Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How Can Writers Use Positive Thinking?

Many years ago, I challenged my online writing group to draft an end of the year review that outlined only the positives of their writing journey. They could share anything they wanted, but it had to be framed in a positive light. Not only did our members enjoy looking back in a positive way, they realized just how much they actually accomplished.

But what is positive thinking? How does it work?

What is Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking is more than just uttering a few happy words and then allowing your fears and self-doubt to take hold again. Positive thinking is a mental attitude that, with practice, allows you to have positive thoughts and uses daily affirmations to help you to see a positive outcome to almost every situation.

Judi Moreo, life coach and author of You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion & Power, encourages her readers to make conscious choices to think about themselves in a more positive light. Moreo says we must stop criticizing ourselves and demanding perfection in what we do, and that we need to change the mental pictures we have of ourselves. Through the use of daily affirmations and by visualizing our success, we can achieve the desired results.

Daily Affirmations and Creative Visualization

Daily affirmations are positive thoughts you can affirm throughout the day to uplift you and make you feel better about yourself. Judi Moreo uses them throughout You Are More Than Enough because, as she says, “Changing your life is a process.” Positive thinking isn’t something you can use randomly. If you want it to work, you have to practice it every day.

Moreo dedicates an entire chapter in her book to creative visualization. She says that you can use your imagination to create pictures of those things that you want “to be, do, and have.” On the flip side, you can also imagine that you aren’t able to accomplish what you want because you aren’t smart enough or good enough. Which person do you want to be?

How Positive Thinking Molds Your Future

If what we see is unmet goals, then there is no desire to move forward. Why would we expect anything to change? When we focus on all the good that came out of our efforts, not only do we feel a sense of accomplishment, we can consider changes to help us achieve more goals in the future.

How Can Writers Use Positive Thinking? 

At the beginning of this year you--hopefully--wrote down a list of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Then you broke down that list into smaller, more manageable chunks before creating weekly or daily to-do lists.

Look at your goals and all you’ve accomplished this year. What do you see?

My goals for 2018 included:

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents
GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM
GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs

So what have I accomplished?

GOAL 1 (not exactly)
GOAL 2 (yes)
GOAL 3  (mostly)

Clever Tom is a children's story I had a ton of fun writing. Something (I couldn't put my finger on what) held me back from submitting it to agents. I tweaked it and then tweaked it some more. I reread it numerous times. Finally, it hit me--it's too long. Just the other day, I sat down with the story again and made the last edits to cut out over 300 words.

Did I meet my goal? Not yet, but on a positive note the story is better because of it.

STORYSTORM is an annual event to generate story ideas. This year I met my goal of 30 story ideas for the month of January and celebrated with a great big ice cream sundae. Rewards help you accomplish more too!

When setting the third goal, I knew it was aggressive considering my limited writing time. But who doesn't love a challenge? I began time blocking my calendar more regularly and have increased my blogging time this year. That's a win as far as I am concerned.

Looking Forward

Use these last two months of 2018 to move ahead with a positive attitude and see what else you can accomplish before Father Time pushes us into the new year. This will give you a head start on practicing positive thinking by the time January rolls around. Then use daily affirmations to keep you focused on the positive and visualize your success.

You have the power to make 2019 your most productive year yet!

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, Amos Faces His Bully. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at and her children’s book blog at

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Promote that Book with a Short Story or Article

Promote that Book with a Short Story or Article

         An author toils and stresses to write a book. Every scene, every chapter links together to create the whole. If an artist paints a masterpiece, would he give pieces of it away? Then why should an author give parts of their masterpiece to people? Sure, people love things for free: I do. But, I don't want to give away bits and pieces of my books. Therefore, I write a short story that links to my novel or an article that links to my book and give those away.

         My first step for a short story to promote my newest novel, Burnt Offering, meant I had to pick which minor characters from the novel to use as main characters in the story. I chose two couples, parents and their son and his wife, who experience an event from the novel. Their experiences and perspective differ from that of the other characters even though they all are part of a devastating event. .

         In the 8th Century BC, King Ahaz offered one or more of his children to be burnt alive as an offering to the idol Moleck. His nobles and others in the kingdom followed his lead. The screams of babies and children, the stench of burning flesh, and the drums of priests trying to drown out the cries filled the Judean air on sacrifice days.

         In my novel the residents of Bethlehem refused to allow a statue of Moleck in their town, so the king had one built out of sight. One day, one the king's advisors and supporter of Moleck brought forces to Bethlehem to take children to be sacrificed. The novel shows some of the main characters who came to town for market caught and hiding but able to see and hear the horror. In the short story, characters who appear later, are also in town and observe the same horror.

          After the end of the story, I have information about the novel so that if readers are interested, they can find it.

         I printed copies to give at book events, to leave in libraries and bookstores, and to hand out at meetings. I give links on social media to allow people to download the story.

Short story, "Sacrafice," to promote novel Burnt Offering.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Writing Success - Do You Really Have the Power?

The question in the title has been asked for hundreds, probably thousands of years.

The simple truth of the matter is you have the power. You are in control of whether you become successful or not. Most of it has to do with your thought process.

Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

These two men were giants in the business world and they knew the power of positive thinking.

So, it’s easy to see that what you think has tremendous power over you and what you can accomplish.

But, how do you change your thought process?

The Fix

To get on the right track, you have to stop making excuses and playing the ‘woe is me’ card. Stop thinking and saying, “I can’t do it.”

It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, you have the ability to learn what you need to learn to do what you need to do to be successful.

Maybe you want to be a working freelance writer who actually gets gigs and earns a good living.

Maybe you want to be an author of an award-winning book and make money from that book, or use it to make money from opportunities that arise from writing a great book.

Maybe you want to have a successful business with 5, 10, 100, or 1000 employees.

Whatever you want to do . . . whatever you REALLY want to do . . . is possible to do.

But, there is a second part to the success process.

German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

Ah ha!

Are lights blinking and bells chiming?

You can wake up every morning and say I’m going to make $500 today, but if you don’t work toward that goal, you won’t make a penny.

It’s your thoughts in collaboration with your actions that will give you the ability to succeed.

Below is the two-part success process broken into eight bite-size steps.

8 Steps Towards Success

1. Decide what you really what to become or do.
2. Find out what’s needed to accomplish what you want.
3. Believe you can do it.
4. Learn whatever you need to learn to get started and move forward.
5. Take it a step further and become an expert in one particular niche or industry.
6. Prepare a detailed business plan with short and long term goals, along with actionable steps to accomplish those goals.
7. Work, work, work.
8. If you need help, get it.

Start your success process today and take your positive thoughts into the NEW year with you.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, successful children’s ghostwriter, and online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing. For must-know writing and marketing tips, get free access to The Writing World.