Monthly Online eZine  
News And Views For Working Writers

 INside Scoop
 IN Her Own Write
 Pen IN Hand
 Write On!
 Screen & Stage
 Top 10 Resources
 Book Reviews
 Items Of INterest
 Global Offerings
 INside Services
 Bill The Bard
 The Writer At Work
 Games & Puzzles
 Classic eTexts
 Free Software
 IN Banners
 Who's IN
 What's IN
 Editorial Calendar
 Join IN's Team
 Contacting IN

IN Front Cover


Learn To Be A Better Journalist

Buy Classic Literature Collections

Acclaimed Screenplay Writing Software

Books On How To Write Fiction

Become A Well Paid Travel Writer

Vote daily and raise our ranking!

Pen IN Hand
December, 2012

Home Sweet Home Office
One published article does not a career make -- writers have to continue to produce
By  Carol Guy

elcome to IN, and my column, Pen In Hand.

Since we are going to be spending some time together here each month, I thought it only fair to let you know what you will be letting yourselves in for if you choose to keep reading this column.

I'll start by telling you a little about myself, but I promise to keep it short. I'm a small-town girl who had one big dream: to be a published author. The road between there and here was paved with a lot of things, including frustrations, detours, rejections and occasional bouts of writer's block. But it also had many rewards.

Sometimes providence intervenes in our lives and throws us a bone. That happened to me when a "too good not to write about" event took place in my church having to do with the minister, three women and charges of sexual harassment. The Ladies' Home Journal bought the article and I was off and running.

Then I discovered something quite startling: one published article does not a career make. I had to continue to produce.

Eventually I landed a job as a newspaper reporter and found out that writing is not only rewarding, it is very hard work. But that job gave me the confidence to continue submitting freelance work to book publishers and magazines.

I write cozy mysteries. My idol was Agatha Christie. My first cozy, Murder at the Ice Cream Parlor, was inspired by a true murder in my hometown. I'm also the author of a true crime book, A Picture Perfect Kid, which is about the murder of my former boss by her 16-year-old grandson.

By now, I'm sure you've caught the theme running throughout this little bio. Events that can inspire a story happen around us every day. As writers we need to be in tune with them and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

In the coming months I'd like to share with you some insights, experiences, and even some advice. After all, I'd like to think I've learned something in the 25-plus years I've spent pounding out stories and articles, first on an old IBM Selectric, then a word processor and finally on my trusty PC.

So what exactly will we discuss here? How about we start at the beginning: organizing your office. After all, if you're going to work at home you'll need to have an area that is used just for that. I've tried writing at the kitchen table (in the very early days) and believe me, it just doesn't work.

Own use

Eons ago, I lived in an apartment where I had only one bedroom for my own use. In order to write there I put up a card table and bought a used bookcase and a two-drawer file cabinet. That was my first "home office."

The important thing is to have that space that is yours, where you can go and not be interrupted.

Ray Bradbury liked to surround himself with unusual items, things he'd picked up in his travels, objects of interest. He said he never knew what might inspire a story.

I've done the same thing with my home office. It's a haven of sorts. A place where I have family pictures on the walls, memorabilia on my desk, certificates of accomplishment (such as they are) displayed, some of my published items in frames, souvenirs sitting around, and so on. I can go in there and feel completely at ease surrounded by memories that represent happy, positive times in my life.

Right now, sitting on the top shelf of my computer workstation is a blue vase with six feathers in it. Five red, one blue. I've picked up these feathers in quirky little shops at various times as I've been out and about. They have absolute no significance other than the fact that I like feathers and they caught my eye.

The point I'm making here is, when you create your work area, or office, make it an extension of yourself, make it a place where creativity can flourish.

Now the most important thing. Whatever you do, no matter how many rejections or acceptances you get, no matter how many frustrations come along, don't ever forget the reason why you first sat down, took pen in hand, and began to write. Remember the joy it brings into your life.

Next time, we'll discuss writers' conferences and workshops and how to choose the ones that are right for you as well as how you can get the most out of the ones you do decide to attend.

Until then, keep writing!

Author Carol Guy is a 2004 EPPIE Award finalist for the mystery novel A Picture Perfect Kid, available from Zumaya Publications and Murder at the Ice Cream Parlor, available from Treble Heart Books You can find her web site at:

Sign Up and Use Our New Forums! Voice Your Opinion! Discuss Our Content! Ask for Writing Assistance. Post Your Successes, Queries or Information Requests. Collaborate with Other Writers.

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Pen IN Hand
IN This Issue
Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes!
Writer As Juggler
Sell That Book
Writers Write
Refined Author's Guide
Writers As Complainers
Get A Clue
How Not To Query
Blown To Hell (Excerpt)
Six Editing Hints For Writers

Support IN
Receive Free Gifts
$20.00 Voluntary Contribution
$35.00 Voluntary Contribution
$50.00 Voluntary Contribution

New Novelist Software

Effectively Manage Your List

Writers Digest 101 Site Award

Your Ad Here

Traffic Swarm For Writers

Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

Our Own Banner Rotator System
Any banner seen below is either our own or one of our members.
Support the cause - click a banner.

Want Your 468x60 Banner Above? It's FREE For Newly Published Books

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."