donovanmneal

Archive for January, 2014|Monthly archive page

How to shout in a black church. Smile give your teeth some air!

In Controversy is Christian on January 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm

I love the church.  I love the culture of the church.  White, African-american,Asian, etc.  Over my years I’ve been to many churches both mega churches and store fronts.  I will always have a special love for the African american segment of the body of Christ.

When you go to a black protestant church there a couple things you can usually expect.  Good music, a good word where the speaker reads the Bible, and if one of the local congregations let their “hair down”.  You might even see people dance. Now I’ve seen dances in the club and I’ve seen dances in the church.  So for a light hearted look at my own people.  (You have to be able to make fun of yourself!) Enjoy this wonderful little video that this group has put together that simply shines a humorous mirror at a tiny piece of what is sometimes the African american church experience.

This video has been viewed over a million times.  And deservedly so.  Have fun.  I found out which dances I’ve done.  Did you find yours?

To my wonderful white brethren in the body of Christ…its OK to laugh….we laugh at it too.  🙂

D

 

What it is like to be a writer.

In On writing, Personal on January 14, 2014 at 5:38 am
Revision doesn't have to be hard.

Revision doesn’t have to be hard.

I was once asked what it was like to be a writer.  And though I would never presume to speak for all writers.  I can definitely comment on my own experience.

Writing my novel was a labor of love.  Honestly, I don’t know if I should put more emphasis on the labor or the love part of that statement.

It meant being alone a lot.  Thinking about how subject matter should and could be tackled.  It meant discovering what the Bible had to say about the subject I was writing and what level of creative license I would take to explore things the Biblical text did not address.

It meant envisioning a world that I had never seen but only heard and read about.  Creating personalities, as opposed to automatons.  Characters that you might emphasize with, laugh with, champion, and learn to hate. It meant creating a world that was simple enough that people could engage in and view the movie that played in my head.  It meant asking what was this characters conflict?  What could prevent them from achieving their goals.  Figuring out plot lines. Learning more about grammar.  Realizing my limitations and seeking out more information.  It meant writers block, trying to figure out what ‘writers block’ was, and learning to overcome it.  It meant being disciplined sometimes, and not others.  It meant counting words, and seeing if I progressed today.  Figuring how to transition between scenes, how long chapters should be.  If the verbiage sounded right, or not write at all.  It meant, reading my work so much that I got tired of reading it.  To write 5, even 10 pages of text, then realize its drivel, and to delete a days or more work.

That’s some of the labor part.

Writing a novel is bringing something from nothing into reality.  It is just a concept, an idea, but to finally hold the completed work in your hand.  It’s an awesome feeling.  It’s an awesome feeling when you go to the copyright offices website and register your book.  It’s an awesome feeling when you see the cover of your novel for the first time.  It’s an harrowing endeavor to hand it over to an editor and then get it back knowing that you have to remove scenes or other bits of dialogue that don’t make sense.

It’s a nerve wracking experience to send out query letters to agents, and essentially trying to sell them to “pick me!” “pick me!”.  It’s painful when your work is rejected.  And then making the decision to do it again.  And again…and again….and again.  It’s a sense of wow, now how do I get this in the hands of readers?  It’s the soberness that comes when you realize that, your book is but one book out of the millions on Amazon.  When you realize, you need to start a business if you want to actually sell the book.  That you are more than a writer.  You are an authorpreneur, a marketer, graphic design specialist, editor, publisher, lay out artist, publicist.   The revelation that the author hat is only one of a hydra of hats.

It’s exciting to see your name and have others see your book and say,” wow, you’re an author?”  Or “Did you write that?”  “Where can I get a copy?”  “What’s your book about?”  There is an inevitable smile that occurs when the statement or question is raised.

That’s some of the love part.

You are elated when you get a one page registration letter from the copyright office indicating that they have your book on file and it’s officially registered.  There is no greater feeling than when someone reads your book, and they tell you how exciting it was to read, or what they learned, or how amazed they were.  It hits you in the gut though when someone tells you it stinks.  If your like me in those moments you look then to some of your favorite writers and see that they too have bad reviews.  And then you accept the reality that you are indeed an author.  You’re not just a writer anymore.  But a published author.

You lament when you find errors you thought you had corrected, embarrassed over a plot hole that you can see but others can’t.  Cringe when someone tells you it’s not a book Christians should read. Then confused when other Christians love it and get exactly what you were writing at.  It’s then that you realize that you have moved beyond your comfort zone of your own world, into the big world of…well the world.

You are excited over every blog post comment, interaction with readers, more and more you get it.  You are constantly reminded why you wrote the book.  You look at sales numbers.  You learn how to market.  You make connections that help strengthen you and your team that assists you.  You wonder where family and friends are or not in talking about your endeavors.  You make new friends and associates.

You learn how much to talk about your book without crossing the line of bragging or spamming or being inordinate in the accomplishment and promotion of your work.  You wonder if you’re me how to balance scriptural principles you’ve learned with the business of promotion.

You stretch, you live, you cry, you wait…you do a lot of waiting.

You learn a lot about people, yourself, and the business. And when no one else is looking.  When all eyes are not looking at you.  You sit silently behind your keyboard, hearing the clitty tap, sound of your keys while you quickly attempt to place on ‘paper’ the rapidly developing pictures and dialogue that is flooding your mind and which sometimes you can’t get out of your head fast enough.  You backspace, and try not to edit, and then sometimes you do, but the words, nouns, and verbs leap off the page screaming for you to allow them to live, to tell the next story.  To be part of the next piece of creative written prose given to you.  They scream with every stroke of deletion, lamenting in anguish that they have failed to be apart of the creative world you are imagining.  Yet others are arranged in such a way that they collectively sing in choral praise, excited to be brought forth into the world.

And that’s what its like to be a author.

And then you do it all over again.

 

D

1 Simple Way to Promote Your Book And Gain Credibility As An Author

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

Today’s Resource Monday is a reblog of Ellechoir Media on 1 Simple Way to Promote Your Book And Gain Credibility As An Author. a great post!

TOP TEN: Publishing paradoxes and problems

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Excellent Post! So true!

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

1. We discount one-star reviews because of their typically venomous, dismissive hatred yet we read every one.

2. We strive to get on big media to help sell, but not much media is big anymore and it won’t move the sales needle anyway.

3. We hope to be picked up by old traditional media, but we’d connect with our audiences better and get more time, for free, going after podcasts.

4. We’re putting ourselves out there, daring to dream big, but get discouraged by people who do neither of those things.

5. We get jealous of the success of other authors when we should learn, emulate and be inspired.

6. We say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that’s what covers are for.

7. We spend time thinking about being a writer instead of writing.

8. We all hope to catch fire with our first book, but if…

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Reading is not writing. Only writing is

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2014 at 8:35 am

Reading is not writing. Only writing is writing. You don’t finish a novel by not writing. You only finish by writing. http://ow.ly/spdhf

Ready for the New Year!

In Personal, Uncategorized on January 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm

New Day_C_NV

Hey peeps, sorry I have been away for a bit, end of the year stuff and transitioning.

But I’m back and have plenty of things in the hopper.  After doing some soul searching I decided I needed to cut back on those things which were not productive for me.  So I have decided to stop writing for Examiner.com  I need the time to write and there’s so much going on with trying to promote my new novel that I need to really be selective on what endeavors I am going to engage in and which ones I am not.  So I had to let that go.

In any event, I am slowly building that authors platform people talk so much about.  It takes time and work.  But I’m up to the task.  I had a wonderful experience the other day where a client from my job called me and specifically called to comment about my novel.  The person had noticed it in my office and wanted to talk more about it.  I obliged her and it resulted in her coming by the office to pick up her own autographed copy!  A very cool authors moment.

Now that the new year has begun I have started the second in the series of books.  It has already taken a life of its own and is coming along well.  I hope to have the new trailer out to promote it.  Look for it on my website and here.

Going into 2014 well be talking about more topics related to Christianity and the news, more entertainment pieces, some author interviews, and of course select pieces of music, and personal pieces and of course writing tips and resources.

Alright I think  that about covers everything.  I’ll see you on Monday for that days writers resource!

Regards,

Donovan

What are the “stones of Fire”? Read Ez

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2014 at 8:02 am

What are the “stones of Fire”? Read Eze 28:14,16 read the epic tale for yourself! “page-turner!”, “Gripping” http://ow.ly/spd2f