Posts in Your Writing Process
Five Tips For Finding Writing Motivation

You can only call yourself a writer if you actually write, right?

Often, we writers have the best intentions to make time for our practices, but those plans fall through. Day jobs, family, social lives, and making dinner have all been known to make us go from thinking “I’m going to write today!” to “Maybe tomorrow…”

So, how do you make sure you actually sit down to write instead of continually postponing it?

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How Critical Reading Can Improve Your Writing

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” 

When I first read Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, this quote cut me to the bone. I wanted desperately to stake my claim on the title of writer, but I wasn’t doing much to set myself up for success. I wrote here and there and maybe read a book or two, but I felt myself too hindered by all of life’s demands to truly pursue what it took to write a novel.

In truth, I had plenty of time to read, write, and improve my writing skills, but making the time to actively work toward our creative goals is a topic for another day. Today, I want to focus on why it’s so important to read with a critical eye. After all, doing so may just be the key to coming into your own as a writer.

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How to Maximize Your Writing Time Like a Pro

Frustrated with your productivity as a writer?

Whether you’re struggling to find the time to write or failing to utilize the time you already have, today I’m going to share a few tips to help you level up the hours you spend creating. I won’t say these tips are universal, but I do think you’ll find them helpful. So whether you’re a newbie, an established writer, or a published author, let’s talk about maximizing the time we have to bring our stories to life!

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How to Overcome Shiny New Idea Syndrome & Find Writing Focus

Are you easily distracted by new story ideas?

There’s a reason it took me over two years to finish a draft of my first novel, and that reason is Shiny New Idea Syndrome. Every several thousand words into my book, I’d conjure up a new way to tell the same story and scrap everything I’d written to start fresh, convinced that my new idea was better than the last. Sound familiar, writer?

If you frequently find yourself tempted by new story ideas (and have often failed to finish a draft because of this), today is the day to break the vicious cycle. Let’s talk about how we can filter pesky plot bunnies to better find focus in our writing lives today.

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Eleven Tips for Creating a Feel-Free Writing Routine

Building a consistent creative practice is key to achieving our writing goals.

But with all the chaos of life, establishing a writing routine is often far from easy. With a scarcity of time, energy, and motivation alike, it’s easy to guilt ourselves for skipping writing sessions or outputting uninspired work. But rather than give into creative blues, how can we build writing routines that leave us feeling free? Let’s break down my top tips in today’s article, writers!

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Finding the Novel Outlining Process that Works for You

There’s nothing more nebulous than trying to produce a decent outline for your novel.

With dozens of outlining methods to choose from, all of which seem to work well for some writers but not for others, defining the outlining process that works best for you and your stories can be more than a little intimidating. How much detail do you need to include? Is outlining really necessary? Isn't there a better way? 

Writers, it's time to cut through the chaos and get down to business. Let's find the outlining method that works best for each of us in today's breakdown!

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Is a Daily Writing Routine Right for You?

“Real writers write every day.”

Unfortunately, that’s a sentiment you’ll often hear in the writing world, and for a time, I subscribed to it myself. And while I still maintain a daily writing routine, I regret the days I spent telling other writers they should to do the same.

Every writer’s process is unique, and what works for one—or even many—isn’t guaranteed to work for you. And that’s okay! The important thing is to find the writing techniques that work best with your time, your skills, and your stories. Unsure if a daily writing routine would be a good fit for your writing process?

Allow me to share the pros and cons of my own experience with a daily writing routine today!

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My Top 5 Tools to Get You Writing

Ultimately, it's the writing that makes the writer, but that doesn't mean you can't set yourself up for success.

Over the years, I've discovered that the best way to have great productivity and an easy-to-manage writing process is to set myself up with good, reliable writing tools. It may seem odd to some that I use more than just a Word document to get the job done, but I'm a firm believer in not settling.

If there are tools out there that can make my writing process simpler, faster, and more inspired, then I want them—and I'd encourage you to get them a shot as well. Today, I'm sharing my top 10 tools that will get you writing like the #writeboss you long to be. Shall we dive in?

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How to Rock NaNoWriMo This November

This article was nearly titled “How to Win NaNoWriMo.”

But life isn’t all about winning. It’s about doing things you enjoy, challenging yourself to grow, and putting forth your very best effort, no matter the end result. So let’s toss the idea of "winning" NaNoWriMo out the window and focus on having our very best NaNoWriMo experiences, shall we? 

But what is NaNoWriMo, you ask? Ah, yes. Ahem. That would be a good place to start, wouldn’t it?

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Exploring The Five Layers of Pre-Writing (with guest writer Karah Rachelle)

Pre-writing is one of my favorites parts of the writing process.

I know that statement may have some of you grimacing in revulsion, but hey! We're all different. And that's the beautiful thing about being a writer. There is no one right way to write, which means you have all the freedom in the world to figure out a writing process that works for you.

I've shared a bit about my own pre-writing process in the past (as well as through The Pre-Write Project), but my process certainly isn't the only process.

Today, I'm so excited to welcome author Karah Rachelle to the blog. I loved getting to explore her pre-writing process and gleaning a few tips & tricks that I plan to add to my own process, and I can't wait for you to do the same!

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How & Why You Should Create a Writer's Mission Statement

Every week, on Wednesdays at 9pm Eastern, I host a Twitter chat called #StorySocial.

I co-founded this chat back in June 2014 with my friend and fellow author Jenny Bravo, and it’s been an amazing way to connect with writers worldwide ever since. The #StorySocial crowd has become a tight-knit group over the years, though we always love having new writers join us (hint, hint!). But I digress...

In all our weeks of chatting, I don't think we've ever had such strong feedback as we did a few weeks ago, when our topic for the night was Writers’ Mission Statements. Several chatters even went so far as to call it their favorite discussion yet. For that reason, I thought it’d be a great idea to cover this topic in full here on the blog. Sound like a plan?

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Four Steps to Overcome Writing Procrastination

I've met a variety of writers since joining the online writing community, and I have to admit: I'm mad jealous of those who look forward to every single writing session with reckless abandon.

I am not one of those writers. And I know I'm not alone.

For a number of us, writing isn't always the most joy-inducing task in the world, no matter how much we love our stories. For any number of reasons, sitting down to write can be difficult for some of us. And oftentimes, procrastination wins out.

The good news? Writing procrastination is completely normal.

You should never treat yourself like less of a writer because you lack the motivation to tackle your next writing session. Like I said, there are a number of reasons why procrastination may plague you.

We're going to talk about each of these reasons, as well as how to stop procrastination in its tracks, in today's article. So let's get going!

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Breaking Down Five Keys to Writing Success

We all want to be successful, don't we?

We want to be happy in our work. To be motivated and inspired, always ready to write. We want to find as much time to focus on our stories as we can, and we want others to love and support our stories when we share them. And let's be real: most of us want to make a bit of cash by publishing our books, too.

Success. It's a shiny concept, but also hard-earned. And because success often seems so distant and unattainable, the desire for it can lead us to place undue pressure on ourselves.

If I only worked hard enough, I could…
If I only wrote like that author, I might…
Am I even good enough to be a writer?

The pressure to succeed can easily lend itself to doubts, fears, and a whole lot of stress. It can even make writing feel like a chore, rather than the hobby we once enjoyed—which is of course no bueno. You know what I mean? Here's the good news: You can find writing success. And you can do it without all of those nasty side effects, too. But how?

Let's dive into today's five keys to writing success!

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Three Ways to Integrate Scene Cards Into Your Writing Process

Do you prefer working with tangible notes as you write?

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of hand-writing my work in the slightest. I complete nearly all of my brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing in Scrivener. That said, I recently had the opportunity to try out printed scene cards courtesy of my friend and fellow author Jennifer Bull, and I had a blast playing around with all of their possibilities.

How did I use the scene cards Jenn designed as I worked? Let’s discuss three ways to integrate them into your writing process today!

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Exploring The Four Benefits of Pre-Writing (with guest writer Kaitlin Hillerich)

Before you even sit down to type the first word of your novel, there’s some groundwork you need to do first.

You need to spend time developing your characters, world, plot, and doing lots (and lots) of research. This is known as the pre-writing stage, and it’s something we don’t talk about often enough as writers.

“But I don’t want to do more work!” you lament.

Shhhh. Just accept it now and it will make your life loads easier. Trust me. What I’ve discovered after several novels and years of writing is that the time you invest in your pre-writing stage will determine how smoothly the writing process goes. And you want it to go as smoothly as possible, right? (Hint: just say yes).

I feel like a lot of new writers think that you come up with some ideas and then just dive right into your story. I mean, sure, you could do it that way. But you’re just making things harder on yourself.

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A Simple Two-Step Method For Finishing Your Novel

I don’t have a strong internal drive, even to do the things I want to do.

I often struggle with demotivation and frequently rely upon a plethora of productivity techniques to keep me moving toward my goals and dreams, especially those related to my writing. If you find yourself in a similar place, allow me to share with you the simple two-step method that helps me make long-term progress through daily and weekly actions.

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How to Research Your Novel Effectively

Whether you love it or hate it, researching a novel is no easy task.

The good news is that the research process doesn't have to be a pluck-out-your-own-eyeballs kind of event. By getting savvy in our research techniques and creating an epic plan of attack, we can say goodbye to the endless web-surfing cycle of doom and hello to focused, intentional, and highly effective research — and it doesn't even have to be a bore!

But where in the world do we begin in tackling such a task? And how can we apply the research we've done to our stories? I'll break down everything you need to know in today's article, writer.

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Pantsers vs. Plotters & Other Literary Lingo You Should Know

Like any industry or creative hobby, the writing world comes with its fair share of lingo.

When I first began learning more about the craft of writing, I came across a bevy of words and phrases whose definitions left me feeling clueless. Pantsers versus plotters? Deus ex machina? Exposition, epilogue, epigraph? It took me far too long to feel in-the-know as a new writer. If you find yourself in a similar position now, let’s take some time today to define the popular literary lingo you need to know!

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