• Craft,  Creativity,  Self Talk

    Be Your Own Valentine: 5 Writerly Gifts To Give Yourself Today

    Even though Valentine’s Day is already here, it’s not too late to give your writerly-self. I’m sure a lot of us dream of the perfect writing lifestyle, a delightful haven in which everything contributes to our ability to surrender to our muse. Most of us, however, lead the kinds of lives where writing needs to be crammed in among a host of other things. That means that instead of giving ourselves gold pens, or exclusive writing retreats, our writerly-selves probably need more intangible but practical things – changes in attitude or approach- that would make our writing lives easier. Here are 5 of our suggestions. What would you add? Give…

  • Craft,  Writing Prompt

    Apples to Apples to Words: Weekly Writing Challenge

    Since it’s the weekend, we want you to have a little fun with your writing* so we’re bringing back the Apples to Apples Challenge! This is *not* a contest, we’re just playing with words today, but here are the rules: Incorporate the words in large text from the cards below into a short piece of writing – 250 words or less – and post it in the comments for us all to enjoy.  Please keep it family friendly! We want to show off your well-crafted work but we can’t keep it on our site if it goes against our family-friendly policy. You can explore dark topics but you have to…

  • Craft

    5 Links: Show Some Character

    We’ve got lots of great advice here at 10 Minute Novelists but we also recommend reading widely so you can learn as much as you can about the craft of writing. Once a month, we’ll be sharing links to 5 posts on other sites that can expand and enhance your understanding of some aspect of your writing practice. Please note that these recommendations will only be for whatever is directly linked, there is no implied recommendation for products that may be sold on these sites. Here are 5 interesting posts that Christine found about developing your characters. 33 Ways to Write Stronger Characters – Kristen Kieffer’s post (and podcast) on…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    5 Questions: An Interview with Katharine Grubb

    This is the first of a new interview series that we’ll be publishing on the last Thursday of each month here at 10 Minute Novelists. We’ll ask the same 5 Questions of every author and we’ll see what interesting things they have to tell us. We’re starting, of course, with our founder and leader, Katharine Grubb. 1) Where and when do you write? I write every morning at my desk, which is just a corner of my bedroom. Our homeschool morning starts at roughly 8:30, so I try to get an uninterrupted hour of writing in before then. If I don’t meet my word count goals for the day, I’ll…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Time Management,  Uncategorized,  Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day

    Finding Time to Write by Joanna Maciejewska

    by Joanna Maciejewska If you ever tried to create anything with words: a short story, a blog post, or an essay, you know that writing is a time-consuming hobby. In a busy life, finding time to write can be both challenging and frustrating. So how can you do it? Evaluate your day Even though finding time to write might feel impossible, if you look closely, you might be surprised to find unassigned pockets of temporal space. They might seem too small at first, but as they say, you don’t look gifted horse in the mouth. If you want to write and you don’t have the time you need, you learn…

  • Craft,  Creativity

    Into the Heart: Writing Flash Fiction

    by Christine Hennebury I really enjoy writing flash fiction because I can finish a draft quickly, polish it and do something with it right away. That’s not to say that flash fiction is easy, or that you can just toss out any old thing and call it flash fiction. This type of writing takes skill, but you can practice it more quickly that you can when writing longer forms of fiction. The cycle of draft, revision, revision, revision, completion is much faster when you are dealing with changing a few words, lines, or paragraphs than when you are dealing with page after page of text. If wrangling fiction of this…

  • white background, yellow circle with text reading 'Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff' By Christine Hennebury.
    Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Organization,  Self Talk

    Celebrate Writing: An Inventory of the Good Stuff

    by Christine Hennebury A lot of my columns here on 10MN have been about ways you can tweak or improve your writing experience to make it a little easier on yourself. Today, I would like you to take a moment to celebrate the things that are already good about your writing experiences. You might even want to grab a notebook so you can make a chart or a list or a drawing so you can come back to it when you feel a bit cranky about your writing. Let’s start in a really general way.     1) What draws you to write? Many writers talk about a compulsion to…

  • Craft,  Reading,  Uncategorized

    Reading as a Writer

    by Joanna Maciejewska Almost every advice out there tell aspiring writers they should read a lot. But the key is not devouring as many books as possible. It’s making reading into a lesson: studying plots, characterization, even the story’s style and vocabulary. There’s much more to reading as a writer than it is to reading as a book lover. And even though writers mostly enjoy reading as much as any other bookworm, we have other reasons to read besides enjoying a good story, whether it’s entertaining or thought-provoking. Root out the not-so-unique ideas You come up with an idea for a romance between an angel and a human, or for…

  • White background, yellow circle in the foreground. Black text reads Use What You Know Improve Your Writing With Transferable Skills
    Craft,  Creativity

    Use What You Know: Improve Your Writing With Transferable Skills

    by Christine Hennebury Everyone is familiar with the idea of ‘write what you know’ but have you ever USED what you know as a framework to improve your writing?   One of my favourite things to do is to use my skills and experience from area and try it out in another context. Lessons from Taekwondo have helped me develop my writing practice and approach my work from a new angle. My storytelling skills inform my teaching approaches in Taekwondo. I refer to my weekly schedule as a ‘recipe’, because the flexibility I learned when baking helps me remember to keep my plans responsive to changes in circumstances. Each of…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Self Talk,  Time Management

    Flicking the Switch: Activate Writer Mode!

    by Christine Hennebury Thanks to Katharine’s terrific example, we all know that 10 minutes a day is enough to keep your creative life chirping along. But do you find it a challenge to make good use of that short period of time? Do you find it hard to stop your regular life and activate your writer mode? When my kids were small, I really struggled with that transition. I had lots of ideas but even when I had *time* to write, I couldn’t get much on the page.  And now, even though my kids are teenagers, I still sometimes have trouble switching into writing mode.  I know that Katharine has…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    Can’t We All Get Along? Making Friends with Your Inner Editor

    by Christine Hennebury Do you have an annoying inner voice? I’m not referring to your conscience. I’m talking about your inner editor. The one who keeps interrupting your first draft to remind you that it still needs work.   Unlike a real live editor, this one is kind of missing the point. Real, live editors wouldn’t expect you to have gotten everything right on the first try. And, they certainly wouldn’t interrupt you while you are writing to tell you to change that single word. Real live editors know that there is a time and a place for editing.  With very few exceptions, the first draft is NOT it.  …

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Organization,  Uncategorized,  Work-In-Progress

    Writing Multiple Projects: Pros and Cons

    by Joanna Maciejewska Mikhail Bulgakov burned the first draft of Master and Margarita, a book that long after death would make him famous. He wrote it for two years, and then in 1930 committed it to the flame. A year later, he restarted the novel and worked on the second draft for the next six years. For the next years, he worked on another four versions and even right before his death in 1940 the novel still had unfinished bits. Even though he had some other works published earlier (along with plays and short stories), he’s ultimately remembered by that one novel. Writing Multiple Projects Nowadays, in our fast-paced world…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Inspiration,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Bullet Journaling for Writers

    by Joanna Maciejewska At some stage of my life, I gave up on buying diaries, calendars, and planners. They all had “wrong” layouts, not enough space or too much of it, and in the end I never really used them much. Then, a year and a half ago, I discovered bullet journaling and fell in love with it. I use it for my everyday life, but since writing is a part of it, I want it to be reflected in my “bujo”. If you are a bullet journal fan or looking into starting one, here are some ideas. What is Bullet Journaling? If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, bullet journaling…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Observation,  Uncategorized

    Become A Seasonal Anthropologist: Holiday Writing Research

    By Christine Hennebury Holidays are full of opportunities for us to play anthropologist and observe the culture we are participating in. We can choose to pay attention to the emotional, social, and sensory details of the season. That way we can bring vivid detail to our future writing. I’m not suggesting that you spend your holiday season detached from the people around you. (unless you need to- see below*) However, if you take a few moments every now and then to take in the details of your surroundings, you can slow things down a little while gathering details for your work. Bonus: Those few minutes spent observing can help you…