Friday, February 27, 2009

A Taste Of Magic

Tracy Madison's debut book A Taste of Magic comes out this week!

Don't you love the cover? A Taste of Magic is a fun and delicious tale of magic, revenge, and falling in love. It will leave you with a satisfied smile on your lips and a longing to read more.

Check out the book trailer!

I could watch this over and over! (And I have...) If you'd like to learn more about Tracy's books, you can check out Tracy Madison's website. Her next book in this fabulous series, A Stroke of Magic, comes out in July.

As I promised, we're continuing our quest for gathering ideas. Here's another source: the internet. Obviously you spend some time surfing since you're reading this, but do you ever get ideas from blogs, pictures, videos, or articles from the internet?
There are tons of great sites on every imaginable subject. Just browsing through job openings on or any of the other career sites can start a story. Read through agents' blogs; they often list what kind of books they're dying to see, and highly visual sites like The Pioneer Woman can trigger ideas, too.

So, if you have a little time on your hands and are looking for a story idea, sit down and browse the internet with an open mind. The perfect angle may jump out at you.
Join me next week as we delve into more ways to foster ideas. We're also going to be doing a check-up on goals. Don't groan--I promise it won't be that bad!
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Idea Kernels

Today we're talking about opening our minds to story ideas. I don't know how all writers get their ideas, but I usually get little kernels. It's only after I've asked questions about the kernel, examined it, and lit a fire underneath it that it explodes into a fantastic plot.

Let's take an example. You're reading the newspaper and come across an article about the budget shortfalls affecting area schools. Really exciting...yawn.

Then, a few days later you're in your car, listening to the radio when you hear a species of a turtle long thought extinct has been discovered in Arkansas. Again--a real nail-biter.

A few more days pass and you're watching the nightly news. A gas-station was robbed, an apartment building burned to the ground, and real estate is as cheap as it's been in thirty years. What's new?

When you keep your ears and eyes open, your brain will take all of these seemingly random news' items and will stir them together in a unique way. You'll be driving and thinking of all the poor teachers facing job eliminations. Then you'll start to wonder what those turtles look like. And who would even recognize an extinct turtle? Certainly not me! And where did those people whose apartment burnt down go that night?

Stirring, stirring...

(Warning: The following is quite possibly the worst fiction plot of the century! Read at your own risk!)

What if one of those teachers was a young, let's say 23 year old, and let's call her Ramona. So, Ramona loses her teaching job. She could barely afford rent before because her student loans are sky high and now she has no idea how she'll make ends meet.

The writer in you is asking: what else could be wrong with this poor girl's life?

Well, her last boyfriend worked at a zoo and cared more about his precious snakes than he ever did about her, and she'd thought he was the one. She can't move back home because her mom and dad travel the country in an RV. Her best friend, formerly her roommate, up and moved out three months before, leaving Ramona with the full rent. She'll have to take a minimum wage job just to make it through.

Okay, we have some conflict, but how can we really up the stakes for Ramona? The idea isn't all that compelling yet. Start stirring some more...

Her last option would be to move to Arkansas and stay with her brother, Bobby, until she finds a job, but there's no way she's going to do that! He's the biggest slob on earth and she's particular about cleanliness. Not to mention he's driven her crazy since she was five year's old. No. Arkansas won't do.

Until Ramona's apartment building burns down and she's forced to make the toughest decision of her life. Jobless, homeless, possession-less, she has to move in with Bobby. When she calls to ask him, he agrees she can stay with him on one condition: she has to help him with a project. How hard can that be? She moves down and finds out that the project is his buddy Rick!

Rick knows he saw a turtle beyond classification last month. He's got to find it. His one dream has been to discover a new breed of turtle, and that dream is about to come true. If only he could find the elusive beast...

Bobby is worried about Rick. They've been best friends for years and while Bobby understands Rick's dream of finding a new breed of turtle, he's concerned about Rick's obsessiveness of late. He's stopped shaving, showering, working, and going out since he glimpsed the turtle of his dreams. He will stop at nothing to find it. Bobby begs Ramona to knock some sense into Rick.

Rick flabbergasts Ramona, until he tells her about the turtle and convinces her to help him look for it. She knows it's crazy, but can't help wanting to help this devoted, if non-groomed, man realize his dreams. Besides, she doesn't have a job, so she has time on her hands, in between cleaning up Bobby's apartment, of course.

Okay, you get the point. No, it isn't a best-seller, but a good writer could manipulate the above plot into a bestseller. All it takes is a few questions and you're off and running. I've read some outlandish fiction in my day, and some of the plots that shouldn't have worked were my all time favorites. It's all in how the writer handles the material.

Think about the nitty-gritty of the news you latch on to each day. Imagine real people experiencing these things. Lottery winners, missing children reunited with parents, families of murder victims, people losing their home to foreclosure--really think about these scenarios. And be compassionate; ask yourself questions as if you know the people going through these changes.
Don't be afraid to link together ideas that don't seem to be related. Make them related! And always ask yourself how you can make it worse. Take our example above: Ramona losing her job was the idea kernel. When I added her money problems, another layer was applied. If I would have thought, oh she can go move with her parents and everything will be hunky-dorey, the story would have ended. So, I made her parents nomads and made her brother her last, desperate hope. What on earth would make her turn to her last hope? Losing everything!

Why did I want her to move to her brother's? Conflict. Tension. And, don't forget, Rick. Hey, I'm a romance writer. I can't help myself! But what externally will bring her and Rick together? He convinces her to help him hunt for his turtle. What, then, will keep them apart? Her experience with Mr. Snakey who loved snakes more than her. Rick will have to put her before his turtle mania in order for these two to have a chance.

I hope you'll take a few of your idea kernels and explode them into story ideas. We're going to be discussing ideas all next week, too. Join me on Friday, when we'll discuss other ways to nurture ideas and I'll be highlighting a fantastic book by debut author, Tracy Madison.


Write Already--It's Wednesday!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Lull Between Projects

This week we're looking at the lull between projects. It's a breeding ground for procrastination. So we're going to focus on building an idea bank to get us through those times. When you're chomping at the bit to write your next great story, you won't feel the urge to procrastinate.

When you finish a project, you feel quite justified in taking a little time off. You've earned it, right? Absolutely! Take a pre-determined time to relax, recharge, and linger over the possiblities of your next piece. When that pre-determined time has come to an end, start your next project.

But what happens when the week (or month) ends and you don't start your next project? P-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n. Sorry, but it's true. The longer you take to start writing again, the harder it will be.

I don't know what to write. All of my ideas are lame. I couldn't possibly top the last story I wrote.

Those are all viscious lies we tell ourselves. They aren't true. You can't use up ideas--they are truly limitless. Trust me on this!

Limitless ideas? Ha! You're crazy!

Well, sometimes I am crazy but not about this. The key is to listen to all the ideas that come your way and not poo-poo any of them. No, you won't use every idea that pops in your head, but when you get used to listening to them, you'll use the best ones that come to mind.

I don't even get one idea in my head

Is that true? Really? You listen to the radio, watch the nightly news, or read magazines, yes? No one lives in a vacuum. Interesting stories come to us on a daily basis.

Join me on Wednesday when we'll discuss how to take those interesting idea kernels and expand on them to come up with fabulous plots.


Get Motivated! It's Monday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kicking Procrastination To the Curb

It would be easy for me to say "just do it" to whatever it is you're avoiding, but, I won't mislead you. If it were that easy, no one would procrastinate!

I've found a few helpful ways to skirt around the problem. What's at the top of my list? That's easy. Accountability. I'm not talking about accountability to myself, although I need that too; no, I'm talking about reaching out to a friend, family member, or writing buddy to keep me on track.

Since my preferred method of communication is e-mail, I typically write a whiney, boring note about how I don't feel like writing, my nose is stuffy, I'm out of chocolate, my book stinks, nothing good will ever come of writing, etc... I'll tell the recipient I'll check with them later to report my progress. Then I force myself to sit and write one page. Just one.

One page often leads to two, which leads to three, and what do you know? I'm writing again! I then e-mail my earlier victim with news of victory, feeling on top of the world.

What about more stubborn cases though? Last summer, I had a heavy bout of the doubts. Procrastination was inevitable. I still forced myself to stick to my writing goals. Trust me, it wasn't easy. There were days every word felt like it was being squeezed out of me. Even though the rough writing period felt endless, it gradually came to an end.

I'm glad I went through that, because it reminded me of the constant changes in life. Not everything we write will come easily, but that doesn't mean the end result isn't worth it. Our daily life affects our writing, and it's important to remember that good writing isn't necessarily the result of good feelings. I might struggle with writing one week because a family member is troubled, but that doesn't mean what I wrote that week was any worse than the stuff I wrote while in a good mood.

The only way to get through procrastination is to plow through. It might be difficult; your writing might not be as good as you want, but your discipline will get you through it. You can always fix problems later!

Another cause of procrastination is the lack of a project. Say you finished a story or book and now you have no idea what to work on. Instead of developing an earlier project, or coming up with a new idea, you do nothing. Procrastination equals paralysis.

Join me next week. We're going to talk about attracting ideas like magnets. You won't want to procrastinate if you have a file full of great ideas!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Procrastination. Don't Do It.

Procrastinate? Me? Never... Ha! Ha!

I could bore you to tears with the list of ridiculous things I do when I'm avoiding my laptop. Let's just say I've been known to fill in cupboard scratches with a wax crayon, I've vacuumed the baseboards, and I've even re-organized the fridge. Scary.

Yes, I know all about procrastination. If I've been away from my story a few days, weeks, or months, it feels as if it will take the jaws of life to get me writing again. When I avoid writing, I know I've been too far away from it. And that, my friends, breeds procrastination.

Remember back to a time when you were so engrossed in a story you were writing, time seemed to slip away. The story was so good, so compelling, you couldn't stand to be away from it. But time moved on, and you had a wedding to attend or some other distraction, and when you returned to write, what happened? Fear clutched in your heart and the doubts began to swirl. Was the story really as good as you thought? Where had you left off? Would you be able to get back into it? Maybe the plot wasn't the masterpiece you'd been so certain of?

Did you dive right back into the story? Yes? Good for you!

No? Me neither. Time away from your story can be deadly.

That's why it's so important to adhere to a regular writing schedule. The calendar doesn't lie. Whether I feel like it or not, I write. I tell myself it doesn't have to be any good; I can always fix it later. And, what do you know? I usually get right back into the story. Once again, the story is a masterpiece...

I lose NO days of writing to procrastination. (However, I do lose a few here or there due to other circumstances!)

Hey--maybe we should make that our mantra?


I might even shake my fist in the air while shouting it. That might scare the cat. Hmm...

Join me on Friday. We'll be making a list (and checking it twice) of ways we can beat procrastination.


Write Already! It's Wednesday!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidents' Day

Today we are taking a break from motivation and encouragement to discuss the lovely American holiday called Presidents' Day.

The holiday brings an entire list of questions to my brain. How do most people celebrate Presidents' Day? How many people even get the day off? And which President should be celebrated? I don't think I could adequately honor 44 Presidents in one day.

A few years ago, I spent the day touring Mary Washington's house in Fredericksburg, Virginia. If you ever get the chance to visit Fredericksburg, try to take a short tour. Mary Washington's house and garden are well-preserved and contain many of her personal belongings. The knowledgable museum guides point out interesting facts of that historical period (people traveled with their own silverware!) along with the details of Mary's routine. One of the boxwood bushes in the garden was planted by her. There's also a fascinating framed copy of her will upstairs in which she sets several slaves free.

To see pictures and learn more about this landmark, visit APVA Preservation Virginia.

After touring Mary's house, I walked up the street to where her daughter, Betty Washington Lewis, lived with her husband, Fielding Lewis. The mansion, Kenmore, was undergoing restorations when I toured it. Even though the furnishings had been packed away in storage, I still fell in love with the old house. The rich detailing of the plaster made it worth my while. I believe Kenmore will be fully furnished and open for touring sometime this spring. There's also a beautiful lawn to walk around and a small museum on site. Did I mention the Civil War cannonball lodged in the brick wall of the house?

To see pictures and learn more about Kenmore, visit Kenmore.

George Washington lived in Fredericksburg on Ferry Farm as a young boy. Unfortunately, nothing remains of the house, but the grounds are open to visitors, and archeologists have unearthed possible sites for the buildings. There's also a small museum on site.

Another great place to visit on President's Day in Fredericksburg is Chatham. Get this--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln all visited Chatham, at separate times of course. Walt Whitman and Clara Barton also spent time at the gorgeous plantation during the civil war. I could spend three days talking about Chatham, but I'll spare you that fate. Instead I'll tell you my favorite things about it.

The formally landscaped grounds are gorgeous. The view from the front of the mansion includes the Rappahanock River in the foreground and fades away to downtown Fredericksburg. Soldiers' original graffiti from the Civil War has been preserved. The mansion serves as a museum and has a helpful staff. Oh, and did I mention? It's free.

To learn more about Chatham, visit NPS Chatham.

Thank you for indulging my love of historical Fredericksburg. Hope you have a terrific Presidents' Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Slowing Down Will Speed You Up

Did you catch the title? Are you scratching your head, saying "huh?"

Slowing down to speed up sounds dumb, but it works. When we rush, rush, rush to check off our to-do list, we become less productive because we burn ourselves out. When you're burned out, your mood heads south. When you feel depressed, you're less productive.

So how do we avoid that viscious cycle? I honestly can't say I avoid it completely. It's difficult to maintain a balance day in and day out. The key is knowing when you're losing your way. I know how to spot the signs of burn-out and I know how to tip the balance back.

On Wednesday, we talked about the things that give us joy. After you wrote your list, you may have been surprised, the way I was, to find many of your joy-bringers quite accessible. You may also have felt a bit guilty, after all, none of the items seem suitable for a to-do list. (Unless you love to vacuum--in that case, you're guilt-free!)

I want you to throw any guilt over bringing joy to your life out the window. There's no reason to feel guilty about working moments of peace into your day. In fact, you should feel guilty if you don't work moments of joy into your day. It's called taking care of yourself. If you're not taking care of yourself, who will? It's your responsibility.

When you spend time doing something on your joy-list, you grow closer to your true desires. The process slows you down enough to hear what you really want. It also opens up new possibilities in your writing.

Ideas gravitate toward me when I'm relaxed and open to them.

I've also found that taking the time to do something on my joy-list motivates me to write more. My creativity expands as I find more joy in my life.

When you do things you enjoy, you're being generous. By listening to yourself, you learn to trust your decisions. It's like when a baby learns to trust his mother by the repetitive cycle of crying then being taken care of. You, like the baby, build faith in yourself. Don't ignore the cries in your soul just to get another lousy thing done on your to-do list. It's not worth it.

I hope you'll spend time this weekend sneaking in a few items on your joy-list.

Next week we're going to tackle that ugly beast: procrastination.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bring Back the Joy

What brings you joy? I think we all have universal answers to that question. Let's, friends, laughter, a good meal...most people enjoy those things.

But what brings you joy?

Think of all the things you love and write them down. When I first did this exercise, I was shocked to see how many ordinary, everyday things were on my list. I couldn't believe there weren't more exotic, unheard of pleasures like whizzing to the top of the Eiffel Tower or snorkeling near a barrier reef. And that's when I realized how often I shortchange my days by not doing the things on my list.

Here's a sample (not including the family, friends items):
  • listening to a jazz cd
  • watching a romantic movie in the comfort of my own home
  • reading a fantastic paperback
  • studying a historical period
  • having an entire box of chocolate all to myself
  • seeing a vase of fresh flowers on my countertop
  • reading a love note from my husband
  • meandering through a museum
  • taking a long walk outside
  • traipsing through a botanical garden
  • working in my own garden
  • leafing through a stack of magazines while enjoying a steaming cup of tea.

What does your list look like? How often do you "treat" yourself to items on the list? If you aren't treating yourself very often, why not? What would it hurt to take fifteen minutes every day to listen to a special cd or fix yourself a cup of tea and leaf through a magazine? And what about flowers? Yes, I know the economy is rough and money is tight. You could still look through your supermarket for a clearance bouquet, or check out an Aldi grocery if you have one nearby. Their bouquets are always under five dollars. Another option is to cut a bouquet of wildflowers.

Your list might not include the things on mine, but it doesn't matter. Get that creative thinking cap on and brainstorm ways to bring joy to your life.

You don't need permission to read a book, borrow a DVD from the library, or make yourself a cup of tea. You can give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy life.

Join me on Friday when we'll be discussing the merits of slowing down. Turns out, enjoying yourself is actually good for productivity!


Write Already! It's Wednesday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Taking a Step Back

This week we're talking about getting out of a writing funk. It could be a little funk or a big funk. It doesn't matter--the same principles apply.
I've realized before you can solve a problem, you have to understand the nature of it. Sometimes you're too close to the problem, and sometimes you're not close enough.
When you're too close, you feel stressed out about your work. The right words might not come. The plot of your book or story weaves in and out of your head all the time until you can't even remember your initial vision. Or you're so obsessed with finishing a book, you forget to find the joy in your daily life.
When you're too close to your project, the only way to regain balance is to take a step back.
I'm currently revising (for what feels like the eighteenth time) a romantic suspense I wrote last fall. Unfortunately, life has thrown a few hiccups my way and in order to stay on my personal deadline I've been cramming the revisions in. That's okay for a day or two, but after a week, I stopped. I want to enjoy life, not just get through it.
This morning, I took a long walk in the park. Sure, the 23 degree temperature was cold, but it seemed warmer since the past few weeks have been much colder. The silence of nature, the pastel blue of the sky, the white of the snow, and the faint sunbeams all calmed me. I couldn't keep the smile off of my face as I drove home. Since I felt relaxed, my eyes drifted up to the top of a tree and I noticed the most amazing thing: two bald eagles rested in the treetop.
If I wouldn't have slowed down and taken a break to walk, my mind would not have been quiet enough to notice the world around me.
I would have missed the bald eagles!
I don't know if you'll see two bald eagles, but quieting your mind will open it up to the beauty around you. Isn't that what this journey is all about? I think I'd be a terrible writer if I didn't stop and look around.
What energizes you? What calms you? What frivolous joy can you do for yourself today?
Join me on Wednesday when we'll be discussing other ways to gain a little distance from your projects.
Get Motivated! It's Monday!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Not So Great Aspects of Writing

This week we've been discussing why we write. We listed those reasons and discussed our favorite aspects of writing. Today we'll look at those not-so-great aspects of writing and continue building our SOS sheet.
Why is it that when the doubts come they feel like boulders on our shoulders? They're never tiny nigglers, oh no, they're huge, insurmountable. There were a few times when I lost days of writing to my doubts. I could not move forward. I just kept repeating the same doubts over and over in my head until I was just sick of myself.
I finally told myself to make a decision. Either I'm a writer or I'm not. If I am, well, I have to sit down and write. I have to trust that someday I'll get published. If I'm not a writer, then I have to cancel my writing group memberships, put away the laptop, and give up on my dreams.
Put in those terms, there was really no choice.
I'm a writer.
But, the doubts still come to me now and again. I've found a way to get through them quickly. I have a plan. I've referred to it before: the SOS sheet.
Today, I want you to write down the aspects of writing that drive you nuts. And, yes, I'm sharing my list below.
  • Thinking my idea is no good and giving up on it too soon
  • On the third round of revisions, finding a million mistakes or repetitions that I'd missed the first two rounds
  • Hitting the middle of a manuscript and having no idea what comes next
  • Coming up with a title
  • Trying to figure out the perfect hook
  • Staring at the blank page of Chapter One
  • Getting a rejection
  • Losing a contest
  • Hearing a friend got a rejection
  • Spending any time (even a second) thinking about when I'll get published. I can't do it. It paralyzes me every time. It's an off-limits topic in my brain.
  • Reading a fantastic book and wondering if I could ever be even half that good
  • Reading a lousy book and wondering why I haven't gotten the call
  • Hearing well-intentioned acquaintances ask if I'm published yet. Then getting the stare of pity.
  • Finishing a book 3000 words short of the guidelines and having no idea where to inject more words

You get the idea. I'm sure your list will look very different from mine. The things I find enjoyable may be the ones you dread. And vice versa. Whatever your reasons are, please write them down. They belong on your SOS sheet.

Sometimes we forget that we've already been through the bad phase we're in. That's why it's so important to write these down. When you feel like giving up, just take out the sheet and you'll realize, "oh, that's right. I turn into a raving maniac at this part of the process. I got through it before, I'll get through it again."

Next week we're going to discuss concrete actions you can take to get yourself out of a funk.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Great Aspects of Writing

What do you do when you hit a writing wall? Do you convince yourself you will never be a good writer? Do the doubts creep in and overtake you? Well, that happens to me too. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me through those times.
The key to getting rid of doubts is to nip them in the bud. I'm recommending serious backtalk to those buggers. When you're feeling useless, out of ideas, grammatically challenged, and just plain lousy, you need an SOS sheet to refer to. Think of it as your own personal defibrillator.

SOS sheet? What's that?

An SOS sheet contains four main sections. It starts with your personal list of reasons why you write. It continues on to your favorite aspects of writing. A list of your danger zones comes next. Finally, you'll have a section of concrete actions you can take to get back in your groove.

If you haven't written down a list of reasons why you write, go back to Monday's post. Look at the questions, but don't limit yourself to my questions. Really think about why you write and jot down your answers. Now you have the first section of your SOS sheet.

Think about the greatest parts of writing. My list will look very different from yours. But I'll share mine with you to get you thinking.

  • An idea pops in my head. I start thinking about it and before I know it an entire story needs to be written. No better feeling!
  • When I finish my final draft of a novel and know it was the very best I could do at that point in my life.
  • Looking at my watch and realizing I just wrote nine pages without looking up. (Rare!)
  • Having revelations about my current WIP while grocery shopping, or showering, or walking... Needless to say, I can't wait to get home and write them down.
  • Talking to other writers. Writing groups keep me sane.
  • Reading a great blog, or finding out an author just made a first sale. Both inspire me.
  • Studying a book on the writing craft and applying the knowledge to my own work. Who doesn't like to feel they're improving?
  • Thinking up the worst titles for a book ever. Bulging Butcher Buys a Bride. Coming up with cringe-worthy titles takes the pressure off.
  • Reading my writing. Sometimes I laugh out loud at my own prose--in a good way!
  • Looking back at my calendar and seeing how far I've come.

What about you? What are the best aspects of writing for you? Please, write them down. You'll need to refer to them when your writing flounders, or you're too busy to write, or you start missing your writing days.

Join me on Friday when we'll discuss the not so great aspects of writing.


Write Already--It's Wednesday!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Why Do You Write?

This month we're going to focus on why we write. You may be wondering why I saved this topic until after we set writing goals. Well, I'm sneaky.
That's right. Sneaky.
I knew if you thought too much about why you write, you'd fall into one of two categories. You'd either be pumped up to write more, or you'd become paralyzed and not write at all. And I didn't want to lose those wonderful writers who fall into the latter category. I wanted you to have the goals set and be actively working on them before I started probing around in murky waters.
So...why do you write?
For me, there is no easy, pat answer. I have gobs, tons, oodles of reasons why I write.
  • I love entering a world of my own creation where I get to make anything I want happen.
  • I want to make sense of the real world by creating an alternate world.
  • I want to touch people with my characters.
  • I like to type. (I'm serious. Shoot me.)
  • I enjoy making stories up in my head about people I see on the street.
  • I love the challenge of piecing together a book and analyzing the end result.
  • I love to read and want to emulate my favorite authors.
  • I want to see my books on a bookshelf.
  • Writing satisfies my creative hunger.

The list goes on and on....

Why do you sit down and write? What about the process do you find enjoyable? What's your favorite part of writing? Least favorite? At what point in a project do you freeze and stop writing? At what point in a project does the material fly off your fingers?

I hope you think about these questions because they'll give you insight about your strengths and weaknesses. It took me a few books to realize that I always convince myself I'm the lousiest writer on earth when I hit the middle chapters of a new manuscript. Once I identified that, I could give myself a pep-talk and work through it.

I'm going to share with you what goes on in my head when I hit that wall.

"Why am I the worst writer in the world? I can't think of another thing to write. I thought this book would practically write itself and now I can't even get past page 70. The keyboard is mocking me. The computer screen is laughing. All the chocolate in the world could not induce me to write this book. How dare I even think of myself as a writer?"

I believe in exaggerating as much as possible even in my head. I don't want to bore myself.

Here is the corresponding pep-talk.

"Stop whining. You go through this with every book. At the same point in every book. The first chapters race out of your head and then you need to flesh out the middle part. Get out some paper and begin writing down the conflicts and possible scenes. Where does this book need to go? And go get some chocolate, and a soothing cd, and light a candle, and, for goodness sake, pour another cup of coffee!"

So that's a snippet of my brain. Scary, huh?

I know.

Join me on Wednesday when we will discuss the great aspects of writing.


Get Motivated! It's Monday!