Write From Home
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E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com
Featured Book of the Month
by Bruce Holland Rogers
Invisible Cities Press
256 printed pages
Need a large dose of
inspiration? Want to take a glimpse into the life of a professional working
Word Work, Bruce Holland Rogers helps writers deal with the day-to-day
obstacles of this crazy profession. Rogers offers advice on
procrastination, goal setting, discipline, rituals, writing with children in the
house, and much more. Aspiring writers as well as seasoned pros will benefit
from the wisdom of this award winning writer.
Buy the book!
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Writing as Passion and Path
Chapter 1: A Further Introduction:
Hunters and Farmers
A lot of writers are distractible "Hunters" rather than the plodding
"Farmers" who make good students and good citizens. If you're a hunter, here are
some tips on being more productive.
Part One: Getting Started
Chapter 2: The Difficulty of Beginning
The first sentences of a work are often the very hardest to deal with.
Suddenly, the writing desk is the last place we want to be. Here's how to get
there in spite of your resistance, and how to get words onto that first
Chapter 3: Discipline and the Mythical Beast
Writer's Block is a mythical beast. Sometimes you can banish it by insisting
that it isn't there, but there are other times when this beast, like any myth,
is so real and dangerous that you ignore it at your peril.
Chapter 4: Procrastination as War
As an expert procrastinator, I can tell you: Procrastination is a war
between pigs. Here's how to arrange a truce.
Chapter 5: Procrastination as Armor
If procrastination weren't so good for us, we wouldn't do it. Recognizing
the benefits of delay is an essential first step to getting things done.
Chapter 6: The Rite Stuff
Do you sharpen twenty pencils before you start to write? Do you have to take
a walk first? Check your e-mail? Writers have rituals for getting started, and
they work. Here's how to recognize the rituals you already have and invent even
Part Two: Writing As If It
Chapter 7: The Foam-White Bull
King Minos didn't live up to his gift from the gods, and the result was the
monstrous Minotaur. What do the gods demand for the gifts they have given you?
Are you growing a Minotaur in your own basement?
Chapter 8: How to Be Your Own bad Agent
How can you guarantee yourself a miserable career? By failing to understand
what kind of writer you are, by trying to please the wrong people, and by saying
Yes when your heart says No.
Chapter 9: Dreaming of Pisgah
Dreams are advisors. They can help you know your heart's desire, find a path
to fulfillment, and see where you have strayed from that path. Here's how to
hear what your dreams are telling you.
Chapter 10: Dreaming of Jelly Beans
Some writers get ideas, help with plot problems, and even story titles from
their dreams. Even if your dreams are stubborn about giving you such gifts, they
can give you a gift that's even more useful: good relations with the fluent
storyteller within you.
Chapter 11: Death and the Day Job
"Don't quit your day job" goes the standard advice. Whether you take that
advice depends on how important writing is to you and how seriously you take
your own death.
Part Three: Step-by-Step
Chapter 12: When, Where, and With What?
You have a right, almost an obligation, to be fussy about your writing tools
and the place where you work.
Chapter 13: When the Novel Has to Be Done Yesterday
Maybe you'll never want to crank out a novel draft in two months, but it can
be done. Here's how.
Chapter 14: When the Novel Has to Stew
Some books just couldn't be composed in a hurry. Here's how to slow-cook a
Part Four: Dangerous
Chapter 15: The Hazards of Rejection and Acceptance
Rejections are inevitable, but that doesn't mean that they get easier to
take. In fact, a rejection after a big acceptance can be especially painful.
Here's how to cross the swamps of despair without sinking in.
Chapter 16: The Hazards of Writing Workshops
Workshops and critique groups are a great way to improve your writing, but
beware: Some of the participants may not be on your side. How to tell a good
workshop from a destructive one.
Chapter 17: The Hazards of Reviews
You want to read what the critics are saying about you, and you can't bear
to read what the critics are saying about you. Here's what to do.
Part Five: Matters of
Chapter 18: Manic Depression and Matters of State
As if you didn't already know this, writers are moody. This is not a bad
thing, since being "down" can be as useful to writers as being "up." Make your
moods work for you.
Chapter 19: Altered States
When you're not writing you're feeling "down," you can make the decision
to be "up." Make misattribution work for you with exercise, breath, laugher, and
Chapter 20: That's an Affirmative
What you do in the world has a lot to do with how you see yourself. Write
and use affirmations to shape your self-image and take charge of your actions.
But be careful of what you ask for. You're likely to get it!
Chapter 21: Advanced Affirmations
Once you've begun to change how you see yourself, the next step is to alter
your view of the universe. Support is all around you. Here's how to detect that
Chapter 22: The Power of Negative Thinking
Positive thinking may be good for you, but it's not nearly as much fun as
negative thinking. Learn to dance—but not
wrestle!—with your Inner Bitch.
Part Six: Other People
Chapter 23: Who's Your Buddy
A writing buddy can help you to set goals and stay on track. Here's how to
find and cultivate a buddy.
Chapter 24: Your Literary Neighborhood and Toxic Golf
Writing may be a solitary effort, but that doesn't mean you have to be a
lonely writer. Here's how to find compatriots who will understand what you go
through. In important ways, we're all in this together. But choose your
neighborhood carefully so that you don't catch Toxic Golf Syndrome.
Chapter 25: Athena's Wheel
Mentors can't teach anyone the secret handshake that leads to publication.
There isn't one. But a good mentor offers hope, encouragement, and some ideas
about How It's Done. Here's how to have a mentor...and how to become one.
Chapter 26: Writers and Lovers
Romantic partnerships can help or hinder a writer's work. In matters of the
heart, one size does not fit all, but here are some things to consider
when choosing a mate or working to improve a relationship.
Chapter 27: Writers and Loving Writers
Two-writers romances can be a little like a household in which no adults are
present. Even so, they often work. What are the special demands of such
Chapter 28: Writers Loving Nonwriters
These partnerships often have the advantages of security and at least some
conventionality. But a writer's odd habits can lead to friction unless you know
how to see trouble coming.
Chapter 29: Writing with Children in the House
Writers who can concentrate through tornadoes and hurricanes can find their
brains turning to mush at the sound of a child bouncing a ball. How do writers
with children ever get anything done? Here's how.
Part Seven: Success
Chapter 30: Nothing Succeeds Like Success
You know you'll feel confident, energized, and inspired once you've inked a
six-figure novel contract, optioned your work to Hollywood, and won a Pulitzer
Prize. Wouldn't you like to experience that kind of external success right now?
Chapter 31: Common, Ordinary Success
The outward trappings of success are wonderful, but are they really what
you crave deep down? You can feel successful long before New York calls by
wanting what you have, knowing your heart-sufficient goals, and trusting
what you're going to get.
Chapter 32: Peacemaking at the Barricades
Is writing a job or an adventure? Is it more important to please the masses
or to please connoisseurs? Writers get into some pretty mean debates about what
constitutes successful writing, and every writer in these debates is wounded.
Part Eight: Letting Go
Chapter 33: Celebrate!
Often, the first thing you can see from the mountaintop is the summit of the
next mountain—the one you haven't climbed
yet. Goals are important. Now and then, though, you should forget about that
next mountain and throw a party on top of the peak you've just climbed.
Chapter 34: Getting Away from It All
"You need a vacation" is good advice for writers. But a vacation from what?
Getting away from it all can mean getting deeper into your work and into
Chapter 35: The Difficulty of Ending
A writer's work is not so much finished as it is abandoned. Here are some
tips to saying farewell to a page, to a story, to a book.
Buy the book!
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