I recently hosted a live Q&A. Writers from across the country—North Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado, even Washington—joined me on the Facebook page to talk about critique groups, getting feedback to your writing, and the Inspired Writers Master Track. And you know what? Minds were blown. Mine included.Read More
I've been working with writers (and writing long enough myself) to know that there are all kinds of hurdles to sitting down to write. You probably don't need me to elaborate. If you've ever struggled to make time, make use of the time you have, or create more space for writing in your life, then you know what I'm talking about.
The truth is, making time to write doesn't have to be that complicated.Read More
A writer and friend of mine will openly tell you that, sometimes, she doesn't write because she gets sucked into Netflix or solitaire.
I love her honesty, because let's face it, we all have our vices
Mine also begins with N followed by etflix, yet if you were to ask me what I'd rather do—write or watch TV—I'd say writing every time. So why do I so often choose TV?
As a coach, I often find myself making suggestions that go against the grain of conventional writing advice.
You don't have to write every day.
Write the book you want to write, not the one you think will sell.
Write to find out what happens, not because you know what happens.
Yet as unconventional as these ideas might be, I trust them wholeheartedly.
When I was in graduate school, I sometimes sat in front of my lap top (usually in bed because I never could write at a desk) and felt the frustration build. I didn't know what happened next and I needed to know so I could turn in my assignment!
In those days, the way I felt about my writing dictated how it went. If I felt clear and focused, I got things done without a hitch. When I wasn't so sure or doubted my abilities, the only thing that kept me going was a good deadline.
As a writing coach, I've seen the heartbreak of writing up close.
I know. We don't talk about that part of the process very often, but here's what it can look like:
You share your manuscript with a friend and they return it, saying they couldn't get past the first three chapters and failing to offer any helpful advice
Your award-winning manuscript gets rejected by agents
You feel like you've been writing forever, and you STILL haven't finished your book or landed an assignment
Do you ever find yourself thinking something like the following? My first draft isn't very good, and it's nothing like the story I imagined. Getting feedback to my writing, even thoughtful input, is hard to take. And what the heck am I doing, given the way I have no idea how to finish what I've started?
You're not alone.
Do you schedule time for writing and then give it away? Perhaps someone asks you to coffee, your volunteer gig asks for more, or maybe you say yes to watching the grandkids one more day a week.
If so, here's what I know: Those commitments are important to you and you want to say yes. But you get frustrated because writing takes a back seat. It's not an obligation, and no one is waiting for you to do it.
I also know that you can do both.
I have a confession. I didn’t write for most of January, or even in late December. And it was the best decision I could have made for my writing and for me.
First, the context. Just before the holidays, my man and I put our dog down. She was nearly 14. She’d had a lung tumor for over a year and back problems that ended up being the final culprit. But she had this spunky personality till the end, so we never knew if we had a month left with her or if she was gunning for another year.
Either way, I knew I'd be sad.
Do you ever feel disappointed or frustrated with your writing? Maybe you feel like you should be further in your writing project.
In my work as a writing coach I talk to a lot of writers who express a similar frustration. Some of them go so far as to apologize to me for not having it figured out by now, as if I would be disappointed in them.