• #Top10Tuesday,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    Six Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals In 2018

    This is the time of year when all of us, or at least us self-involved, sensitive writing types, think about how we can make this upcoming year the best ever. This is an exciting time of year and it’s also kind of scary. We can’t be the writer we want to be if we keep doing the things we’ve always done. We’re going to have to make some changes. Sigh.   1. You may have to say no to the expectations of others. Why is this tricky? For better or worse you have invested in relationships. Some of these people around you may not fully understand your need to write.…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Life Lessons Gleaned from Novel Writing

    By Carolyn Astfalk After I’d given birth to my first child, I vowed I’d never allow any task or experience to intimidate me again. After all, despite my worries and fears, I’d just delivered a little human being, sans medication no less. If I could do that, I could accomplish anything. But time has a way of dulling memories, especially those surrounding childbirth. (Thanks be to God.) When in November of 2010, I decided to give National Novel Writing Month a shot, I was intimidated. Surely fifty thousand words in thirty days would be less daunting than childbirth, right? But the bold sense of empowerment I’d felt after my son…

  • Craft

    Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Writing

    You want to improve your writing? It’s oh, so easy and oh, so hard. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you are reading this blog then you are a writer. Even if you don’t think you can call yourself that, you probably have aspirations for literary greatness, fame, or fortune. The right kind of greatness, fame, and fortune only comes from those writers who spend their time improving their craft. How do you get better? Glad you asked! Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Writing 1. Read, read, read. Read in your genre every chance you get. Try reading the Classics. Read your writing buddies’…

  • Perils of a Mom Writer

    Finding Time to Write (With Toddlers in Tow)

    By Emily Schneider There’s a scene in Sister Act 2 where Whoopi Goldberg confronts a young teenage girl about joining her school’s choir. She describes the book “Letters to a Young Poet” as follows: “A fellow used to write to him and say: ‘I want to be a writer. Please read my stuff.’ And Rilke says to this guy: ‘Don’t ask me about being a writer. lf when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing…then you’re a writer.’ ” Writing requires energy. It requires strength of mind. It requires emotional fortitude. Most of all, it requires your heart. If your heart’s not in it,…

  • Nanowrimo,  Reading,  Time Management,  Uncategorized

    Top 10 Ways You Can Conquer Nanowrimo Like War & Peace

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist We’re just a few days in to National Novel Writing Month and it can feel like you’ve decided to read a Russian novel. Last spring, I read War and Peace for reasons that I can’t quite remember. I think I wanted to add to my literary experiences. I think that I had seen on too many lists that it was one of the greatest novels ever written. And I also think that somehow my 21st century American sensibilities would totally identify with the plight of rich, idle Russian aristocrats who kinda hate the French. But, oh my, that book was 1300+ pages long. I was committed to finish and I…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Top Ten Things You Could Be Saying To Yourself That Will Guarantee Your Failure As A Writer by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    I spend DECADES of my life saying negative things to myself. Slowly, I’m addressing them one by one, changing what I say and taking positive steps (like NOT buying a box of donuts to eat in one sitting) to make my life better and my soul happier. Below I have a list of the top ten things wannabe writers say to themselves that keep them stuck in failure. If you are saying any of these things to yourself, then you will, most certainly fail. The reason? This negative self talk is a paralyzer. It fosters inaction. The antidote is two fold: say positive things and take baby steps out. 1.…

  • Community,  Interviews With Authors,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    Top 10 Signs That You May Be A 10 Minute Novelist by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

    Are Your Big Writing Dreams Worth Finding the Time? Writing a novel takes hard work. It takes order. It takes discipline and planning. It takes courage and determination and tenacity. Anyone can do it, even if they have only ten minutes a day. (How do I know this? I wrote a novel in ten minute increments. Hence the name of this blog!) Sometimes we think that we also need long, uninterrupted hours, an isolated cabin in the woods, a whiskey habit and a carton of Marlboros to be a writer too. But we don’t. Sometimes we need to stop thinking about how much different our life is from the idealized writer life is…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    10 Destructive, Cowardly Lies I Had To Discard So I Could Become A Writer

    This is one of my favorite blog posts. I’m bringing it back from 2014 because I think we could all use a fresh reminder!  We don’t get in this business to be comfortable. We get in this business because the drive to create is bigger than the drive to be accepted. It takes guts and courage to throw your words to the world. And if lies are keeping you back, then you need to put them in the toilet with the rest of the ca-ca in your life.  I’ve overcome a lot of lies to get where I am today. That alone makes me a success. Not sales, not followers…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Motivation

    Top Ten Things I Did Right Last Year That Made All The Difference

    Happy New Year!  I’m so glad we’re starting over with a fresh, shiny new year. 2016 has a lot of hope and promise. 2015 wasn’t too shabby for me personally, but I did suffer the fallout of some of the decisions that I made in 2014.  2014 was the first year that I stood up for myself, aggressively took responsibility for my own happiness and walked in complete confidence. Today’s blog post is a throwback-what I did that year that made all the difference. I’m still processing 2015’s victories. I’ll have a post about them soon enough. Hope you enjoy this one.   2011 was a sucky year for me…

  • Nanowrimo,  Organization,  Uncategorized,  Work-In-Progress

    I DID IT! I’M A NANO WINNER! (Now, What My Project Is, And What It Is Not!)

    I did it! Despite going away for a week, having no plan, no outline and no idea what I was doing, I put in the necessary 50,000 words required for National Novel Writing Month. So, I won! I’m a winner! WOO-HOO! Now before I get too excited, I need to realize that word count alone doth not a novel make. Oh my. No. So this little blog entry is to explain what my particular messy 50K word work-in-progress is and is not. What It is: A long brain spew. This isn’t a bad thing. I really believe that the best books resemble icebergs. What is read in the published form is only the tip. This is a critical part…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Creativity,  Nanowrimo

    The Schlemeil, Schlamazel Hassenpfeffer Incorporated Method To Nanowrimo (Or How ’80s Pop Culture Can Make You A Better Writer)

    Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. For 30 days in November every year, hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world try to get 50,000 words on paper. In a perfect world, these words would be brilliant and profound. It’s far more likely that the words are a big hot mess. If you are participating, then you know that you only have a week left to get your words in. You Can Do This! If you have 10K or less to do by November 30, this is manageable. If you have much more than that, do the best you can. Walk in grace and go easy on yourself. And…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Creativity,  Nanowrimo

    Top Ten Nanowrimo Emergency Prompts For The Overwhelmed

      Are you stuck yet? Don’t worry, you will be. When you are, don’t panic!  Don’t worry!  You’ll get through it! If you get stuck, here are ten writing prompts that might send you off on a tangent, help you finish your book! 1. Put your character in an actual emergency. Food allergies, car accident, flash flood, explosive plumbing, gas leak — none of these are planned. You don’t have to plan yours too. And even if it looks rather deux et machina -ish, don’t worry about it. You can always go back and fix it later.   2. What does your character have in his pocket, purse or glove compartment? Candy? A gun? Drugs?…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Beautiful Words,  Inspiration

    Who Are We? A Existential Rambling From A Novelist Who Should Probably Know Better

    Who are we? What is our identity? These are big questions that haven’t been fully answered by the wisest men. But I’d like to suggest that we are more than our genders, more than our hobbies, more than our avatars, more than our homes, more than our children, more than our possessions. I ask this because I have always struggled with identity. I spent a good part of my childhood fighting for attention, fighting for reassurance, fighting for comfort, for safety, for aspirations, for acceptance that exactly who I am is enough. That fight lasted way too long and the addition of titles like wife and mother just made fight…

  • Motivation,  Uncategorized

    Nine Questions To Ask If Writers’ Block Has You By The Throat

    You can’t even. You just can’t even. Sometimes the words aren’t there. The ideas are weak and feeble. Your fingers grow numb waiting on a decent thought from your brain. There’s a problem and you can’t quite figure out what it is or why you’re blocked. I’ve been there. And I’ve learned that a little self introspection sometimes is enough to get to the bottom of the problem. Are you blocked because you are emotionally damaged by your project?  Be honest. Not every writing project is a barrel of laughs. Some, like term papers and college essays are kinda important and you need to plow through. Some though, we’ve signed…