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Showing posts from January, 2020

2020 Will Be the Best Writing Year Ever Because…

I will finish some books I’ve been working on intermittently for years. Why years? you ask. Book #1—I borrowed part of it for another book. Also, I started the book so long ago that the male character’s mother survived the Holocaust as a child. She’d be waaay too old now so I’d have to rewrite it to be a deceased grandparent and tell the story through the mother. That’s what I get for taking from Peter without having any idea how to pay Paul. Title: Achilles’ Heel ―354 pages without revisions. Book #2—I got distracted writing my series and left it. I’ve gone back to it lately and haven’t caught up to where I left off. Being of a certain age, I’ve forgotten what I had in mind. I’m hoping it will come to me when I get to where I stopped. Title: Breaking Point ―125 pages. Book #3—Mid-grade―only 12 pages, but I might go back to it because it could be fun. No Title Book #4—Have no idea why I stopped writing it. I’ll put it down to distraction, but it sounds like it just might no

The Best Writing Year Ever, With Less Stress

I have to say, my year is starting off well, with MORTAL MUSIC (the 7th in my Silver Rush series) released on January 27. What a way to ring in 2020! But that one is now written and done. What would make this the "best writing year ever" for me is to figure out how to write Book #8 with less stress. For some time, I've joked that what propels me to write is deadlines and panic. But there's more truth than fiction in that statement. Adrenaline drives me and makes me productive in my writing life, but that sort of propulsion eventually takes its toll. One day I realized that when I begin to feel stressed and panicked, my right knee starts to buckle. When writing deadlines loom, the right side of my neck, and my right wrist and shoulder stiffen and ache to the point where it's difficult to go to sleep, much less spend hours at the keyboard. Stress! (There's gotta be a better way to write.) Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay So, for me, if 2020 is

Best Ever Excuses for Not Writing

The plaque at the former Nicholson's Cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland, where, in 1993,  J. K. Rowling wrote much of her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in longhand on paper tablets. If you're going to make 2020 your best writing year ever, first there's something you'll have to do. You'll have to overcome all those excuses you come up with every year to explain why you're not writing. Every writer knows the drill. You've got the perfect writing day planned—snack stash full, hubby on a weekend fishing trip with his Dad and brother, children on an overnight playdate with their cousins. You're going to make that deadline, or you're going to start your novel or at least get a couple of thousand words written. You're going to make forward progress. And then the cat throws up on your grandmother's Oriental rug, the kid across the street hits a home run that comes sailing through one of your windows, a closed window of

How I'm Planning for My Best Writing Year Ever

The first thing I had to do to make 2020 my best writing year ever was to attend my last few physical therapy appointments and diligently do the follow-up exercises needed to fully recover from my November 11th knee replacement surgery. So far, so good. For the first couple of months, I spent most of my down time reading. I knocked off nearly twenty novels, mostly thrillers, and a couple of nonfiction books as well. That felt pretty good, especially when combined with cups of dark roast coffee or hot chocolate. Pixabay However, the lollygagging had to come to an end because I have big writing plans for 2020. All my priority writing To Dos involve finishing my unfinished projects.   That’s why my guiding word for 2020 is FINISH ! Because I’m a veteran procrastinator, I often seek inspiration from others to get down to work and do what I said I was going to do. Most often, I read blog posts for encouragement and for new ideas on how to approach work. I have my favorites:

Writing Workshops and Conference January to March 2020

Whether a one day session, one week conference, or a month-long writing workshop writing related events are a good way to commune with other writers. They are opportunities to network and get your name out there. In some instances, you can meet and mingle with editors and agents. Some offer critiques or pitching sessions. Nowhere will you find a higher concentration of introverts enjoying each other's company. Local conferences are a good place to meet potential critique groups or recruit members. Some are free. Some require a fee. Some are more social than others. Many are for new writers, but a few dig deep into craft. You should choose an event that speaks to your needs and desires. January 9-19, 2020 – Seaside, Oregon The Pacific University Residency Writers Conferenc e in Seaside, Oregon January 13-17, 2020  Key West Literary Seminar and Writers' Workshop Program , Key Wes

2020 The Best Writing Year Ever?

Another year, another opportunity to get things done. Sometimes it is hard to find the motivation, others hard to find the time. Many days it is both. I've certainly been in the doldrums for a few years, drifting aimless, questioning what is worth my time as it flies by increasingly faster. In the past it came down to: 1. Finding the project that made me excited to sit down and do it. 2. Learning things and adding skills when I hit snags I couldn't unravel. 3. Carving out time without distractions. 4. Oddly enough: finding the motivation when I felt I had it down pat. Once I feel I've got the hang of something I tend to want a new challenge. So in terms of 2020 and making it the best writing year ever, I suggest first examining your motives. What drives you to write? Find something that excites you. Doesn't matter what you were working on, unless you have a publisher waiting for it. Do the thing that makes you eager to get back to it. What do you strugg

Best Writing Year Ever Because...

This one took some thought. One reference work notes that only a person who is strong survives to the age of eighty. Having passed that milestone and more a while back, I've observed strength and even growth in my case—not physical, but rather emotional—a deeper, more sensitized perspective of people in general and my characters in particular. How does this affect my writing? Let's talk about the characters. Since starting my first novel more than 20 years ago, I've watched them evolve into three-dimensional people my readers can relate to. Unfortunately, this didn't happen overnight; hence, there have been a few revisions. Lessons have come from the works of others. Some fiction pieces I've read over the years, for example, housed persons I could neither empathize with nor understand their behavior. My characters must never leave readers with the feeling of incomplete development and loose ends those characters left with me. Then their authors began pu

Making It The Best Writing Year Ever

Before looking ahead to my hopes for 2020 when it comes to my writing, I want to share a couple of highlights from last year. While  I can't say that 2019 was a great writing year, there have been a couple of notable highlights. First was the publication of the fictionalized version of my mother's life, Evelyn Evolving: A Story of Real Life , which was published in May by Next Chapter Publishing. When the book was first released, it was a number one bestseller at Amazon in several categories, including women's biography and young adult biography. Since then, it has flirted with a number one spot off and on, and has often been in the top ten. Seeing that little tan best-seller tag on the book's Amazon page always made me smile. We dream often of having a best-selling book. And while this wasn't as prestigious as having a New York Times best-selling book, it certainly did this writer's heart good. Not just from a professional standpoint, but also knowing th

The One Thing You Need to Do for the #BestWritingYearEver It's easy to make resolutions and proclamations in the new year. This year will be my Best Writing Year Ever! Alas, that statement will die as quickly as your weight-loss promises. Why? Because the statement has no focus. It's not broken into achievable steps. That's where the work really begins, and where the objective becomes daunting. It's easier if you break your focus down to the simplest denominator. What is the one thing you can do right now to make this the Best Writing Year Ever? Let's try a short exercise, just for fun and practice. No pressures. No commitments. Think about these points: If you could only work on ONE writing project, what would it be? If you could pick just ONE indispensable tool for working on that project, what would that be? If you could choose only ONE time and place to work, when and where? Finally, who best would support you in this ONE focused project? Now take a deep breath, and simply as

Share This Writing Meme

Welcome to 2020! This year we have an extra day to finish a new book. What are your writing plans to make it the Best Writing Year Ever? Please leave us a comment. Feel free to right-click on this meme to save it to your computer and to share it on your social media sites.