Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ten Word Writing Challenge.

I don’t remember where I heard this, but not long ago someone mentioned a 10-word writing challenge. Like you are probably doing right now, I thought, “What good is a 10-word writing challenge?” I can write the first sentence that pops into my head and, boom, I’m outta here. Sunday is never a good writing day for me. Between church services, dinner with the family, and work—and my Sunday afternoon nap if all goes as planned—I have little time left to write anything. Even 10 words. This past Sunday I didn’t get home from work until nearly 10 p.m. I definitely wasn’t in the mood to write. But I’ve been doing so well lately putting words on paper I thought I’d give the 10-word challenge a try. Just 10 words in my current WIP. No pressure. No matter how tired I was I could certainly master 10 lousy—or not so lousy—words. As expected my 10 words ended up 297. The whole point is discipline. If I can muster the strength to open my doc and write 10 words, why not hang around a while and do a few more? Or a few hundred more? Try it the next time you’re tired, busy, distracted or plain sick to death of that blinking cursor. Make up your mind you’re going to write 10 words and just see where you end up. Happy Writing.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Just shut up & write

I can't believe how quickly the last couple of years have gone. A demanding job--two of them actually, plus a part-time one--have really cut into my writing time. But who cares about that? Excuses, really. We all have them. Jobs. Kids. Obligations. Aging parents. A personal life. Blah. Blah. Blah. Who cares? Our job is to shut up and write. The changes over the past two years in my personal life are nothing compared to the overwhelming, roller coaster, whirlwind changes in the publishing industry. The last time I updated this blog--Lord, forgive me--little was being said about e-books. Only a few friends owned e-readers. We writers were still courting the big publishing houses. So much has changed. I still can't wrap my brain around it all. But I'm not going to waste time on this post about seeking publication or if you should go Indie or hold out for that elusive contract with the Big 6 or try Amazon KDP with your new release? The point of this blog is to prove that you can write a novel. If all the changes in the industry and programs like Smashwords & CreateSpace haven't convinced you to just shut up and write your novel, I don't know what will. It's possible now for anyone to publish a novel--and make money at it. But we have to write it first. And it better be absolutely fabulous.
So what's stopping you? You have a story inside you or you wouldn't be reading this. You probably have several. In the last week I've thought of 3 new projects I'd love to have on the market by the end of the year. January is one of the biggest selling months for e-books because everyone is loading up the new devices they got for Christmas. If we're going to be ready to capitalize on that, we need to shut up and write. I know you're busy. You can barely find a moment to think, let alone work on your novel. But make a commitment today. Even if you aren't reading this post in real time, commit right here, right now to how many words you are going to add to your novel today. 10? 100? 1000? 5000? No goal is too small. You don't have to impress me or keep up with anyone else. Throw out a number and then check back and let the rest of us know how you did. Accountability leads to productivity. Set a goal, just for today, then shut up and write.