Saturday, April 30, 2016

Write today



Here is a brief essay on not-writing by Rita Mae Reese on Poets & Writers.
http://www.pw.org/content/rita_mae_reese_2 

Take it to heart on this rainy Saturday and write about what's on your mind today.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Natalie Goldberg writes again...

If ever there was a writer who can persuade us to settle down and write, it is Natalie Goldberg. She is as down-to-earth in print as she is in person. Treat yourself to her newest book, The Great Spring, Writing, Zen and This Zigzag Life.


With decades of experience, she looks both backward and forward, knowing there are many ways to manifest our true life. Join her on her journey and pick up a pen to explore your own.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Finding time to write well




Does this seem familiar? The writer, Hilary Mantel, writing in The Guardian, exemplifies what so many of us experience in trying to put writing first, and hoping for the essential sense of flow will stay around for a while.

"I used to be a late starter, but now I get up in the dark like a medieval monk, commit unmediated scribble to a notebook, and go back to bed about six, hoping to sleep for another two hours and to wake slowly and in silence. Random noise, voices in other rooms, get me off to a savage, disorderly start, but if I am left in peace to reach for a pen, I feel through my fingertips what sort of day it is. Days of easy flow generate thousands of words across half a dozen projects – and perhaps new projects. Flow is like a mad party – it goes on till all hours and somebody must clear up afterwards."
Enjoy the full essay here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/16/hilary-mantel-my-writing-day

Friday, April 15, 2016

Annie Dillard and essay

Poets & Writers issue of March-April 2016 has a pleasant feature, "Such Great Heights," covering the career of Annie Dillard and celebrates her "masterful essays."

Take time to enjoy reading of her life and work, in this piece spanning about six terrific pages.

Such Great Heights: A Profile of Annie Dillard 

The article itself is in print only, not online. Stop by your local library if you are not a P & W subscriber.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monday, November 30, 2015

Beyond NaNoWriMo

Whether you made a fantastic effort at NaNoWriMo or not, life goes on. Our December motivational post for writers comes courtesy of Infinity Publishing. Here is the link to their recommended author apps.

Personally, I already like using 'Writeometer' to keep me focused for article deadlines, and I will surely use 'Avoid People' when I need to seek out a quiet place to write.

Here is the full list from Infinity:


Writeometer
This handy app will become your go-to spot for increasing your word production and keeping records. It includes a 25-minute timer for those who write using the Pomodoro Technique, spots to include your daily word count, charts and graphs to see your progress, records on all your works in progress, and even virtual treats for reaching your word count goals. Free, available on Android.

Songza
If you're the type of author who likes music when you write, this is the perfect app for finding the right mood music for your current scene. Songza offers a variety of music based on moods and time, instead of artists or genre. For example, on a recent Saturday morning, Songza offered music for trimming the Christmas tree, cleaning the house, taking a nap, or recovering from a hangover. Search for music by activities, moods, decades, and more, or just let Songza suggest something for you. Available on Android or through your browser.

Wi-Fi Finder
Available both on iTunes and Android, this is the perfect app for the author on the go. Wi-Fi Finder will search your surrounding neighborhood and show all the free wi-fi spots that are available around you. Ideal for road trips or even just when you need a different environment for your writing once in a while.

Avoid Humans
Love to work at coffee shops and outdoor plazas but have a hard time working in a crowd? Avoid Humans takes on that challenge admirably. Click on the app and it will show you bars, coffee shops, restaurants and other places with wi-fi, all with little to no crowds at the present time. Solitude away from your desk: the best of both worlds.

The Brainstormer
Fiction writers who do book series have a unique problem. They use the same environment and the same group of characters in all of their books, but they need to write a different story around them multiple times. When the new plot ideas just won't come, The Brainstormer can be a help. It creates endless combinations of plot or conflict, style or setting, and subject or location. Mix and match until you find one that fits your series. In the App Store for iTunes.

Podcast Republic
Keeping up with the business end of writing can be a tough job. Luckily, dozens of authors and publishers broadcast weekly audible shows each week on that very topic. Podcasts can give you valuable information on any subject, giving you down time from your writing while still not goofing off. Podcast Republic, like many other podcast aggregators, allows you to search for podcasts by topic, saving and updating your favorites each week.

Monday, November 2, 2015

More NaNoWriMo...motivation

Alright, of course you can't write a bestseller in a month, but Writers Relief staff has a great piece on four NaNoWriMo books that went on to become bestsellers!  Ever heard of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen? Of course you have!

Bounce on over to Writers Relief here, or click the image below.
NaNoWriMo Books

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The real work of a writer

Thanks to Joan Dempsey, www.joandempsey.com, for posting this quote in her Revise with Confidence newsletter today. Joan's online classes are every writer's dream. She offers an escape from fear and doubt, while providing the structure and motivation to finish your writing projects with confidence. 

Notable Quote

A writer's real work is the endless winnowing of sentences,
The relentless exploration of possibilities,
The effort, over and over again, to see in what you started out to say
The possibility of saying something you didn't know you could.


~ Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several short sentences about writing

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NaNoWriMo ~ Is this your year to succeed?

November is National Novel Writers Month.

Even making the effort to write daily, and to write about 1,600 words a day will give most writers a great start on a manuscript. Using the event as a reason to write every day has its rewards, whether you choose a novel, essay, nonfiction, or commit to blogging daily.

The people at Stop Procrastinating App have created a clever infographic. Below is just a snippet to get started.  See the full chart here: http://www.stopprocrastinatingapp.com/nanowrimo

Read more at the source: See the full chart here: http://www.stopprocrastinatingapp.com/nanowrimo
Also visit NaNoWriMo at http://nanowrimo.org/. And good luck on your writing in November, and beyond.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Your weekend motivation ...

                   “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

                                                                                                                    – Ernest Hemingway

Monday, September 14, 2015

Readers and Writers

In "The Faith of a Writer," by Joyce Carol Oates [still living, still tweeting...], the author speaks of the many great writers who owe their love of their craft to their impressioinistic reading in adolescence.

Pick up your worn copy and remind yourself of this directive:
"Read widely, read enthusiastically, be guided by instinct and not design. For if you read, you need not become a writer; but if you hope to become a writer, you must read."

Saturday, September 12, 2015

If at first you don't achieve, change your name...

Interesting article on BuzzFeed about a frustrated writer. After 40 rejections, the white American sent a submission under an Asian pseudonym, and the poem was then included in the Best American Poetry 2015 Anthology. 

Here's the article and link to the poem: http://www.buzzfeed.com/isaacfitzgerald/yi-fen-chou-is-michael-derrick-hudson#.hyOQjJZyx

Sunday, September 6, 2015

David Brooks on soft skills

The New York Times
In the Sept. 5, 2015, New York Times, eloquent David Brooks again has an interesting column titled 'The New Romantics.'

Consider the burgeoning use of technology in use today: classrooms, medicine, commerce, even friendship. Yet Brooks sees a door opening to a possible romantic rebirth. Although computers now do much of our work for us, it is possible to consider that this gives us time to turn mundane tasks over to technology, and enjoy more time fir the relational tasks of life, including those that require accountability, authority, or roles such as being a caregiver. These are not transactional jobs, but relational ones, best left to humans, and requiring judgment, empathy, communication, compassion, and courage. The world still needs us!

Read Brooks' column, The New Romantics.