• 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…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    5 Ways To Boost Your Writing Morale

    Since writing can be solitary and there is often a long time between the work and the reward, it can be easy to get discouraged about the process. Here are 5 tips to help you recharge when you are a bit burnt out from your efforts. 1) Use the word YET Too often we get stuck in the idea that we will NEVER accomplish things but it can be helpful to reframe it to ‘I haven’t done it YET’ – I use this for TKD all the time. I try not to say ‘I can’t’ I spin that into ‘I can’t YET.’ because it keeps the door open for future…

  • 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…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Organization,  Time Management

    Writing by the Season: Get Your Words in All Kinds of Weather

    If you find that the changes from season to season throw off your writing plans, it might be because you are fighting the seasons instead of trying to find a way to embrace those changes. When I was in University, my friend Bill used to joke that when the spring semester ended he was going to take off his watch and ‘live by the seasons.’ I think he was mostly kidding but the phrase has stuck with me for over 25 years now. I love the idea of changing your habits and the rhythms of your days to reflect the different seasons  – seasons of the year or seasons in…

  • Motivation

    On World Book Day, Encourage Yourself to Write

    Today, April 23, is World Book Day and I think the celebration is an excellent reason for you to find ways to encourage yourself to write. Most of my writing coaching is about helping people to develop consistent habits. Sometimes, though, I like to encourage writers to think about their big goals and create some reminders to lead them forward. Imagining your book-related future can be an excellent way to motivate yourself to write. Here are a few of my ideas, add your own in the comments! Create Your Future Book Cover If you have dreamt of the day when your book will be out in the world instead of growing…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Motivation

    How To Write When You Don’t Feel Like It

    By Christine Hennebury Do you fall into the trap of thinking that you have to be motivated in order to write? Writing is often *easier* when we are motivated but it is indeed possible to write without feeling like it. I’ve found that a lack of motivation to write often has little to do with writing itself and, instead, just reflects how challenging it is for us to switch tasks. Switching tasks is hard. When you are already doing something, even if it is just sitting on the couch, the energy cost to start doing something else can feel prohibitive. If the new task is something that you feel apprehensive…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Organization,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    How Marie Kondo Can Change Your (Writing) Life

    By Katharine Grubb Back in 2008, when I first started setting my timer in 10-minute increments to write, I had five children who were 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2. I discovered pretty quick;y that in order to maximize the writing 10 minutes, every other 10 minutes had to be maximized too. So let’s say I’m preparing a meal when I’m not writing. Wouldn’t it make sense to be as efficient and organized as possible while I was doing it? If I’ve already planned my menu, already bought the necessary groceries, already knew the recipe, already understood the tasks required, already had all of the tools I needed in the…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    You Don’t Need Permission To Write

    …but I’ll give you some anyway. The writing world is alive with the ‘rules’ of writing. Everyone and their uncle has something to say about what you should write, when you should write it, how you should write it, and why you should write it. Naturally, a lot of that advice is contradictory. After all, while we can all expand our practice and our skills, we each have to make our own way to the page. We each have our own interests, our own reasons for writing, and our own hopes for what will become of our words. But a lot of us get tangled in all of the writing…

  • 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…

  • Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    How to Become a REAL writer. (Spoiler: You already are.)

    by Christine Hennebury If I could get paid everytime someone tells me that they must not be a ‘real’ writer, I could retire. The truth is that there are many ways to be a real writer. There are, however, no definitive tests for writerliness. We all write in our own fashion, and at our speed, to get to where we are going with our writing.   As long as we are realistic about matching our expectations to our efforts, we will do just fine.   However, the myth of the ‘real writer’ persists.     You know the one I mean, right? The ‘real’ writer is the one who works…

  • 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.…