I’m finally writing again after a long hiatus, thanks to the wonderful Speed Writing class I took this year, taught by M.M. Pollard. Here are three of the books that helped me to get back on track.
The 8-Minute Writing Habit: Create a Consistent Writing Habit That Works With Your Busy Lifestyle (Growth Hacking For Storytellers) by Monica Leonelle Spaulding House, 2015
This book was recommended in the fabulous online Speed Writing class taught by M. M. Pollard for OCCRWA, and it’s the method that helped me break a long-standing writers block. I tried the 8 by 8 Challenge, which required me to write at least 8 minutes every day for 8 days. After the first couple of days, I was writing for more than 8 minutes. And now I have a first draft of my novel. Color me happy.
Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series) by Jocelyn K. Glei Amazon Publishing 2013 I’ve been listening to the audiobook in the car, and I am really loving this book/ I expect I will read/listen to it more than once. Glei includes lots of ideas from other people, to wit:
Featuring contributions from: Dan Ariely, Leo Babauta, Scott Belsky, Lori Deschene, Aaron Dignan, Erin Rooney Doland, Seth Godin,Todd Henry, Christian Jarrett, Scott McDowell, Mark McGuinness, Cal Newport, Steven Pressfield, Gretchen Rubin, Stefan Sagmeister, Elizabeth G. Saunders, Tony Schwartz, Tiffany Shlain, Linda Stone, and James Victore. Plus, a foreword from Behance founder & CEO Scott Belsky.
I’m not familiar with most of these people, but their ideas are thought-provoking and useful. For instance, setting time aside in your weekly schedule for those big projects, and if someone wants to do something else at that time, just tell them, “Sorry, I have an appointment.” It’s okay to make an appointment with yourself. Another compared time to a jar of rocks. If you put the big rocks in first, the little ones will squeeze in around them. If you fill the jar with little rocks, sand and water, there may not be any room for the big rocks.
A similar idea to that last one is…
Eat that Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2007
I’ve only read about 20% of the book, but am finding it quite interesting. The frog quote comes from Mark Twain, who said that if you have to eat a frog, do it first. If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first. In other words, tackle the big, important tasks first while you have the energy to deal with them. Good advice. Too bad I don’t take it more often. Guess I better finish reading the book!
But first it’s time to tackle those revisions!
I’m re-working a sensual Western historical romance called Lily and the Gambler. An abbreviated version of the story was published by Amber Quill Press as a mildly erotic romance. I’ve lengthened the book considerably, revised the plot, and plan to self-publish it some time this year. It really does feel good to be writing again.