Taking stock of your fall writing goals? Read this first.

Taking stock of your fall writing goals? Read this first.

Maybe it's a remnant of my academic days, but the fall has always felt like more of a "new year" than January 1. The summer and all of its fun is winding down, and with fewer daylight hours and colder temps on the horizon, it feels like a natural time to take stock: What have I accomplished so far and what do I want to accomplish in the months ahead? 

I see a similar pattern in my writing clients. They reassess what they've been writing and what they'd like to accomplish in the coming months. It's nice to know I'm in good company.

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How to write five chapters in three days

How to write five chapters in three days

You know those moments when an idea comes fully formed? It's like it drops out of the sky, and once you begin writing, the momentum carries you forward.

They can feel few and far between, can't they? But the truth is, you can increase the chances of it happening.

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Transform Your Writing, Shift #9 (Bonus): Writing, just like your life, is an ongoing process and ever-changing.

Transform Your Writing, Shift #9 (Bonus): Writing, just like your life, is an ongoing process and ever-changing.

As a result of the 8 Simple Shifts to Transform Your Writing, it's possible that you've made some real changes in the way you view your writing life. Less pressure to meet unattainable goals, perhaps, or giving yourself permission to focus on the story that most excites you.

The sense of relief can't be understated. But how do you keep going with your newfound approach to writing?

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Transform Your Writing, Shift #8: Watch Out for Any Belief that Starts with "I Should"

Transform Your Writing, Shift #8: Watch Out for Any Belief that Starts with "I Should"

When I decided to stop working on a novel and set it aside, possibly forever, it didn't come easily. I had invested a lot of myself and my time into that book. But the writing had become more than a struggle—I was forcing it.

My choice was actually very simple: continue to struggle and feel stuck, or listen to my gut. That small voice that was telling me there was something more, something different I could write.

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Transform Your Writing, Shift #7: Share Your Writing Before You Publish

Transform Your Writing, Shift #7: Share Your Writing Before You Publish

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to speak to an audience about article pitching. One of the first things I said? Don't get ahead of yourself. Take the time to make your writing as good as it can be before you try to publish. 

It felt like a risky move. The room was full and people were taking so many notes... these were writers who want to publish. And yet. I know what happens when you try to publish too soon.

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Transform Your Writing, Shift #6: Let Go of the Projects that No Longer Serve You

Transform Your Writing, Shift #6: Let Go of the Projects that No Longer Serve You

I have a confession. You know those writers who have a novel in a drawer, collecting dust and going no where? I am one. Only my dusty novel is in a bag in the storage space above the master closet, and I left it there on purpose. 

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Transform Your Writing, Shift #5: Follow Your Curiosity

Transform Your Writing, Shift #5: Follow Your Curiosity

I was sitting on a panel at a writing conference when an audience member asked a great question: should he write his book to be more publishable (in his mind, that meant rosy and optimistic) or stay true to his own perspective (a little more dark)?

My fellow panelists, all book authors, each said the same thing: stay true to your voice. You're going to write a better book if you're writing something that interests you.

I added what I'd learned from my clients:

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Transform Your Writing, Shift #4: Get Real About Your Writing Needs

Transform Your Writing, Shift #4: Get Real About Your Writing Needs

Have you ever noticed how a lot of writing sounds like rules? Write every day. Write first thing in the morning. Write 1,000 words per day. It's tempting to think they're the secret to writing more. 

I often hear my clients make similar pronouncements. "I'm going to write every day," they say. 

Or, in a wistful tone, "I just need to carve out two hours a day."

In those moments, I counsel caution.

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Transform Your Writing, Shift #3: Own Your Process

Transform Your Writing, Shift #3: Own Your Process

My better half is a builder, and he is not a whap it, tap it, slap it kind of worker. He is a craftsman, who built our home with reclaimed oak floors, spacious windows to let in the light, and an eye for detail. He could see our house before it existed, and his job was bringing it life. After watching his process first hand, I knew: his best clients will appreciate quality, not the fastest, cheapest work.

I've realized something similar about my own writing. While the newspaper industry taught me to write fast and on a deadline, I have not transferred those skills to my short stories and novel writing. I don't want to.

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