Surviving NaNoWriMo When You’re Not Writing

~  By Brenda Margriet Note: On Wednesday, we posted an alternate view of National Novel Writing Month.  I am currently not writing. It doesn’t feel good, but I am trying not to beat myself up about it. So with NaNoWriMo going full swing and many of my online writer friends posting amazing word counts I just want to say: Shut up already! Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But for those of us (and I know you’re out there!) who aren’t doing NaNoWriMo for whatever reason, here’s some encouragement on getting through the month and beyond. Live your life Yes,...

Can You Touch Your Toes? The Need for Flexibility

~ By Gabi Stevens We all enter this writing career with dreams of best-sellerdom and fame. We all hope to write for a living and maybe even a little extra. Reality often derails those plans—your numbers were never big enough, you were orphaned, you never received support from your publishing house, your agent left the business; readers never discovered you in the morass of Amazon. Whatever. Honestly, your experience is not unusual. Few authors have had a smooth ride to superstardom, and I’d wager you can name authors who were on top a few years ago, but you don’t...

Organizing Your Time to Achieve Balance

~ Mary E. Thompson I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of an organization junkie. I fantasize about having a house that’s worthy of Pinterest. I’m not there yet, but when I put my mind to getting something organized, it always makes me feel so much better. The big thing I tackled this year was organizing my time. Both my kids were in school, so I had a full day to work for the first time ever. I just knew I’d get so much work done. But then there was laundry to do. Boxes to unpack (we moved...

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...

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