Home > Archives

Attitude is Everything

November 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

Why is attitude everything when it comes to our writing? Because it is our own choice what our attitude will be. And if it isn’t great, we have the choice to change it.

Attitude is everything quote above a pic of Yosemite Half Dome from Glacier Point created by Denise M. Colby

How we react to feedback or the different set-backs on our writing journey can make a difference. I have had plenty of negative feedback, disappointments, “where do I go from here” moments. But I’ve also encountered encouragement that has helped me pick myself up off the floor and get back at it.

In some ways, my writing journey has been a great life lesson of growth for me.

And I want to encourage you in your writing journey.

Change your attitude

My word this is year is change. One definition of change is to become different; be altered or modified. I also love the definition to replace with something else, especially something of the same kind that is newer or better. For me, attitude was part of the change I wanted to make this year in how I approached my health, my time, and my writing.

Writing is such a mental game

Attitude becomes a philosophy – if you think negatively, you will be negative. If you think positive, you’ll be more positive.

If you think you can’t do it, you won’t.

When you think you can, you will keep moving forward and not let the negativity stop you. Our attitudes in every little step will allow us to keep moving forward. 

Be willing to learn and accept feedback

Write and write some more

Try and try again.

Don’t give up.

Denise M. Colby loves to write words to encourage, enrich, and engage with others. You can find similar encouraging posts on A Slice of Orange such as meeting writing goals or when your confidence wavers, and on her own website , including a blog post about Moments of Encouragement. She also loves to write about her word of the year and share quotes that include that specific word in them. Each word builds a new layer in her writing journey (and her life). In 2022, her word was Work. This year, her word is change.

0 0 Read more

Why Attending a Writer’s Conference is a Good Idea

October 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby

I’m at the airport flying home from the Faith, Hope, Love Writers Conference in Phoenix, Arizona and I’m just over the moon with how much I enjoyed attending this event. And why I’m shouting from the rooftops that attending a writer’s conference is a good idea.

Reasons to attend a writer’s conference

I believe there are seasons in our writing journey. There are also many different types of writers conferences. So it’s important to discern which ones are the right ones to attend by looking at cost vs what you need to get out of a conference. For me, there were several reasons this was the right conference at this time.

Denise M. Colby ready for the Faith Hope Love Christian Writer's Conference in September 2023

Meet Your Writing Community

First, this writing group is the most aligned with my genre and industry. I’ve been a part of the FHL writing community for over ten years. We are an online group, and so the idea of meeting my people in person was very appealing. This included a member from my critique group. We have been emailing each other for two years weekly, so getting a chance to interact in person was so much fun. Not only do we know each other’s writing very well, and could give encouragement with the pitches we made and throughout the sessions (“this is a great thing to apply to your book!”), we both felt we had a writing buddy to hang out with during the conference. 

I also know several other writers attending from other memberships, and it was so much fun to see them again and give them a hug. I actually had someone at this conference from all the different writing groups I belong to, so that was a lot of fun.

Denise M. Colby with critique partner Kim at the Faith Hope Love Christian Writer's Conference in September 2023
Denise Colby with her critique partner, Kim

Be Encouraged

Writing can be a very isolating experience and being able to interact with other writers who struggle with the same feelings as I do was very refreshing. 

After taking a few months off of writing, I was really unsure about my writing future. I hoped that a focused weekend away from the distractions of home would help me discern my next steps. And I wasn’t wrong. Within the first few moments of registration I was in a conversation with another attendee and after hearing their story, I felt encouraged. And throughout the entire weekend it was the same story over and over again.

Expand Your Writing Craft

Being inspired with new techniques. Besides fellowship, the craft sessions are helpful in learning additional tips and tools for your everyday learning and hearing updates related to the industry from publishers. 

books and magazines, bag, and name tag at the Faith Hope Love Christian Writer's Conference in September 2023

Pitching at a Writer’s Conference is Great Experience

I am at this stage of my writing career. Challenging myself to pitch in order to gain experience, glean feedback, and possibily move to the next step is crucial. I received some good feedback that helps me know my next steps. This information was invaluable for me as I make a gameplan for the rest of the year.

Time to regroup

My home is full of laughter and fun busyness. It’s also difficult to carve out a quiet space to focus and hear God’s direction in my writing life. This weekend gave me the space I needed to be encouraged. I received ideas of next steps, and flushed out a game plan. I’m so excited to know what I’m working on next and with new goals to work towards.

Now The Real Work Begins

Now the real work begins. But that’s okay. I have a new quote I’m using right now to help me. My word this year is change. I recently read this quote and a light bulb went off in my brain. It’s perfect for what I’m trying to do. These next steps in writing will be challenging. But after this conference I feel ready to embrace the challenge knowing it needs to be this way if I’m going to move on to the next level. 

If it doesn’t challenge you, it will not change you.

Change quote with typewriter and wood background that says If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. graphic made by Denise M. Colby

If you haven’t attended a conference, consider finding one in your area to participate in. Look at what the genre’s are, the speakers and the topics being presented. Do they interest you? Will there be industry professionals and others there who you can learn from? Then take a leap and have a great time!

Denise Colby loves to write about her word of the year and share quotes that include that specific word in them. Each word builds a new layer in her writing journey (and her life). In 2022, her word was Work. This year, her word is change.

0 0 Read more

How My Life Changes Affect My Storytelling

September 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

I have made the realization this year that as my life changes through the years, the way I view my original story has changed. Change being the central word here. And my word for 2023. So what type of changes in my life am I talking about?

Blog header titled How My Life Changes affect my storytelling by denise M. Colby

Life is full of changes

I knew there would be several big life changes this year on a personal level. Two children graduating and one getting engaged being among the largest change. I also have been making strides in some health choices, adding in yoga daily and working with a doctor to heal specific areas of my body. And then the bonus life change was the addition of our puppy, Ace, in June.

But the other reason I chose the word change this year was for my writing. I wanted to change the way I edited my story. Change my phrasing. And not be afraid to change my characters. All for the better, of course. I felt focusing on the word change could help me mentally make significant changes in my story to make it stronger.

Age changes us

What I didn’t plan for was really thinking about my story from a different perspective. An age perspective. See, when I started writing my story over ten years, I was in a different time in my life. My kids were younger, I was younger and my relationships were younger.

Young love looked different to me. And I’m not as naive as I once was. Life changes over the years have exposed me to new perspectives.

But I’m not upset about all of this. I’m just more aware. And have to make decisions now based on this new awareness. Taking some time to figure out what I believe in, how I view the world, and what’s important to me will help me write better stories. My own life changes can help me develop stronger characters who go through their own life changes.

Change is important

I have enjoyed learning about the word change this year. Change allows us to move forward in life and experience new and exciting things. We all change and evolve daily, weekly, yearly.

I think our writing changes and evolves with us as well.

Do you think your writing changes as you grow older? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Denise Colby loves to write about her word of the year and share quotes that include that specific word in them. Each word builds a new layer in her writing journey (and her life). In 2022, her word was Work. This year, her word is change.

Change Quote by Eckhart Tolle for blog post about life changes
0 1 Read more

Writing Time Literally Going to the Dog

August 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as ,

We have a new puppy, so my free writing time is literally going to the dog right now.

So instead of writing some great blog post, I thought I’d share some cute pics of our puppy.

But first, being the historical writer that I am, I looked up the phrase, go to the dogs, just to make sure I had its meaning correct. And sure enough, the summary meaning is becoming ruined.

Although it was originally tied to bad food that wasn’t good for human consumption. For this post, I thought I would write a fun, cute article that basically says my writing time has been ruined. That I’m distracted by the dog. Hence, all my writing time is going to the dog.

Meet the new dog

So, without any further ado, let’s meet our new puppy, Ace.

Denise Colby new puppy named Ace which is where all her writing time is going

This is the first day we brought him home from a lab rescue group. About five months old, he’s super sweet and pretty easy going.

Writer Denise M. Colby with her new puppy Ace
Writer Denise M. Colby with the family’s new puppy

Of course the call came in the week of my son’s high school graduation, so things were pretty chaotic. But we had to go with the flow if we wanted to adopt him. My word this year is change, and although I knew there would be a lot of change this year, getting a puppy wasn’t on my radar! But he’s stolen our hearts and we love him.

Naming the Dog

Now, it took us about a week to name him. This is mostly our son’s dog, so he had some cool names he was coming up with. A huge 80’s music fan, Huey was at the top of the list, as well as Elo, and a few others. But what tipped the scales was when my other son threw out the name Ace. As in Batman’s dog Ace (from the Justice League cartoons). Being a batman fan, that one became the winner and thus our dog is named Ace.

photo of Ace the Bat-hound from the DC universe website justice league to illustrate why we chose the name Ace for our dog
This is Ace, the Bat-Hound from Justice League. Photo taken from the DC website

So of course, we had to have a photo shoot with my son wearing his Batman costume so we could introduce Ace to everyone on social media. We even found a dog toy with the logo on it. Such cute photos.

Why My Writing Time is Going to the Dog

We have had middle of the night wake-ups, and other puppy antics too. Like chewing. We can’t really leave him alone too much right now. Which makes it difficult to dive into my manuscript.

We are now in puppy training class, which also teaches us humans on how to behave with the dog. As you can see, we have our hands full. It won’t last forever, but this is what we’ve been doing this summer. I hope to show him periodically in my Author social media. So follow along on my instagram at denisem.colby I’ll leave you with this last pic so you can say awww.

Ace, Denise M. Colby's new dog, loves playing with balls. Denise M. Colby loves throwing the balls for him which takes away from her writing time
Ace loves playing with balls. And I love throwing balls for him, which takes away from writing, but gets me outside.

Denise Colby loves to write about her word of the year. Each word builds a new layer in her writing journey (and her life). In 2022, her word was Work. This year, her word is change.

2 1 Read more

How To ReStart Writing After A Prolonged Break

July 12, 2023 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

How do you restart writing after taking a prolonged break? Do you jump in to a daily quota right away or start slowly one time a week working on your manuscript? Do you spend time reading what you wrote, first? Or, do you start writing a new scene to work with something fresh? Do you start a completely new project, or go back to the one you were working on before?

Blog banner titled how to restart writing, after taking a break by Denise M. Colby

I don’t think there is a wrong way to restart writing, but there may be ideas we can use to help us get back into strong habits right away. I’d love to hear what you’ve done. Share them in the comments below.

As I am writing this blog post, I’m facing this very thing, restarting writing. I took a few months off to enjoy my sons’ graduations (college in May, hs in June) which I wrote about in last month’s blog post, and now I’m ready to write and edit again. As I started working on a few scenes over the weekend, the time flies. And I need to it to be quiet around me, which is hard to do with everyone home. All of these thoughts made me realize I need a game plan. And I couldn’t remember what I did before.

One thing I’m truly thankful for is my critique group. With a possibility of a weekly submission, I have a built-in deadline to help me complete a task. This is a huge motivator to restart writing.

Next I need to figure out when everyone will not be home, or I need to go somewhere to write. I love my large monitor, but maybe getting out the house will be exactly the best approach.

Denise is writing a western historical series set in 1869 California. She’s in the middle of editing the first book in the series, a full-length novel as well as a fun rom-com novella, with a few side characters.

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM