Tag Archives: The Writer’s Devotional

Monday Motivator: A Writer’s Essential To-Do List

The Monday Motivator, as it says down at the bottom there, is a quote posted on Mondays to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers. Today’s quote is a little different. It’s a long quote, very, very, very long.  More than 2,500 words long. But motivate? Encourage? Inspire?  Oh yes, it most definitely does.

25 THINGS WRITERS SHOULD START DOING (ASAFP) is from TerribleMinds.com, the blog of writer Chuck Wendig. His “About” page warns that the site is unmercifully profane. I don’t know that I’d call it unmerciful, but he is a little saucy with the language, so if  your delicate sensibilities can’t take it, don’t visit.  If, however, you want to read a fantastic list that goes far beyond the perfunctory Writer’s Digest pats on the head and gentle nudges, you must click over and see what Mr. Wendig has to say.

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The Monday Motivator is a quote posted on Mondays to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote you’d like to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Making the Time to be Quiet and Write

You write by sitting down
and writing.
Bernard Malamud

Sounds easy enough, but those of us who write know there’s more to it than that.  Endless distractions can pull us away from our writing.  Then a few days, turn into weeks, months, or more of not writing, and our initial excitement turns to dread.

The only way to break that cycle is to follow Mr. Malamud’s advice:

Sit down and write.

If you have a hard time motivating yourself to do that, join The Silent Writer’s Collective for a Silent Write-In, a weekly online writing retreat that helps writers put aside distractions and write.

By committing to a group effort, (think Weight Watchers or NaNoWriMo) many writers find it’s easier to stay motivated and reach goals.  Writing, as we’ve heard ad nauseum, is a solitary endeavor, but sharing our efforts with a group makes it easier, and can help us reach our writing goals.

Our next retreat is tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 17, at 9 PM EST (US), if there’s interest, we’ll also meet at 9 PM PST.  We start on time with a minute or two of hellos, then the “buzzer” sounds and we start writing.  You can work on your own writing project, or use one of the provided writing prompts or exercises to get started.

We meet via Twitter using the hashtag #SilentWriters. If you aren’t on Twitter, we have a group on Facebook. If you don’t have either, just join in on your own at 9, and know you’re not working out there on your own.

For more information, check out the SWC FAQs.

Monday Motivator: Philip Roth

“I turn sentences around.
That’s my life. I write a sentence and then I turn it around.
Then I look at it and turn it around again…”

— E.I. Lonoff
in “The Ghost Writer” by Philip Roth

That’s the glamorous life of a writer.  Writing, revising, repeating.  It’s also what I’ve been caught up in for the past five or so months … turning sentences around, then around again.  I like to think I’m making  progress, but sometimes I  wonder.  That’s another part of the glamorous life of a writer: Uncertainty.

The Monday Motivator is meant to motivate and inspire, but my commentary doesn’t seem very inspiring does it.  In fact, it feels pretty negative.  Maybe that’s why I turned to my blog today for the first time in months.  This writer is in need of some blogosphere love.   How about it folks?  Lay it on me! Share a tip or trick you use to keep going when the words have turned you inside, outside and upside down?

♦ ♦ ♦

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted on Mondays to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote you’d like to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

 

Persistence Pays Off for Writers

Dani Shapiro says writers' tenacity reminds her of a terrier with a bone, but it has its benefits.

In an essay posted on The Inner Writer, bestselling author Dani Shapiro writes about how difficult it has become for new writers to succeed in the publishing world today.  With a focus on blockbusters and bestsellers, she wonders how writers will be able to take the time and put in the effort needed “to create  something original and resonant and true?”

For most writers, the writing life is not the red carpet life.  There are no lush scenes of privilege and excess.  What writers get instead, she writes “is this miserable trifecta: uncertainty, rejection, disappointment.”

Woo hoo! Where do I sign up?

 

Ms. Shapiro’s insight is discouraging, but it’s also realistic.  It’s a tough door to break through, but there is still room in the market for the newcomers.  By focusing on the writing itself, and not on publishing, perhaps we can we can find the courage and the dogged tenacity to keep going when the rejections and doubts start piling up.  That’s when we’ll find that the risks are worth the rewards.

To read the essay, please visit:  A writing career becomes harder to scale.

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Your Brain on Write is a series of posts
exploring scientific, psychological
and cognitive aspects of writing and creativity.
Click here to see additional posts in the series.

Resources:  The Inner Writer, Dani Shapiro, The Daily Post


Monday Motivator: Dr. Seuss

Image reblogged from IM NOT TRYING TO IMPRESS YOU BUT I’M THE DOCTOR at Tumblr

 

Dr. Seuss, whose birthday is Wednesday (March 2, 1904), was the author of 44 children’s books, including “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in the Hat,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

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The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  If you have a favorite quote to share, let me know and I’ll post it here.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Dr. Seuss, The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: Daddy’s Home!

Image courtesy of  “The US Army (no real name given)” on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a journal entry, a short story, a poem, or a blog post.  Maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope  the picture inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Beating Writer’s Block and Six New Prompts

The Silent Writers’ online writing retreat is held every Tuesday at 9 pm EST and PST.  The writing prompts below will help you get started if you don’t have a project to work on.  If you do have something you want/need to write, but the words aren’t coming, check out How to Beat Writer’s Block on the aptly named, Writer’s Blog.  The post features tips on dealing with writer’s block that are easy to use, and more importantly, they’re an effective way to get past obstacles that keep us from reaching our writing goals.

Now for tonight’s writing prompts:

  1. From PW.org: Fiction and Poetry prompts
  2. From Writerly Life: A photo prompt, “Untitled”
  3. From Verbal VerbosityThe 100 Words Challenge Prompt
  4. From me: A photo prompt, “New Treats”
  5. From @Selorian on Twitter: #storystarters
  6. From Plinky: Quickie questions to ponder

The Silent Writers online writing retreat is open to all writers who want to commit a minimum of one hour to writing.  If you’re interested in participating, join us tonight at 9 EST and PST on Twitter or Facebook.

For more information, visit the Silent Writers Collective.

Resources: Writer’s BlogThe Daily Post.

Monday Motivator: Frank McCourt

The Monday Motivator is a quote posted each week to encourage, inspire, and motivate writers of all skill levels and across genres.  Let me know if you have a favorite quote you’d like to share.  Click here to see past Monday Motivators.

Resources: Frank McCourt The Daily Post

A Thousand Words: New Treats

Image courtesy of Alison Scarpulla on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A Thousand Words is a photo prompt posted every Sunday.  Maybe the image will inspire you to write a journal entry, a poem, a blog post.  Maybe it will inspire you to go exploring, or maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the photo.   Whatever your response, I hope you enjoy the picture and that it inspires you to some sort of creative zen.

If you write something based on the image, feel free to share a link in the comments section.   Also feel free to use the photo on your blog, just be sure to give proper credit, which I will always include in the post or the caption.

Resources: Creative Commons, Flickr, The Daily Post

Creativity Research Meets the Inner Critic

If your inner critic keeps you from being as creative you’d like, consider the brick.

No, not for bashing the little bastard, but for stimulating original ideas.

Toronto neuroscientist Oshin Vartanian asks research volunteers what they can do with a brick.  As they go from the obvious to the not-so-obvious uses, he studies what happens in their brains.

This article, Neuroscientists try to unlock the origins of creativity, from Toronto’s Globe and Mail, examines how by exploring creativity, researchers have started to look at the relationship between creative success and our ability to silence the inner critic.

We all have an inner critic.  Some of us have more than one.  The voice can be loud and abusive, or quiet, persistent, and nagging.  How we deal (or don’t deal) with that nasty nitpicker affects how successful we are in allowing our creativity to develop and thrive.  Of course, not all inner critics are harmful.  Sometimes they help us set higher goals for ourselves or reach higher levels of excellence.

As researchers continue to study the confounding world of creativity, or what one scientist calls “a big muddled mess,” it’s fascinating to learn about what they’re discovering.

Read more …

Resources:  The Globe and Mail, The Daily Post