• #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…

  • Inspiration

    What To Do When Darkness Keeps You From Writing

    I have a section in my book called Facing The Darkness. Most writers I know have a resistance. This is usually an antagonistic force that they need to deal with before they put words on paper. This darkness has been misunderstood — at least by my readers — in that some think that it’s about the thriller or horror genre (nope) or that it’s an excuse not to write. This darkness is deeper than a lack of motivation or lack of creativity. The darkness I’m referring to are the penetrating lies that are keeping you from pursuing your dreams. If you don’t have darkness, then consider yourself blessed. Julia Cameron,…

  • Inspiration

    How Champion Free Writers Combat The Blank Page

    Facing the blank screen can be one of the most intimidating moments of being a writer. I have a sure fire way to conquer this moment: the free write. A free write is a word spew, or word vomit if you don’t mind a graphic image. A free write is also a brainstorm or stream of consciousness. It is the act of putting down a word — any word — and then another, another, and another. In a free write, you conquer the blank page by the simple act of just making it not blank. That effort can make a difference in your confidence and your momentum for the rest of your writing…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    Never Say Never: Writing “Rules” That Beg to Be Broken

    By Jennifer Worrell How many of you have heard the old saw, “Write it your way!” or “Write the story you want to read!” And so you do. And then you’re told…you can’t do that. Only {insert bestselling author names here} can do that. But no one explains why. How did successful writers get that privilege, and who gave it to them? Creative writing is nothing without artistic expression, but that’s impossible to achieve if you’re imprisoned by arbitrary rules. In search of a like-minded community, I joined far too many online writers’ forums. A lot are great (especially this one!) and can help you through many a muddy spot…

  • Marketing,  Publishing

    7 Ways To Deal With That Dreaded Bad Review

    By Pam Humphrey In my pre-mom days when I worked as a programmer and tech support at a small company, I shared an office with one other girl. After an unusually frustrating customer had berated her as she tried to help them over the phone, she hung up near tears. I’ll never forget what she said. “I’m from Oklahoma. I need people to like me.” She hadn’t caused the customer’s problem. She solved the issue quickly and with kindness. She’d done her best, but he was still rude. Writers, those that care deeply about the structure and quality of what they write, pour over pages time and again checking for…

  • Motivation

    10 Ways To Lift Yourself Out of That Writing Funk

        Being in a funk comes with the writing territory. Because writers are already of the sensitive, angsty type, we are the first to fall into a depressive funk. At best, these funks slow us down and sap our motivation. At their worst, the blues can paralyze your creativity completely. You could be so down you pick up self-destructive behaviors. (Don’t do that! Addiction is never flattering!) I know I’ve sat down with my word count and my work-in-progress looming wanted it to go away.    What should you do instead if you’re feeling a little down? Take a self care inventory. Are you getting enough sleep? Have you eaten…

  • Reading

    How To Review A Book As An Author

    By Olivia Folmer Ard In this digital age, an author’s internet presence can make or break her. Reputation, success, overall career—these are just a few of the things on the line when we power on our computers and plug into the virtual world. We’re all familiar with the horror stories about authors reacting badly to online reviews of their own books—Kathleen Hale stalked a Goodreads user who left a snarky one-star review, going so far as to physically visit the woman’s home, and Richard Brittain took stalking a step further when he tracked down a cheeky 18-year-old and bludgeoned her with a wine bottle after she criticized his work on…

  • Community,  Discipline,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Uncategorized

    Eleven Truths I Learn When I Delegate Responsibility

    If I didn’t delegate my household chores, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. To delegate responsibility means to give a task to someone else. In a way, by allowing someone else to do something, you’ve doubled your efficiency. (I have five kids. This means I can do a lot more than double mine!) To delegate means more than just getting more work done. Delegating also brings people closer. I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve learned since I’ve chosen to delegate my household tasks. Here are a few: Trust builds relationships. When you hand off a job, and allow someone to work for you, you’re saying, “I…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Things You Should Be Saying To Yourself That Will Help Make You More Successful

    By Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist I believe we can accomplish great things if we get our thought life under control. Good thoughts produce good habits. Good habits produce good patterns. Good patterns help us grow in discipline, which makes us more confident, which allows us to succeed.  I strongly encourage you, as you are facing the end of this year and the beginning of the new one, that you consider what you think about and focus only on the good things.  In June, 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.…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization

    Top 10 Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals

    We can’t be the writer we want to be if we keep doing the things we’ve always done. This is the time self-involved, sensitive writing types, think about how we can make this upcoming year the best ever. Especially if we are participating in Nanowrimo. This is an exciting time of year and it’s also kind of scary. We’re going to have to make some changes. Sigh. This week’s list is the Top Ten Tricky Things You May Have To Do In Order To Achieve Your Goals. 1. You may have to say no to the expectations of others. This is tricky because in the past you may have said…

  • Beautiful Words,  Inspiration,  Observation,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Great Things That Happened When I Stopped Complaining

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist Sometimes, the world really is insufficient, faulty or stupid. But sometimes it’s just better not to notice.  A few years ago, after a particularly difficult time in my life, I challenged myself to watch what I said and to stop complaining. I thought that by stopping the bad attitude was just a generally a good step in the direction of restraint. I had no idea that this would change nearly everything about my life.  Now, this blog has the main purpose of encouraging time-crunched writers in their dreams, but sometimes, I want to write for everyone. I firmly believe that the world would change dramatically…

  • Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Effective Ways I Deal With My Evil Inner Critic

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist In my writing life, my inner critic is the single greatest threat to my success. My inner critic blames me for things that go wrong. My inner critic calls me names like stupid and loser. My inner critic compares me to others and finds me wanting. My inner critic sets impossible standards of perfection. My inner critic tells me that if I’m not the best, then I’m nothing. My inner critic beats me up for the smallest mistake. My inner critic keeps track of my failures and shortcomings. My inner critic exaggerates my weaknesses. My inner critic threatens to withhold love. My inner critic…

  • #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.…

  • Marketing,  Observation

    Top 10 Reasons You May Hate Marketing And What You Can Do About It by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelists

    If I weren’t a writer and mother of five, I’d go into psychology or social work and listen to people. Oh, I know it’s not all fun and games, like what I saw on The Bob Newhart show in the ’70’s, and from what I understand there’s a whole lotta of schoolin’ to go to, but I like thinking about what people are thinking about. It just could be fun! (And if you really love good situation comedy, click here to watch the pilot episode of The Bob Newhart Show.)  Until I decide to take the plunge and become a shrink, I’ll satisfy myself with addressing the problem that some…