• Craft,  Creativity

    An Argument For Doing Your Best

    I’d definitely want to be considered a genius, so if, according to McKee, I would be taken more seriously if I worked hard on my craft and was far more careful with the quality of my writing.

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Observation

    Take 5 Friday: Yoga Wisdom for Writers

    I’m a big fan of taking lessons from one area of my life and importing them into another. As a result, I’ve gleaned excellent writing advice from taekwondo, storytelling, and now, yoga. Since January 1, I’ve been doing a daily yoga practice via YouTube with Yoga with Adriene and it has been great. Not only have I gotten stronger and more flexible, I have found all sorts of advice that applies to both yoga and writing. Here are 5 of my favourites and what they mean to me (you may get something different out of them and that’s totally cool): Meet yourself where you are Yoga teachers are fond of…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Why Originality Is A False Goal

    The truth is that none of us will ever be truly original. Every story has hints, allusions, patterns, and structures that are echoes of every story ever written. How would we even know what “the hero’s journey” as if it wasn’t repeated by generations of storytellers?

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Where Do We Get Our Ideas?

    The eternal question asked by and of writers. Where do you get your ideas from? In response to this frequently asked question, the divine Neil Gaiman has said: ‘I make them up,’ I tell them. ‘Out of my head.’ Well, obviously. Whatever we do and say, odds are, it probably originated from out of our heads. Including that little voice. The inner narrator, the one that watches two people at a bar or on the tube and invents an entire story around them. Stephen King, driving through the town of Ruth in Nevada, was struck by how quiet it was. Almost like a ghost town. He wondered idly where everyone was…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Eight Tricks To Spark Creativity

    Creativity is that moment when your ideas come together in just the right way, you may see something that no one else did. The problem with creativity is that it's the hard work of the mind and sometimes the ideas just aren't there.

  • Craft,  Publishing

    Lessons learned From A Failed Video Game In the ‘80s

    As I listened to this episode, I couldn’t help but think that this is a morality tale for those writers who rush to publish. It doesn’t matter what creative work we do, whether it’s poetry, novels, or video games based on famous movies, if we don’t take the time to create it with skill and patience, we are disrespecting our field, insulting our readers and possibly making a mess in the desert. A rush job, the poor quality, the lack of respect, the short-sighted goal of a fast buck, is not the way to make art.

  • Craft,  Motivation

    Take The Easy Way Out And Get That Draft Done

    With all the memes out there about how HARD writing is, I think we tend to get the wrong idea about our work.  Sure, it can be hard to get started and it can be hard to work on certain aspects of our projects (particularly if it has challenging emotional content) but we don’t have to make it any harder than it is.  You don’t have anything to prove. Your writing doesn’t have to be hard to be worthwhile.  In fact, sometimes, taking the easy way out is the best approach to getting your writing done. Especially in the first draft.  There will be a time for working on the…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Uncategorized

    Take 5 Friday: Work Like A (Real) Dog

    As a writer, you know that inspiration can come from anywhere. And, I’m sure you know that you can borrow skills, ideas, and methods from all kinds of different sources. Today, just for fun on this first Friday in September, I have some writerly advice for you from my dog. Since she refused to be interviewed, I just observed her and thought about how her approach to the world applies to writing. So, here’s some advice to help you work like a dog. (A real dog, not one of those metaphorical ones that the expression refers to.) Be curious and then follow the scent When we go outside, Khalee likes…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Return to the Page: Coming Back to Your Writing After a Break

    OK, so you took some time away from your writing practice or your work-in-progress. Somehow, while you were gone, your work became this really huge challenging thing. Now, you feel weird and intimidated about starting again. I know how that feels!  It has happened many times in my regular writing life but today it was happening to me about this blog post. Luckily, I not only worked myself out of the weirdness but I also documented my process so I can do it again.  And, I offer it to you as an example of how to write yourself out of the same annoying situation. Here’s what I did, step by…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Motivation,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Writing by the Seasons, Part 2: ‘Seasons’ in your Life

    About a month ago, I wrote about how different seasons of the year can affect your writing schedule. And about how learning to accept the realities of the time you have available in this particular season helps you to get things done.  That acceptance can help you to focus on what you *can* do instead of worrying about what can’t be done right now.  That’s good for your mental health – and your writing – and instead of being an impediment, it can be an impetus to either try new things or to get really good at the things you are currently able to do.  This advice applies just as…