Coping with Writer's Block

Why Do You Have Writer’s Block?

A recurring topic on Internet writers’ groups is writers’ block. The writers discussing the cursed block range from beginners to old pros at the writing game. Here are some suggestions that came out in a recent discussion as possible reasons for writers’ block.

  • Not thinking through a situation carefully enough

When the first blush of an idea strikes, the immediate feeling is to sit down and capture it on paper. However, rushing to write before the idea is fully formed can have detrimental effects…suddenly you find yourself painted into a corner with no way out. Continue reading “Coping with Writer's Block”

The Crisis of a Writer's Conscience

When I get on a roll and writing seems to pour out of me, I think, ah yes, I can do this. I can easily write my 2,000 words a day. Then something happens and I feel like I will never write again.

There is a 3D-Women-With-Notebook-01solution. Or several. I know. I’ve had this happen to me for years and always looked for suggestions to get past so-called Writer’s Block. Usually it’s a matter of not knowing what to write. I still have a couple of people I do some writing for and I rarely have writer’s block there. They tell me what they want and I write it. Continue reading “The Crisis of a Writer's Conscience”

Take (the Writing) Life Easy but Take It


In my dreams this is what my work station looks like. The reality is that I got this picture free from Unsplash.  It appeals to me.

The point is that the easier we can make our writing life, the easier it will be to get to the actual writing. Have a dedicated and non-distracting place to write.

Harlan Coben goes to a coffee shop to write because he is not distracted there by family and other interruptions.  For me, I have to avoid the internet. It is too tempting to check my email all the time. Continue reading “Take (the Writing) Life Easy but Take It”

The Reality of Writing: Some Expert Advice

ChrisFoxThere is so much to know about writing and marketing your Kindle books. I’m sharing some of the expert advice that I received along the way. Like Chris Fox’s advice.

This is Chris Fox over to the right. I bought my first Chris Fox book last summer and it made a difference in my life but the way our brains work, it takes at least seven encounters before the names sink in. So it was not until I saw his second book on writing that I did more investigating. Here’s the first book of his that I found. Continue reading “The Reality of Writing: Some Expert Advice”

Writing Kindle Fiction Books — Does it Pay?

6-14A lot of people looking to make money online turned toward Kindle as if it were the next magic bullet. Chances are that they were be thinking predominantly in terms of non-fiction. The assumption is that it’s easier to market and easier to sell something that serves a particular purpose or answers a particular question. Besides in the info product world, that is their strength.

People want solutions to their nagging problems. So for example, people will very often search for things like ‘how to create wooden furniture’ or ‘how to make money online’ because they are things they want to learn. This makes them willing to pay (especially if they think they’ll earn money as a result) and it makes your book easier for the right people to find. Continue reading “Writing Kindle Fiction Books — Does it Pay?”

Fiction or Nonfiction? Let's Talk Nonfiction First

The Top Niches for Your Kindle Book

All AloneI’m working on this particular topic from the perspective of the marketer or the person who is looking for a viable way to make a living online. There is something that bugs me a great deal and that is how people who look for the Shiny New Object and discover the money-making info product world and get all wound up and tangled in that world. Continue reading “Fiction or Nonfiction? Let's Talk Nonfiction First”

You Can Make Kindle a Real Business Success

I am spending this weekend with my daughter (and other beloved members of my family). My daughter is a voracious reader and reviews quite a few books. We got to talking about Kindle books and since I have a few Kindle stories up there, it’s one of my favorite topics. I’m starting a Writing for Kindle series of blogs here because it turns out I have strong opinions about writing in general and Kindle in particular.

Kindle Books are Crap!

whatThat’s what my daughter said. Her opinion was based on the few Kindle books she had read — or tried to read. The sad fact is, I know what she’s talking about. Some of the books really are crap. Continue reading “You Can Make Kindle a Real Business Success”

Finding Beauty and Pictures of Beauty


Most of my writing career has been focused on words. Lately, I have been learning about the visual aspects of communication. Part of this experience has been due to my participation in Udemy (see my Udemy courses listed over there to the right).

One of the most thrilling discoveries I made in my search for great pictures was Unsplash.  Unsplash is a side project of Crew which is “an invite-only community where you meet top freelance designers, developers, or studios to build your next project.”

The remarkable thing about Unsplash is — well there are several remarkable things about it — but one that really stands out is that every 10 days, they send you 10 images that you can use for whatever purpose you want.

And these are truly lovely photos. All the images on this post are from a recent Unsplash set of images. If you are a blogger, you have likely heard that lately, images are the big thing to include in your blog. That and lots of white space.

People need to be able to speed read through the highlights.


About Technical Writing

For me, technical writing began as writing about — well, about — technology. My first technical column was called Net Content. It was the 1990s and it was so easy to write about technology back then. I went to Your Dictionary to see what their definition is. This is it:

“Technical writing is a type of writing where the author is writing about a particular subject that requires direction, instruction, or explanation. This style of writing has a very different purpose and different characteristics than other writing styles such as creative writing, academic writing or business writing.”

Instead of writing about apps, tablets, or Linux, a technical writer could write about mushrooms or skyscrapers or architecture or any number of other topics that calls for direction, instruction, or explanation.

Before I wound down my nonfiction writing, I started using Dr. Andy Williams’ Web Content Studio, which creates extremely web friendly articles. He has a great (free) course on Udemy on using Web Content Studio.

I do still write for a few clients using this tool. I have a lot of old articles stashed away on my backup drive and I have plans to take these and run them through WCS and make them more web friendly.Epictetus

Off to the right is a photo that symbolizes my retreat to the woods. It is my place of peace, contentment, and recommitment to living healthy.

I modified one of the photos and used it as a post on Facebook. This has epictitusbecome the mantra for my life. Given that I have written so often about technology and the great advances that good technology makes in a person’s life, it seems that I might be hypocritical in now talking about having fewer wants.

I’ll be exploring this in future posts.


About Being a Writer – Write More, Write Often

It might be due to my career working with computers and computer stuff but I get caught up in the process of how writers work. I have read several books on writing fast. These are the ones that motivated me to write more and faster:

If you really are a writer and want to actually write, these books will at least get you going. I enjoyed seeing how these writers took their level of writing to a new height. In Nicholas Sparks on Writing, he talks about the business of writing and how he writes 2,000 words a day pretty much six days a week.

It’s all about habit. I’ve taught and written about changing habits and finding time. Lately I am loving all the resources on the internet so am reaching out and pulling in the great advice I find there. Like Leo Babuata’s advice on Writing Daily.

How I Write

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking 13 on my desktop and since reading Leonelle’s book, I use Swype on my tablet.  I hit about 5,000 words a day. Recently I had to give up ghostwriting and get busy with my own writing and a bad thing happened. I got paralyzed and could not accomplish anything. That’s another story and this fall, a constant source of angst for me.

About Dragon — I got the premium edition because it lets me record my dictation elsewhere and then transcribes the recording for me. I use my old HTC One V phone with an iRig microphone which makes a nice clear recording. Oh and one thing that helped was getting a good microphone for my computer. I have a Blue Yeti microphone that give a great sound. I also got these microphones because I have a couple of courses on Udemy and needed really clean sound for that.

[Note: I have affiliate links in this post but consider them just a starting place to do your research on any of these things I mention.]



Confessions of a Distracted Woman


Joanne Reid
Joanne’s Journey to Health

I dither a lot and it seems to take me forever to get things done. I had a whole blog about getting healthy and I have this blog and I have another couple of blogs. It is too distracting to get up each day and think about what I am going to blog about today. All that happens is that I never blog.

Then I feel guilty about not blogging. Like here, I was writing about 52 ancestors. I got to eight and then froze up. I went to the health blog and spent all spring and summer blogging about how I need to exercise while being so physically unfit I have to drive a block from the shop to the bridge club.

I’m supposed to be writing a mystery series and I don’t.

This weekend we are packing for our annual October trek to Arizona. It should be easy because we do this every fall but I never remember to make a list so each year I have to start from scratch. This year I am making a list. Even better, I am putting the list in a journal that I am keeping about each day.

The Journal

Even the journal became a dither factor. I have had this particular journal for a couple of years and the blank, unmarked pages were daunting. It was a gift from my old buddies Perry and Cyrille.  I need a sybooksstem to keep track of my income, my to do list, the things I need to buy, the places I need to go and the interesting tidbits I hear each day.

So I made a plan to do something about it. Rather than scrawl notes on loose pieces of paper, I started putting them in the journal. I had two full pages of things to do yesterday.  I got a lot accomplished including last minute grocery shopping. Some of the thing that had been hovering over me for weeks took less than 10 minutes to finish.

If nothing else, I won’t have that confusion next year about what needs to be done here to turn things off and what needs to be done in Arizona to turn things on. This is the journal over to the right.

Speaking of next year, I will be 67 and by that time my father was already suffering from the effects of strokes. There are certain family health issues that are quite apparently part of my makeup too. Such as the propensity for strokes.

The Plan

It’s not in my journal yet but I do plan to continue with the remaining 46 ancestors and also a tribute to my cousin David Reid who prepared the photo of my ancestor Alexander Reid and his son David Reid. He emailed the images to me around the turn of the century and I never credited him for them. I had lost his email address.

Yes, I know. Poor record management.

I’m struggling to overcome annoyance at my fly by the seat of my pants approach to a scattered life. Bear with me.