At Routines for Writers, February is always Author Crush Month. It's our Valentine to writers. Last year Shonna and Stephanie and I talked about how much we learned from all of our Author Crush guests, but I never really wrote down the things that struck me. I just thought about them for a while…until something else used up that space in my brain. (My trip to beautiful Wellington, New Zealand, last week took up all the space for a few days! See my picture at left.) This year we decided we’d really think about it and write it up to share with you. Here is what I learned during Author Crush month this year.
Andrea Nasfell, February 2 – There is no time for indecision. I like that. I think I’m going to spend a little more time brainstorming before I begin writing and then be confident with the decisions I made and keep writing. I’ve spent far too much time the last few years second-guessing myself and my writing. (Being in school again has also emphasized this point for me.)
Janice Hardy, February 4 – Spend time make your first line great! I love first lines myself, and I love working and working on mine until I just love my final choice. It’s a good way to spend your driving time or waiting time.
Larry Brooks, February 7 – His #1 tip is Every Scene Should Have a Succinct Mission. That’s another way to say something I’ve read before, but the way Larry explains it made my entire book rush through my head as I considered whether I’d accomplished this. I know what I want to go change tomorrow! (Remember, Larry will be our guest for the next four Tuesdays in March!)
Janice Cantore, February 9 – What an encouraging story that books you’ve written and had rejected still may get picked up!
Erin Bow, February 11 – No one had me laughing out loud as much as I did when I read Erin’s office is in a pole-dancing studio! That is awesome! Just the thought of it makes my imagination take flight.
Justine Toh, February 16 – For someone who writes as funny as Justine, it cracks me up that she spends so much time avoiding writing. But it also makes me feel better about my own procrastination issues. :)
Brad Zockoll, February 18 – I loved his “what if” examples! And I totally get that feeling – When I write, I feel God’s pleasure. It’s a good reminder to get me sitting down writing every day – just remember how good it can feel once you get into it each day.
Mitchell Bonds, February 21 – Take control of your work space. Yes, I need to do that. I share an office with my husband right now, but this weekend I told him that our next home needs to have a space that is only for my writing. Meanwhile, I need to work harder at keeping my desk clear. I don’t know why but it makes me feel more free in my writing. A cluttered surface makes my thoughts feel cluttered. Weird? True.
Kathleen Wright, February 22 – I love the G-shells as expressions of what God’s grace can do in our lives. What a fun example! And what an encouraging story about giving up and finding out God and your writing haven’t given up on you.
Shanna Swendson, February 24 – We’re always reminded to protect our writing time, but Shanna hit my nail on the head when she said we also need to protect it from ourselves! This week I’ve been closer to protecting my writing time (inasmuch as I actually tried). Starting tomorrow, I’m going to succeed in protecting my writing time from ME.
Jackina Stark, February 25 – When Jackina said she didn’t really have a writing routine, but she managed to write 4-5 hours a day when she worked full-time, I was shocked. What else can I let go of and stop spending my time on so that I can free up more time for writing? Or to make it work for me – how can I look at my writing as more appealing than the other things I spend my time on (like watching what I consider to be awesome TV, or trying to respond to every single email I get, or reading all the interesting articles and blogs that don’t actually help me get words down on paper)?
Kathy Tyers, February 28 – I’ve become a fan of written goals, but I love Kathy’s attitude that they can be written in pencil. Awesome. I’m a big fan of flexibility in all areas of life. I think it lends a more relaxed tone to life. And I like relaxed better than stressed out. :)
There’s my take on what I learned this month. It’s a lot to think about…until Author Crush Month next year.