• Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Invite Yourself Back To Your Writing

    Whether you are facing a blank page, or trying to get back into the ‘zone’ you were working in last time, starting a new writing session can be a challenge. But getting your writing started doesn’t have to feel so hard. In fact, if you can develop a practice of inviting yourself back to your writing, you can make it easier and easier to get started. So, how do you invite yourself back? Check out the list below so you can begin to develop your own enticing invitation to get writing. Start at the end Obviously, you can’t jump ahead to the end of a session that hasn’t even started.…

  • 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…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation

    Fantastic Fridays: Celebrate Every Word & Every Minute

    When we’re aiming to create a writing practice or to complete a specific writing project, we tend to keep our eyes on the road ahead. It’s great to know where we are going, obviously, but have you taken a glance over your shoulder recently? If we always looking forward, we only see the distance between our current position and our goal. But, if we glance backward, we’ll see how far we have come. It is worth taking the time to notice your progress. And it is worth taking time to celebrate your hard work. Even if – especially if- your hard work has mostly been about figuring out how to…

  • Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Fantastic Fridays: Keep Trying

    It’s really important not to get discouraged by a single day’s writing (or lack thereof.) Even if the words are misbehaving and refusing to get on the page, you have to keep trying. And I don’t just mean ‘trying to write’, although that is obviously important, I mean trying in all sorts of ways. Try to focus on your process All writers need a reminder to focus on their process, not on the final product. This is especially true in the early stages of a project when thoughts of how it will turn out can seriously derail you. You don’t need to worry about where it will be published, whether…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Discipline

    Take 5 Friday: Five Slivers of Time to Write in.

    Here at 10MN we are timer champions. We know how to make the most of a 10 minute writing session and we get a lot done in bursts of time. But what about if you don’t even have 10 minutes? What if you only have slivers of time here and there? Can you still get any writing done? Of course! It just takes a different sort of planning. Note: Please don’t think that I am advocating filling every moment of your day with ‘productivity.’ We all need our rest and only you can know if any given moment is for rest or for work. This process and these time sliver…

  • Craft,  Discipline

    What Good Writers Do

    Kindergarteners practice tracing letters and numbers as the first steps to becoming literate. Even at this early stage, they are taught the basics for a lifetime of writing. The sign on my daughter’s classroom wall reads simply “What Good Writers Do.” Only a handful of the recent preschoolers can read the sign at the beginning of the year. As they come to understand the words, the sign becomes a useful reference. It provides guidance on how to communicate clearly to readers. From editing to formatting to effective storytelling, all writers benefit from mastering the basics. They must to entice readers and agents.

  • 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…

  • Creativity,  Discipline

    Benefits of Writing With Constraints

    What we don’t always realize is how much constraints can help us improve our writing. I cut my novel-writing teeth in Iowa University’s MOOC classes where constraints were a given. I learned to write in 400 words with a specific constraint for most assignments. The 400-word limit required me to weigh the value of each and every word. The thematic constraints challenged my creativity in the best way possible.