Instagram Book Photo Contest Update!

Hey guys! I’ve decided to extend my Instagram Book Photo Contest that I am hosting to November 27th, 2017. This will allow for everyone to have more time to purchase one of my books, take their creative picture, and post it on Instagram for a chance to win a free Microsoft Word copy of whichever one of my books they do not already own. The following are the rules. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you!

The Rules:

1.) Purchase either the paperback or Kindle version of my book Rest in Piece or Abstract Clarity. Books can be purchased on Amazon.com or here.

2.) Take a creative Fall picture featuring one of my books. Again, the photo can feature the paperback or Kindle version of the book.

3.) Post the photo on Instagram and use hashtag #bwginsburgcontest

*Winner will receive the original Microsoft Word copy of my book that they do not already own. For example, if you post a picture of my novel, Rest in Piece, you will receive a free Microsoft Word copy of my short story, Abstract Clarity. If your picture is of Abstract Clarity, you will win a free Microsoft Word copy of Rest in Piece.

Feel free to visit my Instagram page at b.w.ginsburg48

 

Trust Your Instincts!

I learned an important lesson the other day.

As many of you may know, I’d been struggling with my current work in progress. My plan for the novel was to write it a little differently than my other two books, so naturally I was a bit worried. Self-doubt caused me to start over from the beginning twice and let me tell you, each time I rewrote the draft, I was even more unhappy than I was with the previous copy. In the end, I realized that my first draft was indeed the best and that nothing was really wrong with it. In fact, I liked how it had turned out.

As writers, we all half self-doubt. Is our work good enough? Is it something people will want to read? Will it get decent reviews? Are we talented enough to pull this off? All of these questions enter our minds as we write our hearts out. There is nothing wrong with wanting to put our best foot forward, but sometimes we overthink our writing so much, that we end up digging our own holes. The deeper we dig, the harder it is to get ourselves out.

I decided that I needed to let things go. I decided that the more I nitpicked at every single sentence I wrote, the worse things were going to get. You know what? I was right. I read over my original draft and really liked it. I was almost upset that I wasted my time doubting myself. Instead of obsessing over whether or not my writing was good enough, I could have been working on my original draft. Sometimes we just need to step back and trust our instincts. I realized that I’m a good writer and although I’m not perfect, I should allow myself to write without thinking too much about what I’m putting down on paper. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t care, but we shouldn’t convince ourselves that we’re not talented, when in reality, just the opposite is true!

 

What I Read And Why

Recently, on Instagram, I mentioned how I keep changing my mind about what book I’m currently reading. While I know that some readers tend to completely finish a book, whether they like it or not, I tend to go a different route. If I start reading something and know I’m not enjoying it, I stop right away.

Each and every reader has specific preferences when it comes to what we read. Whether a certain genre, way of writing, or even author, we all have different tastes. For example, I’m a big fan of thriller novels. This doesn’t mean that those are the only types of books I like to read, but the majority of them do fall under that category. Also, I like to read books that are clear and succinct, and while I don’t mind when authors use large words, I don’t like when the language is confusing or complicated. I think that a book should be enjoyed, and not so hard to understand that it takes away from the story.

Another example of what I’m talking about is the following. I began reading Stephen King’s, Lisey’s Story. I admit, I didn’t get very far at all. I didn’t like the writing – it was jumbled, confusing, and in a way I can’t totally explain – odd. I had been so excited to read the book; the plot seemed interesting and I do think that Stephen King is a fantastic writer. It might seem like I was hasty to give up on such a famous author’s book, but I simply didn’t want to spend the time reading a book I didn’t enjoy. So now, instead, I’m reading Clive Cussler’s, The Wrecker, which I am confident I will like.

I think it’s great that many readers stick with what they start – truly, I do. I’ve just always been someone who reads what I like and only that. I don’t really like forcing myself to read something unless I absolutely have to, especially when it comes to reading for fun. I think that the whole point of reading for the sake of enjoyment is to read something you genuinely care for, not just because you feel obligated to the story or author to finish their work.

I’m curious, what types of books do you prefer to read? Are you someone who when you start a book, likes to finish it no matter what, or will put it down if they’re not enjoying it?

Pushing Yourself To Write

I have mixed feelings about forcing oneself to write. When I was younger, I used to focus a lot on counting words – I don’t do that anymore. Unless I’m writing for a contest where there’s a minimum/maximum amount of words one can write in order to be eligible to win, I really don’t concern myself with word count. Another area in which I don’t believe in pushing oneself to write is when you absolutely, positively do not feel like writing. I strongly believe that writing should be something that one enjoys – something that one wants to do.

Let me be clear. The above statement does not mean that I don’t think writers should never force themselves to sit down and work. Especially lately, I’ve been putting off working on my current work in progress. Why? Because the writing process seems more difficult than with my previous works. This story has many plots, parts, and the writing style is more complex. Do I want to write this story? Absolutely! Am I excited to see the finished product? One hundred percent, yes! The problem (or rather, the truth of the matter), however, is that in order to finish a project, you have to work on it!

Sometimes we don’t feel like writing. Sometimes we’re too scared that we’ll write something and mess up what we already have. As stated by Scott Berkun (a quote I recently saw on Instagram), “It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s the fear of not writing well; something quite different.”

It’s hard at times not to fear poor writing. After all, our goal as writers is not just to write, but to write well enough that others will want to read our work. Remember that there is no rush when writing whatever you’re writing. Remember that if you take your time, work consistently, and have faith in yourself, you can and will write something that you’re proud of!

 

 

Interview With Author N.M. McGregor

Hey everybody! I have just finished reading N.M. McGregor’s novel, West End Montana, the first book in a series about a spunky and independent teenager who must navigate the daily tides of life. McGregor does a wonderful job of creating a character and plot that we as readers can relate to in various ways. Today I have the pleasure of speaking to this wonderful author. 

B.W. : Nadine, Montana’s character is strong-willed, independent, and curious. Do you see yourself in her? Who was your inspiration for this character? 

N.M. : That is an excellent question. I think it was Jack Kerouac, that said we are whom we write. I would say that the makeup of who Montana is, how she deals with struggles and her unique system for surviving a very tough environment is very much based on my own tenacity growing up.

B.W. : Montana has a very interesting family dynamic – a whole household of brothers! Is this similar to your own family?

N.M. : I have twins, boy and girl, and two additional sons. I definitely used a lot of the twin dynamic from observing my twins, however, the characters themselves are not.

B.W. : Montana is a character that many people can relate to. Did you find yourself learning anything from her, maybe something you didn’t expect?

N.M. : yep, she has her crap together, probably more than most, and I never saw her as that until I read her story. She is very brave and she is strong and she is compassionate, those qualities in her will often make up for the lack of other qualities that society may find more meaningful.

B.W. : Where did you get the idea for West End Montana?

N.M. : I read the Outsiders when I was 14 and fell in love with the characters and the simplicity of the language. I think Susie E. Hinton is brilliant and I wanted something similar. Montana is part of a series, book one is very much done in a diary style, and we move away from that he said, she said conversational dairy style writing in book 2. In essence, the novels grow with her maturity and experience. Also, I very much wanted to honour where I come from. My tribe from Vancouver B.C. they are an awesome, crazy, eclectic crew who warms my heart. The experiences, for the most part, are true and did occur, the school was my school I was a cheerleader, etc. So much of the truth is sandwiched in a fictitious storyline.

B.W. : West End Montana is the first novel in a series. What interests you about writing a series as opposed to a standalone novel?

N.M. : I think ‘stand alone’ novels are great too. I have a novella coming out, The Moon Goddess Chronicles that is about a lovely yogi named Suri. I really believe for me the difference between a novel and a series is based on how much the character has to say. I think of how much time I invested reading the Outlander series which is great writing. Had there been one book I would have been very disappointed. I wanted to know the long story of Jaime and Claire. I believe when folks ready about Montana, they will want the same thing with her and Adam, they want to follow them to the end. That sometimes takes a few books.

B.W: What do you hope readers will gain from your work?

N.M. : I think there is a huge opportunity for women to see there are varying ways to show strength in character….I also believe that there is an opportunity for parents to learn their children and communication tools are abundant in this story. Also, no matter where you come from, or what happens to you, its okay. You’re not broken, only chipped and that adds to the flavour of who you are. A sense of unpredictable power as possessed by the main character.  An unusual presence of mind in someone who isn’t a super hero but lives larger than most people. A view into a world with few rules, that change in a heartbeat.  A struggle to find real connections and live with a sense of purpose and justice that comes at a cost.

B.W. What excites you most about the rest of the Montana series?

N.M. A chance to blend personal experience with fantasy.  To remember people and places and say “What if…?” and fill in the blanks.  It’s an escape and a journey into a world that allows me to makes sense of the one I live in.

INSTAGRAM HALLOWEEN PHOTO CONTEST!

Hey everyone! Great news! From now until November 13th, you can win a free original Microsoft Word copy of one of my books! Here’s how to participate:

1.) Own one of my books (Purchase here!)

2.) Take a creative Halloween picture with the book.

3.) Post picture on Instagram with #bwginsburgcontest

*WINNER WILL RECEIVE ORIGINAL MICROSOFT WORD COPY OF BOOK THEY DO NOT ALREADY OWN!*

GOOD LUCK!

-B.W. Ginsburg

 

 

 

Why Honesty Is The Best Policy

Let’s talk honesty. Let’s talk kindness and respect. Let’s talk about how we should use both of them when sharing our opinions.

When someone asks for our opinion about their writing (or really anything), I firmly believe that honesty is always the best policy. Period. However, I also believe that we should share that honesty in a kind and respectful way. For example, if we read a book and we don’t care for it, I don’t think we should say something like: “Your writing is awful! or “Your plot makes no sense!”. Rather, we should find a nice, but honest, way of expressing our feelings.

Honesty is the best policy for many reasons. Most writers and authors (including myself) want to know how they can improve their writing. We take our work seriously and we don’t want people to say they like our writing just to spare our feelings. Simply being kind without honesty does not help us become better writers, it merely makes us feel that there is nothing we need to work on. For most of us, we want to be the best we can be. This doesn’t mean we have to point out every little flaw to each other, but it does mean that if we don’t like something and we think it’s relevant to mention, that we should.

Honesty, however, is very different from going out of your way to be hurtful. Like I said, there is a huge difference between being honest in a kind, helpful way and just being cruel. So when someone asks for your opinion or a review, tell them the truth, but try to do so in a considerate manner. Chances are that the writer will appreciate you taking the time to discuss any issues with them while also, of course, appreciating your kindness while doing so.

The bottom line is this – don’t be afraid to be honest. Just do so in a way that is respectful.