• Craft,  Creativity,  Work-In-Progress

    Fantastic Fridays: Playing with Writing Prompts

    You might think of writing prompts as a great way to do some writing practice or as a great way to start a new story. But how often have you used them to move an existing story along or to kickstart a stalled work-in-progress? A writing prompt can really help, as long as you are willing to play with it a little to find how it will work for your story. Go on a Tangent Using a prompt to start a story gives you a fresh perspective and helps you pull out unexpected ideas. It can do the same thing for your longer work in progress, if you’re willing to…

  • Creativity,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Collect Encouragement

    Today, I’m inviting you to foster your writing habits by collecting encouragement. What does that mean? Well, when it comes to discouraging comments and thoughts, we all seem to have perfect recall. We can remember the smallest insult, the most minuscule disparaging remark. We hold those in our minds as if they were somehow a pure truth. Yet, the comments from people who enjoyed our work? Those we dismiss as biased or we convince ourselves that the commenters didn’t do a thorough reading. Negativity Bias We’re not to blame for this mental habit. It’s part of what’s known as a negativity bias – which is a natural tendency for negative…

  • Creativity,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Friendly June Check-In

    It’s the last Friday in the month, so as usual, I’m inviting you to reflect on the past month.   What strategies worked for you in June? Which plans did you have to revise? What victories can you celebrate?  If you are in the mood for even more reflection, feel free to revisit the full list of questions from this post. Now that you have a clear understanding of how things went in June, let’s look ahead to July! July Writing Plans  Personally, I will be revising my novel so most of my new writing will be related to that but I will also do blog posts and some writing prompts…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Trust Your Process

    One of the most important things you can do as a writer is learn to trust your process. After all, no matter how many writer friends you have, or how many groups you belong to, writing is basically a solitary activity.  Sure, you can have company while you write, or you can consult on ideas or plot holes, but sooner or later it is going to be just you and the page.  There are hundreds of people out there advising you about writing but the truth is that only YOU know how you write best. You might have to take some time to observe your patterns but the information is…

  • Creativity,  Discipline

    Fantastic Fridays: Make a Summer Plan

    Does your approach to your writing change with the seasons? Here in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is turning into summer. For many of us, that means a more relaxed schedule and an opportunity to change when and how we write.  But, while writing is enjoyable, we also want to take advantage of the sunny days and longer evenings to relax and take things slowly.  That’s why it’s important to make some decisions in advance and plan a summer that lets you strike a balance.  When you have a plan for your summer, you can distinguish between work time and play time and that will add up to more fun and…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Organization,  Revising and Editing,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: 3 Writerly Traps To Avoid

    Sometimes writerly challenges require complex solutions. Other times, our challenges with writing arise from some very basic issues stemming from how we are approaching our early drafts. It’s not that we’re choosing a wrong path, it’s that we’ve fallen into some subconscious patterns that are making things more difficult than they need to be. Since the first step in changing those patterns is to become aware of them, I thought I would share a few reminders of common first draft traps that writers fall into. Trap #1: Trying to write the whole thing at the same time Note: This trap isn’t about trying to complete your story in one marathon…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Organization

    Fantastic Fridays: Clear Your Head

    Do your writing plans and projects tend to get jumbled in your brain? Even when I have a clear list of projects and tasks, I can end up taking on a bit too much and getting overwhelmed. My brain fills up with tasks and ideas and projects and I feel like I have no idea where or how to start. Luckily, I now recognize that feeling as part of the challenge of writing and I have a plan to help clear my head. If you end up with the same sort of jumble, maybe my process will help. Feel free to adjust anything that doesn’t work for you! Note: If…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Organization,  Time Management

    Fantastic Fridays: A Tiny Plan For A Small Writing Victory

    When we think about our writing goals, we tend to think big. We set our eyes on the prize – the finished story, the published book – and we forget the small steps that lie between our starting point and the prize. You can’t write a story without writing a bunch of paragraphs. A paragraph is not possible without sentences. A sentence requires words. Words start from ideas…and so on. There are all kinds of small victories to plan for and celebrate on the path between our first word and our finished story. If you are trying to write but the thought of the “prize” is too daunting, perhaps you…