Saturday, January 28, 2012

ReP: Obvious to you… Amazing to others…Jan28

I thought I would share this bit of insight with you this morning.

I feel that most of us ‘creative’ minded people have a ‘doubting demon’ housed in the backs of our consciousnesses, slowly feeding and chipping away on our confidence. This constantly reminds us that we ‘don’t have what it takes’.
Sometimes, throughout the process of creating a piece of art, (no matter what the medium you choose to utilize), without warning and quite uninvited the thoughts occur from deep inside, “I can’t do this. Maybe I’ll try again later. It’s not as good as the other guy. I should just give up.

This constant diet of negative thought makes it very difficult to ‘believe’ in our own work, and to prove to ourselves that it IS good enough to keep pursuing.
Well okay, maybe you don’t have one of these critters dwelling in the dark recesses of your confidence, but I definitely do. Unfortunately I listen to this advice more than I should.
I have discovered that the trick to finishing a project doesn’t have anything to do with the encouragement we receive from family, friends or our peers. It does however have everything to do with the never ending fight within ourselves, against our own self esteem, self perception and how we value ourselves in comparison to what we think of others.
Having listened to my inner doubt one day and avoiding my true desires to write, I found this fantastic piece of advice while stumbling through the vastness of the internet. It struck me so profoundly that I posted a note right over the top of my computer to constantly remind me of its thoughtful and inspiring message.
It has helped me overpower the doubts I fight, sometimes daily, in this quest of mine to write a better story.
So here it is. I truly hope you glean from it everything I did and it can prove as a source of weaponry against your own ‘doubting demon’.

I wish you only good luck in your pursuits, whatever they may be. Follow your dreams, they will lead you to good places.

S.J. Johnson



"Any creator of anything knows this feeling:
You experience someone else's innovative work. It's beautiful, brilliant, breath-taking. You're stunned.
Their ideas are unexpected and surprising, but perfect.
You think, “I never would have thought of that. How do they even come up with that? It's genius!
Afterwards, you think, “My ideas are so obvious. I'll never be as inventive as that.”
I get this feeling often. Amazing books, music, movies, or even amazing conversations. I'm in awe at how the creator thinks like that. I'm humbled.
But I continue to do my work. I tell my little tales. I share my point of view. Nothing spectacular. Just my ordinary thoughts.
One day someone emailed me and said, “I never would have thought of that. How did you even come up with that? It's genius!”
Of course I disagreed, and explained why it was nothing special.
But afterwards, I realized something surprisingly profound:
Everybody's ideas seem obvious to them.
I'll bet even John Coltrane or Richard Feynman felt that everything they were playing or saying was pretty obvious.
So maybe what's obvious to me is amazing to someone else?
Hit songwriters, in interviews, often admit that their most successful hit song was one they thought was just stupid, even not worth recording.
We're clearly a bad judge of our own creations. We should just put it out and let the world decide.
Are you holding back something that seems too obvious to share?"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Micro-Story Writing Game on FB

CHECK IT OUT! Click the link and cast your vote for your favorite short story
The countdown: Only 10 DAYS left to participate, read and vote!
Don't miss out on your chance to win a free copy of my book by posting your winning micro-story.
I’m very excited about the entries we have so far, I will be casting my own votes next week. Click the link now and check them out!
** Writers,
Be sure to share again and get your friends to read and vote for their favorite entry **

Friday, January 20, 2012

Author S.J. Johnson: Shameless Plug : The Drive - New Release!

Author S.J. Johnson: Shameless Plug : The Drive - New Release!: Click ON SALE NOW! ‘The Drive’

Shameless Plug : The Drive - New Release!

Brian Hadley began to recognize that he was losing everything he had been working his whole life to build. He realized he needed to reconnect with his family before it was too late. In hopes of salvaging what is left of their slowly dissolving and parting relationships, he designed what he thought to be the perfect family get away; a road trip to a remote mountain Lodge merely a few hundred miles drive away from their home. 
Along the way Brian, his wife Kathy and their three children discover much more than a rekindling of their family bonds with each other as they attempt to escape the deadly and treacherous landscape surrounding them.
Their holiday away to discover each other rapidly becomes a struggle for their very survival when they are suddenly thrust into a wild and unpredictable land filled with unnatural and deadly threats at every turn. A place shrouded in dense unforgiving fog and seemingly determined to destroy them as they endure one torment after another.
The question is no longer will they regain what they have lost from each other, but rather how will they survive, the drive.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Micro-Story Writing Game on FB

Fantastic stories, we're just missing yours!

Only eighteen days left to participate, read and vote. Don't miss out on your chance to win a free copy of my book with your micro-story.
We have some excellent story submissions from very talented writers. Click the link now and check them out!
** Writers, be sure to share again and get your friends to read and vote for your entry **

Join the Fun!

The Micro-Story Writing Game on


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Top 5 ways to open up your creative flow

1. Trust your canvas: don’t fear the blank screen.  
!?!?!    !?!?! 
With even a single glimmer of an idea, don’t hesitate until you’re overwhelmed with ideas, start writing about it in the simplest form possible right now. Start with an outline, in the middle, the ending or the first line of the first page. Picture a scene or interaction between just two characters or the thoughts of only one character and run with it. Then go back and copy and paste it into the proper place if you need to. It doesn’t matter in which order you create it, as long as you keep writing you’re moving forward with the story, even if you work from somewhere in the middle outward. *Hint: A lot of mystery writers write backward on purpose through their stories to fold up the storyline plot twists.

2. Inspiration is everywhere:  stop, relax and listen to your inner voice.

If you already know your characters then explore them. Read about or research where they live. Imagine what they might eat, how they dress, their hobbies, interest’s or dreams. Make them very real in your mind so that they are easier to envision in certain situations.
If you don’t have an idea for a story and you’re starting from nothing, know that your story can come from anywhere. Looking for divine inspiration is easier than you might think. What inspires you? What makes you want to...? What thrills you or makes your heart skip a beat?
Think about your favorite book, movie or something interesting you found on the web. A personal story you overheard. Imagine how you can change it in a way to make it better or more interesting. Think about the hero/heroin and then imagine the plot as if it were you in their place. How would you have done things differently? How should the story have unfolded?

3. Give yourself subliminal encouragement: become a Post-It junkie.

Use an entire pad of post-it notes and on separate pages write out different scenario’s, scenes, ideas, characters on each note. Now do this every time you get inspired by something else inside your story. Post them somewhere within sight of where you normally write. Put them where you will see them throughout the day to give yourself encouragement and future inspiration. Leave ideas in your wallet, car, and pockets. Leave the posted ideas, plots and story builders for yourself everywhere. It will not only help to keep you inspired but will also rekindle your desire and make you want to take a time out to write.
4. Eliminate distractions, concentrate: find someplace comfortable, turn off Internet!

If you don’t absolutely need the Internet to do the task before you, disconnect. Literally pull the plug. This may sound drastic, but really, the Internet is the biggest time-waster ever invented (which is why I love it). It will suck you in and never let you go. It’s like crack, but with an educational and entertaining value. Turn it off.
Now focus.

5. Find your timing: pick your schedule, don’t wait for it present itself. 

It makes very little sense to try to sit at the keyboard or with pen and paper to concentrate on the next greatest novel while the children are ripping through the house screaming about the tardiness of their next meal, just before your roommate decides to throw another impromptu party or your boss is waiting for you to finish up the task at hand. Pay attention to your daily routine and find an opening. Really listen to yourself and discover when is the best time for you to be able to open up your ideas and create. If all you can find is an hour a day, or one day a week, then use that time. Do not 'wait until there's a better time', because let's face it the better timing won't happen until it's too late.

Sometimes the creative flow picks bad timing for us and it strikes somewhere outside the schedule. Don’t fool yourself by thinking, ‘I’ve got to remember that’, because as good as your intentions are, you will forget that great idea and frustrate yourself even more by crashing your creative flow with the process of trying to remember. In these instances I have a cheap notebook in my purse, by my bed and in my car so that I can quickly jot down a really good spontaneous idea. Not a novel worth, just some quick notes to help refresh my memory. I also text my own cell phone with unexpected inspirations that I really don’t want to lose. Later, when the creative juices seemed to have dried up, I refer to these fantastic ideas. 
Instant creative flow!

Good luck to you in your endeavors to write. Don’t stop. If there is a will, you will find a way.

S.J. Johnson

I'm sexy and I know it ! Hillarious way to start the day !

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Author S.J. Johnson: Facebook Micro-Story Writing Game

Author S.J. Johnson: Facebook Micro-Story Writing Game: Click here for all the details:


I get so excited about hosting these games.

Facebook Micro-Story Writing Game

Click here for all the details:


I get so excited about hosting these games. They are so much fun, even if you just read the submissions, it gets hilarious!