Thursday, June 11, 2009

My book is boring me, or I have writer's block...

What happens if you're writing along, loving it, and then you miss a day or two, or three, or four and you find yourself slightly bored with the thought of picking up the pen or opening the folder?

This happened to me while I was writing my first book. I put it away for weeks at a time, sometimes months, and it took me five years to write a book that ended up being just under 200 pages long. Kinda lame, yes. I got bored with it, I listened to the inner voices that told me I was wasting my time...

Well, I've since discovered some things that will help. If you do need to put the book away for a small amount of time to take a breather, fine. Do just that. But don't NOT write something else every day. Keep your writing habit alive by still writing/journaling/scribbling something down each day. We must ingrain the daily writing habit, even if it's only ten minutes at a time.

Another idea might be to try a fresh project for a bit and then go back to the original one that was giving you fits. When you get a little bit of distance from it, sometimes you can see the thing that was wrong, or you realize you really do like that idea and you're willing to work with it again. I don't suggest you put it away for five years, though, if you can help it.

Maybe it would help to brainstorm a list of possibilities for your characters. Start making a list of things that could happen to him/her. Raise the stakes! Do something horrible and let the character work her way out of it. Shake it up a bit.

Go for a walk and think about your book. Let the fresh air slip into your head and rejuvenate those tired brain cells. (Or something like that). Truly, sometimes just moving around does wonders for my writing abilities.

Sit somewhere crowded and listen to people talking. See if there's anything you overhear that might be useful in your story. Challenge yourself- see if you can find a way to fit in something you might not have thought of otherwise.

Don't give in to boredom or writer's block! Fight it!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The benefit of warm-up pages

Some authors use warm-up pages before they begin working on their current projects. Many describe them as just that- a warm-up to get them into the writing flow.

I used to think that it was just wasting valuable time I could be using to write my novel, but as I've tried it, I've come to realize what a valuable tool it can be. It's like any exercise; you need to stretch a bit before you just dive in.

Something you might try: Get yourself a notebook or create a file on your computer that is strictly for warming up. Give yourself permission to write about nothing or everything for at least five minutes. Some people say fifteen minutes is better. Use one of the daily writing prompts found on this blog or make up your own- just do anything to get the writing juices flowing.

Try it, see what you think, and let me know how it works!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Conference and jumping right in!

THE Teen Writing Conference, held yesterday at Ogden, Utah's Weber State University, was absolutely so much fun. I had the best time! The authors were wonderful, the classes were so good, and the KIDS! I met so many great kids.

My daughter has the pics on her camera and I'm going to post some of them here, soon, but first of all, I wanted to post this link for you guys. It's a link to The BookEnds literary agency, (very cool), and they offer a publishing dictionary that really has useful info. You should read it if you want to write for publication. Maybe consider printing it for future reference or copying it to your hard drive. Good, good stuff.

So my thanks to the conference attendees and all the wonderful people who made it happen. It was so good!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Teen Writers Conference

It's almost here! THE Teen Writers Conference at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, will be this Saturday, June 6. It's the first time we've done this conference and it's going to be really, really cool.

My daughter will be attending, so I'll have her taking a bunch of pictures and I'll post them when we're done. Registration is closed for this year, (because we filled up so fast, YES), but this is something you definitely won't want to miss next year.

As for the purpose of this blog, it's all about being a teen who likes to write. I'll post links to helpful sites, provide articles about the writing craft and offer any advice and help I can from my experiences as a published writer.

I'm creating this blog for a couple of reasons. I love to write, for one. Also, I'm a teacher and I can't think of anything better than to share something I love with kids. Reading was such a huge part of my life as a kid and I would have loved the chance to get some feedback from a published author, so hopefully some of what I have to offer will be of use to you.

Enjoy, and if you're registered for the conference, I'll see you on Saturday!