Posted in art journal prompts, Uncategorized

Do Writers Need A Non-Writing Creative Outlet? Plus Art Journal Flip Through

Today’s post takes us away from my normal focus on writing and into one of my other passions, which is art journaling. I share this because It is important that writers take time to embrace our non-writing related passions, hobbies, and other methods of creative expression. I want to explain how these other creative outlets can help you become a more successful writer.

Watch The Video Art Journal #2 Flip Through Here

 

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Finished Art Journals: My non-writing creative outlet

 

Last year I transitioned from being a writer to an author. This was a personal commitment for me to begin treating my writing as a career and not just a hobby or a distant dream.  I wasn’t a published author at the time.  I decided to shift my mindset and view myself as an author.  I had to consider myself as an author in order to become one. It worked.

Once I made that career commitment I was living the dream, doing what I loved as a job. Let’s just ignore the whole not really getting paid part and focus on my point. My hobby, my creative outlet, became a job. Even though I love what I do I found myself dealing with burnout, stress, and feeling uninspired. I was no longer creating just for myself but for others and that came with pressure.

 

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My writing became my career. I needed a non-writing related outlet to prevent burnout. 

 

 

That is where my art journey began. I have always enjoyed creating but never considered myself an artist. I was creative and I loved DIY but I shied away from embracing my inner artist. There are several members of my family who are amazing artists.  I am not as naturally talented or trained as they are. I let this hold me back from certain types of art for years. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let it rob you like it robbed me.

 

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Don’t compare yourself, your art, or your writing to others.

 

Until I needed art in my life. With the pressure of writing, editing, marking, and building an author platform it was easy to become overwhelmed and feel stuck. I needed something in my life to help balance my work, family, and self-care. I needed something that was just for me. I needed to be creative for pleasure. I needed freedom from the pressure to make content that was valuable and marketable.

 

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Art became a way to be creative without pressure

 

I needed a fun creative outlet to step away from my writing at times. I began art journaling and it has evolved over the last year into an essential part of my life. I art journal to relieve stress, to let go of my perfectionism, and to see my creativity displayed in a visual way. I needed art to take the place writing had before it was my career.

That is why I will be sharing my art journey with you. It is a part of my writer’s life. It keeps me balanced, whole, and productive. I encourage all my fellow creatives to find ways to take time for themselves. To nurture all aspects of your life. This will allow you to write creatively. For you, it might not be art. It could be yoga, running, hiking, journaling, being in nature, photography, travel or whatever it is that brings you into a creative place.

 

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Art Journaling is whatever you want it to be. Take a look at my style.  See the Video Here

 

I hope you enjoy this real look into my writer’s life and my perfectly imperfect art journal. I would love to know if you can relate to my experience. What is your non-writing passion or hobby? Are you struggling to find that? Share your success and struggles.

 

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Book Birthday!

It is celebration time! Today is the official publication (AKA Book Birthday) for Writing Prompts Decoded: Creative Prompt Ideas. I am beyond excited to bring this little book baby into the world so that it can help other writers.

Order Your Ebook

happy book birthday

 

The official book launch will be March 26th when the paperback version is released. The later date will give readers time to review the ebook version on Amazon. Once an ebook has 50 reviews, Amazon begins promoting it, which enables it to get in the hands of more readers.

If you are interested in reviewing the book, I will send you a free ARC. Sign up below to join my beta book review team:

Do you know anyone who might like to read and review this book or my upcoming books? If so, please share the link with them. Every review will help my book baby get off to an excellent start on Amazon.

Join My Beta Book Review Team

WRITINGPROMPTSDECODED

Watch The Book Trailer Here

I am not going to lie; the self-publishing process has been both joyful and painful at times. I am thankful you have joined me on the journey.

Next month, I will be continuing my Time Management for Writers series. The focus will be on how you can write smarter, not harder.

Oh, and my March Newsletter will be going out soon. I will include a new bonus writing prompt for you each month. Don’t miss out. These are subscriber only prompts that are not featured in the book or any of the bonus content.

Newsletter Sign Up

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What? Multitasking lowers your IQ? Watch the video to find out more

I would like to know what the hardest part of writing for you is. This will help me bring you valuable posts and books that will help you in your writing journey.  Are your challenges related to time management, the craft of writing, or getting past your fears? I can relate to all of those issues plus many more. That is why I am dedicated to helping other writers.

Posted in Owl Crate, Time Management For Writers, Writing

Top 10 Tips & Tricks to Stop Procrastinating

Do you struggle with procrastination? Are you spending time putting of something instead of doing it? Do you wake up with dreading a task? If so, you are in good company. Mine. As a recovering perfectionist, I still struggle with procrastination.
Top Tricks & Tipsto Stop Procrasting
It is even worse when that task is writing related, and you have a deadline looming. In some cases, it leads to a severe case of writer’s block. Ain’t nobody got time for that. That is why I am excited to share a few tried and true tips and tricks to stop you put an end to procrastination.
These are things I have personally used to beat procrastination and many of them are based on science and phycology.
Top Tricks & Tipsto Stop Procrasting #1

1. Know WHY you are Procrastinating.

The more you know about why you are procrastinating, the easier it will be to overcome it. If you find yourself procrastinating take some time to think about the reason why. These are common reasons writers procrastinate:
  • No structure, system, or plan in place to manage the task
  • Perfectionism
  • The task is unenjoyable
  • Fear of failure.
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Lack of skills, knowledge or ability
  • Technology issues

2. Solve the Problem

Once you pinpoint why you are putting the task off, you can take action and solve the problem. Brainstorm possible solutions and then tackle the project. If self-confidence is the issue you could add positive affirmations to your day and make a list of things you are good at. If you lack the skills needed you could outsource the task, learn via Youtube video, or find information online.
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3. Get Accountable

Confiding in someone can be excellent motivation to get it done. Ask them to follow up with you before your deadline or check in with you daily. It is a lot harder to procrastinate when you know someone will be checking up on you. A great accountability partner will hold you accountable, cheer you on, and rejoice with you when you get things done.

4. Set Yourself Up For Sucess With Rewards

What are you doing instead of the dreaded task?  If I had to guess I would wager you are doing things you enjoy more than the task. If so, you are rewarding yourself for procrastinating by doing things you enjoy. A simple solution is to turn this around. Reward yourself for finishing the task instead of for delaying it. Are you watching Netflix instead of writing that scene? Write the scene and reward yourself with one whole guilt free episode. Yes, you are still waiting for Netflix, but you got the task done. Now you can ENJOY watching without the guilt.
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5. Race the Timer

Make a game out of the unpleasant task. Wash those dishes, file those papers, or write that scene as fast as you can. You can even give yourself a small reward for finishing.

6. Do 90%

You can permit yourself only to do 90 % of the task. Just getting started is often half the battle. I don’t know how many times I put something off only to get started and discover it wasn’t as big a deal I as thought. Once you get to the 90% point you will often push through and finish the task.

7. Done is better than Perfect.

Allow yourself the freedom to write imperfectly. This is crucial for writers with perfectionist tendencies. Especially while writing your first draft. Writing is a process, and the first draft isn’t the place for perfection. Accepting that will allow you to get it written. The revision and editing phase is the place to perfect.
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8. Eat the Frog First

If you haven’t heard of this book and strategy. Check it out here. Eat That Frog By Brian Tracy  The idea is that doing the worst task (eating the frog) first will make the rest of the day or project more manageable. His little book is packed full of more ways to beat procrastination.

9. Find Personal Value

If you are struggling with something, the reason may be that you don’t find value in doing it. Spend a few moments to uncover a personal meaning in the task. Phycology shows that once you assign personal value to something it is easier to do.

10. Break it Down

Is your task too big? A massive project can be overwhelming, and that feeds the procrastination monster. Break the project down into smaller tasks. This is one of the main reasons I prefer to write by scene instead of by chapter.
I hope this tips will help you the next time you find yourself in a procrastination situation. I would love to know how you deal with procrastination.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I get an itty bitty commission but it doesn’t increase the price you pay. I only link products that I personally find value in and think you might as well. 
XOXO (1)
Posted in Time Management For Writers, Uncategorized, Writing

5 ReasonsWhy Writers Need A Writing Plan

Is planning an essential part of writing? Is it important to have writing plan?

The short answer to both is YES. This post isn’t a debate over being a planner or pantser. It isn’t about having a book outline. Well, not exactly. I am talking about having a plan for your writing allows you to manage the time that you have to write.

 

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If you want to know why… keep reading. I have answers. 

 

In my early dreams of being a writer, I imagined pounding out a novel on my typewriter. Somehow, that novel would flow out of me in perfect order. The plot, characters, and setting would entwine magically. It took years of novel writing for me to figure out that book doesn’t work that way for most writers or me.

Every step of writing requires time and planning. Sure, there are times that creativity will strike and things will flow like magic. If you wait for inspiration every time, you write it will take you a long time to finish something, if ever.

 

TIME MANAGEMENT FOR WRITERS
Watch the Writing Plan Video Here

 

What is a writing plan? I am so glad you asked. No question is ever to basic.

At its core, a writing plan is a vision with goals, deadlines, and action steps to achieve the goal. It can be as basic or complex as you need it to be. Here are some examples of what a basic writing plan might look like in the first stages of planning:

Example A: A dog groomer wants to supplement her income by writing a Dog Grooming book. Vision: Write and Sell books. Goal: Write, and self-publish two books about dog grooming this year. Deadline: Book one written and published in 6 months. Book two written and published in 1 year. Action Steps: Research, write, publish, & market each book. The action steps break down into monthly, weekly, and daily steps needed to finish the goal.

Example B: Fiction writer of historical romance has written the first draft of the first book in a series. Vision: Wants to improve the book and seek traditional publication. Action Steps: Find critique partners by X date. Begin self-editing and revision process and complete the book by X date. Research markets, agents and begin the query process.

 

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A one size fits all plan is not the best bet.

 

Your writing plan will be unique to you, your market, and your vision. The foundation of your plan is your goals and vision. The action steps are the bricks that transform your goals into being. Don’t let the idea of planning or the things you must do to achieve your goal get in your way. Make a plan and move forward.

Your goals, vision, and plan should grow and change with you. A writing plan is never set in stone but flexible at its core. One way to keep it that way is to always plan for more time for each task than you think is needed. This is your safety net when unexpected challenges arise.

Here are five reasons that every writer needs to have a writing plan.

#1 Writing Requires Time

Do you want to publish a book? Do you want a successful blog? Do you want to share your writing with the world? If so, the first step to make writing a priority your life. How? By making time to write. Taking the time to plan recognizes how valuable time is.

You give value to your writing by making time for it in your life. Planning starts with figuring out how much time you have to devote to writing. Next, you need to decide how to use that time to get the most done.

 

Time Management
Do you want to get more done with less effort? Cheak out the entire time management for writers series on my youtube channel. 

 

#2 Planning Helps YOU Work Smarter Not Harder

Do you want to get more done in less time? Do more with less effort? Planning is the key to that. I spent hours writing a fantastic chapter only to discover that I had to cut it because it did not fit my book. It was painful. It wasn’t the best use of my time. If had taken time to plan I would have noticed it before I wrote it. Allow yourself to work smarter by working out as many of the details as you can before you start to write.

#3 Planning Allows You To Do Less

Planning doesn’t mean filling your calendar full of tasks. It isn’t just checking things off your to-do list. Effective planning shows you what NOT to do. You can remove or postpone tasks that do not line up with your goals and priorities.

If your primary goal is to have a profitable cruise blog you shouldn’t spend 6 hours researching fashion trends. Unless those are fashion trends are cruise related.

 

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The better you plan, the better your writing habits become

 

#4 Planning Builds Good Writing Habits

There are tons of ways that planning helps build good writing habits. I will highlight a few. Planning your writing week and sticking to it builds writing stamina. You are spending more time writing and in turn improving your writing skills. Planning your nonwriting life effectively will open doors to extra time to write.

As you work your plan, you will discover that you can’t always stick to the plan. That is okay. Learning when and how to be flexible with your plan is essential.

#5 Planning Provides A Map

If the thought of planning stifles your idea of creativity, it helps to think of planning as a map. Would you leave for vacation without a map, plan, or a GPS? I hope not! Take the same approach to your writing. Have a writing plan for when, what, and where you are going to write before you get started is ideal. You will get to your destination quicker and with less energy.
The time you spend preparing will make your writing journey less bumpy and more enjoyable.

There you have it. Five reasons to make a plan today. As you work your plan you will discover that you can’t always stick to it. That is okay. Learning when and how to be flexible with is essential.

Did you miss part of my time management series? You can find the entire series on youtube. Go, check it out and subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss a beat

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Watch more videos in the Time management for writers series.

As always, thanks for watching, reading, following, subscribing and supporting me as a writer as I strive to help you grow in your writing journey.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions.

Get my designs on cool products!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Writing

Writing Prompts Decoded: Official Book Trailer

Do you want to know what my book is about? More importantly, do you want to know how this book will transform the way you look at writing prompts? If you are ready for prompt based solutions to your writing problems and you want to create content for your fiction book, you are in the right place.

I hope you enjoy this super short book teaser. I still have a few advanced reader copies of the ebook version if you would like a free copy in exchange for your honest review. The free ARC’s are limited so contact me asap if you are interested.

Watch the 1 1/2 Min Book Trailer

WRITINGPROMPTSDECODED

I am excited to say that this book is now available for pre-order in ebook format. The paperback version is in the works and both will release February 26th, 2018. All preorders will receive a to be announced bonus and will be entered into a drawing. Prizes & the TBA bonus will be announced live on Facebook on Thursday. All the details will be posted here on Friday.

Preorder Writing Prompts Decoded: Creative Prompts For Your Nonfiction Book Now

As always, thank you for your support and taking time to read my blog. It means the world to me.

You Matter. Words Matter. Your Words Matter.

April

Posted in Uncategorized

My Book Cover Reveal & How The Idea For This Book Was Born

Today is the day. I am revealing my cover for my new book, Writing Prompts Decoded: Creative Prompt Ideas To Create Content For Your Fiction Book. Wow. That title is a mouthful isn’t it? I will tell you a bit about why and how I choose that title later in the post. First, I gotta tell you just a bit about this book and how it came to be.

Way back in October of 2017 I created a month-long writing and art prompt challenge on social media. I had a blast creating the prompts. It was also amazing to witness artists and writers using the prompts, enjoying them, and being creative.

To boil it down, I discovered 2 things. I love creating writing prompts. I love helping other people be creative. I found a problem. Because, when things are going great that is what I do. Find problems.

I was in the middle of editing my fantasy novel, Everside, for the millionth time and also in the planning stages of another fiction book. I wanted prompts that I could use while writing and planning my books. I had so much going on that I felt spending time doing unrelated prompts was not going to help me get my books finished. I felt guilty that I wasn’t making more progress. I went looking for prompts that I could use alongside my books.

However, most prompts that I found were geared toward writing new stories or coming up with new ideas for new stories.

The last thing I needed was to start a new story.

I began tweaking the prompts I found and creating new ones that I could use alongside my story to make my book, writing, and ideas better while still enjoying the fun of using prompts.

Then I had another thought. How cool would it be to have writing prompts that could actually generate content that would go in my book? I began creating and adding prompts like that to my collection.

In November, you know NANOWRIMO, I was supposed to be completing the first draft of my steampunk story that was born from a writing prompt I found online 2 years ago. “s another example of who I love prompts! I wrote about 30000 when I switched gears and started writing my prompt book. So, no. I didn’t win Nanowrimo; I still haven’t finished my steampunk novel. I also don’t recommend switching from one book to another before you finish one but, hey, this is real life. It happens.

I have kept you in suspense long enough. Here is my book cover.

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Do you like it? I certainly hope so. I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the book and the cover.

Okay, so there was no blood. If there had been blood, I would have passed out, because I am awesome like that. It was a painful but amazing process. I loved creating the prompts and the cover. I even loved the editing process. Most of the time. Formatting the book and creating a paperback cover was a nightmare.

This is not the first book I have written. I have 7 completed novels that I have written in my life. None of them are published. Most of them won’t be because I lost them.  Everside and my steampunk novel will be published at some point.

Did you know I was 11 when I wrote my first chapter book? It was called, Spirit of the Wind. It was about a girl and wild horse. I was 11. Everything was about books, horses, and chocolate back then.

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On Friday, I will have another video and post for you in my Time Management for writers series. If you missed out Check Out The Videos Here.

I do strive to bring you valuable content. I hope you enjoyed this post, viewing my cover, learning about my books, and getting to know me a bit more. My book will be available for preorders this week and will release on Feb 26th.

XOXO (1)

Posted in Productitivity, Time Management For Writers, Writing

Why Multitasking Is A Bad Idea: Plus Tips

If you are like me you have spent most of your life thinking that multitasking was a good thing. I admit I have boasted about my ability to multitask on several occasions. So imagine my shock when my time management research informed me I was wrong. I had to double check my facts because no one likes to be wrong.

 

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See me multitasking here? What my video about multitasking here 

 

So, should you stop multitasking? I was reluctant to give up my multitasking but the following reasons convinced me. Number 4 was the dealbreaker.

  1. You are not really multitasking

What you are actually doing is task switching. Shifting your focus from one task to another.  The big issue is that you are never fully focused on doing one thing so both tasks suffer. Some tasks like eating while walking are less taxing on the mind than others, like texting while driving. Research results show that the brain splits in half. This causes us to forget details and make three times more mistakes when given two simultaneous tasks.

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2. Multitasking doesn’t help you get more done in less time.

Researchers at Stanford determined that doing more than one task at a time is less productive than focusing on one task at a time.

3. Multitasking decreases your productivity and your performance.

Our brains are not wired to focus on more than one task at a time. Working on a single task means both sides of the prefrontal cortex are working together in harmony. Adding another task forces the left and right sides of the brain to work independently.  Brain science also reveals that the brain can’t effectively handle more than two complex, related activities at once.  Each time you more than one task, the brain automatically discards one task.

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4. Multitasking lowers your IQ

Studies in London have shown that multitaskers had a reduction in their IQ scores while multitasking. Some of the multitasking men in the study had their IQ drop 15 points. That left them with the average IQ of an 8-year-old child.

5. You are probably not as good as it as you think.

More studies confirm that most people think they are effective multitaskers, The reality is that less than 2% of people actually have the ability to multitask successfully. The next time you catch yourself multitasking assess your focus on both tasks. Are you really giving equal attention to both or is one on the back burner? Then check the quality of your outcome for both tasks. Did you retain information from both tasks? Where both error free? If you had focused on one task would it be done at a higher quality and in less time?

Tip to StopMultitasking

So what does this mean for you as a writer? It is time to consider the negative impacts multitasking may have on your writing and implement some positive changes. Here are a few guidelines to get you started on your road to multitasking recovery.

Tips ToStopMultitasking

  1. Focus on one task at a time. Give it your full attention start to finish.
  2. Minimize distractions that will tempt you to multi-task. If you know that you will be tempted to multitask on your phone while writing it is smart to turn it off.
  3. Decide that if something is worth doing it is worth doing with all of your attention. If the task isn’t worth your full time and attention is it really worth doing?
  4. Have a plan for dealing with tasks that come up while you are writing.  One solution is to jot down a quick note on your phone to deal with the task after you finish the one at hand.
  5. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to write and research at the same time. Block off a specific time to research and a specific time to write. Mixing the two is a recipe for using your time ineffectively. It also impacts your creativity because you are switching from right to left brain tasks.
  6. Be mindful. Try a mindfulness app, journal or book to help you get in the habit of being fully present in the moment
  7. Put away your phone. If you are like me, your phone is a huge source of multitasking tendencies.

Here are some links to studies, research, and articles that I gleaned information from to support this blog post.

 

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2010/04/multitasking-splits-brain