16 April 2014

Writing prompt 42

Happy Wednesday! It's time once again for the weekly writing prompt.

Yesterday I surprised the heck out of myself by not only submitting an application for an emerging writer fellowship but then also submitting a few poems to a literary journal. I'm not sure why I couldn't do that during the previous round of ROW80, when it was actually a stated goal, but whatever, I'll take it.

Anyway, the experience of submitting reminded me that I've had the idea before to use the upcoming themed deadlines in the Duotrope newsletter as a source for writing prompts/inspiration if I ever need it. (If you don't have a Duotrope subscription but you want to submit your fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction to lit journals and mags, I recommend that you sign up asap. It's awesome.)

So that's where this week's writing prompt comes from. Can you guess what it is?

Orig. image from fatfaceandme.com

I do so love me a good ninja tale.

This week's prompt is from Twit Publishing, who are looking for submissions for their "collection of short stories, poems, history, essays, novellas, non-fiction, and instructional essays about NINJAS!" But you have to hurry; the deadline for submission is this Friday, April 18.

So what are you waiting for? Start writing about ninjas!

15 April 2014

Keeping in the write shape

As I mentioned in my Sunday post, one of my coaching clients wanted to know what strategies I use to keep myself motivated to write. I see this as being a little different from the questions I'm raising and answering in my series of posts about writer's block; this is more about ways I make sure to take care of myself so that I have the energy to write. It's about keeping in the write shape, if you will. (Haha, yes I'm horrible at puns.)

Here are some strategies or tools I use to help me write.

#writeclub on Twitter; sometimes I participate in Friday's sessions, moderated by @FriNightWrites, but more frequently I use the hashtag when I need someone else to help keep me accountable. Or just to know that I have company. I've met many a writer through this hashtag, and I am, in fact, drafting this post right now while running a #writeclub sprint. 

Get up & move around for 15-20 mins. I might take a walk or a shower, play with the dog, do tai chi or qi gong, wander aimlessly around house looking out windows...the point is just to stand for a bit.

13 April 2014

ROW80 2014, Round 2, Week 1

 "A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

Oh, lawd. What do I want to say about my writing life this week? Well I've been working on my pseudonym's WIP2 and then on Friday night I found out about the A Public Space Emerging Writers Fellowship, application due this Tuesday, so my focus has shifted til I get my application in. I wanted to start applying for fellowships and residencies this year; this one seems like a great one to start with because they offer six months of mentorship as part of the fellowship package, which is something I have not seen elsewhere. Awesome.

I also got a great question from a coaching client about what strategies I use to motivate myself to write (blog post coming soon), and I had an epiphany of sorts that one of the reasons I persist in the path I've chosen is because my belief in possibility is so strong; if I didn't believe that it were possible for what I write to make a difference to someone else and that I can make at least a partial living off writing exactly what I want to write, I'd sink into a depression born of apathy - as surely as Artax sank into the Swamp of Sadness - and stop writing. Luckily, I have been gifted with just the write brand of optimism/determination/stupidity to allow me to push on. Also, having supportive friends and family really helps. Thank you, friends and family. You are all kinds of awesomeness.

And now for this week's ROW80 check-in:

09 April 2014

Writing prompt 41

Happy Wednesday, writers! This week's writing prompt is inspired by whatever crazy-sauce Muse visited me earlier today during my writing time. Hope you enjoy!

She plays an invisible accordion.

My freewrite

06 April 2014

ROW80 2014, Round 2 Goals

"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

Round 2 of A Round of Words in 80 Days starts tomorrow, April 7. This round I'm focusing on being reasonable about my goals. I've learned quite a bit about myself as a writer and self-employed person over the last year and a half, and I think I'm starting to get it. (Famous last words? We shall see.) Part of my thinking is inspired by this post by Dawn Montgomery, full-time author and ROW80 participant, about writing burnout. I worked extra hard last month on finishing a first draft of a novel, and I'm noticing that I'm extra tired and not fully present mentally these days, which might be signs of my own burnout. (Or signs of having my head buried in another universe, take your pick.)

In addition to my penchant for setting crazy-ambitious writing goals/schedules, for setting this round's goals I need to take into account the fact that I'm going to be doing quite a bit of traveling over the next several months, first to the midwest and then on to Europe. (Poor me, I know.) The travel time, the adjustment to new time zones and places, not to mention the lure of exploring new environments will all have an impact on my available work time, which is why my goals this round are relatively modest by comparison.

Round 2 Goals