Friday, February 12, 2016

Looking for a Little Inspiration?

by Deborah Nielsen

I recently read a blog post titled, “The No. 1 Reason New Bloggers Fail (And What to do About It).” The title really caught my attention, being a new blog post-er (not to be confused with being the poster child for Multiple Motorcycle Syndrome). The No. 1 reason is running out of ideas. The solution: jot down ideas when you think about them no matter how wacky they seem, then cogitate on different angles and write those down. Another point was to keep in mind that your post doesn’t have to be the best writing you’ve ever done, it just has to be good enough (defined as having an intro, a middle and a conclusion). You can read the entire post at

Not too different from trying to find good writing prompts, which is what I had started out to post about. But they seem to mesh. Blogging is writing, after all.

 You can find writing prompts, or inspiration, almost anywhere. Sometimes right in front of your nose when you’re not looking.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

43 Steps in Writing and Publishing a Book

Conference Banner 3 by Debbie Hardy

Here’s a list of steps in the publishing process:

1.   Get an idea.
2.   Attend writers’ conferences. If someone requests that you send something, send it.
3.   Develop friendships. This is an industry of relationships. Create and maintain as many as you can.
4.   Determine your target audience and write directly to them.
5.   Puke your book out. Like that other stuff, you need to get it all out, then clean it up.
6.   Write a query or a proposal, depending on whether you write fiction or nonfiction.
7.   Rewrite your entire manuscript. If you wrote 90,000 words, edit out 9,000 of them.
8.   Join a writers’ group. Find one that can help you improve, not tear you down.
9.   Have your manuscript critiqued.
10. Keep your voice. Take suggestions from others, but don’t talk like them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Character Habitat

by Laney Flanagan

Characters can be stubborn. They can duck and evade your writing and refuse to be taken down onto paper. Your main villain, Jackson (or whatever his or her name is) will grab your pen and shove it away in malice, because well, bad people don't like being written about. And your hero, Bort, will push your fingers along your keyboard way too fast because unlike Jackson, Bort really likes to be written about. For me, characters have to come naturally for me to be able to make them realistic and dynamic. I can't push a person into creation, for me it just doesn't work that way. Characters come to me of their own accord. They come into my brain through a door and into something I call my character habitat.

My character habitat is where all my characters come and go as the please, especially if they want to be written about. For me, the habitat is a room in the shape of a half circle. It is dimly lit, with one simple light hanging down from the center of the room. My vain characters think of that light as their spotlight. Then all along the rounded part of the room are tons of colored doors, everywhere from velvet purple to beige. Other than that the room is empty, leaving space for characters to bring in their own objects if they so please. Maybe I am simply delusional but my new characters are formed here. Often they walk into my habitat with fuzzy faces and no detail but as they hang out in my area and chat with me they start to become clearer and more focused. When they come out of those doors they become something else entirely.

Monday, February 8, 2016

I Am Not an Amateur-crastinator

By David Sharp

I am not an amateur-crastinator. I'm a pro. I am highly skilled in putting off till tomorrow what could be done today. I have a natural aptitude for not being on task. In second grade, my teacher told my parents that I was shirking at a fourth grade level. They've never been so proud. Considering the subject, I feel a bit of a hypocrite for posting this blog on time. I really should have waited till Wednesday.

And this expertise impacts my writing as well. Or rather my not-writing. It seems like nothing makes me want to do household chores like scheduling time to write. I can't finish that chapter now; I've got to organize the spice rack! But you can't publish procrastination, so the disorderly spice rack will have to wait.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

by Joe Siple

Every writer is familiar with rejection. It’s something we never get used to, and something from which very few of us graduate. It can be debilitating and demoralizing. But believe it or not, it’s not the hardest part of writing.
That illustrious distinction belongs to rejection’s close relative—waiting.
Back in the day, waiting took a slightly different form. Snail-mail was the method of choice for query letters, so a certain amount of waiting was inevitable. It took a couple days for my queries to get to the chosen agent and a few more days for my SASE to return to me. So I was looking at a minimum of a week for each query. It was good practice in waiting.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Training Your Inspirational Geniuses to Show Up on Time

Follow me at

by Tracee Sioux

Flow is the crack you're seeking.

All creatives keep coming back to their craft for one reason—even if they aren't aware of it—to reach a state of flow.

Flow is being heavily researched in science, neurology and psychology these days. It's a state of being where your brain is completely absorbed in what you're doing, it feels a little bit like a meditative state in that you lose track of time and become very "present." You experience biochemical changes and release hormones that make you feel really, really good.

Flow is the crack that keeps writers and painters and software developers and architects and dancers and business geniuses coming back to the work.

Flow is the art of creativity.

Flow is how you touch God.

At it's very essence flow is you opening yourself to an "otherworldly" presence in which you're receiving information that's not really in you already. You can call this otherworldly presence inspiration, God or knowing. It doesn't really matter except to say that it is happening. And you can feel it flow through you.

Since most of your day is full of minutiae, to-do lists, kids, work, paying the bills and shoveling the driveway there are few times when you're really present and experiencing being a "creator." Which is why when you do reach flow it feels so incredibly good.

Seek it more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Trying to Kick the Writing Blues

Author of The Esau Continuum
Find me on Facebook 

By J.C. Lynne

I was floating on the cloud of Wow, my life is great! A second novel soon to be released. Relaxed, albeit illness ridden, holidays. Wonderful friends, remodel so close to finished.

Third novel is rumbling around in my head just itching for some quiet time to come pouring out. I was flying high!

I don't usually feel the Universe conspires, but this week I felt like it knee-capped me.

Circumstances have arisen that may require my return to the traditional workforce. Bleh. I know, I know first world problems. Jeez, I've had three years off to bust out a second novel. I also busted an ankle and additional follow-up surgery, but not working allowed me to recoup without pressure.

Yeah, I'm whining.

Share a Post