Want to be a writer? Are you thinking about it? And thinking? START NOW. If you don't know how to start, get a how-to book out of the library OR go to a writers group OR go to a seminar/writers conference OR look online for advice OR simply sit down and open a word document. DO IT. Don't wait for the day it will be easier or simpler. Life is always complicated. Start now. In a year, you'll be glad you did. Practice persistence. Write daily—even if it's only a couple hundred w
Last Tuesday I discussing writer's block and strategies to get your productivity back on track. Writer's block doesn’t have to paralyze your writing progress. I gave you the first few suggestions, last week. Here are five more methods to get your fingers flying over the keyboard: 1. Work on another project for a while If you can, switch gears to another project you have in the works or make notes on a subsequent project you’ve been thinking about. You may return to your “bloc
Dear writer, are you feeling burned out? Is your word count and productivity down? Do you want to beat your head against a wall to battle writer's block? Shake those blues, and concentrate on something other than your work in progress. Need some suggestions? (I thought you’d ask.) Take some photographs. Grab your camera and take a field trip to a local park, busy shopping area, town square. Let yourself focus on whatever catches your fancy. You may look back at your images an
Did you know that boundaries are good for writers? If you want to be a writer, there’s no getting away from the fact that you have to write. And to write, you need time and space to create and complete your project. People often don’t understand when a writer in their life chooses to sit by themselves and tap out a story on their computer instead of ____________. You fill in the blank: watch a movie, meet for coffee, go for a walk, go out to dinner, play a board game, etc. Re
Is it ever difficult for you, as a writer, to feel confident about your writing? If so, you're normal. Fears pop up like dandelions after the first spring rain. Those worries and questions play on a loop in your brain: Is this good enough to be published? Does it make sense? Will anyone want to read it? Do I sound ridiculous? Am I wasting my time? Will I ever be pleased with this project? And on and on and on . . . I'm not the first writer to have these doubts. And I won't be
I'm fortunate to be able to attend writers' events and to strike up friendships with lots of other authors. I've noticed though, that in every group there's at least one writer who is questioning their their efforts—writers who are wondering if they should continue. I'm pleased to offer some encouragement to ponder: Dear friend, Don’t give up your dream of writing. Because we are all different, your unique perspective is important. The way you expound on a theme is important.
One of my prayers has always been that my life would be an act of worship to my God. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I viewed keeping my house and caring for my family to be worshipful. By extension, my writing is also an act of worship. And I’m inviting you to see your writing as an act of worship. To prevent us getting too pride filled, here are a few thoughts to ponder: Don’t confuse stewardship and ownership. Go and read Matthew 25:14-30 (the parable of the talents). God h
So you want to be a writer? Then write! Too many people want to write, talk about writing, and dream of writing. I was in writers' groups with "writers" who never seemed to produce. They frustrated me, and probably themselves, too. I guess wanting and dreaming is a starting point, but at some time you've got to move from wanting to write, talking about writing, and dreaming of writing to the actual work of writing. I dreamed of writing long before I sat down to a keyboard and
Have you ever just wanted to give up? Or perhaps you haven't even started yet. When we have a BIG dream the trouble is, well, that it's so B-I-G. We don't know where to start, or if we know where to start, we're still overwhelmed. Let me encourage you. You start with one small step and then build on that. You know that trite axiom: you eat an elephant bite by bite. That saying has stuck around for so long because it's true. Step One: Your dream. From now on stop referring to
After revising my completed manuscript (which was a big job), I’m excited to switch gears and head back into writing mode. I’m one quarter the way through my current wip (work in progress), so my story's fairly fleshed out, and I'm raring to go. Honestly, it’s a bit disorienting to leave my story set (mostly) in 1969, as well as the 16th, 17th, 19th, early 20th, and 21st Centuries behind and slip into another time, another setting, and pick up with different characters. I’m e
See that tree? I came upon it on a hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire last fall. To me, that tree is the definition of tenacity—which is defined as the quality of holding fast; persistence. And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared. ~Homer That photo captures my attitude toward publishing. I’m the tree; the challenges that come my way are the boulder. Like that tree, I’m not giving up. Sometimes I’ve felt that unseen forces were trying to push me off my path. Have
Are you afraid of failure? To be honest, sometimes I have been. But, I've discovered how to ignore those dark, nagging voices that say I'm wasting my time and efforts. You have to do that also—ignore the voices that doubt your efforts and doubt your talents. I've learned to push past the negative and move forward. When I feel the clouds of doubt coming near, I stop and pray for courage. Sometimes (oftentimes) my feelings still drag, but I act as if I'm brave and continue in m
Friends, this is as much for me as for you. While you're here, take a moment, go to the main page of my blog, and find some encouragement and tips on the craft. And then fire your passion and do what you were created to do. Write on! #writingnovelwritingcreativityinspiration #creativity #perspective #secondchances #books #goals #hope #persistence #inspiration
I hope you're enjoying your summer—spending restful moments outdoors in nature and making beautiful memories with family and friends. Happy 4th of July! Do you love history? I sure enjoy it. Since 2014, I've been hooked on the TV series Turn: Washington's Spies. It is the untold story of America's first spy ring. (You should binge-watch it and get caught up on the episodes.) Although the show is fictionalized, the main events are true, and the program brings to light the stru
I know that I can’t be the only one . . . Perhaps you've also found yourself scrambling to meet your goals, pushing yourself to do more, but failing to see the results you'd hoped for. Lately, I’ve found myself working with such diligence and trying so, so hard. My efforts went toward accomplishing tasks, meeting deadlines, and reaching goals. Some days have been grueling. Let me back up—I hadn’t snatched my dreams and goals out of thin air. I formulated them after much praye
Is it ever too late to pursue a dream? Can you ponder a dream for too long, and miss the opportunity for accomplishment? Consider the words of C. S. Lewis, "It's never too late."
I prefer to think he's correct. We're all so busy. Sometimes we forget to dream or don't have time to set goals. But in the quiet, solitary hours, our mind and our heart wanders to what if. What if I try . . .
Are you wondering if it's too late? Are you wondering if you've missed your window of
Rejection is an ugly word, especially to a writer. But we need to keep it in perspective. To help you put rejection into perspective, I’d like to discuss my shoes.
A few months ago, I noticed my favorite shoes were beginning to look worn out and were no longer attractive to wear with dress pants. I thought about purchasing another pair of shoes, and then I had the bright idea to bring them to a shoe repairman. The repairman put new heels on my shoes, polished the leather, a
Consider yourself the luckiest writer in the universe if you’ve never experienced a moment of writer’s block. Consider yourself fortunate if you've never experienced a moment of, "where do I go now?" Consider yourself blessed if you've never thought, "How can I tie up this loose end?" The most important thing to consider when faced with the dreaded writer’s block is to realize that that this is probably not the last time you’ll be stuck. Personally, I think it’s part of the w
Happy is the person who dreams dreams and is willing to take the steps to make them come true. Don't be afraid to start climbing, and I'll see you at the top! ~ Zig Ziglar I’ve been thinking about perspective lately. So much of life’s experiences depend on perspective, especially for writers. We commit ourselves to long periods of solitary work and then endure the difficult process of publication. Even after publication, it's not a walk in the park. But whether you succeed in
If you're a writer, do you spend time reading tips from pros and other writers in the trenches? You should. I have a few favorite writing websites that I subscribe to and some I visit regularly to keep myself current on market trends as well as tips on craft and grammar help. Doesn’t everyone need grammar help? Some sites that I visit frequently are: Novel Rocket: Authors helping authors launch. A great site for fiction writers with tips for writing, marketing, and encouragem