This is a blog about writing from the words you can’t get out to the bits you polish and publish.

Welcome to the slush pile of my life…

 

Writers: Finish what you start

Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Writers: Finish what you start

Consider yourself warned: There’s a point, usually around the halfway point of your story but not always, when you will hit a moment of crisis. This story is a mess, my writing is awful, the characters are flat and dull, and the whole thing is falling apart. Why am I even bothering to write this? This feeling will often coincide with the siren call of a shiny new idea that would be sooo much easier to write, and it’ll try to convince you that maybe you should just go write that and stop wasting your time with this disaster. When...

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Take failure off the table

Posted by on Nov 15, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Take failure off the table

It was summer. My daughter was five years old and just learning to go underwater. All-day long she’d done tentative little dips, dunking her face, sliding across the surface of the water. Then she dropped her goggles. She lunged for them, but it was too late. Down down down, they sank to the very bottom of the deep end of the pool. Over and over, she dipped under to get them, but she never even came close to where they were. With each dip, she got more frustrated. She was barely getting a foot under the water, how could she ever hope to...

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Turn your writing dreams into a writing goal

Posted by on Nov 14, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Turn your writing dreams into a writing goal

While people often use the terms interchangeably when talking about writing or anything creative, there’s a big difference between a dream and a goal. A dream is a fantasy, a mental picture of how we wish it could be. A goal is a tangible thing you can work toward in the real world. Goals vs Dreams Even the word goal itself changes how you think about it. A dream feels like an ethereal picture in the distance, but a goal is a finish line you can walk toward right now. What would it take to turn your writing dream into a writing goal?...

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Why do you write?

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why do you write?

Ask any writer why they write, and you’ll get dozens of different answers. Some use it for therapy or meditation. For others, it’s a job or side hustle to earn some extra income. Many writers write to share their story or to make sure the world has the stories they needed when they were young. Some writers can’t explain why they write, they only know that they must, or life feels wrong and hollow. I write because… Understanding why you write is essential to understand how you write. It defines your writing purpose and...

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Write it first, then worry about what comes next.

Posted by on Nov 12, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Write it first, then worry about what comes next.

Don’t get ahead of yourself In an old Garfield book we had growing up, there’s a week-long gag about him becoming a writer. In one comic, he says something like, “Lots of people say they want to write a book, but very few actually do something about it.” The punchline is him, still having written nothing, sitting in front of the mirror in a smoking jacket saying, “Yes, this is how I will be photographed for my book jacket.” I think of this comic often because getting ahead of myself is a trap I fall into...

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Tell people you’re a writer to build your writing tribe

Posted by on Nov 11, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tell people you’re a writer to build your writing tribe

Build your tribe While we’ve been talking about getting the voices in your head on board with this whole writing thing, friends and family can help or hinder your writing in a million ways. One of the best things you can do to help your writing life is finding allies and friendly support, and that search starts with the people you already know. When you have people in your life that will support and respect your writing, that’s your tribe, and they can be an essential element for building and maintaining your writing life. Spread...

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Writer, let go of your Dumbo feather

Posted by on Nov 10, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Writer, let go of your Dumbo feather

For years, I thought I could only write if I had the perfect circumstances. My favorite mood-setting music, my special writing spot in an inspirational setting and at least three hours of uninterrupted time. I rejected so many perfectly good moments when I could have been writing because I thought those ideal conditions were what I absolutely needed to write. It took me a long time to realize they were all just Dumbo feathers. In the 1941 animated Disney movie, Dumbo the elephant is afraid to try to fly using his massive ears. The mouse,...

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Read to be a better writer

Posted by on Nov 9, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Read to be a better writer

Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” To be a writer, you need to read. Read often. Read widely. Read what you know you’ll love. Read what you think you’ll hate. Fill your head with the rhythm of words and stories until it all can’t help but come pouring back out on the page. Reading makes you a better writer. Even when you’re only reading for fun, you are learning how to craft a story, develop a character, and...

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Should you write what you know?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Should you write what you know?

Write what you know? It’s hard to think of a writing cliche more prevalent than, “Write what you know!” The problem is that it’s not well understood and that confusion has lead many a would-be writer astray. Should you write what you know? Well, yes and no. Write what you know The roots of this expression come from the poor writer with no idea what to write, desperately scrounging around for a topic. Along comes a friend with sensible comfort: Write what you know! Make it easy on yourself and dig into the wealth of...

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