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Writing Habits

Do You Share the Compulsion to Take Notes?

Gretchen Rubin | Posted 12.31.2012 | Healthy Living
Gretchen Rubin

For notes related to books I'm writing, I've wondered whether I should organize my notes better, but I do find that the action or scrolling through them and seeing odd juxtapositions of ideas helps to stimulate my own ideas and creativity.

Note to Authors: Your Book Won't Change Your Life

Eliezer Sobel | Posted 11.27.2011 | Books
Eliezer Sobel

Regardless, to actually live the life of the writer requires writing -- the actual thing itself, the literal activity of putting words together on a page.

A Writer's Agenda -- The Pitfalls of the "Point"

Peter Brown Hoffmeister | Posted 11.02.2011 | Books
Peter Brown Hoffmeister

We don't need a point. We're comfortable with the nebulous. Harry Crews is right. It's a rough south, and we're wading the swamp in the dark.

The Truth About Writer's Block

Judith Johnson | Posted 09.24.2011 | Books
Judith Johnson

To say "I have writer's block" is to judge a temporary or permanent absence of writing momentum and productivity as wrong and therefore to see oneself as a failure in some way.

Virtual Book Tour

Anis Shivani | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Anis Shivani

As any emerging writer knows, while the road to publication is tough and the obstacles many, there is no emotion to compare with holding your book in ...

The Making of a Novel: What Motivates

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I just had lunch with a student who has just completed a final polished draft of his memoir. He couldn't stop smiling and I couldn't stop smiling, because writing and polishing that many pages of a story is a huge accomplishment.

The Making of a Novel: Resurrecting Old Drafts

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I did some good work today, and one of the things I found myself doing was mining and old draft of my story for nuggets of gold. I had this particular...

The Making of a Novel: 5 Ways You Know You're on the Right Track

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I decided to make a change to the start of my novel, which means hacking out a lot of pages. I'm not sure how many will have to go yet, but I will cut...

7 Steps to Writing That Knockout Final Paper

Ruth Starkman | Posted 05.25.2011 | College
Ruth Starkman

Whether you are in the sciences or humanities, there are a handful of objective steps to communication that you need to master.

The Making of a Novel: When It Feels Like Work

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I sent 57 pages of my novel-in-progress to a friend for a critique, and last night I got back pages and pages of notes. I have some other work I have ...

The Making of a Novel: What Support Means to a Writer

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I was on a roll over the weekend. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and sorted through notes and books, and integrated ideas into my text, and basically co...

The Making of a Novel: What Readers Skip

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

Elmore Leonard famously said, "I try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip." I thought of this today, because I hacked some words out of my ...

The Making of a Novel: Real Life Gets in the Way

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I had a big block of time set aside today to write, and had been looking forward to it -- but, alas, my 9th grader got sick in the middle of the night...

The Making of a Novel: When Writing is an Emergency

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

In her book Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints, writer Joan Aconcella makes the point that art is always an emergency. I loved that line when I read ...

The Making of a Novel: The Beauty of Paper

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

This morning I printed out 60 pages of my new novel to read for the first time on paper. I sharpened a pencil, cleared some space at the kitchen table...

The Making of a Novel: 7 Reasons to Write on Planes

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I'm getting ready to go on a trip, and I'm so excited about the chance to write on a plane. Here are my 7 top reasons why planes are great places to w...

The Making of a Novel: The 7-Hour Stretch

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I wrote for seven hours today, which is an unheard-of stretch of time for me. I blocked off this chunk of time, however, because I needed to re-envisi...

The Making of a Novel: Just Say No

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

Tonight after dinner, I suggested to my 14-year-old daughter that we have some tea and catch up on Project Runway, which we haven't watched for weeks...

The Making of a Novel: What If?

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I teach a course in writing memoir, which began today. I love memoir -- as a writer, a reader, and a teacher -- and find many joys in it, on many lev...

The Making of a Novel: Writing in the Shower

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I have the luxury of working at home most of the time (although I start a classroom stint next week with the UCLA Extension Writers' Program) and I co...

The Making of a Novel: The Temptation of Jumping Ahead

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I was tempted today to jump ahead in my story and write a juicy scene or two that will come later in the novel. The section I was working on felt a li...

Up Early, Awake All Night, Intermittent Handstands ...

Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

Some authors write standing, while some write lying down. Some write early in the morning, while others stay up all night. Some write in a warm blanke...

The Making of a Novel: Hearing What I Write

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

work in a very quiet place. I never play music while I write. Sometimes I turn off the phone. The quiet is necessary so I can listen to the sound of my words.

The Making of a Novel: What Sleep Has to Do With Writing

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I haven't been sleeping well lately. I lie in bed and my head spins -- working out problems in my book, and problems in my life. (My oldest kid starts...

The Making of a Novel: What You May Find Getting Lost on the Web

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

My oldest daughter is about to go off to college, and so my brain is very full of thoughts and ideas that start with the phrase, "When I was in colleg...