• Creativity,  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,  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,  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…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    100 Words at a Time: Getting That New Project Started

    By Christine Hennebury. Half the battle with writing is getting started. The blank page seems enormous. Your brain flashes a million ideas past you…or it goes blank. Every idea you do manage to hold on to seems trite or overdone. It’s not a fun feeling. Yet, you know you *want* to write. You would love to have a story or essay or novel written. What you need is something to grab onto, a handhold, a way to pull yourself forward just a little bit. You need 100 words.* Sure, 100 words is not a full story (unless you are writing a drabble!), it’s not even enough to describe an elaborate…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    “An Open Oven Bakes No Bread” – choosing which great idea to pursue.

    by Christine Hennebury. You are free but you have to choose. An open oven bakes no bread.                                                                                      -Paulo Coehlo Sometimes we get stuck, not because we don’t have any ideas but because we have too many. And if you are like me, you want to work on the ‘right’ one at the ‘right’ time so you don’t ‘waste’ time and energy.  Of course, the truth is that, aside…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Inspiration

    Writerly Warm-Ups – 5 fun ways to prepare to write your story

      by Christine Hennebury   Are you a SERIOUS writer? Are you maybe even a bit TOO serious?   Writing well requires discipline. We all know that, and we all try to practice that.   Well, more like, we are all hard on ourselves for not practicing that enough.   I feel like our desire to be dedicated writers who are doing things right gets in the way of our goals sometimes. I’d like to help you sidestep that instinct for a little while so you can remember what you like about writing.   After all, it’s a lot easier to keep coming back to a task you basically enjoy…

  • Creativity,  Reading

    Eleven Tips To Help You Be More Creative!

    Who wants more ideas? Who needs a brilliant thought? Who could stand a new insight? A fresh perspective? A story idea? Who needs more creativity? I know I do! I just wish I could turn on good ideas like I turn on the tap. It’s too bad our muse only shows up at inconvenient times or not at all. I believe, however,  that creativity can be encouraged. We can play with our own minds in such a way that can help solve problems and get good ideas. Here’s a long list of ways to be more creative. Try some! And leave a comment if you got them to work! 1.…

  • Creativity

    16 Simple Things To Do To Be More Creative

    Everybody wants to be more creative. Creativity is that moment when your ideas come together in just the right way, you may see something that no one else did. Creativity is problem solving, but it’s also strategy, connections and applications of concepts. When we’re on fire creatively, sometimes we don’t know where the original spark came from but we know we like the innovative blaze it ignited. The problem with creativity is that it’s the hard work of the mind and sometimes the ideas just aren’t there. We know what makes our bodies tired, but often the mind gets tired in entirely different ways. If we are writing for a…

  • 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…

  • 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,  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…