We have been living in our house for about six years now, and I have never seen grasshoppers on our porch until the past couple weeks. It started with one a few days ago that my daughter noticed on the bottom of my shoe (my legs were crossed, so my foot was in the air).
The girls were curious about the grasshopper and wanted to touch it and watch it. They wanted to know what he was doing, where he was going, and what he eats. Then my oldest wanted to put him in a jar with some food so he could hang out with us inside. She got an absolute “no” on that one.
He eventually hopped onto the patio sofa and then the wall behind me. The girls pulled up chairs and watched him hopping up the wall, pausing, and then hopping again. They got bored and played a little longer. An hour later, he was on the ceiling. Continue reading
I’ve been thinking a lot about nurturing lately, especially dealing with the kiddos. How do I direct them to discover their talents and follow their dreams? It’s easy to just say, “Hey, kid, follow your dreams,” but that really isn’t enough. You have to provide guidance and an environment that allows for exploration.
So how does this translate to writing? I went back to the first big writing project I did: a series of 14-15 page stories (hand-written on 8.5 x 11 notebook paper) back in middle school. I was a big mystery reader, and of course, I thought I had read so many books that I could easily write one myself. Continue reading
Writing a book can bring out a plethora of emotions.
One day, you are completely infatuated with your book. Every word you write is golden. Your characters are immaculate. Your plot virtually oozes with chocolate ganache.
Other days, it’s like lead. The words feel heavy, the characters stiff. You flat out hate it. You consider scrapping the whole thing and just watching sitcoms in your spare time. Eating Doritos. Wearing pajama pants. Crying. I’m so sorry.
But, rest assured, we have all been there. Even with my books firmly self-published and in the hands of readers, I debate about deleting them from Amazon. Are they good enough? Who knows? How can we ever TRULY know if what we write is good enough. I bet the greats wonder themselves. Continue reading
Navigating the delicate balance between under- and over-describing can be challenging.
As writers, we know that our readers are intelligent and have amazing imaginations, just like us, but at the same time, we need to give enough information to trigger that imagination. Too little means that your reader may not feel connected to your vision and your story. Too much means that your reader could wander away from the book, bored because the story is dragging.
Here are some places to be mindful so you can achieve the balance of description in your work. Continue reading
Not everyone organizes their books the same way, so I wanted to present a great idea for organizing your chapter contents that doesn’t involve a notebook or computer.
The way I typically write is to outline my book in a Word document and then write under each chapter heading what I plan on discussing. But if you prefer something that you can easily see and work with, you might try using a big piece of poster board and Post-it Notes. Continue reading
Last Friday, I participated in a great talk with my mastermind group about creativity and problem solving. We are all creative in some way, even if it isn’t with a paint brush or a piano keyboard. Looking at problem solving as a creative activity really expanded what we consider to be creative, and it gave me a whole new perspective on how people work around writer’s block.
We talked about “hitting the wall” as a general term for when we no longer have creative momentum in our businesses, which is frequently writer’s block for us writers. It happens to people in all industries. Sometimes, it’s difficult to come up with new products, slogans, solutions, or paths to explore. We all feel burnt out and need to refuel. Continue reading
This past weekend, I went to a three-day women’s retreat for leadership and business. Each of the five women who went spoke on a topic that would resonate with the group, all of us being entrepreneurs. I talked about how to write about yourself, for bios or about pages, because so many people have confessed to being stressed by just thinking about it. One of the other women talked about a book called The One Thing, and ideas from that book have permeated my thoughts since.
Watering it down (a lot): the author states that we should focus on one thing and do it well. Naturally, I was conflicted. Part of my job is to advise people on how to write books, and most of those people are doing multiple things, not just one. Stolen moments away from work, housework, friends, and family are usually how we cobble together a novel.
How can we expect to write to the best of our ability if we should truly focus on “one thing”? Continue reading
I noticed a few years ago that my “Documents” folder was filling up quickly with tons of random documents: some stories and some just stuff that I needed to track or make note of. Obviously, because I’m a super organized person, I needed to clean up and organize this folder. So I put all my writing in one folder and labeled it “Writing.”
But that’s really blah. It didn’t make me want to jump in there and wrap up anything I’d started on. So last year, I relabeled it “Story Vault.”
Doesn’t that sound fancy and important and private? A story vault. Yeah. Continue reading
For my 2016 wrap-up, I’ve sorted through all my blogs and pulled out the best advice for writers, from setting yourself up to write with the correct mindset to mitigating writer’s block to editing like a pro. Here are the best juicy tidbits, as well as links to the full blog post for more details.
Enjoy! And make the most of the last few days of 2016 by thinking about your writing! Continue reading
This may be hard to believe, but everyone has some fears about writing, whether it’s about completing a book, being perfect, or telling everyone that you are a writer. We all fear someone discovering that we made a mistake or that our plot sucks. No one wants to be laughed at for their dreams.
So why is it so much easier to admit that you want to be a dentist, for example, than a writer? I’ve always wondered that. Maybe it has to do with the nebulosity of the career path. Most careers take a pretty simple route with college/training, possible internship, and then career. The path of a writer is different. It can start at any time in our lives, doesn’t require training (though it’s always good to learn about whatever you want to do well), and can become either a fun hobby or a career. Like much of the arts, what you do with it depends on how much effort you put in. Results are uncertain. This could be the source of varied response when you tell people you want to write. Continue reading