Every few months or so, I have to reorganize my writing life. Supposedly, I have one office for my home business and a second smaller office for my writing space.
Over time, what usually happens is that the business office becomes a dumping ground for everything that doesn’t have a home in another part of our house—boxes, mail, shipping materials, marketing materials, products, Halloween decorations, boxes that need to go to storage, etc.—and I end up working and writing in my writing room. Since this is the room with the view, so to speak, I don’t really mind but, after awhile, I’m overflowing with papers, files, and books…thus, the reorganizing. Read more
“Art does not come from the mind. Art comes from the place where you dream.” – Robert Olen Butler in From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction.
The other morning, I had a dream about writing. I was definitely in my happy place when I woke because the dream starred one of my favorite authors–Neil Gaiman–who was giving me writing advice.
In the dream, my hubby and I were having a picnic on a grassy knoll in England. (I’ve never been to England so I’m not even sure what it looks like or if there really are grassy knolls). Mr. Gaiman was walking by and stopped to entertain us with the details of his next writing project.
I told him I was a writer but that I was having problems finishing my current novel. He said, “You’re getting caught up in all that other stuff that doesn’t mean anything.” Wagging his finger at me, like my mother used to do when I was young and naughty, he continued, “Just tell a story. Forget about everything else for now.”
I woke up smiling. I mean, who wouldn’t with Mr. Gaiman wagging his finger at you? Read more
Have you ever had a story or scene to write but struggled with finding a way into it?
I have a friend who’s known for the stories she tells. She’s a keen observer of people and life and has a way of making scenes come alive. By observing her oral storytelling technique, I’ve learned how to find my way into writing scenes and stories.
Storytelling has been used since the beginning of time as a way to process life. Before paper or printing presses existed, stories were told verbally. My friend instinctively adopts the techniques of natural storytelling by creating foreshadowing, suspense, strong images, and closure. When she tells a story, I can tell she feeds off her audience, whether it’s one or several, for cues that her story resonates.
If you’re struggling with how to get into a scene or story, you might try telling it to a friend or two.
While some people say you don’t want to “talk your story out” for fear of losing the energy of it, you might find it could actually be a useful tool if you do it with purpose. Read more
One of my goals this week is to brainstorm ideas for a series of new poems. I thought I’d go through some of our previous posts for writing inspiration.
I hope you find the following three posts helpful in your own quest for writing ideas:
“Exercises in memoir: finding your story” offers several exercises to help you mine your memory for anything from memoir to poetry to fiction.
“Embrace your day job for writing inspiration” offers a Ted Kooser poem and insights from Carly about finding writing ideas at work.
“Four way to cultivate writerly inspiration” lists more ways to find inspiring ideas.
Today is day nineteen of National Novel Writing Month—the month where crazy people the world over take the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. Besides fighting off a cold (I WILL win) and being slightly behind on my word count, I’m doing pretty good.
Going into the final ten days of the challenge, I have a definite plan: write 3,000 words per day for the next four days (Thanksgiving included) to get caught up with my word count and then continue my daily writing routine into the home stretch. This will be the first time I’ll have completed the challenge and I’m psyched! Read more
Sometimes, I forget the simple things. Working on my fantasy novel, I’ve been caught up in figuring out plot points and events and looking at the larger picture which is great–all stuff that needs to be done. But I’ve also been reminded lately of the most important aspect of telling a good story–writing from the heart.
I gave a poetry reading last weekend with two other poets and several people came up after the reading to tell me their favorite poems. In every case, they were the poems that I wrote one hundred percent from the heart–from that space of total abandon and honesty. Read more
Congratulations! If you’re participating in this year’s Nanowrimo, today is day one of your writing success.
To help you along the way, below are two inspirational treats:
Bestselling author and writing mentor Bob Mayer has a great blog that he’ll update during the month with more posts for us Nanos. This post is about what to write.
For a quick 3-minute break to lift your spirits listen to Nanowrimo A Capella here: