Dramaquill's All Things Writing

May 7, 2015

Do you need to work on your time management?

Filed under: Writing — dramaquill @ 2:40 PM
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The complaint is always the same:  I don’t have time to write.

Inspirational religious speaker, Joyce Meyer, has a great saying that she uses when she hears people say they don’t have time to study their bibles.  To paraphrase Joyce, basically she tells her listeners that they each have twenty-four hours every day – just the same as everybody else.

When you look at it that way, and you see what others are accomplishing, then technically you DO have the time to write.  But what if you really don’t seem to be able to find the time?

Perhaps a few simple time management skills will help.

  • 1. Set a specific time to write.  Could be first thing in the morning…in your car in the parking lot at work at lunch…before you go to bed…while you are waiting at an appointment…while dinner is cooking.  Schedule it in like everything else in your day.
  • 2. Set a time frame for your writing.  Even if you can only carve out fifteen minutes, five times per week, that would be seventy-five minutes of writing time each and every week.
  • 3. Decide on a writing goal for each session.  Even just a couple of paragraphs is better than no writing at all.
  • 4. Pick the easiest method for the location.  I use a variety including the notebook in my purse, my iPhone’s notes app, my laptop at home, my iPad upstairs.  I have even been known to scribble down some dialogue or plot ideas on the back of a program during intermission at a concert or on a paper bag from a fast food chain.
  • 5. Don’t let the internet or phone calls interrupt you for those fifteen minutes.  If you have to, disconnect from the internet and let your voice mail answer your calls.

Ask yourself this question the next time you start bemoaning your lack of time – How badly do I want it?

If the idea of not writing causes you more stress than the notion that you don’t have time, then you WILL find a way.  If not, perhaps you should leave the writing to those who cannot live without getting those words onto paper.

November 22, 2013

Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents

A few years ago I received an email from a fellow named Chuck Sambuchino, inquiring about an article I had written on the business of playwriting.  He wanted to publish it in the Writer’s Digest Market Book, “Screenwriter’s and Playwright’s Markets” (both 2009 and 2010 volumes).  Of course I was thrilled and with some editing and tweaking a new article was born.

This was the first time I had heard of Mr. Sambuchino and I soon found that he had an amazing web presence and a vast knowledge of the writing biz and in particular, agents.  I’ve been following his blog and newsletter ever since.

Today, I’d like to share his links with my readers.  Whether you’re actively seeking an agent right now or you’re interested in knowing more about what it takes to get one, I’m sure you’ll find lots of valuable information in his blog, articles and books.





January 10, 2012

Sometimes you need to Step Away to Recharge

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December can be a tricky month for anyone who celebrates the holidays.  There are gifts to buy, baking to do, cleaning for company and extra social events to attend.  When’s a writer supposed to find time to write?

I’ve been beating myself up about not getting any writing done since Nano ended on November 30th.  But as it turns out, it really wasn’t a bad thing after all.  I only wish I hadn’t allowed myself to stress out about it so much!

Now that the Christmas tree and decorations are all back in storage in the basement and the last remnants of holiday treats have been eaten, I find myself experiencing a new-found energy and creativity.  I’m reading writing blogs, ezines and books.  I’m plotting and planning.  But most of all – I’m writing again.

As it turns out, sometimes you need to step away to Recharge.

How did you fare as a writer celebrating the holidays?  Did you stay on track, or let things fall a bit by the wayside like I did?

January 10, 2012 – recharged and ready for writing!

January 25, 2009

I’m obsessed with journal books

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It’s been a busy month and I’ve had a few projects on the go, including writing a futuristic play for our intermediate drama class and a play about chefs for our junior class. 

Last Monday, as I realized that I was trying to research and write on about three different projects at once, I stopped and took stock of my small but cozy writing office in my house.  I have an addiction and it’s time I admitted it.

I’m obsessed with hard cover  journal books!

From the serious, business type to the whimsical, bright colored ones with jems glued on them or fun fur trimming their edges, I have a huge collection of these books.  But what surprised me the most was the number of them that are filled with ideas and beginnings of writing projects.

There’s a chapter book in one, a few PBs, some new play ideas, several books in different genres and even a crack at a one woman play.  And as I spent a nostalgic couple of hours browsing through all of them (instead of working on one of the plays that I needed for Saturday), I realized that I will never own enough of these books to cover all the ideas I continue to generate.

I’ve always enjoyed writing on thin lined paper with a medium tip pen and it’s inside of these books that I’ve created so many characters and worlds.  The blinking curser has never inspired me to create, but these colorful, hardcover books with their neatly bound lined pages call to my creative muse and draw out all sorts of ideas.

On Monday evening I went in to work and took stock of at least a dozen more journal books there.  Again, almost every one had scribblings of new characters, worlds, plots or ideas for a book or play. 

Is there a support group for a journal junkee?

On Tuesday morning, for one brief moment, I got the notion to take stock of all my writing utensils.  But as I lifted the lid on the shiny green box that houses a great deal of my unique or fancy pens and pencils, I stopped myself.  Maybe one obsession is enough?

If you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering why I would choose to write a blog topic on my obsession with journal books.  What relevance or signifigance does it have for my readers?

Believe it or not, it’s given me a jumpstart to get cracking on some projects that had to take a back seat for one reason or another.  It’s reminded me that if I block on one project, there are others waiting in the wings.

So why not take stock of your old files, or notebooks, or folders on your computer’s desktop.  You never know what you might find that you’d completely forgotten about. 

Believe it or not, I even found one journal book that I actually had begun using as a personal journal. 

So whenever I lose my muse and need some inspiration, I’ve only got to shift my eyes to my bookshelf and scan the colorful piles of journal books beckoning for their chance.

I’m obsessed with journal books …and proud of it!

November 26, 2008

How to write a novel – web resources

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Not everyone can afford to enroll in creative writing classes, but that doesn’t mean a new writer is doomed to remain looking like an amateur.  There are a lot of “free” resources online with advice, methods, and guidelines to writing that first novel and I’d like to share some of them with my readers.  Enjoy!

The Snowflake Method

A WikiHow article

Lots of links etc. from About.com

author Simon Haynes shares info. on many aspects of novel writing

Advice from published author Justine Larbalestier

A humorous article on how not to write a novel

Check out this wordpress blog on novel writing

Also check out http://www.amazon.com and type “how to write a novel” into the search box for thousands of books related to this subject.

Okay, I’ve done a bit of the groundwork for you.  But don’t spend all your time reading the “how tos” and the “how not tos”.  Get out that pad and paper or your laptop and get writing. 

That’s the only real way anyone ever wrote a novel.  You have to write!

Good luck with your book

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