Welcome to WriterzBlox! Stay tuned for great articles about the craft of writing, inspiration and resources to help aspiring writers get started.
“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
“Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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
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!
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?
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.
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.
How To Write A Page-Turner
Craft a Story Your Readers Can’t Put Down
by Jordan Rosenfeld
Release date: March 19th, 2019
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.
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.
Journaling is becoming more mainstream and it’s not just reserved for keeping secrets under lock and key. Journaling is more of an art form and healing too. There are so many benefits of encouraging your young adult to journal…
- Helps your teen with writing skills.
- Encourages and fosters creativity.
- Gives them an outlet to express themselves.
- A tool for your young adult’s self-development and actualization.
- Can assist in making decisions by making pro and con arguments.
- Can create a time capsule that your young adult can keep into adulthood.
- For storytelling or writing prose. Give your young adult a place to record story ideas, poems, or lyrics.
“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go”. ~ E. L. Doctorow
Four tips to setting up a journal practice for your young adult…
- Let your young adult choose a journal that expresses their personality. Choosing one in their favourite colour or with a design that is meaningful to them will go one step further in making it special for them.
- Help them to create a special ritual to make it time just for them, something that can be a lifelong habit.
- Allow them to do whatever they want using stickers, washi tapes, markers, stamps, ticket stubs, scraps and perhaps even a mini polaroid for them to attach pictures of special events.
- Respect their privacy. Allow your young adult to have a safe space to record their thoughts, feeling emotions fostering trust and respect
Writing prompts are a wonderful way to kick-start your young adult’s creativity and generate ideas. There isn’t a right or wrong way respond, just encourage them to be honest, creative and stretch their imagination!
“You can make anything by writing.”~C.S. Lewis ”
What would happen if you could write something into existence? Would you write about a new pair of kicks or would you choose something larger, perhaps world peace?
Matters of Vital Interest
A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen
Release date: October 16th, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen by Eric Lerner from NetGalley and De Capo Press in order to read and give an honest review.
I have been a fan of Leonard Cohen since my teens. Unlike most of the new wave, punk heroes of my youth, Cohen’s work somehow spoke to me on a very different level. He was not glammed up with spiked hair and eyeliner but had a cool elegance that made him and his music stand out for me. Although his work was, and still is, brilliant, poetic and fairly well known, the man himself, always seemed to remain a mystery…until now. Author Eric Lerner, a close personal friend of Cohen for over forty years shares with us an intimate and unique portrait of the man, his spirit and the creative and curious workings of his mind.
As a fan I really enjoyed this, although bittersweet and intensely emotional at times, it gave us a glimpse inside Cohen’s life like nothing else I have watched or read. Lerner and Cohen endured a great deal throughout their friendship from trying to find spiritual meaning and weathering their creative storms, to divorce, parenting and ultimately illness. These two went through it all, offering support, kindness, wit and most importantly honesty. We saw them search for spiritual meaning, exploring Zen Buddhism while still adhering to their Jewish faith. I giggled at the story of their existential conversation whilst watching a nature documentary about penguins. We learn about what made Cohen tick, how proud he was to be a father and the little idiosyncrasies that make us see him as perhaps a little less mysterious and if anything, the very human, honest and extremely self-aware artist he was.
I love the fact Lerner gives us a glimpse into Cohen’s life in a respectful but very honest way, highlighting the good but also sharing the troublesome often overwhelming things that Cohen endured in his life. My only issue with the book, although it wouldn’t stop me reading it, was the fact it jumps around in spots. Some sections seemed like a meandering internal dialogue going back and forth, revisiting things as they came to Lerner’s mind but often seemed a bit repetitive in my opinion.
All in all, I really enjoyed this unique gift to Cohen fans everywhere, an honest, captivating glimpse at the man and his music, a must read in my opinion.
by Ann Rittenberg, Laura Whitcomb and Camille Goldin
Release date: February 16th, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Your First Novel: Revised and Expanded Edition by Ann Rittenberg, Laura Whitcomb and Camille Goldin from NetGalley and F+W Media/Writer’s Digest Books in order to read and give an honest review.
If you are an aspiring writer who wants to publish your first book, Your First Novel: Revised and Expanded Edition is a perfect guidebook for you. Some of the biggest challenges a writer faces often just boils down to a lack of knowledge. This book is a very comprehensive how-to guide that which walks you through every step of the writing process. From creating a positive mindset, idea creation, POV and dialogue to finding an agent and publishing. I loved the tone of the book, it was easy to read and comprehend. The authors offer examples from well known published books to illustrate each section as well as reading lists of other books that focus on that specific aspect of writing. I don’t think they leave any aspect of the writing process out. Although it leans primarily towards traditional publishing it does feature an informative chapter on self-publishing.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book which I know will become a reference that I will refer to time and again.
Daily Writing Resilience
365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers
by Bryan Robinson
Release date: January 8th, 2018
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Daily Writing Resilience ~ 365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers from NetGalley & Llewellyn Publications in order to read and give an honest review.
I loved this book and found it to be incredibly motivational. Bryan Robinson’s inspirational book is a daily devotional for writers. Daily Writing Resilience offers a writer 365 days of prompts and advice, sure to help get their creativity flowing. The book is dated containing daily quotes, valuable snippets of wisdom and what the author calls “Today’s Takeaway” which are tips to help any writer be the best they can be. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned writer, battling writer’s block or just starting to get your feet wet, I would definitely recommend Daily Writing Resilience to anyone looking for motivation.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ~ Albert Camus
Finally, 2018 is here and with it a renewed sense of spirit. 2017 had more than it’s share of challenges, sadness and loss but it’s time to move forward into a bright and shiny New Year.
I decided although I have goals to some degree I wasn’t going to make all of the usual resolutions which in all likelihood would fizzle out when more pressing things popped up. I decided on one simple focus: to just be a better person than I was last year. I hope to be healthier, more at peace, more creative, more positive, more knowledgeable…just more. No constraints, no competition, no self-doubt…no stressing about where I am. If last year taught me anything it’s that life is too short to spend it trying to be perfect, I just want to be me, a better version, not perfect…just unapologetically me.
I have already resumed studying, reading, volunteering, creating and writing. In the next few months, I will be working on some new programs and packages at IgniteYourCreativity.net. Both of my coaching programs:“Ignite Your Core Creativity” & “Art As Therapy” will be relaunching in February and I will be adding several new e-courses in the Spring.
Over at Professor Owl’s Book Corner, we will be publishing our January Newsletter this week. This month, as usual, we will share some great book recommendations, literacy tutoring information and writing inspiration for our young writers.
Also be on the lookout for new book reviews, guest posts and articles on BelindaWitzenhausen.com.
We will also be resuming our “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB on January 26th . We are so thrilled about the fantastic response we are getting and send out a huge thank you to all those who have participated. If you are tired of all of the negativity online please join us and help be the change. 🙂
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. Again, #WATWB is back on January 26th, 2018!
Wishing everyone a fantastic January!
Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you are living in and loving the moment.
Live, laugh & love! ❤
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~ Maya Angelou
#amwriting #researching #urbanfantasy #CelticMythology #mystery #historicalfiction #learning #studying #archaeology #egyptology #manuscriptstudies #palaeography #codicology #history #journaling #yoga #meditation #arttherapy #coaching #WATWB #bookreviews #art #volunteering #transcribing #amreading #blogging #authorinterviews
My Spotify Playlist ~#AmWriting #UrbanFantasy ~ Moon of Morrigan Trilogy