How To Trick Yourself To Write

December 31, 2013

I will preface this post by saying that it was inspired by a Psychology Today article I read on how to trick yourself into getting your resolutions to stick. As I read on, I couldn't help but smile and think that the same concept may just work for writers. I don't know about you but when I'm stressed it's the process of sitting down and writing that's hard. Not the actual writing. But the "going to go write" process that's hard.

So, I've twisted the article and applied the methods to writers (read the original article here).

1) Tell yourself you aren't allowed to write.

The article says "make the desired behavior the forbidden fruit." This is easier than you might think to apply to writing. Almost every computer on the planet as a "notepad" program installed (or maybe some other variation if you are a Mac user). While at work, pop open the notepad section and continue your work in progress during bouts of downtime at work. This isn't always easy to do and I'm fairly certain I read somewhere that JK Rowling got fired or something because of doing similar behavior with Harry Potter. But maybe try to sneak in time during a 15 minute break or lunch and pretend you are doing it...on the sly.

If don't have the gumption to do this at work (and I don't blame you), try the same tactic by working on a brand new idea in the middle of your work in progress. If you aren't a novelist, work on an article. Tell yourself that you are sneaking behind your own back and working on something you shouldn't. Cheat on your novel for a little bit. (Just don't tell your muse)

2) Think about what your current writing habits will bring you in five (ten? fifteen?) years from now.

Next thing I read was to think about how your current behavior will affect your future. Like if I ate a piece of chocolate cake every day for five years, I'm sure that my weight in five years will be...extremely high. Or if I cut out that extra cup of coffee every day for five years that will probably help me a lot for long term benefits (I drink too much coffee; me cutting back is me drinking only three cups a day instead of five).

It doesn't have to be a huge write-a-novel-every-day type of habit, but if you dedicate yourself to writing 500 words every day, or completing one notebook every month, or submitting your story to a contest once a month that will add up in five years. Go even smaller too if you need. Not at 500 words a day yet? Sit with your notebook out and pen in hand while you watch television. You don't even have to say you will write anything down. But take on that habit. Once you get used to that, turn off the television.

3) Understand the benefits and consequences of writing (or not writing).

I have become more focused on writing the latter half of this year. Not as much as I'd like but as a result my focus has been redirected away from my blog. I have learned the consequence of writing is that my blog doesn't get near as much attention and I tend to reduce the number of blogs I read at all.
But what are the benefits of NOT writing? Come on, you know there are some. You can catch up on your favorite shows (and not so favorite shows), spend more time with family or friends, clean, read, paint your nails, write on your blog, read other blogs, social network, devote more hours at work, etc. These are good things! It's not like the alternative to writing is dealing drugs and robbing banks. There are wonderful and awesome things to do besides write. And there are benefits to these things too.

So, I'm not saying to completely give up your enjoyments, hobbies, pastimes and relationships on behalf of the printed word, but do know there will be a lot of days where you are not devoting as much time to the things you do enjoy. Writing does have consequences. So does not writing. I guess it all depends on your ability to balance everything and figuring out where you can start redirecting your time spent.

What are you tips for balancing your writing life with everything else? What tips can you share?
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Reading Outside My Comfort Zone (A Mini Book Review)

December 26, 2013

A couple of days ago I finished the book called, "The Cloud" by Ray Hammond. It's been a while since I read a true science fiction novel and I have to say I was greatly surprised!

A lot of the book went over my head with details of the science world that the author described, but what drew me on was the threat on Earth and the potential for total annihilation!

It drew me in also because the main character had an inner turmoil problem going on of being against the very technology that may just save the planet.

This may just create a new relationship with science fiction books! Although I may not become full trekki, I will seek outside my familiar genres more often.

And ironically enough, as I finished the book, there was a thick fog encircling my neighborhood. Very very eerie.

Have you read outside your comfort zone lately? What did you think of venturing into uncharted territory?

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Merry Christmas Everyone! (Our Wednesday Photo Prompt - Extension and My Fav Story This Year)

December 25, 2013
I want to be sure to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season. It's been a rough year for me - very stressful with a lot of challenges this year. I hope next year I can start devoting a bit more time to things I enjoy (like blogging, reading, and more time for writing). Seems impossible, but hey, you never know!

The ladies of the blog hop and I are taking a bit of a vacation this week and next due to holiday stuff, but we wanted to let you know that the prompt for last week is still live! So make sure to check it out and see what you might have to write for us!

Also, here's the stories we have so far this week from the writing prompt, so read the amazing pieces submitted so far and see if they inspire you!

Remembering by Scotty Taylor

Chocolate Milk and Hope by Leanne Sype

Now to share my favorite story so far this year...

This story is called, "This is Where the Nightmare Started" inspired by the photo above. It was written from a dream that my mom shared with me once and I decided to make a story out of it. I would love for you to stop by and see this piece! It's my favorite so far this year! 

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Wednesday Writing Prompt - Get Inspired!

December 18, 2013
Is everyone ready for the holidays? I don't make too big of a deal during this time of year, but it's going to be wonderful to have a few days off to spend with family. I notice the blog hop is slowing down a bit, but I think everyone is just busy getting prepared for the holidays.

Here's the two stories we got from last week -

Untitled Story by Tena Carr

Market Day by Sally

1) Write a story using both photos.

2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.

3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)

4) You have the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photo -

Christmas presents under the tree

Weir area 1

And here's the link up when you're ready!
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I'm Late, But it's Here! - The Weekly Writing Prompt!

December 13, 2013

The chill of an icy morning is cozy from the inside, where sandalwood candles warm my space, and a cup of hot coffee warms my soul.

Winter has certainly blasted its way in hasn't it? Seems like everyday is a good day to curl up with a good book or settle into a cozy corner to write. Speaking of which, it is time for this week's blog hop photo reveal! First, our winner for this month's featured blog hop author is Tony Roberts! Here's his button for you to display on your site. (Remember, this is a great way to support and build community with one another!):
Roberts Button
We had two stories emerge from last week's prompt:

1) One Fine October Day by Tony Roberts
2) Hidden Treasures by Leanne Sype

And a brief word about how the blog hop works:

1) Write a story using both photos.
2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.
3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!) 4) You have the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow! Here are your photos!


Have fun!

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Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

December 3, 2013
What's your holiday this season? Do the lights and sparkles make you smile? They do for me, and we can definitely use more smiles.

I'm hoping this bit of news helps to bring on a few more.

Tony Roberts, you are our winner this month! I had thought you were a repeat winner and am surprised to find this is your first time. I (Carrie) would love to put a button together for you. Let me know if you have a photo or idea you would like to use by this weekend so I have time to work on it for next Wednesday. Oh, and congratulations!

Highlighting last week's submissions:

Don't Eat the Berries by Leanne Sype

Secrets by Scott Taylor

A Short Story by Sally Stackhouse

Be sure to check the rules as we've shifted the prompt a little and let us know if our inLink isn't working as it should.

Those rules are:

1) Write a story using both photos.

2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (NicoleCarrieTena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we'll get you linked up!)4) You have the next week to post.5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow! Remember: the blog hop is about creative writing and community, so feel free to invite a friend to join in!

The photos:

And your (hopefully) friendly inLinkz widget.

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