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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com


Featured Book of the Month

Word Work

Word Work
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 writer? In 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:

Acknowledgments

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 intimidating page.     
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 better ones.

Part Two: Writing As If It Mattered      
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 novel.

Part Four: Dangerous Territory
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 State
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 music.
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 support.
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 partnerships?
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 yourself.
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.

     
Notes
Selected Bibliography

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