Now might be the time for stories…

How are you? I pray that you and your family are safe, protected, and healthy.

We’re all confined and quarantine to our homes now, and I could only imagine the bombardment of thoughts and feelings that you are going through right now. 

You’re probably feeling anxious, fearful, frustrated, and angry right now. I feel the same, and more. I’m feeling so many things all at once, but mostly I feel helpless as I sit and watch the news from the comfort of my home. 

So many people out there are losing so much. We all are. And we don’t know when or how this would end. 

We could only hope and pray, and try to be good people during bad times. 

But sometime during prayer, it hit me: 

What we’re going through right now as a nation, as humans, would someday be a part of history. And someday, many years down the line, people are going to want to know what happened to the world, to the different nations, to the different communities.

People are going to want stories. 

And while deep in reflection, I asked myself: 

What kind of stories am I telling now? 

What kind of stories are people going to read from me in the future?

What kind of life am I living now? Is it the kind of life that would inspire others at the moment, and in the future?

Friend, now might be a time for stories. 

I’m not saying that you should go and write a book now. What I’m saying is this:

Write your thoughts, your reflections, your fears and your anxieties. 
Write about what you did, what you want to do, what you’re doing to help. 
Write about what you want to do when all this is over.
Write about your feelings—purely and honestly, without restraint and without judgement.
Write down your prayers, your hopes, your dreams. 
Write about anything.
Write about everything.
Write.
Just write.

Here are a few reasons why we should write: 

1.Writing helps us makes sense of the world. 

There’s a lot of things we don’t understand right now. How did this happen? Why is this happening? What’s going to happen? 

These are just some of the questions that we’re asking now. 

Maybe we’ll find the answers. Maybe we won’t. But as we write, eventually, we’d come to a point of understanding, and hopefully, peace. 

2. Writing helps us makes sense of our thoughts and feelings.

We’re bombarded with a lot of thoughts, feelings, and anxieties. We fear for our world, our country, our community, our family, ourselves. A lot of businesses are in peril of shutting down and bankruptcy. A lot of people lost their jobs. How are people going to survive? How are we going to survive this? 

There’s a sense of collective fear and panic that’s looming all over us right now, and it’s taking toll on our minds, hearts, and souls. 

Writing about our thoughts and feelings would help us acknowledge the mess of thoughts that’s happening in our minds, and hopefully help us come to terms with them. 

Try a little bit of free-falling for a few minutes, just to help you dump out all your anxious thoughts and feelings onto paper. It wouldn’t solve anything at the moment, but at the very least, you will be able to bring to light the demons that are plaguing your mind. 

It’s easier to slay demons when you know what they are, right where you can see them. 

3. Writing helps us calm down and find peace.

The very act of writing helps us purge toxic thoughts and emotions. We won’t be able to calm down right after. The act of writing could be a violent act, especially if you’re writing down negative thoughts and emotions.

This could get very tiring, I’m afraid. 

But this could also be cleansing, purifying, and freeing. 

The stories that we write today will someday be stories that other people would read in the future. 

I’m going to ask you now, dear author friend: 

What stories are you writing now? 

Write beautiful words,
Karren

IMPORTANT P.S. A few months ago, I wrote and published a book called, unwritten: the five reasons why your dream book is still a dream and the five sure-fire steps to help you write and publish it. It’s up on Amazon and I’m giving it away for free from April 2, 2020 (Thursday) at 3PM up to April 6, 2020 (Monday) at 2:59PM.

Save the dates and click on this link to download it free on those dates.

This is something I’ve thought of doing for the writing community. I hope by doing this I could help you write your stories, and one day turn them into a book. 

Do you want a sample of it now? It’s an entire part of the book, so I’m sure it’ll help you. Download here to receive an entire section of the book. I’ve gotten feedback that this part alone has helped lots of authors, and I’d love for you to have it! Click on this link to get a copy now.

God bless us all! 

Now might be the time for stories… was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

It’s Not That We Don’t Have the Time… We Just Don’t Know Where Our Time Goes

Have you ever paused at the end of a long day and wondered, “Where has my time gone?” 

We wake up every morning, hustle through work and life, and at the end of the day, fall into bed exhausted and bewildered at what we were able to do. Some days, it feels as if we’ve done everything. Most days, it feels as if we’ve done nothing.

Have you ever had that feeling? Yung paged ka, alam mong ang dami mong ginawa, pero parang wala ka namang na-accomplish?

Ha ha. I’ve been there, felt that. 

But I’ve read this amazing book called, Get Your Shit Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do.

Such a long, long title, right? But it was a great hook for me, because like you, I’m too busy worrying about random things, so I fail to do what I need to do, and what I want to do. 

Which is, of course, write my book. 

“I don’t have the time,” most of us will say. 

“I don’t have the energy for it anymore,” some would mourn.

“My schedule is too crazy,” others would pipe in. 

But here’s what Sarah Knight says about time: We have it. We just don’t know where it goes, because we don’t take inventory of the things we do every day. 

Here are a few tips based on what Sarah Knight wrote, and based on what I experienced in my quest to make time for writing my dream book.  

  1. Take stock of all the things you do every day. All of it. 

Here’s the thing. If we know where our time goes, then we’d also know how to manage it. So for the next few days, list down your day-to-day activities/tasks/habits, and record how long it actually takes you to do it. For example, here’s the a probably daily schedule of a single working professional. (PROBABLE, okay? This is just an example, so don’t hurt me for this!) 

6:00 AM Wake up
6:15 AM Get up 
6:16 AM Prepare and eat breakfast
7:00 AM Take a bath
7:30 AM Get ready for work
8:00 AM Commute to work
10:00 AM Work (you’re late!) 
6:00 PM Commute back home
8:00 PM Dinner
9:00 PM Wind down
11:45 PM Sleep

You could probably break down the time spent at work into smaller time fragments, taking into consideration how long you do a particular task at work. I don’t want to get too technical in the example, but the point is, when you record your activities plus the time it takes for you to do them, then it would be easier for you to a) reconsider if you could take shorter time doing it, b) realize that there might be a lot of idle time scattered throughout your day, and c) realize the many things you probably shouldn’t be doing. If you remove those things from your daily schedule, then there you have it. You found the time to do the things you need or want to do. Which gets me to the next point…

  1. Consider the activities that you could actually do for a shorter amount of time… or even take off your list completely. 

Personally, when I took stock of my own time, I saw that I used to spend a lot of time browsing through my social networks, even in the middle of work or writing. I had to be honest with myself and write that down, in order for me to realize that, whoah, that’s a lot of browsing time that could have gone on to my book. I also realized that I kinda probably maybe slightly read too much. Hahaha. Maybe three hours too long? So I had to cut it down, either use some time for writing, or to actually sleep earlier, so I could wake up earlier and write in the morning.

You get my point, right? 

  1. See a window in your schedule, and set it as your “sacred writing time”.

There would be a window there, if you look hard enough. Say, for example, lunch time. You can spend maybe 10 to 15 minutes eating your lunch, and use the rest of the time working on your book. Maybe you can do what I did and hack off a few precious sleeping hours, so you can write first thing in the morning. You see, when you schedule your writing time at night, you’d notice that you’d be too tired or too unfocused. That’s because you’ve already spent so much energy throughout the day, and by the time night time comes, you’re just too exhausted to do more. 

Writing, in a way, is giving. It’s revealing and sharing a lot of yourself even if you’re not writing about your own story. Writing is creating, and you cannot create from nothing. You cannot give what you do not have. So maybe, try to rest earlier at night, and try to wake up earlier in the mornings. Write when you’re fully-rested. Write when you’re still full. 

These are just a few time-management tips, but I hope they’d help you find some time for writing. It’s really all about being more aware of how you spend your time, and being more in command of it. 

Friend, you have the time. It’s there, right there, in your day. 

When you find it, then write.

Write your dream book.

Write your article.

Write your reflections.

Write your soul. 

Write beautiful words,

Karren

P.S. I’d like to share more about the new things I’ve learned that would help people write and finish their books. I want to actually meet you and share these new things with you… in a casual get-together. Casual get-together meaning, it’s an informal gathering, so it’s f-r-e-e. You only have to make time. Mark your calendars, and block July 6, 2019 (Saturday) off your schedule, from 1:00PM to 3:00 PM. Meet me at Cafe I’m Here in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. But it’s a cafe, so I could only meet up with a few select people. If you’re going, then please register here so I can count you in! 

P.S.2. If you’d like to learn more about how you can actually prepare a book writing timeline, and other practical tips on writing, marketing, and selling your book, in a more professional setting, then I’m inviting you to have a look at the workshop that I’m giving with one of my best friends, and my partner-in-crime in helping authors become bestsellers, Kristine Mutuc Taton. Tin and I works in the marketing department of the country’s leading inspirational publisher, and together with an amazing team, we have launched a handful of national bestselling books. We’ve traced every little thing we did right, and even the things we did wrong, and came up with a blueprint for what it takes to be a bestseller. If you want to learn more about this workshop, then click here now. 

It’s Not That We Don’t Have the Time… We Just Don’t Know Where Our Time Goes was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

What to Blog About When You Know Twit About Blogging

karren-renz-sena-project-beautiful-words

I… kind of don’t know how to blog.

No, really. I’m not kidding. I don’t know what to write in blogs and I don’t know what to blog about. What about Project: Beautiful Words, you might ask?

Well. #ProjectBeautifulWords is a movement — and a noble one, at that — but when it comes down to the nitty gritty stuff, it’s really just about me writing about stuff: what I feel, what I’ve learned, where I’ve gone, what I’m going through… things like that.

And it just so happens that they read and sound beautiful, because well. Beautiful words, and all that.

But blogging? Okay, I don’t know much about that. I seriously seriously don’t know what to blog about when I think about my blog, so the ending is just me staring at a blank document for four hours, before finally calling it quits.

This is coming from the same person who once wrote, “There is always something beautiful to write about.”

My foot.

Anyway, I’m summoning all my whatnots and whodunits to make sure that this specific blog post means something. I kind of want to put my “digital marketing consultant hat” on, to make me sound as if I knew what I’m talking talking about, but whatever.

What can we blog about when we talk about blogging?

Well. Sit down with me for a session on digital strategic marketing and author platform creation, and I wouldn’t stop talking. You’d seriously pay me to shut up, because them brilliant ideas won’t stop coming out. It’s double the fun with my  partner-in-crime, Tin Mutuc (who’s the manager of the marketing department of the publishing house we’re working for, and also a great marketing consultant), because when it’s us two together, then expect that meeting to be fired-up and super productive. You won’t go home without a sound marketing platform for your book.

Sit down with me for a mentoring session on creative writing or book writing, and you’d come home with pages upon pages of advice, instruction, direction, and motivation.

So with all this experience, why don’t I know what to blog about?

Simple. It’s always easier to teach people how to do stuff than to do them yourself. I’d own up to that, at least.

But that’s actually what got me into thinking about this. Why can’t I take my own advice? I’ve always, always, always wondered what to write about whenever I thought about blogging. I’ve always had a hard time sitting down to write about a particular thing even when I set my mind to it.

So it came to me just now to actually write down the stuff we tell other writers, bloggers, and authors — aspiring or otherwise — to do.

This blog post is actually kind of for me, but I do hope it would help you as well. I mean, you didn’t click this for the heck of it, right? You’re probably reading this because somehow, you also have this dream of writing or starting your own blog, and you just don’t know what to write about.

Karren, my dear, dear self, this is for you:

1. What are you passionate about? 

What the actual heck. We see this question thrown around in almost 100% of the motivational and inspirational seminars and workshops you’re going to attend. And when you sit there amongst the audience, you’d get fired up and you’d jot down notes so furiously, you’d think your paper would catch fire. You’d nod here and there, and something in you is awakened — it might be that desire for something you care strongly for. It might be a dream that used to seem so impossible, but suddenly because of that talk on passion and purpose and doing what it is that makes you happy, then you’re all set to doing it. Listening to people talk about passion kind of ignites our own drive to discover and chase our own.

But in the dark of the night, or in the quiet of the morning, when all is said and done and you tried your best, but somehow you’d always find yourself on square one, you get to ask yourself again, “What am I doing this for again?”

What’s passion?

There’s a lot of books out there that talks about passion. Great books. They’d help you identify your passion and they’d tell you how you can go about using your passion to fulfill your purpose, so I wouldn’t parrot what they say anymore. But I have to run this by me again because though I’m all about pursuing my passion with the fire of a thousand burning stars and a fury of a raging storm, sometimes I lose it. Sometimes I misplace it. Sometimes I get burned out, until I find myself fading quietly into the night, and then what do I have to show for anything? Nothing.

I want to simply passion, so that whenever I forget, I can always come back to its most basic definition. It’s the definition that my heart can always remember:

Passion = fire.

Passion = joy.

Passion = love.

And to make it even more simple, I won’t even generalize. Here’s a check list of the things that I love; things that give me immense joy and peace; things that set my soul on fire.

  • Books. Good heavens, I read quite a lot of them. And I buy even more.
  • Anime and manga. Spent practically more than half of my life being obsessed with these babies that came from Japan, and my heart shows no signs of stopping.
  • Stories. Anything and everything that tells stories — movies, games, TV commercials, Thai insurance ads, Facebook videos, and even answers to the age-old question, “How are you?”
  • I love love love LOVE the water. The ocean. The sea. Lakes. Rivers. Waterfalls. Rain. Puddles. Dude, water is life.
  • Buying books. Did I mention that already? I did? Oh.
  • Spending time with people. I like it so much that I don’t write about it because writing about it takes away the memory of it, I suppose?
  • Teaching! I like to teach stuff. Like how to write, how to write books, how to tell stories, why stories are wonderful, WHAT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL STORY I’VE READ LATELY, why Naruto is like the best ninja ever… yeah, I teach that stuff.
  • Mornings. Mornings are beautiful.
  • Traveling alone. It’s something I’ve begun to do lately and I love it.
  • Meeting people. Seeing places.
  • Remembering. I love remembering.
  • Food. I love eating. But I’d rather eat the food than write about them so I’m scratching this one off the list.
  • Preaching. Leading worship. Celebrating the love of Jesus either alone or with the entire assembly. Fantastic.
  • I’m really passionate about working in the ministry. Like, I’m literally in a position where I get to read life-changing stories and books, and I’m being paid to just bring those books out there and oh my goodness I am ever so thankful that my family, especially my Mama, supports my decision to work in God’s vineyard. I think I want to cry now.
  • Words. I’m really, really really passionate about words. This blog is supposed to be really short because that’s what’s popular… but hey. My blog, my word count. What? Fight me.
  • And a whole lot of other things.

What about you? Can you write your own list of things that you love? Can you list down the things that make you happy? Things that bring you joy?

2. What’s that one thing people keep telling you you’re good at? 

In marketing, we simply call this your “expertise.” It’s something that you can help people with. Something that adds value to other people’s lives.

Because let’s be honest. Whenever we pick up a book, or choose a movie to watch, or even when we spend precious time waiting for a Facebook video to load, what’s that one question that would always pop in our minds?

It’s this: “What’s in it for me?”

Would this video make me laugh? Would this book inspire me? Would this story entertain me? Would this novel transport me into another world and spark my imagination? Would this blog post at least give me a new insight about something?

It’s all about adding value.

So here’s the question: what are you good at? I mean, if you’re good at it, then it must mean that you know quite a bit about it, right? So write about it. Share information about it. Share new insights about it.

Like… in my case. Again. (My blog, my case. Fight me.) It’s this:

Words. I weave words. I spin stories. I create worlds. I move hearts. I spark imagination. And my only weapon? Words. So maybe based on this, I can write a ton of articles and whatnot just revolving about words. Maybe.

How I tell stories, maybe. How I can stand in front of a thousand people and speak as if I’m only speaking to one. How I can defeat the writers block (dude, what?). Anything about words.

Maybe you’re good at cooking. Maybe you’ve got a handful of insights about parenting. Or maybe you’re good at being single. You’re good at being happy.

Tell us how we can be good at those things too.

3. Reflections. Revelations. Epiphanies. 

Uhm… I kind of do this all the time?

Yeah, I do.

#ProjectBeautifulWords is a collection of my musings and reflections. These are basically snippets of thoughts and wisdom that I get from whatever I’m going through at the time.

I’m an introvert (I REALLY AM AND IF YOU DISAGREE I WILL FIGHT YOU ON THIS). I’m also observant, analytic, and strategic. I like mulling over things — patterns, strategies, meanings, possibilities, probabilities. I like reflecting about things, too. So whenever I’m feeling particularly introspective, I’d write.

Based on experience, it’s always a good thing to be generous with our own revelations. You’d never know how many people you could bless, or how many lives you could change, based on one post, one article, one story. I’ve had people sending me messages, telling me how blessed they were because of this post or that. It makes me think that what we have — our hearts, our wisdom, our thoughts, our reflections — they’re not meant to be kept to ourselves. Sometimes they’re meant to be shared.

It makes me think about being a part of a bigger whole, a part of a bigger purpose. I mean, I never knew how important my posts and my musings are to some people until I practically stopped posting and people were messaging me about them. Imagine how many days you can make better, how many hearts you can mend, how many new ideas you can share, if you would just share what little you have.

And crappity crap I’m actually talking to myself. Because srsly, I haven’t been posting for a long time now, because I don’t know what to do with the words.

But look at me now. Blogging again for the first time in a long while.

The words have always been there. I just had to let them out.

Maybe that would be the same case for you. What can you blog about?  Here’s a recap ‘fore I go:

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What are you good at (that can add value to other people)?
  3. What are your thoughts / reflections / insights / revelations?

Hope this helps!

This would certainly help ME.

Write beautiful words,

Karren

What to Blog About When You Know Twit About Blogging was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

How to Conquer the Blank Page

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You’ve been staring at it for hours, and the infuriating little cursor just keeps blinking at you, taunting you, mocking you as it appears and disappears on your screen. You know in your heart that words must spill over, and that the wretched cursor must be pushed farther and farther along the page by the words you write, not a single one comes out.

The beginning is always the hardest, isn’t it? You’ve got that story down pat on your head. You’ve finished your novel and killed off as many characters as your black heart could kill, but when you sit down to actually write that novel, nothing would come out.

You’ve already completed that article or blog post in your mind. You’ve already laid out that one big message that could bless or inspire someone today, but as soon as you sit down to write it, nothing would come out.

Is there anything more terrifying than a blank page?

Is there anything more daunting than an empty space?

Is there anything more frustrating than a story or a message that refuses to be written?

Dear heavens, it happens to me every single time. All you people who experience the same agony, raise your hands up! (But read this first). In my mind, my heart, and my soul, The Lost Chronicles of Eden is done. I’ve killed some, saved some, maimed some, but dude, every time I sit down to actually write the story that demands to be written, I cannot. I cannot. I CANNOT.

But we can do this! Lots of veteran (and not-so-veteran, like me) writers give lots of helpful tips, and if you Google ‘how to start writing’, you’d get a thousand results in less than a two seconds (depending on the speed of your Internet connection—mine sucks, if you must know). They’ve shared lots, and but I also want to share with you what works best for me.

WHAT WOULD HELP YOU BEGIN?

My professor called it ‘pressure writing’, because you’re going to write under pressure. (THANKS A LOT, GENIUS.) No, really.

The thing is, in pressure writing, you will be required to write anything and everything that will come to your mind about a particular topic within a specified timeframe, usually 3-5 minutes.

And because you’re operating on limited time, you don’t get the chance to think much about the topic, you just have to let the thoughts flow freely from your mind to your hand. You also don’t have the chance to judge your thoughts, your words, or your work.

The aim of the exercise is to tap into your subconscious and force you to practically vomit all the thoughts in your head without discrimination, without judgment, without restraint.

See, your conscious mind is super judgmental. It feels like it knows everything, so it makes you criticize your work even before you start doing it. The truth is, you begin to edit your work as soon as you write your first sentence.

The purpose of this exercise is to let your subconscious mind, which holds all things wonderful and amazing and spectacular, to come out.

There are several ways to approach pressure writing, and I’ll share a few with you.

1. Listing

  • The first thing you need to do is to think of a particular topic, concept, object, place, person—ANYTHING—that you wish to write about, or is a part of what you’re aiming to write about.
  • Set your timer to three minutes. Once the timer starts, write down the things that come to your mind when you think about your keyword or topic. Don’t filter. Don’t edit. Don’t delete.
  • The things you wrote might not make sense, but there is a reason you thought of them.
  • Stop when the timer sounds off. You’ll notice that your hands are cramped, and you would feel like taking in a huge breath, but you’ll notice that your mind’s a little less cluttered and you feel a bit more relaxed. If not, repeat process (time yourself again), until you’re comfortable with what you’ve spilled on the paper.
  • From the list that you came up with, you can piece the concepts together, and make something out of it.

2. Free-writing or free-falling

  • Similar to listing, think of a topic/keyword/concept/etc that you would like to focus on.
  • Set your timer to three minutes.
  • Once the timer starts, go write anything — absolutely anything — that comes to mind in endless paragraph form. Unlike listing, here you can write freely. Go wild. Knock yourself out. Follow the stream of your thoughts. Don’t punctuate. Don’t dot your Is. Don’t cross your Ts. Don’t edit. Don’t erase. Don’t filter. Just write.

EXAMPLE: HOME

home what is home home is where the heart is oh my gosh that sounds so cliche but i must do it because dude i must give the readers an example on how to do this so i must not edit i must not erase typographical errors what do you mean i dunno home is like here at home im at home wiht my momma on the other room and i just watched americas next top model and monika didn’t win and thats ok but not really because home what about home if i’m going to write about home what shall i say perhaps oh yes cielos is the home of my characters but no not really not everyone lives in cielos because some of them lives in

Ok, I have to stop. Unrestrained, I would probably reveal everything about the plot, and then what would happen to Heroes? Spoiled because I couldn’t keep my mind shut when I free-fall.

I don’t do listing much anymore, but I free-write almost everyday. It’s a form of release when I write in my journal, and a form of tapping into the psyche of my character when I want to create their profiles. It’s also a form of healing when I am angry, and a form of literary suicide when I am sad.

(Warning: A lot of buried things come out in free-writing. Be brave to confront your demons when you do this).

Get everything out.

So these are just two of the techniques that you can use to conquer the blank page and beat the writer’s block. There’s a lot more about pressure writing that I teach in my Writing Seminars, most especially Write That Right Now! Stop Dreaming and Start Writing.

But seminar or not, what’s really important is that you let everything — every idea, every thought, every concept — out. Always remember that the first draft is for your eyes only. We come into writing thinking that the first draft we produce is the final draft that we need to submit, so we become harsher and stricter with ourselves, which limits our creativity.

We need to be kinder to ourselves, and just allow creativity to flow smoothly from our minds and hearts onto paper.

You go get everything out.

Edit later. Much, much later.

I hope this helps! Do these things and let me know via comments or email me at (karrenrenzsena@gmail.com) if they worked for you!

Please share this article as well on Facebook if this has helped you.

Write beautiful words!
Karren

P.S. 1: Do you want to receive free tips on writing? Anything about blogging, book writing, content creation, or simply about how to write beautiful words? Please check out the bottom of the page and subscribe to my list to receive my free monthly Project Beautiful Words newsletter.

P.S. 2: Guys, I wrote a novel entitled The Lost Chronicles of Eden: Champions. It’s a young adult fantasy novel about hidden worlds, mythical creatures, unlikely heroes (and the super subtle attraction between them because let’s face it, I low-key love writing subtle love stories), and a thrilling race against time to prevent an epic battle against the demons of the underworld.

So far it’s been doing really great, and it has carve its small niche amongst the shelves of Philippine Literature, all praise be to God. Many students have written book reports about it, and many teachers teach it under Young Adult Literature or Catholic Literature. The best thing that happened to it is that a brilliant professor has written and published a thesis about it, which had been presented in an International Literary Conference held in Singapore.

Friends, help me spread the word even further? Order a signed copy of Champions here and get free shipping in Metro Manila. Gift it to your friends, your sons and daughters, your students. Let’s make more Champions.

Order a copy of Champions here.

How to Conquer the Blank Page was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

I Can’t Finish My Book, So I’m Doing This Instead

 OR: WHERE I GOT THE GALL TO WRITE ABOUT WRITING *wink*

karren-renz-sena-onwritingOne of the most presumptuous things a writer can do is to write about writing.

But I didn’t say that. I’m quoting someone else, and if I could, I’d drop the name just to make this statement more legit (but I won’t). Somehow, though, I think I get his point, and it sounds a little something like: “Who died and made you guru of all things Literature, and what right do you have teaching other people how to write when you can’t even sell your own book?”

I’m pretty sure it’s a bit more… congenial than my interpretation, but that’s how I got it. So I thought to myself, “Karren, you have absolutely no right whatsoever to write about writing, or to write crap teaching people how to write until: 1) You have merited the acknowledgment of a prestigious literary award-giving body whose name you can’t pronounce, 2) you have sold enough copies of books to warrant a niche in this convoluted industry, and 3) you can manage to do so without, and I quote Stephen King on his book On Writing, “sounding like a ‘literary gas-bag or a transcendental asshole.”

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