• #Top10Tuesday,  Self Talk

    #Top10Tuesday Top Ten Things You Should Be Saying To Yourself That Will Help Make You More Successful

    In February, I posted, Top 10 Things You Could Be Saying To Yourself That Will Guarantee Your Failure As A Writer  Today I want to do the opposite! 1. Everybody Makes Mistakes.  This is huge! You need to be reminded that every successful writer has a team behind them of editors, agents and publishers that help them make their book the best it can be. Don’t freak out over the errors in your manuscript. Just fix them and move on! 2. Tomorrow Is Another Day. Plan on making every single day the best you can to pursue your goals, but be realistic. Some days, you’re not going to get your words in,…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    How The “There Are No Rules” Rule Can Set You Up For Failure & Mockery

    I’m not sure who started the “there are no rules in writing” rule. It certainly wasn’t an English teacher. There ARE rules. Rules for grammar, spelling and punctuation bring order and dignity to our language. There are also rules for storytelling, rules for submissions, rules of common sense, rules of general communication that YOU MUST follow if you want to be taken seriously.  If you are a writer then your job is to communicate  to your reader. If you are deliberately being sloppy, apathetic or lazy then the message you’re sending to your reader is “I’m above the rules” or “You’re too stupid” or “Conventions aren’t for geniuses like me.”…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Self Talk

    The Single Best Writing Advice (Too Bad I Don’t Always Follow It)

    We’ve heard it before, write what you know. Or, write every day. Or, READ! READ! READ! And while that is all very good advice, and you should follow it fervently, it’s still not the best.One of the best pieces of advice I was given in college was this: Never compare yourself to others.  If you do, you’ll compare their strengths to your weaknesses, and you’ll always be the loser. When I compare myself to other writers, it doesn’t do me a bit of good. I either pick up some frothy bonnet romance and throw it across the room, puffing myself up with thoughts of superiority. My books will have more meaning! I will be more…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk

    The Nine Things You Say To Yourself That Could Change Everything

    What does it mean to Love Ourselves? I have  a very wise friend that I meet with on a regular basis. This friend, Melissa, has caught me being very hard on myself and saying aloud things like, I’m not very good at that. Or, I got it wrong again. Or, this means that I’m not good enough.  She’s challenged me to pay attention to those negative thoughts. She even asked me what the ratio was, the good, encouraging things compared to the negative things. I didn’t know what she meant. I was going to say, “Ratio? Is that math?  I’m not very good at math!” But then she explained. For every single…

  • Motivation,  Observation,  Self Talk

    Five Questions To Ask Yourself When You Get All Contemplative This Time of Year

    Asking writers to analyze themselves is like asking a cat to be aloof, shed fur and practice a condescension while sleeping on your face. It’s just what we do. This time of year is often a time when everyone is reflecting, summarizing or evaluating what has happened in the last year. It’s not a bad practice if we truly learn from the past. I’m not convinced that society as a whole does, but writers can and should.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself at this time of year, when you’re reflecting on how 2014 treated you as a writer and how you treated yourself. 1. Did I become…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Work-In-Progress

    Eleven Ways To Know The Best Time To Show Your Work (And When You Should You Hold It Close To Your Chest)

    Oh, we writers are an insecure bunch aren’t we? When we start out, we’re hesitant and flighty, nervous and fretful. We crave affirmation that we’re on the right track, but we stop so often to ask, we make little progress. Then it doesn’t help that there are so many book/websites/blogs to read about how to be a great writer that it just makes us more insecure in who we are. So are we good or not? How do we know? When do we find out? Why isn’t there a rule about this? Um, well, this is the problem with the subjectivity in good writing. No one really knows. But that doesn’t…

  • Community,  Craft

    Do-It-Yourself Writers’ Conferences For The Poor And Xenophobic

    It happened again. Another fall has arrived and you will not be going to a writer’s conference.  I’ve been trying to get to the ACFW conference in September every fall for the last five years and I’m not any closer now than I was five years ago.  I did, however, get to go to the marketing seminar hosted by my agent’s firm. While it was cozy and fun and certainly educational, it’s not a BIG CONFERENCE like ACFW or RWA. Because I can’t go, I can do one of two things. One option is to mope around and feel sorry for myself and decide that watching the new fall television…

  • Motivation,  Self Talk,  Work-In-Progress

    The Terrible Things My Work-In-Progress Says To Me

       Why Is Writing So Hard Sometimes? I have a work-in-progress and I think it hates me. Every day I sit down with this project and put in at least an hour. When I sit down with it, I feel it come alive. It is a non-fiction book, so it’s not like it’s alive in the sense of genre or character. It’s alive with the ease (or lack of ease) that comes with the drafting and sculpting of each chapter, the way it seems to fight against me.  Some days, it is sterile and compliant; I’m the boss. I put one word in front of the other, much like writing a…