I received the nicest email a few days ago, and it really made my day. The writer was working on a non-fiction book and began struggling with the writing as she was wrapping up. She said she was unable to write for weeks at a time. My emails inspired her to push through. She actually ended up finishing the manuscript two weeks before her deadline!
I was so excited to hear that I made a difference! But often, we don’t know what impact we have on others’ lives because they watch and respond quietly. They listen and apply. They learn and grow. They observe and are inspired. We don’t always have the pleasure of hearing about the effect that our own work has on others’ work.
Sometimes as authors, we have to push through this void of non-response and know that people are really watching, listening, and being inspired. It can be tough, especially in the writing stage of our manuscripts, to think of what impact we will have or even hope that we touch one other person and help them out.
If you find yourself wondering if it’s worth it to even write your book, just remember that you are impacting people, even if they don’t tell you. Every word you write is important. Continue reading
Of all the different things that cause writer’s block, fear can be the most difficult one to hurdle. It’s not something you can get over in an afternoon. It’s not something that passes with a mood. It can be very real and paralyzing, and it can prevent you from ever starting your book, let alone finishing it.
Sometimes we freeze when we start thinking about what happens next. What will people think of me? Will anyone read this? How can I let myself be judged?
Being authentic is scary, and opening your soul to the world—whether you write fiction or non—requires some degree of bravery. Unless you are a narcissist, you likely care about what people think of you and your writing.
So how do you get over this seemingly insurmountable hurdle? Continue reading
Have you ever noticed that when you have a rough day, you just don’t feel like writing? Maybe you sit down at your desk and push yourself anyway. If you actually type anything though and don’t end up tossing your laptop against the wall, when you go back later and read it, is it any good?
There is a good reason for this. You are in the wrong energy for writing.
When you aren’t in the flow of your best energy, then you aren’t going to write like you. It can feel forced, frustrated, angry. And worst of all, when you read it later, that energy shines through. You don’t want to read it, and no one else will either.
The best thing you can do is to actually put yourself in the mood for writing. 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
Do you ever look around and think, “Only famous people get their books published?” or “No one is going to buy my books. Why bother?”
Or maybe you’ve been thinking about stepping outside of your comfort zone to tell your personal story or share your expertise. But then you recall that another expert might put you in your place. What if your ideas are wrong?
Every writer has thoughts like these from time to time. But are they completely true?
Fear of failure can keep people from writing their books. No one likes to look stupid, so we hesitate when confronted with thoughts about being unable to publish, unable to sell, or unable to compete with others in our industry.
So what’s the truth? 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
“What are you talking about, crazy lady? My book is my total focus! I eat, breathe, and sleep this story!”
Sure you do. Now. But what happens when writer’s block creeps in? Or you start smelling funny? Keeping your nose to the grindstone isn’t a practical long-term work method, is it?
Our inspiration may ebb and flow, but that doesn’t mean that our time devoted to our craft should. Especially when you work from home, your personal life can become a problematic distraction from your work, and that is never a good thing. 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
Humans are creatures of habit. It’s likely that you get up in the morning and perform the same tasks—breakfast, teeth brushing, breakfast, exercise, shower, etc.—in your preferred order almost every day. It’s soothing to us to have a set schedule and have control over it. We know what to expect.
One of the things that everyone tells new parents is that children need a schedule. You’re supposed to set up a ritual for mornings, nap times, meals, and bed times. Children learn what to expect when they see you setting certain things on the cupboard. This comforts them. Or, like with my oldest, it prompts an immediate fight. “You’re NOT brushing my teeth. I’m NOT going to bed.” Yes you are, dear. Continue reading
How do you get inspired?
That’s a pretty broad question, but it’s one that I think a lot of writers hear. We are mysterious creatures, and the masses want to know how we tick.
For me, the answer varies by the day, and the impetus waxes and wanes with the source of inspiration. The strongest source by far, though, is reading. When I read other stories, it makes me want to participate in the global discussion, the call from literature that draws forth our imaginations. Authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, H. Rider Haggard, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Paolini, Neil Gaiman, and others fuel my fantastic thoughts, sending me on journeys across ‘scapes that only belong in the artist’s brain or in the pages of a novel.
As a busy mom and entrepreneur, though, finding time to read a book that doesn’t have cartoons of princesses and funny animals across the pages is pretty rare, so typically, that’s not where I get inspiration anymore.
So what stirs my imagination now? Three main things: clever movies, personal experience and other writers. Continue reading