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Jeff Elkins: Bbp Participant, Editor, Becoming Writer, Winter Writing Contest 2016, 100 Day Book
Member since August 13, 2013

Jeff Elkins is a writer who lives Baltimore with his wife and five kids. If you enjoy his writing, he'd be honored if you would subscribe to his free monthly newsletter. All subscribers receive a free copy of Jeff's urban fantasy novella "The Window Washing Boy."

Website: https://vagrantmisunderstandings.com/

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See Jeff's other Write Practice activity outside of the forums
How to Find the Writing Coach You Need
by Jeff Elkins in How to Find the Writing Coach You Need
03:50 pm on January 29, 2019

In high school, I was part of an amazing football team. We won most of our games and routinely went to the State Championship. But it wasn’t just the players that made the team great — it was also the coaches. And writing coaches can have just as great an impact on our writing.

An incredible coach doesn’t just tell you what to do and how to do it. They help you as you learn, answering questions and showing you how to improve your performance.

When I started writing, one of the first things I began looking for were coaches who could help me along the way. Finding the right writing coaches can make all the difference in our work.

You Should Read More. Here’s How
by Jeff Elkins in You Should Read More. Here’s How
11:01 am on January 15, 2019

My father died over twenty years ago. One of my strongest memories of him is of him reading.

He was a surgeon and a teacher. Most nights, after dinner, he would sit down at the end of the table with a stack of medical journals on his right. He would then read through them one at a time. When he finished one, he would stack it on his left.

He was a brilliant man who invented surgical techniques, wrote articles, and published a few books; yet still, every night he was reading. As writers we spend so much time with words, we forget how important it is that we are also reading and learning.

3 Tricks for Getting Unstuck During the Holidays
by Jeff Elkins in 3 Tricks for Getting Unstuck During the Holidays
10:00 am on December 18, 2018

In order to succeed, one thing writers need is stress-free time to work and think, which is why the holidays can be hard for us. With all the added parties and present buying and family events, it can be easy to feel stuck and unable to write.

Yes, writing can be particularly challenging during the holidays. But that’s no reason to quit trying altogether. Instead of giving up and not writing for a month, try these writing tricks to get through the craziness of the holidays.

General Powell’s Motivational Quotes for Writers During the Holidays
by Jeff Elkins in General Powell’s Motivational Quotes for Writers During the Holidays
10:39 am on December 6, 2018

December can be a difficult time for creatives. With holiday parties, additional family responsibilities, and decorations to hang, it is hard to keep up the discipline of writing. Sometimes what we need is someone in our ear, giving us advice and spurring us onward, with motivational quotes for writers.

It would be helpful if this inner coach was a model of leadership and discipline. So let’s embrace some of the motivational quotes of retired four-star general in the United States Army Colin Powell.

6 Things to Expect From Writing Sprints Like NaNoWriMo
by Jeff Elkins in 6 Things to Expect From Writing Sprints Like NaNoWriMo
10:51 am on November 6, 2018

Expectations are important. If you are craving yogurt and you walk into a bakery, you are likely to be disappointed. If you go into your boss’s office thinking you are going to get a raise but all you receive is a pat on the back, you will probably be frustrated. If you think your date is taking you to see a ballet and you end up at a monster truck rally instead, you are likely to be confused, irritated, and overdressed.

Having appropriate expectations when it comes to writing sprints like NaNoWriMo are equally important. Sprints can be wonderful teachers; but it’s important to understand what we should expect from them.

3 Creative Tricks to Find Your Character’s Voice
by Jeff Elkins in 3 Creative Tricks to Find Your Character’s Voice
08:00 am on October 23, 2018

Great characters feel real. They talk, act, and respond to stress in ways we recognize, with their own personal character voice. We can relate to them because they seem human.

To write a character that leaps off the page, we need to know her deeply. We need to understand her thoughts and feelings. If our audience is going to empathize with her, we have to first.

How to Prepare for Writing a Book: 4 Steps
by Jeff Elkins in How to Prepare for Writing a Book: 4 Steps
12:50 pm on October 9, 2018

You’ve been thinking about it for months, promising yourself that when it arrives you are finally going to knuckle down and get it done. You’ve been telling yourself all you need is the extra push; you just need a deadline because you work best under pressure. You need a race, something that will help you compete against yourself.

You’ve decided to finally write your book. The question is, how do you prepare for writing a book?