November is National Novel Writing Month

It’s a big job, writing a novel, but NaNoWriMo turns a daunting ambition into a celebration, hundreds of thousands of writers coming together to cheer each other on through this mad dash at creation. 50,000 words. 30 days. It’s absolutely doable. Except, my head would explode if I started something new right now. Between seasonal depression and holiday angst, I feel like I’d be setting myself up for failure. But maybe that’s a good reason to try a little harder this month. Not having a new project to embark on or any hope of writing 50,000 words of anything before November … Continue reading November is National Novel Writing Month

The Writing Community

Been a quiet fall so far. I’ve been itching for chats with our writing group but there aren’t many of us at the moment. In lieu of meetings I’ve been sampling writing podcasts and reading every article on writing that crosses my path. It’s not the same, but I’m learning a lot. The internet is the best thing to ever happen to writers. When we formed this group last October, Twitter had for years been my substitute for a writing group. I’d followed a few writers so I’d know when they published new books or stories, and suddenly my feed … Continue reading The Writing Community

What’s the Point?

This is sort of our favorite topic these days. Recently someone asked me, “How’s the writing going? Have you published yet?” We won’t discuss my awkward handling of that conversation. Instead I’ll give you the answer I wish I’d given: “It’s going well, and no, but that’s not why I’m doing this.” People assume things. “Don’t forget us when you’re a bestselling author!” said a relative I’d never met before, when I said I wanted to write books someday. “It’s not very practical. You need a good backup plan,” warned a former high school teacher when she heard I was … Continue reading What’s the Point?

We Need to Talk About Writer’s Block

I don’t know if it’s shame, denial, or something else that makes us cling to the concept of writer’s block when life provides so many real roadblocks to writing. We can’t set aside work, family, and other responsibilities; we can’t control how illness, disaster, and trauma swallow up our energy and skills. Why enable more barriers we can’t control? Maybe artistic pursuits are so romanticized that we don’t like to admit how much hard work, patience, and failure goes into them, especially when we don’t always know what our efforts will yield. How do we excuse the days spent staring … Continue reading We Need to Talk About Writer’s Block

Looking Forward

Now that you’re through the crush of finals and have (hopefully) had a chance to relax, it’s a good time to think about your summer writing goals. It can be hard to imagine finding time to write while working, taking summer classes, or planning vacations, but during the last two semesters we found that we were better able to make the most of our scant writing time when we had other writers to encourage us. The writing group was a source of inspiration, encouragement, accountability, even commiseration when needed. Whatever the topic, our discussions always left us inspired and eager … Continue reading Looking Forward

Resolve, Review, Persist

New Year’s resolutions tend to start gathering dust around February, and the artistic kind can be especially difficult to justify, especially when things get busy. But there’s no shame in starting over, and in fact there’s something to be said for not even starting until February. Whether you’re a month into a new habit and reassessing your goals for the year or just starting yours out, here’s a reminder of why you made those writing resolutions in the first place, and permission to take them seriously, in case you need it: In 2019: Persist, Persist, Persist.   Continue reading Resolve, Review, Persist