Get Your Mind Out of Your Way

[found on writetodone.com; by Ollin Morales of Courage 2 Create]

“What if I told you that the biggest threat to your writing is not your lack of passion, your lack of creativity, or your lack of skill?

What if I told you that the biggest threat to your writing is… your mind?

That’s right. Your mind is the biggest obstacle standing between you and all the work you are trying to accomplish.

Our mind is often the one that needs the most convincing that our writing is worthwhile. This is because our mind is hard-wired to protect us from any possible danger.  You see, in order to protect us, our mind initially perceives anything it encounters as a threat—including your writing.

If this sounds strange, and kind of primitive, as if your mind is trying to protect you from a tiger hiding behind a tree in a jungle—then you’re absolutely right.

Your mind is still pretty primordial. So, your job as a writer is to hack into this primordial, hunter-gatherer mind, and update its software so that your mind works for you.

Here are just 4 ways to hack your mind so that you can become infinitely more creative:

1. Bypass Your Mind

…Get rid of all the thinking. Wipe your mind clean. Take a deep breath, and just go for it….

2.  Trick Your Mind

…promise your mind that you will continue to worry about paying your bills AFTER you write a brief outline of that freelance article you’re working on….

3. Lower Your Mind’s Expectations

…If your mind sees that you’re making a big bet, then, it will immediately advise you against it—it may even try to thwart you from accomplishing the monumental task you’ve set up for yourself….

So, don’t make that big bet. Make a small one, instead.

4. Recalibrate Your Mind

…the return on your initial investment does not appear until much much later. This is something your mind has trouble understanding, and it’s your job to help your mind understand it….hack into your mind so that your mind works for you.”

To read the entire article from Ollin Morales at writetodone.com, click here.

[found on http://writetodone.com/4-ways-to-hack-into-your-mind-and-become-infinitely-more-creative/]
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Not All Is Possessive

[found on grammarphobia.com; by The Grammarphobia Blog]

 Nouns: Possessive vs Genitive

“Normally, nouns used with numbers to form adjectival phrases are singular, as in “two-inch rain,” “three-year-old boy,” “two-dollar word,” “eight-volume biography,” and “four-star restaurant.”

However, where a plural noun is used by tradition to form such a phrase, it’s generally followed by an apostrophe, as in “the Thirty Years’ War” and “the Hundred Years’ War.”

The plural followed by an apostrophe is also used in phrases like “ten dollars’ worth” or “five years’ experience” or “two days’ time.”

Apostrophe constructions like these aren’t “possessive” in the sense of ownership; strictly speaking, they’re genitive.”

To learn more from grammarphobia.com, click here.

[found on http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/08/sui-genitive.html]

River Boat Writer

“The process of writing a novel is like taking a journey by boat. You have to continually set yourself on course. If you get distracted or allow yourself to drift, you will never make it to the destination. It’s not like highly defined train tracks or a highway; this is a path that you are creating discovering. The journey is your narrative. Keep to it and there will be a tale told.” 

― Walter Mosley, This Year You Write Your Novel

Tips for Children’s Books

[found on dummies.com]

“At some point after you have a solid draft of the children’s book you’re writing, you must begin the editing process. Here’s a quick overview of the salient points to keep in mind.

    • If a sentence doesn’t contribute to plot or character development, delete it.
    • Make sure your characters don’t all sound the same when they speak.
    • If you have a page or more of continuous dialogue, chances are it needs tightening.
    • When changing place or time, or starting a new scene or chapter, provide brief transitions to keep your story moving smoothly.
    • Make sure to keep the pace moving from action to action, scene to scene, chapter to chapter.
    • If you find yourself using a lot of punctuation (!!!), CAPITAL LETTERS, italics, or bold, chances are your words aren’t working hard enough for you.
    • When you can find one word to replace two or more words, do it.
    • Be careful with changing tenses midstream. If your story is told in the past tense, stick with it throughout. If present tense, then stick with that. Be consistent.
    • Watch excessive use of adjectives, adverbs, and long descriptive passages.
    • After you choose a point of view for a character, stick to it.
    • If your character hasn’t changed at the end of your story, chances are he isn’t yet fully fleshed out.
    • If your character talks to himself or does a lot of wondering aloud, he needs a friend to talk to.
    • If you’re bored with a character, your reader will be, too.
    • If you can’t tell your story in three well-crafted sentences: the first one covering the beginning, the second one alluding to the climax (the middle), and the last one hinting at the ending — you may not have a complete story yet.
    • If you find yourself overwriting because you’re having trouble expressing exactly what you mean, sit back and say it aloud to yourself, and then try again.”
[found on http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/writing-childrens-books-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html]