Neil O'Donnell

Neil O'Donnell

About Me

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Buffalo, New York, United States
Nationally certified career coach with expertise in writing résumés and cover letters for professionals around the world. 15+ years of focus helping new graduates and seasoned professionals find good jobs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beating Writer's Block a.k.a. why snow is good

For me, winter is always too short [no, I'm not a skiing fanatic]. For me the cold temps and snow are just a great backdrop. Today I woke up to a fresh, five inches of snow that needed to be dealt with before work. I got up at 6am, filled up the snowblower and started to work on the driveway. Funny thing while you're snowblowing: there's not much in the way of distractions, especially at 6am (not counting the swirling blades of course). What passes the time for me? This morning the time enjoying the snow (and the occasional blast of thrown snow in my face) also allowed me to consider part of my sequel, a pivotal part, that had been dogging me. The critical turning point for the two main characters is something I've been considering for years, and I am almost to that point in the novel [so time was running short]. That time this morning helped me consider the bare elements of the story, and, without distractions, I was able to plot out the related scenes [which I immediately outlined once I got into the house]. While I know not everyone enjoys or has access to snow, every writer has an environment or setting that calms them. Find that space or place, and the next time you face "writer's block," spend time in your space; it will help. Take care everyone.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rise of the Celts

Progress on the next book [tentatively titled 'RISE OF THE CELTS'] is progressing. It literally took about a month to make it through two pages of dialogue/narration, which is why LVARA'S SONG has been on the back burner. It's amazing how words can flow quickly and then feel like you've hit a brick wall. In any event, 'RISE OF THE CELTS' is really going o pull in place names from Buffalo, NY and will be more historically based then the 1st book. What's going to be included? The names of rivers, creeks, streets and historic buidlings will surface. Why use the names I heard from childhood? As a writer, I like to visualize stories, and the use of things I've experienced helps in that capacity. If you are a writer and faced with the dreaded 'writer's block,' I encourage you to try this. Name mountains, rivers and cities after ones from your childhood; it will help your writing progress.

P.S. If you're stuck on naming characters, open the phone book and start using LAST names for character 1st names. It always works for me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy New Year!

I know January's about half over. Yet, as the first blog the the new year, I thought wishing everyone a happy and safe 2010 was acceptable. As for the blog, I am adjusting things just a bit. Aside from the occasional shameless self-promotion (yeah! PEOPLE OF THE SWORD is for sale), I decided to add more on the writing side. For the first blog, I wanted to go over book promotion, something that's important now that holiday sales are over. How do authors publicize their work? I agree with many that there's is now simple answer. My suggestion, find some way to have an online presence (a blog, Twitter, FaceBook, etc). I thought about a web page, but that's just not me. Find an online medium that works for you.

Another suggestion, contact schools you attended and ask them to post an announcement in any alumni publication the institution has. While you are at it, see if the school will host a book signing for you.

Finally, search the internet for ideas. Many agents and authors have posted a variety of advice (some good, some not so good) about ways for authors to get the word out about their publications. Read thru the advice and find something that feels right.

Hope this gives readers at least some direction. Have your own ideas? Reply to this post; I'd love to hear about it. Take care.