• Craft,  Discipline

    Fantastic Fridays: 3 Steps For Getting Back On Track

    What do you do when your plans go awry or your routines get thrown off? How do you get back on track? My last couple of weeks have been a jumble and even my most consistent routines have fallen by the wayside.  I didn’t even manage to post my Fantastic Fridays posts.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t write them – I had decent drafts written – but I somehow didn’t manage to get them into WordPress.  And, as always, once I had gotten out of my posting routine, it felt like it would be very hard to start posting again. Fortunately, I have coached lots of people (including myself!) through…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    Fantastic Fridays: No Inspiration? No Motivation? No Problem.

    How often do you fall into the trap of believing that you have to be inspired or motivated in order to write? Sure, inspiration and motivation can make writing FEEL easier but you don’t NEED to be inspired or motivated in order to write. In fact, once you learn to write without them, you will get a lot more writing done, a lot faster, because you aren’t waiting for them to show up. And, oddly enough, once you have started writing, you will find yourself both inspired and motivated to continue. The trick is in getting started. To help you figure out how to start, let’s think a little bit…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Three Encouraging Reminders

    For today’s post, I’m going to keep things simple and offer you three encouraging reminders of the freedom you have in your writing. You can choose what to write about I understand that there’s a lot of pressure out in the world to write about specific things because they’re marketable. Or maybe you’ve been told that your topic is old-fashioned or boring. Only you get to decide what you’re going to write about. If a project is interesting or exciting to you and it lets you express something you want to express, then it’s a worthwhile project. When you are first writing you don’t need to concern yourself with whether something…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Fantastic Fridays: Friendly July Check-In

    There’s just one more writing day in July and it’s the perfect time to look back at your efforts and see how things worked out. How did your writing go this month? Could you write when you intended to? Did you write the things that you intended to? What obstacles did you encounter? Did you overcome them or are you still working on that? What can you celebrate about this month’s writing? (Remember, your effort ALWAYS counts here.) What lessons can you take from July and bring into August’s writing session? Once you have gathered all of your information about this past month, it’s time to think about how you…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Work-In-Progress

    Fantastic Fridays: Playing with Writing Prompts

    You might think of writing prompts as a great way to do some writing practice or as a great way to start a new story. But how often have you used them to move an existing story along or to kickstart a stalled work-in-progress? A writing prompt can really help, as long as you are willing to play with it a little to find how it will work for your story. Go on a Tangent Using a prompt to start a story gives you a fresh perspective and helps you pull out unexpected ideas. It can do the same thing for your longer work in progress, if you’re willing to…

  • Creativity,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Collect Encouragement

    Today, I’m inviting you to foster your writing habits by collecting encouragement. What does that mean? Well, when it comes to discouraging comments and thoughts, we all seem to have perfect recall. We can remember the smallest insult, the most minuscule disparaging remark. We hold those in our minds as if they were somehow a pure truth. Yet, the comments from people who enjoyed our work? Those we dismiss as biased or we convince ourselves that the commenters didn’t do a thorough reading. Negativity Bias We’re not to blame for this mental habit. It’s part of what’s known as a negativity bias – which is a natural tendency for negative…

  • Creativity,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Friendly June Check-In

    It’s the last Friday in the month, so as usual, I’m inviting you to reflect on the past month.   What strategies worked for you in June? Which plans did you have to revise? What victories can you celebrate?  If you are in the mood for even more reflection, feel free to revisit the full list of questions from this post. Now that you have a clear understanding of how things went in June, let’s look ahead to July! July Writing Plans  Personally, I will be revising my novel so most of my new writing will be related to that but I will also do blog posts and some writing prompts…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Trust Your Process

    One of the most important things you can do as a writer is learn to trust your process. After all, no matter how many writer friends you have, or how many groups you belong to, writing is basically a solitary activity.  Sure, you can have company while you write, or you can consult on ideas or plot holes, but sooner or later it is going to be just you and the page.  There are hundreds of people out there advising you about writing but the truth is that only YOU know how you write best. You might have to take some time to observe your patterns but the information is…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation

    Fantastic Fridays: 5 Ways to Deal With Feeling ‘Meh’

    If you are looking at your work and feeling stuck or just kind of meh, you’re in good company. All writers feel like that from time to time.  Everyone gets tired of their project, or runs out of ideas, or finds that they ‘just aren’t feeling it’ in the course of their writing. It’s a natural part of being a writer or of doing any sort of extended project.  But, if this project is important to you (even if it doesn’t feel important right now), you will want to find a way out of those tired, meh feelings.  Why not give these solutions a try? Take a rest The first…

  • Creativity,  Discipline

    Fantastic Fridays: Make a Summer Plan

    Does your approach to your writing change with the seasons? Here in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is turning into summer. For many of us, that means a more relaxed schedule and an opportunity to change when and how we write.  But, while writing is enjoyable, we also want to take advantage of the sunny days and longer evenings to relax and take things slowly.  That’s why it’s important to make some decisions in advance and plan a summer that lets you strike a balance.  When you have a plan for your summer, you can distinguish between work time and play time and that will add up to more fun and…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Organization,  Revising and Editing,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: 3 Writerly Traps To Avoid

    Sometimes writerly challenges require complex solutions. Other times, our challenges with writing arise from some very basic issues stemming from how we are approaching our early drafts. It’s not that we’re choosing a wrong path, it’s that we’ve fallen into some subconscious patterns that are making things more difficult than they need to be. Since the first step in changing those patterns is to become aware of them, I thought I would share a few reminders of common first draft traps that writers fall into. Trap #1: Trying to write the whole thing at the same time Note: This trap isn’t about trying to complete your story in one marathon…