Tag Archives: writing process

Want to start and finish your first, fifth, or tenth novel in 2017? Read on!

Previously, I have written about 1st drafts, and I shared my best suggestions for finishing draft 1 of your novel within 3 to 6 months (without losing your mind). Your 1st draft is the one Anne Lamott aptly dubs the “shitty first draft.” Give yourself permission to work quickly with forward momentum. When your 1st draft is complete: Set it aside for days, weeks, maybe even a month or more. Give yourself time to let it go and separate yourself. When you come back to the story you Continue reading →

Writing 101: The Mountain as Metaphor

Not many of us wake in the morning and think: “I’m going to climb Mt. Everest.” Ascending a twenty-nine-thousand-foot peak requires a skillset hardened by years of dedication and training. The same holds true for writing a book. It’s not done on a whim. You don’t cast a glance at the Toni Morrison novels on your bookshelf and think, “A Nobel Prize in Literature? Sure, I can do that.” Now, this metaphor might be a bit of a stretch, but I was thinking about it while Continue reading →

Light and Deep

I believe that a writer should live lightly and deeply: lightly, by not being weighed down too heavily with the trappings of life; and deeply, by diving into each moment and experiencing all the terror and beauty it has to offer. Comfort-zone, shmomfort-zone. We’re called to live on the ragged edge. More than two decades ago when I was a college sophomore in Minnesota, I found myself feeling walled in by the expectations that went with college life: to live a safe, comfortable life and Continue reading →

Write Smarter, not Harder

I don’t work nine to five. Never have. The closest I’ve come was when I worked nights thirty years ago when I was in high school, cleaning grocery stores’ floors in the summer. I guess it was sort of from nine at night until five in the morning. Made for long days when I was trying to practice basketball in the afternoons for the upcoming season. I’ve been a freelance writer and speaker since 1996. My friends think it’s great that I don’t have a Continue reading →