Justine: Flexing Your Writing Muscles

manlifting-weightsIn many ways, writing is like working out. The more you do it, the easier it is, and the more stamina you have. On the flip side, when you stop working out, it’s a bitch to get back into it again.

One of my New Years Resolutions was to get moving for 30 minutes a day. Aside from not writing, I’ve also been neglecting myself, and I decided, after reading this stunning NY Times article about how much of your LIFE you can lose by being inactive, that I needed to Continue reading

Elizabeth: Just One Thing

JustOneThing

Even without a calendar for confirmation, the crowds at my local gym and the counter full of snacks in the kitchen at work, left there by those who have cleared out their cupboards to get rid of temptations, are a clear indicator of the start of a new year.  The crowds will die down in a few weeks and someone will eat the treats, but maybe a few of those good New Year’s intentions will stick.

Here on the blog, now that we’ve shared our own ideas for 2017 – my watchword is Joy – it’s time to move from planning to doing; hopefully in a way that will make those plans stick as well.  That presents a bit of a challenge, when there are a lot of things that need to be done.  How to choose?

At the day job, we’re big on To-Do Lists.  We have lists in spreadsheets, and project plans, and calendaring applications – lists that only ever seem to get longer and longer, no matter how many items get crossed off.   A long list of tasks can be daunting, and studies have shown that trying to multi-task can often make things worse instead of better.

This year, I’m trying something new. Continue reading

Elizabeth: In a Word, Joy

joyAs is traditional this time of year, we’ve been doing a bit of goal setting / planning here on the blog recently.  Jilly kicked us off by sharing her 2017 watchword Publish, and several others chimed in with fun, happy, finish, clarity, intention, story, and live.  All great words.

I’ve been mulling over my own watchword for several days now; considering and then discarding any number of possibilities.    In the past, I’ve generally decided on an idea or direction for the coming year.    I was tempted to go with write for my 2017 watchword, but that seemed a little too close to my 2014 “resolve to write” idea.

Back in 2011, my Idea was to embrace a “so what if you’re afraid – do it anyway” mindset.  That was the year I took my first graduate writing class and my first class at Oxford.  In 2012, when my momentum seemed to slow, Continue reading

Jilly: 2017 In A Word

PublishHappy New Year! Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2017 😀

If you had to choose one single word to epitomize your approach to the coming twelve months, what would it be?

A watchword is more flexible than a goal or a resolution. More like a theme, defined as an idea that recurs and pervades.

I last played this game in 2014, when I chose MORE (click here to read that post and the comments, where you’ll find some interesting choices). I already had a specific, measurable writing goal for the year—to finish my contemporary romance WIP—but I knew I was letting my inner editor hold me back. I kept under-cooking the conflict, emotion, action, tension, everything…so I chose an intangible, aspirational word to remind me to go for it.

This year I want my watchword to be a call to action, so Continue reading

Elizabeth: What Are You Waiting For?

NewYearWishThis past week I, like many others on the planet, have spent some time thinking about what happened in 2015 and making plans for 2016.

My plan for 2015 was to write and to rediscover the joy of writing that had been lost somewhere in between a bunch of creative writing classes and my first draft manuscript.

So, how did I do?

  • Posted 52 Wednesday and 16 Writing Sprint blog posts right here at Eight Ladies Writing.
  • Completed manuscript #1 and qualified for RWA PRO membership.
  • Completed the draft of manuscript #2 and proved that it really is possible to write 50,000 words in a month.
  • Received a request for a full manuscript from a big-name agent

The best part is that Continue reading

Nancy: Ready, Set, Goal!

Happy-New-Year-2016See that picture, that one there, to the left? Notice that beach peeking out through the numbers? Yeah, that beach is where I want to be right now, as the temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic finally plummet to more seasonal levels (sub-30° F). In fact, that beach, assuming it comes with tropical drinks and a pool with a waterslide, is where I want to spend all of 2016. There I could write my little heart out and meet, nay, surpass all my 2016 writing goals.

Alas, that beach is not where I am or where I will be. So I’m going to have to achieve my goals the old-fashioned way – through planning, tracking, and working around all the life stuff. If you’re not hiding out on a tropical beach for the remainder of the year, you might be in the same sad, ramshackle, beachless boat as I am. Hopefully, you’ve already set your goals. If you haven’t, or even if you have but you need help refining or tracking them, I’ve got you covered. We, with some help from the wider blogosphere, can get through this together. (And if all else fails, I have a frozen margarita maker we can use to make those tropical drinks.)

Aligning Goals to Your Publishing Path

We’ve talked many times on the blog about traditional publishing. The most common way to do it Continue reading

Justine: New Year’s Resolutions (Already!)

new years resolutionsYes, we’re not even at Christmas yet. Yes, I’m giving up a great post that would be more appropriate in a few weeks. But after listing my pie-in-the-sky-if-there-were-no-rules-of-physics Christmas list last week, I’m already moving on to the new year and New Year’s Resolutions.

It turns out New Year’s Resolutions have been around for awhile. The Babylonians used to make promises to pay back debts and returned borrowed items. Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus (after which January is named). Knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry. So it seems normal that I should make a few commitments to myself.

I’ve not done a good job of that over the last year. I don’t even remember what my New Year’s Resolutions were last year, but I think they had something to do with Finishing The Damn Book (still not done), treating writing like a career (yeah, that went out the window when I signed up to be the VP of my kids’ PTA), and who knows what else.

This fall has been Continue reading