help writers make the most of the wonderful ability to make connections
with other writers on twitter, I’ve created #WriteChat.
Every Sunday at
12:00 pm PST / 3:00 pm EST (and lasting approximately 3 hours), I pose a question to get the conversation started. However, as this is
about connecting with other writers, feel free to discuss anything and
everything about writing, life, and this creative journey we all share.
To help you
connect with other writers, share what kind of writing you
do, what genres interest you, where you’re at on the writing/publishing
journey, or anything else that’s swirling around your mind and heart
about this writing life.
As hundreds of writers participate in #writechat every week, the conversation goes quite quickly. So don't worry if you can't read every post when the conversation is jumping. Relax, enjoy, and trust that you'll meet the right people, get the support you're looking for, and have a wonderful time.
Here are some tweets about #writechat:
@llunalila Mondays are less cruel now that they begin
with a #writechat session the night before.;)
@julieawallace Wow! Thank you everyone. My first #writechat
& I have books to read, people to follow, etc. Fantastic info & lively
@DebraMarrs LUV everything about #writechat, it’s a Sunday
must. So glad to have found this community of smart writers.
@marciamarcia Lurking on #WriteChat for a few minutes led to
a break-through on how to approach an article. Thank you @WritingSpirit
+ fellow writers.
After finishing a movie, I watched all the "extras" that came on
the DVD along with it. That started me thinking about what a book's
extras might be. And I realized we already have book extras. They're
the articles, videos and audios we put on the book's website, or on our
author's website. I also realized these "extras" serve two main
Tip: Whatever your reason for not wanting to write when you've promised
yourself you would--whether you feel too tired, busy, or blocked--write
anyway for 15 minutes. There's magic in putting pen to paper (or
fingers on keyboard).
The 15 Minute Writing Rule
When you've promised yourself that you're going to write, then write--no matter what--for 15 minutes.
If you're scheduled to write for an hour, it doesn't matter. Write for 15 minutes.
If you're exhausted and about to collapse, it doesn't matter. Write for 15 minutes.
there's not one single thought in your head, it doesn't matter. Write
for 15 minutes, even if all you can write about is being stuck.
the desire to write sparks some inner resistance. That's why excuses
are so easy to come by. The antidote is to grab hold of the idea of
writing for ONLY 15 minutes.
That small amount of time isn't intimidating. And because it feels doable, it gets you to start writing, which is the key that unlocks writing's magic power.
You see, the act of writing frequently…
energizes you when you're tired
reconnects you with your material, or writing practice, when you're feeling disconnected
opens pathways for inspiration to flow through when you're blocked
clarifies your ideas and vision when you're confused
And often, once you start writing, you catch fire and simply write and write and write.
of these good things happen because the things you think you need
before you write, in order to write (inspiration, feeling connected to
your project, energy, clarity, enthusiasm), all the things you're not
willing to write without--are what you get FROM writing.
Even when writing doesn't give you all, or any, of these benefits, and you actually do end up writing for only
15 minutes, you feel good that you at least wrote something on a day
you promised yourself you would, and rest easier knowing that you
really were too (tired/busy/blocked/etc.) to write, and weren't just procrastinating.
The idea of writing for only 15
minutes may be what lessens your resistance, draws you in, and gets you
to start writing, but it's the act of writing, itself, that is the
I recently received copies of my latest book,
"Conscious Entrepreneurs: A Radical New Approach to Purpose, Passion &
Profit." If you look the book up on Amazon.com, you'll see that my name is
not on the cover. It is, however, on the table of contents. I wrote chapter 37,
"Writing: A Journey of Creativity, Consciousness, and Connection."
I LOVE anthologies! I recommend them wholeheartedly. They
offer a variety of benefits:
open to new and experienced writers.
It's fun to hold
a book in your hands that has your poem, story, or article in it.
stories are easy to write, because they're based on your life.
If you're having trouble writing, an anthology call will give you a specific topic to write about and a very real deadline to write towards.
Every publication helps build your writing credits and platform.
You can use your 50-100 word bio to drive traffic to your website.
Here are some links for anthology calls for submissions:
This link takes
you to the online classified section of Poets & Writers Magazine. The current magazine's listings are always
your own anthology can also be fun and profitable. You can write a book
proposal, gather some sample stories, and find an agent or publisher (I have an
anthology book proposal currently making the rounds that's been seen at
HarperSanFrancisco and Inner Ocean Publishing, among others), you can
self-publish, or you can turn your content into an ebook.
biggest benefit of creating your own anthology is that your name goes on the
cover. You are considered the author of the book, whether your name follows
"edited by," "compiled by," or stands alone. It makes a
great first book. If your own author's platform isn't very strong, get some
name authors to commit to your anthology and stand on their platforms.
Once you have a book published, you've got your foot in the door and it's a
little easier to get your "next book" published. Make no mistake,
however, an anthology is still a book and takes time, commitment, and lots of
September 22nd is the 266th day of the year (this was a leap year). That leaves 100 days until the end of 2008.
Have you achieved all the writing goals that you set for yourself on
Are you happy with the progress you've made, so far this year?
Is there more you'd like to achieve before the year is through?
The next 100 days offer you 100 opportunities to reconnect with goals that have faded into the background, or that have been moving forward more slowly than you'd like.
The next 100 days offer you a chance to end the year strong! Imagine that it's December 31st and you're looking back over this year. What do you want to feel proud about achieving that you haven't finished, or even started, yet? You've still got time.
The next 100 nights offer you 100 chances to go to bed feeling good about the progress you've made on your dreams and goals.
What would you like to accomplish in the next 100 days?
To see how published authors, and other publishing professionals,
use Twitter.com to connect with their audience and promote their books
and services, I've gathered together a list of 50+ "Tweeters" that I
thought you'd be interested in. This list includes authors, literary
agents, and book publishers, as well as writing coaches and other
tweeters offering writing related information, such as links to video
book trailers, poetry resources, and more.
Because the basic question that's being addressed is "how do
writers use Twitter.com?" I picked people to follow based on their
connection to traditional publishing, and not on the topics they talk
about. So, some may talk about writing a lot, while others may say
very little about it. Some may promote, promote, promote, while others
may share more of the day-to-day realities of their life and let the
promotion simply be their presence at Twitter, and the website link in
their bio. Some may post a lot of tweets, while others may post only
occasionally. This grab bag of micro-bloggers was chosen purposefully, so
that you could see the many ways writers actually use Twitter.
So, here goes...
Daily Writing & Creativity Tips for Writers on Twitter
When I was on Twitter.com one day, I connected with novelist and
writing teacher Mark David Gerson. Having said our hellos online, I
went to check out his books at Amazon.com. On the page for Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write,
I clicked on “search inside this book,” and started reading. The more I
read, the more it felt like the words on the screen were coming from my
own heart. I was completely blown away. So, of course, I immediately
ordered the book, along with the companion CD set of guided meditations
I’ve read dozens of books on writing, but none have moved me as deeply as The Voice of the Muse.
Mark David’s words are not only eloquent, they have a meditative
quality about them that takes me directly to the core of my own
creative being. He picked the perfect subtitle, “answering the call to
write,” because his book is the embodiment of that call. Every page
invites me to open, and then compels me to write.
His approach is decidedly spiritual, yet it’s the spirituality of
being totally present, open, courageous, alive, and consciously
connected to your creative source. He often talks of surrendering: to
your writing, to your Muse, to your deepest and most sacred Self. He
says that “when you sit down at the black page or screen, you have
three simple tasks: Trust. Let go. Leap.”
There are several guided meditations in this book, but simply
opening to any page, and reading, can give you something to meditate
about. This morning, as I was using The Voice of the Muse as an intuitive guide, I was led to an idea that I would like to spend some time
Mark David pointed out that there’s a difference between a good idea
and the right idea. Being the Brainstorming Queen that I am, with an
ability to mass produce ideas, I know that the line between the two
often gets blurred. I view discernment as the key to making sure I start down
the right path, rather than following a creative detour that will
eventually lead me to a dead end after days, or even weeks of work. But
Mark David got me thinking, what makes an idea the right idea? What do I need to know, or do, or
feel to be able to accurately discern the right path? This is something
that each of us needs to discover for ourselves.
Of the many good ideas you have, how do you distinguish which of them is the right idea for you to work on at this time?
Unsure how to end this article, I opened up The Voice of the Muse
to see where it would lead me. The page I landed upon was the title
page for chapter 5. There, in large bold letters it said, “listen to
your heart.” What a perfect message to receive, for the call to write
both emanates from, and ends within, the heart. It is with our heart that
we hear the voice of the muse calling us to write. And it is from the
still and silent center within our heart that our “yes” joyously arises
to answer the call.
So go to Amazon.com and check out Mark David Gerson's The Voice of the Muse. The book's detailed Table of Contents will both intrigue and inspire you:
The Muse Stream
Awakening your vision
Birthing your book, even if you don't know what it's about
Breathing light and life into your writing
The heartful art of re-vision
Your words are your teachers
Surrender to the journey
What is it you fear
Leaps of faith
After reading the excerpt, it's fun to hit the "surprise me" button and see where it takes you. Enjoy.
I just watched the movie, "Miss Potter," starring Renee Zellweger as famous children's author, Beatrix Potter. It's fun to watch movies about famous authors, and see how they overcame the naysayers, their own self-doubts, and any other creative obstacles they faced, which made their heroes' journey worth making a movie about.
Here are just a few of the movies that have been made about real life writers:
Beloved Infidel (1959) about F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, and Tender is the Night. Starring Gregory Peck.
All The President's Men (1976) about Bob Woodward (author or co-author of 10 #1 national bestselling non-fiction books, more than any other contemporary author) and Carl Bernstein. Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
Cross Creek (1983) about Marjorie Kinnan Rowlings, author of The Yearling. Starring Mary Steenburgen.
Gothic (1987) about poet Lord Byron and novelist Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. Starring Gabriel Byrne and Natasha Richardson. (Directed by Ken Russell)
Hemingway (1988) about Ernest Hemingway, author of For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. Starring Stacy Keach.
Henry and June (1990) about Anais Nin (Delta of Venus) and Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer). Starring Maria de Medeiros and Fred Ward.
Impromptu (1991) about George Sand (Aurore Dupin), author of 80 novels and 20 plays. Starring Judy Davis as Sand.
Kafka (1991) about Franz Kafka, author of The Metamorphosis. Starring Jeremy Irons.
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994) about poet and essayist Dorothy Parker and Manhattan's legendary literary cadre known as the Algonquin Round Table. Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Quills (2000) about the Marquis de Sade, author of Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue, and Letters From Prison. Starring Geoffrey Rush.
Iris (2001) about Iris Murdoch, author of Under the Net, and The Sacred and Profane Love Machine. Starring Judi Dench.
The Hours (2002) about Virgina Woolf, author of Mrs. Dolloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, and A Room of One's Own. Starring Nicole Kidman as Woolf, along with Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep.
Sylvia (2003) about the poet Sylvia Plath, author of the semi-biographical novel The Bell Jar. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
Finding Neverland (2004) about J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. Starring Johnny Depp.
Capote (2005) about Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood, and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Miss Potter (2006) about Beatrix Potter, author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, and many other children's books. Starring Renee Zellweger.
Becoming Jane (2007) about Jane Austen, the author of Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. Starring Anne Hathaway.
Miss Austen Regrets (2008) also about Jane Austen, the author of Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park. Starring Olivia Williams.
And there are also many movies about fictional writers, and their creative trials and triumphs. Such as:
Misery (1990) Kathy Bates as an author's worst nightmare. In this case, the author is played by James Caan.
Deconstructing Harry (1997) Woody Allen as an author who decides to write a novel about his best friends.
Finding Forrester (2000) Sean Connery portrays a famous novelist turned recluse, who helps a high school basketball star (Rob Brown) who wants to be a writer.
Adaptation (2002) Nicolas Cage as a screenwriter, battling his own creative demons, as he works to adapt a novel (written by Meryl Streeps's character) for the screen.
Stranger Than Fiction (2006) Emma Thompson plays a novelist struggling to kill off her main character (played by Will Ferrell), but things get out of hand.
What are your favorite movies about authors or about the creative process? Leave a comment and let me know.
Julie Isaac is an award winning author and creativity coach. She is the founder of the WritingSpirit Book Writers Community, which focuses on helping authors and entrepreneurs get their books written-- from inspiration to income!
Julie (@WritingSpirit) is the creator and host of #writechat, a live twitter chat held every Sunday from 12-3pm PST, attended by 200 to 300 writers weekly.