Tag Archives: author motivation

Pretty Good

Megan Norris Jones

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000 hour rule, which states that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. This notion is both encouraging and discouraging. It’s encouraging because it means if I practice, I can become good. It has inspired me to dedicate time to my craft and consciously cultivate the skills I lack. It’s discouraging when I consider how long 10,000 take to rack up when I squeeze writing time into 15-30 minute increments. This is going to take a while.

Then I heard a TED Talk by Josh Kaufman, and he introduced me to the 20-hour rule. In it, he argues that, while it might take 10,000 hours to master a skill, 20 hours of deliberate practice can make you decent at most things. Continue reading

See the Joy

Laura Ayo

Last night, my husband and I were watching a stand-up comedian on television. Pete Holmes elicited big laughs from his bit about finding moments of joy, which, fitting for a writer, referenced Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. “I see joy everywhere,” he said as part of the bit. Right then and there, I set my writing goal for the summer: to see joy everywhere in my writing. Continue reading

Insomniacs Anonymous 5-12-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

Are you a mom? How does that experience inform what you write about?

Avoiding Difficult Scenes Doth Not a Writer Make

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

I have a confession.

I dance around the scenes I don’t want to write. Or at least don’t feel equipped to.

Currently, there are three big gaping holes in my manuscript. All three holes should be filled with essential scenes; all three are insanely difficult for me to write. There are scenes before and scenes Continue reading

Practical Prompt 5-03-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

If you’re struggling to get words on the page, using a timer may help. In your next writing session, set an alarm for the first half of your allotted writing time. If you only have 30 minutes to write, set the alarm for 15 minutes and write, racing the clock. Avoid deleting, backspacing or reconsidering during this 15-minute segment. The goal is word count. When the alarm goes off, use the last half of your writing time to polish and flesh out what you wrote under the gun.