The Writing Life

The One Reason You Should Not Set Goals This Year

Filed in The Writing Life by on January 6, 2015 6 Comments • views: 1691
The One Reason You Should Not Set Goals This Year

There are a lot of blog posts published at this time of year telling us how to set goals. It’s rather of a useless activity, though, if you’re doing it simply because you think you should, or because everyone else is doing it, or because you did it last year. When we set goals, we […]

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10 Ways to Maintain a Writing Routine During the Holidays

Filed in The Writing Life by on December 30, 2014 2 Comments • views: 1333
10 Ways to Maintain a Writing Routine During the Holidays

We’re knee-deep in holiday season this week. Are you still getting your writing done? It’s probably one of the most difficult times of the year to stick with a daily writing practice. Most of our routines are completely upended, and routine is the writer’s friend when it comes to getting in a daily number of […]

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The Secrets to Your Progress: Are You a Better Writer Today Than You Were Last Year?

Filed in The Writing Life by on December 16, 2014 6 Comments • views: 878
The Secrets to Your Progress: Are You a Better Writer Today Than You Were Last Year?

At this time of year, I always find myself slipping into a period of reflection. How has the year gone? Where am I, in terms of my professional and personal growth? How did I do on my goals? Underneath all of this is perhaps the biggest question on my mind, and maybe on the minds […]

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Serious Writers Permit Themselves to Go on Writers’ Retreats

Filed in The Writing Life by on December 2, 2014 10 Comments • views: 1217
Serious Writers Permit Themselves to Go on Writers’ Retreats

I was slumped against the passenger side door of our old Dodge station wagon. Its claim to fame was that it resembled the Ghostbusters’ prized vehicle, minus the sirens and lights. My younger brother was extremely proud of that. My mom, on the other hand, wasn’t so thrilled. Like it’s famous twin, the car wasn’t […]

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What My Grandmother Taught Me About Being a Grateful Writer

Filed in The Healthy Writer, The Writing Life by on November 18, 2014 11 Comments • views: 2123
What My Grandmother Taught Me About Being a Grateful Writer

I’ve attended several writing events this year. Conferences, awards dinners, signings, etc. At every one, without exception, I heard one thing: writers complaining. It’s an easy habit to fall into. This isn’t a cushy career, by any means. We have a number of challenges in front of us, from the blank page to the rejection […]

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Honor Your Quirks—Especially if They Work!

Filed in Finding & Following Your Voice, The Writing Life by on November 4, 2014 3 Comments • views: 686
Honor Your Quirks—Especially if They Work!

I hate morning people. Not literally, of course. In fact, as long as they don’t bother me, I don’t mind them at all. But every once in awhile, if I spend time with friends or family, I’m reminded how very violent I can get if people bother me in the morning. Mornings Give Us Creative […]

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Writing from Experience: Using Your Body to Improve Your Story

Filed in The Writing Life by on August 7, 2014 6 Comments • views: 1431
Writing from Experience: Using Your Body to Improve Your Story

Guest post by Steve Mitchell and Carol Roan Writing is more than something that happens in our heads. The experiences we draw upon in order to write exist in every part of our selves. When our writing is not going well, when we’re blocked, lots of thoughts are running around in our heads (all of […]

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Warning: 4 Dangers of Traveling to Research Your Novel

Filed in The Writing Life by on July 8, 2014 6 Comments • views: 779
Warning: 4 Dangers of Traveling to Research Your Novel

A couple weeks ago, I told you all about my trip to research my current work in progress (The Beached Ones). Now I’m back home, the trip is over, and I’m processing the whole experience. I thought it only fair to warn you—this type of journey isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be […]

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Should You Travel to Research Your Novel?

Filed in The Writing Life by on June 17, 2014 6 Comments • views: 1009
Should You Travel to Research Your Novel?

Situation: I’m in the second draft of my work in progress. My characters travel across country, from Iowa to California. Dilemma: I’ve either a) never been to the locations where my characters stop along the way, or b) it’s been so long the places are dim in my memory. Solution 1: Research via the Internet. […]

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The Monster in Every Writer’s Closet

Filed in The Inner Life, The Writing Life, When Writing Is Hard by on May 6, 2014 1 Comment • views: 1284
The Monster in Every Writer’s Closet

In looking over the many author features here on Writing and Wellness, I’ve noticed one thing that keeps coming up again and again. Have you seen it? On Friday, May 2, 2014, I read Steven Pressfield’s latest blog. There it was again. Even this former Marine and hugely successful author wasn’t sure why. I’m facing […]

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Writing vs. Having Written—Are You Addicted to Success?

Filed in The Writing Life, When Writing Is Hard by on April 15, 2014 6 Comments • views: 1303
Writing vs. Having Written—Are You Addicted to Success?

Do you enjoy the process of writing, or are you happiest when “having written?” I’ve heard colleagues say writing is difficult and painful, while “having written” brings achievement, elation, pride. “I asked a Hamline workshop once how many of them actually liked to write and most of them preferred having written: the pride in finishing, […]

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What Famous Writers Know About Walking

Filed in The Healthy Writer, The Writing Life by on March 6, 2014 2 Comments • views: 4483
What Famous Writers Know About Walking

By now most of us know that walking is good for us. Research has linked it to a lower risk of diabetes, stronger bones, a healthier cardiovascular system, reduced body fat, increased energy, and a more focused mind. Long before modern studies revealed these benefits, though, writers had already keyed into the wonders that walking […]

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