Writing Blocks

Like most writers, I enjoy talking about my craft. Much of my process is patched together with tips from friends, writers’ blogs, workshops, and books. So, it’s my hope, when I post an article like this, that my tips will help someone else refine their process—or at least give them something new to try.

This post is about what I call Writing Blocks. When I first added the topic to my list, I tried to think of a clever way to tie my title into what is often considered a writer’s greatest nemesis, the dreaded block. Perhaps you’ve landed here thinking just that! If so, this post might help, because—for me—the easiest way to avoid a block is to make writing a habit or routine. Carving out a slot every day, morning, on your lunch break, during the kids’ soccer practice, or after everyone is in bed at night, and sticking to that time, makes writing a part of your schedule. Not everyone loves a schedule as much as I do, but there is something to be said for doing a thing at the same time every day.

Continue reading “Writing Blocks”

I Love Kale So Much I Could Write a Poem About It

A delish garnish,
A mean green…

Yeah, I’m going to stop trying to write poetry. Or I might come back to it at three a.m. when I’m suddenly inspired. (I probably won’t. I mean, who wants to get up at three to write about kale? Also, this post will be published by then.)

Anyway. This post? It’s about kale. No joke. You might even say it’s a kale appreciation post. This is not a post I thought I would ever write—which, honestly, means I kinda love that it’s happening. All it took was for me to say not once but twice, I love kale so much I could write a blog post about it.

Continue reading “I Love Kale So Much I Could Write a Poem About It”

My Sim is Making More Money Than Me

One of my favourite ways to play The Sims is to create a character with no job and no fixed address to see if I can get by napping on park benches (or wherever I can lay my Sim’s head down for a bit), cadging food from public venues (someone is always grilling at the park), and fishing, picking public produce, and foraging for treasure to sell for simoleons.

A Sim does have to have an address, so mine is usually a lot empty of all but a mailbox. Over time, I’ll add stuff to the lot using funds derived from foraging. I take great pleasure in using the startup funds assigned to every Sim to buy the largest empty lot in the best neighborhood, decorating it with weeds, and letting it lie empty but for the objects I begin to collect. I’ll construct a sort of shed as the budget allows, and if my Sim is a Klepto, stock it with lots of fun stuff.

Continue reading “My Sim is Making More Money Than Me”

Tracking my reading using Notion

Last year, friend and fellow author, Jenna Kendricks, introduced me to Notion. I lost a few hours’ productivity figuring out how to use the deceptively easy tool—and I do mean deceptively easy. Notion is almost absurdly simple to use once you understand how it works. I also quickly figured out that while others’ templates served as a inspiration and instruction, designing my own was the way to go.

I now use Notion to track dozens of activities, including plotting and outlining my WIPs, marketing and promotion, tracking buy links and review quotes, brainstorming, jotting down ideas, keeping wishlists, and tracking my reading. What I love about it, and why I’m using it, comes down to two very simple ideas:

  1. Every page starts with organized data, so… a spreadsheet
  2. I can view this data in more ways than I need to; as a spreadsheet that’s fully sortable and searchable, as a list, a calendar, an Kanban board, or a simply as a page, meaning just one line of my spreadsheet can be expanded into a single sheet.
Continue reading “Tracking my reading using Notion”

I Can’t Stop Playing Valheim

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. J dropped a link for Valheim into the group chat we share with our gaming buddies. I clicked and watched the trailer for a co-op survival game. It looked cool, but I was about a third of the way through Valhalla and a third of the way through my current WIP—the book I’m under contract for, the book that is due March 31. I figured maybe later. Next time. Whenever.

Then Mr. J told me about the axes.

Continue reading “I Can’t Stop Playing Valheim”