Immigration Writes

Because of policies in government, children are being separated from families at the border as they seek a new life in America. Today, June 30, is the official day of action for Families Belong Together, a movement to end family separation and detention and reunite loved ones. Talking about politics is hard. Thinking about the broken lives, the cries of these children, the unknown outcomes of these families is even harder. However, as a writer, it's important to stand up for what I believe in and use the power words (the skill I know) to use my voice for good. This post contains resources for action, education, and writing to empower you to use your own voice for good on the issue of immigration.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Write In Other Genres

Our job as writers is not to churn out novel after novel or short story after short story, but to tell each story as it wants to be told, whether it's the form we think we know or something new entirely. You should always be seeking to tell your stories in the way they deserve to be told, strengthening your writing skills, and exploring new worlds and forms you haven't considered before. This is how you become the writer you want to be. Denying your muse the opportunity to play with other genres is just going to make inspiration disappear. And if you force your story to be something it's not, it's not going to turn out well. Let’s dive into 3 reasons why you should be playing with a variety of genres (and some helpful links for how to do it!).

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Novel Notes: Update #1

For a long time I've been in the dark of what actually writing a whole novel looks like. I believed it was straightforward: writing chapter one, then chapter two, all the way to "the end". But in reality, at least for me, the process doesn't really look like that. I'm sharing my process–the good, the bad, the epically messy–to document the novel-writing reality that's true to me. Hopefully, if you're writing a novel and struggling with questions of "Am I doing it right?", sharing my process will give you the confidence and calm that no matter how messy and crazy your draft is, you can get through it. So, here's what this novel has been through so far and what's yet to come! This is Novel Notes Update #1!

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2017 Reflection

2017 is nearly finished. This has been a year of trials and errors, heartbreak and growth, change and curiosity. It has been full of good times and shitty ones. 2017 hasn't been the perfect year in the history of years–writing-wise, life-wise, or politically. But it was a year, and it deserves some attention and reflection so we can enter 2018 consciously, intentionally, and powerfully. Here's what's happened in my literary world this year, what lessons I learned, and how you can apply these to your own writing life.

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Say hello to The WriteLife Planner!

To live your best writing life, you need to set goals to accomplish your big dreams and tackle them one step at a time. You have to be intentional with your approach, making the time and space for life and the time and space for writing. You have to take consistent baby-steps to actually accomplish your writing goals, experiment with your writing process to perfect your best writing routine, show writing the love and attention it deserves to thrive, and balance writing with your life, so you can be both the human and the writer you hope to be. And I created an AWESOME tool to help you do it. Say hello to The WriteLife Planner – your 3-month guide to conquering one major writing project, strengthening your writing practice, and loving your writing life while you do it.

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The 6 Things Always on Your Writer's To-Do List

You don't have to be writing 24/7 to be involved in your writing life, and you shouldn't try to. As writers, we engage in other literary activities for our writing to become the best writers we can be. We work to balance out our writing, to refuel our creative wells, to know our stories intimately, and to share our stories with the world. We've got to infuse these kind of activities into your writer's practice so you can become the holistic, well-rounded, wholehearted writer you hope to be. I've found that there are six major categories of things that should always be on your writer's to-do list to balance out your writing practice: Reading, Experimentation, Wholehearted Writing Sessions, Intimate WIP Discovery, Engagement with the Literary Community, and Writerpreneurship Building. Let's talk about how you can infuse them into your writing life, put them on your writer's to-do list, and work to become the best writer you can be. (Plus, I've got 94 activities to accomplish these things and show your writing life some love!). 

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How to Find Your Best Writing Routine

Your writing routine is composed of four ingredients: your when, your where, your how, and your how much. You may already have an idea of how these ingredients are functioning (or not functioning) in your writing life, but we don't want to just pick some aimlessly and assume its perfect for us, because there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to your writing life. You've got to figure out the best routine for you, which is different from me and every other writer. Plus, I've got 86 ways you can experiment with your writing life to discover your own best writing routine.

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5 Ways to Balance Writing with the Rest of Life

In theory, we would get more writing done if we had a perfect world where the stars aligned and everything worked in our writing's favor. But we could sit around waiting for this "right" reality for the rest of our lives. The truth is, you're a writer and a human. You do have a day-job and responsibilities and a life. But you can't let the fact that you're human get in the way of the fact that you're a writer. Instead of thinking about your writing and life as an "us" versus "them" war, we have to help them work together. Here are my 5 tips on how to balance writing with the rest of your life.

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Dive into the 30-Day Short Story Challenge: Why You Should Write Short Stories + How to Do It

If you want to learn to write fiction, there are a LOT of things you need to know about. But trying to learn them all while writing a novel can be time-consuming and frustrating. Learn to write fiction the quick and easy way by focusing on the short story. The short form is the standard vehicle for teaching fiction in schools around the world, but it's time to learn the short story form on your time from the comfort of your own home. In the 30-day short story challenge, we'll read stories and we'll write stories. I've got your plan to get started (and a bunch of stories you should read right now)!

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Why You Need to Self-Edit AND Hire an Editor (8 Steps to Your Revised Story) – Guest Post by Jacquelyn Eubanks!

GUEST POST BY JACQUELYN EUBANKS | When you finish drafting your story, you may ask: “Should I get an editor to look over my story? Or should I just edit it myself?” The answer is both. Jacquelyn takes you through 8 necessary steps of self-edits and hiring an external editor to get you to the revised story you desire.

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