Tag Archives: writers

Sam Searches – II. The Effects of Child Abuse

Resources on the effects of child abuse

They say, “Write what you know!” But they forget to add, “Learn what you don’t!” For writers, thorough research is absolutely integral.

Inspired by this post and my own need for research on this subject, I’ve dug into the awful world of abuse. Child abuse is unfortunately very common and it does permeate our media despite being a sort of creative taboo. Of course, no subject is off limits in creative endeavours, but we must do it justice. If a character in your work is being abused or has been abused, you will need some resources to help you portray their experiences as accurately and respectfully as possible. Here are a few to get you started.

Feel free to reblog with your own resources, or check out other sam searches for different research topics.

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General Information

Effects of Abuse

First-hand Accounts

  • Child Abuse Stories – First-hand stories submitted to Child Abuse Effects. Stories of healing and recovery, as well.
  • Children’s Stories – Accounts of abuse from children, provided by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
  • Personal Stories – Personal stories from Childhelp

More Resources

  • Books on Child Abuse – Books and stories on Goodreads tagged as featuring child abuse. Some are fiction, some are memoir.

For American and Canadian readers – 1-800-422-4453 is the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. NOT a writer’s resource, but a 24/7 hotline for counselling, encouragement, and direction for reporting abuse.

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It’s Official: I’m Self-Employed

As I’ve mentioned before here, the library desk job I had maintained since early December of 2013 was not at all the end-all-be-all I figured it would be at the start. Being my first full-time benefitted job, it served me well for many months, but as more time passed I simply found myself underpaid and seldom stimulated. By summer, I was seeking alternatives to kickstart my writing career and to help me move in a direction more conducive to my skill set.

I started writing for Blogmutt and Textbroker in July, sometimes from home and sometimes while at work, as a temporary location change made multitasking in such a way very easy. Realizing the potential income and the freedom I would see at selecting my own hours and meeting my own quotas, I began planning my exit strategy.

The original plan had been to hold out through the end of December, when I would quit just shy of my holiday trip to Scotland. Upon my return, I would dive into working from home full-time.

But, as plans sometimes do, everything fell apart just a few weeks ago. My car, a pathetic 1991 Honda Accord with over 250k miles on it and a slew of problems, fell gravely ill. The repairs were due to cost me almost as much as purchasing the car had. With a near 20 mile commute in an hour’s worth of traffic each way, I was left with no other option: I had to quit.

So I pushed forward with my plan as best as I could. After a few torrential weeks of trying to get my ducks in a row, finishing up everything I had at my desk job, I’m now in the writing game as my primary means of income. And let me tell you: It’s working pretty well thus far. With what I made in brief stints over summer combined with my projected income from this week alone, I already have half of my bills covered. I have the energy to do the things I enjoy, like reading and writing for my own creative edification. I get to spend the days with my boyfriend, sharing meals where I would usually go without eating. I get to take breaks whenever I need or want them, the only phone I answer is mine, the only person I have to answer to is myself, and the work is all mine. I never have to go above and beyond for no recognition, I never have to stay late against my will. I don’t cry when I wake up in the mornings, and I don’t dread every weekday.

In all, though my freelance career has just begun, it’s been one of the most effective changes my life has ever seen.

It’s only a matter of time before the routine establishes itself in the most efficient way, and I’m so excited to begin balancing freelance work with writing my novel. Now, I may actually finish it just after returning from Scotland in January.

The pay cut is intense, but eliminating the expenses that come with having a car will certainly soften the blow. And for what it’s worth, I’d rather be happy and make just enough to live than keep making money I can’t spend due to crippling depression.

So don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible. Writing as a career isn’t easy and it entails a lot of strange sacrifice, but money doesn’t necessarily mean leading an enriching life. Do what excites you, what fuels your passions. Life isn’t worth living if it’s all about leaping from one money-maker to the next expecting one to finally lead you to joy.

And if you or anyone you know has a small business and is looking for quality site or blog content (on literally any subject; I’m a very fast learner), please contact me. My rates are reasonable and flexible!

And to the rest of you: Happy writing!

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Week 1

I don’t know about you, but for me camp has already been ridiculously helpful.

Notoriously, I’m a pantser. Meaning (for those of you who don’t participate in the NaNoWriMo fun) I fly by the seat of my pants when I write. I kind of just compile character composites I enjoy, have one main plot point, and write it out by allowing my characters to tell the story for me.

I’ve realized in this first week that my usual method won’t work for this one.

My initial goals in starting were to complete 25k words (probably not gonna happen), create an actual outline (probably gonna happen), and to come up with a more suitable working title than “Untitled Religious Apocalypse” (definitely already did happen).

With one goal down, another developing each day, and the other just waiting to happen, I’m feeling rather successful though my word count is still at the big goose egg.

“Untitled R.A” has become “God’s Out Sick.”

3k words I’d written when this novel was nothing more than a concept will not have to be discarded as I’d originally thought.

Two more characters have developed integral roles.

My plot has gone from one centered around my own personal beliefs and has exploded into one with multiple facets and more substance than I even really know what to do with.

And I’ve done more research on multiverse theory than I ever thought I’d do in my life.

Slowly but surely, I’ve been working on writing down major plot points. I will not physically begin writing again until these plot points successfully lead me from opening page to conclusion. This has been the most challenging thing for me.

However, as an author, as a NaNoWriMo “winner” in years past, as a reader, I know that I need this step before I can begin. I can reach word count goals by the seat of my pants, but I can’t construct a world, a Universe, where multiple characters are all tied to the fates of each other and to each ripple in the story. 

So far, with each plot point I’ve written, I’ve discovered a new connection, a new twist, a new setting, a new fuse to light, more characters, more problems, and more answers.

Outlining isn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever done for a NaNo Project, but it’s already been the most productive.

What struggles are other Campers coming upon? What little moments or changes in routine have already surprised you? How’s the first week going, over all?

I’d love to hear from other WriMos!

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