• Community,  Discipline,  Organization,  Time Management

    Practical Ways To Find Extra 10 Minutes To Make Your Dreams Come True

    I get asked often what my Twitter handle, @10MinNovelist means. If I’m feeling generous, I say, “it means I have to write in the smallest bits of time that I can.” If I’m feeling a bit snarky, I say, “it means I have five children who like to eat and have clean clothes.” I call myself @10MinNovelist because I’ve decided my writing dreams were worth finding time for. I think it’s possible for the busiest of people to carve out a little time daily to do something they love — it just takes vision, creative use of time and space, and discipline, but it can be done.  Want to join…

  • 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…

  • Organization,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    How My To-Do List is Often Like a Misbehaving Toddler (And What I Can Do About It!)

    My to-do list is long. It taunts me. As soon as I cross something off, three more things jump on. The battle I have with my to-do list is like chasing a naked, hungry, willful toddler through the house. I yell and reach. I grab and contain. I wipe, dust, clothe, scold and hug and yet there are more things to do. My list is ever demanding, ever whining, ever messy.  I asked for this. I asked for the expanding boundaries and the places of influence. I asked for the blessings and abundance. (And it comes with more responsibility and more tasks?) I asked for more people in my life…

  • Discipline,  Time Management

    Top Ten Ways You Can Find Time To Write In 2016

    My house is a disaster. We’ve moved furniture around to make room for holiday shenanigans. We’ve forgone our schedules for calorie packed merriment. We’ve embraced the season with so much fervor, our wallets, our stomachs and our emotions are upset in a mostly good way. But the party will be over soon and Monday, January 4, will be here, all bright and shiny, waiting for us to make our mark and start good habits in the New Year.   We should all collectively rename January and call it “Good Intentions Month” instead. Because, really, by February we’ve forgotten all we want to accomplish and we’re back into old habits and…

  • #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?…

  • Craft,  Work-In-Progress

    Why Three Act Structure Should Be A Blueprint For Your Next Masterpiece

    You can call yourself a pantser. You can declare that it is in the fresh, spontaneous, free writing experience that you can truly grasp your story. You can argue from here to next week that outlines restrict your creativity, that too much organization is evil and that any finger-wagging instruction that tells you to follow these directions is just there to beat you down. I’d like to suggest that using the basic form of Three Act Structure can actually free you to write a stronger, better, more interesting novel.     Three Act Structure is really just fancy talk for beginning, middle and end. But the difference in semantics means that each…

  • Inspiration,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    How I Write: The Image, The Reality, and The Twitter Jokes

      This morning I woke up with a backache. I decided I would postpone the start of my day until after I felt better. So, what do you do with a little extra time on your hands? You hang out on Twitter! What luck! #HowIWrite was trending! I enjoyed very much reading suggestions from writers all over the world on the specifics of their process.   You know, the hows of our writing is similar. We all sit with keyboards (a few with notebooks), we all daydream, we all fiddle with music and other ambient issues, we all drink ungodly amounts of coffee or tea and we all work at this.…

  • 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…

  • #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…

  • Craft,  Observation,  Twitter

    50 Cheap And Easy Ways To Improve Your Writing This Summer

    At the beginning of every summer, I post this little gem. If you need a way to improve in your craft, without breaking the bank, these this will surely help!  How Can I Be A Better Writer? Can’t afford to take a summer writing class? Never fear! All you really need is a library, internet access, Instagram, Netflix, Facebook and Twitter! YOU can improve your writing skills by doing these 50 things. I admit, some of these aren’t exactly writing activities, but if you do them, and you practice observing with all five senses and spend at least ten minute writing about the experience, you will improve. YOU WILL! My kids say that there…

  • #MagicalMarketing,  #MondayBlogs,  #SellingMySoul,  Marketing,  Motivation

    Bushwhacking Your Way Through The Marketing Journey (Or, Why There Is No Trail Already Blazed!)

    Sometimes we think marketing is easy. Sometimes (especially by marketing gurus) that if you say the right words, follow the right script, and start the right conversations, readers will magically appear to buy your books.  But this isn’t true. Marketing is far more like a neophyte jungle explorer with a coffee stained map in one hand and a machete in the other, who hacks and trudges through the rainforest hoping not to be eaten alive by local fauna. If you’ve tried to sell a book, you know this is true. What works for the writer next to you doesn’t work for you. You’re on the hunt for contacts, relationships, attention…

  • Discipline

    Breaking Up With Writers’ Block

      It’s time for me to break up with Writer’s Block. If Writer’s Block was a person, he would be five feet eight. He is in his 40s but he looks much older. He has a greasy blond comb over on his freckled bald head. His face is sallow. His jowls are flabby and droopy. He admittedly never looks in a mirror. He has stray gray hairs that come out of his chin. I don’t know why there isn’t more evidence of a beard. Maybe that’s the most dramatic his beard gets. He has a dull stud in one ear, which has hairs and wax coming out of them. He’s wearing…