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Baby Steps:
Fun Ways to Get Some Writing Done


Sparkling Beasts &
Glimmering Gods


50-Word Writing Challenges at Sunflower Ranch

Fertile Material Writing Prompts from Milli's book

Zodiac Writing Prompts 

If you'd like to suggest a 
resource for this new section,
please email us



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Got fear of blogging?
 

Become a guest blogger on the FoW blog and outwit your Inner Buzzard. 

Guest Bloggers:
An Invitation

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10K Day Mini-Primer

A 10K Day is where you attempt to write 10,000 words in one day by following certain liberating rules—and by teaming up with fellow writers for support.

10K Day: Rules of the Game

Recommended Preparations

Survival Tips,
Productivity Tricks


Our next 10K Days: Thursday, Aug 13
Saturday, Aug 22

If you'd like to participate, please RSVP at the blog:

RSVP for August 13

RSVP for August 22

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Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers
 


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About Milli Thornton

Editor's Corner

We “ideas people” tend to think everyone has our issue–too many creative ideas but not enough time to put them all into play. 

Not so. If that was true, then watching TV would not be nearly as popular as it is.

Here are a couple of ways I’ve found to help myself with being an ideas person:

– Accept that I am an ideas person and that my flow of ideas (and the impulse to embark on new creative projects) will never stop. But I can gain some perspective by accepting myself for it.

– Find a reliable way to capture my ideas as they come, but don’t act on all of them immediately. If I keep a record of them, eventually I see some imperatives jumping out at me.

– I use Whizfolders to capture and organize my ideas.

– I’ve allowed myself to see that, at times, being selfish is called for. I have my own creativity to express, and I’m always going to be frustrated at some level if I don’t give my all to that. That includes acting on my best ideas.

– I’ve worked on giving myself acceptance for some habits I thought were bad and might be seen as procrastination (such as working in my pajamas until noon).

I was embarrassed that I wasn’t more together . . . but, instinctively, I was trying to live the free-flow of a creative person who needs to be ready when the ideas start popping. 

Do you have any “bad habits” that could be reframed using the concept that it's all part of living the creative life?


Warm Wishes,
Milli Thornton
author, Fear of Writing
www.fearofwriting.com


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We Love Feedback!

People sometimes think their opinion or feedback is not important enough to “bother” an editor with. Not so! We love to hear from you, so please hit that Reply button.

. . . or write to us at:

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“There are days when we can live the life of a genius—if we do a little preparation and stick to a proven formula. Geniuses are geniuses, in part, because they produce a lot of ideas and then try them out. Ideas can always be discarded if they don’t work. But testing ideas can lead to other, unexpected treasures. So it can be with writing. It all starts with an idea.”

— Milli Thornton (from Results of My First-Ever 10K Day
 

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In This Issue

Come Join Me at Milliver's Travels

10K Day: Books & Screenplays are Being Written (Even by Writers Who Felt Blocked or Stalled)

New This Month! A Saturday 10K for Those Who Can't Do Thursdays

Feature Article: What If I Asked You for Rewrites?


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Come Join Me at
Milliver's Travels

Photo: Milli Thornton in Chinatown, MontrealRecently I discovered the alter ego for my hermit-writer persona: travel writer. 

I've had a blast so far writing articles for my new blog, Milliver's Travels. Eventually I hope to have some articles published in print magazines.

Come join me while I explore topics such as Kissing the Lucky Frog and Chinatown in Montréal.

Also, please visit the wonderful article by my first guest blogger, George Angus aka Tumblemoose. If you enjoy George's article, don't forget to leave a comment:

Scenic Treasures: Sitka, Alaska


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10K Day: Books & Screenplays are Being Written (Even by Writers Who Felt Blocked or Stalled)  

Wolfen finished a screenplay he'd been trying to finish for ages. J.R. Turner (a Fear of Writing success story since 2001) finished another book. Peachebean feels she's well on the way to writing a book about her beloved Mikey Dog.

Not everyone doing the 10K Day is writing a book or screenplay. Some are using the day to write tons of articles or blog posts. Some are writing short stories.

But, no matter what's being written, everyone agrees that the spirit of doing it together is the ultimate thing. Yes, even more than amazing ourselves with how many words we actually can write in a single day! 

RSVP Page for Thursday, August 13


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10K Day Writer Check-ins

BOOKMARK the Fear of Writing blog 
so you can find the check-in page on Aug 13


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New This Month: A Saturday 10K for Those Who Can't Do Thursdays

To fulfill a special request from writer and book publicist Mindy Lawrence, Fear of Writing will now be hosting a monthly Saturday 10K (in addition to our monthly Thursday event). 

A typical response from some writers: “I could never write 10,000 words in one day!” But until you try, you'll never know what you're truly capable of. 

And if you write less than 10,000 words? You've still written more than you would have otherwise.

RSVP Page for Saturday, August 22

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10K Day Writer Check-ins

BOOKMARK the Fear of Writing blog 
so you can find the check-in page on Aug 22

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What If I Asked You for Rewrites?

By Milli Thornton

HOW DO YOU feel about rewriting?

Does it intimidate you? Bore you? Does it seem mysterious or beyond your current writing skills?

Wherever you currently reside on the scale, I’d like to help you gain a new perspective on rewriting.

Rewriting can be a joyous process. Someone once said, “The art of writing is in the rewriting.” When I went online to find out who said that, I found this instead: 

“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”
— Justice Brandeis


I know what it's like when something’s blocking your creativity. Statements such as this one can cause anxiety, feelings of failure, misperceptions about reality. However, viewed correctly, it should actually liberate us from self-imposed anguish. 

Back before I wrote my book/used my own prompts to heal my fear of writing, making progress with my writing was painful. Because I was so terrified of being a bad writer, I rarely “felt like” writing. 

Times when I did sit down to try to produce some words, a buzzard on my shoulder constantly criticized me. I would write a few sentences—and then need to go back and correct what I'd written because it was never good enough.

Does this sound familiar? If yes, then you're ripe for allowing the Justice Brandeis quote to liberate you from your writing straitjacket.

And here’s the revelation I dearly want you to have:

All writers *must* start out by writing raw material. It’s folly to try to be perfect in the first draft. That's what rewriting is for. Even your favorite best-selling novelist writes raw material first, and then reshapes it through the process of rewriting. 

Bottom line: this frees you from nitpicking over every word and sentence as you write. 

First you must create a glorious mess called your first draft. The second step is rewriting. Nitpicking over every word and comma should be the final stage, known as editing

Editing and rewriting are two different things.

So, let's look at a specific example. What if you wrote a guest blog post and submitted it to me for the Fear of Writing blog (or for Milliver's Travels). So far, so good. You got some writing done, and that’s always a bonus!

But what if I responded by asking you for some rewrites. What would you do? Feel like a failure? Lose interest in your piece of writing? 

Both of these reactions are based on assumptions or misperceptions. Rewriting is a natural part of the process. Editors asking writers for rewrites is also natural. It doesn't mean you're a failure. 

In fact, it means the editor is probably intending to publish your writing!

OK, so what kind of rewriting-type things might I ask you to do? 

— If your meaning in a certain paragraph or sentence is unclear, I'd ask you to clarify.

— If you provided a teaser on a certain aspect of your topic that I felt might interest my audience, I'd ask you to expand on that.

— If you tried to cover too many topics in one article, I might ask you to break it into two or three articles.

— If I felt your story or subject could be enhanced with the addition of some dialogue or quotes from experts, I would ask you to work those in.

Do these sound horrible or unfair? I'm hoping by now you'll be viewing them as a fun challenge. Trust me, it's far better to be given the chance to rewrite your own material than to have an editor rewrite it the way he or she wants it to sound. 

It is possible to fall in love with rewriting. And, never forget: the SECOND step in the process (rewriting) frees you up to be more expressive during the FIRST step (raw material/first draft).

~ Happy writing!

Consider Being a Guest Blogger at Fear of Writing

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Have you reached the third step of the process (editing)? Here's Milli's recommendation:

What's the Rule? A Simple Guide to Perfect Punctuation, Great Grammar and Superb
Sentences and Style
by Kathy Sole

Try Kathy's book as a 30-day free download
 

 

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