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Day 3
Abandon Your Excuses

As a writer it actually pains me to hear the excuses many people make instead of following their dream to write. So many of the “reasons” people use to explain why they are not doing the very thing they say they really, really want to are decoys. People use excuses because of fear, because of false expectations, or because it just isn’t that important to them.
If you really want to “be a writer”, then write.

Making Time
“I don’t have the time to write.” That statement is a common one and often follows the declaration “I have the greatest idea for a novel, one of these days…”

Make one of these days NOW and write that book. No one expects you to finish writing all those magical words in one sitting, or even two. If you really want to write, there is time to write. Most published authors and writers have first or second jobs, families, schooling and other responsibilities. Few people can devote an eight hour work day to writing that great novel.

Part of the writing process is simply thinking – and we can think of scenes, characters and plot twists while we are doing housework, sitting in a traffic jam, riding the subway and even while we are in the shower. Keep a pad of paper in your briefcase, purse, in the kitchen. In your desk drawer, or next to your favorite TV chair to scribble notes whenever an idea occurs to you. Many writers keep a pad and pencil on the nightstand to record bits and pieces of dreams before they vanish away in foggy memories.

Keep a file folder or a large envelope near your desktop or other workstation and store these snippets. These snippets will help you organize your thoughts and begin writing your story. You can find 15-minutes, or more, to write full sentences on a legal pad or type words on a keyboard. Just fifteen minutes, the time it takes to drink your morning coffee, the time it takes to let your hair dry after a shower and you will find your story growing.

What If No One Likes It?
It is possible, even likely, that you will find editors and readers who do not like your work; that doesn’t mean that it is not good. Try again with another editor or a different audience.

When you walk into your local bookstore, are you apt to want to read every book that is on the shelves? Some of the topics won’t appeal to you, sometime you just don’t like the writing. It’s the same with your writing, not everyone is going to be enamored. Send your queries out to different markets. And while you are waiting, keep writing.

Many successful authors “papered” their office walls with rejection slips before connecting with the one right person.

I Don’t Know How to Go About Publishing a Book
Most of us didn’t, some still don’t. First you have to write the book and then you have to find a publisher. Speak to other writers, read magazines or books that appeal to the market you wrote for. Take names off of magazine flags (staff listings), look up publishing names you see on book spines. Join writers’ forums and ask questions.

Most reputable publishers will take the time to explain the process. Understand that there are several different publishing methods. You can publish (if you are lucky to make the right connections) through a large house, small traditional press with small runs, small press with print-on-demand, e-publishing, and self publishing. Study the terms and again, speak to other authors. Lastly, don’t sign anything until you are sure you understand what it means.

Activity: Write an instruction guide for a common, everyday chore (housework, driving, dressing, making a phone call, etc.). Avoid making a simple list and using mere phrases. Write this instructional guide in the form of paragraphs and complete sentences. Make it detailed so that even if someone has never used a telephone they will know how to make a telephone call, etc.

Activity: Using the seven numbers of your telephone number, in any order, write a very brief story about people sitting around a dinner table (how many people, how many dinner rolls, etc).


***based on the long-running***

Living, Breathing, Writing 
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60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write  gives both the aspiring writer and the accomplished writer two complete months of lessons about the craft of writing and being a writer, from time management to social networking, organizing queries to publication, the business of being a writer, and more.

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Living, Breathing, Writing [Kindle Edition]

VBT to go…

Your book is a reality and you are anxious to get the buzz going. Maybe your “local” bookstores are few and far between, or you e-published your work and it’s not so easy to display, or you just can’t take the time away from your family or “other” job to travel to multiple sites and sit for hours. Then again, sitting in a bookstore may only generate a handful of responses and limited contacts.Thanks to our current technologies and the World Wide Web, planning a Virtual Blog Tour (VBT) is a cost effective and time efficient option. For those who may not be familiar with the term, an author “visits” a number of blogs during a specified amount of time with guests posts, excerpts, interview responses, blurbs and more. The tour period can be as short as two weeks or as long as six months and there can be as few as fifteen stops or as many as one-hundred. Your “visit” remains there long after you’ve “packed up” and gone home so many, many people all over the world can see it.There are professional VBT organizers and promoters and many are worth their weight (and fee) in platinum – the key to what these pros offer is organization and time. A Virtual Blog Tour is something you can do for yourself as well if you can stay organized, focused and disciplined.

Whether you hire a professional to plan out your tour or do it yourself, there is still a lot of work that YOU must do: write up guest posts on various topics, answer several interview questions (often just a few questions per site), make graphics such as book covers and author shots available, write up a short bio, and most important of all, visit EACH site the day of your appearance (and for a few days after) to respond to comments.

Start by scouring the web for blogs that attract your audience (for instance, a romance reader probably wouldn’t be frequenting a blog with scientific journal articles) and query the blog owner (via email, NOT comments) if they would consider being a stop on a blog tour. (You might want to offer reciprocation, more on that later). If they say yes decide on a date and be clear about word count, what they expect from you (promo, no promo, graphics, interview, etc) and the date they need your submission.

It’s a good idea to keep a calendar or “assignment book” and list the date or your appearance, the URL of the blog, the specifics of what you are to provide and the “due date” so that you do not miss any deadlines or opportunities. Once you have a list of dates and appearances, post this list on your own blog or website, and publicize it through forums, email lists and social networks. The advantage to the person hosting your visit should be increased traffic to their site so publicize it thoroughly; ideally they will also be publicizing the event.

Be sure to stop by each blog on the day of your visit, and perhaps for the few days following, and be sure to respond to any comments visitors have left. Responding to comments makes the tour very personal and followers will feel that they have had a chance to get to know you. Don’t be disheartened if there are not a lot of remarks, some authors offer free books or other giveaways to generate comments. Be sure to post your own comment thanking the host for having you there.

If you have your own blog (and you definitely should as an author), you can offer reciprocal visits and benefit by increased traffic to your site. Use key words or tags and help search engines pick up your postings more readily. Each time a new visitor comes to your site because they are following another author you are hosting, you have gained exposure and may even find someone new following your regularly scheduled blog.

Keeping the buzz alive and making stops at other blogs can and should be continuous; it doesn’t always have to be a new book that you are promoting. Promote your backlist on an anniversary date, a milestone, or use a current news item to promote a theme. You can post a widget from a site like * and have a running list of both live and virtual appearances for blog visitors to see.

Writing exercise: Write an instruction guide for a common, everyday chore (housework, driving, dressing, making a phone call, etc.). Avoid making a simple list and using mere phrases. Write this instructional guide in the form of paragraphs and complete sentences. Make it detailed so that even if someone has never used a telephone they will know how to make a telephone call, etc.

Writing prompt: Using the seven numbers of your telephone number, in any order, write a very brief story about people sitting around a dinner table (how many people, how many dinner rolls, etc).

(*note: this post was first blogged in 2010 – no longer exists)

Amazon Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Author in Residence  
Having Chelle Cordero’s blog on my Kindle is like having an author here in residence with me. She gives inspiration, motivation, and best of all, practical advice and solutions. I love the “writing exercises” she offers at the end of each blog, as well as the “writing prompts”. I’ve already used them myself and with my 6th grade writing class!
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus Reyes wrote 
I have tried other writing blogs on the web, but this one is the best I have read so far.
Very much enjoyed the sample and attempted to order – unfortunately I have the Kindle Fire and the blog isn’t available on the Fire.
Just Google Chelle Cordero’s name and you will see that she knows what she is talking about – her byline has shown up on many articles all over the country in newspapers and magazines. And she has authored multiple novels and short stories as well.This is a terrific chance to learn from a pro. Until now only a few have been able to attend a writing workshop led by Cordero because of location, now so long as you have access to the internet or a Kindle you can benefit from her amazing tips. Her workshops have been so helpful.
This Blog is Available on the Following Kindle E-Readers:
Kindle Paperwhite
DXKindle (2nd Generation)
Kindle (1st Generation)
If you don’t have one of the above devices, all is not lost

60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write

…offers two complete months of lessons
about the craft of writing and being a writer based on
the Living, Breathing, Writing Amazon Kindle Blog.

60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write
available in Paperback & Kindle e-book from Amazon


I’ve had some interesting blog posts this month on my author blog

Chelle Cordero, Author

please come by an take a look

and be sure to come by this weekend to read
my latest WeWriWa snippet

WeWriWa, Weekend Writing Warriors post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Then we visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people – you are welcome to join along.

Passion & Suspense from Chelle Cordero


Please enjoy this write-up about the Living, Breathing, Writing Amazon Kindle Blog  and the Living, Breathing, Writing: A Lesson a Day e-book

Thanks to Pamela Newman for her fantastic comments!

Living, Breathing, Writing

My Weekly Writing Workshop  (Living, Breathing, Writing) for Kindle has been discontinued. But you don’t have to miss out, go to for a copy of 60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write