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 Amazon.com.

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

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Do you think writers need more social media?

Do you find social media apps confusing or even a bit frightening?

Like, for instance, InstagramInstagram symbolI do! I can barely keep up with Twitter and Facebook. Plus, I don’t have a clue about how to use Instagram effectively. AND, I’m terrible at self-promotion. Which leads to panic every time I try a new social media platform.

Kid running away in frightBut, I recently learned a bit more about how to use Instagram without going nuts or running away in fear.

 

 

Using Instagram to Promote Your Book by Author Steve Boseley 

Thanks go to Steve Boseley for this enlightening and encouraging article.

What I learned from Steve…

  • Instagram has a free business account.
  • Millions of people use Instagram daily. (500 – 800 M) Which far outpaces Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Wow!
  • Make sure your Instagram name is easy to read and spell. Hmm…
  • Take advantage of the Bio link. With this, you can send readers to your landing page, website or newsletter.
  • With the free business account, you can link Instagram to your Facebook page. Using the phone app…
    • Click on your pic at the bottom, next click on the three lines at the top right corner, select Settings at the bottom, next select account and “Switch to a Business account.”
  • Don’t hit readers over the head with a hard sell. Limit sales posts to 30% of all your posts.
  • Make your photos unique. Instagram allows you to edit them with a range of filters and effects. Make your pics unique. Post high-quality photos with engaging captions.
  • You can add multiple photos on one post and the reader can scroll through them.
  • Size does matter, Steve gives us info on the best.
  • Readers love behind the scenes photos. Let them see your workspace and process as a writer.
  • Check the Hashtags of other users and follow their lead. Steve gives a link on how to not suck at Hashtags. Be sure and check it out.
  • To promote your books, post relevant pics.
  • Post often and regularly. YIKES! Now I need to find the time.
Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland with watch
Where does the time go?

Want to know more about using Instagram?

Be sure and click on Steve’s link above, and read his entire article. Because I only hit the highlights, there is much more to know about the media.

PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER MINUTE AND LOOK ME UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS BELOW.

AND STOP BY JEAN’S WRITING ANYTIME, I’LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON. 

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PS!

Don’t forget your favorite Graduate!

 

How to use a simple method for a good story?

Of course, we all understand writing is hard. But what if you could simplify the process of starting?

Recently, I stumbled across an interesting article that helped me formulate this idea of change-

How to Write a Good Story: You’ll Love This Simple Method by 

In this article, I learned how to break down a story smaller and smaller until I get to the core.

Dead or Alive written on paper

  • One word can change a sentence.
  • One changed sentence can change a paragraph.
  • One changed paragraph can change the plot.

 

And how to successfully use PLOT Mutation.

Looking at sky through cutout

By looking at a story with a different perspective and making a simple, but profound change, you can turn an old plot into your own.

Give Tal’s article a read and see if you can manipulate a story into something new.

PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER MINUTE AND LOOK ME UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS BELOW.

AND STOP BY JEAN’S WRITING ANYTIME, I’LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON. 

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What to do when you are overloaded with help

I’m not talking about help with the laundry or dishes. I’m all for lots of help with that stuff. LOLBitmoji Image Jean Cogdell doing housework

But, if like me, your inbox is flooded with helpful tips and suggestions intended to improve your writing skills, you may be experiencing information overload.overloaded with emails

Between family, friends (web and local), two WIP books, my blog and reading all of you wonderful writers and bloggers, I sometimes feel my life is roaring out of control, burning up like a meteor falling to earth. Meteor falling to earth

Thanks go to JORDAN PETERS for a terrific piece about avoiding information overload and get those blogs written.

Information Overload: Avoid It Like The Plague

For me, I sometimes need to step back and take a break. And try to remove the sheer panic I feel at never meeting my goals.

Bitmoji Image Jean Cogdell Life is hardSome days there is too much to do and too little time. I know, I know some of you-all are super organized. Wish I was. But alas, I’m not.

However, Jordan did help with a few suggestions on how to keep your blog going. Now if I could just figure out how to keep the rest of my life going in the right direction.

What I want to know is what overwhelms you?

Is it your job, house, family, blogging, emails or all of them?

For me, it is all!

Tell me, how do you balance everything?

How do you avoid burnout?

PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER MINUTE AND LOOK ME UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS BELOW.

AND STOP BY JEAN’S WRITING ANYTIME, I’LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON. 

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