On Writing Archives | Sheryl Steines

Tag Archives for " On Writing "

Not a Self-Help Kinda Girl But This Changed My Life

She Believed She Could, So She Did – R. S. Grey

I'm not much of a self-help kinda girl. I don't criticize those who like that stuff. For me it's just so cult like. That someone could convince you to be a certain way or do a certain thing by what they say, versus you being able to do that for yourself.

When I Read Motivation, Self-Help Non Fiction, This Happens

That notwithstanding, I have on occasion read non-fiction works that have left me thinking, wishing, wanting something. My favorite has been and will always be On Writing by Stephen King. All writer's should read this, though I admit, it didn't quite light that fire under my butt and get me writing. And once I was a writer of a real book, it didn't inspire me to quit my job.

So next read, was Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. It was also a journey about finding fulfillment and doing what makes you happy. What it made me want to do was prune and care for my yard. But as it was mid winter and my yard was covered under several inches of snow, I never made it to the reconstruction of my back yard and the growing of grapes on a trellis.

My last foray into the non-fiction inspirational type of self-help book, was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I came across that quite by accident, when surfing cable for something to watch. Weirdly, I thought, it actually hooked me but really it only left me wanting to take a trip to Naples, Italy, find the restaurant with the green and white tiles and eat a margarita pizza. So much so I put it on my bucket list. No kidding.

Everything Changed With the Arrival of a Gift

Nothing, I say NOTHING has ever left me more motivated to do anything than the quote, “She Believed She Could, So She Did by R.S. Grey. Funny story. I received a Pandora bracelet for my 50th birthday recently. Not knowing much about it, I went online searching for a charm that represented me as a writer. Surprisingly I found a typewriter, with a disk and that exact quote etched into it. It was specifically marketed as a charm for writers, authors, bloggers. Perfect.

I had never heard the quote. But I ordered the charm. It stuck with me. The quintessential quote about confidence. The kind of confidence that lights a fire under your butt and forces a change in the way you live.

It took me all of two weeks to assess my situation; to realize that I've been steadily selling books. Maybe not enough to replace my salary, but enough to that I could quit a job I really didn't like and make a major push for the end goal.  A full-time writing career.

I Didn't Look Back

I kept my job because I wasn't selling enough books. But in order to sell more books, I needed more time. Once I found that quote, once I realized that all I needed was pure confidence in myself, than I could take that first scary step and author for a bit. Truly become that person that I knew I wanted to be when I was seven years old.

I never wavered from that dream. It has traveled with my from the time I was seven. It was all I wanted to be, and everything I did from writing my own detective stories at seven, to taking English classes in high school and getting a BA degree in English, to taking as a procedure writer, a blogger, writing brochures, newsletters or biographies. Everything I have done as been for that single moment when I took that step forward into the world I had dreamt of most of my life. To be an author, to say what I have to say, to be who I want.

It was all because of that quote. “She Believed She Could, So She Did.” To RS Grey I thank you.







Continue reading

Creating News Events

Creating News Events

As an independent author, I'm always searching for ways to create news events. Those events that bring my books to the public. I've sat at book fairs, and comic

cons. There were advertisements, and book catalogues. Who can forget the tweeting and sharing on social media? I can't tell you how many marketing promos have led to free Kindle Fires for participating bloggers that I've given away. All in all, the results have been varied.

Now I'm looking for new ways to create news events that are different, fun and worthwhile.

Seize Those Opportunities

Opportunities come from anywhere, by simply retweeting and sharing an author's book posts. Or aggressively advertising on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe a friend direct messaged an opportunity based on a shared interest. Or sometimes you just stumble across something interesting, different and new.

Where the idea is born doesn't matter, as long as you seize the opportunities as they cross your path. You never know where it could lead.

So when you say yes to the news events as you find them, in time you share those websites and links with others to spread the news. Please, visit and share these sites and the great work these bloggers and reviewers do.

Bloggers Carry the Weight

Trisha Sugarek, Writer at Play: MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   November was best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series. January is Dinah Jefferies and February’s author is Sheryl Steines.




Midwest Book Review:  “Established in 1976, the Midwest Book Review is an organization committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. The MBR publishes the following monthly book review magazines specifically designed for community and academic librarians, booksellers, and the general reading public:”



ThreeifbySpace.net:  Need a Good Read? Books by Outlander Fans Fill the Bill

“We’re a reading bunch. I like big books, and I cannot lie… of course, we all love Diana’s books (or why else are we here!), but many of her fans are authors themselves. And since November is the month to turn yourself into an author – it’s NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month – it seemed appropriate to introduce you to some Outlander fans who have taken that big leap and put out their talent for you to enjoy. Here’s a good selection of books written by fellow Outlander fans that are available to purchase and read (some of the books are free for Kindle users!) – support your friends! This is, I’m sure, not a complete list – if you have a published (self or traditional) book, feel free to leave info in the comments! Click on book titles to learn more and buy?” by Erin Conrad  https://www.threeifbyspace.net/2016/11/need-good-read-books-outlander-fans-fill-bill/





Continue reading

On Writing – Stephen King

I write in the supernatural. I read in the supernatural, horror, mystery, and thrillers. Preferring to read for the share entertainment of the stories and the characters, I enjoy the emotion, fear, and intensity I feel when I read such books by Stephen King or Agatha Christie or James Patterson. The good thing is, I can feel these emotions in the safety of my own home. It works out well for me, my sanity and my safety.

I first wanted to be a writer when I read Nancy Drew, I and was pulled in and hooked after reading Stephen King. I have no recollection as to the first book I read by him, and based on my age can only assume it was The Shining, Carrie or Salem's Lot, but that's not what's important. All that's important is remembering that feeling of reading something that made me angry, frightened, terrified or entertained. And as I worked my way through the Stephen King library, every new book sustained my desire to be a writer, to play a creator, discovering new worlds rich in imagination that make you experience and feel something.

When he came out with his autobiography of sorts, On Writing, I was blown away. For anyone who wants to be a writer, or is a writer, it’s inspirational, funny, honest and a little informative if you’re the type of writer who laps up constructive information, to learn anything you can about the craft.

Connecting with the book was easy and forced my to think about how I write my stories. How do I develop them and the characters? Am I a plotter or a pantser? As it turns out, Stephen King admits he’s a pantser making me realize that I’m not alone and I’m not wrong in my approach. Both of us start with a basic idea, maybe do a little research and then begin writing without a true sense of where the book will take us. He approaches it as an archeological dig, starting with the first hint of an artifact and continues to dig deeper, until the entire item reveals itself to him, just as his books do. He allows the story reveal itself to him rather than him dictating the story.

That's exactly how I write my story. I start with a brief paragraph of what I think the story will be, do a little research and then set off to write the story. I let the story reveal itself to me, not as if it's an artificial but rather as if I'm psychic and the story just reveals itself. I experience the story as a reader would not as the writer, full of the surprised, tension and happiness or sadness depending on the storyline.

It’s an amazing way to write a book, to feel the emotion that the reader might feel, experiencing the twists and turns, much like I hope you will too. That makes me a pantser, a writer who writes by the seat of their pants. It’s a little chaotic, but a thrilling ride. If it’s good enough for Stephen King, it’s most definitely good enough for me.


Continue reading