• Craft,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    Fantastic Fridays: Celebrate Every Word & Every Minute

    When we’re aiming to create a writing practice or to complete a specific writing project, we tend to keep our eyes on the road ahead. It’s great to know where we are going, obviously, but have you taken a glance over your shoulder recently? If we always looking forward, we only see the distance between our current position and our goal. But, if we glance backward, we’ll see how far we have come. It is worth taking the time to notice your progress. And it is worth taking time to celebrate your hard work. Even if – especially if- your hard work has mostly been about figuring out how to…

  • Craft,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Take 5 Friday: Five Gentle Reminders About Writing

    Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Joyous Friday! Whatever you are celebrating (or not celebrating today) I hope this post finds you with some of your favourite comforts and, perhaps with a little time to write! As a little holiday gift, I offer you these five gentle reminders about your writing.  You can write whatever you want If you are writing for your own happiness, to work your way through something, or for the sheer joy of stringing words together, you can’t write whatever you please.  You don’t need to be writing something that someone else would see as useful. Your writing can be just for you. It’s okay to write something…

  • Creativity,  Inspiration,  Interviews With Authors

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions for Author Michelle Butler Hallett

    For this month’s Five Questions posts, we’re pleased to welcome author Michelle Butler Hallett who offers her insight and advice about the writing process. Michelle is the author of five novels – This Marlowe, deluded your sailors, Sky Waves, Double-blind and Constant Nobody (to be released in March 2021 from Goose Lane Editions) and the story collection The shadow side of grace.  Constant Nobody is available for pre-order here.  You can find out more about Michelle’s work on her website and on her Facebook page. What aspects of writing are easiest for you? Revision. I find the first draft intimidating and difficult. The first draft has gotten a bit easier…

  • Inspiration,  Writing Prompt

    50 Cheap & Easy Ways To Improve Your Writing

    Can’t afford to take a writing class? Never fear! All you really need is a library, internet access, Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter! YOU can improve your writing skills by doing these 50 things. I admit, some of these aren't exactly writing activities, but if you do them, and you practice observing with all five senses and spend at least 10 minutes writing about the experience, you will improve. YOU WILL!

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Observation

    Take 5 Friday: Five Field Trips For Your Senses

    We all have to do mundane and routine things to maintain our lives – errands, grocery shopping, yard work, and so on.  But, what if, instead of just drifting along with our routines, we considered at least some of our errands as ‘field trips’ for our senses?  We could use the sensory information we gather to enrich our scenes and our settings. And, in essence, we would be dedicating a little more time to our creative practice each week. I realize that you will not be able to do this for every errands you have to run every week. But even if you did it for a few errands every…

  • Inspiration,  Self Talk

    When Darkness Keeps You From Writing

    My own core negative beliefs included: "My dreams aren't worth the trouble." "I'll probably never succeed, so why try?" "I'm not good enough." "I've failed before, so I'll probably fail again," and "shouldn't wifehood and motherhood be enough?"

  • Creativity,  Inspiration

    How To “Fill Up” For More Inspiration

    Our stories come, whether we want to admit it or not, from the things that we know. Our subconscious is at work with each word we put together, collecting the images and memories and values into our artwork. Sometimes when we're in the zone we can see how beautifully all our inspiration works with us.

  • Creativity,  Inspiration

    How To Develop Your Writer Voice

    I’d like to suggest beginning novelists tinker with influences. Show me a writer with a rich voice, and I'll show you someone who has read great books most of their life. A writer with strong voice studies voice either consciously or subconsciously, and this is reflected in the words they put down.

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions To Ask Your Characters

    Last week, I encouraged you to ask yourself a few questions about your writing so you could ensure that your practice still met your goals. This week’s questions are for your characters and while they probably won’t take as much soul-searching, they will require some imagination. I use questions like the ones below to round out my knowledge of my characters in my short stories, novels, short plays, and in the mystery games that I write.  Sometimes I end up using the answers to “show” my characters to my audience. Sometimes, the answers just help me to figure out how my characters would behave or react in a given situation.…