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:

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.

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,, 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:

Read more at the source: See the full chart here:
Also visit NaNoWriMo at 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:

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.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Congratulations to Award Winner!


Three cheers for Shaku Rajagopal! Her new book, Song of the Mountains is the Bronze Award Winner for best Memoir in the 2015 Colorado Independent Book Publishers contest!

Learn more about Shaku's excellent book and her brave journey here:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thanks to Writers's Relief for allowing me to share this with you:

With the distractions and excitement of summer's waning days,  Writer’s Relief invites you to free your mind! Read what they have to say about the process of freewriting. It is a great way to focus on your writing even when you don't know where to start, or don't have much time.

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, an author’s submission service that has been helping creative writers make submissions since 1994. Their work is highly recommended in the writing community, and there are TONS of freebies, publishing leads, and writers resources on their website. Check it out!

Friday, August 21, 2015

An unusual literary award outcome

AWP Award Series Creative Nonfiction Prize

"Even with our best efforts, our work is not always deemed successful. This year, our judge for Creative Nonfiction, Lia Purpura, did not select a winner for the competition. Because we know such a decision is unpopular, I am writing to explain why this is an outcome that AWP allows in the adjudication of our awards.

"The Award Series guidelines have stated—ever since the inception of the Series in 1975—that the judge makes the final decision and no award is given if the judge finds no manuscript that merits the award. Every entrant agrees to this and other terms before submitting works into the competition via Submittable.

"The outcome of no winner has occurred several times in the 40-year history of the series." 
A reminder that even our best work may not be seen as such by others. So goes the world of the working writer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Neil Gaiman on writing

Neil Gaimon
 “The secret to writing is just to write. Write every day. Never stop writing. Write on every surface you see; write on people on the street. When the cops come to arrest you, write on the cops. Write on the police car. Write on the judge. I’m in jail forever now, and the prison cell walls are completely covered with my writing, and I keep writing on the writing I wrote. That’s my method.”

 Gaimon and five other writers will help you lighten up and make your writing a joy.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Still writing?

Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing on writing:

"I write in order to discover what I don’t yet know. To peel back the layers and see what has been previously hidden from view. I don’t choose the form this discovery takes. When I have tried to force the form, it turns around and bites me. And so I have learned to pay attention to what the work itself wants to be. If we’re quiet, the work announces itself. When it makes itself known, we had best pay attention."

Above excerpt from her Facebook post 7/11/15.
We all know how it feels to have dozens of writing ideas floating above our pen, or on our screen.
Read the full post if this feels familiar to you, as it does to me.

Helen Gallagher