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News & Events for C. Dennis Moore


Posted 11/1/2017

Recently, in my efforts to make myself a better person, better artist, more productive and all around happier, I read Og Mandino’s books THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD and THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD II: The End of the Story. In it, Mandino lays down his “rules” of success. In the book, the reader is supposed to spend a month on each “scroll”, reading it three times every day for the entire month, before moving on to the next one, but the scrolls are actually longer than just their topic. Mandino goes into more detail than here, but I’m not going to copy word for word his books. Instead I decided to adopt a “version” of his lessons and use them as daily affirmations. And so far they’re working wonderfully.

So your assignment as a creative is to integrate these twenty affirmations into your morning ritual. You DO have a morning ritual, don’t you? If not, you better get one (contact me here and I can help you with that). They are as follows:

Today I begin a new life.

I will greet this day with love in my heart.

I will persist until I succeed.

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

I will live this day as if it is my last.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

I will laugh at the world.

Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.

My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. I will act now.

Who is of so little faith that in a moment of great disaster or heartbreak has not called to his God?

Never again will I pity or belittle myself.

Never again will I greet the dawn without a map.

Always will I bathe my days in the golden glow of enthusiasm.

Never again will I be disagreeable to a living soul.

Always I will seek the seed of triumph in every adversity.

Never again will I perform any task at less than my best.

Always will I throw my whole self into the task at hand.

Never again will I wait and hope for opportunity to embrace me.

Always will I examine, each night, my deeds of the fading day.

Always will I maintain contact, through prayer, with my creator.

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Posted 10/31/2017

Have you ever wanted to hire a coach but didn’t have the hundreds or thousands of dollars they charge? Keep reading.

If you’ve been watching this space at all over the last few months, you’ve seen my growing interest in writer productivity and coaching. Well guess what, I’m not alone. I actually have four other creatives on my team, all of us eager to help new and established artists get through their creative or productivity slumps or just help them re-connect with their love of their craft. Or if you’re relatively new to your art, we can help you gain a foothold and establish yourself as a real creative force.

But we can’t do it without YOU. So we are offering a FREE three-month trial period where we help you through our processes (and with a combined 100+ years of experience among us, trust me, we’ve got some processes), while at the same time you help us get our feet wet and work out any kinks in our coaching methods.

This allows you unlimited email access, weekly phone or Skype chats (more if schedules allow), and … well, honestly, whatever else comes up that we think can help you live the creative life you’ve always dreamed of. Because that’s our real focus here, helping YOU be the artist, musician, filmmaker, writer, whatever you’ve always wanted.

If you’re interested in spending the next three months benefiting from our combined experience, and not having to pay a dime to get it, click here and send us an email.

And when you inquire about our Creativity Coaching service, you’ll get my latest book DOING IT WRITE for free. This book is a course in itself, and a first step to living your best creative life.

“Whether you’re a new writer or a veteran, many of the pitfalls are the same. Lack of motivation, writer’s block, outside influences, and lack of belief in yourself can all contribute to relying on the dreaded day job. But if you’re looking for a way to break the cycle and be the consistently productive writer you’ve always known you could be, DOING IT WRITE will help.

This guide starts off with the basics: how to set up your writing space, where to write, desk placement, and even desk organization. Then it moves on to real talk.

Everything is covered here, from making the choice to be a writer, to time management to how believing in yourself can lead to others believing in you too. This book helps you not only set and prioritize goals, but also provides a realistic system for achieving them.

DOING IT WRITE teaches you how to change your mindset and stop being your own worst enemy when it comes to your work. It shows you how to deal with perceptions, your own personal values and rules, as well as your identity as a writer.

And what’s more important, DOING IT WRITE will help you to learn how to maintain healthy relationships with all the non-writers in your life. It will also show you how to live healthier while not having to give up time in the seat every day. This book challenges the notion of writing being a marathon and teaches you how to reward yourself for a job well done. Finally, DOING IT WRITE teaches you how to raise and maintain your own standards and be the hero of your own story.

There are many writing how-to books out there, but DOING IT WRITE is not one of them. DOING IT WRITE is the result of nearly 30 years of experience in the writing field. It’s a how-to-LIVE book, written for writers.”

The time is now, so email us and get started on living your best life, finally.

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Posted 10/27/2017

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

--Paulo Coelho, THE ALCHEMIST, page 146


That’s not to say that overcoming that fear is going to guarantee success, but bowing to is definitely going to guarantee failure, make no mistake about that.

But fear of failure is a very powerful obstacle, especially when other people are watching. Failing alone behind a closed door is one thing, but to fail with “all the world (the potential of the internet) watching” is another thing altogether. No one wants to fail in front of everyone they know and love.

But wouldn’t you rather fail and say “At least I tried” than get to the end of your life and regret all the things you never did? Believe me, you are going to die. We all are. And since we have no idea when that day is coming, the time to make your mark on the world is NOW.

You might fail. And if you do, you get up and try again. Each failure is a lesson, and we try again with that new knowledge in mind: this is what didn’t work, so I’ll try a different approach to reach the same goal. If you lock yourself out of the house, you don’t keep trying to open the locked door, do you? No, you find another way in.

And that’s all failure is, a locked door. So you regroup and go try another door, or a window. And if all else fails? If every door and window is locked tight and you need to get inside? Break in. NEVER let fear of failure keep you from reaching your goals.

In an interview on the DON’T KEEP YOUR DAY JOB pod cast, animator/director Saul Blinkoff said if the listeners remembered nothing of else of what he said, there was one thing they needed to take away from his interview. At the end of the day, say to yourself this sentence: “Today, no one worked harder than me.” And if it’s not the truth, then you’ve still got some more work to do before you go to bed.

His interview was amazing and inspirational and I encourage everyone to listen to it. He definitely made me realize I could totally be working harder.

But the point to bringing it up is this, he had a dream since childhood, to be an animator for Disney Studios. And he failed. And he failed again. And he failed again. Finally, he gave up. But worthwhile dreams never really die, sometimes you just need a few minutes to regroup. And when he made up his mind this was what he wanted to do with his life, he worked and worked and worked night and day, perfecting his craft, until he got that call: he’d made the cut.

Never let fear of failure stop you. You can fail a thousand times, but you only need to succeed ONCE.

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Posted 10/26/2017

“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart. “When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I’ve known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them--the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

--THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho, page 135


This isn’t a new topic, nor will it be the last time I address it. I can blog til I’m blue in the face, I can fill up webpage after webpage with words of encouragement, but no one can achieve your goals FOR you. You HAVE to take those steps yourself.

And sometimes, the things you find, the people you encounter along the way, will add to your life in ways you never could have predicted.

When I started writing reviews for my local literary guild’s monthly newsletter, I was trying to fill space, and to give myself motivation to read some of the books on my shelf (I started reviewing only writing books, forcing an education upon myself as I built up a stockpile of reviews for the newsletter). Then I discovered I really enjoyed writing reviews, so I kept going, and soon I was writing them for a review website, and then I branched out into movies and music, and that led me to writing reviews for The Horror Zine where I met a very close friend, Caleb Straus, who when we met, was seeking reviewers for his movie, IT’S OVER. From that humble beginning 20+ years ago with a little book on how to break into writing comics and a 200 word review, I’ve made a friend for life.

The same goes for everyone else on my team. I met Dave when I asked him to edit a short story collection I was putting together, and I asked him because a fellow writer, Steve Vernon, had asked me to review his collection, NIGHTMARE DREAMS. Again, it goes back to those reviews I started doing as a space-filler. I loved the collection and wanted to work with the editor who helped shape it. David Bain was that man, and one thing led to another and now over a decade later he’s the only writer from those message board days I keep in touch with on any significant level.

But I never set out to 1) writer reviews or 2) make lifelong best friends. Those things came about as a side effect of the real dream: to write for a living. And while I’m still working, every day, toward achieving that goal, look at where it’s led me.

So many times we let fear keep us not only from realizing our dreams, but from even attempting to live them. And that’s got to stop. First of all, how can you ever succeed if you don’t first risk failure? You can’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. And while buying a ticket doesn’t guarantee a win, NOT buying one guarantees a loss.

We live so long in our comfort zones for a reason, the very same reason they’re called comfort zones. But all comfort zones really do is lull you into a haze and keep you from taking the action necessary to live the life you want to live.

Step outside that zone once in a while and experience the world. Decide on the life you want to live, map out the steps necessary to get there, make a plan, and take action. Not later. Now. Before you get left behind.

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Posted 10/15/2017

You know those few items of clothing you have that used to fit but you can’t bring yourself to throw out because they’re still perfectly good and you MIGHT fit into them again one day? Just throw them out. What are you waiting for? Why are you taking up space unnecessarily? Just chuck em!

But one day, you tell yourself. One day I’ll fit into them again. Sure you will. How, by sitting on the couch all weekend watching Netflix? By ordering more fast food than you need, half for the drive home and the rest for after you get there, so you can eat in front of the television like a civilized person? Just throw those clothes out.

Why am I talking about clothes instead of writing? Because fitting into old clothes takes the exact same thing that writing does: Action.

Just like you will never fit into those old clothes until you get off your lazy ass and DO something, you will NEVER build a writing career on hopes and dreams. You’ve got ideas for a dozen novels and thirty short stories that are bound to be big hits? Great, where are the first drafts?

You know what WANTING to write will get you? What PLANNING to write will get you? What THINKING about writing will get you? Two things: Jack, and shit.

Schedule the time, plot the story, find the characters, and then sit down and WRITE it. Not think about writing it, not research writing it, not join a critique group and talk about writing it, WRITE it. Start to FINISH. Because if you don’t get to the end of the story, you’ve really written nothing at all, haven’t you?

For all the rules that came before this, reading, persistence, love, identity and drive, none of them mean a thing without ACTION to back them up.

As for the clothes, that’s easy. Take a walk. Dude, I’ve been walking 30-45 minutes every morning before I start my day. It took 5 months but I’m wearing jeans I’ve never fit into before. Just get off your lazy ass and move.

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Posted 10/12/2017

Since I was born in 1972 and have never been to New York, I can’t vouch for the validity of this story, but this is how I heard it.

Back in the early 1960s, Stan Lee was working for a comic company as a writer and hating life. He hated the stories he was forced to write, he hated the workload, he just hated it all. So he decided he was going to quit. His wife told him, “Well, if you’re gonna quit anyway, you might as well go out the way you want. Write the story. Write the big story, the story you’ve been dying to write. Write the story they wouldn’t let you write and finally write something that makes you happy.”

I’m paraphrasing because, as I said, I wasn’t there. This is just how I heard it.

Anyway, so Stan Lee thinks about it and says, “You know what? You’re write. F this noise.” And he wrote a story that said everything he’d been wanting to say in comic book form. The story he had been wanting to tell was a little yarn about four friends who take a rocket into space and return to earth with strange powers and decide to form a team. He called it THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

Pretty much from that point on history was made and all because, at the end of the day, at the end of HIS days at that job, Stan Lee wrote like there was no tomorrow because, for him, in that job, there wasn’t.

That’s how we have to write every day. Because tomorrow is not promised--that’s from something, a movie, a TV show, DOCTOR WHO perhaps? I can’t remember. What you write today could very well be the LAST THING you ever write.

So make it count. Make the choice. Do you want to go out with some little bitch ass nonsense that ANYONE with half an education could have written, or do you want to go out on your feet, with words people years from now will read and say, “Yep, that was pure [your name here]. Wrote [his/her] ass off til the end.”

Imagine if you were told you had a year to live, what would you write about? You have no idea. How could you? We can’t conceive of a timeline that long, it’s too much for our brains. But if you were told you’ll die TOMORROW…? You’re given time to watch your favorite movie, listen to your favorite song, eat your favorite meal, and spend time with the people who matter most. And you’ve got time to write one more thing. The last thing you’ll ever write. What’s it gonna be?

Every day when you sit down to write, just remember, you might not wake up tomorrow, so make these words today count.

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Posted 10/11/2017

Tyler Durden would try to tell you that you are not a unique snowflake. I can see his point, but at the same time, even where identical twins are concerned, no one has lived the life you have lived in exactly the same way.

People may have had similar experiences or come from similar backgrounds, but the singular events and your reactions to them are what shaped you into the unique individual you are.

To that end, when you start to doubt yourself or get down about your writing ability or lack thereof, just remember this: NO ONE can write the stories you can write.

Other writers may write similar stories or create similar characters, but none will write the stories you can write. What you bring into the world is a creation unique to YOU and the life you’ve lived.

Your job then is to use that gift. Use the gift of the life you were given, whether good or bad, fulfilling or not, and write stories that only you can write. This is your legacy.

Don’t concern yourself with what other writers are writing: you are not them and you can’t write their stories. Focus on yourself. Write what YOU can write, because if you don’t, know one else will. Because no one else CAN.

People spout that “you’re not a unique snowflake” line to keep others from feeling “entitled”, and I can support that. There are too many people who think good things should be handed to them because of who they are, without having to work for them. So, yeah, I’m all for the “you’re not a unique snowflake” comeback. But when it comes to a person’s life and the events that shaped them and the stories that result from that chain of events … we’re all unique and the stories we tell are ours and ours alone.

What stories will come from the life you’ve lived?

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Posted 10/10/2017

Someone asked me once if I ever felt like just giving up and calling it a day. I said of course not. Because how do I know the next day wasn’t the day that was supposed to bring me all my answered prayers?

The same goes for writing. Don’t you ever feel like giving in, not writing anymore, not publishing anymore? There are dry days, dry months with few, if any, sales, and it seems all the effort you put in at your computer is for nothing because you keep talking but the world won’t listen.

Nope. Because that next story might be the one that connects. The novel you write AFTER the one you’re writing now might be the one that makes all your writing dreams come true, but how can you know until you finish this one so you can get to that one?

Persistence is the third rule of writing.

The only way we get better is to keep doing it, every day. Practice. Writing and writing and writing some more, even into exhaustion.

We don’t start our writing careers with a huge catalog and millions of fans. We build them, one story, one reader at time, through persistence. The act of doing the work every day, little by little, step by step, is how we get from where we are to where we want to be.

There are going to be dark days in anything you do, but we get through it and, eventually, the clouds break and the sun shines and we saw where all our persistent hard work has led us. Might be where we wanted to be, might not be. Might be somewhere even better. But we’ll never know until we get there, will we? And we’ll never get there without persistence.


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Posted 10/9/2017

"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for."
--Ray Bradbury

I think we all start off this way, otherwise we wouldn’t be drawn to the blank page in the first place. I loved THE MAN IN THE WINDOW when I was writing it. I loved the idea, I loved the images, and I loved the language, terrible as it was in those early days. But I think somewhere along the way, we stop loving the work, the words, and the process, and start thinking more of the business side.

But we don’t get up every morning and go to work on that novel because it might make us some money. At least that’s not why we should be doing it. We should be doing it because we love writing, we love our idea and our characters. Even if you’re terrible at characters, you should love what you’re writing.

It’s love of WRITING that should keep us going, and if it’s not, then we need to find a way to rekindle that love. Because the business side of writing is too unpredictable to be a reliable mistress. Royalty checks come and go, big paydays come and go. You can make $3000 one month and $300 the next. But the writing, even on the off days, offers a more loving embrace than any sales algorithm ever will. Love is why so many writers carry on despite years of rejections. We don’t do it because we love the IDEA of an acceptance or a payment. Those things are side effects.

There were storytellers long before there were publishing houses. People were spinning yarns beside a campfire way before anyone ever offered money for it. Because the true Writer is going to write no matter what comes after the telling. They do it out of love.

And there’s a deeper meaning to Bradbury’s words. He says to write only what you love, but so often the temptation to throw that advice away and write something for money looms large. When THE THIRD FLOOR was at the top of the Ghost chart, people were asking where’s the sequel? And I could have written one, but at the time I wasn’t in love with the idea for another book about that house or that family. I had other ideas, other stories in mind that I wanted to tell. I COULD have written a sequel, but it would have been so terrible because my heart wasn’t in it. And now, years later, I actually DO have an idea for a sequel to that book, and it’s one that’s got me excited to write it.

So it’s good that I took the advice of Bradbury and stuck with writing what I was in love with. When you write what you love, you’ll write with more heart, with more joy, and more drive. You’ll fight to finish it because you’re bringing something you love into the world. When you write for money or for business, there’s no soul in the work, no life. The words will tell the story, but they won’t make the reader FEEL the story.

When you write with love, you bring the reader along and make them a convert. Write with love and you’ll never have a bad writing day. Write with love and you forget all the bad things about your day. Write with love and you forget the day job troubles, or the relationship troubles, or the financial troubles, even if only just for a little while. Write for money or business, and you bring those troubles along with you onto the page.

If you can, definitely make a living with your art, no question about that. But don’t make THAT the reason you go back to the page every day. Money and a career are the rewards for work well done. But you have to do the work first, and the only way to make a lasting impression with that work is to do it with love.

Now go find a story you’re in love with and write it.

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Posted 10/8/2017

Today is a new you.

Today you are no longer wallowing in the muck of mediocrity.

Today you no longer plunge headlong into your stories, but instead learn from those who came before you and use their wisdom to form your own unique path.

The writer’s life is full of potential and opportunity, yet is also a playground for despair and disappointment. If you stacked up all the books that have failed next to all the books that have become bestsellers, the failures would drown out the other countless times over. And yet you will carry on in this profession. Because in your hands you hold the potential to overcome those hurdles and beat the odds stacked so clearly against you.

Before, you were satisfied just to write, publish, repeat, but that assembly line mentality was getting you nowhere, so you learned a new way, the artist’s way. Writing is an art. Care must be taken with the details. You’re only on this earth for a finite number of days, but within those days, you must learn patience. Patience is a natural thing. Look to the trees that grow to towering heights not in a day, a week, a month, or even a year, but over the course of MANY years. A bittercress can complete its lifecycle in 5-6 weeks. Is that how long you want your writing career to last?

Or would you rather be like the bristlecone pine which has a lifespan of several thousand years?

Do you want to spend your years doing without knowing, or learning without doing? Neither comes to a good end. A writer can spend their whole life waiting for the perfect inspiration, the perfect combination of words and ideas that result in a book that changes the lives of those who read it. A lofty goal, but those writers find themselves dead before the first draft is complete.

In the end, the only thing that can get you where you truly want to be in life is the development of good habits. And since the death of one habit most often means the birth of a new habit, make sure that you replace all of your old, bad habits with good ones.

The first habit any writer has to adopt is READ.

Read everything. Read every day. The writer who doesn’t have time to read doesn’t have time to write. Don’t just read within the genre you want to write in. Read all the genres. The potential for learning from other writers doesn’t stop with those who are writing the kind of books you want to write, you can learn from any book. And the lessons are limitless.

Read novels for structure, read essays for knowledge, read poems for language, read plays for dialogue, read comic books for drama, read reviews for a glimpse into what other readers are looking for. But most important, READ.

A writer who makes no time to read is a writer with no real grasp on the work. A writer who doesn’t read is flailing about, tossing words at the page haphazardly and only ends up with a coherent piece by sheer luck and happenstance. The first thing a writer has to do, if they have ANY hope of success, is READ.

Start today. Grab a book at random from your shelf and start reading it. If you don’t have a book on your shelf, borrow one from the library. If you don’t have a library, go to Amazon, download the FREE Kindle app and read a free book, they’re not hard to find. You can do this from your phone, tablet, or computer, whatever you’re reading THIS on. There is no excuse for you to NOT have a book you’re currently reading at all times.

Eventually, you’ll find yourself in love with words and ideas. You may even have days you would rather read than write. Fight this urge. Even if you have to use reading as your reward for the day’s work done afterward. Open yourself up to the process and soon you’ll find your head filled with knowledge about story, characters, drama, humor, horror, setting, all the things that make a story work.

This education will take time, it won’t happen overnight. But as long as you’re writing too, every book read will inform the current one you’re writing, it will inform how you construct your characters, how you make them talk, how you bring them to life. Every book you read will help you understand how to build tension in your current novel. Every book you read will motivate you to be a better writer than that author.

Soon you will look up from another finished book, poem, play, essay, and you’ll look at yourself, the Writer, and realize you’re not the person you were when you started, that you’re no longer tackling these stories one word at a time, just trying to write something millions of people will buy, but instead are writing, not for now, but for the ages, fiction that will have an impact long after you’re gone.

You are that person NOW. Today is day one on the new you. This is your first lesson. Now get started.

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