• 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.…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Nanowrimo

    Top 16 Close-Talking, Double Dipping Tips to Succeeding At Nanowrimo!

    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, this is the perfect time to organize your ideas and get ready! The objective is to write as much as possible, you know, yada, yada, yada, not to be beautiful doing it. Sign up here so you can participate this November! I believe that the objective of 50K words in 30 days is doable for…

  • #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,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Persistence, Perspective, and Fun: Working Through Writing Challenges

    by Christine Hennebury Writing can be a lot of fun but it also involves a lot of hard work. If you find ways to add fun while sticking to your project, you’ll be a lot more satisfied with your progress.   When we first imagine ourselves as writers, we envision fun things like best-selling books, talk show circuits, and piles of cash. Or, at least, we imagine ourselves triumphantly writing the perfect scene.  We don’t envision the days that we sit in front of the computer struggling with a single sentence.   When we do consider those days, the ones where writing is hard but we have to do it…

  • Motivation

    Summer Bucket Lists For Writers

    I have a bucket list for my kids this summer. Among other things, we’re going to make homemade ice cream, go to Vacation Bible School, go to the library regularly and swim in Grammy’s pool at every opportunity. My bucket list for my life includes spending a month in England, reading 100 books a year, owning waterfront property, and having grandchildren. I’d also like to have a book for sale at Costco, be featured on NPR,  and speak at a writer’s conference. I know for a fact those things aren’ t going to happen this year — but they could in ten years. So I was thinking — what would a…

  • Craft,  Motivation

    Eight Reasons You Should Write Every Day

      Did you write today? Are you going to? In the book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg said, “Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, what we say to our kids each night, whether we save or spend, how often we exercise, and the way we organize our thoughts and work routines have enormous impact on our health, productivity, financial security, and happiness.” I think if you write every day, you can become a happier, more confident writer.   1.…

  • Motivation

    10 Ways To Lift Yourself Out of That Writing Funk

        Being in a funk comes with the writing territory. Because writers are already of the sensitive, angsty type, we are the first to fall into a depressive funk. At best, these funks slow us down and sap our motivation. At their worst, the blues can paralyze your creativity completely. You could be so down you pick up self-destructive behaviors. (Don’t do that! Addiction is never flattering!) I know I’ve sat down with my word count and my work-in-progress looming wanted it to go away.    What should you do instead if you’re feeling a little down? Take a self care inventory. Are you getting enough sleep? Have you eaten…

  • 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…