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Category Archives: Inspiration

Blocked or Lazy….Same thing Really…


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It’s been a while since I have written for this blog. Health issues have kept me from doing any serious work and now I am just getting to a point where I can jump back into the deep end of the writing pool. I apologize for my absence.

One of the things that I have been dealing with since my butt hit the chair again in procrastination at it’s worse. Being in poor health taught me the joys of sitting on the couch binge watching television shows that I would not have otherwise watched…Wynonna Earp is really good by the way…. Getting back into the chair has been painful enough with the heath issues making it physically hard to do BUT getting motivated has been equally as tough. I found myself last week declaring to a friend that I was “blocked”…I’m fibbing…I’m just being lazy.

When you have had your writing interrupted from any reason it is often hard to get back into the flow of things. Writing means you have to show up and if you have spent any time at all on a couch in a haze of pain pills and television it can get even harder. The easy way is to tell yourself, “one more week and I’ll be ready” but the long and short of it is…it’s now or never.

My health issues are not resolved yet but the writing is helping me focus on the work rather than the pain. I am still finding myself on the couch but now it is with my computer with the television off. I said all of that to say this…if you have a life issue that takes you away from your writing, don’t allow it to do so for very long because the longer you stay away…the harder it is to get back. If you have to write in smaller blocks but write because it is a muscle that needs to be exercised. As for me…I’m back and I have to tell you…I really have missed you all!

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

Best Advice for 2015


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I have been mulling over what the best possible advice for 2015 could be over the last week. 2014 was quite a year for me as I am sure it was for everyone else. At the age I am at right now I am looking back over half a century wondering where the time has gone. One thing is very clear when you reach age 50….time keeps going even when you beg for it to stop.

As a writer time flows differently for us. We see time in a way that others take for granted. We see it in stories and when you do that, I personally think that you tend to see the passing of it clearer than others. Each story has a beginning, a middle and an end so we, as writers, see life as a never ending series. My series is far from over at this point but when you are half way through the book you do tend to wonder what’s next.

The best advice I have for 2015 is something that is actually written on a tattoo on my upper arm. It is a phrase that my kids are very familiar with, as are my friends….One Dragon at a Time. It is a simple saying and it means exactly what it says…you have to fight one dragon at a time if you want to win the game. Yes I am a Game of Thrones fan but no this phrase didn’t come from that. It’s something that my grandmother would say to me as a kid. At the time I had no idea how hard her life was and that she often said this phrase to herself just to get through the day. Now, 27 years after her death, I still mutter it to myself when times are trying and it is the thing I say to the kids as well as friends when they come to me with a problem that they feel is bigger than they are. It is, in my opinion, the best advice in the world.

So this year, when things get tough and you think you just can’t finish that book, walk that mile, or deal with that situation, remember to take it one dragon at a time. If you take on all the dragons at once, you are bound to lose but one dragon….one dragon is doable…..

Happy 2015 everyone. Sending my love and my positive energy out to each and every one of you.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 December 31, 2014 in Inspiration, Writing, Writing Tools

 

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OMG Cut That Out! Don’t be a Lazy Writer!


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Texting is the bane of my existence. First off, I’m incredibly slow at it. My thumbs were not created to text and my body reminds me of that every time I try to do it. I often find myself in the position where the person texting me, usually one of the kids, has texted me three times to my one answer. Secondly, there appears to be no true way to convey emotion in a text. (and no I don’t use those stupid little yellow faces to help) Because there is no way to convey emotion I end up with many, many “don’t use that tone with me” responses from my spouse. Tone? Really?

Here is the thing though…while all of those things make me crazy, nothing…and I mean nothing…drives me more nuts that the supposed need to learn a whole new language in order to get and send texts. I personally have no desire to stand in the grocery checkout line and decipher a message from my spouse asking me to pick up creamer. (Plz p/u crmr) You need a damn decoder ring!

The really sad thing is that I am now seeing the short-cut language being used in actual books. It is disheartening that we, as writers, as following the lead of an incredibly lazy generation. Just as there is no way to convey emotion in all those newly created acronyms; these is also no way to tell a story with them either. Reading a book should be an enjoyable task, not one that makes you have to read like a kindergartener just learning to read Dick and Jane books.

People practice responsible wording…please. Use the entire word, don’t get sucked into the I’ll scratch out some letters and hope they pick it up method of doing anything. And for Pete’s sake (and the rest of our sake) don’t put this crap into a manuscript. Use your words people…use your words…..

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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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Don’t Waste Your Time Starting Over…and over…and over…and over…


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We are all guilty of this. We start a project, don’t like the way it sounds and rewrite it. Then, after a short period of time, we reread the project, STILL don’t like it…and rewrite it again. This, my fellow writers, can turn into a vicious circle.

I have been there, in fact I still am with what I refer to as my Cluster F@#* novel. (Pardon my language) This particular novel has been an eight year project just because I never seem to find the time to follow through in any given length of time. I work on it, put it down and then when I go back to it my writer brain screams…”no, no, that’s all wrong”. I have literally rewritten the story about 15 times. Will that story ever get published? Maybe…but obviously not with any help from me right now.

There is a reason why seasoned writers will tell you to make it through the first draft before you edit. We are our own worst enemies when it comes to that internal editor. If we don’t get the story down on paper, we will never finish it at all. We will, instead, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite…and it will go on forever.

Keep in mind that whatever you get down on paper may not be exactly what you originally wanted to say in the way that you wanted to say it…that’s okay….that’s what the editing process is for. This is the place we can take the sum parts of our stories and move them around until we have built the story we meant to tell. Its okay not to say it exactly correct the first time around, at least you have your main pieces on the page.

So before you go over that story for the 90th time…stop and give yourself a break. Just get it out there, say it…then go back over it and edit it.

 
© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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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Wisdom – Ted Talks for Writers


Painted-Cartoon-of-Two-people-talking-for-Kiki-by-Katy-973x1024I am a lifetime student of writing. Hell, I’m a lifetime student of darn near everything if I’m honest. I love to learn and I love to learn from other actual people. When I first discovered Ted Talks I thought, “I’ll never be able to devote enough time to listen to all these”…but, as I explored I couldn’t justify NOT finding time to listen to them.

For those of you living in a cave, Ted Talks is a forum where experts in just about every field get 20 minutes to wow us with what they have discovered. These gems are informative, fun and sometimes downright mind-blowing. And the REALLY cool thing???? They are being added to all the time.

Below are some of the Ted Talks that I personally have found fascinating and helpful as a writer. Take a moment and sit down in a quiet room and enjoy these pearls of wisdom shared by others who have been there before us.

10 talks from authors
http://www.ted.com/playlists/194/10_talks_from_authors

How to tell a story – 6 Talks about Story
http://www.ted.com/playlists/62/how_to_tell_a_story

Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide?

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure
http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure

David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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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Just a Minute!


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As many of you know I went through an ordeal two weeks ago that knocked me off my schedule. Recovering made me have to push projects back and rearrange things last week and, to some degree, this week. I would be lying if I said that it didn’t suck. I’m now behind my own schedule and I hate it. What I hate more is the lack of motivation I feel in catching up.

Going through a major life change or event can make procrastination look even more inviting than it usually is. Because I have had no choice but to pull back on work it makes restarting that much harder. Don’t get me wrong, procrastination in its purest form is the bane of every writer but usually it is easier to combat; throw in some life altering thing and suddenly procrastination becomes that lonely beer in the fridge that you know you shouldn’t drink…it’s lonely…it needs you.

So what has been the lesson for me this week? You have to just force yourself past the urge to sit staring at a blank screen. No amount of waiting is going to help you catch up on all that work. I have to make a list, a to-do list and then I just start knocking things out one at a time. I also stick to my schedule. I have my writing schedule set up in blocks of time. When my schedule says that I am writing from 8-10, that’s what I do and at the end of that block of time I move on to the next thing no matter where I am in the writing. If I don’t do things this way the writing takes over and my clients suffer. I have to stay focused on the task at hand.

If you find yourself behind, don’t give up. It is easy to feel buried and just grab the remote control but if you choose that route, the behinder (as my son would say) you will get. It is best to make that list and start knocking things out. Forward momentum is the name of the game folks. You will catch up, I promise.

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 September 8, 2014 in Inspiration, Writing, Writing Tools

 

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Desperately Seeking Inspiration? Stop it Right Now!


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So days it just won’t come…. Here I sit at my keyboard this morning and I realize that no matter how hard I try, inspiration just isn’t going to hit. I have drank an entire pot of coffee, paced between the living room and my office, played with the dog and admonished the cat for once again trying to knock over a plant and still….nothing.

Let’s face it…for the writer…there are gonna be days like this; days when you are non-motivated to put any words onto the page. A lot of writers will tell you to “force it”, make yourself sit in your chair until the words are squeezed out. I simply don’t agree with that advice, in fact, I think it is among the dumbest things you can say to a writer at all.

Inspiration is inspiration…an elusive beast that we all pray for and almost never shows up at an opportune moment. Some of us writers have been blessed with frequent visits but no matter how blessed you are, there are still times when inspiration hides and no amount of screaming “Marco” will get a Polo. My advice? Deal with it by simply walking way.

Go for a drive, a walk, donuts…something to get your brain completely away from the concept of writing. I think that there are times when we over work inspiration and he/she gets tired and needs a beer so he/she disappears for a while. It’s okay if inspiration is taking a snooze; maybe it’s a sign that you need one too.

If you force yourself to write your writing will sound forced and no one wants that. Forcing a story is a great way to offend your readers. In my experience writing is a natural act and forcing your brain to write is as unnatural as it gets. So if inspiration has left the building and is hanging out with Elvis you go find something else to do. It will return…it always does.

 

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 August 21, 2014 in Inspiration, Writing, Writing Tools

 

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