How to Make an Ideal Workspace in Any Space

You might daydream about the perfect home office, spacious and furnished with a beautiful desk and comfortable chair. Oh, and don't forget the necessary bookshelves lining the walls. Unfortunately for most of us that isn't the reality. Many writers spend the first several years of their career working in such awful places as the couch or even the kitchen table. Freelance writing or a significant raise from your day job might earn you a separate office, but you'll probably have to wait a while before you can make that leap. If you're only writing novels and not making too much money from your day job, odds are it will be several years before you can afford more than a tiny office. Still, you can have an ideal workspace in any…
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Monthly routines to save time

Goal setting, Increasing productivity, Writing
Some things, like checking email and social media, are best done in small bursts every day. It's easier to do a little bit of cleaning every day than it is to do all your cleaning at once. Still other things are easy to ignore for months, and yet become monumental tasks when you finally face them. Every year, I spend the first couple months paying careful attentions to these things. I carefully organize my life in January and February, and things soon fall apart as I get overwhelmed by everything in my life that isn't writing. But this year I will be finishing school and be able to focus on my writing full time for the first time, and I'm determined to make every day count so that I can…
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Organizing your writing life for 2014

Goal setting, Inspirational, Writing
Usually I spend most of December talking about setting goals for the new year, but this year I want to focus more on getting organized so you can achieve those goals. There are some key steps you can take now to make your writing run more smoothly in 2014. The simpler you make it to achieve your goals, the more likely you are to go through with it. This simplification process doesn't mean lowering your goals, unless you've realized that you severely overshot when you set out on the adventure of 2013. Instead it means preparing yourself for 2014, similar to preparing yourself for Nanowrimo in October, but more intense. Some of these steps can and should be taken right now, and others will have to wait until you've chosen…
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Bringing your Ideas Together

Nanowrimo, Workshops, Writing, Writing
Earlier this week we went over a few ways to find ideas for your Nanowrimo novel. With any luck you successfully used one of the brainstorming techniques I mentioned on Monday and came up with a few ideas or managed to flesh out an idea you already had. Today I'd like to help you organize those ideas. While having a mind map or a right brain left brain list is great and either can be used as a basic guide, a linear list of ideas--or a few lists consisting of different categories of ideas--is sometimes more helpful. Personally, my mind maps tend to be horribly disorganized and messy, so I myself will be doing this exercise as soon as I finish writing this post. First, you need to find a…
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Preparing to Edit a Novel

Editing: The Hard Part, Novels
It's that time of year again. All the mistletoe has rotted and half of everyone's New Year resolutions have already been thrown out the window. That first draft of your Nano--or whatever other project you've been ignoring for the last several months--has been sitting in its corner quietly collecting dust for long enough. It's time to pull that tome out and edit. It will be painful, it might be bloody--though I suspect you'll go through more ink than actual blood--but it's necessary. Trust me, your novel will look better without all those tangents and ten page character descriptions. They are extra limbs just getting in the way--I mean, spiders have eight legs but if a human had eight arms that would just be awkward, right? Think of limbs as sub-plots…
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