Blog Excerpts

Getting Unstuck

Merlin Mann of the productivity blog "43 Folders" has five great tips for beating writer's block. Read them here.

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Stuck with your writing? Hitting a roadblock? Feeling you just can't go any further? Here is a game to help. It will sound a little crazy but, trust me, it works.  Continue reading...
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You know the feeling. You really, really, really don't want to write. You're blocked. You've hit the wall. The words just won't come. You're bereft of inspiration. But your writing project needs to be finished (or started!) So what can you do? Well, I have an idea. Twenty of 'em, actually?  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Writer's Block?

How do you deal with writer's block? Author Michael Bracken takes an, um, absolutist view: "This probably isn't the answer you're looking for: There's no such thing as writer's block. You either write or you don't write. It's that simple." Do you agree with Michael? Read how he supports his argument here.
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Are you old enough to remember TV cartoons from the 1960s? If so (or if you're a 'toon fan), you may recall a miniature devil, complete with pitchfork, who sat on the shoulder of many a main character. This little devil whispered bad advice and spiteful ideas into the character's ear -- egging him on to do the wrong or rotten thing. Believe it or not, you too have a devil sitting on your shoulder. And he can really mess up your writing.

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I came across this terrific post on a blog "devoted to all things geek" called Gadgetopia. While this entry's aimed at computer types, if you substitute the word "programming" with "writing," "marketing," "presenting," or any other kind of creative project, I think you'll find it extremely useful. I certainly did. It appeared on 05/14/06. [Editor]

Here's something I've learned: when faced with a programming project, the worst thing you can do is start coding right away.

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Eileen Wilks is one busy author. In the past ten years, she's written twenty nine novels. Her world? Romance, the most popular genre in America. And not only here: Eileen's books have been translated into twelve languages. She recently emailed us about how the Visual Thesaurus helps her work.

"The Visual Thesaurus isn't just a fun way to avoid writing, or other productive work. (Though it is that, at times.) Yesterday I used it to come up with a title for my current book-in-progress. My editor emailed me that she'd be cover-conferencing the book next week, and did I have a title yet? Well, no. I had some ideas, all bad. I took a few key words and started plugging them into the Visual Thesaurus, following one link or another, backtracking, and eventually -- boing! I hit pay dirt. Thank you for a wonderful tool. I wouldn't have arrived at 'Blood Lines' without it."

You're most welcome, Eileen.

Eileen also gave us an idea: We wanted to find out how she does it -- what are her secrets for being so productive a writer? And what advice does she have for those of us struggling to write, whether it's our first book or first marketing brochure? So we called Eileen at home in Midland, Texas, to find out. We hit pay dirt, too:

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