This page has moved to a new address.

The Rich Writer

The Rich Writer: January 2011

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Year’s Plan, Revisited

clockThe end of January looms nearer and across the nation, New Year’s Resolutions (or goals or plans or whatever you like to call them) are dropping like flies. How are yours going? Are you still in the race, or did you trip coming out of the starting gate and never quite find your feet again?

I shared my New Year’s Plan at the beginning of the month: to cultivate the habit of rising early to write by getting up 15 minutes earlier each week. By this week, I’m supposed to be getting up at 6:15. This is a very achievable goal, especially since ideally, I’d be getting up at 6:00 am already. And yet…it’s not happening.

What do you do when your ambitious plans for change don’t seem to be working? Experts claim that fewer than half of‘people who make New Year Resolutions stick with them longer than six months, and it’s oh-so-easy for one stumble to lead to another and another, until you’re ready to call it quits.

Read more »

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Letting Go: the Power of Ritual

photo (4)Every year my critique group shares our writing goals with one another. They range from “Keep on keeping on” to 10-item lists of books to write and projects to finish. It’s inspiring to hear what my fellow writers hope to accomplish in 2011—and motivating, because I don’t want the same goals on my list when 2012 rolls around.

This year, we added something to our January goal sharing and recap: in addition to things we want to accomplish, we identified things we want to let go. Things like:




Read more »


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tightening Your (Manuscript’s) Belt: a Checklist for Eliminating Unnecessary Prose

iStock_000011338536LargeWriters: we like to write. Some of us (like me!) like to write lots and lots and lots of pretty words…and then have to cut half of them during the rewrite/polish process.

I’ve been doing a LOT of rewriting—and cutting and tightening—these past few months. If you need to do a bit of your own manuscript pruning, read on for ways to tighten your story and bring down your word count!

Checklist for Tightening the MS Belt

1. Do you say the same thing twice?

  • Example: Sudden tears burn at my eyes, angry and hot.
  • Rewrite: Sudden tears burn at my eyes.
    --“angry and hot” doesn’t add anything to the description
Read more »

Labels: ,

Friday, January 14, 2011

I love my job…

I needed to research the sound of wind and waves for a sailing segment of my WIP, and this is my inspiration (skip ahead 30 seconds to get to the sailing):

Wow, I love being a writer in this day and age!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The OCD Writer, Revisited

I’ve written before about the ease with which a writer can drift into obsessive-compulsive behavior. And I have to admit: I’ve succumbed.

Unlike earlier bouts of obsession, when I fought the evil temptations of compulsive email checking (Did anyone respond to my submission yet? How about now? Or now?) and mailbox haunting, I like to think that my current state of…ahem…hyperfocus has been not entirely a bad thing. Maybe even a little bit of a good thing, because I’ve been obsessed with WRITING.

Read more »

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year’s Plan: The Power of Small Changes

iStock_000000958239SmallAfter the success of the past two months, when I worked to establish a new exercise habit, I’m ready to embark on a new goal: I want to develop the habit of getting up earlier so that I can write at the start of the day, when I’m fresh and undistracted.

Why do I want to do this? Because although I can write any time of day, I tend to get distracted as soon as the rest of my household starts moving. Sad though it is, an argument over whether a child has to wear a coat to school (10 degrees and snowing? What’s that have to do with wearing a coat?) or (still sadder) even a messy kitchen can sabotage my muse for hours. As the day progresses, my head tends to get cluttered with to-do’s and should’s and don’t-forgets.

First thing in the morning, I’m at my best writing-wise. I want to harness that time and become more productive.

Read more »

Labels: ,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Success Breeds Success

iStock_000010285574MediumJust over two months ago, I set myself a challenge: establish an exercise habit before the year finished. I’d suffered some serious exercise set-backs when I managed to injure both Achilles tendons (what can I say? I’m talented) and subsequently traded running and walking for extra glasses of wine. Not good for the waistline or energy level. Not good for my writing productivity, either, as it turns out.

Yes, that motivates me more than my waistline. Call me crazy.

So I adopted Leo Babauta’s Six Habits method of establishing a new habit via incremental tiny changes, finding motivation along the way with other writers trying to make pre-New Years’ changes.

The result?

Read more »

Labels: , ,