Category Archive: Writing

Oct 01

Dealing with Distraction

In a recent post, J. Leigh talked about reasons why we distract ourselves from our work — why do we waste time when we know we should be productive? The root of self-distraction tends to be fear: fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear period. Sometimes, self-distraction happens because we’re overwhelmed and we just don’t …

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Jul 16

Why We Waste Time

This is a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately while I’ve, well, been wasting time.  I feel like I haven’t done any significant writing for almost a year. (Heck, I haven’t even been blogging!)  Some of that was unavoidable — personal issues to deal with, classes and a full time job that …

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Mar 19

Empathy – The Key to Writing Deep Emotion

A reader recently sent me this question, after reading The Madness Project: I find that it’s difficult to convey strong emotion or culminate events without being drippy…How were you able to stay deep and involved without going overly sentimental? The question took me a bit by surprise.  I’d never really thought about it before…although I can …

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Feb 19

Failing Gracefully as a Writer

No one wants to talk about failure. Writing bloggers and how-to authors everywhere make their livings by promising success — follow this strategy, take these classes, Tweet this many times/day, Facebook with your fans…and you’ll sell thousands of books and readers will love you. The strategies are as numerous as there are bloggers…or would-be writers. …

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Feb 13

5 Ways to Travel for Inspiration

If you’re like me, you love to travel…but probably don’t get to as often as you’d like.  Maybe it’s the time, maybe it’s the money…or maybe it’s both. There’s that day job that you actually have to go to (you know, to pay the bills).  Or there are the kids or the pets (or both) …

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Jan 30

Using Pinterest for Setting Research

One of the coolest things about thriller writer J.F. Penn’s website is the photos section. She travels a lot as part of the research she does for her novels — it’s a writer’s dream! J. Leigh is going to talk about her trip to Iceland last year and how it has played a huge role in her …

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Jan 10

Inspiration Isn’t Action

I love the New Year. It’s invigorating and inspiring to be starting over, getting a fresh take on things, and recommitting to goals and dreams that maybe didn’t quite see their fruition last year. I’m big on office supplies, so one of my favorite ways to kick off the new year is with a new …

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May 30

Writing Creative Nonfiction

In my prior life as a university English professor, all I did was nonfiction writing. I taught it. I wrote it. I lived it. And I discovered something in the process: there is a strong tendency to want to divorce creativity from nonfiction writing. When you take a “creative writing” class in school, no one …

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Feb 15

Vivid vs. Violet Verbiage — The Vivid

Now that we’ve cleared up the meaning of purple prose, I can talk a little bit about what makes great prose so beautifully vivid. Please note that, for all I’m warning you to avoid the overly-ostentatious verbiage, I’m not recommending reducing your vocabulary to the grade-school level.  No, your writing should always bring some challenge …

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Feb 13

Vivid vs. Violet Verbiage — The Violet

As S.K. noted in her last blog post…it’s been a crazy end to the old year and an even crazier start to the new year for us around here.  Apologies for being MIA… At any rate, today I want to talk about something I’ve said I want to talk about many times in the past …

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