Getting Into The Writing Zone

Today, I wanted to expand on the zone concept. A beginning writer once asked me: “I’ve heard authors talk of being ‘in the zone’ regarding their writing, which I take to mean being in an altered state of extreme creativity. But how, without drugs or other stimulus, do you get into that state?”

In fact, as Jim mentioned, we hear the term in the zone used often, not only with writers, but athletes, artists, and just about any activity that requires skill, creativity and concentration. Learn more.



Staying Focused

With the holidays upon us, it is very important to stay focused on what matters.

You know what they say . . . “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But what if the picture was blurry and out of focus? It’s worthless.
Or is it?

Have you noticed when you first press the screen on your phone to take a picture, it goes fuzzy before taking the perfect, clear shot? It has to go out of focus before going into focus.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the same thing about my writing. Unfocused. I settle in to write and find myself getting distracted. Ding! Was that an email? Learn more.


Time Management Ideas

Here’s a great article on time management for writers.

A blog is due. Contest entries to be judged. Editing due for a client. Writing in my own book. After all, it’s NaNoWriMo month. The next book to be plotted. A book release. An online course to complete. A deadline I kind of forgot to put on my schedule. Not to mention all those pesky things called Life that call to be done, like laundry, dinner, and sleep.

I’m sure none of my readers have ever been in this situation, where there are too many demands and not enough hours. Just for fun—or was it madness—I listed all the things I need to do, and the time it will take to complete them, and I came up with 42 hours. Learn more.


Killer Nashville

Here is a fun article about a writer who went to a mystery writing conference.

I recently attended, for the first time, Killer Nashville conference, and I thought some readers might like to hear about this event. It was a 4-day conference at a really decent price, held in a large, swanky hotel in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The conference is geared toward writers of crime, mystery, suspense, thriller, and the like. I wanted to go because of the forensic classes and mock crime scene. Tell me there’s a dead body, and I’m there.


While I didn’t attend the Thursday sessions, there was a session on Thursday afternoon presented by an agent on how to acquire an agent, as well as a wine tasting event; both required the purchase of a ticket. Learn more.


Self-Care For Writers

Cec Murphy is running a series for writers on self-care. It is worth the hop over there to read each blog post.

“Why do you polish your tools every time after you use them?” I asked my dad when I was about six years old.

“Makes them last longer.” Dad was a man of few words, but I understood. At the time it seemed like a lot of extra work. When I was older I understood the lesson. As I thought about this topic, the principle applies. If I care for myself—my body, my mind, my spirit—every part of myself—I’ll survive and be productive much longer. Learn more.


Writing Action Scenes

Writing action scenes is fun.

What comes mind when I say those words? Typically someone would think of a movie set in the oldun’ days. Someone had a tripod camera and a megaphone and a snappy board with numbers on it.

I want you to try this when you’re writing an action scene. The idea is to get you to look at the scene in your mind’s eye. Capture what you see with words. Be visceral. Don’t fill in any embellishments like “it was a dark stormy night.” I don’t even want eye color or clothing. Just the facts ma’am! Learn more.


Real Life and Novel Writing

As writers we can glean from our own lives and put those experiences in our stories.

The second book in my Chapel Lake series, Chapel Springs Survival,came from a real life event-and became a mother’s retribution. Insert creepy music and evil laughter.

The day started out normal, boring even. Then I got a phone call from our eldest son.

“Hey, Mom. I emailed you some pictures. Take a look and call me back.” Learn more.