Why I Started this Blog

By: @blackangel1212

We have had many authors in our life publish amazing works, but these amazing works aren’t limited to select individuals. I have met and spoke with so many people who are phenomenal and create amazing stories filled with emotion. Your works come from a special place that automatically make it amazing and it upsets me when people do not believe they aren’t good enough or quit on the WIP’s because they do not get the support they were hoping for. I always wondered why some people were noticed while others were not. But I know many of you can do great, if just given the chance. So here I am creating something for the Writing Community, and I hope many more writers ask to join this small community of supporters, that I hope to grow! We lean on each other for support and give one another the courage and pride to continue writing. For all of you out there who feel they aren’t good enough, or that they don’t deserve to continue their stories, throw that thought out the window because you are truly one of a kind and there is no one on the planet like you!!

So many people although thanking me for doing this have also been asking me why I am doing this. So, I make this small article to explain why.

Growing up and even now I have always been overweight, no matter how many sports I played (I played baseball for over 10 years) or how many diets I went on (Going to 3 different nutritionist over the course of my life, weeks and weeks in the gym and even resorting to supplements) but no matter the case I rarely lost the weight. I am fine with that and how I am now, I’m healthy with no conditions and I couldn’t ask for anything better. But growing up being healthy didn’t mean anything to those around me. At this point in time, I know that all of you know what bullying is, either from being bullied yourself, seeing someone be bullied or even you were the bully. When I was younger, I was the one being bullied. I hated it and eventually I started to hate myself and the people around me. I sat by myself and learned to do everything myself so I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone. But no matter how bad everyone around me was, when they needed me for something I was there. I never said no. My kindness was all I had, and eventually I learned that I didn’t want to stoop to their levels.

I often retreated into books. I read a lot of fiction because it helped take me to another place, where I could get lost for days. It felt nice to not be me for once. And I was pushed so far down that I lost myself, I got so used to being alone that I ended up not even giving people a chance to show me any different. Everyone was the enemy and I was alone to fight it all myself. There were people that I did consider my friends at the time and I would be happy when they were with me but I felt disconnected, the happiness wasn’t genuine and only made me feel worse that this happy feeling was not something I could witness and truly feel all the time.

High school was different and the people I considered a friend got different schedules and we rarely saw each other. But I was fine being alone. Nothing changed either way. Then somewhere, during the 10th grade I met some people who didn’t laugh at me or ask me for something. They just wanted to hang out with me and get to know me and when they did learn more about me, they never asked me to change. They liked me for me. They brought that little spark back into my life that helped me to rebuild that connection I thought was broken long ago.

I will be forever grateful for this because a year later I started speaking to a guy. At first it was nothing serious and then after a couple of months it became something beautiful. My first boyfriend became my fiancé and then my husband and we have been happily together for 6 almost 7 years now. He brought a smile to my life that I thought I would never have, he brought me joy and laughter and most importantly self-confidence. He showed me that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was beautiful (or according to him the only one for him *faints from all this love!!!*) I can’t help but cry at this point lol, honestly I never thought I would have something like this in my life. I went all throughout elementary, middle and half of high school with people bullying me and bringing me down. I faced depression and was in situations that I do regret now, but I promise things get better over time.

That’s why I help people when I can and give them hope and do things like this blog. If I can be the first person that brightens your world and resparks that connection, then I am happy to know that I have brought someone out of the darkness that consumed a lot of my life. This is also a reason I have you guys give me some background information and talk about what inspired you to start writing, so everyone else reading your work can understand on an emotional level and see how much you really put into your work. Everyone has a different mind set and no one is the same. This doesn’t make us bad, it makes us unique and sometimes people just don’t understand that, thus giving you a chance to explain yourself.

I hope this explains in detail why I do this so those who ask me, know why. I really want to do well with this blog and bring joy to everyone who takes a part of it either by being featured or reading what is put on it.

So if you ever want to be featured on the blog or just need someone to talk to you can reach out to me here through my email, on twitter (@proudhutcher12) or Wattpad (@blackangel1212) if you have it! Until next time ❤

The Perfect Book Cover?

By: @blackangel1212 and @J_H_Hope

Despite what we want to believe, creating the perfect book cover will most likely never happen. However, before you go throwing things at me or saying harsh words, remember I said most likely. Who knows maybe you can be the one to deviate from this and create the perfect cover. Just remember that there are so many people in the world, meaning that there are so many different opinions, and from my perspective it can be hard to please them all.

Well then, why am I here reading this article?

Well thank you for asking my dear readers, let me tell you why. Despite my position regarding book covers, there are things we can do to make our cover look appealing.

Is the cover of a book even important?

Wow, another great question from you guys! (I am literally cringing while writing this article, I’m sorry XD, just bear with I promise the tips are good!) While most of us were growing up, we were told to never judge a book by its cover, and indeed this is an important lesson, but many only really apply it when meeting new people and not actually to book covers. Why? I really don’t know. But when people go shopping for a book, the cover is what attracts them. The only time I notice that a cover isn’t that important is when the author is well known, and the readers are waiting for the next book.

Besides that, we must do everything possible to draw them to our books. We are confident in the words we wrote and that once they start, they will want to finish it, but until then a book cover is fundamental for many writers. I mean, how many of us have chosen to read a book based on the cover? I know I am definitely guilty of it. To most readers, if they don’t see a good cover, they can automatically assume that the writer didn’t put any effort into the contents of the book because they put no effort into the cover. (Don’t look at my books, my covers are horrible XD, I am not a good example for this! *coughs and looks in the other direction*)

Get on with the tips already!!

Alright, I’m sorry my dear readers, you came here for some tips so let me give them to you: (*There will be examples of covers at the end, to show you that the look of one can vary.*)

#1. Title

The title of your book is very important. It gives the readers an example of what they will be reading. A great title can draw anyone in, making them wonder what can be inside the book. For me I always felt the title can be the hardest because we wonder how we can sum up our entire book into just a few words. But the title of the book isn’t the only thing. The font, the color, where it’s placed can mean the difference between someone choosing your book or not. By paying attention to these little things, you can increase the chances of your book being chosen out of the many others surrounding it. Remember not every writer is the same, and not every story is the same, so what may work for someone might not work for you. Test different options and get feedback on what you have done. See which option draws more people in. I’m here feel free to reach out to me or the co-author and ask for feedback.

#2. Cover Design

I know for many of you this is a very hard concept, where others know exactly what they want. You are the writer, you know how your book is and what it’s about. This in conjunction with the title will give the reader a sneak peek into what they are to expect when choosing your book. For me the design of a cover can be many different things, sometimes it’s important to put an image and other times it would be better to just leave the images out. When you design your cover, imagine what emotion you are trying to invoke. What is your message?  Put yourself in the place of a reader or ask someone that you know (but does not know the plot of your story) and ask them what they think when looking at it. Feedback will be your best friend and can help you perfect your cover design.

#3. Subtitle (Necessary or not?)

Many authors put a small sentence or phrase that gives an example of what the MC of your book will face, or maybe a decision they will face, or it can be related to the plot of the book. But there can be times when it isn’t necessary. Sometimes the cover design or the title can be more than enough. But other times, like with a fiction novel for example, (it’s not limited only to fiction!) a subtitle can give the reader more insight. Writing a subtitle can be another way to draw in a reader without them having to pick the book up and read the description. If you do decide to put a subtitle on your cover, it is usually placed near the bottom under the title, and the font size is a lot smaller then the title, but big enough so that it’s readable.

#4. Font

Okay so it might not be a big deal to some of you, but the font can make a huge difference. But if you ask anyone there is one forbidden font that should never be used unless there is a specific reason! That font is Comic Sans (*Hides in the corner, afraid to look*) For those of you who do not know, the comic sans font is, oddly, used frequently. Why? I have absolutely no idea, but it is. I’m not saying that it’s forbidden to use but, it is mostly used in books of comedy, and even then, that’s a stretch. For whatever reason put on this Earth, publishers and professionals have deemed this font the least professional to use. Anyone else feel sorry for the Comic Sans font or is it only me. Although there are other fonts that are considered unprofessional, none have ever compared to the hate Comic Sans have received. The font is just as important for the cover of your book as the title and cover design. It will help set the tone for whatever your book may be about, so the next time you create a cover just be aware of this small tip.  

#5. Layout (No, you can’t just throw everything onto the cover *takes a second to breathe*)

So, when looking through Wattpad for a story, you already lose if your story isn’t completed. Lots of people are wanting to read something that they don’t have to wait for. I mean how do we know if the author will continue writing the book, they may just give up on it or run into personal problems which, regrettably have happened to me. I mean it took me a little over 5 years just to come back and finish one of the books I have started. The second thing that is an automatic loss for you, is if your book looks overall unkept and messy. Once you have everything done that was listed in the previous tips, the last and most important step is putting them all together. Don’t let all that hard work go down the drain. You must be able to bring all the pieces together to complete the puzzle. If one piece is lost or misplaced, then the overall picture just looks wrong. Luckily for many, the layout of books is almost the same, well the same in their respective genre. I would suggest trying different types of placement and asking others what they think of it, but in the end it is your book and you know how you want it to look, so don’t ever feel that you should change what you worked hard on.

#6. Relevance

When creating your cover keep the images, colors, and fonts relevant to your story. If your story is about a vampire, then you don’t want to have an image of a puppy as your cover. If your story is one of romance, then you won’t want to write your title in a spooky font. If your story is dark and mysterious, then you shouldn’t create a cover with neon colors. I know this seems obvious, and I am exaggerating a bit to get my point across, but these things are important. On the latest cover that I created I got the image and font all settled into place, but something was still off about it. Then I began playing around with colors and saturations and discovered that I needed cooler tones rather than warmer ones. Simple and slight differences like this can make all the differences in the world. You know your story and you know what images, colors, and fonts fit best. Trust your instincts! If something doesn’t feel right, play around and make changes. I know we sound repetitive at this point, but it really does help to get another person’s point of view.

I originally started this blog for Wattpad writers because it is the platform I use as well. After spending a lot of time on Twitter I have made friends and met people who are writers outside of this platform. So, I know that these tips might not follow along exactly with what you may need, but I do hope that a couple of them do help you.

My fellow Wattpad writers, I know the struggle of getting the perfect cover. I’m sure every writer feels this way, but for us and other platforms like it, our cover is the main thing readers see besides the title. So, it’s important for us to nail it in order to get those views, especially if our books are not completed. You have many things you can do! You can try to create a cover yourself which at times can be hard. You can utilize the forums, there are many people offering their services of creating covers (such as @GalaxyGazer_12 who created my cover for Dangerous Obsession, I’ll leave the link below to her forum where she is accepting people!). Most of the time they just ask for a follow and to check out their stories, but they indeed can make beautiful covers that I know you will love. Lastly, you can also use sites that offer a service of creating a cover, some that may charge you money and others that can be used for free.

https://www.canva.com/create/wattpad-covers/ (This is just an example of a site that you can use to create a cover. There is a free subscription, that allows you to choose from templates and so on, if you feel it can help you, you should definitely check it out, but I would suggest checking out the forums on Wattpad first before attempting this site or others.)

I know these tips aren’t the absolute best, but they are good to help you get started and even catch some things you may have missed. I sure do hope that they help you in one way or another! You can always reach out to me or the co-author of the site @J_H_Hope if you ever want us to tell you how your cover looks. Remember, feedback is a powerful ally in the writing community, use it wisely!

Until next time my dear readers ❤

https://www.wattpadwriters.com/t/book-covers-for-anyone-who-needs-one/266127 (The Link to @GalaxyGazer_12 forum!)

Tips for Writer’s Block

By: @J_H_Hope

Writer’s block. An antagonist that all writers face at some point in their lives. Although writer’s block can feel like you are perpetually stuck in the mud, there are some common ways to combat this enemy. I am here to help you on this journey, so I will list and explain some of the ways that I personally battle the dreaded block.

#1: Read

I know it might feel like you’re wasting time by doing something as fun as picking up a good book and settling in for some reading, but trust me on this one. All writers must have an undying love for reading. You might pick up a book and feel a little jealous that the author of that published work passed the test of writer’s block, but I’m here to tell you that even the best of the best must continuously battle this frustrating ailment. Reading not only gets you relaxed and helps with the frustration, but it also helps to subconsciously give you inspiration. Anyone who knows me and reads my works can automatically pick out scenes or elements of my stories that I have written with other authors or books as inspiration. Ideas can strike without you even knowing it, as you read along to another author’s work. Then when you return to your own work you have fresh ideas and inspiration to work with.

#2: Meditate

This one might make you feel a bit silly, but hang with me for a second. Any of my fellow writers working through mental health issues can probably attest to the helpfulness of a good clearing of the mind. I know how upsetting and frustrating the lack of ideas and writing inspiration can be. You can start to feel like your mind is too crowded to come up with any new ideas. If you have other things going on in your life while trying to write (work stress, family matters, etc.) then you might not can focus just on your work. This might be an underlying cause of your writer’s block. For me personally, a lot of my focus is drawn into my college courses right now, so whether I am working on homework or my personal writings I am usually distracted by classes. If you are facing writer’s block with a crowded mind, try stepping away and meditating. You don’t necessarily have to sit cross-legged in the floor and listen to relaxing flute music, which seems to be the stereotypical image of meditation. Try finding something that helps you to personally clear your head. It could be walking your dog, cooking a dish, taking a bubble bath, or listening to your favorite song. Find whatever helps you as an individual to unclutter your thoughts. As they have an app for just about everything now, you could try an app. I have used one in particular that is very nice and helps teach you how to untangle your thoughts, and I recommend it. It’s called “Headspace” if any of you would like to search it and put it to use.

#3: Observe

I know what you’re thinking, what is looking around at things going to do for my writer’s block? I have always been the type of person to sit back and observe, rather than jump into the action or socialization. A wallflower in other words. I am much more comfortable watching and noticing things, especially in a crowd, than I am standing and interacting in the mix. By doing this all my life, I have acquired lots of inspiration for my writings. When I notice myself starting to lack in inspiration, I will grab a notebook and go to a park or a coffee shop in my home town and just observe. I will observe the people and things around me and how they interact. For example, I take note of how a bird interacts with a passing pedestrian, or how a squirrel skitters up a tree. By doing this, I practice my skills in description, gain analogies to use in works, and I also gain character inspiration. I know this one is a little difficult to do in the trying times that we find ourselves in, but our observation skills never stop working. Find something to observe. If you have a favorite movie, watch it and observe something that you might not have caught while watching it before. If you have a favorite show, take notes on the quirky behaviors your favorite characters possess. If you have a favorite or a love of art, observe the different details in a piece of art and ponder the meanings of those different details. All of these are ways of sitting back and observing.

#4: Write

Okay guys again hear me out. You’re here because you have writer’s BLOCK, how can I expect you to battle that by doing the one thing it feels like you can’t do…write? The answer is simple, you do not have to have active inspiration in order to write. I like to keep a journal of any thoughts that simply won’t go away. In times of writer’s block, I take my journal and elaborate on those clinging thoughts. It could be thoughts on the trying times we face, rouge shower thoughts that you can’t get out of your head, or just something you wish you had said to someone but didn’t. I tend to talk to myself in my journal. I sometimes give myself advice or pretend I’m talking to a friend. My journal is like an imaginary friend for a twenty-year-old. Some things I write in there probably wouldn’t be coherent for outsiders to read, but it gets my hand moving and my brain gears turning. Just write. It doesn’t matter what it’s about. Sit at your computer or with your notebook and let the words flow. To paraphrase Hemmingway, “sit at your typewriter and bleed.”

#5: Get Feedback

This one was once very difficult for me. I was far too shy to actually let anyone read my work. But if there is anything that four years of high school marching and concert band taught me, it is that constructive criticism and feedback play a huge role in improving and making progress. If it’s only you staring at a work, then inspiration will begin to run dry more and more often. While I am confident that all of you reading this are plenty imaginative and talented to write a novel or work by yourselves, you don’t have to work so hard. Reach out for help. Letting someone else read and give feedback on your work can give you ideas and perspectives that you may have never thought of. If your own imagination can accomplish however much of a work you’ve gotten done so far, then imagine what you and your friend, or your sibling, or your parent, or a fellow writer could accomplish! Be open to what they have to say about it. My little sister is seventeen years old and she is the biggest critic I have. She reads my works occasionally, and she is harsh in telling me everything she would do different. At first, this means of feedback was very hard to hear. But in time I learned to appreciate and use her bluntness to my advantage. My writings improved and my perspective on my style of writing changed. My friend, and co-author, @blackangel1212 is a fellow writer who I go to very often for feedback. She reads most of my works long before I venture to post them, because her perspective and feedback adds to the quality of my work. Be open and reach out. Don’t be shy! Who knows they might fall in love with your work! That happened by surprise recently for me! Let your creativity be changed by and possibly even change someone else’s perspective. The worst that could happen is they don’t like it. Trust me friends, it’s worth that small risk.

#6: Let your creativity flow

Writer’s are artists! We create mental films using the written word! When we experience writer’s block it feels like that creativity is, well, blocked. I know many of you like to draw and paint. That’s a wonderful way to get those creative cogs turning. I personally enjoy turning to music as an alternate creative hobby. I can’t exactly buy and bring a whole marimba home to play, which is the instrument I played in high school, but I can find other musical means of being creative. With the skills I learned from high school I can sort of play the piano, and I also enjoy looking up pieces of music and following along to the tune’s written sheet music. Any other creative hobbies you have are wonderful ways to keep your creativity flowing while you are stuck in your writing.

I use these methods to prevent and work my way out of difficult writer’s block moments. Whether you are currently going through writer’s block or just want to try and prevent it from happening in the future, I hope these methods help. You’ll get through these little battles and eventually make it to the end of a work. Whatever you do, don’t give up! If you just stop all effort in trying to get over this little hump, that’s when you let writer’s block win. You and the work you’ve started deserve better than that! I wish you the best of luck and happy writing!

What do you think of these tips guys!! I’m more than sure that as writer’s you have gone through similar experiences. If you would like to know some more tips for other problems you may face, comment below what you would want to hear about next! Remember to stay safe and healthy ❤