Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Guest: Alicia Singleton

Alicia Singleton’s Recipe for Keeping Sane While Writing Your Bestselling Novel

“Mom, can you play catch with me?” “Honey, what’s for dinner?” “Do you have a couple of minutes to talk?” “You know that writing stuff is just a hobby. Come on, let’s go out.”

Sound familiar?

You’re a writer. You want to finish the novel that’s been kicking around in your head, but you can’t find the time, the energy or sometimes, the motivation. The kids are pulling you in one direction, the job in another, hubby or wifey in another, then there’s the well meaning friends and family members. The Dream Snatchers. You know the people who laugh at your dream of becoming a published author.

Over the past 18 years, I’ve had these same things happen to me, so I understand the frustration. Even through full time jobs, the start of a full time business, home schooling a child, civic and church activities, I finished my novel. Here are some tips to help reach your goal.

Dream Management Tips

Quiet the negative roar:

Limit your conversations with naysayers. Set limits and expectation on how people will treat you. It may take time, but it’ll be worth the peace of mind you’ll receive and it safeguards your dream from dream killers.

Find support:

Take a writing class. Start a critique group by placing an ad in your community paper. Join a writing organization and network. Seek out like minded and like genre writers. You’ll become each other’s support system, you’ll begin to educate yourself about the writing process and the writing industry, and network with industry professionals.

Believe in yourself and nourish your dream:

The mind is a very powerful tool. It can wage war on a dream or bring a dream to fruition. Often, being alone with the negative voices in your head will kill a dream faster than any nay saying outside influence. Train your mind to bring about your dream. For the next 21 days, before you get out of bed, take 30 to 45 seconds to train your mind with positive affirmations. They don’t have to be eloquent. Here are a few: I refuse to accept the possibility of the death of my dream. Desire backed by faith knows no such word as impossible. Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds. Throughout the day, if a negative thought about your writing pops into your mind, say your affirmations. Saying these out loud several times a day may seem silly, but believe me, they work.

Time Management

Schedule or parish:

Do you have time on the weekends to write? Is late night a better time to squeeze in an hour per day? Will the early morning hours afford you an hour or two to work on your manuscript? Ask yourself, ‘When do I have at least an hour to write?’ Be realistic or you’ll be disappointed when you don’t reach your goal. Once you find that time, sanction it as your writing work time then follow these steps:

A. Write your daily writing work schedule down on your calendar.

B. Make the commitment. During that time you will sit down

and plot, do character sketches, talk a conflict-driven scenes into a tape

recorder, edit and write, write, and write some more. (I spoke the

majority of Dark Side of Valor into a tape recorder then transcribed it

onto my computer. It’s easier for me because, like a movie, I see the

scene images in my mind, close my eyes and talk what I see, hear, smells,

taste, and feel through the characters. I recorded during lunch breaks, in

my car, anywhere that I had a free moment. Everyone’s different. Find

out what works for you.)

C. If you’re likely to be disturbed, post an, Author at Work. Do Not

Disturb, sign on your closed door and let the answering machine or

voice mail pick up your calls. This is your work schedule, so treat it as if

you’re leaving the house to go to work. Set limits and expectations and

stick to them.

D. Form a habit to work on your writing at least 5 days a week, even if

it’s for 30 minutes or 1 hour a day.

Your manuscript is waiting. Its calling to you, Finish me! Finish me! You can go crazy trying to eke through it or you can take the sane way out. Complete your novel. Your dream awaits!

Click here to enter The Dark Side of Valor Contest for chance to win $125 in Visa Gift Cards!

Want to read a page-turning thrill ride? Pick up a copy of Alicia’s award winning suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor.

“A well-paced novel of suspense that veers into romance and ends like a thriller.”

Kirkus Reviews

Order Dark Side of Valor today at:


Barnes & Noble

Indie Bound

or wherever books are sold.

Visit Alicia’s website:

Email Alicia at:

By her sophomore year in college, Alicia Singleton knew she was born to be a writer. Too intimidated to change her major, she continued her nursing studies and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1987. Many years later, the dream deferred became reality when her debut novel, Dark Side of Valor, won the Sistah Circle National Book Club Best Thriller Award. Alicia was also awarded the National Association of Women Writers Award of Excellence from the Maryland Chapter.

Alicia resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son and is hard at work completing her next suspense novel.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting Alicia today, Denyse!


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