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    Take 5 Friday: 5 Questions for Jaye Wells

    Christine’s Note: The last Take 5 Friday of every month will be a 5 question interview with a writer. Jaye Wells is a best-selling writer who is best known for her urban fantasy novels but she is also the author of High Lonesome Sound, a Southern Gothic novel that is one of the most delightfully unsettling books I have ever read. In addition to her own writing, Jaye coaches individual writers and she teaches writing workshops through Writing Workshops Dallas. To find out more about Jaye, check out her website – www.jayewells.com  and her marvelously alliteratively-named Substack: Wells Writing Workshop https://jayewells.substack.com/ 1) What themes do you find yourself revisiting in…

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    Take 5 Friday: 5 Ways to Ease Distraction So You Can Write

    By Christine Hennebury I was going to call this piece ‘5 Ways to Fight Distraction’ but I don’t think we need any more battle metaphors at this point.  So many of us are stressed, distressed, and anxious that we probably aren’t up to fighting- not even metaphorically.  Instead, I would like to help you to find ways to EASE your distraction, to give yourself a break from the mental hop from thought to thought, and to choose something to focus on, even for a few minutes.  1. Lower your expectations If you are distracted and having trouble focusing, it’s probably not the time to try to produce a masterpiece. This…

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    How Running Makes Me A Better Writer

    However, over the years I've been running and writing regularly, I've learned that there are things about running that I experience which resonate with the writer in me, and it's these things I want to share with you today.

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    Effective Ways I Deal With My Evil Inner Critic

    For many years, my inner critic was successful, producing severe anxiety in me and made me feel worthless. For decades I was in complete bondage to this stupid, foolish, bumbling henchman. But I’m happy to report, these attacks by that evil, negative voice hasn’t bothered me in years. This is why:

  • Community,  Creativity,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Take 5: 5 Ways Writing Can Help You Calm Down

    by Christine Hennebury I know, I know. This is hard. Everything is uncertain and you are probably having trouble concentrating.  The way the news is changing from day to day is unsettling, it’s scary, and there is a lot that you could worry about.  However, if you aren’t too sick to write, I think it would be a good idea to try to get back to your writing. Even if you can’t manage a full ten minutes, a few minutes here and there will help you feel more like yourself. It will help you feel a little calmer, and a little more in control.  It might seem a little weird…

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    Take 5 Friday: Make the most of ‘gifted’ time

    by Christine Hennebury As a 10 Minute Novelist, you know that choosing to carve out small sections of your day to put pen to paper is a great way to keep writing.  Those chosen writing sessions are terrific, but are you ready for when you receive the gift of unscheduled time? Maybe… You’re picking your kid up from rehearsal and they run a little overtime.  You get to your next meeting a few minutes early.  Your friend has to cancel your coffee date. Any of those situations could present you with some unexpected time and you might want to spend those gifted minutes with your writing.* If you only have…

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    Making a Writing Practice Work for You

    Even if you spend a lot of your writing time working on your current project, you can benefit from establishing a writing practice.  Obviously, working regularly on a project is one kind of practice. In this post, I’m talking about writing for writing’s sake.  That means writing to keep your brain tuned up. It means keeping your writing abilities front and center so you can call on them when you need them. How does a writing practice help your current project? You know that you are going to spend some time on your work-in-progress this week.  Maybe not every day, but on a regular basis.  And when you sit down…

  • 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…

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    On Vacation… See you September 3!

    We’re taking a little break for some rest and relaxation but we’ll be back with new content (and a preview of our Fall schedule) on September 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, you can check out the conversations on our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/10MinNovelists/ You can also find some writing prompts here: http://www.10minutenovelists.com/category/writing-prompt/ Or maybe try out some ideas from earlier posts: How to write when you don’t feel like it How to use ‘transferable skills’ to improve your writing How Marie Kondo can change your writing life Guarding your time: the whys and hows of time blocking Have fun! We’ll see you in September!

  • Creativity,  Uncategorized,  Writing Prompt

    Apples to Apples to Words

    Since it’s the weekend, we want you to have a little fun with your writing.* Give our Apples to Apples Challenge a try! 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) Once you’re done, post your story 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,  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…

  • #365WritingChallenge,  Uncategorized

    Winning Short Story

    Our 365 Writing Challenge group had a short story contest. We judged on ten different areas including voice, structure, pacing, and use of description. Here is the winning entry by Amanda Kaye. The judge loved her use of distinct characters and gripping internal struggle. Desert Thorn The hot wind whistles through the window slit carved near the ceiling, singing to me, promising to carry me far from this house.  “Does the alriyalssa call you to the dunes, Feyna?  Does it whisper the secrets of the sands?” “Stop acting like such a mihana,Di’Ni!  We don’t have much time.”  My aunt groans as she sinks to her knees beside me.  She dips…