• #MondayBlogs,  Inspiration,  Self Talk

    Why I Picture My Inner Critic As An Evil Disney Sidekick (And How I Take Him To The Woodshed)

    Ursula the Sea Witch has two eels named Flotsam and Jetsam. Gaston has the cleverly named Le Fou. Aladdin‘s Jafar has that parrot, Iago, who I really  wanted to punch in the mouth and Scar, from The Lion King had three goofy hyenas. My point? All villains have henchmen. This isn’t a post about how to create great sidekicks for your villains, that may or may not be cute as a button and who may or may not break out into song at a moment’s notice. The henchman I’m referring to is far darker and far destructive than anything Disney could create. It could even be Hitchcockian or Wes Craven-ish. I’m talking…

  • Self Talk

    What To Do With Too Much Writing Advice (And How Not To Let it Drive You To Drink)

      I think I understand why old school writers were heavy drinkers. I think I understand why some of them fell into dark thoughts, depression or loneliness. I think I understand why writers generally are isolated introverts, hiding from the real world, wrapping themselves up in their imaginary lands, fighting dragons, discovering treasure and falling in love: They’re hiding from ubiquitous and contradictory writing advice.  Single point of view or not? Past tense or not?  Predictable, relatable characters or something unique? Write what you know or write what you don’t know? Publish it immediately to get it out there or rewrite it a million times? And that’s just the craft…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    The Amazingly Easy Short Cut Guide To Becoming A Great Writer (Tongue-In-Cheek Advice for The Lazy)

    Some are born great writers, some aspire to being a great writer and some have writerly greatness thrust upon them. Then, sometimes, neither of those three options apply to us and we have to bushwhack our own path to greatness. Is it just me, or does that sound like a lot of work? Greatness, is, in some regards, overrated. You spend your life toiling away at tasks that you “love” or your “passions” and yet the Pulitzer isn’t passed out to everyone. The odds are against you with every query letter you send, with every proposal you write up, every word you type. Agents reject authors by the dozens, what…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Self Talk

    What Is Beautiful To Me by Katharine Grubb

      What is beautiful?  It is beautiful to stop and take deep breaths. To understand that your breathing not just helps your body but it also calms you down. Your deep breaths soothe your mind. Deep breaths free you up to think and act clearly. Deep breathing is a pacifier, a soother, a psychological binky.  You can wrap yourself up in your own breaths and rest deeply. You can breathe the toxins out of your body. You can breathe out the bad thoughts and the invasive poisons. What is beautiful? It is beautiful to choose to be free and walk in truth. What’s beautiful in the journey of truth is…

  • Community,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    #Top Ten Ways To Beat Insecurity As A Writer (At Least Temporarily) By Katharine Grubb

      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…

  • #MagicalMarketing,  #SellingMySoul,  Community,  Self Talk

    The Real Reasons You May Hate Marketing And What You Can Do About It

      The reasons you hate marketing may have to do with real fears and anxieties. But you can overcome them.  You poor, poor writers. You pour your heart and soul into your books. You create these magical worlds, these vibrant, three dimensional characters, these intricate plots, these thrilling stories that culminate in an figurative or literal explosion of action and dialogue that leaves your readers breathless, weepy and ready to plunk down more dough for the next installment. And if your reader is going to read it, you have get it in front of the public eye. The truth? We’d rather not let it be seen. We’d rather hide behind our computer…

  • #MagicalMarketing,  #SellingMySoul,  Marketing,  Publishing,  Self Talk,  Self-Publishing

    Top 10 Signs You Aren’t Ready To Market Your Book

        For the last two-ish years, I’ve had books to sell. I’ve learned a lot about, but certainly not everything, about marketing. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I think a good marketing author is always prepared to talk about their books, but timing is everything. You may not be ready to market. These are the top 10 signs you need to put your marketing plan on hold for a little while. 1. Your book may not be that good. Do not assume that because you got it on paper that it deserves to have readers. If you have put shoddy work on the marketplace you are being disrespectful of…

  • 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,  Self Talk

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Things You Should Be Saying To Yourself That Will Help Make You More Successful

    In February, I posted, Top 10 Things You Could Be Saying To Yourself That Will Guarantee Your Failure As A Writer  Today I want to do the opposite! 1. Everybody Makes Mistakes.  This is huge! You need to be reminded that every successful writer has a team behind them of editors, agents and publishers that help them make their book the best it can be. Don’t freak out over the errors in your manuscript. Just fix them and move on! 2. Tomorrow Is Another Day. Plan on making every single day the best you can to pursue your goals, but be realistic. Some days, you’re not going to get your words in,…

  • Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    What Happened When I Stopped Complaining

    This month I’ve featured a lot of articles on “Love Your Reader, Love Your Art, Love Yourself” and today I think my last post on that theme fits it nicely. I grew up in a household that was lead by people who had nothing nice to say. If the sky was blue, they’d find a cloud somewhere. If we found a dollar on the sidewalk, then it wouldn’t be enough to make a difference. If we got the day off from work, it wouldn’t have been told early enough to make the time useful. Everything was insufficient, faulty or stupid. It wasn’t until just recently that I realized how that…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Self Talk

    The Single Best Writing Advice (Too Bad I Don’t Always Follow It)

    We’ve heard it before, write what you know. Or, write every day. Or, READ! READ! READ! And while that is all very good advice, and you should follow it fervently, it’s still not the best.One of the best pieces of advice I was given in college was this: Never compare yourself to others.  If you do, you’ll compare their strengths to your weaknesses, and you’ll always be the loser. When I compare myself to other writers, it doesn’t do me a bit of good. I either pick up some frothy bonnet romance and throw it across the room, puffing myself up with thoughts of superiority. My books will have more meaning! I will be more…

  • Author Profile,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Writing Like a Martial Artist A Guest Post by Christine Hennebury

    What could be further apart than the physical effort of martial arts and the mental effort of writing? They don’t really have much in common. Martial arts help you to train your body to react without having to think, while writing is about getting very deep inside your own head. Yet, when I bring the focus I’ve learned in Taekwon-Do and apply it to my writing, the words come a lot more easily, and that’s not the only way that studying martial arts has made me a better writer. Lesson One: My biggest opponent is myself When I got my black belt in March, 2014, I felt like I had…

  • Self Talk

    How To Love Yourself When You’re Weak (A List For SuperMom Types Who Get Sick)

    No one is as hard on me as me. The context of this idea came to me 13 days into an illness. It wasn’t the flu, a sinus infection, an ear infection or bronchitis.  I didn’t have the fever to warrant antibiotics and I didn’t have enough symptoms to make even a trip to the ER worth it. I knew they’d say, “yup, your ears are stuffed up”.  I knew that the treatment would be a combination of Mucinex and Benadryl and Motrin for pain and rest. Lots of fluids. You know when you’re playing Wii Golf and you hit the ball way to hard? That was the noise I…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk

    The Nine Things You Say To Yourself That Could Change Everything

    What does it mean to Love Ourselves? I have  a very wise friend that I meet with on a regular basis. This friend, Melissa, has caught me being very hard on myself and saying aloud things like, I’m not very good at that. Or, I got it wrong again. Or, this means that I’m not good enough.  She’s challenged me to pay attention to those negative thoughts. She even asked me what the ratio was, the good, encouraging things compared to the negative things. I didn’t know what she meant. I was going to say, “Ratio? Is that math?  I’m not very good at math!” But then she explained. For every single…