Building Morale for Writing

Yes, it’s true. I will finally admit the one secret that no author wants to admit. Is everyone ready? Here we go.

There are some days when even the best of us don’t feel like writing. Perhaps this is because we are working through a difficult point in our book. Perhaps this is because we are intensely working on some other project in our lives. For whatever the reason, a day comes when we sit down to write, and the words don’t come onto the paper.

How do we build morale? How do we regain interest in the point we are at in our writing?

The answer is that we have other gathered material that can help us to springboard our creativity. We know ahead of time that we will get stuck at some points in the tunnel. Therefore, we prepare for it. Writing preparation is essential to writing. Before you write a story, you must gain reference material: Photos, paintings, real places you visit, stories you read, people you talk to. . .You must gain research: Fact checking for whatever subject matter you are writing about (whether fiction or non-fiction). . .You must write an outline that becomes the schematic and road map of your story. You must compile other lists of the elements of your story.

All this is essential to your writing capability. When your morale is down for the story you are writing, all you have to do is turn to the inspired images and imagined scenes you have created for your story. Remember the vision. Remember why you wanted to write the story in the first place. Lastly, remember that that vision will not be entirely clear until your final edit. Be encouraged with where you’re at in the process of creating the story.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Learn to Write a Novel for Free!

Welcome to the relaunched website of Conservative Cornerstones! I have decided to give an entire video training course away for free. My Writing Imagination Course, which takes a writer from first conceptualizing a story to having a finished manuscript ready for publication, consists of five modules that you have access to right now on YouTube!

Click here to watch the Writing Imagination Academy Course playlist for free

There is a secret Pre-Module to the course that I only hand out for those who are subscribed to my email list. Not subscribed? Click the button at the bottom of this post!

The five modules of the course are as follows:

Module 1: How to Write an Outline and Block Out Your Book

Module 2: Constructing the First Three Chapters

Module 3: The Theme of Redemption

Module 4: Completing the First Draft

Module 5: How to Revise

In addition to the great WIA free course, I am launching daily YouTube videos that give writing motivational tips. Head on over to my YouTube channel to check them out!

I plan to also be broadcasting a weekly podcast and keeping up with my blogging.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Give Yourself 30 Minutes and Change Your Life

Did you know that the average person spends about an hour and forty minutes on social media every . . . single . . . day? I looked up several articles and found this to be the most CONSERVATIVE estimate. When I think of that statistic, I’m overwhelmed by how that time could be cultivated to do more for the betterment of a society. Maybe, you are not like the average person. Maybe, you spend less time (or none at all, like me) on social media.

However, what if you took 30 of those minutes and began reading stories with redemptive themes? Think for a moment of the impact it could have.

1. You could have a much deeper love of the world around you, including nature and the outdoors.
2. Your imagination would become virtuous and focus around how you could aid society.
3. Your mind wouldn’t be cluttered with so much of the junk floating around the internet, television, and the other major media venues of the day.
4. You would understand better what makes healthy society.

You don’t have to just read fiction. Find stories that are real as well as stories that aren’t real but that have the same virtues. Read stories that have stood the test of time, and measure it up with stories told today that have the same virtues.

See for yourself how it will impact your life.

I have purposefully written The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor to demonstrate this sort of writing. Don’t want to spend money, yet? I understand! Then check out some of the below books from the library. Some are a little eccentric with the imaginative flare, yet it will definitely take you away from most of the Hollywood-ish tales being told today, which is the objective.

Frances Burnett’s The Secret Garden
E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children / Five Children and It
Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows
Kate Wiggin’s Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Mary Dodge’s Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates
Laura Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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How to Stop Destroying Your Story and Write With Imagination

Here’s a secret: You can get rid of your boring novel and write something that exceeds your own imagination. Yes, you can. I know you have a story. And you can tell that story in a jaw-dropping, heart-gripping, endearing way.

First, let me describe what many people face in the modern world.

They get up in the morning, and their minds are still lingering on the movie they watched last night. Its dismal view of the world lingers in their heads as they attempt to find inspiration for another day. Yet, every day seems to become harder. The more Hollywood films they watch and the more dime-a-dozen fictional books they read, the less motivation they have to walk through another day. In fact, they find that most modern stories only want them to walk away from the world, as though there was some other place where they could avoid everything in life.

1.    Their minds are constantly plagued by stories they find exhausting.
2.    Living in these stories ruins their family relationships.
3.    They find themselves lonely in these stories.
4.    The world was a place they remember being nice when they were children, but now, they strangely do not find it so.

If you suffer from any of the above… if your mind is reeling with a desire for a different story… if you are not completely satisfied with the way Hollywood portrays the world…If you suffer from a lack of inspiration… if you cannot seem to get through the first draft of your story… if you are daily frustrated by your writing and your book isn’t measuring up to the way you imagined it to be… if you want your story to be more imaginative, inspirational, and wholesome…

then Writing Imagination Academy is just for you. Here’s why…

In Writing Imagination Academy, I take you through a step by step process on how to write a good novel from beginning to end, and this process works! Not only do I get you past all the levels and layers of writer’s block and how to find your story from inspiration, but I also show you what a truly good novel entails and how to give your story a redeeming theme that will last a lifetime in the hearts of your readers.

And you need to realize, there is a cost to not writing stories with proper imagination. If you continue struggling through your novel with no sense of direction, it just gets worse.

What most beginner writers do when facing Writer’s Block or a lack of inspiration and imagination is write a page here or there – or even shelve the project for a while. But for most people, none of that works.

1. They drag their first draft out until they finally quit.
2. Their book sounds disjointed because they only write now and then.
3. In the end, their story doesn’t match up with how they envisioned it and so they are dissatisfied with it.

And what happens if you just do nothing? If you just keep doing what you’ve been doing? Your novel will lie in tatters, and you will be embarrassed to show it to any of your friends. Worse, if you ever do complete your story without realizing what a good novel actually is, you will exhaust your readers, your ratings on Amazon and Goodreads will all be negative, and you will be known as a low-grade author whose books are second or third rate.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. In another post, I would like to outline for you how I teach writing. For now, let me provide you with some more free information:

What makes a story exhausting and dismal is twofold: (1) Places are not described well and in a compelling way. That is, the story’s characters do not have the right level of interaction with the place/scene, and the reader cannot imagine the place his/herself. (2) There isn’t a theme of redemption. The truth is, if you leave no hope to the reader – no refreshing scenes that they can turn back to at any time day or night, then soon, they will abandon your story. Or if they read through it, they won’t want to linger in it long.

Lesson: When you write a story that encourages healthy society, the chances increase for it being a long-lasting classic.

Right now, you have an idea of where you want to go, but do you have the road map? What does the schematic look like in your mind? In Writing Imagination Academy, I open up to you the schematic you have inside your head. Your story. Your destination. You’re the hero. I’m only here to help. Apply today!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. Want some heavy, hard-reading, deep words on what I think healthy society entails? Read this post (warning, it’s thick reading!)!

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A Further Insider’s Look

I wanted to share something with you today.

If you’ve read any of my former posts, you may be interested in stories that captivate your imagination. Below, I would like to give you a further insider’s peek to the stories that I have written.

This is a story about eight children whose names are Lilly, Ann, Will, Johnathon, Timothy, Margaret, Susan, and Maria. They live in a very large and mysterious house where they have all sorts of adventures. It is a stone house on an old country lane, and it is not only the place where they explore, imagine, tell stories, sing, and play musical instruments, but it is also the place where they do school and study, and so you see, between the work and play, they became very familiar with the house indeed. Yet it never ceases to surprise them, how it can look in the moonlight, or on a rainy day, or with morning beams of sunlight flowing through its windows. Join them in the attic for a story on a stormy night, or find them in a park on a summer afternoon with the warm wind in their faces, or see them bent over candles as they look at old rooms and dusty shelves.

Friends of theirs are the Bentley family, who are allowed a peek into many of their family adventures. Find them all listening to birds sing while they look for buried treasure, or listening to bassets howl on an autumn night. Though there is a sad moment between them, it is also strangely filled with joy and contentment, as those who are filled with light cannot be anything else.

Perhaps the most exciting moment of all is when the Williams’ children find something on the basement landing of their home. The basement is not a place they are allowed to go to often, and the children have called it the cellar among their whispered stories, yet the discovery makes the cellar stairs a more easily traveled lane. . .

~Back Cover of The Williams House

The thrill of the sea – the song of the ocean winds – out sails and up anchor! – guided by the compass and stars – as a poet once said, “to the lonely sea and sky”. It is the eighteenth century, and the sailing vessel is the only way to travel the raging seas. The Southern Moor sets sails from England to Africa with a crew of forty-two persons, guided by a captain with his son and daughter, where those of the trusted crew hope to find treasure with only the guidance of a map an old friend of the captain’s had given him and a handful of the treasure itself, brought back from the African shoreline. With the smell of cooking from the galley, you may find them about on the weather decks reefing the sails or lashing down the ship’s boats, or listen to the captain play on his fipple flute with the accompaniment of the cello and violin. Hear the ocean waves lap against the bows, or have cataracts of sea water come flooding over the main deck in the midst of a raging storm.

In Plymouth, England, there are those few friends of the captain who wonder if he will ever return. Is the Southern Moor, newly finished vessel and never before tested in the ocean waters, strong enough to sail through storms and cannon fire to reach the warm lands of the African shoreline and make the same journey back? With all of its rectangular sails billowing in the wind, bowsprit brass tip of heather shining in the sunlight, and the polish of the wood shining without a fingerprint to be seen, the Southern Moor leaves the harbor of Sutton Pool to test itself in the ocean and plough the stormy seas. . .

~Back Cover of Treasure on the Southern Moor

Both of these stories are meant to do the same thing: Captivate the imagination while awakening the reader to good storytelling. You can look up my books at my bookstore, or purchase them from Amazon below.

The Williams House
Treasure on the Southern Moor

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Why Unhealthy Reading Results in Unhealthy Life

Remember my ten points of a healthy book? Do you find yourself wishing that more stories followed those points? If so, then you have already realized there is a cost to not reading healthy stories.

The following state describes those who do not care for good storytelling:

1.    Their minds are constantly plagued by stories they find exhausting
2.    Living in these stories harms their family relationships
3.    They find themselves lonely in these stories
4.    The world was a place they remember being nice when they were children, but now, they strangely do not find it so

Unhealthy reading will always result in unhealthy life. More than half the books at your local library deserve to feed a bonfire. Don’t get me wrong! There are plenty of great stories in your library. There are just so many other stories that aren’t good, and their poor storytelling is drowning out the voice of those stories that are good.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve found a secret to writing books that give the reader imagination, inspiration, and a foundation for wholesome living. Here’s the story: Living in the modern world, I found it difficult to avoid all the draining stories circulating around every possible media venue. Yet, I knew it wasn’t always that way. I started reading some books that were slightly older – books that had stood the test of time – books that are so loved that we call them “classics”. I especially studied classic children stories, which are worth more than many lengthy adult novels. All the best stories that gave me the most imagination and inspiration in this life had one thing in common: They were all wholesome and centered on plotlines that could be believable (pretty much). That’s right. The stories were so imaginative that their plotlines didn’t have to focus on a crutch like brokenness, the turmoil of despair, or even the adrenaline pumping method of space explosions or one long series of fast action scenes. Instead, the stories focused around things that are common in life. The end result was characters you could relate with and trust, relationships that relied upon one another, places you could imagine and try to recreate, and a refreshing night’s sleep where you dream of how you can improve this world to be more like the story you read.

I read these stories . . . and then I wrote them. My stories have begun with The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor, and they are only growing!

If you agree with my ideals, then you will love my authored books The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor – both fictional novels that put to practice these principles. I don’t just theorize! Purchase these books today at Amazon.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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New Websites!

Hello everyone,

I briefly mentioned the news in my Children’s Hour post, but I wanted to dedicate a blog post to it as well. I am launching new websites, but don’t worry! I’m keeping up with the old as well. I’m beginning other sites for focusing more specifically with certain topics. For instances, one of the two other sites I have completed is a blog dedicated entirely to writing about The Williams House. I am making new scenes for it! The other site I have completed is a site that complies all of my professional online business activities; so it’s more of a rebroadcasting and summarizing site. This site (Conservative Cornerstones) is currently the parent site, though I may make that the parent site over time. I am also created a website specially for Treasure on the Southern Moor, and additional websites to handle more of my writings. So please check out the links below, and I hope you enjoy them!

(1) Site for The Williams House: https://thewilliamshouse.wordpress.com/

(2) My summary website: https://joshuareynoldssite.wordpress.com/

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!