For Writers

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Complete my writing in a more timely fashion. (So I’m writing my New Year’s Resolutions in February—so what? What’s your point?)
  2. Write something every day. (Today I plan to write a cheque to Visa for my Christmas purchases. Tomorrow I plan to write a letter to Visa, apologizing for bouncing the cheque that I wrote for my Christmas purchases.)
  3. Never be satisfied until I find the exact definite right correct best word.
  4. Never put off until tomorrow what I can do today. (I plan to start on this one tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.)
  5. Strive to write more better. Oops, I mean strive to write better.
  6. Never allow tyops to silp into what I writte.
  7. Always finish what I sta…

Top 10 Things Kids Say When They Find Out I’m a Children’s Author

  1. Do you know J.K. Rowling?
  2. Do you want to hear the story I wrote?
  3. Do you draw the pictures, too? The pictures are the best part.
  4. How long does it take you to write a book?
  5. Could you write a story right now?
  6. How old were you when you started writing?
  7. How old are you now?
  8. Are you a famous author? Like, when you go to the mall, do people point and say, “Look at the famous author!”?
  9. Where do you get your ideas?
  10. I’ve never heard of you.

20 Things Only a Fellow Writer Could Possibly Understand

  1. The concept of a good rejection letter.
  2. The contradictory emotions of envy and elation experienced when a friend gets “the call” from a publisher.
  3. How you can still believe a piece of writing is good, even after it’s been rejected 46 times.
  4. The truth of the following equation: butt + chair + time = writing.
  5. How much a form rejection letter hurts.
  6. Wanting honest feedback of your writing, but wanting that honest feedback to be, “It’s perfect! Don’t change a word.”
  7. Ideas are everywhere.
  8. Ideas are the easy part—it’s what you do with all those ideas that’s bloody difficult.
  9. Writing is really, really, really hard work—even when it looks like you’re just goofing off.
  10. Staring out the window for an hour is part of the writing process.
  11. Sometimes characters refuse to behave and insist on telling a story their way.
  12. Everything is fodder for writing—even the juicy secret you’re sworn to secrecy about.
  13. The inner critic is harsher than any outer critic could ever be.
  14. Sometimes scrubbing the toilet or cleaning the garage is more appealing that writing.
  15. Sometimes writing is more appealing than getting enough sleep or going out on the town.
  16. A first novel shooting straight to the top of the New York Times bestseller list is just an urban myth. (It has to be, it just has to be, doesn’t it?)
  17. Procrastination is a crucial component of the writing process.
  18. Sometimes bookshelves need to be rearranged, right now.
  19. Having written is far more fun than writing.
  20. There’s always more rewriting to be done.

Top Movies About Writers

  • Adaptation (2002)
  • An Angel at My Table (1990)
  • Barton Fink (1991)
  • Becoming Jane (2007)
  • Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
  • Capote (2005)
  • Croupier (1998)
  • Deathtrap (1982)
  • Deconstructing Harry (1997)
  • Factotum (2005)
  • Finding Forrester (2000)
  • The Front (1976)
  • Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
  • The Hours (2002)
  • I Capture the Castle (2003)
  • Il Postino (1994)
  • In a Lonely Place (1950)
  • The Jewel of the Nile (1985)
  • Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
  • Misery (1990)
  • Miss Potter (2006)
  • Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)
  • My Brilliant Career (1979)
  • Naked Lunch (1991)
  • Permanent Midnight (1998)
  • The Player (1992)
  • Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
  • Quills (2000)
  • Romancing the Stone (1984)
  • Shakespeare in Love (1998)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • Sideways (2004)
  • The Squid and the Whale (2005)
  • Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  • The Third Man (1949)
  • Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
  • Wonder Boys (2000)
  • The World According to Garp (1982)

Top 10 Things I Like About Being a Writer

  1. Short, stress-free, smog-free commute.
  2. No office politics. (I *am* the whole office!)
  3. No special tools required.
  4. I can have a gossipy lunch with my writer friends and call it networking.
  5. I can spend an hour staring out the window and call it the creative process.
  6. I can spend an afternoon surfing the Internet and call it research.
  7. I get paid to tell lies. (True, I don’t get paid OFTEN or even WELL, but still you see my point.)
  8. My characters can say all the nasty, cutting, funny things I don’t have the courage to say in real life.
  9. The feeling of utter power that comes from creating fictional worlds and controlling characters’ lives (until the characters take over, that is, and start doing whatever they want).
  10. No dress code.

Top 10 Inspirational Books to Read When the Rejections Are Rolling In

  1. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron
  2. Under the Duvet: Shoes, Reviews, Having the Blues, Builders, Babies, Families and Other Calamities, by Marian Keyes
  3. Little by Little: A Writer’s Education, by Jean Little
  4. The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success, by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
  5. Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
  6. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
  7. Writing and Selling Your Novel, by Jack M. Bickham
  8. The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, by Julia Cameron
  9. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King
  10. Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of Writers, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Bud Gardner

Top 10 Excuses for *Not* Writing

  1. I don’t have time.
  2. I’m too busy.
  3. I’m too tired.
  4. I have a pressing need to rearrange my bookshelves.
  5. My husband/kids/pets/neighbours are making so much noise I can’t concentrate.
  6. It’s so quiet I can’t concentrate.
  7. I’m not feeling creative today.
  8. My deadline is still ages away.
  9. I need to clean the house.
  10. I’m a horrible writer with absolutely no talent and I’ll never get published anyway because all the editors are illiterate morons who only publish their friends and I’ll probably end up alone, unloved and unpublished, living in a cardboard box under a bridge with nothing but newspapers to keep me warm.

Hmmm… Maybe this needs to be a top 20 list…

  1. My computer crashed.
  2. There’s something good on TV.
  3. I’m at a very exciting point in the book I’m reading.
  4. I need to alphabetize my pantry.
  5. It’s too beautiful outside to be stuck inside at the computer.
  6. It’s so rainy and gray outside that it’s too depressing to write.
  7. I got my 463rd rejection in the mail today.
  8. I need to bake something.
  9. My lucky writing sweater is in the wash.
  10. I don’t even own a lucky writing sweater.

Come to think of it, maybe this should really be a top 30 list…

  1. My characters are annoying me.
  2. My plot is stupid.
  3. It’s too early in the day.
  4. It’s too late in the day.
  5. I’ll do it tomorrow instead.
  6. I need to do just a little bit more research before I can write any more.
  7. It’s so cold I can’t concentrate.
  8. It’s so hot I can’t concentrate.
  9. I need to read just one more book on the craft of writing before I can write even one more word.
  10. It won’t hurt to skip just one day.

Or maybe this should be a top 40 list… And if I keep writing this list for long enough, I won’t have to do any “real” writing today…