What’s On Your Desk

(My inspiration for this post comes from a list penned by Anne Wayman.)

What’s on your desk?        LT on chair

  • My computer, a small Dell laptop
  • A cat (just about always)
  • A yellow legal pad with notes on it
  • Two books about writing
  • The little journal in which I keep my to-do lists and make notes in all week
  • A pen. Or often several.

My desk is small, like an old-fashioned letter-writing desk, and I like it that way. Until a few months ago, I worked at a massive Ikea desk that had all kinds of room on it.  Too much room, because give me a flat surface and I will stack paper on it. And that is exactly what I did. I stacked paper and books and notebooks and files and all kinds of things all over it.

This did not make me happy.  It cluttered up my mind and made me feel guilty. And then last summer, I started carrying my computer outside every morning and working at the table on the back deck.  Most mornings, it was just me and my laptop, with maybe a pad of paper for notes and a pen, nothing more. I realized I loved this and that what I really needed was a small desk so that I would not have the problem of so much room to stack things on.

For the most part this has worked. The areas surrounding me have crap all over them, but it stays out of my line of vision and doesn’t distract me quite so much.  I positioned this desk so that it is facing into my office with bookshelves behind me, and windows to each side.  My last desk faced the wall.  I like this better because I’m also facing the door and it always feels weird to have your back to it.

I find it amusing that it took me so many years to figure out what worked for me.  And it is also fun to think about how many different places I’ve written. The kitchen counter, the dining room table, a corner of the bedroom, you name it.

Where do you write? Does this location work for you? Why or why not?

Committing the Cardinal Writing Sin

manzana_original_adan_241995_lForgive me, father for I have sinned am sinning.

I am committing one of the cardinal writing sins.

I am three-quarters of the way through the first draft of my next novel, and rather than writing all the way to the end, I am starting over.

I hear your gasps.  I see your open mouths.  I understand your shock and dismay.  Because I feel it, too.

Here’s the story.  I am known to expound on the virtues of the writing process loudly and often, at least among certain groups.  By the writing process, I mean this the following.  You do some prep work, such as character dossiers and a loose outline, and you write your first draft (also known as the discovery draft) from start to finish, emphasis on the finish.  And then you ponder and make notes and ponder some more, and return to the manuscript and write the second draft.  You rinse and repeat as many times as necessary, ending with the revision draft, in which you concentrate on word choice, deleting adverbs, and grammar.  All the little things.  Then, and only then, do you consider your manuscript complete.bulgaria_sinner_saint_51020_h

Any deviation from this process is frowned on in my world.

But here I am doing it.  I am planning to launch into the second draft before completing the first.  I have good reasons, I swear it! From the start, I’ve known this draft was lacking in everything a few things, such as, oh, voice and plot and interesting characters.  I started it on a whim while in France last year, and had written several chapters before I really started thinking about where I was going with it (do not try this at home).  I knew I had issues and yet I liked the main character and her arc a lot and so I plunged on.

But the antagonist was a soft, sweet Mama-bear type.  And the love interest was too perfect.  And I had a whole sub-plot going that really didn’t combine with the main plot.  At all. Sigh.  While in Nashville last week, I did a ton of journaling and writing about, which is my way of thinking through issues with my fiction.  And I came up with ideas that pop the whole story open and make it all sparkly and shiny.  Ideas that I love.  But my antagonist is totally different now, and the love interest’s imperfections make him a new character.  That stupid sub-plot is gone and there’s a whole new location.

Often, you can come up with ideas for big changes in your novel and keep writing as if you wrote the first three-quarters of the story with those ideas in place.  But the changes that I have in mind seem to me to be so innate that I need to begin again.

So that’s what I’m going to do.  HOWEVER, I just received rewrite notes from an editor who is very interested in The Bonne Chance Bakery and so I am setting everything else aside to work on that.  Maybe–just maybe–I will change my mind about starting over in the interim.  I have agonized over this a fair amount.  But I highly doubt it.

What is your usual process? Have you ever started over on a project before finishing it? Do tell!

Photos by intrusoft and KevinWalsh, both from everystockphoto.

Writing In the Summertime

Writingoutside

My outdoor writing space

It is hot here in Portland, mid to upper 90s all last week and more of the same this week, with temps predicted to reach into the 100s by the weekend.  We usually get some hot hot weather during the summer, but this is very early for a heat wave and it is lasting a long time.

My office is upstairs (I'm in process of moving it downstairs, but that project is taking forever) and that automatically makes it hot.  (We, like many Portlanders who live in older homes, don't have air conditioning.) But it also gets stuffy, the air stagnant, and because it is full of boxes (the afore mentioned moving project), its not a very inspiring space at the moment.

In self defense, I moved my computer and all my notes downstairs last weekend and then one early morning around 6 AM I got the idea to move my operation out back.  I set up on the outdoor table on the deck and listened to the birds sing and wrote my heart out.  I started out a few weeks ago setting my Iphone timer for 15 minutes and telling myself I was just going to write, simply as a way to get to the page.  But now, I think it is safe to say that these daily outside writing sessions are turning into my next novel–and that my daily writing practice has transformed my writing life.

Firtreeoutback

The tree above me

I now set up outside every morning and it has quickly become my favorite time of day.  It is peaceful and cool and quiet aside from the occasional dog barking and I am getting a lot of writing done every morning.  It is amazing to me what a change of venue can do for your writing.  Some people love to go work in coffee shops, but me? Not so much.  I'm far too distracted by people and noise and activity.  Besides, I do my best work early in the day, in my pajamas, and that doesn't work so well anywhere but home.

By 7:30 the sun hits my back and lights the screen and I can't see so well and I'm starting to flag anyway.  But the point of all this, besides encouraging you to look at where you write and how well it is working for you, is to share a few tips I've learned (relearned?) as I start writing a long project (i.e., a novel), again.  

1.  Call it Daily Writing Practice.   Some times the daily writings  are just random scenes, sometimes they actually turn into a scene for my WIP, and sometimes they become me obsessing about where I am in the WIP.  But gradually, the daily practices have turned into real, consistent work on my next novel, and the sessions have lengthened out considerably.  But at the beginning, I just called it daily practice and all I had to do was write something, anything for 15 minutes. Whether or not your writing sessions pertain to your WIP is up to you—but if it doesn't, that's okay.

2.  Keep a Writing Log. I've started a daily writing log, wherein I write about my feelings and thoughts on what I'm writing.   I wish I'd done this during the writing of my most recent novel, The Bonne Chance Bakery.  Now that it is finished, that novel exists in a sort of magical haze for me, and I've convinced myself that writing it went smoothly from the idea to the end.  But a few days ago, I opened, by chance, one of my daily writings from last summer–and read a whole long rant about how stuck and frustrated I was on the progress I was making.  Because, the thing is, when a novel is done, you forget the day to day grind that went into it.  Because the Bonne Chance was somewhat magical in origin, with the entire story essentially downloaded to me in the shower, it has been easy to forget the hard parts. Instead, I labor under the delusion that the writing of it was easy and sure in every letter and word.  While parts of it were, much of it wasn't.  And it is reassuring to remember that as I struggle to start anew.

For a look at how a major literary figure used a diary, check out this great Brain Pickings piece about the journals John Steinbeck kept while writing the Grapes of Wrath.

3.  Set Word Count Goals.  Once you get beyond the random daily writing practice (and its okay if you never do, truly), it is fun to set yourself some goals.  I was hitting 1K words a morning with ease, so today I notched it up to 1,500.  It helps to give me some kind of framework for what I'm doing.

4.  Give Yourself a Place to Go the Next Day.  If you are working on a long project, write a sentence or two about what happens next, so that you know where to start the next day.  If you are doing random writing, choose a prompt so that you don't go in search of one on the internet and get distracted.

 5.  Stay Organized.  For some dumb reason that I will probably regret, I like to save each days' writing in a separate file, labeled with the date.  I think I like to see the files pile up in the folder I've created for them.  What I will likely soon do is put all these pieces together into a file labeled "full manuscript."  But I am notoriously terrible at organization, so you can probably figure out your own system that works well for you.

Okay, that's it!  I hope you are making progress on your WIP or enjoying writing something.  Do you have any tips for sustaining a regular writing practice?

The Love-Hate Relationship With the Creative Process

MosaicHeartBeing immersed in the creative process–writing a novel, creating a class, knitting a sweater, planting a garden–is my most favorite thing in the world.

Until I hit a block.

And decide that the novel stinks, nobody will want to take the class, the sweater won't fit, the garden won't grow.  And then I hate the creative process.

I was reading about this very thing on another blog this morning when it hit me.   The tension between the love part and the hate part is what keeps us working at it.  If the creative process–say, your writing practice–was all good all the time, you'd get bored.  And if it was all bad all the time, you'd get frustrated and quit.

A well-known psychological principle is that of intermittent reinforcement, and that's what we're talking about here.  This principle states that reinforcement is doled out in an intermittent manner is far and away the strongest motivator.  Why? Because we never know what we're going to get, and we're always hoping for the good outcome–the wonderfully satisfying writing session as opposed to the time when you sit and stare out the window.

But we're also talking about tension, the lifeblood of all stories.  It's what keeps readers turning pages, the tension in the story itself and the tension the author has embedded in the story.  Without tension, or conflict, there is no story, its a simple as that.  Which is why, of course, the news is full of awful stories about horrible things happening.

While it is frustrating to hit the lows of the creative process, if you just remember that its all a cycle and the highs will soon return, I think you can ease yourself through the times you hate everything you create.  Remind yourself that the work would not be nearly so compelling if it were all easy, all the time.  

And take yourself back to the page once more.

How do you handle the lows of the creative process?

Photo by Carbon NYC.

The Only Way Out is Through

"If you're going through hell, keep going."  Winston Churchill Ngtrans_walkway_brick_228315_l

"The only way around is through."  Robert Frost

The only way out is through.   We usually don't want to hear this particular bit of advice, but I have found that it is true.  

I thought about it as I was out walking this morning, my legs in some pain.  After struggling with a knee issue for the last couple of years, I've finally found a chiropractor who is helping. Turns out I have one leg shorter than the other, and now a lift in my right shoe to balance things out.  And that, in turn, works muscles in my legs that haven't been used in ages.

So, pain.  And, my legs just have to get used to it as I gradually build up my steps.  The only way out is through.

Same thing is true, of course, in writing.

Stuck on your work in progress? The only way out is through the wilds of the manuscript.

Got another rejection? The only way out is to feel the discouragement and despair, get through it, and send it out again.

Don't know what to write? The only way out is through taking notes and free writing.

Books aren't selling? The only way out is through more marketing.

You get the idea.  

This concept may seem the tiniest bit depressing, but I find it comforting.  Nobody is going to come save me, I have to do it myself, whether that means putting another word on the page or taking another step.

 What do you think?  Does this concept resonate with you?

Photo by ngould.

Greater Thoughts About Writing

Estock_commonswiki_126921_lI've been thinking a lot about the novel I'm writing lately.  Thinking, not writing, because with the demands of the Emma Jean book release and attendant promotion, there's not been a lot of time to write.  I knew this going in and decided to give myself a free pass on working on the novel this month. 

The thinking is going well, thank you.  Just yesterday I uncovered a major issue with the novel and starting figuring out ways to fix it.   This is all going on in my head.  Well, there's a little bit of process writing around it, but no official work on the actual novel.

Along with thinking about my novel, I've been thinking about thinking.  For a couple of reasons.

First, I'm taking a class at my church and one of the things I've learned is this: a greater thought always trumps (pretty sure that's not how they put it exactly) a lesser thought.  In other words, if you truly allow a greater thought in to your packed brain, it will ultimately dissolve the lesser thought.

To me, a greater thought is one that speaks to our higher nature and knowledge.  The one that knows you truly are an unlimited being.  The one that connects you to your concept of the divine. So, you can replace I'll never be a published novelist with something like I am happily published now.   Like that.

I know, I know, this is basic stuff, Affirmations 101.  But the twist for me is that you don't have to spend a lifetime uncovering and eradicating all the bad thoughts and limiting beliefs we harbor.  This, for me, is huge, seeing as how there are huge industries built around getting rid of those beliefs.  And a lot of us hold onto a limiting belief that its our limiting beliefs that are holding us back.

But the good news is that you really can change your mind.  You can replace a lesser thought with a greater thought.  And that brings us to Reason #2 that I'm thinking about thinking: I'm reading Deepak Chopra's new book, Super Brain.  In it he and his co-author, Rudy Tanzi, talk about how to maximize the brain's functions, utilizing the huge leaps in our understanding of brain science.   They talk about reshaping the brain, saying, "It means being more mindful of your own thoughts and feelings and becoming more proactive in taking charge of your brain."

Pa dum.

Being mindful of your own thoughts and more proactive about it is exactly what I'm talking about here.  And honestly?  Taking the attitude that I would find and fix the problems with my novel if I just stayed open, rather than grumbling that something was wrong and I probably would never figure it out is exactly why all my brilliant thoughts have occurred.

I'm still working my way through Super Brain, but I really like it so far.  My buddy Deepak (don't know him from Adam, but I follow him on Twitter, so, you know, that means we're friends) is good at equating the science with the spiritual point of view, which, of course, I love. And the overwhelming message of the book is so positive–that we can retrain our brains for maximum performance at any age.

All of my thinking about thinking is still a work in progress, so I'd love your thoughts.  How do you maximize the old noodle?

**And if you would like to buy my published novel, click here.  And thank you so much in advance.

Image by Wyglif.

Process Writing

I mentioned process writing recently in another post but I want to look at it more in depth today.  Why?  I'll tell you why.  Because I've realized that nearly all of my product writing has its origins in process writing.  As in, blog posts, articles, and notes for scenes flowing from my pen.  As in, I start out in process writing and suddenly I'm in product writing.
Fountain_pencil_writing_238392_l

But first, a refresher.  I'm borrowing these terms from Roseanne Bane, who discusses them in detail in her book, Around the Writer's Block.  Reading her book has solidified the efficacy of these same habits in my own life and so I share them with you.  Bane says that the path to subverting writer's block on a regular basis takes three forks: process writing, product writing, and self care.  Process writing is the kind of writing you do that supports product writing, which is your writing writing.  That novel or memoir or article you want to finish.  Process writing is journaling, morning pages, free writing, not sitting down with intention to work on your current project.  Self care is just that–getting enough sleep and exercise and eating right as well.

It's easy to discount process writing.  Easy to think you have limited time to spend on your writing anyway, so why waste it on navel-gazing or rant-filled journaling? Easy to believe that free writing just results in a bunch of meaningless words on the page.  But I've learned that none of that is true.  Process writing, if done in a deep, attentive manner can be the springboard not only for your product writing but for creative ideas and visions as well.

My process writing occurs first thing in the morning because that's when I like to do it.  I feel better all day long if I've written right after I get up. I used to call this habit writing morning pages, but I don't any longer because I like to think I'm going deeper than that.  There's nothing wrong with morning pages, mind you, it's just that mine too often devolved into a to-do list or on-the-page worrying about what I needed to get done that day.  Yeah, left to my own devices I can get numbingly boring to myself.

These days, I've been practicing a different kind of technique called soul writing, popularized by Janet Conner.  I'm not an expert in this kind of writing by any stretch of the imagination and I'm sure that the way I practice it is probably different in some ways than that which Janet propounds.  She recommends getting yourself into a theta state by activating the five senses.  You've got touch and sight going already with the writing, but you might also want to put on some soothing music and light a scented candle.  As for the taste, well, I always have a cup of coffee and a glass of water nearby anyway.

But here's what really makes it work for me: instead of just talking to yourself on the page, you find a higher power to chat with.  This can be anything that works for you and may likely come to you as you write.  Janet calls hers The Voice.  I call mine God, and when I say God I mean the God within each of us and everything on the planet, not the mythical guy up in the sky that wreaks havoc when he feels like it.  The other key aspect of soul writing is to ask a lot of questions.  What you're doing is opening yourself up the channels for your creativity to come through, and asking questions facilitates this.

What happens to me is I'll ask a question or remember that I wanted to write a blog post that day and suddenly I'm doing it.  I'll think of an idea for my WIP and whoosh I'm writing a scene.  There's something about this kind of writing, this willingness to be open, that makes the creative juices flow.  This post, for instance, was written by hand in my journal a few mornings ago. 

So that's my rant on process writing.  If you're stuck or feeling blah about your writing, I recommend you try it.  And please check back and let us know how it's going.  Do you do any kind of process writing on a regular basis?  Leave a comment and let's discuss.

***My favorite kind of product writing is novel writing and my debut happens next week.  Join me for the Emma Jean Virtual Release Party!  There will be prizes.  More information here.

Image by brokenarts.

Fear of Writing

Edvardmunch-thescream-1163553-lWhen I was invited to speak to the Living Writer's Collective in Tennessee a couple of weeks ago, my topic was the Fear of Writing.   The subject was enthusiastically received, with several writers sheepishly admitting to me that they suffered from it (and Lord knows I've dealt with it off and on throughout my career), so I thought I'd adapt part of my talk here.

I've identified two broad arenas that your fears of writing might fall within:

Process

This is when you fear sitting down and putting words on the page.  You might not think that you actually have this fear, because fear is a sneaky beast that masquerades as all kinds of other things.  Like suddenly needing, desperately needing, to do laundry.  Or mop the kitchen floor.  Or go grocery shopping.  Or do just about anything but get to the page in the time you've allotted to write.

The fear of the writing process can also pop up once you've actually gotten to the computer.  There you sit, facing that wonderful blank screen.  When you get tired of looking at the screen, you gaze out the window.  And then maybe you go grab yourself a cup of coffee and stare out the kitchen window for awhile.  I've got news for you–all this staring is not writing.

Or, has this ever happened to you?  You are writing along, lost in the process and suddenly your fingers come to a halt.  You've written something that's threatening to the old ego.  And now you're terrified.  All was fine one minute and then next, well, it's not.

Product

Product fears gather around putting your work out in the world.  What if you're rejected?  What if people don't like your book when it's published?  What if you get a bad book review or your mother reads it and is shocked?  What if you wrote a thriller about a murdered and people think you have first-hand experience with crime?  The what ifs go on and on and on, and many of them are as silly as the last one I listed.  But here's the deal: fears are often silly.  But they take on enormous power despite this.

So what's a person to do?

Antidotes

Here's the bad news: the only way out is through.  Well, it may not be the only way out, but it's the best way out.  Yup, to get over your fear of writing, you must write.  And then put it out in the world, even when you don't want to.  In so many ways this is counter-intuitive and probably not at all what you want to hear.  Wouldn't it be just so much easier if there were an actual program you could take that conquered your fear of writing without you having to do any writing?  Well, that program is, you guessed it, writing.

Here are a couple ways to approach it that might help:

–Try freewriting.  This old favorite really does work.  If you do it correctly, it bypasses the conscious mind and taps you into something deeper, beyond fear.  The way to do it is this: pick a prompt (any prompt, it doesn't matter), set a timer for 20 minutes, and then write.  Write without stopping, even if you are writing the same word over and over again.  Keep the flow going–it is this that subverts the fear.  And don't worry about staying on topic, you probably won't.  When you're done, underline or highlight anything that you might find useful and use this as a starting point for another writing session.

–Chunk it down.  Many of us writers are big-picture people.  We look at a project and see the whole thing all at once.  This has many advantages, but a big disadvantage is that it can be overwhelming.   Remind yourself that you only need to look at your project in little bits.  Make a loose outline and take one line of it at a time and write to that.  Then take the next line, and then the next, until you have a rough draft for each item on the list.

–Take time for process time.  In a book called Around the Writer's Block, author Roseanne Barr talks about how important process time is to writers.  By this she means things like journaling, or morning pages.  It can be a conundrum: take precious writing time to journal or get right to the project at hand?  But studies have shown that taking time for process writing helps you beat writing resistance on a consistent basis.

–Approach it playfully.  Try some fun writing exercises every once in awhile.  Open a dictionary at random and fun your finger down the page.  Use the word you land on as a prompt.  Combine it with anothe word and make the start of a sentence and then use that.  Cut up old manuscripts into long strips, one line to a strip and put them in a box. Choose one and use as a prompt.

–Write something different.  I know I get stuck on thinking that I must work on my novel and only my novel.  But last fall at a workshop I tried my hand at Flash Fiction and loved it.  Writing that could be a quick warm-up to displace your fears.  So could writing Haiku.

–Remember to write and let everything else fall into place.  Because it will.  Your job is to put words on the page.  This is the best thing to remember when you feel that fear of putting your work out in the world, or of submitting it to editors or agents.  Your job is to write.  It's not to worry about what people are going to think of the final product.  At the heart of it all, you just need to write.

What about you? How do you banish your fear of writing?  Leave a comment!

**Today is the last day to get $50 off tuition for my Get Your Novel Written Now class.  Learn more here.

Photo of Munch's The Scream by Oddsock.

Writing Every Morning

I'm participating in Nanowrimo this year.  Sort of.
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I doing it, but not really doing it.  The Nanowrimo rules state you can do as much prep work as possible up to November 1st, but you can't actually start writing until the first day of the month.  And I'd already written about 60 pages of my next novel, so I can't actually compete.

But I can use the energy of a gazillion people writing novels to boost my own creativity. 

And that is exactly what I'm doing.   I've been clipping along, writing by hand every morning, but my muse warned me I was coming up on the time when I didn't know exactly what happened next in my story.  And I realized that this was a danger zone, a time when my every-morning writing habit might fall apart under the weight of uncertainty.

So I resolved to use Nanowrimo to take me to a new level of seriousness and commitment to this novel.

I committed to writing 2,000 words a day, as I had when I wrote Emma Jean, and  carved out a bit of time on Halloween to get organized for the next push, as in, please God and handsome Muse, (my muse is a hot young male who favors tight jeans and T-shirts that show off his muscles), please help me to figure out where I'm going next.

What became evident immediately as I pawed through the hand-written pages of my notebooks was this:

I didn't know where I was in the story.

And if I didn't know where I was, how could I figure out where I was going?

So my first order of business was to get my hand-written pages onto the computer, 2,000 words at a time.  I had to abandon my hand-writing habit if I was ever going to wrap my brain around the entirety of this novel.

This morning I finished feeding the words in and got to the part where I'm writing new stuff.  I was a bit nervous, because I'd also asked my muse if we could please compose on the computer again.  I'm so, so grateful for the month I sat on a chair in the living room and wrote by hand every morning because it got me going on the novel again.  But it is hard to keep track of story and characters doing it by hand.

Today, the words flowed.  I organized the next few chapters in my mind, and whipped along, typing away.  It actually took me less time to write 2,000 words of original material than it did to feed those hand-written words in.

Phew.

So here are my two take-aways from this experience that might be helpful to you:

1.  Writing every morning is glorious.  It is the best thing ever.  Period.  After I've written my 2,000 words every day, I feel great.  I'm in love with the world, because I've done the most important thing to me first.  And that makes everything flow better.

2.  It's helpful to stay flexible throughout the process.  I'm learning that the process for every novel is different.  You might write the first one in strict chronological order and then find out that doesn't work for the next one.  Like me, you might start our writing on the computer, switch to writing by hand, and then return to the computer.  The point is, it doesn't matter.  Do what gets the words on the page.  Do what works for you in the moment!

 What about you?  What's your writing process?

 Photo from Everystockphoto.

By the way, if you're truly stalled on your writing and can't make any progress, my favorite thing to do besides writing novels and blog posts is coach writers.  Check out my services page for more information.

Beyond Free Writing

Letter-texture-imagination-43303-lI'm a huge fan of free writing ( writing to prompts, when you set a timer and write, not stare off into space, not think deep thoughts, write, just letting your hand move across the page), and I recommend it as a practice all the time.

I even have a page on my blog devoted to prompts.

And yet….

Sometimes free writing does not serve writers well.

Sometimes free writing can take you away from the subject at hand.  Sometimes free writing is hard to reconcile with your work in progress.  Sometimes it can feel silly.  And when writing time is so precious, who wants to take time to write on some random topic?

Or what if you're a new writer, free writing away, and suddenly you feel the desire to shape one of your free writes into a story?  What then?  How do you move beyond free writing?

Here are some suggestions:

–Use a sentence, line of dialogue or description from your current WIP (work in progress) as the prompt.  This can open up all kinds of avenues for your story.

–Use a random prompt, but hold the idea of your WIP in your head as you write.  I find that when I'm engrossed in a WIP, I automatically default to writing about it when free writing.

–After a free write, go through and highlight all the sentences you like.  Then use these as prompts. (Alternatively, you can cross out everything you dislike and use what's left.)

–Try transferring your free writes to the computer.   I always find this step pushes me to rewrite, revise and shape.  Before you know it, a story might emerge.

–Challenge yourself to write flash fiction during your free writes.  By letting the words flow freely and attempting to create a full story, you'll train yourself to think in story.

–Do a free write in the voice of your character.  Pretend it is her writing to a prompt instead of you.

–Free write a description of something in the room you're sitting in.  This marries free flowing words and directed writing.

That's all I've got for now.   But I bet my wise and wonderful readers have some good ideas.  How do you move beyond free writing to crafting your words?

My students and clients use free writing and all kinds of other exercises to get words on the page.  And it works!  I've got people ripping through books and stories at the moment, writing like crazy.  Wouldn't you like to be one of them?  Email me and let's talk.

Photo by svilen001.