Tag Archives: writing

Wants Vs. Needs : A Writer Struggle

So I really haven’t talked about my books in a while (bad author). Yeah I know, I have been pre occupied with a lot. However but I can feel things slowly settling down now and I can get back to doing what I love. Talking about and writing about my faith and romance mixed with some African spice.

With that said I have so many things I want to do competing with things that I absolutely need to do right now. This is a writer struggle or at least my struggle. The reason I struggle is that I have all these characters that are about two books away talking to me or some projects I want to finish. So I just want to stop and write a few scenes, or tackle what’s going on in my head. But the practical part of my brain tells me what needs to happen.

So I had to reevaluate my wants vs needs.

The words wants vs needs written on sticky colored paper over cork board

I really want to start on my special collaboration project. Also to write my ‘revenge’ story, finish two short stories I have exclusively for my subscribers, send out more newsletters and blog more consistently- Motivation Monday, Writer Wednesday & Goodreads Friday. However all these wants are all going to take a small back seat (except blogging & the newsletter I hope) until those things I absolutely need to do.


Now to my needs; I need to finish up Anchored By Love. It is way overdue. I need to prepare the PowerPoint presentation for the workshop I’ll be giving at the Black Writers &Book Clubs Literary Festival in Memphis next month and finally start seriously writing Final Ultimatum, it is due to my publisher (Brown Girl Faith) by November.

So how do I stay focus and finish out the year strong with my writing goals?

  1. Call on my Ever Present Help: First and fore most I’ve called on my Ever Present Help -Jesus. He and I have been talking… “I can’t do this by my might Lord. I have a plan but I’m gonna need you to help me out. Please clear my mind and keep me focused.”
  2. Making a plan : I’ll divide my days into dedicated writing days and dedicated social media days.
  3. Set Time table: My PowerPoint. Anchored By Love and Final Ultimatum all have hard target dates.
  4. Putting everyone on notice: Every living thing..lol in my house has been put on notice. “Mummy has to get this done, She took of the whole month of July for y’all, so you’re gonna chip in and help her do this. No distractions during my blocked out time” Yep that’s the speech I’m gonna give.

Also important, I’m gonna need you to keep me accountable. Check on me through Facebook or Twitter and ask me how I’m doing?

How do you keep focused when your wants and constantly clash with your needs? Drop some advice in the comments.

Be Blessed


Oops I almost forgot, I joined Periscope follow me at “unwankwor”. My own personal TV channel..ha! Haven’t gotten the full hang of it, but come show me some love.

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Hot Off The Press :A-Z Basic Editing Tips: A Motivational Guide for Writers By Barbara Joe Williams

Hey there! I’m back with a new book for this Friday. Today is a good one. Not only do I have the pleasure of introducing someone I learn from constantly on social media but it’s a book for writers too! Yep today our Hot Off The Press book is a non fiction/self help aimed helping you with the writing craft.

With out delay, allow me to introduce Barbara Joe Williams , she co authored the book, A-Z Basic Editing Tips: A Motivational Guide for Writers with Felicia S.W. Thomas



Overall, very helpful tips and hints on the writing process. The length is perfect for the writer who needs information, but doesn’t have time to invest hours digging for it in reference books or online. Maybe not a catchall writing reference, but definitely a catch-plenty! Well done . . . Alfred Haynes, aspiring author and beta reader.



In general, you want to avoid abbreviations whenever possible, especially when writing fiction. However, sometimes it is appropriate. Use a period after each letter in an abbreviation, unless the abbreviation serves as the name of organizations or government agencies such as: AFL, AMA, NEA, TWA, etc. If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not to use a period, consult a modern dictionary for updated practices.

Abbreviations should be used with titles before proper nouns.

For example:
It would be inappropriate to write, “She went to a consultation with the Dr.”

It would be appropriate to write, “She went to a consultation with Dr. Smith (or the doctor).”

Abbreviations may be used with dates or numerals, but only when specific dates are given: A.D., B.C., A.M., P.M., and No.
For example:
It would be incorrect to write, “We went to the doctor in the P.M.”

It would be correct to write, “We went to the doctor at 2:00 P.M. yesterday.”

Always spell out personal names and the names of countries, cities, days, months, states, and days of the week. In addition, the following words should be spelled out when writing fiction:

Parts of an address – Avenue, Boulevard, Road, Circle, Court, Lane, Drive, Parkway, Terrace, Street, North, South, East, and West.

Numerals – pounds, feet, yards, ounces, miles per hour, and volume.

Other words that should be spelled out – chapter, company, page, and subject; there are many others; consult a grammar guide.

In nonfiction writing, spell out proper names first with the abbreviation in parentheses next to it.

For example:
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Capital Regional Medical Center (CRMC), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), etc.

However, don’t go back and forth between the spelled-out name and the abbreviation. Also, do not open a sentence with an abbreviation.
All right/alright

Alright is not all right. It is not like the words altogether and already, which have legitimate meanings. Altogether blends “all” and “together” and means totally or taking everything into consideration. Already blends “all” and “ready” and means before, by now, or the time in question.

Alright is a different story. It’s not a real word, but “all” and “right” jammed together. It’s used so much it has practically become acceptable. It is used on television, on billboards, and in many forms of media.

Let’s start a movement to get rid of this word. Avoid using it as much as possible and use the correct form: all right. All right means satisfactory, fairly well, an emphasis on certainty, or expressing or asking for agreement.

For example:
It would be incorrect to write, “Alright, I’m ready to go.”

It would be correct to write, “Are you all right?”

Alright has become the new ain’t. Ain’t is the slang term for “am not” and is usually associated with the Southern or rural vernacular. Ain’t is quaint and has become more than acceptable in fiction writing, but it would be improper in nonfiction.

Alright should not be acceptable in any writing, especially since the word shrinks every day.

You’ve seen alright with the “l” and the “r” dropped in the middle of the word, and now it’s “aight”. In text speak, it’s “ite.” “All right” can’t get any smaller – well, yes it can, by not using it.

About Barbara


Barbara Joe Williams is an Amazon bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction books. She is an independent publisher, and motivational speaker. She founded Amani Publishing, LLC, in 2004. She also co-founded the Tallahassee Authors Network in 2008. Barbara has an A.A. degree in Office Education from Tallahassee Community College, a B.S. in Business Teacher Education from Florida A&M University, and a M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from Florida A&M University.  She currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida, with a husband, a teenage daughter, and a golden retriever.

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If you are a writer, please make sure you get this book.

Be Blessed,


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#WriterWednesday: Part Of The Family

Open book with golden magic light and falling stars on  dark  backgroundFunny story, when I was writing my first novel, An Unexpected Blessing , I called my husband Alex ( the book’s hero) almost all the time. It got so bad that he would give me the side eye, until the warning came. But then as a creative himself he understood how the characters live with you. Becomes part of your waking and sleeping.

Well I don’t do that anymore, or rather I catch myself before I do. But that doesn’t they are still not with me always. It’s funny because sometimes I’d think of something, a plot idea and I would go “naaah my present heroine wont do that, but oooooweeee the heroine of my next book will.” You see the characters I write I build from the ground up. I know I already told you that their core is getting back the hope they lost or restoration back to where they used to be. If you missed it you can read it here . But all of the characters are as different as their names.

Recently I got this review of A Scoop Of Love “I loved the characters, they felt real and I could relate to all their struggles. I loved the detail in which Unoma writes, every time Ibiso prepared a meal, I did feel like I was there in the kitchen with her. Can’t wait to read book two!”

I loved it, because it took a great deal to build all three Danjuma brothers and the women that will capture their hearts. And I’m glad it reflected in the story.  Nancy Kress says that to be a writer, you must learn to be three people at once:writer, reader, character.

According to Jordan Dane, “It’s not enough to picture their outward appearance. Give them a background and sphere of influence”

I had no clue how to do this until I talked to one of my mentors. She asked, “So who is Yomi?” (Yomi is the hero in my second published work, my Christmas novelette. I said “He is a rich, fine, biracial man.” She said, “And….” I was totally speechless then she sent me a character profile and I have used it ever since. I spend time building my characters before I write a word. At least I have the basics, so what is a character profile…here is a version of what I use



Family life (or origin) and its effects:

Mother and relationship with her:

Father and relationship with him:

Siblings and relationship with them:

Extended family and relationship with them

Current family life:



Weight and build

Body type

Face type

Predominant feature/Distinguishing marks:




Clothing style:

Speaking style:

General demeanor:

Career and social status:

Religious beliefs:

Relationship history:

Health history



Best qualities:

Worst qualities:

Bad habits:




Personality traits:


Best thing that ever happened to them:

Worst thing that ever happened to them:



What is most important to them? :

What makes them angry?

There are so many other questions on my sheet. A profile helps when I’m figuring out their dialogue and their reaction to things or what moves and drives them.

To authors, how do you shape the characters in your work.

To readers, do you appreciate the depth of the characters you read.

Please share in the comments

Be Blessed


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May You Believe.

Recently, I’ve been in a huge writing slump. Not that I can’t write but I feel I’m basically writing crap. Don’t know if you have ever felt that way about something that you know in your heart you can do, but at the present you just feel blah.

You’re cooking your signature soup. You have done it time and time again. People who have tasted it swear by your soup. You should know the drill by now right?But then you still wonder, does it have the right kick? Will people know it’s chicken soup and not veggie soup? Can they tell it’s Egusi soup and not Onugbu?

Well that’s my problem recently. I’m in love with Jabir & Damisi’s story in Anchored By Love one minute, the next I’m trying to strangle both of them and their group of friends. But I keep going, complaining the whole way. I’m in revisions and I still have about three more edits so I need to get my act together and trust the process. A friend of mine sent me this and so for Writer Wednesday, I’m sharing it with you, just in case you are going through the same.

may you believe

I know this is a general prayer but for me it reminds me to keep the faith. The Holy Spirit is my muse and I have to trust and rely on my source to give me the right words and perfect it. If your writing is not going the way you want, stick with it. Get to the end, you cannot fix a blank page. No matter your stage in the process. It will be beautiful in the end.

Be Blessed


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