How the f*ck do you write so many books?


There’s a great interview on YouTube with Stephen King and George R R Martin in which GRRM asks King “How the F*ck do you write so many books?”

The truth is, of course, that every writer is different. It takes you how long it takes you. Figure out who you are as a writer and how long it takes you to get there. And write you.

I wouldn’t want a book from GRRM that only took him 6 months to write…

As for King, he has a great story about JK Rowling…and truly understanding what it is that you do as a writer.


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Write Out Loud

First Draft_JaneSmiley5

Yes! But only if you WRITE it!! So throw out all your inhibitions, write free, and write fearlessly!! Once you have that perfect first draft, you have all the time in the world to make it so!

#Writeoutloud #nofear #writenow

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Get Rid of the Box

Don’t try to think outside of the box, get rid of it altogether. You don’t need it. It’s not a guidepost, it’s a restriction.

If you feel you need the box for structure then create your own, with your own style and flair. No one else can be you, no one else has your ideas and creativity.

My Box_3

Get rid of the box or create your own.

Either way, break free…

Create you.

Write you.

Live you.

Be you.

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It’s Not the Critic Who Counts

I recently came  across a talk that Brené Brown did for a 99U conference in 2013 about vulnerability and how to deal with your critics.

Theodore Roosevelt gave in Paris, France on April 23, 1910, often referred to as “The Man in the Arena” speech, which is the basis for this particular talk as well as Brené’s book Daring Greatly.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Art is: Bravery. Courage. Vulnerability. Love. Art is about all of those things and it’s also about showing up and being seen. But when we’re creating we get scared because we know the moment we put ourselves out there, we’re going to see and hear things that make us question why we made the art in the first place. We don’t want to be seen if we have to deal with the critics.


Do it anyway, make art anyway. “Tell them [critics], I see you, I hear you, but I’m going to do this anyway.” Because vulnerability is also the birthplace of all the things we crave, love, belonging, joy, trust, empathy, creativity, innovation.

“When you armor up [against vulnerability] you shut yourself off from everything that you do and love.”

Brené encourages her audience to shed their armor so that you can create what it is that you are meant to create and reach the audience that you are looking to reach.

“Without vulnerability you cannot create.”

This is why I admire her message so much, when we get down to the vulnerability in art (writing) that’s when we really reach other people. And all that means is that YOU write what YOU want to write, even if it makes you vulnerable to critics, to readers, to anyone, even yourself. When you are authentic and vulnerable and real…that’s when you reach the people you need to reach, that’s when you will be heard.

Make your art, fail at your art and remember, it’s not the critic who counts. It’s you, because even when you fail you do it while daring greatly.

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Happy Accidents

Happy accidents…those things you aren’t intending but turn out to be pretty great.
I was trying to take a selfie of me and B…he was not cooperating and I accidentally took this picture instead. I didn’t find it until later when I was going through the ten selfies I took, you know… to find the perfect one. Instead I found this incredible photo.20170704_125822

This picture has no filters, no adjustments, it was not a mistake…it was a happy accident.

Sometimes when we let ourselves play and make mistakes we can find ourselves in the middle of the happiest accident.

Especially with your writing. Just letting go of all the rules and restrictions…play with your character, let them make mistakes and create happy accidents.

I think if you ask most writers they will tell you that the best scene they ever wrote, the best characters they ever created, the most genius plot twist, the most incredible lines…were the product of a happy accidents.

What have you done “by accident” that turned out to be something fantastic and happy?
Let’s create happy accidents together…come find me on

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What do baby robins have to do with writing?

IMG_20170627_154308_776In the writer’s mind it will be instantly seen as procrastination. If I’m taking pictures of baby robins, I’m procrastinating! If I’m not writing, I’m procrastinating, right?

Nope. In fact, I’m in the process of making my writing more meaningful.

If we spend all of our time working and writing word after word, it will be much more of a struggle to find the meaning in any of our words. And eventually a struggle to come up with words to write.

Why? Because we’re writing and we aren’t LIVING. And if we aren’t living how can we make our words and stories meaningful? If I’m writing a scene and decide to write about a full nest of baby birds, I’ll have already experienced it and won’t have to research it or watch it second hand on YouTube. Simple idea, yes, but think about it. Life is constantly inspiration from which to draw. IMG_20170627_153837_281Or perhaps the act of taking pictures of the baby robins will inspire me to work it into a story later…use it as a parable in one of my workshops…or in this blog post to help writers understand that they should take the time to enjoy life and stop being so hard on yourself.

Yes, your butt needs to be in your chair writing, but your mind also needs to be outside enjoying life so it can be ready to get to work the next time. You’ll be energized and more productive. I promise.

Take the time to snap some pictures of those baby robins, you never know when the next time you might have an opportunity to do so. And find a way to make it add meaning to your words and story.

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