Clutter and Creativity: Does a Mess Actually Make us More Innovative?

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Part of why I haven’t written much in the past few months is because I have convinced myself that if I just get my house thoroughly cleaned and organized, I’ll get more work done. The reality is this: my house is still a mess! and I’ve added fewer words to my novel then are in this blog post.

Currently, my system of organization is dependent on piles, loads of them. (Though, I can tell in which pile to find just about anything.) My journals are a Continue reading

The Best Books for Writers Learning to Write

Megan Norris Jones

Megan Norris Jones

We don’t start out as excellent writers. We start out as people who love stories and want to write them. We learn to be writers, but we don’t have to do it alone. In previous posts, I discussed my self-education plan and provided a list of podcasts, blogs, e-newsletters, and magazines that I turn to for a quick shot of education or inspiration. But I’m a writer who is working on a book, so my resource list wouldn’t be complete without the books that have been most helpful in improving my craft. Continue reading

Short and to the Point

Laura Ayo

Laura Ayo

People who know me would describe me as a talker. I can log two minutes on my husband’s voice mail just to ask him to pick up milk. What can I say? I like back stories and context. I’m wordy. Yet, my writer friends would hesitate to describe my writing as “wordy.” I’m known as the one who uses sparse description and concise transitions. After years of crafting newspaper and magazine articles that needed to fit a set word count, the to-the-point journalist in me is hard to shake. Until recently, I didn’t realize other writers admire the ability to write lean. So I thought I would share how I’ve fine-tuned that skill over my career. Continue reading

On being gold-diggers at heart (no, not that kind) . . .

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

I finished one of my favorite series’ last week for the second time.

At the end of it, I still wasn’t ready to leave that world, those characters. The adventures and the jokes, the romances and the rivalries. I just wasn’t ready. So I did the sensible thing. I picked my favorite book from the series and settled in for a third read. A day and half later, I was right back where I started, yearning for more books in the series, but knowing it was well and truly time to move on.

But what do you follow that up with? I tried a YA trilogy. Highly recommended. A best-seller. Gushed over by my friends. It sounded like a sure thing. And maybe it would’ve been had I not just finished reading these other books that I loved so very much. The fact is, it was built well. It had potential and probably was building up to something that warranted the hype, but I wasn’t enjoying the ride. After about ten percent of the book, I put it down. Continue reading

A New Writing Year

Stacey Kite

Stacey Kite

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Partly because designating January 1, as the beginning of the year feels nonsensical to me—the New Year starts in the spring—duh—not in winter. But since I wasn’t consulted when Western civilization adopted the modern calendar, January 1st it is. The other reason I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions is because most people seem to give up on them by the end of February. Continue reading