#YoungWriters Series: Writer’s Block

Welcome to my #YoungWriters Series!

With the isolation and quarantines in place for COVID 19, many students are off school and at home. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing writing prompts and writing articles to hopefully inspire and motivate you.

A Young Writers Guide To Writer’s Block

Rogers Wallpaper“You can’t think yourself out of a writing block;
you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.”
~John Rogers

Some people will tell you there is “no such thing as Writer’s Block” and to some degree they are right. But there will be days when writing just isn’t working for you. You know what I mean, those days when you sit in front of your computer and it feels like getting a cavity filled would be easier. Unfortunately, the only way to overcome this dreaded feeling is to write or refill your creative well… Here are five tips to help ignite your creativity…
Keep a journal. Set the timer on your phone, computer, whatever works for about 20minutes. Your goal is to just write continuously without stopping until your timer goes off.  Write down whatever comes into your head, however random, strange or unimportant it may seem. No censoring and no over-thinking.

Brainstorm. If you are stuck on a particular plotline grab a large piece of paper or a mind-mapping app and write down as many ideas no matter how unusual they may seem, they might trigger something that will work. It’s all about getting ideas down. A page full of ideas can jumpstart your creativity.

Talk with other writers. There are some moments when it’s easier to speak to others about ideas than to write them down. Try talking your story out with another trusted writer. If you are not yet ready to share ideas with another record your ideas on your phone or computer, talking things out can often help.  Take a look at online groups via social media.  On both Twitter and Instagram there are groups that share under various hashtags. Check out #writingcommunity #amwriting #writersofinstagram #writersofig. Facebook has so many groups and pages for the writing community and often they are genre-specific ie. urban fantasy, mystery, ya, romance etc. so you can connect with a community geared to the genre you wish to write in.

Writing Prompts. Sometimes all you need to get the creative juices flowing is to have some fun with silly or thought-provoking writing prompts. If you search google there are many sites that offer prompts, I will be sharing some here in the coming days too!

Create an Atmosphere or Ritual to get you in the writing mood.  I absolutely love my writing area. My original workspace is no longer available so I recently set up a new one in a corner of my bedroom and I love it! I have bookcases filled with inspiring books, vintage typewriters, inspirational pictures or quotes and a few kitsch items that are prominent in my story. I listen to music that helps evoke images in connection with my current WIP, light candles, grab a tea or coffee and snuggly blanket, something to stimulate each of my senses.

These are just a few ideas that work for me but often just sitting down and free writing helps. Journaling, prompts, or just documenting the moment by just writing about the room you’re in, can be enough to ignite that creative spark!

#YoungWriters Series: Keeping a Writer’s Notebook

Welcome to my #YoungWriters Series!

With the isolation and quarantines in place for COVID 19, many students are off school and at home. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing writing prompts and writing articles to hopefully inspire and motivate you.  For those who read my previous post about Camp NaNoWriMo yesterday perhaps you are starting to brainstorm ideas, be working out plotlines, doing research or creating characters. Here are some tips to help keep you organized.

Most writers can’t control when inspiration hits. Our ideas often come at us at unusual times and often unexpected or inconvenient places. Most of my friends and family have laughed at me for the number of journals, notepads and scraps of paper (post-it’s in particular) I have around me at any given time. While in bed or busy I used to get a great idea for a new story or something to add to one in process, and I would jot it down whether it was on the back of an envelope, in a notebook or even on a coffee-stained napkin which was disorganized and let’s just say it….downright messy.

A while back I started using a traveller’s notebook to capture everything and I am hooked.  They are journal covers with elastics that slip into the centre of smaller notebooks allowing you to carry multiple notebooks at a time so that you can swap them in and out as they are filled. You also can add pockets, folders and dashboards(clear plastic pages for post-it’s) to keep all your notes in one place.  I keep four notebooks in mine, one general all-purpose one for ideas that don’t necessarily have a home just yet, and one for each individual project I am working on at the moment. I place post-its with ideas, to-dos or quotes on the dashboard. I attach interesting pictures, articles or jot down useful links that I want to research further. I personally love analogue over my phone, tablet or computer although I do rely on those on occasion. I find it easier to let my ideas flow with ink on paper and I find this way is easier to keep those ideas organized.  I go all out adding sketches, washi tape, pictures, stamps and postcards relevant to my projects. Traveller’s notebook can be found online or if you’re handy you can make your own. If you run a search on YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest you can find hundreds of tutorials and inspirational ideas on creating a system that works for you.

Misc notebooks, paints and pictures

ATTENTION ALL YOUNG #WRITERS

With the isolation and quarantines in place for COVID 19, many students are off school and at home. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing writing prompts and writing articles to hopefully inspire and motivate you.   If you are one of those students and love writing, why not work on some prep work for this coming Camp NaNoWriMo.

campnanowrimo

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo.org? Every November thousands participate in an online writing event to complete 50,000 words in just 30 days. Now they’ve made it even better, CampNaNoWriMo.org is a virtual writer’s camp, designed to inspire you and keep you motivated while you work on your masterpiece. Camp NaNoWriMo.org runs twice a year in April and July and unlike NaNoWriMo welcomes word-count goals of 30,000 and up. Writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revisions, poetry, scripts, and short stories. So sign up today!  See you at camp! 

Making every moment matter in 2020! #amwriting #revisions #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #amstudying #Archaeology

 

page

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ~William Faulkner

Although battling a bad case of bronchitis, 2020 is off to a busy start!   Just when I think I can’t get any busier…SURPRISE!!! Feeling so blessed that during the past year so many wonderful people have come into my life giving me new opportunities to grow and learn. I exceeded my goal during NaNoWriMo and am knee-deep working on revisions and research.   Looking forward to working on a few new projects that I will be sharing over the next few months as well as making big changes to my coaching practice at Ignite Your Creativity…stay tuned for more information.

Keep your eyes open for Professor Owl’s Book Corner February Newsletter for Young Adults coming out this week, my #WATWB We are the World Blogfest post on January 31st  as well as a few book reviews on Boho and Bookish.

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”  ~Anne Lamott

Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re making each moment matter!
Live, laugh & love! ❤

#amwriting #researching #mythology #egyptology #urbanfantasy #gothic #writerscommunity #studying #archaeology #history #arttherapy #coaching #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #bookreview #authorinterviews #journaling

“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Storytellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.”~ Ursula K. Le Guin

My Spotify Playlist ~ #AmWriting #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #Mystery ~ The Secret of Living

Happy Holidays from WriterzBlox

🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄

Christmas 2019

Wishing those who celebrate…

A Very Merry Christmas & a
happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Thank you to everyone for their love, kindness and support this year.♥️
🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲🎄🌲

#merrychristmas #seasonsgreetings #happynewyear

Blissfully busy couple of months ahead! #amwriting #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #amstudying #Archaeology #ForensicAnthropology #IrishMythology

November December Montage

“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Between now and next January is shaping up to be blissfully busy! November and December have always extremely busy for me and this year is no exception.  I have been busy taking courses for both pleasure and business.  I’m currently studying Forensic Anthropology, Archaeology and Irish Mythology as well as pursuing complementary courses and workshops for my creativity coaching practice at IgniteYourCreativity.net which I will be relaunching with new content, new courses and new look in Winter 2020.

As well as my courses and usual to-do list,  I’m also halfway through tackling this year’s NaNoWriMo. To sum it up,  in between writing essays, blog posts, book reviews and articles, I am attempting to finish my draft of a  50,000 word (min.) on my #UrbanFantasy #Gothic novel by the 30th.  So far I’m on track, but as with most writers, the first draft is awkward, messy and often frustrating but it’s become an addiction I’m not ready to quit.

Keep your eyes open for Professor Owl’s Book Corner December Newsletter for Young Adults coming out this weekend, my #WATWB We are the World Blogfest post on November 29th and a few book reviews coming up over the next few months. I will be taking a hiatus of sorts over the last two weeks of December to celebrate the holidays with family.

“This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re living with passion and purpose!  🙂
Live, laugh & love! ❤

#amwriting #researching #mythology #egyptology #urbanfantasy #gothic #writerscommunity #studying #archaeology #history #arttherapy #coaching #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #bookreview #authorinterviews #journaling

““Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”~Neil Gaiman

My Spotify Playlist ~ #AmWriting #UrbanFantasy #Egyptology #Mystery ~ The Secret of Living

Autumn is Upon Us🍂🍁🍃 ~ #amwriting #studying #revisions #bookreviews #creating

“Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Sept

Time seems to fly by…it’s hard to believe the summer is over and autumn is on its way, replete with, warm blankets, pumpkin spice lattes (yes, I’m a pumpkin person…don’t judge😉 ) and cuddling up in the cosiness reading a book and writing.

Moving forward I have a few months full of studying, working on multiple projects, revising and researching.  Looks like I will be kept extremely busy in the months ahead, as a result, I will be taking a hiatus from my coaching practice at IgniteYourCreativity.net and returning with new programs and classes in Winter of 2020.

Over at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, we recently published our Back-to-School Newsletter. This month features some great book recommendations, literacy tutoring and creative writing inspiration for our young writers. 

On August 30th, we celebrated our twenty-seventh instalment of the “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB.  We have been going strong and send a huge thank you to everyone who has been participating.  Our next post is on September 27th, 2019!

Wondering what #WATWB is all about? The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their positive stories led by five co-hosts. If you are interested in learning more about this or to join us please click here for details. 

Wishing everyone a successful September…wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you are making your fondest dreams a reality!

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

#amwriting #revisions #rewrites #researching #urbanfantasy #alchemy #mystery #historicalfiction #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #manuscriptstudies #palaeography  #codicology #history #art #WATWB #bookreviews #art #volunteering #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

 

#BookRelease & Interview with Author Mari L. McCarthy of @CreateWriteNow #Journaling #HealYourSelfWithJournaling

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview Mari L. McCarthy, Founder of CreateWriteNow.com and discuss her new book Heal Your Self With Journaling Power!

Welcome, Mari! 

HealYourSelf Cover

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your new book, Heal Your Self With Journaling Power.

I started Journaling for physical therapy reasons over 20 years ago, when I lost most feeling and function on the right side of my body and I needed a “procedure” to teach myself how to write with my left hand immediately, if not sooner. I met a hypnotherapist at a party who recommended I do Morning Pages, Julia Cameron’s brainchild from her bestseller, The Artist’s Way. And I was off. I became a legible left-handed writer very quickly because I remembered I was a left-hand dominant child but the nuns at St. Bernard’s Grade School made me switch. And the memories kept coming up. I couldn’t wait to get to the page even after discovering MIC (My Inner Critic) because I was uncovering who I really was: Talented, creative, and…. I knew I had to share this free, fantastic drug with the world, so I set up CreateWriteNow.com. Today I show health conscious people how to use Journaling for the Health of it to heal the issues in their tissues and to grow and transform their lives.

My new book, Heal Your Self With Journaling Power presents the Journaling Journeys of 10 talented men and women and how they use Journaling to master life’s challenges.

What was the inspiration behind your new book?

Several years back, I created an eBook, Dark Chocolate for the Journaler’s Soul which was a compilation of 17 Journalers and their Journaling Journeys. On my blog, Mari’s Journaling Power Blog, I was posting more and more awesome Journaling Journeys guest blog posts and my Journal (I trust her for everything) told me it was time to share their stories about the ultimate self-healing tool, Journaling.

Is this an extension of your award-winning book Journaling Power?

Journaling Power Cover

Yes. It is the 2nd book in the Journaling Power trilogy. Journaling Power was my self-help memoir with unique and soul-searching prompts and Heal Your Self With Journaling Power is the self-help memoir of just some of the many people who use Journaling as their #1 self-care tool. And again, lots of unique and soul-searching prompts and exercises.

You’re a very busy person, what does your average work/writing day look like, how do you fit it all in?

I have a daily routine (Monday – Friday; weekends are for me, me, me) that builds in plenty of Me time. I have found that my muses need structure. No technological device gets turned on until I’ve journaled and meditated and eaten if I’m hungry. I keep daily goals and continually check back and reorganize my goals list so that I stay on top of things rather than letting people, places and things overwhelm me.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a writer and how do you overcome them?

Managing me. I have a preexisting condition called self-sabotage and I know that I must stay connected to my core at all times so I don’t allow myself to get sucked into fear, overwhelm, inner critics, an overly analytical head etc.

What message do you hope your readers walk away with after reading your book?

That we are universes of infinite possibilities and by using our Journal, we discover, uncover and recover our true self and power and can create the life WE want. As one of the journalers in Heal Your Self With Journaling Power says “we are in the driver’s seat.”

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

Online, I’m home at CreateWriteNow.com and would love to hear from anyone who wants to learn how to use Journaling For The Health Of It to heal the issues in their tissues and create the happy, healthy life they want to live. I’m starting to envision and strategize the 3rd book in the Journaling Power trilogy, Create Self-Love Write Now-A Journaling Power Book. I have a front cover designed, next up is to create the back cover then the outline.

About Mari

MariMcCarthyPhoto

Mari L. McCarthy is the Founder and Chief Empowerment officer of CreateWriteNow.com. She provides books, workbooks, and personal power sessions to help writers discover the mental, physical, and spiritual health benefits of journaling. She has authored 22 “Journaling Power” eWorkbooks and created numerous “Journaling Power Challenges” that have helped thousands of writers heal, grow, and transform their lives.

 

#Writing #Book #Review of How To Write A Page-Turner Craft a Story Your Readers Can’t Put Down by Jordan Rosenfeld via #NetGalley #amwriting

Review

How to Write A Page Turner Cover

How To Write A Page-Turner

Craft a Story Your Readers Can’t Put Down

by Jordan Rosenfeld

Release date: March 19th, 2019

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


I received a complimentary ARC copy of How To Write A Page-Turner,
Craft a Story Your Readers Can’t Put Down by Jordan Rosenfeld from Net Galley and F+W Media/Writer’s Digest Books.

If you are a novice or seasoned writer who wants to publish dynamic and interesting novels… How To Write A Page-Turner is the perfect book for you.
There are novels that keep you riveted, you know the ones, the stories that keep you flipping pages into the wee hours of the morning? How To Write A Page-Turner teaches you all about keeping the tension in your story high, creating a story that is innovative as well as riveting and leaving your readers glued to the page.

I have quite a few writing books (okay, approx half my office) and I have to say this will definitely be in my writing library as a go-to book for a long time. Filled with excellent tips on creating and maintaining tension in your writing,  HTWPT feels different from the plethora of “how-to” books already out there. 

Jordan divides her book into four parts: Essential Tension Elements, Tension with Characters, Plot Tension, and Tension in Exposition. Each part breaks it down even further, covering everything from character development, writing effective dialogue, plotting your tension at just the right spots in your novel as well as word usage, sentence structure and writing imagery.  She also gives a review at the end of each chapter as well as exercises/tips for you to implement in your own writing, to help you appraise and polish your WIP to until it’s a page-turner fraught with tension!   

I really enjoyed this book and  I highly recommend it to all writers looking to take their writing to the next level.

Writing for Young Adults: Keeping a Writer’s Notebook #amwriting #youngwriters

Writing Quote

Most writers can’t control when inspiration hits. Our ideas often come at us at unusual times and often unexpected or inconvenient places. Most of my friends and family have laughed at me for the number of journals, notepads and scraps of paper (post-it’s in particular) I have around me at any given time. While out for coffee or on the subway I would get a great idea for a new story or something to add to one in process, and I would jot it down whether it was on the back of an envelope, in a notebook or even on a coffee-stained napkin which is often disorganized and lets just say it….downright messy.

A while back I started using a traveller’s notebook to capture everything and I am hooked. They are journal covers with elastics that slip into the centre of smaller notebooks allowing you to carry multiple notebooks at a time so that you can swap them in and out as they are filled. You also can add pockets, folders and dashboards(clear plastic pages for post-it’s) to keep all your notes in one place. I keep four notebooks in mine, one general all-purpose one for ideas that don’t necessarily have a home just yet, and one for each individual project I am working on at the moment. I place post-its with ideas, to-dos or quotes on the dashboard. I attach interesting pictures, articles or jot down links that I want to research further. I personally love analogue over using my phone, tablet or computer although I do rely on those on occasion I find it easier to keep my ideas organized. I go all out adding sketches, washi tape, pictures, stamps and postcards relevant to my projects. Traveller’s notebook can be found online or if you’re handy you can make your own. If you run a search on YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest you can find hundreds of tutorials and inspirational ideas on creating a system that works for you.

Traveler's Notebook