• #IndependentPublishing,  Publishing,  Self-Publishing,  Uncategorized

    Understanding Your Publishing Options

    by Joanna Maciejewska Being a writer might mean that, at some point, you’ll be thinking of showing your work to the world. It might mean sharing it with a friend or family. But if you’ve been editing it for what feels like ages, if you’ve gotten feedback of beta-readers and critique partners… You might be considering having your work published. This is when, before you make any other decision, understanding your publishing options comes into play. Understanding your publishing options If you don’t know where to start, trying to figure out publishing industry might be confusing. There are many good articles on the subject, but sometimes it’s hard to find…

  • Reading,  Revising and Editing,  Uncategorized

    Becoming a Beta Reader, Becoming a Better Writer

    by Joanna Maciejewska If you look up online advice for writers, you’ll likely find a mention of beta readers and how crucial they are for improving one’s writing. Yet, with all the emphasis out there on finding a beta reader or ten, there’s very little said about how being a beta reader improves your own writing. A different kind of reading Beta reading is, at its core, reading. So why, you might wonder, would you devote your time to reading unfinished or unpolished books while your to-be-read pile of paperbacks or ebooks is growing faster than you can go through it? It surely is better to learn from published writers…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Dealing with the Impostor Syndrome

    by Joanna Maciejewska Being a writer comes with a huge array of insecurities, from doubting our ideas to confidence in putting one’s commas in the right place. Writer’s impostor syndrome is one of them. Nearly every writer I talked to or seen speaking online, admits to suffering from it or had suffered from it in the past. What is an impostor syndrome? “Impostor syndrome” is a mindset when you doubt your accomplishments or other people’s praises, accompanied by the fear that any moment now you’ll be exposed by people as a “fraud”. It feeds on writers’ other insecurities, their anxiety, stress, uncertainty, among other things. There’s no rule of when…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Time Management,  Uncategorized,  Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day

    Finding Time to Write by Joanna Maciejewska

    by Joanna Maciejewska If you ever tried to create anything with words: a short story, a blog post, or an essay, you know that writing is a time-consuming hobby. In a busy life, finding time to write can be both challenging and frustrating. So how can you do it? Evaluate your day Even though finding time to write might feel impossible, if you look closely, you might be surprised to find unassigned pockets of temporal space. They might seem too small at first, but as they say, you don’t look gifted horse in the mouth. If you want to write and you don’t have the time you need, you learn…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk,  Time Management,  Uncategorized

    When You Shouldn’t be Writing

    by Joanna Maciejewska You have probably seen those funny memes where cartoon characters or famous actors tell you that YOU SHOULD BE WRITING. Maybe you snicker at them. Or maybe they’re poking at your feeling of guilt, because if you see them… you’re clearly not writing. Most of the times, they serve as a reminder or a motivator, because you should be writing. But what if there are times when you shouldn’t? Procrastination as a symptom It seems that no one is so effective at procrastination as a writer is. From social media dubbed as “building one platform” to binging series on Netflix boldly renamed to “research”, writers tend to…

  • Craft,  Reading,  Uncategorized

    Reading as a Writer

    by Joanna Maciejewska Almost every advice out there tell aspiring writers they should read a lot. But the key is not devouring as many books as possible. It’s making reading into a lesson: studying plots, characterization, even the story’s style and vocabulary. There’s much more to reading as a writer than it is to reading as a book lover. And even though writers mostly enjoy reading as much as any other bookworm, we have other reasons to read besides enjoying a good story, whether it’s entertaining or thought-provoking. Root out the not-so-unique ideas You come up with an idea for a romance between an angel and a human, or for…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Love Your Writing: a Writer’s Self-care

    by Joanna Maciejewska From my experience, people who claim writing is easy either haven’t written anything yet or don’t treat their writing seriously. Sure, the process of transferring one’s thoughts to paper or digital document can be extremely simple… Making them flow, engage the reader, and evoke emotions isn’t. Getting one’s story right might bring about frustration, depression, self-doubt, and obesity when the former are remedied with cake. That’s why writers need to remember about self-care, and one of the basic ways is to love your writing. Love your writing, love your job Unless you’re writing as a hobby, only when you feel like it, you’re likely to be treating…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Uncategorized,  Work-In-Progress

    Writing Multiple Projects: Pros and Cons

    by Joanna Maciejewska Mikhail Bulgakov burned the first draft of Master and Margarita, a book that long after death would make him famous. He wrote it for two years, and then in 1930 committed it to the flame. A year later, he restarted the novel and worked on the second draft for the next six years. For the next years, he worked on another four versions and even right before his death in 1940 the novel still had unfinished bits. Even though he had some other works published earlier (along with plays and short stories), he’s ultimately remembered by that one novel. Writing Multiple Projects Nowadays, in our fast-paced world…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Bullet Journaling for Writers

    by Joanna Maciejewska At some stage of my life, I gave up on buying diaries, calendars, and planners. They all had “wrong” layouts, not enough space or too much of it, and in the end I never really used them much. Then, a year and a half ago, I discovered bullet journaling and fell in love with it. I use it for my everyday life, but since writing is a part of it, I want it to be reflected in my “bujo”. If you are a bullet journal fan or looking into starting one, here are some ideas. What is Bullet Journaling? If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, bullet journaling…

  • Inspiration,  Uncategorized,  Writer Swag

    7 Gift Ideas for Writers

    by Joanna Maciejewska Do you struggle with gift ideas for writers in your life? Years ago, shortly after I met my significant other, we talked about gifts and how hard it was sometimes to pick a perfect gift for a friend or a family member. He said then, “Getting one for you would be easy. You like reading, so I could just walk into a bookstore and get you some book.” I froze in horror. Of course, I liked reading, but I was also very picky about my reads. “Any book” just wouldn’t do it. It’s similar when it comes to gifts for writers. Writing software? What if they already…

  • Craft,  Uncategorized

    How to Write Foreigners in Dialogues

    by Joanna Maciejewska Last month I was writing about how to insert foreign phrases in your novel, but what if your character doesn’t speak perfect English? How do you write foreigners to reflect their struggle with English? There are many ways you can convey foreigners through dialogues, and since I’m a second language speaker myself, I tend to notice my fellow non-native speakers’ struggles (not to mention my own experiences in the matter!), so I’d like to share some of them with you. Articles For a native English speaker, there’s a clear difference between “I saw a cat outside” and “I saw the cat outside”, but it’s not necessarily the…

  • Craft,  Uncategorized

    Foreign Phrases in Your Novel

    by Joanna Maciejewska Sometimes a foreign character wanders onto our pages, and they simply insist on speaking a phrase or two in their native language. But even if you’re lucky to know several languages, they might not be the ones you need for your current work-in-progress. With the limited time in any writer’s life, it’s impossible to start learning foreign language for the sole purpose of inserting a few flavor lines. At the same time, giving up on making the character more real is not an option. What to do then? Should you use Google Translate for your foreign phrases? I’ll be completely honest with you. I love Google Translate…