Showing posts with label writer's block. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writer's block. Show all posts

The Best Advice: 9 Writing Tips

Over my writing career I've received a lot of advice. Some of it good and some, well, less valuable. Here are the tips that I find myself sharing with others along the way:

  1. Writing: Just start. However you can, whenever you can, just do it. You will not be alone in seeing the blank page and panicking. We've all been there, done that. The first and most important action you can take is to sit down and begin.
  2. Writers' Block: Okay, this tags onto number 1. When you don't know what to write - write about that. I'm not sure where to begin. I could begin with the beginning, but I think it will take too long to then get to the action. Perhaps I should begin with the action like start with a really exciting sword fight. . . Suddenly you will find yourself writing. Put pen to paper, fingers to the keyboard and get started.
  3. Writing What You Know: I heard that a lot when I was first writing, but I really wanted to also write about things I wanted to learn about. A writing friend of mine learned how to harvest wheat by working on a farm in order to add that element to her story. Write what you know and/or what you want to know more about. Your interest and passion for your topic will transfer to the writing and, most importantly, to the reader.
  4. Show Don't Tell: This advice was another I heard often. So the difference between showing and telling? Telling: He was embarrassed. Showing: His ears turned red.
  5. Dialog: Go to the mall, the nearest coffee shop or stand in line and listen to conversations. People talk in short sentences. Conversation is a give and take. It should be no different in your story or novel.
  6. Characters: Everyone is flawed and complex so each of your characters should be as well. Yes, that includes the heroine, the hero and the villain. The heroine and hero will have flaws and the villain may have a gentle side. That is what makes them interesting. 
  7. Surprise the Reader: Every page should contain a surprise for the reader. Okay, what does that mean? Well, a word choice that is a bit different, a decision the reader won't see coming, a plot twist or a metaphor or simile that makes your reader smile. Something that will keep the reader turning the page. 
  8. Read out loud: One of the best ways to edit and find errors is through reading your work out loud. Find a quiet place and go for it. This will also help you to find areas where the dialog sounds stilted, where you've used the same word too close together or used words with the same sounds too close. (Using the same words or sounds is not bad in and of itself, only when it's done because of laziness.)
  9. Read, Read, Read: Writers should also be readers. 
Now what are you waiting for? Get to it.
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Solem was released February 2016.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception, and the co-author of The Exodus Series: The Water Planet: Book 1 and House of Glass: Book 2. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.                                                                                             

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at                                      

You can also follower her on Facebook.


Writer's Block - Getting Past Fear

Writer's Block: According to Webster's Dictionary.
The problem of not being able to think of something to write about, or not being able to finish writing a story, poem, etc. A psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.

Yeah, I think writer's block is about fear. Plain and simple. The fear of failure - my work will not be good enough to: publish, win a contest, excite fans, or please my parents. Or it's a fear of success - what would happen if I became famous and everyone was reading my work? How would that change my life? (Many of you might be thinking that would be an awesome problem to have, but almost the same number of people are afraid of success as there are people afraid of failure.) Both fears stop you from writing - they are the cause of writer's block. 

How do you get around the fear?

1. Recognize that fear might be the thing that is preventing you from writing. Sometimes the process of identifying the cause can allow the breakthrough. "I'm afraid, and I don't want to be caught in fear, so I'm going to sit down right now and get to work."

2. If recognition isn't enough - sit with the fear. Recognize that fear is the problem, then determine where your fear comes from and allow yourself to release that fear. Today you do not have to be a best selling author, or show your parents your novel, or do anything else, but put words down on paper for yourself. Push that inner critic who is always striving for perfection away - far, far, far away. You don't need him today. 

3. Change from focusing on the fear to focusing on the love. Why do you write? Love of words? Love of story? Love of the time sitting in contemplation with your journal? Whatever excites you about your writing process, make that what you focus on. When you exchange love for fear your writing mind will automatically open and allow the process to begin. 

Good luck and happy writing!
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Solem was released February 2016.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception, and the co-author of The Exodus Series: The Water Planet: Book 1 and House of Glass: Book 2. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.                                                                                             

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at                                      

You can also follower her on Facebook.

Taking a Break from Writing: Finding Inspiration in a Summer Writing Hiatus

My critique group usually takes a break during the summer.  With all the summer activities, it’s hard to find a time that fits our summer schedules, and even harder to find time to write.  I usually try and keep writing during this break, but not this summer.  

This summer I’m giving myself a “hall pass” to escape from my writing room.  I normally schedule my weekly writing time on my calendar.  It almost always includes Saturday mornings and a few other sessions during the week.  For July and August, I’ve decided not to pre-schedule my time and not worry if I don’t write. 

Instead of writing, I’m travelling and getting out into nature.  I’m working on those house projects I never seem to get done.  I’m visiting the local museums and catching up with friends and family.

AND… I’m looking around for inspiration.  I use my phone to keep notes on writing/subject ideas.  For me, summer is a fertile time to germinate ideas for future projects.  Three of my projects this year, were ideas from last summer.  By September, I hope to be re-energized and ready to sequester myself with my computer. 

If you’re struggling to write this summer, consider taking a hiatus from writing for a few weeks.  It might just be the antidote for a stalled writing project.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:  

Three Tips for Finding Writing Inspiration

Are you ready to start a new writing project but are struggling with finding that new story?  I have known a number of writers who can't seem to find a new direction after finishing a big project.  If you're need of some inspiration try one of the following techniques to jumpstart your next writing project.

Dream Your Manuscript into Being: If you having trouble coming up with that
next story, stop thinking about it and start dreaming about it.  After finishing her first novel, debut author Crystal Chan worried that she might not have another story in her. One night while tossing in bed she woke up and saw in her mind's eye a boy with outspread arms standing on the edge of cliff. As she saw him jump, she heard in a girl's voice the words "Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother John".  She jumped out of bed, fired up her laptop and Bird was born.  By the time she stopped typing that night, she had written the first chapter.  If you don't think you can jump out of bed when inspiration rouses you from your sleep, keep a notebook on your nightstand.  This will keep those creative ideas from slipping back into your subconscious.

Create a Vision Board of the Story that’s Coming Next:  I often recommend story vision boards when you have a clear plotline.  You can also use this technique if you need to come up with the topic for your next project by creating an Idea Vision Board. You'll need a poster board, markers, glue and a few magazines. Start pulling out pictures and words that you are drawn to and glue them to the paper. If a picture evokes a feeling, write the word on the board. Do you want to travel across the country speaking about your next book, put pictures of faraway cities. Have fun with the process.  Fill the board with images, words and colors. When you’re done, post it where you can see it each day and see if you can find some inspiration in the board.

Find Your Story Through Creative List Making:  On your mark, get set, go! You have 90 seconds to create a list of possible characters.  Next make a list of... 
        • settings
        • personality quirks
        • problem situations
        • time periods
The list categories could be endless.  Once you've created your lists, mix and match items from each list. (e.g. A single woman in the Bayou, bites her lip when she’s nervous, just lost her job, 1950s)  Keep your lists; you can come back to them when you are ready for your next writing project.

I’d love to hear how you find inspiration when your searching for an idea for your next writing projects.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:  

Happy New Year!

I am back with my regularly scheduled posts. Last month, I had a cold and forgot about my post for December. I tend to write my post the month that it’s due, as I try to talk about something that recently happened to me or that I recently discovered.

I am always on the lookout for websites about writing, publishing, social media, books, etc. Here are several sites I found in the last year.

The Rate Your Story contest for picture books, novels, novellas and other kinds of stories runs through February 3. Good luck if you decide to enter!

Do you suffer from writer’s block? We probably all do at some point. Can you get out of writer’s block by using this map?

If you write for children, this is a new website, full of lots of resources.

This is a how-to article for authors on shopping at a bookstore.  A fun read!

This one is also for fun! How well did you do?

I hope you enjoy checking out these interesting and helpful websites. If you have any links you would like to share, please post them in the Comments section. Have a great 2014!

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is working on her first children’s book.

7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

Guest Post by Ken Myers

Sometimes the hardest thing to overcome in writing is the inability to write. You may have all these great ideas swimming around in your head, but they’re meaningless if you can’t get them down on paper. Nothing is more frustrating than staring at the screen, waiting for something to come pouring out of your fingertips, only to be left with nothing more than a blank page. It can be disheartening, frustrating and even leave you feeling hopeless. This inability to write, known as writer’s block, is a mental block that keeps you from being productive as a writer. Whether you write for your profession or for a hobby, writer’s block will be something you will face at some point. However, you can overcome it. Here are a few ways that you can beat the infamous writer’s block and get back to work:

1.    Start Writing –This sounds deceptively simple. Just write! Easier said than done, isn’t it? However, I don’t mean you can just start being creative when you have writer’s block. What I mean is that you need to go through the actions. Our bodies and minds have connections that we are not consciously aware of, so even though your mind may not be cooperating, you can force your body to go through the action of writing. Write about how much you hate writer’s block. Write about what is on your desk or what you can see from your window. Write one word over and over again. Just write. The act of writing itself is often a trigger for creativity. Keep in mind where and how you are writing as well. If you usually write at your computer in your office with your headphones on, then go through the whole experience. Do not just think you can plop down in the living room and write the same way you would in your office space. To get the full effect, the entire atmosphere must be prepared for you to do some serious writing. If you always write in the mornings, then sit down at the same time and write. You can actually fool your body and mind into believing you are being creative BEFORE you start being creative. I am not saying that this always works, but many times you’ll find yourself writing for real before you are even consciously aware something has changed. Habits do matter.

2.    Do Something New – If the first way didn’t work for you or you don’t want to try it or you just can’t do that right now, then try this next way. Sometimes writer’s block is not due merely to uncooperative minds. Sometimes you are just burnt out or out of new ideas. When you write every day or very frequently you can easily run out of fresh things to talk about. This is compounded if you do not have anything new coming in. Routine is great, but you need to shake things up once in a while. Do something new. Try out a new hobby or sport or activity. Check out a play or a new band. Join a club, volunteer at a food bank, eat at an ethnic restaurant. Everything new you do adds to your experiences, and that means you have more to write about. If you can’t get out and do something new then go online. Invest yourself in a new group. Cat people, gamers, sports fans – they all have forums, groups and websites online. Most groups love new members and are more than willing to introduce you to their passion. New genres of books, new types of art, and even new television shows can open up your mind to new ideas and get your creativity flowing again.

3.    Change Your Perspective – Related to doing something new, try viewing your writing in a new way. Look at what you want to write from a different perspective. For fiction writers, if you are writing from the hero’s perspective, try being the villain for a while. How do things change? How do characters look from the other side? You may get insight into a whole different world within your writing, which can help you want to write again. For non-fiction writers, you know you have an internal bias. You are for or against whatever you are writing about, no matter how balanced you try to be. Instead of being balanced, why not play Devil’s Advocate and be vehemently opposed to your natural viewpoint? Writing as your own critic can open you up to flaws in your argument that can actually enhance your viewpoints and make them stronger. Or you could change your own mind! Both fiction and non-fiction writers can also look at their idea from the reader’s point of view. What if a teenage boy read your writing? A retired lawyer? A police officer? A factory worker? A parent? Looking at your writing from a new point of view is sure to open your mind to new possibilities.

4.    Find Inspiration –Another way to open up your creativity is to find inspiration. Inspiration can come in many forms. Many of us are inspired by other writers. Reading something by our favorite author can often stimulate our own creativity. Or something by a new author can spark an idea we may not have imagined. Some people find inspiration in nature. Like Walden, getting out into nature and back in touch with the Earth can inspire new ideas and concepts. Being out in the woods alone, by the sea shore or at a calm lake can be both relaxing and invigorating to the mind. Other writer’s find inspiration in people. People watching at a park or gathering place can fill your mind with new characters. Talking to people about their lives can spark inspiration. Although many writers are not going to invest in a biography, the stories people tell become part of your memories and can inspire future writing. Visual art and beauty can also open the mind to new ideas. From sculptures to abstract art to photography, the visual aspects can inspire ideas.

5.    Get Active –Sometimes writer’s block can be more physical than mental. You are just plain tired. The human body was not meant to sit in one place for long periods of time. After a while you get knotted up, achy, sleepy and distracted. Instead of fighting to be productive in these circumstances you should get active!Do some jumping jacks and stretches at your desk, go for a walk outside, take the stairs up and down, turn on your favorite song and sing and dance along with it. Getting your blood pumping gets your mind moving and prevents those pesky aches and pains. When you do sit down again you will feel full of energy and ready to get started.

6.    Make an Outline – One thing that often happens to writers that makes it hard to write is that they have too many ideas at once. Sometimes your head gets filled up with all these great ideas and you can be scared to pick one in fear of forgetting the others. Get around this by writing everything down. Take quick notes on your ideas, fleshing them out briefly so that you don’t forget them. Once you figure out which one you want to focus on, create an outline. This does not mean you have to write according to your outline. You can still go with the flow and let your writing shine. However, having an outline available helps keep you on track when you get bogged down. You can easily look over and see what was coming next without having to keep it all in your head. It is much easier to focus on the now without having to keep track of the future as well. Writing down your ideas and creating an outline frees up your mind to concentrate more on what you are doing and can help you overcome a block.

7.    Turn Off Distractions – Last but not least, distractions can be a huge reason behind writer’s block. You may not even be aware you are being distracted sometimes. Things like construction noise, people talking, movements and even the climate can affect your concentration. Not to mention phone calls, texts and social media. The constant barrage of sensory information can overload your brain, making it impossible to focus on writing. Help your brain regain its calm by turning off the distractions. Shut down your phone, unplug the internet, shut the door or window and turn on some white noise. Many times you can control the distractions around you. White noise, nature sounds, and instrumental music can all help you block out disturbing sounds and keep you focused on your writing. People can also be a distraction, especially if you work in an open office or from home. Try to set strong boundaries with your co-workers or family. Let them know that you are not to be disturbed during set hours when you are writing. Having a set time to write frees you up to not answer emails, phone calls, or even open your door. It is not wrong to make time to concentrate, and if you make it a regular thing then you will be disturbed less and less frequently.

Writer’s block can be hard, but it is not insurmountable. Don’t give in to the feeling of hopelessness and frustration; instead, act to overcome it. There is always something you can do. From getting away to getting focused, you can overcome writer’s block and be productive once again.

About the Author:

Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.


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Writing, Fear and Yoga

Though it may look like the writer isn't doing much, sitting for hours in front of a laptop, the brain is heavily engaged. The work is often emotionally demanding in the extreme, taking us places that we're afraid of but need to go, and forcing us to look deep into the black hearts of our deepest fears to uncover reality in our characters and situation.  It takes great courage to walk the difficult path of the artist, and often the effort is physically exhausting.  Fear is always tracking you, and the closer you are to reaching your writing goals, the more intense and insidious that fear can become.  Fear is a great shapeshifter, looking like block, like the need to research, like being too busy to write.  It can stop your story in its tracks just at its most critical point.

My latest work in progress (WIP) is particularly challenging, taking me to dark recesses of the past, exploring notions just beyond my intellectual capabilities, and forcing me to rethink what I know about fiction.  Every writing session is hard.  That's how I know I'm on the right path - because it it were easy, I wouldn't be pushing myself, growing, or moving my skills to a higher bar.  So how does one cope with this fear in all of its incarnations?  How do you push through it towards completion?

My biggest ally against fear is to move my body.  Exercise of all kind helps, but for me, there's nothing quite like either swimming, or doing yoga - two forms of exercise that have a mental impact on me - helping to clear my vision, work out intellectual problems with my stories, and teach me to cope with fear.  Both swimming and yoga are what I call breath practices.  They involve engaging your breath and using the breath to propel and lengthen the muscles.  Being quite small boned, I tend to get cold easily and it's often too cold to swim.  I don't much like heated indoor pools (the chlorine doesn't agree with me), so I tend to do quite a lot of yoga.  Yoga is amazing for writers.  Here are three reasons why yoga is a natural ally for the writer:
  • It helps teach us to see writing as a practice, rather than an end point.  We keep moving along the writing path, growing, changing, and pushing towards wisdom and expression.  It's not possible to fail, no matter how hard it is, when you have this perception. 
  • It teaches you to breathe. Ah, breath.  How simple and yet how powerful. Breathing is the perfect antedote to fear.  I first found out how powerful it was when I was in labour with my first child, screaming in pain.  An angel of a midwife came to me and taught me to breath slowly, deeply, with my full body and I calmed down and got to work. I've turned to breath again and again in times of stress, strive, and fear, and it never fails to remind me of the transience of each moment and the need to work, calmly, through the panic. 
  • It teaches patience.  Sometimes the right words take time to come.  You have to keep showing up, doing the exercises, stretching, breathing and working towards the vision. 
About my writing work, yoga teaches me to see my writing as work that has to be done - a responsibility and positive impetus rather than a vanity (another manifestation of fear). So next time you're struggling with the dragons of fear - call it what you will: block, self-doubt, other priorities, "no-time", try taking a 30 minute yoga break and see if that doesn't help. Breath through it. Even when it hurts. Then back to work. The world is waiting for you to change it.

Breakthrough your Writer's Block with a Story Vision Board

Sometimes as writers we just have to give the written word a rest. Maybe inspiration just isn't there; you stare at a blank page and really don’t have anything to say.  If your writing muse is hiding from you, then it’s time to try a different creative process.

A story vision board is a great way to hone in on your plot or figure out what makes your character tick.  Grab a poster board, markers, scissors, glue and materials to decorate your board. Magazines, stickers, yarn and felt are all great materials to use for this project. Start by adding images, stickers, a few words and anything that relates to your story. Make sure to limit your words, this is a visual experience.  Don’t over think the process. I like to use the yarn to show connections. Just start cutting and pasting and see where it leads you.  It might be a general vision board about your story or you can end up with a board that is all about your characters. 

If you allow the process to be fun and release you from the angst of feeling stuck, you may discover that the words and ideas start flowing again.  This process is useful, even if you are not stuck. Post the vision board in your writing space.  A story vision board, kept in sight when you write, can help nudge your story forward and provide you with inspiration.

If this sounds a little too crafty for you, consider creating a virtual vision board. Check out, it’s like using a virtual cork board. 

If you are willing to create a story vision board, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist. She offers personal consultations and coaching programs.   For more information check out   or folllow her at:  

Writing Rituals: An Invitation to Your Muse

I recently taught a week long online workshop on writer’s block.  I asked the participants to share their writing rituals.  I was surprised (though I probably shouldn't have been) by the number of writers who sit down at their computers to write and first check their email and Facebook.  Responding to your emails and checking Facebook before you write is not a ritual--it is a routine. 

A writing ritual is a type of ceremony or rite.  It helps facilitate the transition between your everyday life and your writing life.  It is a specific set of activities designed to signal your subconscious that this is a special time set aside just for writing.  It is a call to your muse. It might be ringing a bell, putting on soft music, or saying a prayer. It does not have to be elaborate, but it should be something done with intent.

My ritual includes a short meditation and filling my writing coffee cup—my “Do North” coffee cup. So, as I sip my coffee out of my DO North mug, I embrace the action or the Doing of my true North and then I start to write.  It’s simple and quick, but helps me slip into the writer in me.

Do you have a writing ritual or is it a routine?  I’d love to hear how you start your writing sessions.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist. She helps clients take the action to live their true north.
For more information check out   

Or follow her at:

How Yoga and Aerobic Exercise Can Help Defeat Writer's Block

It seems Writers on the Move is attracting the attention of freelance writers who are promoting online colleges, and today I have another guest article from freelance writer Carrie Lewis.

Writers on the Move accepts high quality and informative content from writers, as long as their promotion is of G rated and quality sites. As long as the content is helpful and/or interesting to our readers and the links are 'okay,' guest articles are welcome.

Now on to the article:

How Yoga and Aerobic Exercise Can Help Defeat Writer's Block

Guest Post by Carrie Lewis

 “Once in a while you have to take a break and visit yourself.” These are powerful words for writers to keep in mind, especially for those trying to defeat the dreaded syndrome known as Writer's Block. This can be quite a challenging condition for writers to contend with because they lose their ability to produce fresh and engaging content, or any content at all for that matter. Even the most seasoned wordsmiths sometimes have to make the unnerving discovery that their writing has become lifeless, devoid of imagination and loaded with repetition. When a writer makes this undesirable discovery, he or she should immediately take a break and find an escape. Yoga and aerobic exercise are two phenomenal activities these stressed writers can turn to in order to refresh themselves. Let's take a look at how yoga and aerobic exercise can help defeat Writer's Block by providing refreshment to the body, mind and spirits.


The stretching and deep breathing involved in yoga really helps relax us and leaves us more alert, energized and refreshed. After just an hour of yoga, writers will feel ready to once again return to their work with a renewed sense of creative prowess. When writers experience Writer's Block, they immediately feel down on themselves and negativity seems to pervade their minds. Yoga helps eradicate this incessant negative self-talk, which can destroy creativity. You will build a strong and healthy body by engaging in yoga and you will naturally become better at handling stressful situations.

Aerobic Exercise

Neuroscience has authoritatively proven that aerobic exercise stimulates creative thinking, which makes it a powerful escape for writers to turn to when dealing with Writer's Block. Studies have proven that those who exercise routinely sleep better, which translates to a surge in the flow of our creative juices the next day. The sweat we experience when exercising helps lubricate our brains and makes our thinking more fluid. After we engage in about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, endorphins, feel good chemicals that combat stress or pain, are released in areas of our brains that produce feelings of pleasure and reward. Endorphins minimize the discomfort of vigorous exercise and are associated with feelings of euphoria. This can help writers return to their work with renewed spirits.

All writers experience the dreaded Writer's Block at some point or another. Yoga and vigorous aerobic exercise can help to combat the syndrome by destroying negativity and fostering creativity.

Carrie Lewis is an avid fitness enthusiast, online English instructor for Carrie has recently started writing her own novel and often turns to yoga and vigorous aerobic exercise to refresh her body, mind and spirits.

Rejection Letters - How to Keep them from Ending Your Career

If you haven’t received a number of rejection letters, then you’re probably not a writer.  Or at least you’re not a writer who is submitting your work to others for publication.  For many, rejection letters sound the death knell of their career.  Yet it’s not the letters that end a writing career, it’s how a writer responds to those letters.  Giving up on your writing is a choice.

In my early writing days, I decided to consider rejection letters as a sign from the universe that I was a writer moving on the path.  I made a conscious decision to be thankful for each letter. AND when I received a letter with a personal note, I danced (literally) around my living room, thankful that someone thought enough about my writing to either give me encouragement or advice.  I’m in good company with this practice.  The first time Kathyrn Stockett, author of The Help received a rejection letter she was thrilled and called all her friends to share her excitement.  With each rejection letter, she went back to her manuscript to "fix" what wasn't working.  She received 60 more letters saying “no thank you” before she found a home for The Help.

I recently received a letter from someone telling me that she felt blocked and stopped writing because of rejections.  With each rejection she felt like a failure.  If you want to be a “traditionally” published writer then rejection letters are part of the process.  Learning to cope with rejection is critical.  

Below are my 5 rules regarding rejection letters.

1.       If there is constructive feedback and it pings with you – use it. 

After submitting a manuscript to an editor who actually gave me some personal feedback, I knew her comment about the depth of my character was true.  I used her criticism to rework the manuscript and submitted it for an artist's grant. I was awarded the grant.

2.       Don’t believe or embrace the negative. 

Rudyard Kipling was told he didn’t know how to use the English language and Emily Dickinson was told her poems were devoid of any poetic qualities.  They kept writing.

3.       Remember it is a person’s opinion.

A publisher told Fitzgerald, “You'd have a decent book if you'd get rid of that Gatsby character”.

4.       If you believe in your work, don’t let anyone tell you it won’t sell.

Beatrix Potter initially self-published the Tale of Peter Rabbit after it had been turned down many times.

5.       Do something with the letters that reminds you it’s not the end and then JUST KEEP WRITING.
Pat Schmatz, author of the award winning YA Book, Blue Fish papered her bathroom with her rejection letters. When she was ready to move, she had to figure out how to take the letters with her.

At this stage in my writing life when I open the mail and receive a rejection I say to myself: “Hmm, not the right publishing house…that means I’m getting closer to find the right match for my manuscript. Thanks.”

 Do you have a unique approach to dealing with rejection letters?  Can you see yourself trying one of the above suggestions?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist.  She helps clients break through their blocks and chart their course of action so they can live their True North.

For more information check out  www.donorth.bizor folllow her at: 

More Plot Possibilities...

Writer’s block? Try one of these:

·      Change of scenery: write a scene that takes place at: a park, the beach, the forest, the country fair, a theme park, the mountains, a relative’s house…
·      A Big Contest/Big Game/Big Prize is announced. Your character wants to enter, or maybe is convinced to enter by someone else…
·      Your character goes swimming.
·      Your character is called into the boss’s office. (Or, if writing a children's book, the principal's office.)
·      A stranger asks your character to do him/her a favor.
·      Your character sees someone in trouble.
·      Someone your character knows is in the news. Who? Why? What is your character’s reaction?
·      A fire breaks out. Or an earthquake. Or a tornado.
·      Your character sees a ghost.
·      Someone has been reading your character’s private journal/diary.
·      Someone breaks into your character’s house. Why? Do they steal anything?
·      Your character gets caught red-handed.
·      Your character does something he/she knows he/she’s not supposed to do.
·      Your character tells a lie.
·      What is the very worst thing that could happen to your character right now? Make that happen! How is your character going to get out of it??

Dallas Woodburn is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories and editor of Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today's best youth writing. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three years in a row and her nonfiction has appeared in a variety of national publications including Family Circle, Writer's Digest, The Writer, and The Los Angeles Times. She is the founder of Write On! For Literacy and Write On! Books Youth Publishing Company and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Fiction Writing at Purdue University, where she teaches undergraduate writing courses and serves as Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review.

Plot Possibilities...

Writer’s block? Try one of these:

·      Your character gets a phone call that changes everything.
·      There is a car accident.
·      A secret is revealed.
·      The weather changes.
·      The power goes out.
·      Someone picks a fight with your character.
·      Your character gets his/her fortune read, or even just breaks open a fortune cookie. What does it say? What is your character’s reaction?
·      A shiver runs down your character’s spine. He/she has a bad feeling…
·      The car breaks down/runs out of gas/pops a tire.
·      Your character is out of milk.
·      Your character is allergic to ________ and, unbeknownst to him/her, has been exposed to exactly the thing he/she is allergic to.
·      An animal enters the story.
·      Your character receives a mysterious postcard/letter in the mail/email.
·      Your character’s best friend suddenly stops speaking to him/her for no apparent reason.
·      Your character's significant other, brother, sister, mother, father, or someone else close to them says, “I have something I've been meaning to tell you…”
·      A new person moves in next door.
·      Your character is invited to _______. Does he/she want to go?
·      Bring in a holiday, any holiday.
·      “Someone, call 911!!”

Dallas Woodburn is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories and editor of Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today's best youth writing. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three years in a row and her nonfiction has appeared in a variety of national publications including Family Circle, Writer's Digest, The Writer, and The Los Angeles Times. She is the founder of Write On! For Literacy and Write On! Books Youth Publishing Company and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Fiction Writing at Purdue University, where she teaches undergraduate writing courses and serves as Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review.

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