• Motivation,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Dealing with the Impostor Syndrome

    by Joanna Maciejewska Being a writer comes with a huge array of insecurities, from doubting our ideas to confidence in putting one’s commas in the right place. Writer’s impostor syndrome is one of them. Nearly every writer I talked to or seen speaking online, admits to suffering from it or had suffered from it in the past. What is an impostor syndrome? “Impostor syndrome” is a mindset when you doubt your accomplishments or other people’s praises, accompanied by the fear that any moment now you’ll be exposed by people as a “fraud”. It feeds on writers’ other insecurities, their anxiety, stress, uncertainty, among other things. There’s no rule of when…

  • 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…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk,  Time Management,  Uncategorized

    When You Shouldn’t be Writing

    by Joanna Maciejewska You have probably seen those funny memes where cartoon characters or famous actors tell you that YOU SHOULD BE WRITING. Maybe you snicker at them. Or maybe they’re poking at your feeling of guilt, because if you see them… you’re clearly not writing. Most of the times, they serve as a reminder or a motivator, because you should be writing. But what if there are times when you shouldn’t? Procrastination as a symptom It seems that no one is so effective at procrastination as a writer is. From social media dubbed as “building one platform” to binging series on Netflix boldly renamed to “research”, writers tend to…

  • 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…

  • A white background with a yellow circle on it, black text reads 'Writing for Relief: Writing Exercises for Emotional Health by Victoria Miller and Christine Hennebury'
    Self Talk

    Writing for Relief: Exercises For Emotional Health

    by Victoria Miller and Christine Hennebury We don’t think that the writerly brain has more mental health issues than any other time of brain. However, combining a writerly imagination with writerly habits like spending a lot of time alone and a lot of time in our own heads can create a breeding ground for some negative and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. If those thoughts are recurring or if they regularly disrupt your life, please seek some professional help. You do NOT have to endure those thoughts alone. If, however, those thoughts just pop up from time to time, you may want to use your writing skills to help you manage…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Love Your Writing: a Writer’s Self-care

    by Joanna Maciejewska From my experience, people who claim writing is easy either haven’t written anything yet or don’t treat their writing seriously. Sure, the process of transferring one’s thoughts to paper or digital document can be extremely simple… Making them flow, engage the reader, and evoke emotions isn’t. Getting one’s story right might bring about frustration, depression, self-doubt, and obesity when the former are remedied with cake. That’s why writers need to remember about self-care, and one of the basic ways is to love your writing. Love your writing, love your job Unless you’re writing as a hobby, only when you feel like it, you’re likely to be treating…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Self Talk,  Time Management

    Flicking the Switch: Activate Writer Mode!

    by Christine Hennebury Thanks to Katharine’s terrific example, we all know that 10 minutes a day is enough to keep your creative life chirping along. But do you find it a challenge to make good use of that short period of time? Do you find it hard to stop your regular life and activate your writer mode? When my kids were small, I really struggled with that transition. I had lots of ideas but even when I had *time* to write, I couldn’t get much on the page.  And now, even though my kids are teenagers, I still sometimes have trouble switching into writing mode.  I know that Katharine has…

  • Discipline,  Self Talk,  Time Management

    Knowledge is Power – Things to Know BEFORE You Set a Goal

    by Christine Hennebury When some people decide to undertake a project, they automatically adjust their lives and expectations to match the project’s needs. They intuitively understand how much time their work will take, and they add it into their work days. For the rest of us, we have to consciously choose to make those adjustments in order to get our work done. I used to really struggle with reaching my writing goals. I could lay it all out on paper, even in a SMART goal fashion, but no matter how specific I got, I still didn’t do the work. Over time, I realized that while I had concrete and detailed…

  • 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…

  • Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    What’s Your Definition of Success?

    In my mind, success looks like stacks and stacks of books at a wholesale store. Every time I go to Costco, I pass the end table where the books are and I look and I say to my kids, “Someday, my books will be there.” To me, that a mark of success. If I come to that point in my career, then I have a tangible reminder of the success I’ve accomplished. And I want this to be the right kind of book — a novel — not an “I lived through a disaster and now I’m going to tell you my story” kind of book. The authors who have…

  • Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Five Awful Things My Work-In-Progress Says To Me And What I Say Back

    I have a work-in-progress and I think it hates me. Every day I sit down with this project, set my timer, turn on the music, spend way too much time thinking about font, size, and color, and then work at least an hour. When I sit down with it, I feel it come alive. It is a non-fiction book, so it’s not like it’s alive in the sense of genre or character. It’s alive with the ease (or lack of ease) that comes with the drafting and sculpting of each chapter. At times, it feels like it’s fighting against me.  Some days, it is sterile and compliant; I’m the boss.…

  • 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…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Ways To Beat Insecurity (At Least Temporarily!)

    We are insecure for a lot of reasons. We’re insecure because we probably have artistic temperaments that makes us feel deeply. We overthink and over analyze. We find it’s easier to dwell on what it negative in our life rather than what is positive. We may have lived in environments in which confidence and boldness was discouraged and despair was fertilized with lies and fear. We may lack skills. We may fear failure. We may long for approval and we know it’s hard to achieve it anywhere, much less in this field. We’ve been burned before. The last person who read our work was mean or hateful or didn’t get…