Writer’s Toolbox

Last week we started talking about creativity and ways to boost that part of your brain.  This week, we’ll continue that conversation, focusing especially on ways to get over that writing hump.  You know what I’m talking about.  One minute you’re zipping along down the fast lane and then WHAM! You hit a speed bump… Read more »

Idea Tank

The DIY MFA newsletter, Writer Fuel, can help power your ideas and the new workbook Jumper Cables (available to everyone who joins the DIY MFA mailing list) can help you jump-start your writing.  But sometimes you need a place to store your ideas and stockpile inspiration to use when the fuel runs dry. That’s where… Read more »

To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo

As most of you know, this week marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  The idea behind this writing challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November.  Founded in 1999, NaNoWriMo has grown from 21 participants in its first year to 200,500 participants in 2010.  For more… Read more »

Creative Monsters

Today’s Halloween, the day we celebrate all things that go bump in the night.  But while Halloween boogies might be imaginary, I’d like to talk about some monsters that are very real: creative monsters.  What are creative monsters, you ask?  Creative monsters are those people in get in the way of our creative journey.  Often… Read more »

3 Critique Tips and a Bonus Quiz (Just for Fun)

Today, I thought I’d share a couple more critique tips that have helped me in the past and then give you all a fun little quiz, just for laughs. Tip #1: Helping Your Readers Help You Sometimes it helps to give your critique partners or beta readers something to focus on so they can really… Read more »

Making the Most of a Critique

When it comes to receiving critique, I’ve found that the more you put into the process, the more you get out of it.  Here are some tips to help you make the most of the critique process before, during and after. Before You Submit: Proofread and eliminate typos. If your submission is as tight and… Read more »

What Kind of Feedback is Right for You?

When it comes to getting a tune-up on your writing, you have lots of different options. In fact, sometimes the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming and it’s hard to recognize what kind of help or feedback you really need. In this post, you’ll get to know some of the choices so you can… Read more »

Weekend Prompt: Mood Music

This week, we’ll be using music to inspire creativity.  This prompt will help you exercise your hearing, which many writers often overlook in favor of visual inspiration.  I’ve selected five pieces of music, each one leaning toward a different genre of writing.  You can choose a piece at random or select depending on the genre… Read more »

Writing Through the Senses

As mentioned in Monday’s post, one great way to get new story ideas or kick-start your writing is to use the five senses.  In addition to helping spice up flat descriptions, the senses are also a great source of inspiration.  Here’s a short sampler of ways you can engage the five senses to get a new perspective… Read more »

Setting the Mood for an Optimal Writing Session

When it comes to getting in the “zone” for writing, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s really hard.  There are days when I’m just not “in the mood” and I can’t sit around waiting for inspiration to strike.  Instead, I’ve learned a few tricks to help me set the mood even when if feels like… Read more »