Do you need encouragement to overcome Summertime blahs?

Time for me to review an oldie but goodie.

Sheet music

I’ve had the post-holiday blues. After returning from Europe and spending time with my daughter and granddaughters, I have no motivation.

Yet, my editor is waiting for my next picture book manuscript and I’m sitting here staring at my half-finished novel.

Sigh, so much to do and so little desire. Although my characters keep me awake every night. Instead of encouraging me, I feel as though these characters are little devils on my shoulder. LOLDevil on my shoulders

So, time to put action to words and take my own advice. Wish me luck.

Hope this review helps you too.

Do you need to overcome Summertime writer’s block?

How about, not 10, but 33 tips to jumpstart your writing?

The long, hot days make me lethargic. I want to play, putter around with my roses, or read a good book. Even my muse, complains it’s too damn hot to sit at a computer. Now, who am I to argue with inspiration?

Summer time fun bitmoji

But, writers must write.

So if you’re searching for something to help, keep reading.

I found a great answer on Quora. Who knows? After you read the article, even during these dog-days of summer, maybe you will find one that suits you.

Here’s my take on his 33 tips. The ones I think will help me are in red.

  1. Not me, I’m a start at the beginning kinda gal.
  2. Jot down the facts, just the facts. Cool idea.
  3. Now take a fact from #2 and turn it on its head. What if it’s a lie.
  4. Prompts? I love prompts.
  5. Free write, hmm might just work. Gonna give it a try. With #4 of course.
  6. Break? Took too many already this Summer.
  7. Get moving. But remember to come back to WIP.
  8. Meditate. Nah, not for me.
  9. Ditto. I don’t like confrontations. Even pleasant ones.
  10. Yay! Learned something new.  Oblique Strategies 
  11. I like it quiet when I write. But I’ll consider it.
  12. This I do, sometimes moving to my back porch.
  13. Write 10 ideas a day? Yikes. Too much pressure.
  14.  Outlandish ideas? Might work.
  15. Swipe File is a great idea. Setting up some today.
  16. Book is a cousin to #15, don’t like to duplicate work.
  17. Journal about feeling blocked. Too whiny.
  18. Timed writing? No, I’ve enough pressure see #13.
  19. Unplugging is something I should do more often.
  20. Pen & Paper, tried and true.
  21. Set a deadline and broadcast it. Geese more pressure.
  22. Make a brag list.
  23. Make a to-do list. I like lists. 
  24. Reread one of your favorites and rewrite for practice. I’ve done this to get juices flowing. Works.
  25. Write down how you feel about your WIP. Nope, see #17.
  26. Which parts of WIP is best and strongest?
  27. Look at which parts are weakest.
  28. Consider different POV. I’ve done this and it does help.
  29. Review annotations in books you’ve enjoyed for inspiration.
  30. Decide on what you’re trying to accomplish.
  31. Lists of single words to identify key themes.
  32. Stop editing. This is my hardest thing to overcome.
  33. Recite the prayer of the Muse? Not into that much Zen, see #8.

For more detailed descriptions and explanations, click and read:

How can an aspiring writer get around writer’s block? by Bryan Collins

Now your turn. Tell me…

Which one of the 33 tips did you relate to?

Is there one that caught your interest?

Are you ready to try something new?

Give me your thoughts on these ideas.

Don’t let the Summertime blues stall your creativity. Get writing!

I love reading your comments. 

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and

Please stop by and say “hey!”  I’ll leave a light on. 


Time to get down to the business of writing

Now the holidays are past it’s time to get that book finished.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve procrastinated enough. My WIP has languished on my computer like an undernourished waif in a Charles Dickens novel. Time to resuscitate that little devil and breathe it back to life.

So if you’re also ready to get back to work, let’s go.

One of my issues in the past was plotting and planning. I don’t do a lot of either. Nor do I do them well. LOL

But everyone knows good results begin with a good plan.

As a Panster, I find simple is best. Who am I kidding simple works best for everything?

Do you too, have an issue getting started?

Trying to figure out where and when to begin?

There is a simple method to quickly plan out a story, courtesy of Joanne over at JoanneWritesBooks.

Her suggestions I’ve taken to heart…

  • Always remember to ask the question “What if?”
  • Break story down to 3 sections. Or 3 acts.
  • And write.

Have you set any writing goals for 2019? Do share!

Do you have a plan to meet your goals?

Click this link and read in detail how she gets started.

Plotting for pantsers. With two simple steps. 







How to honor and say thanks to the right people

You’re delirious with happiness. You’ve typed The End. But there is more work to do. We need to remember, someone helped us over the top. 

On the road to success, who helped you? Who encouraged you? There are a lot of people you need to add to the acknowledgment page.

How to master the acknowledgment page like a pro.

I recently had this very discussion with another writer. So, I was so excited to read a couple of good articles, Who Are You Going to Acknowledge in Your Book? By Judith Briles and Write Your Book Acknowledgments (Without Stressing Over It)By Tucker Max that gives us a good guideline.

What I learned from their articles:

  • Don’t get sloppy. People are going to read this page too.
  • Make a list before you start. Hopefully, this will prevent you from forgetting someone.
  • Important first and be specific as to why you are acknowledging them. What did they do to help you?
  • There is a difference in a dedication page and an acknowledgment page.
  • Dedication is short and sweet, usually mentions one or few people. And placed at the front of the book.
  • Acknowledgment is for everyone who helped you get to the end and is at the back of the book. You can mention, friends, family, beta readers, and all of the professionals that contributed to your book. Like designers, writing groups, even you’re babysitter. If you are grateful to someone for their help, add them here.
  • Be sincere, your readers can spot fake. But don’t go on and on either.
  • Unlike the dedication, the acknowledgment section can be as long as you need it to be. You need to find the between style and long-windedness.
  • However, if you don’t want to list each and every person, for fear of missing someone or not getting it right, you can do a blanket thank all type of acknowledgment. The choice is yours.
  • With both the Dedication Page and the Acknowledgment Page, make it personal. Make it readable and let your thankfulness shine through.

My two cents:

  • Unless you are certain they wouldn’t mind. Ask. Ask before you print someone’s name in your book. Even on the acknowledgment page. Better safe than sorry. Plus I think it’s considerate to ask permission.
  • Also, the Acknowledgment Page is optional, not mandatory. However, remember someone helped you finish and publish that book. Say thanks.

Click and read this important post to get it right.

Who Are You Going to Acknowledge in Your Book?

Write Your Book Acknowledgments (Without Stressing Over It)

Tell me…

Do you have an additional tip?

Who did you add to the acknowledgment page of your book?

Who do you think should be acknowledged?





Are you searching for a good writers group?

Well, look no further. Because I’m ready to introduce you to a fellow blogger and author who has it all together.

Today, I’m pleased to welcome Ryan Lanz. 

Hello Jean! Thanks for having me on.

Ryan, tell my readers a little about yourself. Where you’re from, and about your family life.

I’m from the Midwest, USA, although I was born and raised in Hawaii. However, I moved from Hawaii to California when I was a teenager. I’ve lived in the Midwest since my younger 20’s. There’s no beach, but the thunderstorms are great. Most of my immediate family still lives in Hawaii.

I enjoy billiards, traveling, scuba diving, and writing.

Ooh, Hawaii. One of my favorite vacation places. I do hope your family is safe from the volcano eruptions I’ve been reading about. 

Thank you. Some of my family lives on the island of Oahu, where there isn’t an active volcano. My grandparents live not far from the active volcano, but it seems they’re in the clear.

I understand you have some news to share. Do tell. 

I’ve recently relaunched A Writer’s Path Writers Club, which is a club where authors receive free and discounted writing-related services, such as editing, book cover design, book coaching, formatting, narration services, etc.

We’re excited to have the group we do, and it’s bustling pretty well.

When and why did you begin writing?

I first started writing as a teenager, although it was awful. I didn’t start to polish my writing until well into my 20’s, in my opinion. But it was an important stage of my life to try.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’d say when I started writing my first novel, which will likely never see the light of day. I’m still glad I wrote it, though.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

It sounds corny but the ability to create something new out of nothing. It’s literally anything you want out of a complete void. I think that concept is neat.

Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging? 

I write in quite a few genres, mostly under a pen name, so that sometimes is a challenge, marketing wise. It’d certainly be easier to market in the same genre.

Who designs your book covers?  

I offer a book design service where I contract out to different designers, all under one roof. I also provide other services, ranging from book coaching, editing, manuscript evaluation, formatting, etc.

Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

My favorite author of all time is the late Robert Jordan regarding the Wheel of Time series. I would trade quite a bit to read anything more by him. In some ways, I’m tempted to read the last book of the Wheel of Time series the same way Desmond wants to read Our Mutual Friend in the TV show Lost.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. I love self-publishing. I’d rather have a smaller passive income than a large one-time or temporary income. It starts out small, but it can be built over time, brick by brick.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I find that I learn something new when writing each story, no matter the length. Sometimes, it’s a writing mechanic and sometimes it’s learning about a new type of character.

Any advice for other writers?

It’s been said before, but just remember that a writing career is a long-term thing. It’s playing the long game. So, if you’re in it, be prepared for the long haul. Sometimes it’s long-term before many rewards, but I believe the rewards are long term.


Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Yes, I do. My writing tips website is and as mentioned, my Writers Club website is

New things are coming out weekly and sometimes daily. It’s certainly an exciting time.

Readers, if you want to know more about Ryan his website and writers club, check out the links below.