• Creativity,  Discipline,  Inspiration

    Writerly Warm-Ups – 5 fun ways to prepare to write your story

      by Christine Hennebury   Are you a SERIOUS writer? Are you maybe even a bit TOO serious?   Writing well requires discipline. We all know that, and we all try to practice that.   Well, more like, we are all hard on ourselves for not practicing that enough.   I feel like our desire to be dedicated writers who are doing things right gets in the way of our goals sometimes. I’d like to help you sidestep that instinct for a little while so you can remember what you like about writing.   After all, it’s a lot easier to keep coming back to a task you basically enjoy…

  • Reading,  Revising and Editing,  Uncategorized

    Becoming a Beta Reader, Becoming a Better Writer

    by Joanna Maciejewska If you look up online advice for writers, you’ll likely find a mention of beta readers and how crucial they are for improving one’s writing. Yet, with all the emphasis out there on finding a beta reader or ten, there’s very little said about how being a beta reader improves your own writing. A different kind of reading Beta reading is, at its core, reading. So why, you might wonder, would you devote your time to reading unfinished or unpolished books while your to-be-read pile of paperbacks or ebooks is growing faster than you can go through it? It surely is better to learn from published writers…

  • Uncategorized

    The Benefits of Planning Your Novel by Laura Laakso

    By Laura Laakso My first reader (or my brutal beta, as he sometimes refers to himself) recently shared with me an idea for a crime novel and asked what I thought about the outline. I said I loved it and that he should write it. But he, ever the voice of reason, said he didn’t want the project to become a victim of his self-doubt and that instead of plunging straight into the writing, he would plan the story first. As planning a novel is an area he is new to, he asked me to blog about the benefits of planning in helping to tackle self-doubt. By a way of…

  • Uncategorized

    Trick the Mind, Get Creative and Opening Lines

    By Tina Neyer As fiction writers, we strive to create believable stories that have a message. Whether creating worlds based on fact or fantasy the best stories begin with strong opening paragraphs. Let’s face it, beginnings are hard to get right. The beginning is the most read part of any work, flash fiction or novel. The reader has a choice in those first lines whether to continue reading or not.  The opening becomes a focus in my work usually by revision five or six. Identifying the problem becomes a challenge. I word-smith, share with my writing group, and then go for a walk in the woods, bake cookies, read other…

  • Uncategorized

    Five Lies I Believed About Poetry Writing

    Over the last few months, I’ve been spending more and more time studying poetry. I’m not afraid to try new things or expand myself in new directions. I’m finding, and I’m sure that this will be news to some of you, that you can write poetry faster than you can write novels! I find this to be especially exciting. Why not try writing poetry? But the problem is that the more I studied, the more intimidated I became. I still have to work in 10-minute increments, so I’m finding that reading anthologies, listening to the Poetry Foundation’s podcasts, taking my time with this study is not hard to do. Yet, I…

  • 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…

  • Creativity,  Reading

    Eleven Tips To Help You Be More Creative!

    Who wants more ideas? Who needs a brilliant thought? Who could stand a new insight? A fresh perspective? A story idea? Who needs more creativity? I know I do! I just wish I could turn on good ideas like I turn on the tap. It’s too bad our muse only shows up at inconvenient times or not at all. I believe, however,  that creativity can be encouraged. We can play with our own minds in such a way that can help solve problems and get good ideas. Here’s a long list of ways to be more creative. Try some! And leave a comment if you got them to work! 1.…

  • Uncategorized

    10 Minute Novelists Conference Can Change Your Fiction Writing Forever!

    In this saturated market, you can’t afford to be a mediocre writer. For most of us, it’s not enough to read books or depend on beta readers to show what’s precisely wrong with our fiction manuscripts. We plow on, submitting here or there, facing rejection after rejection, questioning our creative choices.    What if we gave ourselves a weekend to really grow? What if we could sit with a well-experienced literary agent and get the inside secrets to writing good fiction? What if we invested wisely in instruction that could make a huge difference in our careers? What if we challenged ourselves to excel in ways we hadn’t before?  Don’t…

  • Uncategorized

    A Writer and A Narrator Walk into a Bar: Separating from Our Main Character

    by Annette Januzzi Wick   I’d known Julianna for a long time since my father passed away. Her presence in my life kept me up late nights, early mornings, so I asked her to meet me. I couldn’t shake the sense she had wisdom to impart. Julianna was the protagonist in my novel about a young woman who lives in Mississippi, separated by miles and mindset from aging parents in Ohio. When her father dies, she finds her mother’s handwriting on old Frank Sinatra song sheets and sets off to uncover the secrets of an estranged mother who is obsessed with Sinatra lyrics but forgetful of her past. The novel…

  • Creativity

    16 Simple Things To Do To Be More Creative

    Everybody wants to be more creative. Creativity is that moment when your ideas come together in just the right way, you may see something that no one else did. Creativity is problem solving, but it’s also strategy, connections and applications of concepts. When we’re on fire creatively, sometimes we don’t know where the original spark came from but we know we like the innovative blaze it ignited. The problem with creativity is that it’s the hard work of the mind and sometimes the ideas just aren’t there. We know what makes our bodies tired, but often the mind gets tired in entirely different ways. If we are writing for a…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Time Management,  Uncategorized,  Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day

    Finding Time to Write by Joanna Maciejewska

    by Joanna Maciejewska If you ever tried to create anything with words: a short story, a blog post, or an essay, you know that writing is a time-consuming hobby. In a busy life, finding time to write can be both challenging and frustrating. So how can you do it? Evaluate your day Even though finding time to write might feel impossible, if you look closely, you might be surprised to find unassigned pockets of temporal space. They might seem too small at first, but as they say, you don’t look gifted horse in the mouth. If you want to write and you don’t have the time you need, you learn…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Publishing

    Top 10 Things To Consider When Choosing A Publisher With The Same Care As A Jane Austen Heroine Chose A Husband

      It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a good story must be in want of a publisher. It’s the age old story. You have so many hopes and dreams. You have all these wonderful stories to tell. You know that it will take an attachment, a proposal and perhaps a big commitment to make you moderately rich and a teensy bit famous. So you, the perfect Lizzie Bennet, who will only writes for love, not necessarily £10,000 a year, will be happy just to attach yourself with a publisher who respects you. Fortunately for you, your access to publishers on the internet is an…

  • 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…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Into the Heart: Writing Flash Fiction

    by Christine Hennebury I really enjoy writing flash fiction because I can finish a draft quickly, polish it and do something with it right away. That’s not to say that flash fiction is easy, or that you can just toss out any old thing and call it flash fiction. This type of writing takes skill, but you can practice it more quickly that you can when writing longer forms of fiction. The cycle of draft, revision, revision, revision, completion is much faster when you are dealing with changing a few words, lines, or paragraphs than when you are dealing with page after page of text. If wrangling fiction of this…