• Craft,  Creativity,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    Top 10 Questions To Ask About Authority Figures That Could Beef Up Your Conflict by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    I may know a thing or two about conflict: I have three teenagers. Conflict is really great in stories, it raises the stakes, it drives characters and it makes the story more interesting. In life, I could do without it. I’m the mom, so I have something besides gray hair and tax files that my kids don’t have: I have authority. I have more power, more wisdom, more responsibility and more invested in them than they do. (Note: I didn’t say more money. They have more money than I do.) A regular source of our conflict is them lamenting the fact that they have less. And they want more. It’s…

  • #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…

  • Organization,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    How My To-Do List is Often Like a Misbehaving Toddler (And What I Can Do About It!)

    My to-do list is long. It taunts me. As soon as I cross something off, three more things jump on. The battle I have with my to-do list is like chasing a naked, hungry, willful toddler through the house. I yell and reach. I grab and contain. I wipe, dust, clothe, scold and hug and yet there are more things to do. My list is ever demanding, ever whining, ever messy.  I asked for this. I asked for the expanding boundaries and the places of influence. I asked for the blessings and abundance. (And it comes with more responsibility and more tasks?) I asked for more people in my life…

  • #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…

  • Inspiration,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    How I Write: The Image, The Reality, and The Twitter Jokes

      This morning I woke up with a backache. I decided I would postpone the start of my day until after I felt better. So, what do you do with a little extra time on your hands? You hang out on Twitter! What luck! #HowIWrite was trending! I enjoyed very much reading suggestions from writers all over the world on the specifics of their process.   You know, the hows of our writing is similar. We all sit with keyboards (a few with notebooks), we all daydream, we all fiddle with music and other ambient issues, we all drink ungodly amounts of coffee or tea and we all work at this.…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    Why I Write: A Guest Post By Carolyn Astfalk

    I only recently pondered why I write. I simply knew that I had to write, so I did. My love affair with the written word started with clumsily-illustrated stories and spelling bees and grew to student newspapers in grade school, high school, and college. My affection for pen and ink led me to try my hand at calligraphy. During summer visits, I sat spellbound as my aunt, my mother’s only sister, analyzed my handwriting as well as written samples from my family members, friends, and teachers. My penchant for fiction grew out of Nancy Drew speed reading competitions with my best friend and blossomed into the memorization of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and my love for Margaret Mitchell’s…

  • Perils of a Mom Writer,  Self Talk,  What 10 Minute Novelists Means To Me

    What It Means To Be A 10 Minute Novelist

    A 10 Minute Novelist is a time-crunched writer with big, big dreams. I’ve been a 10 Minute Novelist for nine years now. Despite having five children, homeschooling, baking my own bread and doing ridiculous amounts of laundry, I know what being a 10 Minute Novelist means.  You Don’t Have High Expectations If you had high expectations, then you’d be in a cabin in the woods or have hours to yourself or even a locked door. Nope. You’re a 10 Minute Novelist. That means that you get what writing time you can, when you can.   Your Daily Results Are Messy  While you try to keep the story straight with all…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management,  Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Things I Think About Daily That Make Me Productive

    I am NOT perfect. I make a LOT of mistakes, but one of the biggest things I did right was decide that I would make time for my dreams. (I wrote a book about it too!)  I realized that if I was going to actually write in 10 minute increments, I would have to organize my life. Now, I’ve been doing this 10 Minute Writer/Novelists gig for nine years, so I’ve streamlined my procedures pretty well (and THANK GOD, my kids are older!) But I still have 10 Things I think about on a daily basis that makes my organization and productivity possible. 1. I know where everything is.  I…

  • Author Profile,  Community,  Inspiration,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  What 10 Minute Novelists Means To Me

    What 10 Minute Novelists Means To Me A Guest Post By Carolyn Astfalk

    A year ago, I had four children ten and under, including a barely one-year-old and his two-year-old sister. Since late 2010, I had written three novels, all of which were “complete,” or so I thought at the time. Writing time was—and is—whenever I can grab it amid diaper changes, snacks, reading board books, sorting laundry, and all the mundane but necessary details of maintaining a household and caring for young children. Throw in some volunteer activities, and, yes, my husband, and whatever minutes I could cobble together for an uninterrupted task did not add up to much. In other words, I could have been the poster child for 10 Minute…

  • Discipline,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management

    How Your Wasted Time is Like An Overpriced Latte From A Designer Coffeeshop

      Ever since I decided to find 10 minute increments here and there to write, I’ve started viewing 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. In his book, he 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…

  • Organization,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management

    The Writers’ Guide To Time Thieves A Guest Post by Elaine Bayless

    As 10 Minute Novelists, we live life in the margins. Ten minutes here, ten minutes there, a few word sprints, and boom we have a novel! So it makes sense that we would be excellent managers of time, right? Ah yes, I can hear some of you laughing right now. Managing time is like nailing Jell-o to a wall. And to complicate matters further, we must contend with Time Thieves. What are time thieves? Those sneaky critters that sneak into our daily calendar and steal away our precious 10 minute writing increments! Fortunately, you don’t have to be a victim. Here are four of the most common time thieves and…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Motivation,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    #Top10Tuesday Top 10 Reasons Why You Are Not A Special Snowflake

    You’re a writer! Isn’t it awesome! You have this unbelievable power to turn words into ideas and ideas into stories and then stories into amazing fandoms! Not yet? Oh, it’s coming! You will because you are so gosh darn talented!  Yes, you can put words together as ideas and you can sculpt ideas into stories. But I hate to break it to you, sweetheart, just because you are a writer, doesn’t mean you’re great. It doesn’t even mean you’re good. Do you guys remember William Hung? He was a singer, and by that I mean he sang. But that didn’t make him special, worthy of applause or certainly not Simon Cowell’s attention. Sadly, there are…

  • Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management

    Write with the Family – How We Worked as a Team to Create Mystery Rock A Guest Post by Kathryn Lang

    Writing can be one of the loneliest professions. The idea passed around so many conferences and came from so many experts, that I started to believe it. I assumed I had to be doing something wrong. I write in the middle of chaos on good days. On the bad days, I squeeze out words while fighting back the storms. I am a full-time writer, radio talk show host, home school mom, and active social media stalker. I have a lot of plates in the air that take me to events, throw me in the middle of lunches, and basically provide little time alone. I tried the isolation path. I sat…