• 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…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Organization,  Uncategorized

    Create a Writing Habit that Works for You

    What do you think is the one thing that successful writers have in common? Talent, you might say. An extraordinarily creative mind. Persistence. Maybe just plain luck. All of these can play a role, but they aren’t the determining factor. Consider what these well-known authors have said. Maya Angelou: “I keep a hotel room in which I do my work… I try to get there around seven, and I work until two in the afternoon.” Alice Munro: “I write every morning, seven days a week. I write starting about eight o’clock and finish around eleven…. I have a quota of pages.” Steven King: “I try to get six pages a…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Motivation,  Organization,  Time Management

    Take 5 Friday: Five Steps To Make August a Great Writing Month

    August can be a strange month. Either your kids are heading back to school or you are making plans for them to head back (and this year, that might all be up in the air.)  Or maybe you are finally getting some vacation time.  Perhaps you are trying to balance a busy work day and summer fun in the evenings and on the weekends.  No matter what your August looks like, with some planning, you can help make it into a great month for your writing. Here are 5 steps to help guide your writing plans. Identify how much time you’ll have to write. A lot of the time, we…

  • Organization,  Time Management

    Working On Multiple Projects

    Once you’ve finished your manuscript what do you do next? Becoming serious about writing leads to having multiple projects on the go in different stages of production at once. Maybe a new story you’re writing, one you’re editing, another that is with beta readers or editors, one you’re preparing to launch or get representation for, and one in the early idea stages. How do you organise yourself to keep momentum on all of those?  Well, there are two main ways of doing this: you either work on one project at a time, until that aspect of it is finished, and then switch to a different project, or you schedule your…

  • Inspiration,  Organization,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    Hopeful Strategies For When You Don’t Have Time For Your Dream

    My dream is just out of reach. I realize this. But I also realize that each day that I do something toward it, it feels more real. Each time I give my dreams ten minutes, that big fluffy cloud of hope seems more like a reality. Every time I squeeze in a blog post there, or a few words there, that dream feels less like a mirage and more like something solid.