Returning after a hiatus

It’s been 10 months since I’ve last updated this site.

I’m excited to be returning to both my book project, and adding more content to this blog and resource. I hope to explore the challenges of sustaining a creative drive and discipline of writing after experience some major life issues, and also the experience of reviving a dormant draft. Continue reading

How to be creative in the morning (even when you are not a morning person)

One challenge when writing your first novel (or completing any major project) is finding the right time to do it. I had the illusion that I’d pop on the ultimate writing playlist, sit on the couch, pour a cup of coffee, and the words would come flooding out. Sounds reasonable, right?

In order to execute a creative project, you have to have at least one ounce of creativity when you get down to it. Most people have a time of the day where they feel most creative. But what happens when your schedule is so packed that you physically can’t take advantage of that time? Continue reading

Why you should finish what you started (and how to do it)

All it takes is one “break” from a passion project to completely lose steam.

For me, that break was a month and a half of no writing. My writing project was moving along. I established a steady writing routine. I had a good sense of my characters, who they were, and why they existed. My words-per-day quota was being met. My voice was coming alive. Then, for various reasons, I left part one of my three part novel on the digital shelf to whither away.

Has this happened to you? Do you have an unfinished manuscript, or even short story laying around? How about an outline of a painting that has yet to be filled in? An amazing business idea that never got off the ground? Don’t fret – this post is for you. Continue reading

Back in action [Sprint 4]

Phew! I’m back. Sorry for disappearing like that.

Long story short – I took the month of July off from writing, and this project altogether. The reasoning is mixed – mostly a mix of personal and work commitments that just prevented me from putting 100% into writing and maintaining a consistent routine. I plan to write about what to do when you can’t write in a future post. I’m pretty satisfied with how I handled things (though I probably could have / should have posted a quick status update on the blog.)

So, I’m back in action. I have a lot of words on paper and plenty more left to write. Here’s the goal for this sprint:

  • Redefine my writing routine. Adapt to life changes and prepare for the future.
  • Read (…listen to on audiobook) Bird by Bird, a classic in the field.
  • Complete the next chapter in the book.

That’s about it. I have a lot of catching up to do, but some exciting new things on the horizon that I’m excited to share.

Have you ever had to pause your projects? What did you do? How did you get back on track? Let me know in the comments.

[Book Review] On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

The world is comprised of stories. Some are good, some bad. Most are poorly told, others are exceptionally told. Not to get totally meta on you, but there is always a story behind the story. Something that motivated and guided its conception and creation. Where does all of this come from? How do we, as writers, understand and extract these tales and make them into something extraordinary? Here’s how… Continue reading

Building a word count spreadsheet and dashboard

Writing a book can be a daunting venture. How long should it be? What should it be about? When will I find time to work on it? Is it going to be any good?

These are all valid questions, and the answers (or lack of) can be intimidating. I realized early on in my process that I needed to employ the same goal-based metrics-driven strategies that I know to be successful from my project management background. I’ve developed an outrageous spreadsheet and dashboard to keep me on track, and I’m going to show you how to do the same for your own project. Continue reading

[Book Review] Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

If you intend to write a book about writing, you certainly must practice what you preach. And if you intend to break the rules (like starting a sentence with the word and,) you must preach that it’s okay to do so.

If Ann Handley is the preacher, then consider Everybody Writes the Sermon on the Content Mount. After reading this book (twice,) I’ve become a converted follower, and here’s why: Continue reading