• Creativity,  Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5 Friday: Five Analog Writing Prompts

    Has this ever happened to you? You have finally carved out a few minutes to write but now that you have cleared that space, you realize that you have no idea where to start. (Personally, I think this is a bit of a stress response because your writing time suddenly feels extra important but I’ll write about that on another Friday. Today, we’re going to mostly treat the symptom – a sudden lack of ideas.) Okay, so you have your few minutes to write. You don’t want to risk opening a browser window and going down the rabbithole of searching for prompts. But, you also don’t want to just keep…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Take 5 Friday: Five Ways to Speak More Kindly to Your Writer Self

    As writers, we spend a lot of time in our own heads, trying to coax words onto the page. Then, once the words get there, we spend a lot of time trying to reshape them to clarify our ideas. It’s a process filled with self-esteem peril. We end up criticizing ourselves for not working hard enough, not working often enough, not working in the right way, or not working on the right thing. Or, we get frustrated with the words we did produce, wondering why we can’t match the ideal we had in our heads.  There’s an awful lot of focus on what we did ‘wrong,’ or on what is…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation

    Take 5 Friday: Five Gentle Steps To Coax Yourself To Write

    Even if you have an excellent writing practice with well-established routines, there will still be times when you just can’t bring yourself to the page. Sometimes, that’s a sign of burnout or that you just need a rest. If that’s the case for you, do what you can to get the rest that you need. But, if this is regular old garden-variety reluctance, a slight grumpy sort of resistance, or just a toddleresque ‘I don’t wanna’ –  it might be time for some gentle coaxing. You don’t need to be hard on yourself, this isn’t a time for being cruel in the name of self-discipline.  This is an opportunity to…

  • Craft,  Interviews With Authors

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions for Leigh Medeiros.

    It’s the last Friday of the month and I am thrilled to welcome Leigh Medeiros to our 5 Questions series. Leigh Medeiros is a creativity coach, story editor, amateur naturalist, rescue dog mom, and author of The 1-Minute Writer (Simon & Schuster, 2019.) She’s an energetic and encouraging creative force who can help you settle into your writing, even when you thought you had nothing to say. You can find out more about Leigh’s work on her website: LeighMedeiros.com. 1) Do you find yourself compelled to write or do you have to coax yourself into it? Dorothy Parker once said, “I hate writing; I love having written.” Oh, can I…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions To Ask Your Characters

    Last week, I encouraged you to ask yourself a few questions about your writing so you could ensure that your practice still met your goals. This week’s questions are for your characters and while they probably won’t take as much soul-searching, they will require some imagination. I use questions like the ones below to round out my knowledge of my characters in my short stories, novels, short plays, and in the mystery games that I write.  Sometimes I end up using the answers to “show” my characters to my audience. Sometimes, the answers just help me to figure out how my characters would behave or react in a given situation.…

  • Community,  Craft,  Creativity,  Interviews With Authors,  Self Talk,  Time Management

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions To Ask Yourself

    Most of us have a good general idea of our plans and motivations. But we also have so many different things going on in our lives that it’s easy to forget to check in with ourselves about how things are going. Once we have created a system or a plan, we tend to keep trying to follow it until things go horribly wrong. However, even if things haven’t gone horribly wrong, the plan or system might still not be completely right. It might be causing us unnecessary frustration or stress just because it no longer matches our needs. If we take time to check in with ourselves and assess what…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Take 5 Friday: Five steps for building fences (or stories)

    For my own amusement, I asked my brother-in-law, who is a handyman and a contractor, to help me compare writing to building a fence. I find it useful to explore how other professionals go about their work to see if using their framework might give me some insight into my own processes. Or, if drawing parallels between their work and mine can help me reframe how I think about challenging parts of my projects. Even though both writing and fence-building can be quite complicated, I think we settled on 5 steps that could get you started for either project. Note: I am paraphrasing Dan’s words here but any mistakes are…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Interviews With Authors

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions for Author Glenda Thompson

    On the last Friday of each month, I like to share an interview with an author so we can get a glimpse into their writing approach and practice. This month, I’m thrilled to share Glenda Thompson’s wise words about writing. You can find her answers below and you can find out more about her and her work on twitter at PressRattler , on Facebook at Author Glenda Thompson, or, soon, on her website. Glenda’s novel Broken Toys will be released later this year. 1.     What aspects of writing are easiest for you? Good question. I think character motivations are the easiest for me. My favorite word in the entire world is…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Organization,  Time Management

    Take 5 Friday: Five Steps To Make August a Great Writing Month

    August can be a strange month. Either your kids are heading back to school or you are making plans for them to head back (and this year, that might all be up in the air.)  Or maybe you are finally getting some vacation time.  Perhaps you are trying to balance a busy work day and summer fun in the evenings and on the weekends.  No matter what your August looks like, with some planning, you can help make it into a great month for your writing. Here are 5 steps to help guide your writing plans. Identify how much time you’ll have to write. A lot of the time, we…

  • Creativity,  Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5 – Five Sets of Idea-Building Questions

    When my stories need a boost, I like to start by picking an object and figuring out its background or how it might fit into my story. Sometimes, this is just a thinking exercise that helps me explore inside the world of my story – I may not even include the object in the final draft. Other times, the object becomes a key factor in the plot. If you haven’t got a story idea at the moment, or if you are feeling a little stalled in your work-in-progress, give this exercise a try. Maybe you’ll get your story moving again or maybe you’ll just have a little fun playing with…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline

    Take 5 Friday: Five Questions To Ask Before Your Next Writing Session

    While some writers are able to naturally jump in and focus on their writing projects, most of us take a little more prep time. I find that if I make some decisions before I sit down to write, my writing time is more enjoyable and I have a clearer sense of my progress. For today’s Take 5, I thought I would share a few of the things that I decide in advance of my writing sessions. Note: Sometimes, I make these decisions in the moments before the computer goes on. Ideally, though, I would make these decisions in advance of a planned writing session. 1) What will you work on?…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Writing Prompt

    Take 5: Five Fun Friday Prompts

    Writing is serious business, of course, but it’s perfectly okay to have fun while you are doing it! This week’s Take 5 is filled with fun prompts so you can play around with your words. Maybe they will help you with your work-in-progress or maybe they will be an enjoyable diversion. Either way, any writing that you do will build your skills and help you become a better writer. Have fun! Write on! 1) Stir up some emotion Choose a video/scene from TV show where someone is clearly angry or joyful. 1) How can you tell their emotions just by looking at them?2) How do their actions reveal their emotions?3)…

  • Discipline

    Take 5 Friday: 5 Ways to be More Comfortable When You Write

    How comfortable and welcoming is your writing space? When we have trouble getting to our writing, we often think that internal factors are the cause. We might look into a variety of reasons for our resistance and try multiple strategies to overcome them. Those strategies are useful if the issue is inside our heads but what about if our resistance stems from our environment? Thanks to some time spent with people with sensory issues, I have started to notice how my environment affects my ability to write. I have made a few adjustments in my workspace and it has helped enormously. The same may be true for you. So, if…

  • Community,  Creativity,  Interviews With Authors

    Take 5: 5 Questions with Author Sandy R. Stuckless

    This month, we’re delighted to feature author Sandy R. Stuckless on our 5 Questions post. Sandy writes fantasy, sci-fic, and paranormal fiction as well as anything else his self-described ‘twisted mind’ leads him to write about. Sandy is a long time admin for the 10 Minute Novelists Facebook group and you can find out more about him on his website, his Facebook page, or by following him on Twitter. 1) Where and when do you write? Wherever I can, whenever I can. The mornings are when I have the most energy, but with a day job, family, and other commitments, sometimes I don’t get the opportunity to write until the…