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Monthly Archives: October 2015

It’s RESEARCH Damn It!


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There is a really cool little program that can help you, as a writer, control yourself. Seriously. As depicted in the art above most of us do spend a lot of time surfing the net when we really should be writing. I do it. I’ll check my email, check Facebook, check my author’s page…it goes on and on… Let’s admit it, the internet makes procrastination a lot more fun.

So what can we do to stop the madness? There are more than a few little programs out there that will help with this problem. The way that they work is by “blocking” you. Yep, there are programs out there that work like a girl’s best friend at a bar when you are trying to pick her friend up…it’s an internet blocker. (See what I did there…)

I have tried out a few of these programs. Write or Die is kind of fun but it allows you to jump back on when you want to. It had fun little graphics but the point is to keep you from going onto the internet and, to be honest, if I can just push a button and I’m back on, I’ll do it. So while Write or Die is a good concept it falls short of doing its job.

The program that has impressed me most is, oddly, called Webtrate – Stop Procrasinating, which it actually doesn’t allow…sort of…let me explain. Webtrate blocks you from the internet essentially jailing you into writing. (Not freedom but sort of freedom because now you are free to write. (Make sense?) The thing that is cool about this program is that once you engage it you actually have to turn off your computer and turn it back on in order to get back onto the internet. Sure that can be done pretty easily but it is just enough of a pain to make you consider just writing instead.

Webtrate is downloadable for both the MAC and the PC which is also cool. You can get it here http://www.stopprocrastinatingapp.com/web-blocker and it’s practically free! ($5, We writers like cheap) So if you are like me and are just too damn curious not to surf the web, give this program a try. It’s worth the $5.

© 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 October 13, 2015 in Writing

 

But You Promised…………


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I made a promise to myself a few days ago….and then I promptly broke it. I promised that I would sit down at least once a day and write. I do write every day but that is on other people’s stuff, not my own. My promise was to work on my own novels but, as I have been prone to do lately, I shoved my stuff aside because I had “other” work to do. I broke my promise.

Now many of you might be saying, why so down on yourself…at least you are writing…but that isn’t really the point. Sure I am writing but I am not doing the writing that makes me happy. I am not telling the stories that I have bottled up inside and that give me nightmares if ignored long enough. As a writer, it is the personal stuff that matters, otherwise it really does just become a job.
I have published novels and I am working on new stuff but let’s be honest, if I don’t get off my ass there will be no more published novels, only the glory of finishing someone else’s work. I do love ghosting but I also need to be creative; we all do.

So today I want you to do what I should have done….keep the promise. I will try and keep mine as well but in the end the only person who can police me is me. Make a commitment to yourself to keep on being creative and to take the time to do you. There is no shame in writing for other people but there is tons of shame in not stepping up to the plate and keeping your promises to your own muse.
Keep the promise and write…every day.

© 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 October 2, 2015 in Writing

 

Don’t Do That – Do I Really Have to Sacrifice the Neighbors Cat?


You Want to DO What?????

You Want to DO What?????

Inspiration…it’s elusive, maddening…the source of many a writer’s desire to dip into the dark arts in order to obtain just a tiny bit of it. Those of us who are writers live with the daily possibility that “today” inspiration may not come and it’s scary. My non-writing friends don’t have to live with this fear…they simply don’t care because they are blissfully unaware of how incredibly important inspiration is; some days I wish I was one of them…those who don’t know what they don’t know….

Over the years there have been many a writer offering advice as to how to tame this beast. I have been told to burn candles, pray, meditate, sit in a dark room until it hits, spin three times and then hunt down a small rodent to sacrifice to the writing gods…I have heard it all. That last one was actually advice from a writer from South Africa whom I met at a conference…I think he actually thought it would work and when I joked about using the neighbor’s cat instead he actually looked kind of excited…creepy… While all of these are interesting ideas I wouldn’t put much stock in them.

So how does one romance inspiration into their life? The truth is simple, you have to be open to it. Now you may be screaming at the screen…”BUT I AM!” I get that you “think” you are but in truth, chances are, you really aren’t. Being open to inspiration means taking the steps to allow it in. You have to turn off the television, shut your office door, and get some alone time with you and your muse. We live in a world of constant stimulation and that gets in the way of listening to that small, still voice inside…the one where the stories are from.

Stop trying to voodoo the inspiration in…use common sense. You will never feel inspired if your mind is busy in 100 different directions. Be still…listen…the inspiration is there but if you can’t be quiet enough to hear it….let’s face it…the neighbors only have so many cats.

© 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 October 1, 2015 in Writing

 
 
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