• 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

    Why I Write: A Guest Post By Vickie Miller

    I write for many reasons, some of which you wouldn’t understand. But most of all, I write because it’s freeing. Growing up, there wasn’t much I could do. My family was poor. We lived far away from the center of town for many years. There were too many mouths to feed. And I was a nerd. Reading was my favorite sport. Can it be a sport? There was little else that interested me and I didn’t know how to draw. So, when the moment came in third grade where the students were required to enter a writing contest as an assignment (is it really a contest if entry is mandatory?),…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    Why I Write: A Guest Post By Carolyn Astfalk

    I only recently pondered why I write. I simply knew that I had to write, so I did. My love affair with the written word started with clumsily-illustrated stories and spelling bees and grew to student newspapers in grade school, high school, and college. My affection for pen and ink led me to try my hand at calligraphy. During summer visits, I sat spellbound as my aunt, my mother’s only sister, analyzed my handwriting as well as written samples from my family members, friends, and teachers. My penchant for fiction grew out of Nancy Drew speed reading competitions with my best friend and blossomed into the memorization of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and my love for Margaret Mitchell’s…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Discipline

    #Top10Tuesday Making Your Readers Fall In Love With You In 10 Not-So-Easy Steps By Katharine Grubb

    Recently my group had a one hour chat on Facebook about how to get a readers to fall in love with their work. We had one hour!  That’s  like bringing a baby home from the hospital and saying, “I got five minutes, how can I be a great parent?”  If you’re one of those writers who wants to woo readers quickly, then you need to move along. This post isn’t for  you.  There are no shortcuts. Sorry about that. Each bullet on this list is a long tedious task that can only be accomplished with hard work. Discouraged? Don’t be. Good relationships and enthusiastic tribes take time. And it starts with…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Why I Write: A Series From The Authors Of 10 Minute Novelists Featuring Melissa Graham

    From Melissa Graham: About 10 years ago, I was in a very bad place. I was young, married to one of the most selfish beings I’ve ever met, and had two very young children. I’d lost my home, my possessions– including a car, which is an absolute necessity in this city– my security, my confidence, my independence and, worst of all, my identity. Barely into my twenties, all I had to my name was the love for my babies and the pity of my family. While my children and I were stuck in my parents’ house, their father was absent, doing whatever he did to pass the time, except when…

  • 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…

  • Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management

    Write with the Family – How We Worked as a Team to Create Mystery Rock A Guest Post by Kathryn Lang

    Writing can be one of the loneliest professions. The idea passed around so many conferences and came from so many experts, that I started to believe it. I assumed I had to be doing something wrong. I write in the middle of chaos on good days. On the bad days, I squeeze out words while fighting back the storms. I am a full-time writer, radio talk show host, home school mom, and active social media stalker. I have a lot of plates in the air that take me to events, throw me in the middle of lunches, and basically provide little time alone. I tried the isolation path. I sat…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    How Decisive Action Can Change Your Year (Like It Did Mine)

    It’s January, so I’m starting over. My year is fresh and clean like a New England snow storm. Perhaps this is the year I’ll be a millionaire, or a size 4, or hit the NYT Best Seller List. Or maybe I’ll just make some great decisions. This article from Writer’s Digest inspired me to think about how the accomplishment of goals. Sometimes resolutions, dreams or wishes are shape shifters and we’re not sure if they are real or imaginary. Goals like “to be a famous writer” is vague and frustrating and undefinable. How do we know we’ll achieve something in June if when can’t make up our mind what we want…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization,  Time Management

    The SMART Way To Set Goals For The New Year A Guest Post By Rebecca Laffar-Smith

    The last twelve months are swiftly disappearing in our rear vision mirror. That means it’s that time of year when we reflect on what the past year has brought into our lives and start to think about the year to come. We look back at those New Year’s Resolutions we made many months ago and wonder how our good intentions to lose 15 pounds turned into the extra 5 pounds now sitting on our hips. And, as writers, we look at our aspirations to write more (more poetry, more short stories, more books, more screenplays), and wonder what happened to those good intentions to get more finished. The truth is,…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Inspiration,  Marketing

    Why I Will Not Fail In My Marketing Attempts This Year

    In 2015, failure, especially when it comes to my personal book marketing, is not going to exist. I have two books to release this year, one fiction, one nonfiction; one is traditionally published one is self-published. One will have some publicity generated through the publishing house, one I’m going solo for. Both are gambles. I have no idea how well they will do. I have a lengthy and ambitious plan to market them — and I don’t have a ton of marketing experience. But I believe I will not fail. Why? I’ve just decided that FAILURE isn’t a word that’s going to be allowed in my vocabulary. It’s going to…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Motivation,  Work-In-Progress

    Neurotic Thoughts On My First Traditionally Published Book (Or The 9 Month Long Battle With Inner Voices)

    In 2014, I wrote and submitted my very first traditionally published book (and you can pre-order it here).  The process of drafting, editing and submitting was nothing less than a constant fight with negative inner voices. I was a mess. But it’s done. And I’ve survived. I’ve written and published a book before, but the first one was self-published. When I self published, I realized I had this huge ocean of grace — all the mistakes, all the decisions, all the vision, all the glaring spelling errors are mine alone. No one else was invested. The stakes were low. I joined the ranks of thousands of other writers who publish their…