Huffington Post publishes thoughts from 18 writers on the work ahead.
from the New Yorker magazine.
“This is precisely the time that artists go to work.There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”
More concrete resources: take action on what you feel strongly about – Slate has a great list HERE
It’s that time again:
Time to get ready to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The marathon for first drafts, the inimitable NaNoWriMo. Nano is the writing event that taught me that “I can’t run a marathon, but I can write one!”
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Some resources to help you get ready:
If you’re not a novelist, non-fiction and other genres are more than welcome to the party.
Last year AWWG had at least 5 participants, and several members used all the inspiration to advance existing projects. You can make it work for you! There will be Write-ins several times a week in various locations, and lots of online encouragement.
Ask me about NaNoWriMo!
Good news this month! My Storyweaving Playbook: Answer the Call to Adventure, which was published in October, 2015 as a paperback book, is now on Amazon, as an e-book! (Only $9.99)
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The second edition of this game-changing workbook!
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Wendy MacNaughton from Brain Pickings
Here we are again, the symbolic (or real) beginning of the school year, and the revv up for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).
Do you know what your writing schedule will be?
Check out this great blog from Brain Pickings!
The summary of Kellogg’s findings about the psychology of effective writing habits might inspire you!
Here’s a taste:
“Location and physical environment also play a role in maintaining a sustained and productive workflow. Bob Dylan, for instance, extolled the virtues of being able to “put yourself in an environment where you can completely accept all the unconscious stuff that comes to you from your inner workings of your mind.” Reviewing the research, Kellogg echoes Faulkner’s memorable assertion that “the only environment the artist needs is whatever peace, whatever solitude, and whatever pleasure he can get at not too high a cost” and notes that writers’ dedicated workspaces tend to involve solitude and quiet, although “during the apprenticeship phase of a writer’s career, almost any environment is workable” — most likely a hybrid function of youth’s high tolerance for distraction and the necessity of sharing space earlier in life when the luxury of privacy is unaffordable.
But the key psychological function of such dedicated environments isn’t so much superstitious ritualization — an effort to summon the muse through the elaborate juju of putting everything in its right place — as cognitive cueing. Kellogg considers the usefulness of a special space used solely for writing, which cultivates an “environment that cues the desired behavior.”
Here are the links
to a variety of treasures shared at Summer camp:
Delicious Tea goodies at Jo’s house for Tuesday’s book discussion
Dr. Judith Briles
, host of the Monday Author & Publishing teleconference. Free book download, Useful blog, Events & more
Books recommended by AWWG members – a new page we can keep a running list of recs!
Movie: Midnight in Paris 2011, directed by Woody Allen, at his witty best. Cameos by a who’s-who of 1920’s Paris, this charming and silly-sweet film is lovely to look at. Oscar for Best Screenplay.
Profiling systems to consider using to understand your characters
TJ Ritter’s author web site, including how to get her book, etc.
I don’t have any handouts from Friday, when we did:
- Tarot for Writers
- Writing Great Dialog
- Reading Your Work Aloud
But I have pictures! Go see the entire set at my Flickr AWWG album, and send me more if you have them, from any of our events!
According to a story in the Guardian published last Saturday, a huge archive of handwritten records about slaves who were newly freed in the 1860s is now coming available. Not only can you access the records for research purposes but you can also volunteer to help digitize them.
Here’s the article:
“A major project run by several organisations is beginning to digitise the 1.5 million handwritten records from the Freedmen’s Bureau, which feature more than four million names and are held by various federal bodies, for full online access.
All the records are expected to be online by late 2016, to coincide with the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington.”
And here is a video about the Freedman’s bureau and a link to project, where you can help enter the handwritten records and digitize this incredible archive.
A writing coach without a red pen.
Check out this great article about William Zinsser, brilliant editor and writing coach, 90 years old and still helping writers! He says it so well — as a writing coach myself, I wish everyone knew the process could be made so much more easy!
People come to him in stages of typed-out paralysis, stalled, uncertain whether they have written too much or too little. He tries to help them organize their thoughts by condensing, reducing — learning what not to include.
“By talking to them, by finding out who they are, I bring out their own personality,” he says. “And ease their mind, for God’s sake.”
Interested in Writing Coaching? You’re worth it, and so is your writing!
Find out more at my website, or email me at email@example.com
It’s the first thing a reader sees, and the ONLY thing many readers take in, so headlines are pretty critical to your success as a writer. Here are some resources for great headlines for bloggers and journalists. It’s chock full of links to help you improve your headlines.
Here’s the article that spawned this post: The Key to Writing Great Headlines, with details on crafting:
- How-to headlines – “How to Get Rich Writing Cookbooks”
- Lists – “7 Ways to Clean Your Cat”
- Secrets Revealed – “Big Deduction Secret the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know”
- Fast & Easy – “Quickest Way to Make a Fast Million”
According to advertising godfather David Ogilvy, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Check out our new Prompts & Exercises page, here by public demand, a place for the current monthly exercise for short form writing, and other prompts, exercises, and challenges.
Go check out the new page! And please send me any intriguing writer’s prompts and challenges you come across, by email of comment.
PROMPTS & CHALLENGES PAGE
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