• Discipline,  Motivation

    Creating Habit Hop-Ons

    Recently I pulled a muscle in my knee that was serious enough that I required physical therapy for a few weeks. At the first visit, my therapist gave me a list of stretching exercises that would help my knee, thigh, and other leg muscles get stronger. I was to do them twice a day, every day, indefinitely.  It is not fun to be given a new list of things to do, but I really wanted my knee to feel better. I had no choice. I had to find a way to incorporate these exercises into my daily routine so that I wouldn’t leave them to the end of the day. …

  • Motivation,  Self Talk

    Does Luck Have Anything To Do With Writing Success?

    How much does luck really play in our writing careers? I can say that I have had my share of luck. But in the same breath, I can say that I've worked my butt off and that all the good that happened to me came because of my own work. And I'm one of those creatures who believes that my Maker could have something to do with it too.

  • Motivation,  Self Talk

    Five Self-Lies That Guarantee Failure

    I spent decades of my life saying negative things to myself. As a result, I was unhappy and unsuccessful in nearly everything I did. It wasn’t until I recognized what I was doing, started seeing a therapist, and made the conscious effort to speak to myself with kindness, that things changed for me.

  • Craft,  Motivation

    Take The Easy Way Out And Get That Draft Done

    With all the memes out there about how HARD writing is, I think we tend to get the wrong idea about our work.  Sure, it can be hard to get started and it can be hard to work on certain aspects of our projects (particularly if it has challenging emotional content) but we don’t have to make it any harder than it is.  You don’t have anything to prove. Your writing doesn’t have to be hard to be worthwhile.  In fact, sometimes, taking the easy way out is the best approach to getting your writing done. Especially in the first draft.  There will be a time for working on the…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Uncategorized

    Take 5 Friday: Work Like A (Real) Dog

    As a writer, you know that inspiration can come from anywhere. And, I’m sure you know that you can borrow skills, ideas, and methods from all kinds of different sources. Today, just for fun on this first Friday in September, I have some writerly advice for you from my dog. Since she refused to be interviewed, I just observed her and thought about how her approach to the world applies to writing. So, here’s some advice to help you work like a dog. (A real dog, not one of those metaphorical ones that the expression refers to.) Be curious and then follow the scent When we go outside, Khalee likes…

  • Craft,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    Return to the Page: Coming Back to Your Writing After a Break

    OK, so you took some time away from your writing practice or your work-in-progress. Somehow, while you were gone, your work became this really huge challenging thing. Now, you feel weird and intimidated about starting again. I know how that feels!  It has happened many times in my regular writing life but today it was happening to me about this blog post. Luckily, I not only worked myself out of the weirdness but I also documented my process so I can do it again.  And, I offer it to you as an example of how to write yourself out of the same annoying situation. Here’s what I did, step by…

  • Creativity,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    5 Ways To Boost Your Writing Morale

    Since writing can be solitary and there is often a long time between the work and the reward, it can be easy to get discouraged about the process. Here are 5 tips to help you recharge when you are a bit burnt out from your efforts. 1) Use the word YET Too often we get stuck in the idea that we will NEVER accomplish things but it can be helpful to reframe it to ‘I haven’t done it YET’ – I use this for TKD all the time. I try not to say ‘I can’t’ I spin that into ‘I can’t YET.’ because it keeps the door open for future…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Motivation,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Writing by the Seasons, Part 2: ‘Seasons’ in your Life

    About a month ago, I wrote about how different seasons of the year can affect your writing schedule. And about how learning to accept the realities of the time you have available in this particular season helps you to get things done.  That acceptance can help you to focus on what you *can* do instead of worrying about what can’t be done right now.  That’s good for your mental health – and your writing – and instead of being an impediment, it can be an impetus to either try new things or to get really good at the things you are currently able to do.  This advice applies just as…