All posts tagged: writing advice

The Wonder of Writing Every Word: Writing Encouragment #NaNoWriMo #MondayMotivation #AmWriting

If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” ~Margaret Atwood Writing is a journey…most days it is an exhilarating adventure that never disappoints, always lending its cathartic powers to the creative soul who has taken up the mantle to bring life through the power of word, paper and pen…or computer. But there are moments (for many those moments show themselves during NaNoWriMo) where our fountain of words and musing seem to run dry, our focus is lost, or the plot line has gone from thick with delectable tension to just being nothing short of sludgy mud. If you are like me, you find that in these moments you are questioning your ability as a word weaving wordsmith. You wonder if you can truly hack it. If you have been writing for any length of time, especially during NaNo, the answer is yes! What we as creatives must never cease to remember is that even though we have something good, it doesn’t mean that every moment is going to be great. That is what editing is for. So …

NaNoWriMo: Encouragement for the Weeks Ahead #NaNoWriMo #Author #Writer

The first five days of NaNoWriMo are behind us with many more blessedly ahead. Some of you have achieved your daily writing and creative goals while others may have missed your designated marks shy of a few words. No worries. You will achieve your goal if you stick with it. Consider the first five days of NaNo as your glorious warm up. The fact still remains that when we set out with a great goal and miss our intended marks at the very start, we tend to lose momentum or even the courage to continue. Our plans seem not to be as ‘plausible’ as they were before…and then we drift…staring at our computer screens too afraid to make music by clicking the keys of our keyboards. Can we really do this? Can we conquer our vision for NaNoWriMo? Everyone else around us seems to be doing just fine. I would like to take this time to give you a bit of creative advice especially in moments when our creativity seems to get the best of us and …

How to Take NaNoWriMo 5 Day Creative Tip Countdown Begins TOMORROW #NaNoWriMo #Fiction #Writing

Hello, Creatives! We are just FIVE days away from November 1st, which means we are FIVE days from the start of NaNoWriMo! (National Novel Writing Month.) This is the month for NaNo vets and newcomers to put their creative noses to the grind and crank out a 50k word novel in 30 days! Starting tomorrow at 9am EST, I will be giving a daily tip to help you get ready to accomplish your writing goal. Also, for those who are maybe stumped about what to write, I am adding a link to some of my favorite Monday’s Muse Writing Prompts to help you get started should you need a little bit of a boost. Remember, if you do choose to use the writing prompt(s) be sure to omit the opening line from your overall word count. MY ADVICE FOR HOW TO USE THE PROMPTS  Use the pictures as inspiration and create your own opening line that will lead to the start of your 50k word count. Use all 5 suggested prompts and dedicate 10k words to …

Voice of Description: A Writing Exercise

I am certainly not the best at description but like most of us who strive to be the very best writing versions of ourselves, I am a work in progress. Today, for Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal, I want to do an exercise of Description. ‘Description’ is everything when it comes to writing. We as writers do not have the same ‘advantages’ as those who create physical visual art. We do not paint with oils on canvas, we paint with words on the canvas of our reader’s minds. We don’t have the bonus of background music to lead our scenes, letting our readers know the monster is coming around the corner or that the brooding man is about to kiss his love interest. Nope. What we have are words to translate the vibrancy, heart and soul of our stories, and boy can they be the most powerful tool of all especially if they are wielded in the right way. In order for our work to translate with the vibrancy, we intend it to we need to master the art …

What Did You Say?: 4 Steps to Building Up Your Craft with Words

We’ve all done it, said ugly things about our art, found the faults in our craft so much so that we alone have brought ourselves down into the very depths of discouragement’s dumps. (Take a look at Artful Aggression for more on that.) It’s an easy thing to do, really, to see what is wrong with what we’ve created. And let’s face it, nothing is ever really perfect not even your final draft. But even with that being the case there has to be something worth praising in the work that you have accomplished in its pre-polished form. So as an exercise, I am challenging you to create a list to combat all the negatives that you’ve said about your work in the past while giving you some keys to keep you positive in your creative future. STEP ONE: Identify your familiar negatives, the ones you say the most about your work. STEP TWO: For each familiar negative, create a positive response. Here, I’ll share my own top 3 negatives and do some positive combating as …

Artful Aggression: How We Abuse Our Creative Work & Why We Shouldn’t

  Have you ever watched a movie, sat in horror or just sheer irritation as you witness one character (generally a parent or a lover) verbally abuse their child or partner? And as you are watching you begin to judge that character thinking, “Gosh, they are wrong. I would  never talk to my child like that.” The scene ends, the couple or family members come to some peaceful ground, and then the movie ends. We cruelly victimize our art. Art’s greatest victimizer is often the one who created it. The movie ends but the hypocrisy continues. In the Book of Matthew 7:5, Yeshua Jesus says “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.“ You are probably wondering, what in the world does a scene from a movie and teaching from Jesus have to do with art. They have everything to do with art, even if indirectly. We as artist and writers  have a tendency to look at our …

Write that Book!: 3 Reasons to Write Your Novel

I believe that everyone at some point in their life journey has made the statement, “I think I should write a book.” While many have said it, very few have actually embarked on the task when you think about it in terms of the ratio of said versus done. Now, having completed several tomes myself (two are currently in Beta) I have to admit that writing a novel from start to finish isn’t the easiest thing to do BUT it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many of us make it out to be. Most of what causes the process to be difficult are: Over-thinking Lack of confidence Perfectionism Thinking its already been done before/ Someone took your idea These four are definitely creativity killers not just in the world of writing but in the world of doing just about anything that poses a challenge but holds interests to you. What are the cures to these nasty bugs: Think less, do more Believe that trying is worth it even if you ‘fail.’ (Failure is relative.) Remember …

Writing When Word Weary: Why You shouldn’t Do It

*This is a revised posting from January 26, 2015 You ever have that moment where you have been working on your novel all day, and the writing is so good that it has completely eaten up the reality around you? You are literally in your book. Being word weary is when you have all of the meat of the story ready to be devoured, but no teeth to chew it. Ideas are coming at you faster than bullets from a gun, the story is kicking, the plot is thickening…your eyes…your eyes are getting more tired by the minute, No! second. You are hitting the wrong keys left and right, slowing down your once brilliant pace. What in the world is happening?! You are Word Weary. ( I totally made up this phrase up…Just go with it.) First, what is Word Weary? It is when your imagination is going 200mph, but your brain and cognitive skills are going 5mph and slowing with each key stroke. You are thinking one thing and typing something else. It’s a …

5 Benefits of Participating in Writing Prompts: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Writing prompt: (In my opinion is) The Creative springboard or theme from which a story is directed or born…In less fancy words, it is a writer willingly giving up creative control of their imaginative ideas in order to grow through the ‘prompting’ of someone else’s. I don’t know about you, but I really love writing prompts. Writing prompts do two things simultaneously; they cause us to surrender control while incubating our process in a controlled environment. Writing prompts create boundaries while enabling us to write with inhibition of our previously set creative  ‘boundaries.’ Through them, we sample other flavors of genre and creativity while learning to laugh again, gaining a creative adrenaline boost that comes from facing a challenge, whether it’s through the boundaries of a time-limit, word limit, or even theme or opening lines. If you want to grow your creative writing muscles, keep them toned, participate in a weekly writing prompt. Here are 5 benefits of doing so: 1. You know that you will have something to write about: Sometimes it seems our creative wells run …

5 Paths to Take When Your Manuscript Runs into a Fog

First. Don’t panic and don’t throw a fit. You are in good company, here. If your writing journey has been anything like mine (and I am sure it has) then you know what it feels like to be writing with creative momentum one moment only to find in the next that you’ve written yourself out of ‘road.’ You’ve somehow trailed into a creative fog whereas you don’t know what your next step should be, or what direction you were heading in in the first place. Or you see where you want to go but the bridge there has been washed out by murky waters. I could go on… Now before you begin to think that I’m referring to that nasty phrase, ‘writer’s b%#ck'( I don’t allow swear words on my blog) stop! This is not that. The happening that I am referring to is similar to those moments in life where you have so many options to choose from that you simply become frozen. Or, you have all the right pieces in hand but you …