What’s out your window?

InspirationJust getting into Twitter and I’m following a guy called Jonathan Gunson at BestSellerLabs.com. He’s got some interesting stuff on how to enjoy Twitter without getting tied in ribbons, bows and knots.

Anyway… In the email transactions between saying hello and downloading a course on Twitter for Authors, he added the following message on writing to the bottom of an email – from a writer friend of his:

“Sit quietly by a window and frame an idea… After a brief time, the pen moves, a word is written, and suddenly, you have the beginnings of something grand.”

So it’s 2014. A grand start to a wonderful year. Our ambitions and resolutions, as writers, invariably turn to what we’re going to deliver this year. What we’re going to finally finish. What we’re going to publish. But it’s so easy to get lost in the business of writing (websites, PR, social media…), that we can easily forget about the writing itself. Instead of looking out of a window and framing an idea, we’re busy looking at the repetitive detail that fills out lives.

So make only one resolution this year. WRITE. Just WRITE. It’s OK if the laundry piles up a little. Write this year and make it count.

Have a wonderful 2014.

This from a women – multitasking is a myth!

Multitasking is a myth! Do one thing at a time.Whichever way you slice it, multitasking isn’t really doing a bunch of things simultaneously – it’s doing a lot of things, in bits and pieces, to medium effect, SERIALLY, not in parallel.

If you’re a multitasker, just think about it for a moment… What we define as multitasking is really having a dozen things on the go at various stages of completion. When it comes down to actually DOING something that counts, we can really only do or think about ONE THING. Trying to do more than one thing at a time merely results in jobs taking longer to finish than they should, you being more stressed than you should be and making more mistakes than you’ll admit to.

Here’s a challenge for the New Year. Start one thing (something from your daily to-do list, a project, a book), focus on it entirely, finish it, then start the next thing. Aim to have only ONE action on the go at a time. You’ll find a few things happen: 1) You won’t waste time thinking about all the balls you’re juggling, 2) you won’t waste time trying to remember what stage you’re at with each project and 3) you won’t waste time trying to de-stress between bouts of overload.

As a writer, focusing on one thing at a time is even more important. If, while you’re writing your novel, you’re also writing a non-fiction book, building a website, running a social media campaign, writing short stories, running a family, keeping a job down, living a life… the amount of time you’ll have to really dig deep on your novel will be divided by everything else you have going on. This might work for a while, but if you don’t take the time to think, stew and create, then everything you write will be superficial at best.

Some things need focused attention. If you struggled to get your book finished in 2013, try to drop a few projects off your radar in 2014 and focus more on what you want to complete.

If you’re really addicted to the idea of multitasking, then go put the kettle on while the next chapter is brewing.

Happy writing today!

If you want to meet your characters, you need to BE QUIET

Give your characters space and time to show themselves. Be quiet. Still your crazy mind.
Give your characters space and time to show themselves. Be quiet. Still your crazy mind!

Have you ever tried to build a story line, create a character or run through dialogue in your mind only to be defeated by the cacophony in your head?

Arguments you would have won if you’d just said (fill the gap), things to do, plans to make, reminders to be reminded of, insults aimed at yourself or the person next to you…

The definition of MESS is matter out of place. The same definition can be applied to NOISE  as sounds out of place.

If you want to build a story line or create a character or run through dialogue in your mind, you need to clear out the noise. You need to still your mind. You need to shut up. You need to BE QUIET.

The brightest creations come out of stillness. It’s where What’s Possible lives. Connections are made in its silence. Worlds are created there.

Your characters are shy. Few will stand up to the chaos that usually fills your mind. Give them the time and space they need to come out and be discovered.

Happy writing today.
Tina K

False Starts!

False starts are OK!How many times have you “started” your novel? This drove me nuts until I accepted that false starts are a good way to measure whether you really are ready to write.

Take this as a possible outcome to your writing endevours… You start your novel after months of thinking and research and you decide to subscribe to the school of thought that “Once you start, you just keep going! No matter what! Write you crazy person! Don’t you dare falter! Get that first draft out! Don’t stop until the end… then go back and edit.”

Been there done that, and editing under those conditions is a bitch.

So, how many false starts are OK? In my humble opinion? As many as you like.

There’s an inner editor we, as writers, all have (I’m going to direct you to “Let me Out! 49 Great Escapes from Writer’s Block” for more about it). It’s the voice in the back of our heads or the feeling in our gut that tells us something isn’t right. To ignore it and keep on going when you feel the overall plot is rubbish, just doesn’t make sense. So start over!

If you’re struggling to get past the first, second or third chapter, then stop, bin what you’ve written, review your characters, plot, the whole damn idea, and fix what needs to be fixed. Then start again.

If you have to do this a dozen times, that’s fine. Just don’t waste time finishing something you know isn’t right.

Happy writing, no matter how many times you start.