• Creativity,  Inspiration

    What’s So Bad About the Advice, “Write What You Know”?

    What’s so problematic about “write what you know?” I swear, sometimes in writing circles, these are fighting words. Mark Twain famously gave this advice. And in the context of who he was (um, very famous for his fictionalized accounts of his boyhood on the Mississippi River) and the time period in which he lived (yeah, so authors in the late 19th century were just dipping their literary toe into fantasy) this made a lot of sense. He also had his own sales figures to contend with: his books Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were commercially successful. His more fantastic stories,  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court  and The Prince and…

  • Craft,  Inspiration

    7 Ways To Keep Your Buzz & Write Drunk — By Elaine Bayless

      “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Easy enough, right? It means to write without boundaries, loose and wild and out of control. Thoughtful word selection and complex grammatical decisions belong in the world of editing. And yet, how often do you “lose your buzz” and start editing right in the middle of writing? How do you write drunk? During Nanowrimo each year I see dozens of people falling into the editing trap when they should be writing. I get it: I’ve been trapped by those some concerns too. But nothing kills the possibility of finishing your work faster than accidentally falling into editing mode. Here’s 7 ways to keep your buzz…

  • Character Development,  Craft,  Inspiration,  Uncategorized

    5 Super Powers & 5 Sources of Kryptonite for Abused Characters

      Super powers always come from somewhere. Does your main character have super powers? If your main character has a history of abuse then you may have a super hero on your hands. This isn’t just the stuff of Marvel Comics. In real life, victims of abuse — at least those that have sought therapy, identified all facets of their past, and dealt with their pain — often display super powers that ordinary mortals don’t. These superpowers came from years of practice. They’re survival skills turned up to eleven. If you have a character whose past is particularly tragic, consider using some of these characteristics to portray them. Keep in…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Living With My Old Friend Laziness

    I hate laziness. And yet it’s an old friend of mine.   Lazy slouches in the corner and asks me to go get it a drink.  It sneaks out of simple requests, claiming that it’s just too tired. It claims that everything will get done, but when the inspiration hits, or when that condition is just right, or when it feels like it. I check laziness’s work. This underside has been neglected. The corner was cut here, and here and here too. And this is the wrong technique, not what I asked. I should know better than to ask for more. Lazy complains about the job that he is doing. Lazy sits and…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Wasting Time: Seven Hard Questions To Ask Yourself

      “Don’t waste your time chasing things that will never be beneficial to your future.” ― April Mae Monterrosa Are you wasting your time? Now that you are safely nestled into the routine of a New Year, it’s time to be honest about how you’d like this untouched calendar to be filled. You may have regret over how 2016 turned out for you and a possible repeat of regrets gives you the willies. Instead of waiting to see what happens, ask yourself these tough questions about how you spend your time. 1. Are Your Priorities A Mess? This is what it may look like: You want to be that person…

  • Comedy,  Craft,  Inspiration

    Six Big Reasons No One Is Laughing At Your Comedy

    Is this thing on? Why aren’t readers laughing? Why isn’t your comedy working? You get a ton of likes and LOLs on your Facebook posts. Your tweets have been re-tweeted dozens of times. People are always picking themselves up off the floor when they are with you, but when it comes to writing comedy, you may only hear crickets. Six Big Reasons Why No One Is Laughing At Your Humorous Writing 1. You may not understand the nature of comedy. This sounds absurd in a way, who studies comedy? We’ve all laughed, we’ve all told jokes, we’ve all repeated anecdotes and received various forms of happy feedback. And even an…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Things You Should Be Saying To Yourself That Will Help Make You More Successful

    By Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist I believe we can accomplish great things if we get our thought life under control. Good thoughts produce good habits. Good habits produce good patterns. Good patterns help us grow in discipline, which makes us more confident, which allows us to succeed.  I strongly encourage you, as you are facing the end of this year and the beginning of the new one, that you consider what you think about and focus only on the good things.  In June, I posted, Top 10 Things You Could Be Saying To Yourself That Will Guarantee Your Failure As A Writer  Today I want to do the opposite! 1.…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration

    Top 10 Ways To Describe An Object In Your Novel And Why It Matters

    It’s pity that I don’t hold murder weapons on my desk. If I did, I could describe them and stick them in my work-in-progress. This is what I do have: I have a cobalt glass heart that I use as a paperweight. My husband’s cousin, Robin gave it to me. It’s been over 15 years since she’s given it to me and I can’t not think of her when I see it. This glass heart could be a weapon if I needed to be. It has little value other than who gave it to me. I also have a lamp, a cardboard coaster from a beer garden in Germany, four…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization

    Top 10 Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals

    We can’t be the writer we want to be if we keep doing the things we’ve always done. This is the time self-involved, sensitive writing types, think about how we can make this upcoming year the best ever. Especially if we are participating in Nanowrimo. This is an exciting time of year and it’s also kind of scary. We’re going to have to make some changes. Sigh. This week’s list is the Top Ten Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals. 1. You may have to say no to the expectations of others. This is tricky because in the past you may have said…

  • Beautiful Words,  Inspiration,  Observation,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Great Things That Happened When I Stopped Complaining

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist Sometimes, the world really is insufficient, faulty or stupid. But sometimes it’s just better not to notice.  A few years ago, after a particularly difficult time in my life, I challenged myself to watch what I said and to stop complaining. I thought that by stopping the bad attitude was just a generally a good step in the direction of restraint. I had no idea that this would change nearly everything about my life.  Now, this blog has the main purpose of encouraging time-crunched writers in their dreams, but sometimes, I want to write for everyone. I firmly believe that the world would change dramatically…

  • Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Effective Ways I Deal With My Evil Inner Critic

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist In my writing life, my inner critic is the single greatest threat to my success. My inner critic blames me for things that go wrong. My inner critic calls me names like stupid and loser. My inner critic compares me to others and finds me wanting. My inner critic sets impossible standards of perfection. My inner critic tells me that if I’m not the best, then I’m nothing. My inner critic beats me up for the smallest mistake. My inner critic keeps track of my failures and shortcomings. My inner critic exaggerates my weaknesses. My inner critic threatens to withhold love. My inner critic…

  • Craft,  Inspiration,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Ways To Respect Your Art As A Writer by Katharine Grubb

    Thank you, Internet!  Because of you, I have to do so little work to expose myself and my family to the works of the world’s greatest artists. Gone are the days when we have to pay for parking at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Now, all we have to do is click the mouse a few times and we are seeing, perhaps not perfectly, the art of the masters. I appreciate this as a writer because I clearly don’t have enough distractions as it is. But I also can appreciate it because I believe that writing is an art. I also believe that like the great painters of western civilization,…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    10 Destructive, Cowardly Lies I Had To Discard So I Could Become A Writer

    This is one of my favorite blog posts. I’m bringing it back from 2014 because I think we could all use a fresh reminder!  We don’t get in this business to be comfortable. We get in this business because the drive to create is bigger than the drive to be accepted. It takes guts and courage to throw your words to the world. And if lies are keeping you back, then you need to put them in the toilet with the rest of the ca-ca in your life.  I’ve overcome a lot of lies to get where I am today. That alone makes me a success. Not sales, not followers…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Beautiful Words,  Inspiration

    Who Are We? A Existential Rambling From A Novelist Who Should Probably Know Better

    Who are we? What is our identity? These are big questions that haven’t been fully answered by the wisest men. But I’d like to suggest that we are more than our genders, more than our hobbies, more than our avatars, more than our homes, more than our children, more than our possessions. I ask this because I have always struggled with identity. I spent a good part of my childhood fighting for attention, fighting for reassurance, fighting for comfort, for safety, for aspirations, for acceptance that exactly who I am is enough. That fight lasted way too long and the addition of titles like wife and mother just made fight…