Writing Prompts

Great Creative Writers Are Serious About Their Writing. Are You?

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“14 Prompts does what most writing books don’t—gives you practical advice while also inspiring you to want to take it.” Andrea Cumbo, andilit.com

A Cat’s Secret to Bringing Your Writing Alive

cat's writing secret

When you write a story, please use your senses.

Often writers just write about what they see and ignore their other four senses. In addition to your ability to see you also have your sense of smell, of hearing, of taste, and touch. Unfortunately, your senses are not as keen as a cat, but no one can have everything. I can hear better than humans, but you have thumbs.

Why the Best Characters for Your Story are Weirdos

characters who are weirdos

So much of what most of us consider to be good writing requires the writer to create a believable scene and realistic characters—or if not believable and realistic, close enough so that the reader willingly suspends their disbelief. Today’s article and corresponding writing practice is all about throwing those rules out the window by writing about weirdos.

Why I’m Considering Writing Under a Pen Name

Pen Name

On my personal blog, I write a lot about the publishing industry and how books (especially by women) are marketed. It made me start to seriously wonder—should I use a pseudonym/pen name? Should you?

Let’s figure it out.

How to Cultivate the Courage to Publish Your Writing

courage to publish

Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
—Maya Angelou
In his book, 10 Steps to Becoming a Writer, Joe Bunting that the first step to is to publish your work.
I agree with him, but often our emotional experiences can block us from publishing. When we approach publishing, we often experience doubt, fear, insecurity and all the other difficult feelings that come with opening ourselves up to feedback from others.

7 Lies About Becoming a Writer That You Probably Believe

lies about becoming a writer

The profession of writing has been around for thousands of years. You would think we would have figured out how to become one by now, right? However, the more you read, the more you realize no one seems to agree on how to become a writer.

Depending on who you listen to, becoming a writer is either the easiest thing in the world (“Just write!”) or a proposition so impossibly difficult that only a combination of talent approaching genius, luck, and years of expensive training (i.e. “Get an MFA!”) can turn your writerly dream into reality.

The Two BEST Reasons to Fail as a Writer

failure is good for writers

I can produce my blog posts, copywriting or magazine articles on time and in abundance. No problem. However, I’m turtle s-l-o-w in writing my novels. In eighteen years, I’ve only completed four—all still unpublished. To me, only the last two are worthy to be on a bookshelf; the first two were teaching me how to write.

I’ve always sort of felt like a loser writer because of this, but a recent epiphany taught me why failure in your writing is good…

Writerly Wisdom for the Ages, 2015 edition

Photo courtesy of B. Rasine

I love the holidays. We celebrate Christmas in my family, and for me this is the coziest, warmest, loveliest time of the year. We relax with every cell in our bodies (we really seriously do), enjoy the warmth of the house and the lights on the tree (got a potted tree this year), and we disconnect from the world outside. Completely. Oh, and we watched all ten episodes of the stunning MARCO POLO series on Netflix and then fell over when we realized we’d have to wait another YEAR (!!!) for Season 2.

So forgive me if I’m not my usual go-get’em-tiger-writing self. But hey, why fight it.

Point is, I thought I’d take a walk down TWP memory lane and pull out some of the best nuggets from my past blog posts, as a little post-holiday inspiration. What better way to start a new year than with an avalanche of writing practices, recommendations, musings, and vicarious suffering?

The 4 Best Reasons to Start Journaling Today


With the start of 2015, everyone is in the midst of making and (hopefully) following through on their New Year’s resolutions. One of mine, in addition to going to the gym (which I’ve already hurt myself doing), is to resume journaling on a semi-regular basis. I used to be a religious journaler about five years ago, but I’ve moved away from the practice, mostly because I keep forgetting/watching episodes of the West Wing on Netflix. Since then, I’ve received two more blank journals as gifts, so I take this as a sign that the universe wants me to pick up the pen again.

4 Ways to Write More in 2015

Welcome to 2015!

For me (and I imagine many of you, too), a new year means a new writing goal among my list of resolutions. One of the most common resolutions for writers is to simply get more words on the page.

Want to Make 2015 the Best Year of Your Life? Spend 1 Hour Doing This

best year of your life

If you know what you’re looking for, there’s something magical about the first days of the New Year. Everyone is settling back to work from the holidays so time moves a little bit slower. You have room to breathe in deep, to reflect on your year, to set goals for the future.