• Creativity,  Inspiration

    How Champion Free Writers Combat The Blank Page

    A free-write is also a brainstorm or stream of consciousness. It is the act of putting down a word -- any word -- and then another, another, and another. In a free write, you conquer the blank page by the simple act of just making it not blank. That effort can make a difference in your confidence and your momentum for the rest of your writing time.

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Self Talk

    10 Ways To Beat Procrastination

    The last Happy New Year balloon has been popped. You actually remember that it’s 2020 when you write the date. And you know it’s a new year when those new habits you wanted to pick up back on January 1 are as crumpled as the Happy New Year napkin that got kicked under the entertainment center. And maybe, the ugly truth of this is that you wanted to start that writing habit, but you put it off for some reason. Then the next day it was all the harder to begin. Then the next day, it’s less about starting habits than it is about shame-managing.  Let’s just stop it right…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    100 Words at a Time: Getting That New Project Started

    By Christine Hennebury. Half the battle with writing is getting started. The blank page seems enormous. Your brain flashes a million ideas past you…or it goes blank. Every idea you do manage to hold on to seems trite or overdone. It’s not a fun feeling. Yet, you know you *want* to write. You would love to have a story or essay or novel written. What you need is something to grab onto, a handhold, a way to pull yourself forward just a little bit. You need 100 words.* Sure, 100 words is not a full story (unless you are writing a drabble!), it’s not even enough to describe an elaborate…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Inspiration

    Writerly Warm-Ups – 5 fun ways to prepare to write your story

      by Christine Hennebury   Are you a SERIOUS writer? Are you maybe even a bit TOO serious?   Writing well requires discipline. We all know that, and we all try to practice that.   Well, more like, we are all hard on ourselves for not practicing that enough.   I feel like our desire to be dedicated writers who are doing things right gets in the way of our goals sometimes. I’d like to help you sidestep that instinct for a little while so you can remember what you like about writing.   After all, it’s a lot easier to keep coming back to a task you basically enjoy…

  • white background, yellow circle with text reading 'Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff' By Christine Hennebury.
    Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization,  Self Talk

    Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff

    by Christine Hennebury A lot of my columns here on 10MN have been about ways you can tweak or improve your writing experience to make it a little easier on yourself. Today, I would like you to take a moment to celebrate the things that are already good about your writing experiences. You might even want to grab a notebook so you can make a chart or a list or a drawing so you can come back to it when you feel a bit cranky about your writing. Let’s start in a really general way.     1) What draws you to write? Many writers talk about a compulsion to…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    Six Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals In 2018

    This is the time of year when all of us, or at least us self-involved, sensitive writing types, think about how we can make this upcoming year the best ever. This is an exciting time of year and it’s also kind of scary. We can’t be the writer we want to be if we keep doing the things we’ve always done. We’re going to have to make some changes. Sigh.   1. You may have to say no to the expectations of others. Why is this tricky? For better or worse you have invested in relationships. Some of these people around you may not fully understand your need to write.…

  • Inspiration,  Uncategorized

    Never Give Up (Or Why New Writers Feel A Little Nuts)

    It’s FALL here in beautiful New England! The trees are showing off their magnificent colors. October is magical. It’s breathtaking and awe-inspiring. It’s glorious and crisp. October is the best time of year. Unless you’re an acorn. I am not an acorn, but I would imagine that if I were, and if I were sentient and anthropomorphic, it would be very difficult for me not to feel sorry for myself in October. Where would acorns like me go? If not eaten by a squirrel, then I and my friends could be buried in a hole somewhere, forgotten under the brutal snow that New England’s prize for loving autumn too much. Poor…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    Top Eight Things Future Best-Selling Authors Are Doing Right Now

      Someday in the future, maybe five years, maybe ten years, maybe twenty years from now, the best-seller lists will name authors that no one has heard of now. Those future best-selling authors don’t spring up out of nowhere, they’re alive and breathing as we speak. They’re out there, right now, getting kids ready for school, driving to the day job or composing another blog post. Future best-sellers also working on their craft. They’re hard at work, making the most of the time they have to create the art that someday will be acknowledged by the world. What exactly are they doing then? They probably write every day. If they…

  • Creativity,  Inspiration,  Writing Prompt

    Prompts Are Everywhere: Using Writing Prompts to Spark Creativity

    Have you ever needed that spark to write? Try writing prompts. A blank page glares back at you, taunting you to write something. Anything. A minute passes. Then another. Three cups of coffee later, you find yourself on social media watching cats riding Roombas and the page remains woefully blank. Ideas are everywhere, but sometimes we need a kick in the brain to notice them. Writing prompts provide something the bottom of your caffeinated beverage cannot: a fresh idea. Prompts can help you out of a rut and trigger new creativity. Let’s say you been “adulting” all day and your brain is full of kids, bills, and work. Maybe your muse…

  • Inspiration

    10 Ways To Be A Happy Writer

    By Michele Matthews Can you be a happy writer? You’ve come home from a tiring day job. You try to sit down at your laptop and write a few words before relaxing for the evening. But the words won’t flow. Or maybe you’re one of those lucky people who get to write full-time for a living. You sit in your home office day after day pounding out the words. Are you a happy writer? Is it possible to be one? Here are ten ways to be a happy writer. Take breaks Whether you’re writing an hour or writing full-time, you need to take a short break of 10-15 minutes each…

  • Inspiration

    Filling Up That Uninspired Empty Feeling

      Feeling empty as an artist? When people say that you need to fill up, they are tapping into a well-loved metaphor about the artist. The artist, we’re going to assume, has a lot to say. They have emotions and connections, stories and accounts, worldviews and interpretations,  images and sentences. An artist pours out their art for the benefit of the hearer, the viewer, and the reader. But in order for them to pour themselves out, they must have something in their heart, mind, and souls first. They need to be filled up before they can empty themselves out into their art. Where do they get their inspiration? Currently, I’m…

  • Inspiration,  Uncategorized

    Five Reasons Why I Would Write Series Fiction (And One Reason I Wouldn’t)

    What to read? I’m at the library, looking for something to check out and I see a row of similar-looking spines, books all by the same author, some with numbers on them. It’s a little army of series fiction! (And almost always one of those numbers is missing!) I have an irrational insecurity around serial fiction as a reader. I feel like I have to start at book one if I’m going to start at all, and then, I wonder, will I feel compelled to read all the books in the series? What will I miss out on in the literary world if I get to the end of Adam…