• #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Time Management

    Top 10 Things You Can Ask Yourself If You’re Looking For Extra Time To Write by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    Ever since I decided to find 10 minute increments here and there to write, I’ve viewed the time in my day differently. Now, I compare wasted time to a designer coffee that I might buy daily without thinking about it. I’d like to suggest that in the area of time management, conscientious writers need to consider the latte factor. I did not coin the term Latte Factor. It was, however coined by financial guru David Bach. In his book, The Automatic Millionaire, Bach claims that consumers spend little bits of money here an there, say, buying daily designer drinks. He claims, and rightfully I think, that these little bits add up. Wise consumers…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Observation

    Top 10 Ways To Equip Myself To Be An Expert Starer by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    Oh, how I love Flannery O’Connor for about ten gazillion reasons. When one of my literary heroes says it’s okay to stare, you better believe I’m going to do what she says. But in my staring,  I need to be equipped. I need to have the right tools. I need to know what I’m doing. I need to know why observing people makes me a better writer. Today I’d like to present Top 10 Ways To Equip Myself To Be An Expert Starer 1. I should have something with me at all times on which to take notes. If not the Evernote app on my smart phone, then a real life…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Marketing

    Top 10 Writers Conference Substitutes For The Poor & Xenophobic

    If you’re a writer of any artistic credibility at all, then you have no money and you’re kind of afraid of people. But don’t let either of those things stop you from becoming the best writer you can be. The internet is full of free (and many not-so-free) writers resources that can help you become really awesome. Most of them have  the added bonus of not actually having to create small talk, bathe or find clothing that isn’t a moth-eaten sweater. For us financially strapped xenophobes out there, this is a win-win. 1. The Actual Conference  A conference is an event, usually at a hotel, where a bunch of strangers…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Beautiful Words,  Pinnable Graphic

    Top 10 Ways Poetry is Better Than Food

    Poetry is better than food. At least sometimes it is. Just like we eat a variety of things so that we can nourish our bodies, I think we should read a variety of poems so that we can nourish our souls. I love that some poetry  is bite sized like a Dickinson poem or a haiku. I like that some poetry is a full five course meal, like a Longfellow poem. Hungry yet?   1. Like vegetables, poetry is good for you.  If you have the literary nutrition of a poem daily, the you can  appreciate rhythm, imagery, metaphor, meaning, communication, pathos, story telling and good craftsmanship. If you analyze…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Creativity,  Uncategorized

    Top 10 Ways To Find Inspiration For Your Main Character by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    If we’re creating the right kinds of characters, they will feel like real people. They would have a clear description, a consistent personality, strong objectives, bad habits and body odor. But where do we start when it comes to creating them? I don’t think there is one right answer. But if you’re looking for inspiration, or you want a clearer picture, consider this list: Top Ten Ways To Find Inspiration For Your Main Character 1. Pick an Archetype In the beginning of your creation consider looking at basic tropes often used in fiction.The archetypes are generally defined by their role and their basic reaction to the story. You know these. You’ve recognized…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management

    How To Write In 10 Minute Increments The Messy Way

    My timer and I have a love/hate relationship.  Ever since I started calling myself the 10 Minute Writer, back in 2006, I’ve realized that either I’m racing against the timer, or the timer haunts me for my lack of skill and speed.  During the first minute, it’s like priming the pump, I just write words, any kind of words. During the second minute I may think of a metaphor and I get it down quickly. The third minute could be a silly stretch of the metaphor (I always want to stretch my metaphors as far as they can go). And my fourth minute is the second guessing of that metaphor…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Motivation

    Top Ten Things I Did Right Last Year That Made All The Difference

    Happy New Year!  I’m so glad we’re starting over with a fresh, shiny new year. 2016 has a lot of hope and promise. 2015 wasn’t too shabby for me personally, but I did suffer the fallout of some of the decisions that I made in 2014.  2014 was the first year that I stood up for myself, aggressively took responsibility for my own happiness and walked in complete confidence. Today’s blog post is a throwback-what I did that year that made all the difference. I’m still processing 2015’s victories. I’ll have a post about them soon enough. Hope you enjoy this one.   2011 was a sucky year for me…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Uncategorized

    Top Ten Things To Do If You Feel Burned Out As A Writer

    My 2015 was full. I released three books. I spoke two times. I attended four live book selling events. I launched a podcast. I was featured on three other podcasts. I wrote more than 365,000 words (that averaged 1000 words a day).  I was successful in Nanowrimo, writing my 50,000 words. I launched my weekly encouraging newsletter. I also took on a part-time job as a homeschooling tutor. I did all this while maintaining my household, hosting two chats a week, homeschooling my five kids and baking my bread from scratch. This all looks very impressive until you pull the curtain back and see the truth: I was a nervous…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Creativity,  Nanowrimo

    The Schlemeil, Schlamazel Hassenpfeffer Incorporated Method To Nanowrimo (Or How ’80s Pop Culture Can Make You A Better Writer)

    Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. For 30 days in November every year, hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world try to get 50,000 words on paper. In a perfect world, these words would be brilliant and profound. It’s far more likely that the words are a big hot mess. If you are participating, then you know that you only have a week left to get your words in. You Can Do This! If you have 10K or less to do by November 30, this is manageable. If you have much more than that, do the best you can. Walk in grace and go easy on yourself. And…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Creativity,  Nanowrimo,  Work-In-Progress,  Writing Prompt

    Even More Top Ten Emergency Writing Prompts for Nanowrimo!

    Last week I suggested ten emergency writing prompts for Nanowrimo. Here are 10 more! 1. Put your character in an actual emergency. Food allergies, car accident, flash flood, explosive plumbing, gas leak — none of these are planned. You don’t have to plan yours too. And even if it looks rather deux et machina -ish, don’t worry about it. You can always go back and fix it later. 2. What does your character have in his pocket, purse or glove compartment? Candy? A gun? Drugs? A crucifix? A hundred thousand dollars in cash? Microfilm? A flash drive? A recording? An epi-pen? A switchblade?  He remembers!  And it uses it, just as the right time…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Creativity,  Nanowrimo

    Top Ten Nanowrimo Emergency Prompts For The Overwhelmed

      Are you stuck yet? Don’t worry, you will be. When you are, don’t panic!  Don’t worry!  You’ll get through it! If you get stuck, here are ten writing prompts that might send you off on a tangent, help you finish your book! 1. Put your character in an actual emergency. Food allergies, car accident, flash flood, explosive plumbing, gas leak — none of these are planned. You don’t have to plan yours too. And even if it looks rather deux et machina -ish, don’t worry about it. You can always go back and fix it later.   2. What does your character have in his pocket, purse or glove compartment? Candy? A gun? Drugs?…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Self Talk

    Why I Stopped Journaling And How It’s Made Me Happier and Healthier

    Once, a long time ago, I thought that my journals had magical powers. Journals, were, since I had started writing in one at age 14, a place were all my feels (and believe me, I had a lot of feels) were safe. My journals were a place that I could take out my feels.  I could analyze them. I could ruminate on them. I took each thought as if it were a pebble from a pocket run my fingers across its jagged edges. With a journal you can go back and remember pain. I would analyze events and observations the way an astronomer analyzes the stars. I wanted clarity perhaps, or…

  • #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…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    What’s Most Important For Writers? Confidence. If You Don’t Have This, You Might As Well Forget It.

    I was asked recently what the most important thing was for writers. There is a lot that is important. Grammar is important. Storytelling is important. Connections are important. Reviews are important. But the most important thing of all is self-confidence.      Skills can be taught. Talent can be nurtured. But you have to believe that your dreams are worth pursuing. You have to sit and take stock of every lie that has ever been told to you about who you are and what you want and do something with it. No one can do this for you. You can outsource web design, developmental editing, proofreading and tweeting, but you can’t…