Poetry: The Dead Art

I was sitting at a table with my peers, about to eat my lunch when I realized how far America has fallen.

Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but let me explain. I was sitting there, minding my own business and being a fly on the wall, per usual, when one of them brought up the question of teaching poetry in school. Of course, everyone stated their opinion and I was appalled.

At a table of ten teenagers, only one (me!) thought poetry was important.

In fact, the rest of the nine said that poetry is stupid and has absolutely no reason to it.

Now, why does that bother me, besides the fact that I wrote a published a poetry book? Let me take you back just a little bit over 100 years ago to the year 1917. America had just joined WWI, and tons of men were being shipped over the sea to fight.

Do you know what those men did once they came back?

Many of them became poets. An Englishman became one of the best known Christian writers of that century, another created a world with it’s own language.

Why do I bring this up?

Poetry is a way of expression. Emily Dickenson wrote once “This is my letter to the world that never wrote me.” People don’t understand poetry because people don’t understand themselves and others anymore. They don’t understand the emotions that shimmer in the artist’s breasts, because instead we’ve been told that we’ll be given whatever we ask. We’ve been told to admire those who are tasked with feats of strength and valor instead of the artist who pens words that revolve around the mind that belongs to the athlete.

Poetry elevates the soul. Edgar Allen Poe wrote, “To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.” There is something in poetry that is prestigious, and you have to reach above your comfort to find the elevation of the soul that is necessary for growth.

Poetry is a way to communicate with God. David himself wrote poems as prayers, and we have a whole history of humans who translated their prayers into poems that have become hymns today. Poetry is a communication with another realm, and ability to write things that you feel but can’t say in prose. It’s a minuet minute where you can bare your soul with the protection of not being taken 100% seriously.

Poetry is an art, it’s the art of communicating with the soul, and yet, this day and age we find the soul unimportant and the art as dead. There is no need to touch the soul with poetry, to take the time to read without noise, to hear without our ears, to see with nothing but ink and paper.

I have no good conclusion for this post, it’s more of a ramble from my soul. But what do you think about poetry? Is it dead or lost or is it thriving?

~~Amie~~

6 Ways to Grow Blog Traffic

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Being sick is terrible.  I should know, because I’m sick now.  Since I am sick, it took me a while to figure out what to blog on today.  I have a whole book full of blog post ideas that I want to do in the future…But they all take research and/or photos and time.

And guess what?  I’ve been sick.  And I don’t want to blog at all.  *sniffs and coughs* Here, let me put on a mask to keep from coughing on you.  There, wow.  These things are super uncomfortable.  I think we need to come up with more comfortable papery mask things.  *blinks*   So, stand back (so I don’t cough on you) and stay put.  Today’s post is about different ways to get views.  (Also, excuse my voice…Or the lack of.  The cold’s settled in my chest.)


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1. Don’t use one word titles.

Please don’t do what I do, and call your post pictures.  Just don’t.  Also, don’t name the post, “Wildflowers in the hollow with extra green grass photography!”  No one’s going to search wildflowers in hollow green grass photography.  Titles are what’ll pull you up in the search engine, and because of that, you’ll get more blog traffic.  This idea is pretty simple.  Come up with unique, and yet at the same time normal titles to bring traffic.

I’m terrible at this, but I have a few posts that I succeeded on.  (And they also get the most spam comments, LOL.) As an example, take A Voice for the Voiceless.  People find it though searching things like, “how to be a voice for the voiceless.”  You want to have posts that come up when people search.

2. Post regularly

This is so important.  Obviously, it won’t work for everyone, but if you’re serious about having people stick around and having your followers/views continue to climb, you’re probably going to have to have a schedule and keep to it.  (Of course, illness or accidents are worthy reason to skip a day.) My schedule is to post on Tuesday and Saturday, and I try to do everything I can to post on those days.

You could only post once a week on Saturday, or you could post three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  It’s totally up to you because there’s no wrong schedule, but having a schedule and keeping to it is important.  Even though most people don’t think about it this way, but keeping a schedule shows…

  • That blogging is important to you.

By doing something consistently, it shows that it matters, and it’s not something you do because you though it might maybe be a fun or good idea.

  • Your followers are important to you.

When you blog, you blog for an audience.  Not just for yourself, or because your mom said you had to.  You blog for the people who are going to read it, and when you blog regularly it shows you really care for them, and you want to connect with them.

  • You’re able to schedule your time.

Social media (and blogging!) is all about how you convey yourself through the screen.  If you want to continue in the future a blogging/writing/something kind of career, being able to meet your own deadline will show that you’re consistent and scheduled.

Overall, scheduling your blog will be one of the ways to make it successful.  (Of course, there are always exceptions to this, though don’t start this post thinking you are the exception.)

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3. Use tags!

How much can I stress this?  Tags are your ticket to invite people to look at your post.  What do I mean by that?  People on WordPress often type in tags, like gluten-free breakfast, when they want to look at that certain type of post.  Searching tags brings up not only posts, but also websites that use those tags.

Tags are super important.  I’ve gotten a lot of traffic for using certain tags, and so I encourage you to take full use of the wonderful opportunity tags present you.  (But don’t get too carried away…I usually use 3-8 tags per post.)

4. Get involved in collabs or blog tours

Collabs were a huge thing that boosted my blogging.  If you’re new to the blogging world (like I was about a year ago), you’re probably wondering what a collab is.  Collab is short for collaboration. (Because in this day and age we have to shorten everything, y’all.) A collab is when two bloggers come together, and decided to switch blogs, or interview each other, or do similar blog posts, and talk about each other on them.  I’ve done a few, like Five Writing Ideas.

Most people enjoy collabing with other bloggers, and so if you want to do a collab, feel free to contact me on my contact page.  Collabing is always so much fun, and a great way to make new friends.

A blog tour is kinda of like a collab, but with A LOT more people.  I just hosted a blog tour, and because I’m an extrovert and think that the more people, the merrier life is, I enjoy blog tours more than collabs.  Blog tours are sometimes for launching a new book, (like mine.  You can read more about my book here. #shamelessselfpromo) or they can be a “blog party,” and like normal parties, you don’t really need a reason.  Blog tours are superb ways for people to find out about your blog.

5. Comment on other people’s blogs

If someone sees you on a blog they really like, and you’re saying how much you like the same thing, they might just click your profile to go to your blog.  (Also, it helps to have a horse/guitar/or something like that in your profile.  I’ve had people click my profile just because I had a guitar in it. 😉 😛 )

Of course, I don’t mean you have to comment on every single post you read.  In fact, that’s not what I mean at all.  And I don’t mean you’re supposed to comment on a post saying how much you liked it, when you really didn’t care/relate to what the blogger was talking about.  I mean, be you, comment on the posts that really hit home, and just let what happens happen.  But don’t be afraid to get out there on the blogsphere and comment.

(Also, I’ve also had new bloggers comment on my blog saying something like this, “Hey, I’m so-and-so, and I just started a new blog, and I’m sure you’ll like it!  Here’s the link.” Not saying that that is a terrible way to introduce yourself, but it sounds like you’re just concerned about your blog, which can be annoying to a blogger who just put their heart and soul into their blog post, and your answer to their post is to simply leave a shameless self promo.  I’m actually less likely to go visit your blog when you do that.)

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(BONUS!) 6. Post on lots of different topics

I’m assuming you just started your blog, and if you’re anything like me, you have no idea what you just got yourself into.  I started blogging, and I thought, “hey, if I get just 25 subscribers, I’ll be amazing.  And 50, WOW.” I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, who I wanted to reach, or what style I was going for.  And so?  I just was me, and I’ve tried everything from baking to book reviews on this blog.

And you know what?  That’s what I like about my blog.  You never know what I’m going to post next, and that’s part of my trademark.  I’m the Crazy A, and I’m going to do crazy things on here.  But that’s probably not you, and I don’t expect that, but it is a good way to start.  What are your top three interests?  Bring them to play in your blog, and decide what fits for you.


I’m going to wrap up with this.  Blogging is about finding the right audience, and focusing on them.  You’re there for your audience, and so don’t worry about the million+ people in an audience over there.  Worry about your 50+ subscribers, and focus on reaching them.

Blogging is meant to be fun. (Most of the time…) So make it fun, make it so you’re giving your subscribers something, and just be yourself.  If that means neon pink blog design, and sparkly pink glitter, go for it.  I’m sure you’ll rock it. 😉

What are some things you like about blogging?  Do you have any questions?  Or do you have any tips on blogging?

~~Amie~~

Writer’s Necessities

*leans back to take a cool sip of coffee* *Chokes on said cup of coffee*

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It is I, Amie again, and I am here to give you a rundown of a writer’s necessities.  It’s a very serious subject I’m about to write on, so please be considerate of this.  I thank you kindly.

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#1 A Pen

A pen is a very tricky object.  Some are dead, others flow, while some scratch, and others give the most uncomfortable blisters ever.  If you’re serious about being a writer, you must be serious about your companion, a pen.  Your pen will treat you well, if you treat it well.  Some people prefer pencils, but they disappear a bit faster from the universe.  You need a trusty sidekick that is compatible with…

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#2 A notebook

Life would be extremely dull without a place to put your thoughts.  If you’re anything like me, you um…Well, forget everything you think of in a short amount of time.  Or perhaps that is only my problem.  And so, as a writer, you need to remember what you’re supposed to be writing, and not move on to the next project.  Keep your mind focused on the project at hand instead of interviewing the potential projects for the future.

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#3 A beverage

Maybe I’m the only person that finds having something to drink keeps me from getting up a million times and never actually writing?  If I know I won’t die of thirst in the middle of a chapter, I’m comfortable.  We can start the action, and ignore the fact that you just remembered you have a mile high pile of dishes to clean.

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#4 Books, books, and more BOOKS.

Um, more than half of the work going into the novel is research and inspiration, so a writer obviously needs books, books, and more BOOKS.  Just as a musician needs to be acquainted with all forms of music, an author needs to be grounded in all types of genres and writing styles.  The beginning of writing is reading.  (Actually 95% of writing is reading.)

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#5 Blankets

You get cold sitting right next to the air vent, or just doing nothing in the middle of winter (or perhaps summer?) is very bone chilling, and so, you need your blankets.  I have about three different trusty blankets.  A winter blanket (that I have wrapped around me now, LOL.) a fall/summer blanket, and my summer blanket.  Blankets are very very needful.

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#6 Out of this world imaginations.

Okay, so not every writer has this, but some of the best do.  And according to everyone that knows me, so do I.  It’s very helpful to be able to imagine a whole new world in five minutes.  (No, don’t tell me that I left a lot of loop holes.  Pantsers don’t like being told that.)  It’s very helpful to come up with unique ways to murder someone, or unique ways to drive a car.

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#7 Food

Food is very important to most writers, though I find food distracting.  Most writers have their special food (CHOCOLATE, anyone?  I honestly prefer lettuce) that helps the creativity.  Find your special food and…Um, have it boost creativity.

#8 Places to people watch

People watching is one of my favorite sports as long as I can sit in a corner.  I like to make up descriptions and write small sketches with people I see.  It can be very entertaining, and I’m hoping it actually improves writing skills…(Though I’m not sure if it improves my people skills.)

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#9 Music

Writing inspiration music is the perfect thing for setting the tone for a scene you’re about to write.  I used to be too distracted by the music to actually write, but I’ve learned how to multitask. 😂  Find the music for your story, and enjoy it!  For my WIP, I’ve been listening to a lot of 40s music.

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#10 Computer

You probably need a computer (or typewriter) to write your story.  After you have everything else, that is. 😉

And that, my friend, are some of the needed things for being a writer.  I hope you enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for Cam’s next post.  (She’s been working rather hard on it.)

~~Amie~~

Five Writing Ideas

Hello!  Today I am doing a collab (or better known as collaboration.  I’m not sure why we like chopping words…) with Beezus the bear!  I’ve actually never done a collab before, so I’m kinda excited.  Y’all should be glad too, because it’s time for another writing post!  Today is about the Top Ten Writing Ideas.  I am doing five, and to  the other five, you must check out Beezus’ blog.  Are you ready?  Let’s go.

Idea #1

One day, a fellow (or gal) wakes up, and is recognized by someone he doesn’t know.  This person is stuck in a world where they are known, and they know nothing.  The people in this world/area expect this fellow to fix a devastating problem, which the fellow knows nothing of.  In the end of the story, you (the reader) find that the fellow was actually an identical twin that was ripped from his twin when they were but children.  The twin is at the moment in the fellow’s world/area, and is facing similar trials as the fellow.  Now, do you know what happens?  If so, comment down below!  Will the twins be reunited?  Why were they separated?  What is the thing that is threatening both worlds/areas?

Note: You could even use this idea for a historical fiction.  What if one of the twins was British and the other was American?  What if it was during the French Indian war?  What if it was during the California gold rush?  What if the fellow found himself/herself in one of the English king’s courts?  Or it could be a mystery, or even a fantasy!  Go wild with this idea, and let me know in the comments how you would use this!

Idea #2

How true is it that sin doesn’t only effect the life of the one committing it, but the lives of those around them.  What if you have a mystery that starts with a dying village, a misery old gentleman, and a fair boy?  If one man’s sin affects many men’s lives, how will one man’s obedience affect a whole village?  Make this tale wind slowly as you figure out that their was one man who started a whole chain of rebellion and destruction.  Where will it lead?  And where will it end?

Idea #3

It was always said this mine was empty…Until three kids decided to investigate.  What did they find down there?  A world?  An animal?  A friend?  Or a long-lost enemy?  You get to decide!  It’s your story for the taking.

Idea #4

Once a child wished before bed to walk on clouds…And on awaking, she was no longer on earth!  In the world of clouds, everything is different.  The world itself is cheerful…Until a thunder-storm.  What is it like to experience a thunder storm above it?  What is it like to experience rain from above?  Or sunshine?  How can you survive?  What do the animals look like?  Are more humans there?

Idea #5

All alone.  Destitute with no one to care, a girl has to make restitution for something that her dead brother has done.  Will she over come?  Or does the cruel world over come her?   This could be used as a historical fiction, a modern-day fiction, or even in another world at another time!  It could be a mystery.  She doesn’t know who her brother has injured, or who injured her brother.  Or it could be a romance, or even a thriller!  What about a comedy?  This story has a lot of potential

And that sums up my five writing ideas!  Comment below if you’ve visited Beezus’ blog, and which idea you thought was the best!

Adieu!

~~Amie~~

Our Dying Stories…

I know a lot of “writers” who can’t finish a book…or even a short story.  They’re in love with writing, they enjoy it, and they are frustrated by it.  They just can’t come up with a good ending…or a good middle…or a good beginning.

Writing is an art.  Each writer will have their own voice or style.  Sometimes I get critiqued for writing this blog with an “Incorrect” style…In other words, writing this like I’m talking to you.  I try to shrug off those comments, because this is my style.  When writing a book, I don’t write like this, and I most certainly don’t write in first person.

But back to the main topic.  Why are the “writers” having such trouble?  Why can’t they (or you) finish a story?

I found I couldn’t either.  I’d type and type and type…and then after six, seven, eight chapters, I’d fizzle out.   What could I write next?  I just didn’t feel like writing any more.  Who wants to do something when it feels like a chore?

The first time I tried to write a book, I was nine.  No lie, I was nine (or was I eight?) and I had no idea how to write, and my grammar?  Hah!  It was a book called “Flowers” and I have a very justifiable reason why it fizzled out.  I lost the notebook I kept it in.

The second book I tried to write was when I was ten.  Three of my friends and I decided to write a historical fiction.  We couldn’t agree on what should happen, and since it was on my family’s computer, I totally rewrote it.

What did I write about?  The Lee family before the Civil war.  And then I found out it was totally unhistorical, so I gave up.

Giving up is a big problem in all of our lives.  Writers often have a brilliant idea.  They sit down at their computers laughing and saying, “Splendid!” But when the tough part comes, they realize that the book would need a lot of editing.  What’s the best idea?  Ditch it.  Throw it in the trash.  Or, maybe just let it sit.  I’ll get back to it fresh with ideas.

The problem I’ve found with letting it sit is that your fresh ideas don’t line up with your old ideas.  You have totally different views on where you want to take the book, so you might as well ditch it and start a new one.

So, what is the actual answer to people who write me and ask for help with their writing?  There is none.  There isn’t some simple fix to help your dying stories.  You are the only person who can save your writing career, and you are the only person who can ruin it.

A lot of people get scared off by growing pains.  We’ve all felt them in some area of our lives.  They’re unpleasant.  No one enjoys sitting at the computer feeling like your brain is fried.  Someone once told me that when you feel the pain, that’s when it really counts.  When you feel that your story is a failure, and you need to step up the pace, that’s when continuing really counts.

A lot of famous books weren’t so good on the first try.  Their authors had to write…and rewrite…and rewrite.  Want to know why the books are so good?  Because the people didn’t give up.  They persevered.

A lot of “writers” enjoy the title of writer.  They love the fun part of writing, but once it gets hard, they quit.  A lot of “musicians” enjoy playing, or listening to music, but once they have to sacrifice things for what they want to do, they give up.

How then do I get my writing to work?  What is my secret?

Alone, everything I write would be a failure.

No lie.  I’m not kidding here.  I have no talent, I’m not even a good writer.  But there’s Someone who writes through me.

A few weeks ago, I was staring at what I had written asking myself why it was such a flat story.  Why wasn’t it flowing?  Then I realized I had missed and forgotten the most important part of my writing.

I had forgotten to pray.

Without prayer and the fear of God, we can’t write anything but the foolishness.  You need to rely on our Heavenly Father, and evaluate if you really are called to be a writer.  If you are, you will have a hard and rocky journey ahead of you.  Writing is not all sunshine and rainbows.  In fact, there are a lot of tornadoes down the writing path.

The only Person who can get us through the writing path is God.  He’s there to take you, to carry you, and to lead you.  Trust in His strength, for when we are weak, we are strong.

~~Amie~~

 

10 Things That (might) Mean You’re a Writer.

Write…Write…What to write?  Coffee…Coffee…I need coffee.  Hmm, this keyboard is annoying.  What should I make Cassy say?  Benji needs to do something.  WHY DO I KEEP FORGETTING CAM?

Hello!  Today I’m going to be sharing ten things that make a writer a writer…Or how you’d know you’re one.  It’s pretty simple, but writing itself (sadly) is not.

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1. Cringing when you read a badly written book, or a terrible plot twist.

C’mon, all of us writers have been there.  That writer couldn’t have possible done that!  Don’t they know they are bringing a bad name to all writers????

2. Being addicted to a certain hot drink.

Tea, coffee, hot cocoa.  Doesn’t really matter which.  I just need something to have next to me to sip and keep me awake.  For some reason cold water doesn’t do that for you.  In fact, cold water makes me want to relax.

3. You randomly make up stories to go with phrases.

Ever heard the phrase knock on wood?  I made up a story that it came from a wood chopper who was smart enough to knock on the wood to make sure it wasn’t rotten before he tried to chop it.  Chopping rotten wood sends pieces flying.

4.  It takes you forever to fall asleep.

I can’t fall asleep right away.  Even if I spent the whole day working in the yard.  I just stare at the ceiling and start imagining a story…And suddenly, you wake up.

5. You have vivid dreams.

Ever been fighting robots on an island?  Ever attended your own wedding?  Only to wake up a realize what seemed to be real wasn’t?  You’re in the boat with a lot of writers I know, including myself.

6. Come up with the impossible…in an impossible timeline.

“Guys, it’ll only take us five minutes to mow the field.”  Umm, did you check the clock last time?  Oh, you were in outer-space.  “Why didn’t we do it that way?” Because gravity is against us, my friend.

7. Lose total track of time.

“Where were you??  You were supposed to be in bed two hours ago.”  Oops, I forgot to look at the clock.  Hehe, sorry, Mom.

8. Are book-aholics.

Just one more book…Just one more.  It can’t hurt anyone?  I need to read another book!  It’s like I need more friends…But these friends never hurt me…and then they die.

9. Enjoy long, and strange words.

I really do not credit that account of your exploit.  I am remorseful that you fractured your limb.  Is there something I can do for you?  I am so flummoxed and gobsmacked.  Sometimes, I just need to speak those British words.  😉

10. Talk to themselves.

We really aren’t talking to ourselves.  We have about five different people in our brains we need to talk to.  How else do we learn about our characters?  How can we make everything clear without talking to ourselves?

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Did you relate to anything?  Obviously you might not have all ten traits and you might be a writer, but those are somethings I’ve found out about writers from talking to my writer friends.

What can you relate with?  Are you a writer?  Do you enjoy ping-pong?

~~Amie~~

Love/hate Relationship

I love writing.  Well, maybe love isn’t the write word.  I adore it.  If there was something I could do as a side job, it would be writing.  Why?  Well, there is something I like better.  (Hint: it falls under entertainment.)

But, I hate writing.

You just fell out of your seat; because if you’ve been following this blog, you know how much of my time is taken up in writing.  I will repeat myself.  I hate writing.

Why?  Because of this one part that is a must if you write.  It makes my heart bleed, and my mind tie itself into knots.  What is it?

Editing…

I hate it.  My whole mind and body revolts in it.  Well, there is one part of editing I do like.  I enjoy reading my writing over again.  To be honest, I either laugh at it, or fall on the floor and grovel.  HOW COULD I HAVE SENT THIS TO A FRIEND? (Yes, if you are that friend reading this, I’m so sorry!  {I know you follow this blog})

I hate chopping off this.  I hate realizing I didn’t put a comma here, and I should have used a semicolon there.  And, when others read it, I should have described it a bit different.  It makes my brain hurt just thinking of it!

But, I’m here to give you some pointers on your writing/editing journey.  I don’t want you to give up because you didn’t have a plan.  Draw up your blue print, and hear about mine.  Ready for the journey?

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I’m in despair! 

#1. Wait.

Wow!  So origanal.  But it’s necessary.  You just wrote a wonderful novel full of jokes, laughter, and fun.  Wait three months before you edit it.  Then, the mistakes stand out a lot more.  And, the story seems brand new!

Really, to be honest, when I’ve waited I find the story more interesting.  I’m like, “Dude, I wrote this?  Can I have a fist-bump please?”

And, when I plung right in, I’m like, “Ugh!  I’m tired of this story…”

Regardless, really think about this point.  There is a reason it’s number one.

#2. Chose a special pen.

How dull is it to use a dull pen to edit with?  You need something special.  Something just as special as the your story!  I like to use pink.  Why?  Because I absolutely hate pink.  Also, it makes me feel maliciously evil. >:)

Why doesn’t everyone use fancy pens?  That’s what I would like to know.  They put you in such a better mood.  Match your mood with your pen!  Feeling a bit calm? chose blue.  Feeling a bit chipper?  Chose yellow!

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#3. Take it one step at a time.

Don’t rush it.  I often am so busy, I rush my editing.  I do ten chapters in a day.  The only problem with that method is…I don’t want to do another chapter for another week.  Yep, I get lazy.

So, take one chapter at a time.  And don’t beat yourself if you miss a day.  I often find myself chewing myself out over a missed day.  Life is too short to worry about that…and, I’m sure God will forgive you for wasting a day.  But still, that isn’t an excuse.  We only have so long to live.  Make the most of it.

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#4.  Have fun with it.

Finished editing?  Great!  Rip up all those nasty pages and throw them in the air!  Party!  Your book is well on it’s way to the press!  If you don’t feel like ripping them, ball them up and have a surprise attack on your brother.  Or, scribble all over them.

Did you enjoy the tips?  Let me know!

~~Amie~~