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Stress Blocks Creativity…

November 16, 2015
mandyevebarnett


We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns.

Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong?

Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best?

Is there another novel inside me?

It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.

stressed

What makes you most anxious in your writing life?

Unfortunately, stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us.

Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths.

When our body is stressed it tends to hyperventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply.

If possible, take a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour.

Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain.

If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you.

Focus on each step instead of overwhelming  yourself with the ‘whole’ project.

Give yourself a reasonable time frame.

If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.

How do you cope with stress?

This link has some great ideas – http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/8-stress-management-tips-for-writers/

What are your de-stress methods?

Take A Break Mug Showing Relaxing Or Tiredness

Hidden Stories Found and Friday Fun…

October 10, 2014
mandyevebarnett


I read this article concerning ‘lost’ stories from Truman Capote with interest.   http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/books/lost-stories-by-capote-are-published.html?_r=0
Truman_Capote

I wonder how many other authors or poets have work stuffed into the back of drawers, filed away in dusty archives or were discarded into the garbage? As modern writers we have the ability to store our writing on memory sticks or within computer files. They can be recovered (or not) at our leisure or wiped clean if we feel the compulsion to do so.

Would you want your work to be ‘discovered’ at a later date?

Would it reflect your current writing style or be completely different?

I have a couple of novels saved on my hard drive that were my initial foray into this writing life. My experience and skill has increased since and I know that they would need a lot of editing to bring them up to par. I return to them from time to time and ponder re-writing them so cannot delete them. They show me how far I have come and for that they are precious. Maybe one day they will see the light of day and be published. I just need to get all the other projects bouncing around inside my head on paper first!

Have you re-written a project?

What did you learn from the experience?

Quotes

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” – Arthur Plotnik

You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences. ~  Anatole France

Today’s prompt : Re-write the first line of your first story.FunDay

Share it here with the original.

Excerpt from Willow Tree Tears – WIP: Name changes and setting described:

Original: Willow rode past Shanna Deeks into the rodeo arena. I’m goin’ to beat you, bitch. You might have stolen Ryan from me but you’re not getting’ this championship.

Revision: Madison rode toward the rodeo arena entrance, shifting in her saddle to ensure Amber Fire’s girth was tight as she weaved through the crowd of people and horses, attending the year’s final rodeo.

Ideas for Novels Spark From Everywhere, From Anything…

August 25, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Great idea

Our creativity can be inspired from the smallest word to a globally known news worthy article. I was in the grip of such an idea this weekend. It formed from the merging of several obscure news items into a cohesive story and took ‘root’ in my mind. Once I began writing the protagonist came to life and the words flowed. I put down 1000 in less than an hour!

As many of you know I am a free flow writer so apart from a vague idea where I want the story to go, it is a mystery to me. That is the thrill for me. It is an adventure I willingly travel with my characters. They lead and I follow with frantic typing.

What obscure stimulus has sparked an idea for you? 

How do you approach new ideas? Frantic notes? Plot arc? Character descriptions?

No matter what system we use, an idea can grow exponentially once it takes hold. This is wonderful, of course, the only downfall being if we already have a bucketful of ideas already.  I had not wanted another project just at the moment. My children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue is in final stages of illustration and formatting, while I am working on edits for my western romance, Willow Tree Tears. These two projects are time consuming enough without a new one being added. My plan for 2015 was to re-visit two previous projects and re-write, edit and revise them. Now I have a story demanding to be written and it is impossible to resist.

Have you experienced a story unwilling to stay quiet?

Obviously, I will have to reschedule my plans and go with the flow. My older projects will have to wait a little longer.

Idea spark

 

Where Is Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript Now..?

June 23, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articles

So it’s seven months since the frantic November writing frenzy. It’s hard to believe time has passed that quickly. We participate in NaNoWriMo for various reasons and levels of success but what happens to those fifty thousand or more words once the 30th November deadline has been met?

Where is your manuscript from that month now? Has it been discarded? Are you working on it or did you publish it?

Do you have a stack of NaNo manuscripts piled up somewhere from previous years left in limbo? Will they ever be revisited?

My NaNo manuscripts have seen a variety of outcomes.

Life in Slake Patch – speculative fiction – awaiting revision and editing.

The Twesome Loop – reincarnation romance -awaiting revision and editing.

The Rython Kingdom – published as an e-book and print book – Smashwords and Amazon.

Ockleberries to the Rescue – edited and awaiting illustrations – launch October 2014

Willow Tree Tears – cowgirl romance – in editing and revision mode.

Maybe it would be an idea to revisit past NaNo manuscripts – would you like to ‘finish’ them for publication or utilize the theme to re-write a new narrative. We should not let all those hours of creativity go to waste.

What outcomes have your NaNoWriMo exertions had? 

3d3df1f7d1f382285315cbfd851c3329b33bce46-thumbLife in SlakeTwesome Loop 001

 

Writing Retreat Reflections…

May 19, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Strawberry group 2014Brenda

 

I am honored to thank the wonderful writers I spent this past weekend with at Strawberry Creek Retreat. Unfortunately, Brenda was not in the group photo (unsure why!) but I found one to add. These marvelous women shared their stories – fictional and real – with each other and found fellowship, encouragement and lots of laughter in each others company. We wrote our words, commented and assisted each other, walked in the spring sunshine, explored the many trails and enjoyed the most delicious meals with copious amounts of wine – for the fortification of our respective Muse’s of course! We all succeeded in accomplishing our goals for the weekend but more than that we found a camaraderie that inspired us to create, safe in the knowledge we were respected and honored. My work in progress, Willow Tree Tears, a cowgirl romance was read through, edited and 3000 words added. So I feel accomplished. After settling into our respective rooms the weekend began with an excellent meal, after which a short questionnaire and writing exercise were handed out to complete (or not) over the weekend. Then it was down to writing our projects and utilizing the glorious spaces, inside and out. With communal areas and private rooms and  nooks, there was somewhere for everyone. Whether you wanted company or not. Every meal was shared together and laughter was a dish served at each one. We paired up, strolled alone or grouped together over coffee – getting to know each other better or for the first time. No matter which, we all found a gift given and received of generosity and caring. I recommend writing retreats to all writers – it sparks the muse, and gives us the opportunity to share with fellow creators.

strawberry-creek-lodgeShare your writing retreat memories.

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