Writing A Book

Let’s Talk Writing!

Man! Stepping up to “next levels” happens to be one of the most rewarding – and demanding – aspects of any business. For 25 years, I progressed up corporate management levels. For the past 17 years, I’ve been learning and growing in the writing/publishing realm of life.

For those who don’t know me, I’m a five-time Royal Palm Literary Award-winning author. I’ve written over 20 book manuscripts, nine published so far, with 6 currently in the final phases of completing. I’ve written hundreds of short stories, and thousand of poems as well as numerous essays. I’ve published over 50 authors and nearly 100 books through my small press publishing company. I’ve never published anyone I haven’t met in person.

My true calling and passion, however, is helping writers get their books written. I’ve helped over 100 writers get their books completed, most of them first-time writers. I’ve taken to calling myself “The Book Whisperer.” Initially, I taught a course through the Flagler County School System titled “How to Write Your Book in 30 Days!” based on my book – “Go Write and You Won’t Go Wrong – How to Write Your Book in 30 Days!” I’ve now gone to one-on-one consulting/coaching as I’ve discovered each author brings their own particular needs and levels of knowledge to the book-writing table. By working one-on-one, I am better able to serve and help writers who want to cut through the crap and get their book written. If you do what I ask you to do over a 30 day period, you will have your first draft manuscript completed.

Now I’m stepping into a “video-blog” setup where each week I will deliver some writing tips to help writers in their quest for their creative muse. I’ve titled the weekly video blog – “Let’s Talk Writing!” I’ve set up a category on the blog site which will house only the video blogs for those of you who prefer video over text-driven material. Learning technology and how to present yourself is part of the writing experience. So check back, at least each week, for my latest video blog update.

If you’re searching for a Book Whisperer, someone who can help you take your book out of your heart and mind and into reality. I’m your guy. I have my consulting rates listed here – Michael Ray King Consulting Rates – and I look forward to helping you take your book from conception to completion.

 

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The Challenge

Has music ever snaked between your ears like a smoky old nightclub in the sixties? How about words? Have you experienced the call of voices and concepts which seep into your conscious mind and demand to be set loose into the world?

Writers know. We tune into ourselves so that we may release ideas and stories into our reality. As writers, we wrestle with our minds in attempts to squeeze out those elusive yet persistent voices and concepts. When you’re not accustomed to such internal, frenetic mental exercises, writing may appear somewhat daunting. Yet alluring.

The challenge set before every writer stands as an exercise in finding the vocabulary to translate from internal thought into external meaning. On the surface, this could sound simple. After all, you simply write down what your mind gives you.

Think of words as colors. The words you choose to color, or paint, the picture of what is going on in your mind. But this picture is not a still, but a moving picture. Much like a movie, what you paint with your words delivers actions, consequences, concepts, and a host of other “life” situations in motion. It’s one thing to do this with recording devices, quite another to pluck something from the gray matter of your brain and bring it, at least conceptually, to the world.

Writing is an exploration of how much and how vivid you can recreate the thoughts which drove you to select words and find a way to convey these words in an order which assists others in experiencing what you’ve already experienced in your head. Put that way, writing is so complex and involved as to be out of reach of most people. Yet, the truth is, all you have to do is give yourself permission to take on the challenge and place words to a page.

The more you do this, the more you practice, the more you give yourself permission to explore, the more you catch fire and write and the more you may connect with others. We overcomplicate writing and its complexities by placing tons of rules and rigid precepts like “styles” one must follow and the “queen’s English” which must be adhered to.

No.

The challenge of writing is to throw off all that, all the analytical mumbo-jumbo I’ve been writing about and simply allow yourself to tell us your story. Fiction, non fiction, it does not matter. Are you willing to put yourself out there and give it a go.

Many people possess the desire, but they need help. That’s what I do. I’m a book coach/consultant. I help with getting your book written, rewrite, edit, and publishing. I like to say I can help you from conception to completion. Email me if you would like more info: Author@MichaelRayKing.com

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Writing in This Modern World

Do you see it? The decay? The fragmentation? The dissolving of the world we once thought immutable?

I don’t know why I ever thought my world wouldn’t change. After all, I’ve seen phones change from party lines to rotary phones to push button phones to cordless phones to wireless cell phones to watch phones and phones we hang around our necks. I’ve seen grocery stores go from pricing individual items like cans manually keyed into a cash register to barcoded products scanned into registers to online purchases. I’ve seen our way of dealing with money change from cash and balanced checkbooks to paying for things with our phones.

I could list millions of things which have changed over my lifetime. But. Throughout all that change, phones were still a means speaking with people. Groceries were still for eating. Money was for spending. The basic fabric of living in this beloved country, at least on the surface, remained intact. I could not have been more mistaken.

We’re falling apart at the seams. Our families are in tatters. Our manipulative media, corporations, and government all work hard to control us in ways we cannot even fathom at this point. Our society is crumbling. Soon, instead of one Nero fiddling as Rome burns, we will be doing this by the millions. We already are in some respects.

So what? I’m not going to go through all my views of causes and effects. I’m not going to run through my political persuasions nor my religious views. What I am going to suggest is that people step up in this cacophony of chaos and write. Does this add to the noise? Does this add to the chaos? Who knows? But we own, in this lifetime which I labeled in my title a “modern world,” an opportunity for the common, everyday person to give voice to life. Life which means something. Life which possesses a passion. Life which delivers purpose and at least a forward-thinking look at where we’d like to be instead of where we’re being channeled.

I’ve maintained that this time, this early 21st century time in which we live, stands as the greatest era in the history of man in which to be a writer. We own a near-global reach. We possess tools which allow us to reach literally billions of people. There now stands a brief moment in history when the voices of the people could rise up. Unfortunately, this tenuous window in which we live is being wasted on lower-minded writing and entertainment. Too many of us are fiddling while the world burns.

Do you have a book inside you? Do you have a story to tell? Does something reside within your heart and soul which you believe could help people in their temporary existence here on earth? If so, why don’t you write it? Why don’t you step forward? Why do you believe your voice holds less importance than everyone else’s voice?

I encourage you, as a writer, a book coach, a fellow human – write your truth. Do something beneficial with your life. Recognize those who would control us desire to keep us at odds with each other. They purpose to divide us and cause animosity between us. A united people could work wonders in our lifetimes.

My mini-rant now draws to a close. What are you waiting for? Someone to come up to you and tell you to write your book? That’s what I’m doing. Ultimately, though, the voice you must listen to would be your own.

This world changes every second of every day. The fabric of what I lived for over half a century is ripping at the seams as I write. We can be silent and take what comes, or we can connect with others to design a better world where division and strife and hatred become less prevalent. We possess the most extensive communication opportunities ever in the history of mankind, yet we communicate on a pathetically lower level than we ever have as a species. How sad is that?

Use this amazing time to help heal our world.

Write.

 

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Empower Your Inner Writer

Confidence in writing propels itself to the top of the list of most writers’ “items necessary to write.” Confidence may wax and wane, affected by experiences outside the writing sphere. Confidence may fall flat on its face, paralyzing great writers. Confidence may be reborn in many ways, often dissimilar to previous confidence recoveries. Writing confidence plays a huge role on how far you’re willing to go as a writer.

Fear stands as the primary confidence-sucker. I note, often, the correlation between fear and procrastination. One of the crazy aspects of all this confidence-shaken-writer mentality is that many writers suffer from the malady. That’s why we struggle so much to accomplish our work.

Often, a lack of confidence will affect our ability to choose something else to write about. This is especially true once you finish writing a good book. You wonder, “Can I do that again?” You know you’ll never recreate that same book, it’s already written. You don’t want to copy it, even if you’re writing a series. You feel pressure. Fear creeps in. The longer you wallow in fear, the tougher your struggle to regain your mojo.

There are quite a few people who tout the “fail fast” mentality. What this means to me is, get back on the writing horse and go for it. The sooner you see and feel how you do not die or disappear off the planet, the sooner you may step back into your writing rhythms and hopefully your muse.

Basing your confidence on external measures is a risky business. What you do as a writer when you decide to allow outside factors to totally influence your confidence level is you give away your core confidence. Yes, I realize many writers, myself included, suffer from confidence struggles. Yet, to base your confidence on book sales, critiques, accolades, etc, robs a writer of their truest strength – themselves.

The bottom line is that as a writer, at some point, you must draw the line and forge forward on your own recognizance. You must take the step of growing your ego enough to believe what you have to say is worthwhile – and it is. Finding your market should never be equated with your writing confidence. No matter what level writer you are, there is an audience out there to resonate with you. Finding that audience is marketing. Writing the words is writing. Keep them separate as much as possible.

There are dangers on both sides of that coin mentioned above. Yes, you need to listen to others to grow as a writer, but not to the detriment of your writing confidence. So what if you have a lot to learn? We all do. You can constantly learn something about writing no matter how long you’ve been at it. The other side of the coin is the “over-inflated ego.” You should never be so cocky as to alienate readers and followers who might otherwise pick up your work.

Striking a balance between the two can be helpful, but what I propose has little to do with either. Do you have a fire deep inside? Do you NEED to write? Is writing a book a major player in your “desire” library of the heart and mind? Do you have stories to tell? Life stories? Fiction stories? Self help stories?

You’re going to likely need that underlying fire, that deep down drive, to sustain you through tough times. When I struggle with my writing, this place remains constant within me. This place of determination. This place of ‘hell or high water, I’m writing.’ This place where the heart’s desire pushes back against all the “overwhelm” of the writing life and says, “Dammit, I am going to write!”

I challenge you, the writer, to empower yourself from within. Yes, balance the externals with your ego and fuel yourself along the writing path. But do not forsake your true power, your true worth, as a writer – your heart. Your desire. Your internal drive and wish for achievement. When things get particularly bleak and you’re down on your writing abilities and struggles, access that place within you which propels you forward despite all the travails of the world.

Surround yourself with people who are producing books and progressing. A synergy surrounds people who forge ahead to common goals. Ride the thermals of shared creativity. I see this every week in my private workshops.

Find how to empower your writing and go forth and make it happen.

If you’re looking for help, that’s what I do. I have a five-week program to help you get your first draft written. I am a book coach/consultant and I help writers from the conception of their idea through the completion of their book – first draft, rewrite and edit, and publishing. Email me at Author@MichaelRayKing.com. My client list is limited. At the time of this post, I have room for three more clients. This fluctuates as writers get their books finished and move on. What I teach is “rinse-and-repeat” so that writers may fly on their own as soon as possible. I look forward to working with each and every writer I come in contact with.

 

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Book Coach/Consultant

There are times when we truly need to heed our own advice. Have you ever known what to do, how to do it, and when, yet you completely balked at taking on the task at hand? I know this scenario stands as something with which writers often struggle. In my particular case, the malady presents itself on a number of fronts.

One writing issue I wrestle constantly is keeping this blog going with fresh content. I’m good for a few months, then I am sporadic a few months. The issue does not lie with a lack of content. Oh no. There are more topics on which to write about writing and publishing than I could ever cover. This issue becomes consistency.

Another challenge I’ve accumulated happens to be the “stacked up manuscript syndrome.” This malady comes from a reticence to roll up my sleeves and get into the nitty gritty of rewrite and edit. Currently, I possess two fully written poetry books, two books of short stories, one sci-fi novel, and a book addressing the “mindset of writing.” Count them. Six completed manuscripts. Am I becoming a manuscript hoarder?

I’m writing this post because I just worked through rewrites on the first nine pages of the writing book. I’ve established a beachhead and I want to continue. Sometimes, placing your foibles out to the world helps motivate you to keep moving forward. Also, if I’m doing this, I’m sure there are other writers in the same boat. The crazy aspect to all this is that I believe these books contain some of my finest writing ever! Go figure…

The upside to getting into the rewrite/edit phase with these books is that I should be able to release quite a few books in the coming months. That will be a welcome trend. I am currently writing two manuscripts to add to this lot. I’m stepping into writing heaven!

I currently have three Coaching slots open if you need help getting your book written, rewritten, edited, or published. The clients who I’m currently working with have inspired me to take care of my own writing house! I love it when I help people get their books written. I also love it when I get my own done! LOL!

Keep writing! I sure am!

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Illusions and Delusions

Our lives play out over decades filled with illusions and delusions. We act on these illusions and delusions as though they stand concrete, real. When we operate from these misguided positions, we do not serve our good unless by accident. Often, we mesh our illusions and delusions with others’ illusions and delusions. I have come to the conclusion through observation that we limit ourselves in a drastic manner when we cannot identify the illusion and delusion.

Let’s address fear. That we are controlled by the illusion of fear stands well documented but what do we do with this knowledge? Our media, governments, even corporations control the masses through fear. Even though life expectancy is higher now than in centuries past, media, corporations, and government have us frightened about our health. Isn’t that crazy? Back when 60 was old age and one foot in the grave, incredible achievements were forged. No big pharma. No dietary aids out the wazoo. No gyms on every corner. I’m sure few looked forward to death, but it appears we live much more frightened today. The illusions of fear hold us down.

Delusions. There was a day when I walked out the door every morning without a phone. Now, when I forget my technology and drive off, I possess an overwhelming need to turn around and retrieve the device. Bad things could happen. I could miss something like a text, a call, an email. We’ve been fed an illusion about technology, that it will save us, make us better. We then delude ourselves into believing the fear. An amazing thing happens when you walk away from technology – if you relax and allow yourself to feel it, freedom creeps into your soul. We’ve been duped, deceived about our need for everything technology.

Illusion – something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.

Delusion – A false belief held despite strong evidence against it; self-deception.

On the other side of terror stands the person we are, or better put, the person we desire to be. The build up to terror from fear emanates from our buying into extreme messages flung about by those who would have us controlled so that we purchase their products, buy into their dogmas, and follow asinine rules and regulations. Develop a population who lives in constant illusion (fear) and delusion (entertainment) and you create the most controllable collection of humanity in the history of the world.

The other side of who you are is who you’re sculpted to be. If fear of gaining weight has you buying diet drinks which actually cause more weight gain, you have been deluded by the illusion of corporate fear. Everything you want to be lies on the other side of illusion and delusion. When you stand down your fear, you acquire a level of perception about yourself, your truth, and your identity.

Reclaiming your life does not come easy. We cower under the bombardment of manipulations through illusions leading to our delusions. The one item here which we own the ability to directly manage is our delusions. These are actually self-inflicted because we believe in the illusions perpetrated upon us by those who would control us. We’ve become fear junkies, flitting from one manufactured fear to another. Fear is the foundation of all control. They, being media, corporations, and government, have us fearing death, poverty, creativity, and a host of other critical life experiences.

Keep the population controlled by genetically altered food and constant entertainment, “bread and circuses,” and you will grow the most docile populations ever. Yes, the mention of “food” came out of nowhere but look at what we eat. We’ve been poisoned for decades by our corporations and governments with foods which deliver pandemics like obesity and Alzheimer’s. Our media fuels the fears. Our corporations created the reality. Our government protects the corporations. We adjust and react to the illusions and delusions because no one seems to desire to meet truths head on.

So what? How does this relate to writing? How does this relate to creativity?

Simple. None of this is new. Even though the sparkly technology makes it all feel fresh, the concept of “bread and circuses” originated from ancient Rome, if I’m not mistaken. Their gladiatorial games and constant debaucheries eventually eroded the Roman Empire from the inside out. Civilizations rise and fall like this. In the end, humanity has stood as its own worst enemy throughout history.

I say, find truth. Find your truth. Exercise your mind by standing firm against the phantoms of fear within. Practice not overcoming fear, but simply not buying into the illusions of fear. Step out of the delusions you’ve built in your mind based on the histories of fear throughout your life. Don’t allow fear to control your judgments. This is no easy task, to be sure.

I view creativity as a means to challenge our illusions and delusions. After all, this planet is filled with 7+ billion people, each one of us owning our own brand of “crazy.” We’re like snowflakes, no two exactly alike. We need to embrace our personal brand of crazy, which means embracing ourselves for who we are not for who we want others to believe we are, I feel we step into our opportunity to defeat the illusions of fear foisted upon us as well as the delusions we’ve taken to heart.

When you write, write with the knowledge that your personal brand of crazy stands just as viable in this world as anyone else’s. Seek truth and work to recognize when you’re being manipulated. If the media, corporations, or government say something, you know immediately you’re being manipulated. Step back and ask yourself what their agenda entails. Understand these three entities love us to be at odds with each other because that keeps our attention off them. When you write, even in your fiction, write from a perspective of truth and work to deny the illusions of fear. Definitely, work to avoid creating delusions as protection from all the fear tossed your way.

Let’s allow ourselves to write outside the parameters of who we’re told we should be. Let’s write outside the parameters of fear placed upon us by those who would have our voices quelled. Let’s work at exploring truths more than buying into illusions and delusions.

Just sayin’…

 

 

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Writing a Book

hand writingLet’s talk “writing a book” for a few minutes. I’ve written around twenty books in my life. Nothing huge about that. Isaac Asimov, one of my scifi heroes wrote something like 500 books in his lifetime.

But for someone who aspires to write their first book, my 20 manuscripts must seem like a dream. That’s one of the factors I must guard against – downplaying my knowledge and assuming others know what I know. In order for me to help people get their books written, I must identify what holds them back and what keeps them from loving the process.

Yes, there are a number of universal mindsets that must be addressed like their internal judge and critic. We all possess them. Those voices in our heads which handcuff us and deter us from our higher potentials. That’s why I have adopted the “book coach” identifier. Anyone may play basketball, but how do they succeed in getting out every day and doing the things necessary to achieve their goal?

The same is true for a book. Anyone may write a book, but how do they succeed in getting up every day and doing the things necessary to achieve their goal? In basketball, there are quite a number of fundamental things needed to get the basics of playing the game down so that you may move one to higher levels of play. In writing, there are quite a number of fundamental things needed to get the basics of pulling a book out of your brain so that you may then have a product you may take to higher levels.

I taught classes for years on “How to Write Your Book in 30 Days.” I still teach it, but now as a one-on-one coaching format. I’ve found being able to tailor the class or “workshop” to the individual is much more beneficial for the writer. I’ve helped over 100 people get their books written, many of them now with multiple books. Transitioning to a “consultant” format has had its challenges, but now I’m comfortable with new “delivery system” so to speak.

Writing a book does not have to be some huge monstrosity of trial and struggle. In fact, writing a book should be joyful, exciting, engaging, and rewarding. That’s what I work to achieve with my clients – not only the ability to get the work done but to love the process as you progress. If you desire to write a book and you need help, here’s my webpage – Michael Ray King.

 

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I’ll Work Hard to Not Make This About Death…

Michael Ray King 300dpiLife cycles. We’re born. We live. We die.

Depending on who you speak with, we do or do not have any say in our birth. Depending on who you talk to, we do or do not have any say on when we die or that our “worldly” death is “real” or “the end.” I’m not going to make a call on either of those, mainly because my view is just as viable as anyone else’s.

That in-between part, though, is something to deal with. Imogene Coon died a couple years ago. I just learned of this recently. I am saddened as I remember her as a vibrant 6th-grade teacher at Dunbar Elementary School. She was wise, kind, and an excellent teacher. At twelve years old I never dreamed I would be thinking of her 46 years later, much less that she would be dead.

Our lives intersected for that one year. That was it. But now, in a manner of thinking, they’ve intersected again. I wonder what went on in her life. I wonder what joys and sorrows passed through her heart. I wonder if her years of teaching were rewarding. Yes, I do wonder if she remembered me at any point, or was I lost in the hundreds and hundreds of students who passed through her classrooms.

As the title states, I’ll work hard to not make this about death. But what I will do is make this about time and accomplishment. No matter what perspective you have on birth and death, while in this mortal body, we own expiration dates. The question becomes, in my mind, what are we to do? What am I to do?

This morning I picked a book up off my bookcase a began reading. This is a book I have not read in 50 years. Yes, that places me in about the 2nd or 3rd grade. The book was written in 1936. I remember adoring this book as a child. Something about the stories in it captured me and planted seeds of the joys of reading in my soul. Somehow the book survived a half century of moves and opportunities to be destroyed or lost by my own children growing up.

I realized this morning that none of my children ever got the chance to read it. I wonder if they would have loved it as I did. I am saddened they missed the opportunity. I’ve read the first 51 pages and I am enjoying the experience once again.

This is a writer’s blog, and yes, I am getting to my point. A good number of my teachers and even classmates are no longer with us in this life, at least in the tangible, mortal bodies. Did all these people whom I cared for and intersected with, accomplish their goals? Did they keep striving throughout their lives? Did illness rob them of their final years? Were they satisfied with their scope of accomplishments or were there many things left undone.

I’m sure my good friend Humberto, who died young in his thirties, did not accomplish all he set out to do. I look at my life, and if I live to be 100, I could never accomplish what I desire to accomplish. This can cause debilitation. Depression. Demotivation. A sense of hopelessness.

What I personally do with what time remains in my life I own. No one else. I either step up and make things happen, or I waste away in apathy and slothfulness and underachieve. Does this matter to the world? Absolutely not. 100 years from now, no one will care. Hell, I likely will not be mentioned or thought of again on planet earth. I will be lost among the uncounted humans who lived and died in the century after my death.

But this does matter to me. And possibly some of the folks around me with intersecting lives. Imogene Coon impacted me all those years ago. So did my friend Humberto and so many others. So did Professor Pat Urbas who encouraged me to take on “writing as a vocation” in 1979. I cannot discount the fact that I am intersecting with people daily. As do you.

What are we passing on, and are we actually helping people? How much of what I desire to accomplish in the days remaining me will I actually pursue?

My view stands that we each own a story. Most likely many stories. Many of us get to the place where we desire to pull these stories out from within and share with the world. I know I like to think of writing as somewhat of a form of immortality. This most likely will not happen in the sense that 100 years from now no one will even know I existed, but the key factor for me is that I know, and I have something to say.

Fortunately, I am not alone in this view. Countless millions desire the same. Should you be one of those people, take heart. You will most likely reach a point where you realize you will never be able to accomplish everything in life you desire. This is no cause to give up or surrender. This is every reason to step out, bold, intent, and motivated to make as much impact on your life and your words as possible.

After all, Imogene Coon taught me that peer pressure and honesty are two very powerful aspects of life and I need to heed this knowledge and make excellent choices. Humberto taught me many things, as I hope I taught him some as well. Humberto taught me a level of integrity at around fifteen-years-old that I strive to carry with me at all times to this day. And Pat Urbas. She inspired me. She breathed a dream into me that last day of the semester at WV Institute of Technology in 1979.

I had a bit of a college crush on her. She was beautiful. Intelligent. Then, to top it all off, she loved the first real short story I recall writing. She loved it so much, she told me to pursue my talent. She was able to feel the passion I developed writing “A Race Against Love.” She saw something in me and took the time to pass on her observation. She will live on in me as long as I possess the breath to tell people.

Those 100+ people who’ve written books through my help actually perpetuate Par Urbas even if they do not realize it. Even though I mention her in most every writing workshop I facilitate, they never met her and won’t remember her name. The seed she planted, however, lives on through me and I have been able to plant 100’s of seeds so far with hopefully 1000’s to come.

The book I’m reading from my childhood is titled, “If I Were Going” by Mabel O’Donnell and Alice Carey. They planted seeds. They blossomed in my young self and delivered a joy for reading. Imogene Coon and Humberto are dead, yet they live within me. Part of who I am grows from them. Pat is still here and so am I. I’m not sure what she is doing, but her teaching and encouragement live in me as well.

Most writers I know, hell, all of them, struggle to write at times. We suffer from all manner of psychological and emotional issues which vex us and work to deter us from our desire to write. My most fulfilling work of my entire lifetime is spent helping people overcome these issues and get their books written. This is my joy, my passion, and one of my primary motivations in life. We each possess the ability to make our choices to write. Most of us need some help, motivation, inspiration and encouragement. That’s one of the reasons I’m here.

I challenge you. Whatever your beliefs about birth and death to me are immaterial. What about where you’re at right this moment? What about your LIFE? What about your dreams and aspirations?

I encourage you to get your stories out of you. Share with the world. Help build something through words. If you’ve made it this far through this post, you must be a reader and most likely a writer looking for something to hold on to. You can write your book/story/essay/poem/screenplay. The question becomes, will you? If you need help, that’s what I’m here for. Check out my site. Michael Ray King

Whatever you do, please make certain you don’t leave your best undone. That’s where I’m at. I may not be able to accomplish everything I desire, but I will not leave my best work undone. Whether that work is mine or helping someone else accomplish their best work is immaterial. Write your stories and thrill to their highs and lows, their ebbs and flows, and have them sing to the world in the manner that pleases you. You can do this.

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Conversation With My Inner Writer

hand writingI enjoyed a fun little writing exercise where I accessed a conversation with my “inner writer.” The exercise began with my inner writer speaking to me about when we first met. I found the conversation revealing, warm, comfortable, and even surprising in places. What follows is the transcript of our dialogue:

Inner Writer: “I came into your life in a truly apparent manner while writing that short story, “A Race Against Love” in Pat Urbas’ class in 1979. More accurately, however, the seeds of our relationship were planted in all the books you read leading up to that short story.

I realize you loathed English classes all the way through high school. All the while, though, I was teaching you a joy of words and writing which your teachers at that point in your life could not accomplish.

Me: Do you remember Marilyn and Kris’s reaction to “A Race Against Love?”

Inner Writer: “Of course! It felt good, didn’t it?”

Me: Absolutely! I was so into the creation of the “story world” and the interaction of the characters. Marilyn was the love interest in the story.”

Inner Writer: “Yes, but don’t discount the writing and her reaction simply based on that. It was a great story.”

Me: “I shouldn’t have changed the ending. I wanted him to die.”

Inner Writer: Understood. But Marilyn was your muse in human form and when she asked for a happy ending, she was teaching you about “market.” That does not mean you have to acquiesce to market, just be aware that most people want a happy ending.”

Me: “True. And the adjustment was simply an added paragraph written like an epilogue. That’s why I understand what I do today more clearly. I should trust you more.”

Inner Writer: “That’s a refreshing statement. It would be nice if you maintained that mindset of trusting me more. I will not let you down as long as you approach me in that manner.”

Me: So where do we go from here? With all the life concerns like time (not getting any younger), finances, crazy ex, children, relationships, exhaustion – how do we get together more often?”

Inner Writer: “You’re doing it right now.”

Me: “That’s not fair. This is a gathering of people where I must participate along with them.”

Inner Writer: “Yes. And you’re doing it.”

Me: “Ok. Ok. I get it. But…”

Inner Writer: “You know better. No ‘buts’.”

Me: “So you’re suggestion I make time for you again.”

Inner Writer: “You did it for Michele and her 31 poems.”

Me: “Hmm. Like Marilyn.”

Inner Writer: “Yep.”

Me: “But this writing was so much better – the Michele writing.”

Inner Writer: “Absolutely. I’m not knocking it, I’m encouraging it. If Michele spurs you to write, I’m all for it. But you need more than Michele. You have unfinished writing business.”

Me: “True that. I see. And today, I made myself get up at 5:00am to prep and write for this mini workshop. That’s what I should be doing every day.”

Inner Writer: “That’s my point. If you can rally yourself to this for others, you just need to get to where you do it for us.”

Me: “We’re a good team.”

Inner Writer: “The best!”

Me: “The things I want to write and the worlds I want to create…”

Inner Writer: “All go to the graveyard at the rate you’ve fallen to…”

Me: “Little harsh?”

Inner Writer: “Truth hurts. More importantly, truth opens the eyes to what needs to be done. For us, what needs done is fun!”

Me: “Damn straight! I’m enjoying this conversation, by the way.”

Inner Writer: “We have this conversation every time you let go. Every time you give yourself permission to write. Every time you act on that permission. Truly, you are your own best ally.”

Me: “I see what you did there.”

Inner Writer: “Yes, but did you feel what I did there?”

Me: “Yes, I am my own best ally. No one else can move me like I can.”

Inner Writer: “True. Michele can indeed move you, but underlying that fact is your permission to allow her to do so. And then, you and I are along for the ride!”

Me: “I see. So the external muse is merely that, external, albeit a powerful one in Michele, and the depth of the muse lies within us, you and me.”

Inner Writer: “Did you hear that? “A you and a me’ – yours and Michele’s major bonding statement. Do not underestimate her wealth of writing power simply because she’s external. She is as close as one can be to being your internal muse.”

Me: “So I should access her more often?”

Inner Writer: “Not more often, but incorporate her assistance whenever possible.”

Me: “Interesting exercise, this. I’m motivated to get up early to write again!”

Inner Writer: “That was the point.”

Me: “Got it.”

Inner Writer: “Anything else we wish to speak about?”

Me: “I’m sure there are many, many things I’d like to discuss, but for now I’m good.”

Inner Writer: “Remember, I’m here anytime you call on me. I even ask you to join me. Most often I’m ignored.”

Me: “Wow. I want to do something about that.”

 

 

 

Categories: General Post, Writing A Book | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Intellectual Property and the Uninitiated

GoWriteBookCoverCroppedFront96dpiTime can lend life a larger, more interesting aspect when you step back and take a good gander at it. I often mention I’ve been on my “writing” journey for 17 years from the moment I was conscious after a near-death surgery in 1999. The truth, and for me the more interesting aspect of my life, is that my writing journey truly identifies itself in 1979 when Professor Pat Urbas told me, “Mike, you should consider writing as a vocation.”

I’ve tended to dismiss this “beginning point” simply because I did not pursue the “business” side of writing until I almost died. Yet, those 20 years leading up to the operating table taught me many wonderful things, like self-expression without the intrusion of critics. Yes, I was a closet writer.

I truly own nearly 40 years of writing experience. That number boggles my mind. I’ve been paid for my writing for nearly 15 years. I’ve been in publishing for over a decade. That’s a lot of knowledge!

I discovered what I love and I love helping people get their books from their mind/heart to the page. That’s what I do. With this comes the struggle.

My mentor got to a point in the mid-2000’s where he got irked at people sitting with him and picking his brain for hours … for free. I’ve come to a place where I understand his frustration. I spent the largest portion of my life in love with writing. I’ve actually taken writing on as a vocation as Ms. Urbas suggested.

There’s a threshold at which you arrive when you take on the business of “intellectual property.” I own a knowledge that others appear to believe I can give away for free. I would love to be able to do so but I am as yet not independently wealthy. I teach what I’ve learned to others to feed, clothe, and house myself and my family. If I sit for hours answering question after question after question of what I’ve learned in 38 years with no compensation, my family and I would be homeless, ragged, and starving.

Charging people for intellectual property is tough, especially if you’re a giving soul. Pricing is also tough. But the most strenuous hurdle to overcome is, without a doubt, explaining to someone who does not know anything about the business. I want to explain about the hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades I’ve put into acquiring this knowledge. The thousands upon thousand of dollars going to conferences, classes, paid consulting (yes, I’ve had to do what they’re doing).

What I’ve found is that people don’t want your sob story. They don’t possess an experience level to even understand what I’m talking about much of the time.

I’m left with the uncomfortable transition to charging for what I once gave away for free. I have decided that I will schedule a half-hour interview with prospective clients so they may get a sense of who I am and what I do. I want to educate and assist.  This way, they may decide to work with me or not, and I them.

Most people today are accustomed to someone working in a building trading hours for dollars. They do not understand the value of intellectual property, that is, until they need it. Then, far too often. people want it for free.

I’ve been a sucker many times, sitting for hours teaching people things they need to know. But did I truly help them? My assessment is no. They only nabbed a snippet of a large and complex industry which eats writers up and spits them out as discarded refuse at an alarming rate. There was no structure. No plan. No milestones set. No follow-up. In essence, we wasted their time and mine.

Michael Ray King 300dpiA person who pays for knowledge is far more prone to put action to said knowledge than the one who receives it for nothing. Another tough lesson I’ve learned.

I’ve made my peace with my consulting transition. I’ve had people get mildly indignant about me charging for consulting fees, but they would only have wasted their time and mine. I’m interested in helping those who truly intend to invest themselves into writing as a vocation. Everyone who writes does not necessarily do this. Many people simply want to write for themselves. Nothing wrong with that at all. I desire to work with writers who aspire to get their work out into the world. That’s my happy place. It’s my passion. It’s what I do.

If you or someone you know needs help getting their book written, contact me at: Author@MichaelRayKing.com.  My consulting page on my website is located at: MichaelRayKing

I help people get their books written…and I love doing it! 🙂

 

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