a little jealous that the author of that published work passed the test of writer’s block, but I’m here to tell you that even the best of the best must continuously battle this frustrating ailment. Reading not only gets you relaxed and helps with the frustration, but it also helps to subconsciously give you inspiration. Anyone who knows me and reads my works can automatically pick out scenes or elements of my stories that I have written with other authors or books as inspiration. Ideas can strike without you even knowing it, as you read along to another author’s work. Then when you return to your own work you have fresh ideas and inspiration to work with.

#2: Meditate

This one might make you feel a bit silly, but hang with me for a second. Any of my fellow writers working through mental health issues can probably attest to the helpfulness of a good clearing of the mind. I know how upsetting and frustrating the lack of ideas and writing inspiration can be. You can start to feel like your mind is too crowded to come up with any new ideas. If you have other things going on in your life while trying to write (work stress, family matters, etc.) then you might not can focus just on your work. This might be an underlying cause of your writer’s block. For me personally, a lot of my focus is drawn into my college courses right now, so whether I am working on homework or my personal writings I am usually distracted by classes. If you are facing writer’s block with a crowded mind, try stepping away and meditating. You don’t necessarily have to sit cross-legged in the floor and listen to relaxing flute music, which seems to be the stereotypical image of meditation. Try finding something that helps you to personally clear your head. It could be walking your dog, cooking a dish, taking a bubble bath, or listening to your favorite song. Find whatever helps you as an individual to unclutter your thoughts. As they have an app for just about everything now, you could try an app. I have used one in particular that is very nice and helps teach you how to untangle your thoughts, and I recommend it. It’s called “Headspace” if any of you would like to search it and put it to use.

#3: Observe

I know what you’re thinking, what is looking around at things going to do for my writer’s block? I have always been the type of person to sit back and observe, rather than jump into the action or socialization. A wallflower in other words. I am much more comfortable watching and noticing things, especially in a crowd, than I am standing and interacting in the mix. By doing this all my life, I have acquired lots of inspiration for my writings. When I notice myself starting to lack in inspiration, I will grab a notebook and go to a park or a coffee shop in my home town and just observe. I will observe the people and things around me and how they interact. For example, I take note of how a bird interacts with a passing pedestrian, or how a squirrel skitters up a tree. By doing this, I practice my skills in description, gain analogies to use in works, and I also gain character inspiration. I know this one is a little difficult to do in the trying times that we find ourselves in, but our observation skills never stop working. Find something to observe. If you have a favorite movie, watch it and observe something that you might not have caught while watching it before. If you have a favorite show, take notes on the quirky behaviors your favorite characters possess. If you have a favorite or a love of art, observe the different details in a piece of art and ponder the meanings of those different details. All of these are ways of sitting back and observing.

#4: Write

Okay guys again hear me out. You’re here because you have writer’s BLOCK, how can I expect you to battle that by doing the one thing it feels like you can’t do…write? The answer is simple, you do not have to have active inspiration in order to write. I like to keep a journal of any thoughts that simply won’t go away. In times of writer’s block, I take my journal and elaborate on those clinging thoughts. It could be thoughts on the trying times we face, rouge shower thoughts that you can’t get out of your head, or just something you wish you had said to someone but didn’t. I tend to talk to myself in my journal. I sometimes give myself advice or pretend I’m talking to a friend. My journal is like an imaginary friend for a twenty-year-old. Some things I write in there probably wouldn’t be coherent for outsiders to read, but it gets my hand moving and my brain gears turning. Just write. It doesn’t matter what it’s about. Sit at your computer or with your notebook and let the words flow. To paraphrase Hemmingway, “sit at your typewriter and bleed.”

#5: Get Feedback

This one was once very difficult for me. I was far too shy to actually let anyone read my work. But if there is anything that four years of high school marching and concert band taught me, it is that constructive criticism and feedback play a huge role in improving and making progress. If it’s only you staring at a work, then inspiration will begin to run dry more and more often. While I am confident that all of you reading this are plenty imaginative and talented to write a novel or work by yourselves, you don’t have to work so hard. Reach out for help. Letting someone else read and give feedback on your work can give you ideas and perspectives that you may have never thought of. If your own imagination can accomplish however much of a work you’ve gotten done so far, then imagine what you and your friend, or your sibling, or your parent, or a fellow writer could accomplish! Be open to what they have to say about it. My little sister is seventeen years old and she is the biggest critic I have. She reads my works occasionally, and she is harsh in telling me everything she would do different. At first, this means of feedback was very hard to hear. But in time I learned to appreciate and use her bluntness to my advantage. My writings improved and my perspective on my style of writing changed. My friend, and co-author, @blackangel1212 is a fellow writer who I go to very often for feedback. She reads most of my works long before I venture to post them, because her perspective and feedback adds to the quality of my work. Be open and reach out. Don’t be shy! Who knows they might fall in love with your work! That happened by surprise recently for me! Let your creativity be changed by and possibly even change someone else’s perspective. The worst that could happen is they don’t like it. Trust me friends, it’s worth that small risk.

#6: Let your creativity flow

Writer’s are artists! We create mental films using the written word! When we experience writer’s block it feels like that creativity is, well, blocked. I know many of you like to draw and paint. That’s a wonderful way to get those creative cogs turning. I personally enjoy turning to music as an alternate creative hobby. I can’t exactly buy and bring a whole marimba home to play, which is the instrument I played in high school, but I can find other musical means of being creative. With the skills I learned from high school I can sort of play the piano, and I also enjoy looking up pieces of music and following along to the tune’s written sheet music. Any other creative hobbies you have are wonderful ways to keep your creativity flowing while you are stuck in your writing.

I use these methods to prevent and work my way out of difficult writer’s block moments. Whether you are currently going through writer’s block or just want to try and prevent it from happening in the future, I hope these methods help. You’ll get through these little battles and eventually make it to the end of a work. Whatever you do, don’t give up! If you just stop all effort in trying to get over this little hump, that’s when you let writer’s block win. You and the work you’ve started deserve better than that! I wish you the best of luck and happy writing!

What do you think of these tips guys!! I’m more than sure that as writer’s you have gone through similar experiences. If you would like to know some more tips for other problems you may face, comment below what you would want to hear about next! Remember to stay safe and healthy ❤

Our Recommenders <3

So I am putting this section in to thank all the amazing people who recommended our beautiful writers! They showed amazing support to writers who they believed deserved to be in the spotlight as well! It’s a long list but everyone on it deserves to be there ❤ Make sure to comment below and thank them for this and helping to support the blog!

@TheVileBard

@EdgeValmond

@rixtyminutes

@toothless1605

@Scaren

@swag_gerism

@CurrentTheMerboy

@ModernWaterRider

@krissuuh

@softyhartz

@LotteStarburst

@J_H_Hope

@Ellen_Reese

@MaskedParkers

@AloofFloof

@SamtheAspiewriter

@stella_vigo

@readwithjeremy

@Ecaille13

@IamArizala

@zai-star

@lilgompas

@NadiaCrimson

@bookloveranddreamer3

@doneshiaforlife

@Est2010

@dontwalkwiththedead

@trima_r

@Anra_Sjar

About Me

I have been writing for awhile now, but it was mostly personal. I have only ever finished one book which I posted on Wattpad but it wasn’t anything amazing, but the people who have read and voted on it has showed that I am moving in the right direction. I have so many ideas that I want to act on and share with everyone else.

So to share a little bit about me, I am 23 years old. I am married to an amazing man who I have been with since I was 17. Before my love for writing, I only had a love for reading with fiction being my number one genre that I turn to. A lot of my writings are based on dreams I have that I am able to expand on, which is why I may start some stories but not finish them. But it also explains why my writings are about different topics and not focused solely on one thing. I have 2 adorable hamsters that are complete opposites although they are brother and sister.

Throughout my time on Wattpad, I have met amazing people. Some that I have remained in contact with and others that have helped me when I was stuck. But I want more people to see that they aren’t alone and that they shouldn’t worry about posting a story. It’s all about taking the chance and even if your story isn’t read by many, know that it only takes one person to fall in love with it. I hope that here, I can make a place where you can meet new people, explore new titles and share your work!