New Writing Group! Yowsers!

New Writers Group

A new writers group will keep my goals on track.
I’m in the process of forming a new writer’s group in Kona, Hawaii.  About time, eh?  I should say my husband sneakily posted some Craigslist ads and I started getting phone calls.  I admire his concern for my social and writing needs. 🙂

Currently, we have eight (8) members on (search for Kona Writers Group and join.  It’s free).  Our next meeting is Sept. 21.  Details are on Meetup.

In the meantime, I’m now Empress-elect of a small critique group.  Interestingly, none of them write fiction.  A new perspective?

Does this mean I have to write on a regular basis?

As if that’s not enough, Continue reading

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The dreaded internal editor

The Internal EditorI met with someone the other day who brought up an interesting point.  What do you do when you can’t turn off the internal editor?  When she/he is ruining all attempts to get words written?

Here’s what I do:

  • Black out your computer screen.  If you can’t see the words, you’ll be less tempted to go back and correct them.
  •  Use XXXX.  Whenever I’m stuck on something–the perfect word, the fact I should research on the internet, I type in XXX.  Later, I can do a search and replace the XXX’s with what I thought I needed.  In most cases, the story is fine without it.
  • Set a timer.  Set a timer for a short amount, maybe ten minutes, then give yourself permission to write as fast as you can, ignoring punctuation, word choices, etc.  As a reward, you promise your internal editor free reign after the slotted time period.
  • Give yourself permission to write dreck.  Even if you think you’re writing dreck, it’s good dreck.  Not every building can be the Taj Mahal.  Sometimes you have to start with a straw hut and make a lot of improvements.
  • Throw your internal editor in a closet and lose the key.
  • Participate in a Book in a Week challenge or National  Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November.  My writing group typically holds a Write a Book in a Month contest between the February meeting and March meeting.  Participating in such a challenge automatically gags the internal editor.  There’s no time to stop because the focus of the task is word count, word count and nothing but word count.

Try one of these tips the next time your internal editor starts screaming at you.  You’ll get more written than you think.



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Find the Center of Your Hurricane

Find the center of your hurricane

Find the center of your hurricane, which isn't always the weather.Find the center of your hurricane, which isn’t always the weather.

As I write this, the remnants of Hurricane (now Tropical Depression) Guillermo is dropping rain on us.  Hurricanes in Hawaii are a big deal.  We’re thousands of miles from any help and each island is a sitting duck for such a natural disaster.  Thankfully, Guillermo is bypassing most of the island, though heavy rains are expected for Oahu and Kauai.

Guillermo has been a threat for over a week, and we’ve watched it approach since before it had a name.  Reports arrived daily from specially equipped airplanes which flew over the eye.

The eye is the center of calm amidst the chaos.  I think we all wish for a similar space in our lives, where the outside rarely intrudes and a calmness rules.

It’s tough.  The world is a hectic place with demands that don’t get any easier.  Jobs, family, friends — it’s a never ending carnival ride with increasing pressures.  Finding time for yourself is next to impossible, but it’s crucial that you carve a little bit of time from your day to center yourself and live in the joy of the now.

Pay attention to what’s important. It’s not always the weather.

Put down whatever you’re doing and notice what your family is doing.  Savor that moment.  This morning, I was babysitting my 18 month old granddaughter and had brought along a book to snatch some reading, even if it was a paragraph at a time.  But I put it down and watched her as she rested against the sofa, eating a piece of cheese, as she dumped crayons out of the box then methodically put them all back, over and over, as she ran to the lanai to watch a plane fly overhead.  All mundane activities and none needing close supervision (maybe the crayons), but all opportunities I would have missed if I’d continued to read.

Maybe your demands don’t allow the time to read, or think beyond what has to be done at this moment.  But step back, carve out a fixed point in time, and look around you.  There’s beauty in everything.  Find it, draw peace from it.  Take a deep breath.  Recenter yourself.  Find the center of your hurricane and smile.



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