Posts Tagged ‘Leilah Wright’

Advice for Beginning Writers

Though none of us are new to the process of stringing words together, there comes a moment when we stop writing for the sake of a task and become writers.

I became a writer when…

My own moment came when our family purchased a computer and my mom gave me her electronic typewriter. I was so excited! I sat down right away and began typing a report (voluntarily) about black jaguars. But the love for writing fiction actually came from an assignment. We were moving from Hawaii to Colorado, driving the rest of the way from California when I became horribly ill. To help take my mind off feeling so gross, my mom had me work on a short story. And so, with incredibly bumpy handwriting I produced The T-Rex That Ate Pancakes.

Everyone’s story has a different beginning, but the point is…they all had a beginning. No one has sat down to write their very first story ever and ended up with a best seller. Like anything, writing requires practice, perseverance, and support. The adventure of being a new writer is very much like Frodo’s journey to take the ring.

Here are five ways to follow in Frodo’s footsteps as you progress as a writer.

  1. Surround yourself with people who will be supportive and honest. Frodo would have been very vulnerable to attacks, getting lost, and failing his mission if he had not had a good support system. While the bulk of your writing may be a solitary activity, you should involve others in the revisions. Your supporters need to be able to constructively tell you the truth when changes are needed and encourage you when you are discouraged.
  2. Keep moving and eating. It is so easy to dive into what we are working on and forget to take care of ourselves. You need to take care of your health as much as possible because the state of your physical health greatly impacts mental health, and therefore, your writing. If Sam had not pushed Frodo to eat throughout their journey, Frodo wouldn’t have had sufficient strength to reach the end. If you tend to get lost in your work, set an alarm to remind you to eat. When you’re stuck in the story, that’s the perfect time to do a few minutes of your favorite exercise—which is beneficial to your body and will usually clear your mind for new ideas!
  3. Network. Frodo enlisted help from others besides the Fellowship and you will need to as well. As important as your supporters are, they shouldn’t be the only ones involved in your writing life. You will need to branch out and form relationships with agents, editors, fellow writers, and readers. Editors will shape and polish your work. Other writers will gladly share tips and tricks and will cheer you on! Agents will represent your writing. And when you take time to connect with your readers, they will frequently share your writing with others. I strongly encourage you, especially as you are beginning to network, to attend a writer’s conference. Not only will you learn to improve your craft, but it is the best way to network.
  4. Check your work. There will be lots of revisions and multiple versions of your story. Though you should generally avoid editing during your first draft, subsequent drafts will be full of edits. When you hand over your work to an editor, it can be a little nerve-wracking. But, just like when Frodo asked Sam to carry the ring, Sam gave it back and so will your editor.
  5. Finish. This is the most important bit of advice I can offer you. It’s also the best part of the Lord of the Rings movies. The moment Frodo finally threw the ring in the lava; the moment you finish your book. Finish. Your. Story. No matter the obstacles you face, no matter how long it takes make sure you finish. All the hours of writer’s block and nights spent falling asleep on your keyboard will be worth it the moment to get to type ‘The End’.

Some will say that a “real” writer is published, or that a “real” writer writes every single day. While it is true that you should write something every day, what makes you a writer is you. Your love for words, your insatiable appetite for books, your desire for adventures and new fictitious friends—these are the things that make you a writer. Though your writing journey is still in the beginning stages, you are a real writer now.


Leilah Wright lives in beautiful Colorado Springs where she amasses books like a dragon hoards treasure. She is an editor at Novelesque and is writing her first novel. A true pluviophile, she is happiest on rainy days while drinking obscene amounts of coffee. When not working she enjoys time with her two children, reading, and catching up on shows. Keep up with her on her Blog and on Facebook.

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

With all the new developments here at Pikes Peak Writers I’m not sure if I can contain my excitement. PPW started as a writing conference and has grown to so much more. They continue to spread their wings and soar to new heights. Read on for more.

It’s a NEWSLETTER!

Did you receive the first PPW Newsletter? What a fantastic job Kim Olgren did to bring this to fruition. If you missed the debut issue go to the membership page to join PPW. It’s FREE, and so is the newsletter.

Can you say, ANTHOLOGY?

I am excited to announce another addition to the Pikes Peak Writers toolbox. Can you say, ANTHOLOGY? The planning is still in the early stages, but PPW is publishing an anthology! The editorial team is being assembled along with the theme and publication details. Watch the website, social media, and this blog for information to come.

This Month in Writing from the Peak

To kick off PPW’s anthology announcement, Jamie Ferguson has written two posts on writing for an anthology. If you are interested in submitting to PPW’s, or if you have your eye on one of the many wonderful publications out there, you need to read both articles. DeAnna Knippling throws a Red Herring your way, and Leilah Wright has Advice for the Beginning Writer. Get A K.I.S.S. of Comedy from Rebekka R.J. Rowley then wrap it with inspiration found in Gabrielle Brown’s bi-monthly Lit-Quotes.

#PPWC2019

It will be another amazing year at conference. Will you be there? This a great place to meet new people (It Takes a Tribe!), and the workshops will be phenomenal. Registration is open. Don’t miss this fantastic conference. You’ll find all the details here. Find your Tribe at #PPWC2019!

Spread Your Wings!

How are you spreading your wings this month? Are you starting a new project, or pruning the feathers on your WIP? Whatever you are working on, do it with purpose. Write with conviction. Make every word soar on the wind. Be the best you can be. WRITE!


KJ Scrim, Profile ImageManaging Editor, Kathie “KJ” Scrim, is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her inspiration for blogging, flash fiction, short stories, and the long haul of novel writing comes from her many life experiences. When she’s not writing you can find her somewhere in Colorado walking, hiking, or rock climbing at the local gym.

Something Sinister

Lindsey walked into her house through the garage door, exhausted by the endless meetings at work. She flipped the light switch in the dark entry way, but nothing happened. After flipping the switch a few more times to confirm that the lightbulb was indeed dead, Lindsey groaned in disgust at having to now replace the bulb. Not an easy task for someone who is five foot two. She had only taken a few steps down the staircase to fetch the lightbulb from the basement, when she heard the scuttling of tiny claws scraping the bare cement. Her stomach twisted, her heart raced and every fiber of her being screamed at her to run back out to the car. No, she would not run away from what was very likely a mouse.The door slammed shut. She knew she wasn't alone.

Her hands trembled as she turned on her phone’s flashlight and continued shakily down the stairs that groaned with each step. Every horror movie she had seen told her this was not a good idea, that she should turn around now and leave the lightbulb for another time. Moving the light around the unfinished basement revealed that she was alone. The mouse had gone. Lindsey let out the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. She crossed the basement to a shelving unit on the far wall. Suddenly the sound of the door slamming shut behind her rattled her to her core. She knew she was not alone now. She turned around, her flashlight illuminating the large person walking towards her, his sinister laugh echoing through the dingy basement.

Power of a Word

This is a scene we have all seen. Most of us even yell at the idiot who walks right into danger, but this would have been very different if we still understood the word “sinister” as its original definition. Would we have been worried for Lindsey if she had heard a “contrary laugh” instead of a sinister one? Words are powerful things, but they only carry as much power as our understanding of the word allows. Looking at “sinister” we can see how words evolve over time.

Sinister first appeared in the English language in the fifteenth century, rooted in French and Latin. The Latin definition of sinister is: left or on the left side. The word evolved to mean “contrary, false; to the left” in French. By the time sinister integrated with English it had come to indicate something of ill-will or intending to mislead. Somehow “left” and “intending to mislead” just don’t cause goosebumps the way our current understanding of sinister does.

Good and Bad Omens

So how did sinister come to have the terrifying connotation it does now? The practice of augury had a large impact on the word “sinister” in particular. Through attempting to divine an answer by watching the flight patterns of birds, people believed the could tell when good or bad events would take place. If the birds were flying on the right side, it was a good omen. However, it was an ill omen if they flew on the left. Delving further in, many identify light and dark magick as the right-hand and left-hand paths, respectively. Now, the left side, which is also considered to be a self-serving art, has progressed from simply implying bad luck to representing a supernatural evil. Since the fifteenth century we have moved from describing someone as low caliber as a hustler, someone who doesn’t intend physical harm to another person, as sinister to attributing this word to that which is truly evil and intends great harm toward someone.

~ May your Halloween season be spooky and free of any sinister events. ~


Leilah Wright lives in beautiful Colorado Springs where she amasses books like a dragon hoards treasure. She is an editor at Novelesque and is writing her first novel. A true pluviophile, she is happiest on rainy days while drinking obscene amounts of coffee. When not working she enjoys time with her two children, reading, and catching up on shows. Keep up with her on her Blog and on Facebook.