"Write Away: A Year of Musings and Motivations" is an essential companion for writers on their year-long creative journey. Immerse yourself in an engaging blend of monthly stories, inspirational insights, practical guidance, and expert tips designed to ignite your writing passion and hone your craft.
From witty stories to indispensable advice, this book invites writers to not only reflect on their writing aspirations but also to take actionable steps towards achieving them. With dedicated sections to set goals, access valuable resources, and stay motivated, "Write Away" empowers you to transform your writing dreams into reality, one month at a time. Unleash your inner author and let "Write Away" be your steadfast guide to becoming the writer you've always aspired to be.
"It has something useful for every writer, from the novice in the coffee shop, to the published guru sporting his or her own section at Barnes and Noble. Sundstedt's writing is humorous and heartfelt, connecting immediately to other writers in a friendly-over-a-cup-of-coffee-discussion way. Flanagan shines as a tough-love mentor who's walked the hard roads all writers traverse and she has the uncanny skill of gentle but useful persuasion that keeps the reader on the 'write' path."– Reader review
"ALL writers experience "writer's block" at some point in their career and it can be a tough thing to overcome, so Write Away is a great resource. Full of practical advice, insight, wisdom and humor, this book is such a valuable tool in any writer's bag of tricks. Both Jenny Sundstedt and Kerrie Flanagan are talented authors and I'd definitely recommend this book to any writer."– Reader review
"Kerrie Flanagan and Jenny Sundstedt's "Write Away" is a truly inspiring book that all writers should own. Part writing devotional, part planner, part motivator, the book is a wonderful resource that pushes its reader to the next level of writing. Whether you struggle with creativity, organization, procrastination, whatever your writing poison, Flanagan and Sundstedt are sure to inspire you to overcome any hurdle creating a block in your writing career."– Reader review
6 Impossible Things
It's the New Year, and social media is teeming with resolutions. Every year, so much—well, let's call it "debris"—hits the fan that we're all ready for a clean, fresh start. And I think the global January pastime of resolution making is particularly compelling for writers. Starting a new project, completing an old one, editing, querying, classes, conferences—we have no shortage of goal-worthy pursuits.
I usually make resolutions. This year, however, I'm trying something different, inspired by Tim Burton's reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. Early in the movie, when Alice remarks to her stick-in-the-mud potential fiancé that she wonders what it would be like to fly, he asks her why she would spend time thinking of such an impossible thing. She can't imagine why she wouldn't and tells him that her late father sometimes believed in six impossible things even before breakfast.
Near the end of the movie, as Alice battles the ferocious Jabberwocky, she gathers her courage by reminding herself to believe in six impossible things. "One: there's a potion that can make you shrink. Two: and a cake that can make you grow. Three: animals can talk. Four: cats can disappear. Five: there's a place called Wonderland. Six: I can slay the Jabberwocky."
She does slay the beast. Then she returns to tell the dull Seamus that she won't marry him. Instead, she embarks on an exciting new business adventure with her father's friend.
Inspired by Alice's moxie, I've decided that instead of making resolutions this year, I will believe in six impossible things every day before breakfast. For example:
1. Chocolate cures procrastination;
2. The New York Times bestseller list is holding a spot for me;
3. My desk can stay clean for longer than five minutes;
4. With the help of the Internet, I can master time management;
5. Stephen King wants to be my mentor (he just doesn't know it yet); and
6. I can vanquish the dreaded slush pile like my own personal Jabberwocky.
My rational mind knows that the odds of these things happening might not be in my favor—and probably a kajillion-to-one for numbers 2 and 5—but there's something very liberating about giving myself permission to be open to the idea that anything can happen. As Alice's father says, "The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible."
What impossible things will you believe in this year?
Redistribution of Power
Recently my daughter auditioned for a local teen acting troupe. Before the auditions began, the director talked with the students about what they could expect from the audition, when they would find out who made it, and other bits of general information. But she ended with something that resonated with me and relates 100 percent to writers.
She explained that there were only a few openings in the troupe, so not everyone was going to make it. Then with heartfelt conviction, she told those teens, "Don't ever base your self-worth as an actor on one audition. Do not give that power over to any director. It hasn't been earned, and they don't deserve it."
When I left, I couldn't stop thinking about what she said. So many times as writers we wrap up our self-worth in every query letter or proposal we send out. Then we wait for the response and rather than look at it as just that, a response, we use it to gauge our worth and abilities as a writer. If an editor/agent says yes, then we must be a good writer. If we get a no, then we must not be any good.
That is too much power to hand over to editors/agents and frankly, I don't think they want it. The agents and editors are only doing their job to make the best magazine, book, or anthology possible. It is up to us to be confident in our own abilities as a writer.
We have all heard those rejection letter examples from the likes of Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and Dr. Seuss saying their writing wasn't any good. But what made these writers successful is that they didn't let an editor's opinion stop them. They were confident in their writing, and they kept going. We all need to do the same.
Surround yourself with other positive writers, take classes, go to conferences, join a good critique group, and improve your craft so when you do send out your writing, you can rest assured that you sent out your best work, regardless of the response.
What do you think? Do we hand over our self-worth as writers to too many other people?