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Author Archives: thewritersadvice

About thewritersadvice

Jai is a full-time writer in the Pacific Northwest. An award winning journalist and published author, Jai writes mystery thrillers, ghost writes articles and books as well as feature articles for several national magazines.

My Oughtobiography


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A Bucket List. I had a writer friend told me yesterday that I need a Bucket List. All I could think about after she made that suggestion was, why, so I can torture myself with an actual list of crap I don’t have time to do? Her logic was that we aren’t getting any younger and it would suck to die not having done the things that I really wanted to do. I, of course, just sat there wondering why my demise was so important to anyone else besides those who stand the chance of inheriting my marble collection. The truth is we, as a society, are obsessed with what we “ought” to do.

I set aside a little time every day that I call my “Crap…I didn’t do that” period. This is a period of time where I get to sit and commiserate over the fact that I still haven’t reached some of the goals I have set for myself. Sounds a bit like a pity party but it really isn’t. It’s actually a chance to see just how affected I am for not having completed certain tasks. If I find that I am feeling overwhelmingly guilty about such a task I forward it to the next day so I can take yet another stab at it. If I discover that I don’t care that I didn’t complete the task at all I drop it…forever.

We spend a lot of time in our lives worried about stuff we need to do and often we do this without actually asking ourselves if we really “ought” to do that stuff in the first place. The romantic notion of a Bucket List is appealing but for me personally I don’t see a need to torture myself with yet another list of oughts. Are there things I want to do before I take the dirt nap, well sure there is, I wouldn’t be human if there weren’t, but should I torture myself with taking the time to write out a list etching into history my possible failures…nope. I should spend that time doing stuff now.

We writers are notorious for making ourselves suffer. We seem to feel like we need to in order to be writers, but take it from me, this is one area you can let it go. Our to-do list is already huge because with the bevy of characters trapped inside our heads we already have a full plate. So don’t create a Bucket List, instead just do it. After all you really never know when the dude with the sickle will visit anyway…why waste any of that time making yet another list.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Writing

 

Writing Pebbles #18


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Like throwing a pebble into the water some writers put advice out into the ocean of hopeful newbies hoping the ripple effects will reach them and they will learn a thing or two. Here at The Writer’s Advice it is pebble collection time. I will post some of the pebbles of wisdom I discover and I encourage you all to do the same. We will help each other. So here are mine….show me yours!

5 Successful Authors On How They Overcame Creative Blocks To Write Their First Book – http://www.fastcompany.com/3026913/dialed/5-successful-authors-on-how-they-overcame-creative-blocks-to-write-their-first-book

How to Create a Writing, Publishing and Marketing Plan for the Year [Includes Template] – http://www.aliventures.com/how-to-create-a-writing-publishing-and-marketing-plan-for-the-year-includes-template/

5 Amazing Summer Writing Retreats – http://writerscircle.com/2014/03/5-amazing-summer-writing-retreats.html

13 Tips for Writing a Novel – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chaker-khazaal/13-tips-for-writing-a-nov_b_6581606.html

34 Writing Tips That Will Make You a Better Writer – http://www.dailywritingtips.com/34-writing-tips-that-will-make-you-a-better-writer/

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

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Sharing Once Again….


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Like every writer I am constantly looking for writing resources. Here is a great piece I wanted to share with a ton of fantastic resources!

http://thewritelife.com/100-best-websites-for-writers-2015/#SCZO6x:LR7

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Writing

 

Had to Share This!


sharingEvery now and again I come across something just have to share..here is one of those things….

http://writerswrite.co.za/10-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself-as-a-writer

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Writing

 

I’ve Done it! I’ve Finally Killed Time!


thWe live by the clock. We have watches, cell phones with clocks, clocks on the wall, reminders and even annoying little beeping sounds that come from our computers reminding us of the time. It’s enough to drive you a little nuts. I myself tend to over compensate for time and deadlines. I am a “scheduler”…one of those people who try to schedule out my time so that I am spending time on many projects instead of getting mired down on one. I like to think that doing this keeps me sane but lately I have been wondering if I am doing myself more harm than good.

I had a writer friend tell me that other day that she killed her clock. When I laughed she said, “no, really, I did…I killed it”. When I pushed for an explanation she told me that she had decided to try to write at least one day a week with no time constraints. She would get up on a designated morning and just work on whatever came to mind. She told me that on that first day she did better writing than she had in almost a year. She explained that without the time constraints she didn’t feel anxious but instead felt free to do what she wanted to do. She just let it flow and when it did, it was beautiful.

She did go on to explain that she only did this new “dead time” writing once a week because she still had other projects to take care of that did require deadlines but for at least one day a week she now has her “dead time” writing. I had to try it so yesterday I did and you know what….it works!

I spent the day on a project that I had a deep passion for and I didn’t worry about anything else the entire day. Like my friend I discovered that this “dead time” writing was a God-send. I did some of the best work on that project and when the day was over I felt…well…not to sound corny but…fulfilled.

I now have that “dead time” on my calendar at least one day each week. I think that it is really going to help me regroup and get reoriented to my work. Let’s be honest, the ideal writer’s life would be one project at a time with enough money in the bank to keep buying food while you work…sadly…it doesn’t work that way and our Great American Novel is sustained on a million freelance jobs that require…well…scheduling.

I challenge you my writing friends to give “dead time” writing a chance. Let me know by posting here how it works for you. Maybe, just maybe, we have a small movement on our hands!

© The Writer’s Advice, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

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And…..Here We Go…..


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2014 sucked for me in many ways. I didn’t do as much writing as I would have liked, I had 3 different major surgeries (ah…growing old…) and I ended it with stuff I had sworn to myself I would already have done. (Of course that last one I do every year…) When midnight on the first day of 2015 hot I promised myself (as I do every year) this year will be different. Needless to say I haven’t exactly gotten off to a stellar start.

The beginnings are the hardest aren’t they? People ask me all the time how I come up with my stories and I tend to spout off various smart ass quips about it but to be honest the rest of the stories are easy…it’s the beginning that is always the hardest and I think it is that way for most writers.

The beginning has to grab the reader right? It has to encourage them to involve themselves in the story. If the beginning isn’t good the reader will put that book down and never ever pick it up again. As a writer I find this true of my life as well. I have to begin and it has to be good or I will spend the rest of the year playing tag with my writing. It is for this reason that I am going to suggest that whatever project you decide to begin 2015 with…make it good.

Sure we all have tons of stories in the works but if you choose a lessor project you really will not be as motivated throughout the year as you need to be. I always want to hit the ground running with a project that excites me…that compels me on so that I am tempted to do my best writing right off the bat. If I do that then I can spend the rest of the year trying to top that first great piece ensuring that the rest of the years’ writing is also good.

So folks…hit the ground running. If you are trying to finish a 2014 project that doesn’t own your heart set it aside and start something that excites you. You will go back to that lessor project but to begin the year with you need something that will pump you up. It’s important so that 2015 doesn’t suck in the end.

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

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Time to Start Again….Oh BS!


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New Year, new start…that’s what you will hear everyone say for the next few weeks; it’s annoying. Yes, it’s a new year….and yes; many of us will begin new projects however, that doesn’t mean that you have to begin all over again. That feeling that you are stealing time if you continue with the 2014 work is bumpkiss….

We seem to associate the New Year with new beginnings in such a way that we often kill ourselves trying to hit the mark. We rush through the last project of 2014 thinking that we are somehow a failure if we are not beginning a new project in 2014. The problem with doing this is that we tend to miss important aspects of the rushed project. Writing is not meant to be rushed.

For me I try not to think in terms of time when it comes to my writing. I do set soft deadlines but I never rush one work to begin another. It’s like putting your pants on before your underwear is pulled up…awkward….
So before you jump into that 2015 project take a moment of revisit the 2014 one and make sure that you have not rushed it through.

Our words, our stories are too important to be slashed and burned in the name of time. Slow down and see 2015 for what it is…a continuation of life and more time to write.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Writing

 

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