By Ryan Rivera
At some point, most writers feel they are not cut out for this thing they are pursuing. Whether they regard it as their passion or something they’ve always wanted to do, some often feel they do not possess enough skills to produce material that’s worth reading. Self-doubt can be crippling, and writers are not exempt from being bogged down by this feeling. Once it sets in, your vision is clouded with thoughts of inefficiency, not being good enough, and just not being meant to do it. This will hinder you from reaching your maximum potential.
At the same time, you can use it to propel yourself toward improvement. Conquering self-doubt is no easy feat. It comes in bouts, which can be hard to shake off your system. It can be healthy on occasion, if you learn to use it to your advantage. Claim those ill thoughts and unleash your power over them. You must kill it before it kills you. (more…)
Do you ever find yourself staring at an empty page, afraid to put down that first word because you do not know if it is exactly what you want to express in your story? Do you worry about each sentence, afraid you are going to write something that (heaven forbid) tells rather than shows your story?
I know you want to sit down and write a complete and perfect story. We all do. But most of the time it just doesn’t work that way. If you let yourself get bogged down in the details of perfection in the first draft, your first draft will never be complete. (more…)
At Write Your Novel this Summer, we just launched our Featured Writer series where we will feature individual writers who are participating in our summer novel writing challenge. To become a Featured Writer, all you have to do is ‘like’ our Facebook page, look for Featured Writer Prompts, and submit a response to the prompt along with a link to your blog or online writing portfolio. If your submission is chosen, we will feature you and link to your page from our Facebook page (see the Notes section of our Facebook page for more details.)
Yesterday, I posted our first Featured Writers Prompt, but I have yet to receive any submissions. So I thought I would answer the prompt myself to try to get the ball rolling. I want to also encourage my readers to submit. This is a great opportunity to drive readers to your blogs and writing portfolios. It’s also a great way to find out about other writers and learn how they approach the novel writing process. (more…)
Today, I’d like to introduce you to author, Amanda Martin, from the WriterMummy blog. Amanda is the author of Two-Hundred Steps Home, as well as the following guest blog post. Thanks, Amanda, for sharing your blog with us and for helping to lighten my blog load while I’m writing my Master’s thesis this semester!
The lovely Mandy has let me come to talk about my Daily Blog Challenge on my WriterMummy blog. Thank you Mandy! It’s always nice to get a change of scene.
I decided late in 2012 – on 30th or 31st December – that 2013 needed structure. My husband was made redundant (or laid-off, as one would say in the U.S.) in October and both my kids are still preschool age, so we lurch from day to day with virtually no plan. My ambition for 2013 is to have a novel accepted by an agent and/or self-published via Smashwords, and I hoped forcing myself to write every day would help motivate me. So I had the (crazy) idea to join Post-a-Day 2013. (more…)
I can’t get dressed until after I’ve eaten. On mornings when I have to actually get dressed to go to work, I get up, shower, and put on fresh pajamas. I eat breakfast and have my coffee. I put my work clothes on about five minutes before I actually leave the house, so there’s no danger of spilling anything on myself.
When I buy clothes, I don’t buy clothes just to wear around the house. I can only justify the expense of new clothes when I’m buying them for work. My work clothes hang on one side of the closet. When a shirt gets too ratty for me to wear to work, I shift it to the other side of the closet into my regular wear wardrobe. I don’t eat while wearing my work clothes, ever. (more…)
I’m writing to you this morning from Café de Arts in Waukesha, WI. It’s a cute little café in a big, old Victorian house with a huge sunflower painted on the side. I so want to open my own business in an old house in my town and paint the house purple with a huge sunflower on the side. I even have the house picked out. It’s a foreclosure that’s been sitting empty for about three years, just calling me to buy it.
I have a dream of opening my own writer’s studio/café/bookstore where I can hang out with other writers and discuss our craft in a homey setting. I’m picturing fluffy couches with books lining the walls, and a barista conveniently stationed in a cozy corner.
I’d hang out all day, writing in my notebook in between talking story with my customers. Sometimes, I would offer writing classes and workshops for more focused work. Ultimately, I would create my own little writing community where I can plug in to my local writing scene and keep my creative juices flowing while offering the same service to others. (more…)
My writer friend over at SlimeGreen recently shared a post where she discussed how you can tell a lot about a person from what’s on their nightstand. She shared a pic of her end table, along with an analysis of what her end table says about her. I love this idea, so I’m stealing it. Anyway, here’s a picture of my nightstand. I’m opening myself up to my readers. Please tell me (in the comments below,) what do you think my nightstand says about me?
Quite some time ago, I mentioned that I would be posting writing prompts for you on Wednesdays, but somehow I never managed to follow through. But, have I got a good one for you today!
One of the writing exercises I had to complete for my Advanced Novel Writing course this week included a free-write in which I had to answer the following question:
What is the GREATEST LONGING in this character’s soul? (more…)
Do you consider yourself a “real” writer? Why or why not? What makes a writer?
My Dream Career
If you could have any job, what would you do? This is a typical first date question, job interview question, or composition class free writing topic, one whose answer may provide a great deal of insight into the life of the respondent. If you were to ask this question of me, my answer would surely provide insight into my psyche simply because the way I would answer is far different than the average American. (more…)
I’m one course and a thesis paper away from completing my masters degree in professional writing at Mount Mary College, and I’m feeling pressed to decide on a specific career course. So yeah, I’m a writer: but what kind of writer am I? I’ve written poetry, short stories, parts of novels, but for a long time I’ve struggled to find that one niche that I am really passionate about. Until I recently discovered YA.
Okay, so I’m sure I’ve read plenty of YA novels in the past. I’ve occasionally read some of my son’s books, and he’s getting into that age range. And, I’m quite sure I read tons of YA when I was a YA myself. But until recently, I haven’t really studied the genre.
While taking my poetry course this past fall, I read Crossing Stones, a novel in verse by Helen Frost, and I just LOVED that book and form. I then read a few of her other books: The Braid, Diamond Willow, and her latest, Hidden. All great reads. I found a lot of inspiration in these books and began to wonder if I could write something similar myself. (more…)
Blogging. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard. But, I tried and tried to start blogs in the past, and they never seemed to go anywhere. Take for instance the blog I started for my now-defunct online bookstore (I still take special orders if you’re looking for anything in particular.)
The blog is still there, I could always pick it up again. My plan for that blog was to post book reviews of all the books I was reading, use those as my blog posts, and tie it in with books for sale on my website. Unfortunatly, I needed to work at a job that was actually paying and just didn’t have the time it takes to keep an online business up and running. That blog quickly fell by the wayside, along with my poor bookstore. In fact, I have an ever-growing stack of books next to my desk just waiting for me to review. And that’s nothing on the stack of books I’ve had to return to the library in the meantime. (more…)
“They” say history is written by the winners of wars. But really, history is written by writers. Writers often write to observe humanity and preserve a space in time. Seconds, minutes, years, all can be preserved by the pen. Seconds may be experienced as hours, hours as minutes. Time can be manipulated by the skilled writer, shortened and expanded at will.
And so too, can humanity be manipulated. A writer’s work leaves a mark. Whether a history book, a trashy romance novel, a dollar store paperback western, or a classic tome, all tell the story of the time in which they were written, as well as the time which they are written about. All writing serves a purpose. Sometimes our writing serves the purpose we intend. (more…)
Today marks the first day of the last week of the fall semester. I just finished grading a huge stack of essay booklets from my written communications course and will be grading research papers next weekend. I also just submitted my final poem of the semester for the course I’m taking on writing poetry for children and young adults. And now, it’s time to write my final reflection paper of the semester. The topic for this paper is the writing process.
So, what have I learned about my writing process? For one thing, I can now boil it all down to a few simple steps: (more…)