Productivity

The Pros and Cons of Grammarly.com

Grammarly.com Tagline

There are a gazillion writing apps and programs out there in the digital world, some that cost money and some that are free.  Of them all, I’ve tried a handful.  However, after two years in grad school, chasing the dream of getting an MFA in creative writing, I’ve come to rely heavily on one in particular: …

Celebrate Your Writing Achievements: An #IWSG Post

Mount Everst

Another month has come and gone, and it’s time for the March IWSG post. Today, I’ll try to answer the question: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story? I supposed the answer depends in part on how you define writing achievements, or goals for that matter. Before we get rolling on that, …

Write in the Morning to Maximize Productivity

Project Target in Scrivener

Every morning, I wake up, get the coffee beans ground, get the water heating, and then I sit down and write for an hour.  At the end of that session, I check my “session target” bar in Scrivener, and a satisfied warmth suffuses my brain.  I’ve discovered a couple of things about writing first thing …

Writing is like Baseball: You Gotta Swing for the Fences!

Babe Ruth

Writing is like baseball.  Most of the time, you recognize the pitch coming in and you manage a solid single when you swing at it. Occasionally, you strike out.  Every once in a great while, though, you hit a grand slam.  Or, if you’re new at it, like me, you dream about hitting a grand …

The NaNoWriMo Debate: Are You “For” or “Against” It?

Poster for National Novel Writing Month

  The Debate Rages On: Is NaNoWriMo a good thing or not?  Emotions run high when this question is asked.  I mean, folks get seriously heated.  Fans of NaNoWriMo start heating the tar and gathering the feathers whenever someone suggests that maybe NaNoWriMo isn’t the best thing ever.  Critics of NaNoWriMo sharpen their pen nibs in …

I Teach, I Write, I Parent, I Busy!

Yeah, Yeah, I know.  We’re all busy.  We all wear a lot of different hats in life. I teach, I write, and I parent.  It doesn’t always happen in that particular order.  Priorities shift daily.  Time bleeds out of my as if I’ve severed some existential artery.  Last night, I fell into bed at 9:00pm like …

Life: It Happens to the Best of Us

It’s been my experience that a creative person’s goals–fragile, beautiful little things that they are–frequently crash headlong into the mercurial realities of life. This morning, as I sit at my kitchen table to do my morning pages, I can’t help but catch sight of the wall calendar opposite me and notice that August 28th is …

Finding Time to Write (or, My Endless Struggle)

I want to yell at people when they lament that they can never “find the time” to write. Yeah? Well, neither can I. Why? Because it doesn’t exist. There is literally no time to write, no magical empty block with nothing going on where I can sit down with a steaming mug of cozy chamomile tea and put on some relaxing classical music and snuggle in my fluffy PJ’s and write. Nope. If I’m going to write, I must MAKE time to do it.

Scrivener: It Helps Me Produce

There are tons of writing platforms out there, and I’ve found that writers have some seriously strong feelings about them.  I’m no exception. For me, it’s all about Scrivener. For a long time, I wrote my stuff in Google Docs, and I couldn’t understand why anyone would pay extra money for some fancy-schmancy writing program. …

Morning Pages, Procrastination, and Creativity

Notebook with black cursive writing sits atop an open laptop

As part of my master’s program, I’m required to take an independent studies class each semester. It can’t be a course that is directly related to my primary area of study, which is writing for young people. Lesley University offers courses that run the gambit from travel writing to poetry to writing for stage and …