I’ve decided to bring back the Read, Write, Grow writer’s book club for 2023! For the first two months (Jan-Feb 2023), we will read one book since we are just now voting, and the beginning of a new year is always busy.
Voting is open now in my Instagram story. We are choosing between The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Mass and Writing Active Hooks by Mary Buckham. You can also vote for your choice via the survey below.
I’m testing out the book club in the Fable app. If you haven’t heard of it, the Fable app is specifically for book clubs. It allows you to chat while reading the book. It is divided up by chapters and also shows the reading breakdown for the book. If you are interested in trying out the Fable app, you can join here. Search for Read, Write, Grow and you should find the club. If you have any problems finding, just let me know.
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Looking forward to a year of growth and reading in 2023!
With NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) right around the I wanted to share some tips to help you make the most of this month. And in true pantser fashion, this doesn’t include making an outline. 🙂
Clear your calendar. Take a look at your calendar and make sure you don’t have any uneccessary activities planned for the month. Can something be moved to next month? Don’t volunteer to host Thanksgiving, but if you have to do so, see who can help you. Kids? Spouse or partner? Delegate as much as you can to other people.
Plan meals ahead of time. Think about what you are going to do for meals. Again, maybe you can delegate this to someone else, or maybe you can do some quick microwavable meals during the week and cook only on the weekends. (This is my plan.)
Gather your supplies. What did you need for a sucessful writing session? Notebooks, pens, candle, snacks, drinks? Figure out what things you need and stock up on them. Some of my neccessities include dark chocolate peanut M&M’s, salt and vinegar chips, Coke, ingredients for homemade mochas, Pentel purple pens, and a notebook. (Yeah, I’m a junk food junkie, I know. 🙂 )
Create a workspace. Determine where you are going to work. Maybe you already have a space, but it might need to be cleared to work. If you don’t have one yet, consider a place where you can work without interruptions, ideally a place where you aren’t doing a lot of other activities.
Think about your story. Even though I don’t have an outline, I do think a lot about my story. This includes creating an aesthetic or mood board, making a playlist, creating a working cover. I also jot down a few notes in my notebook of things I don’t want to forget before I start writing.
And most importantly, do what you can to make this experience fun! I always create a bingo board, and if you missed my previous post with the board and all my other templates, you can check it out here.
What do you do to prepare for NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments!
It’s that time of year again – the start of November and National Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Writers from all around the globe attempt to write a novel or part of a novel equaling 50,000 words. Maybe you’ve tried it before or maybe you’ve only considered it. This will be my seventh year seriously (I attempted to do it a couple years before, but didn’t see it through) doing NaNoWriMo and it is motivating and successful for me. However, I realize it is not for everyone, so I wanted to share why it works so well for me to help you decided if it might work for you.
The Deadline – Many writers dread the deadline, but it is highly motivating for me. I’m a huge procrastinator, so I often need some external motivation to help me get things done.
The Challenge -This kind of goes along with the first thing, I love to win and if I don’t meet the deadline, I don’t win. The drive to win keeps me in the game even when things gets difficult.
The Project – I am a project writer – which basically means I can work hours at a time when in the middle of a project. I don’t always write every day, but I write in large chunks of time when working on a project. Once I’ve finished said project, I need some reset time, and can take up to a couple weeks off from writing.
So, if these things are things you can relate to, you might want to give NaNoWriMo a try. However, if it all seems a little overwhelming, you can also adjust your goal. If you want to start out with a smaller goal like 30k or even 25k, you could also do that.
One thing you do need to have is commitment. If you’re are serious about doing it, wholly commit to it, letting friends and family know you are doing this. Post on social media and even create little rewards for steps along the way. The first couple of years I tried NaNo, I didn’t go in with a firm commitment and I didn’t win or even come close to winning.
If you do decide you want to do NaNo, check out my #nanobingo22 board and other fun templates here.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo.
Hey everyone! I’ve created another bingo board for this year’s NaNoWrimo. I’ve already shared it over on my Instagram, but wanted to share here in case anyone missed it, or they aren’t on IG. So here it is:
Feel free to screenshot or print, and share with the tag #nanobingo22. I’ve also created some additional templates to go along with the bingo board. There is a board for each week to share your weekly update, and a board to share your word count for the day and the bingo square you completed.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments!
February’s pick for our writer’s book club was Story Genius by Lisa Cron. I really enjoyed it, and I feel like it ties in really well with our March pick which is Save the Cat Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody.
Here are the discussion questions for Story Genius (You can post the answers here in the comments, on your own blog, or even on the post over on Instagram.):
Did you do some/all of the exercises in the book?
If so, which ones did you find most helpful?
Cron views “plotting” and “pantsing” as writing methods and says they don’t work. What are your thoughts about this?
Which part of the book was your favorite or that you found to be most helpful?
Do you have any other thoughts about the book?
I’ll post my answers/review within the next couple of days, and I’ll try to get the questions for Save the Cat up earlier. I was running behind with these questions. Keep an eye on my Instagram stories, as that’s where I’ll post the poll for April’s book pick.
I just discovered this writer’s group – The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. There are all kinds of resources for writers on their website and they have a blog hop as well. (Check out the blog hop and all the participants here.)
The official posting day for the blog hop is the first Wednesday of the month, so my post is late, but it was a fun question to answer, so I decided to just go ahead and answer it! 🙂
January 6 question – Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?
There are not many things that stop me from finishing a book, but I do get frustrated with certain things:
Killing /cruelty to animals – I absolutely hate this, and it can often be enough for me to stop reading a book. Although many times it happens at the very end of the book, so then I’m angry that I wasted my time reading the book. In most instances, there is no reason for this.
I hate to even have to mention this one, but amateurish writing – writing that overuses adverbs, tells rather than shows, and head hops. And yes, I have read publishing house books that have all these things in them.
Stream of consciousness writing – Sorry, I just can’t get into it, and this is another case where I will often stop reading.
What about you? What’s one thing that will make you stop reading a book?
One of my goals for 2021 is to read at least one book on writing per month. To help me reach that goal, I’ve decided to create a writer’s book club – the Read, Write, Grow Writer’s Book Club.
Anyone who is interested can join in, just leave a comment here on my blog or on any of my social media sites letting me know you’d like to participate. Each month, I’ll have some discussion questions I’ll share here on my blog and on my Instagram page, and you can share your answers either on your own blog, your social media sites, or in the comments of my posts. You can tag me @charityrau on IG and @charityrau1 on Twitter and use #readwritegrowbc with your posts.
For February, I’ve chosen the book Story Genius by Lisa Cron since it has been on my TBR for forever. Going forward into the next few months, I’d love to have some input from others about book choices, so if you have a suggestion drop it down in the comments!
Here’s the suggested reading schedule for February:
I’ll post the discussion questions the last week of February so participants will have some time to post their answers before the end of the month. If you don’t finish until the very end of February or even into March, that’s fine. You can still post your answers once you’ve finished.
Want to join in on the fun? Let me know in the comments! 🙂 And if you want to stay up to date on all the book club news via email, you can sign up here.
This September I’ll be participating in StoryADay with Julie Duffy. Each day a prompt will be emailed to participants. You can choose if you want to write a short story every single day of the month, or just on certain days.
I first heard about StoryaDay through a diyMFA event, and I was hooked on the idea of trying to write multiple short stories during one month. For next month, my goal is to get at least ten short story fairytales. In my current WIP, the heroine has a book of beloved fairy tales and these will be stories I will use for that book, which may be something I will use as a giveaway at some point. I also want to write five other short stories which I will be posting here on my blog, so keep an eye for those!
As part of the blog hop today, I wanted to share some of my favorite resources. Some of these I’ve shared before, but some of them are ones I’ve recently discovered.
Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. I’ve talked about this one a lot, and for good reason. If you’re a pantser like me, this is a great resource to help you be sure your first draft has all the crucial points for a solid story. And if you’re a plotter, this is perfect for helping you outline your story idea. I’ve also found a lot of helpful info on Jessica’s website, and I’m a member of her Writing Mastery Academy. For a monthly fee ($12), I have access to all of her classes, webinars, the writing mastery community, and the bonus content.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. This is a wonderful resource for helping you edit your novel as clean as you can make it. It’s full of tips and writing exercises.
The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman. I’ve just started reading through this one, and already it’s been helpful. I’ve also found the companion website and the author’s website helpful.
Writer’s Digest (both the magazine and the website). You can find almost anything you could want to know about writing here. There are also contests and communities you can be a part of.
Writing as Therapy
Rewrite Your Life by Jess Lourey. I discovered this book on accident. After reading Lourey’s thriller Unspeakable Things, I wanted to see what other books she’d written and came across this one on writing and immediately ordered it. I’m still working my way through the book, as well as the free course that goes along with it (details about the course here), but am loving it. I’ve always known writing has been a form of therapy for me, but this book is really helping me put it into perspective and reap the greatest benefit from it.
What about you? What are some of your favorite writing resources? Let me know in the comments!
This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To find out more or join in the fun, go here.