On Competition and Writers

~ By Marilyn Brant  Note: This post originally appeared here.  At the end of last year, I’d spent a lot of time pondering Criticism and Writers. This week, having reread those reflections, I realized I didn’t have much to add to them after another year amidst the thrill, the chaos and the frequent insanity of being a part of the publishing industry. What was true for me 12 months ago is still true for me now. Although I have to admit, my determination to pull away from the gossiping maelstrom wasn’t without consequences… Two friendships I’d valued came to an end...

Have Laptop, Will Travel [REPOST]

~ By Tanya Agler  My son climbed into my minivan today, sniffed, and commented on how much the car smelled like Starbucks. I shrugged and told him that was where I wrote this morning. I’ve read with envy about writers who describe the closets they’ve converted to a great writing space. I’ve listened with envy to writers who talk about their children who know blood better be spouting out of multiple body parts if they disturb the parent who is wearing his or her writing hat. I’ve sighed with envy at writers who describe their writing space as located...

Reality Check [REPOST]

~ By Becke (Martin) Davis When I was a schoolgirl, I held one truth to be self-evident: that I could write. I might suck at a lot of other subjects, but give me a creative writing topic or even an essay, and I knew I could pull off an A. I’m not a schoolgirl anymore, and in place of essays I now write blog posts. I sweat those as much as algebra these days – not that there’s been much call for algebra in my adult life, thankfully. Along with a lot of my childhood beliefs that were tarnished...

What Are The Odds? [REPOST]

~ By Jill Beck  What are the odds? Do you ever ask yourself this question? For me, it rears its ugly head on the days my thoughts go over to the dark side. It’s my brain’s more subtle way of saying, “This is too hard. We might as well quit.” When I first started writing, I spent a lot of time worrying and the question wore a path, pacing back and forth through my mind. “How many people are writing books? Thousands and thousands. So, what are the odds that my little book is going to go anywhere?” Writing is...

Do We Need to Explain Why We Write?

~ By Marilyn Brant  Note: This post originally appeared here.  Writing a novel is such an emotionally intense and mentally involving task that, much of the time, we writers are so caught up in juggling the details of story structure and craft that we lose focus on the ultimate big picture: Why are we writing this book in the first place? For me, days, weeks, even months go by and I don’t think about this huge, unstated question. Oh, no. I’m too busy pondering whether the point of view I’m using to narrate my latest project is, in fact, working...

Procrastinator Support Group [REPOST]

~ By Kim Relph Czerwonka Hi, my name is Kim and I’m a procrastinator. Not only am I a procrastinator but I am at wizard level. Now the basic definition of procrastination is the practice of delaying or postponing the completion of a task.   Advanced procrastinators don’t simply delay a task they often replace it with a less important activity.  This less important activity is usually something that really doesn’t need to be done and certainly not in the timeframe of this very important task that clearly has a deadline. When I was in college I am pretty sure that I...

What to do when you’re too tired to think… [REPOST]

~ By Susan Meier Note: This post originally appeared here.  I have two proposals due this month, a story to write and … well, there’s a major holiday in here too. So as I mentioned last week, I skimmed all my blogs and came up with some short, but helpful things I’d said this year that bear repeating… When you are too tired to think, you can do your manuscript a great disservice. You can delete good stuff and keep bad stuff…and not even know you’re doing it. So what do you do when you’re too tired to think? 1. Step...

My Writing Survival List

~ By Jade Chandler Please stand up now, raise your right hand and repeat. Writing is a solitary art. But that doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. One of many things I hear about writing is that it is for loners, that it’s all about the muse waking up full of ideas, and that with just a bit more time we’d all be done with that insert troublesome project. So I call bullsh*t on those, and for me, I see each as a challenge to embrace and find a way to work through, over, under or around it. And...

8 things about Garth Brooks that might change the way you write

~ By Susan Meier Note: This post originally appeared here.  This is a blog I posted about a year ago…I read it (to remind myself of a few things) and realized this was some perfect “new year/new start” advice… Happy New Year! Enjoy! … A few weeks ago, I had a bad cold and spent a Saturday and Sunday in bed. If you know anything about weekend TV, you know I was bored to the point of tears and ended up watching a “special” about Garth Brooks. But, man, am I ever glad I did. The show was designed so that...

Fitness for Writers: Learning Fitness Forgiveness [REPOST]

~ By Lisa Siefert How many articles have you read in your lifetime on fitness and weight-loss? I’m 41 and have been reading women’s fashion and fitness magazines since I was ten. After three decades of being constantly bombarded with tips, tricks and fitness plans, I can confirm that to this day, I have not been able to consistently follow any of those helpful habits. Not one. Sometimes, I manage to get in one or two here or there but have I ever managed to eat 5-6 servings of fruits and veggies everyday followed by a 20-minute cardio session at...

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