• Uncategorized

    Guarding Your Time: The Hows and Whys of Time-Blocking

    If we’re going to get serious about our writing, then we have to make time for it. If we’re going to make time for it, then we need to guard that writing time diligently. This is what I mean:  Recently an acquaintance approached me, inviting me to a weekly mothers’ meeting in which we would discuss various issues of motherhood. Her argument, one that she presented sweetly, is that all mothers need a safe place to vent and get advice. She said that she had chosen Thursday afternoons from 2-4 pm on a weekly basis, at a location that was 20 minutes away from my home, for this event. I…

  • 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…

  • Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management

    How Delegation Makes You A More Organized Writer

    by Katharine Grubb When my two older daughters were very small, they asked me to play with them. I agreed. We were playing”house” after all, and I knew this game. Or at least I thought I did. “I’m the Mommy,” my 4-year-old daughter said.”Miranda is the Daddy.” She pointed to her 3-year-old sister. “Who will I be?” I asked. “You can be the maid.” Did they demonstrate they understood the concept of delegating responsibility or were they just typecasting me? Okay, so my family, at least my small children, are used to seeing me do much of work in our house. Your family has probably been used to you working…

  • Uncategorized

    Positivity for Writers

    I recently read the book Positivity by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, and it changed how I think about my writing process.  She defines Positivity as  affirming, constructive, helpful, and/or optimistic thoughts, actions, or feelings in our lives. Dr. Fredrickson, who has researched this subject for the past 20 years, categorizes it as those moments in which we experience joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. As a writer, those are the moments when my writing comes alive.  The best lines get written. I learn something that makes a character more real. Why is it so hard to stay positive? Dr. Fredrickson compares negativity to a spiral slide-…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    Can’t We All Get Along? Making Friends with Your Inner Editor

    by Christine Hennebury Do you have an annoying inner voice? I’m not referring to your conscience. I’m talking about your inner editor. The one who keeps interrupting your first draft to remind you that it still needs work.   Unlike a real live editor, this one is kind of missing the point. Real, live editors wouldn’t expect you to have gotten everything right on the first try. And, they certainly wouldn’t interrupt you while you are writing to tell you to change that single word. Real live editors know that there is a time and a place for editing.  With very few exceptions, the first draft is NOT it.  …

  • Uncategorized

    Want To Be An Organized Writer? Start With An Effective Life

    By Katharine Grubb This idea — organizing your life — could be the elephant in the room. Figuratively, it weighs a couple thousand pounds. You’ve known that your life is a mess and you’d rather ignore it than deal with it. But like a real elephant, your piles, your messes and your chaos feels rough and dirty. Being effective seems impossible. This figurative elephant may even be eyeing you suspiciously. You’ve been told that to eat this elephant you’ll have to tackle it one bite at a time. In your hand, you have a knife and a fork and you say to yourself, “go to it!” If only getting your…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Uncategorized,  Work-In-Progress

    Writing Multiple Projects: Pros and Cons

    by Joanna Maciejewska Mikhail Bulgakov burned the first draft of Master and Margarita, a book that long after death would make him famous. He wrote it for two years, and then in 1930 committed it to the flame. A year later, he restarted the novel and worked on the second draft for the next six years. For the next years, he worked on another four versions and even right before his death in 1940 the novel still had unfinished bits. Even though he had some other works published earlier (along with plays and short stories), he’s ultimately remembered by that one novel. Writing Multiple Projects Nowadays, in our fast-paced world…

  • 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…

  • Uncategorized

    Organizing Your Emotions For The New Year (So You Can Write More!)

    I may look like a 49-year-old mother of five, but sometimes I feel like a four-year-old with out of whack emotions.  I whine, I cry, I forget to care for myself. I grumble at the thought of doing things for my family. I put off things like washing the dishes because I call  Pinterest “fostering creativity”. I cut corners because I think the task doesn’t matter. I would like to think that I am a hot engine of productivity but I the truth is I let my emotions dominate. I allow my whims to go uncontrolled and I call it “passion” or “fun”. Somehow I think that my life will…

  • Marketing

    Creating a Social Media Calendar

    For those writers building platforms, a social media calendar is a must.  Essentially it is a place to decide when and what you will post across your platform. You can also use it to analyze content productivity.  The first thing you need to decide is if you’re going to use an online interface or an Excel or Google spreadsheet. Online interfaces like Buffer, Postplanner or Hootsuite are great options if you only have a little bit of content or you want to pay for help with things like posting at optimal times, analytics of post engagement, etc.  For most writers this comes down to what they can afford. Either way…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline

    Forget the Resolution! Are Your Goals SMART Enough For 2018?

    If you are going to set goals for 2018, you need to think SMART!  Unlike goals, promises and resolutions are full of hot air. Those flighty resolutions float through our minds at the fresh, breezy start of January. They usually settle, forgotten in the corners of our minds before that groundhog pokes his head out. But a real, workable, practical, life-changing goals look entirely different. Plans that are still a part of your life in March and April will be SMART. Are Your Goals SMART Enough For 2018? Are they SPECIFIC?  This means you envision tasks that are easy to visualize. For example, In 2018, I want to read more…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Bullet Journaling for Writers

    by Joanna Maciejewska At some stage of my life, I gave up on buying diaries, calendars, and planners. They all had “wrong” layouts, not enough space or too much of it, and in the end I never really used them much. Then, a year and a half ago, I discovered bullet journaling and fell in love with it. I use it for my everyday life, but since writing is a part of it, I want it to be reflected in my “bujo”. If you are a bullet journal fan or looking into starting one, here are some ideas. What is Bullet Journaling? If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, bullet journaling…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Observation,  Uncategorized

    Become A Seasonal Anthropologist: Holiday Writing Research

    By Christine Hennebury Holidays are full of opportunities for us to play anthropologist and observe the culture we are participating in. We can choose to pay attention to the emotional, social, and sensory details of the season. That way we can bring vivid detail to our future writing. I’m not suggesting that you spend your holiday season detached from the people around you. (unless you need to- see below*) However, if you take a few moments every now and then to take in the details of your surroundings, you can slow things down a little while gathering details for your work. Bonus: Those few minutes spent observing can help you…