Tag Archives: Work It

Jordan Rosenfeld's Work It #17 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence

Take an honest look at your writing career and ask yourself if a figure of sabotage is at work in your own life. Make two lists.

List 1: Write your top three writing goals or top three desires–whichever appeals to you more.

Here’s an example:

  1. Acquire an agent.
  2. Publish my novel with a mainstream publisher.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects.

List 2: Beside each item, list your top fear for why you have either held back from pursuing your goal or desire, or have sabotaged it.

  1. Acquire an agent. Fear: I don’t know how to write a query letter.
  2. Publish novel with mainstream publisher. Fear: I need an agent first.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects. Fear: I’m afraid I won’t make enough to survive.

Realize that your fears are usually anxieties that can be solved witha  more minor step or action. From the example, for instance, if you don’t know how to write a query letter, several books, websites, and classes can teach you this skill in a heartbeat. Don’t have an agent? Once you master that query, hundreds of agents are out there waiting for you to submit your work. And so on.

Break your bigger fear down into manageable bites and steps until you land on the step that you feel you can do. When you try to take on the biggest step that touches on an even bigger fear, chances are it will lead to sabotage.

Okay, so here’s my list, complete with attached fears.

  1. Complete and release Frost on Amazon CreateSpace and KDP. Fear: I’ve been working on this story for way too long and it’s too muddled to even fix now.
  2. Publish a romance novel with Harlequin. Fear: I’m not a good enough writer to be traditionally published.
  3. Write and release my permafree book Hear Your Calling to set up for the release of a 365 Day Heed Your Calling Devotional Book. Fear: I don’t have enough textual evidence from the Bible to back up my convictions, and I have no idea how to find it.

Jordan Rosenfeld’s Work It #17 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence

Take an honest look at your writing career and ask yourself if a figure of sabotage is at work in your own life. Make two lists.

List 1: Write your top three writing goals or top three desires–whichever appeals to you more.

Here’s an example:

  1. Acquire an agent.
  2. Publish my novel with a mainstream publisher.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects.

List 2: Beside each item, list your top fear for why you have either held back from pursuing your goal or desire, or have sabotaged it.

  1. Acquire an agent. Fear: I don’t know how to write a query letter.
  2. Publish novel with mainstream publisher. Fear: I need an agent first.
  3. Make an income from freelance writing projects. Fear: I’m afraid I won’t make enough to survive.

Realize that your fears are usually anxieties that can be solved witha  more minor step or action. From the example, for instance, if you don’t know how to write a query letter, several books, websites, and classes can teach you this skill in a heartbeat. Don’t have an agent? Once you master that query, hundreds of agents are out there waiting for you to submit your work. And so on.

Break your bigger fear down into manageable bites and steps until you land on the step that you feel you can do. When you try to take on the biggest step that touches on an even bigger fear, chances are it will lead to sabotage.

Okay, so here’s my list, complete with attached fears.

  1. Complete and release Frost on Amazon CreateSpace and KDP. Fear: I’ve been working on this story for way too long and it’s too muddled to even fix now.
  2. Publish a romance novel with Harlequin. Fear: I’m not a good enough writer to be traditionally published.
  3. Write and release my permafree book Hear Your Calling to set up for the release of a 365 Day Heed Your Calling Devotional Book. Fear: I don’t have enough textual evidence from the Bible to back up my convictions, and I have no idea how to find it.

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 3

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to take the revised scene from yesterday, and I’m going to apply step 2 of Jordan’s revision advice.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to keep my eyes open, fighting exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it makes me sound like a jerk, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a sleepless night. Every time my head bobbed, I would blink and squint into the hospital lighting. I bet you’re wondering how I could be that tired.

Well, our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced around our vintage two-bedroom home, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs quieted between 3:45 and 4:15 this morning. We were drifting off to sleep when we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out to the cinderblock structure, whatever knocked over our shelf of tools and racecar parts was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan window out of the back of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places and dented the trunk. The Camaro is my husband’s baby, and to say that he was upset is an understatement.

We spent the two hours before he had to go to work cleaning the shop. After that, I had to drag my ass to Mobile Infirmary with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through my mind-numbing exhaustion and stay awake, but my body at 26 can’t bounce back from lack of sleep as well as it could when I was 16. I was fine when we were standing up and moving, but when the physical therapist took us into a room with a couch, I was done for.

The moment I sank down onto the cushions and felt the morning sun beating down on me through the window, I knew I was doomed. The more the physical therapist talked, the heavier my eyelids got. After a minute, I decided it would be easier for me to listen with my eyes closed. I felt a sense of guilt as the physical therapist’s voice got muffled, but it was suppressed by the sleep that overtook me. I don’t know how long I slept before I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s “Yea, Alabama!” ringtone. “Hello?” My voice was drowsy.

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was at a job site.”

I was awake in an instant, and my heart started pounding with violence at the news. It pounded until I could feel my pulse in my fingertips. “WHAT?! Oh, my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

I could feel myself shaking, and saw the three women in the physical therapy room with me pale at my words. I tapped the speaker button on my phone so my husband’s grandmother, mother, and sister could hear his reply.

“Cops say it looks like a Molotov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned to ashes. My granddaddy’s truck and some poor excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they should pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I had an idea of who would do something like that to my husband. I’d been trying to handle the problems I was having at work myself because I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf. I didn’t want to overreact. I didn’t want to be the histrionic personality that people assumed I was. My mouth went dry and my tongue felt like sandpaper as I struggled to work up the courage to reply.

[I’d love to know what you guys think of this revision! Thanks!]


Work It #14 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 3

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to take the revised scene from yesterday, and I’m going to apply step 2 of Jordan’s revision advice.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to keep my eyes open, fighting exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it makes me sound like a jerk, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a sleepless night. Every time my head bobbed, I would blink and squint into the hospital lighting. I bet you’re wondering how I could be that tired.

Well, our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced around our vintage two-bedroom home, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs quieted between 3:45 and 4:15 this morning. We were drifting off to sleep when we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out to the cinderblock structure, whatever knocked over our shelf of tools and racecar parts was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan window out of the back of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places and dented the trunk. The Camaro is my husband’s baby, and to say that he was upset is an understatement.

We spent the two hours before he had to go to work cleaning the shop. After that, I had to drag my ass to Mobile Infirmary with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through my mind-numbing exhaustion and stay awake, but my body at 26 can’t bounce back from lack of sleep as well as it could when I was 16. I was fine when we were standing up and moving, but when the physical therapist took us into a room with a couch, I was done for.

The moment I sank down onto the cushions and felt the morning sun beating down on me through the window, I knew I was doomed. The more the physical therapist talked, the heavier my eyelids got. After a minute, I decided it would be easier for me to listen with my eyes closed. I felt a sense of guilt as the physical therapist’s voice got muffled, but it was suppressed by the sleep that overtook me. I don’t know how long I slept before I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s “Yea, Alabama!” ringtone. “Hello?” My voice was drowsy.

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was at a job site.”

I was awake in an instant, and my heart started pounding with violence at the news. It pounded until I could feel my pulse in my fingertips. “WHAT?! Oh, my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

I could feel myself shaking, and saw the three women in the physical therapy room with me pale at my words. I tapped the speaker button on my phone so my husband’s grandmother, mother, and sister could hear his reply.

“Cops say it looks like a Molotov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned to ashes. My granddaddy’s truck and some poor excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they should pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I had an idea of who would do something like that to my husband. I’d been trying to handle the problems I was having at work myself because I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf. I didn’t want to overreact. I didn’t want to be the histrionic personality that people assumed I was. My mouth went dry and my tongue felt like sandpaper as I struggled to work up the courage to reply.

[I’d love to know what you guys think of this revision! Thanks!]


Work it #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 2

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to take the first draft of the scene from yesterday, and I’m going to apply step 1 of Jordan’s revision advice.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to hold my eyes open, fighting abject exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it sounds kind of bad, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a long, sleepless night. Every time my head bobbed, I would blink and squint into the too-bright fluorescent hospital lighting. I bet you’re wondering how I could possibly be that tired, right?

Well, our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced around our small but cozy vintage two-bedroom home, bayed, and howled all night long, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs finally got quiet sometime between 3:45 and 4:15 this morning, and then we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out to the open-faced cinderblock structure, whatever knocked our shelf of tools and racecar parts over was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan back window out of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places, and left dents in a couple more, and that was a damn bad way to start the day. The Camaro is my husband’s baby, and to say that he was upset is a grave understatement.

So, we got two hours of sleep, he had to go to work, and I had to drag my exhausted ass to Mobile Infirmary with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to properly do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through my mind-numbing exhaustion and stay awake, but my body at 26 just can’t bounce back from lack of sleep like it could when I was 16. I was fine when we were standing up and moving around, but when the physical therapist took us into a private room with a comfortable couch I was done for.

The moment I sank down onto the overstuffed, floral cushions and felt the morning sun beating down on me through the window, I knew I was doomed. The more the physical therapist talked in her most pleasant, soothing voice, the heavier my eyelids got. After a few minutes, I decided it would be easier for me to listen with my eyes closed. I felt a nagging sense of guilt as the physical therapist’s voice got fuzzier and farther away, but it was suppressed by the dreamless sleep that overtook me. Some time later, I wasn’t sure how long, I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s “Yea, Alabama!” ringtone. “Hello?” My voice was thick and husky with drowsiness.

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I just wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was away at a job site.”

I was wide awake in an instant, and my heart was pounding so hard at the news that I could feel my pulse in my fingertips. “WHAT?! Oh my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

I could feel myself shaking, and saw the other three women in the physical therapy room with me go still, breathless, and pale at my words. I tapped the speaker button on my phone so my husband’s grandmother, mother, and sister could hear his reply.

“Cops say it looks like a Molotov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned completely up. My granddaddy’s truck and some sorry excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they better pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I had a pretty good idea of who would do something like that to my husband. I’d been trying to handle the problems I was having at work myself because I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf. I didn’t want to overreact. I didn’t want to be the histrionic personality that so many people assumed I was. My mouth went dry and my tongue felt like sandpaper as I struggled to work up the courage to reply.

[I’d love to know what you guys think of this first revision! Thanks!]


Work it #14 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 2

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to take the first draft of the scene from yesterday, and I’m going to apply step 1 of Jordan’s revision advice.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to hold my eyes open, fighting abject exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it sounds kind of bad, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a long, sleepless night. Every time my head bobbed, I would blink and squint into the too-bright fluorescent hospital lighting. I bet you’re wondering how I could possibly be that tired, right?

Well, our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced around our small but cozy vintage two-bedroom home, bayed, and howled all night long, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs finally got quiet sometime between 3:45 and 4:15 this morning, and then we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out to the open-faced cinderblock structure, whatever knocked our shelf of tools and racecar parts over was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan back window out of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places, and left dents in a couple more, and that was a damn bad way to start the day. The Camaro is my husband’s baby, and to say that he was upset is a grave understatement.

So, we got two hours of sleep, he had to go to work, and I had to drag my exhausted ass to Mobile Infirmary with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to properly do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through my mind-numbing exhaustion and stay awake, but my body at 26 just can’t bounce back from lack of sleep like it could when I was 16. I was fine when we were standing up and moving around, but when the physical therapist took us into a private room with a comfortable couch I was done for.

The moment I sank down onto the overstuffed, floral cushions and felt the morning sun beating down on me through the window, I knew I was doomed. The more the physical therapist talked in her most pleasant, soothing voice, the heavier my eyelids got. After a few minutes, I decided it would be easier for me to listen with my eyes closed. I felt a nagging sense of guilt as the physical therapist’s voice got fuzzier and farther away, but it was suppressed by the dreamless sleep that overtook me. Some time later, I wasn’t sure how long, I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s “Yea, Alabama!” ringtone. “Hello?” My voice was thick and husky with drowsiness.

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I just wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was away at a job site.”

I was wide awake in an instant, and my heart was pounding so hard at the news that I could feel my pulse in my fingertips. “WHAT?! Oh my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

I could feel myself shaking, and saw the other three women in the physical therapy room with me go still, breathless, and pale at my words. I tapped the speaker button on my phone so my husband’s grandmother, mother, and sister could hear his reply.

“Cops say it looks like a Molotov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned completely up. My granddaddy’s truck and some sorry excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they better pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I had a pretty good idea of who would do something like that to my husband. I’d been trying to handle the problems I was having at work myself because I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf. I didn’t want to overreact. I didn’t want to be the histrionic personality that so many people assumed I was. My mouth went dry and my tongue felt like sandpaper as I struggled to work up the courage to reply.

[I’d love to know what you guys think of this first revision! Thanks!]


Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 1

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to just share my paragraph that’s in its first-draft stage.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to hold my eyes open, fighting abject exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it sounds kind of bad, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a long, sleepless night.

Our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs finally got quiet some time between 3:45 and 4:15, and then we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out there, whatever knocked our shelf of tools and racecar parts over was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan back window out of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places, and left dents in a couple more, and that was a damn bad way to start the day. The Camaro is my husband’s baby.

So, we got two hours of sleep, and he had to go to work, and I had to drag my exhausted ass to Mobile with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to properly do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through and stay awake, but my body at 26 just can’t bounce back from lack of sleep like it could when I was 16.

Then I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s ringtone. “Hello?”

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I just wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was away at a job site.”

“WHAT?! Oh my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

“Cops say it looks like a Malitov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned completely up. My granddaddy’s truck, and some sorry excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they better pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I sure did.


Work It #14 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld – Part 1

Work It #14 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 14: Relish Revision

Choose a scene or a chapter or a paragraph that is in the first-draft stage (or write a fresh one). You’re going to do three drafts (it’s okay if you break this up over several days). Follow these steps.

  1. Make sure all the elements of a scene are included: The character has an obvious, consistent point of view; your sensory descriptions and imagery show setting and emotion; the action creates a sense of real-time movement and/or dialogue, and a plot goal is present, some piece of which is apparent in this scene.
  2. Cut all flabby, extraneous language, such as adverbs, adjectives, “telling” language, and pleasantries between characters. Hone your sentences. Strive for clarity and beauty.
  3. Add a “push-pull” energyof tension to any dialogue or interaction between characters.

Today, I’m going to just share my paragraph that’s in its first-draft stage.

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to hold my eyes open, fighting abject exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it sounds kind of bad, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a long, sleepless night.

Our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs finally got quiet some time between 3:45 and 4:15, and then we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop.

By the time we made it out there, whatever knocked our shelf of tools and racecar parts over was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan back window out of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places, and left dents in a couple more, and that was a damn bad way to start the day. The Camaro is my husband’s baby.

So, we got two hours of sleep, and he had to go to work, and I had to drag my exhausted ass to Mobile with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to properly do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through and stay awake, but my body at 26 just can’t bounce back from lack of sleep like it could when I was 16.

Then I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s ringtone. “Hello?”

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I just wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was away at a job site.”

“WHAT?! Oh my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

“Cops say it looks like a Malitov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned completely up. My granddaddy’s truck, and some sorry excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they better pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I sure did.


Work It #13 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #13 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 13: Stretch Your Skills

  1. After you’ve strectched, answer each of these questions.
    • What’s your preferred form or genre to write in; i.e., the one you feel most comfortable in? Prose fiction, usually with strong genre influences, if not a clear genre. And my blog…I LOVE my blog.
    • What’s your next favorite? Short stories, but I don’t feel like my short stories have as much meaning or potential as my longer, more complex ideas. 
    • What’s the form or genre you’ve always been curious to experiment with but haven’t yet? Maybe memoir? I’ve always thought it might be cool, but I’ve never really studied memoirs or given any real thought to what I would include in one if I wrote one.
    • Which form or genre seems incredibly different or hard to you? I used to write poetry, but I don’t anymore. I don’t feel like I have the energy for it. If I had to choose a fiction genre that’s particularly hard for me, I’d have to say horror because I have an intense dislike for being frightened. I’m also not very into writing historicals. I love reading them, but I feel like it would require too much research to actually get one published. 

Can you guess where this is going? Give one of these new, scarier forms a try. I recommend you really stretch and go with the fourth entry in your list, but any will do.

2.  Try your hand at a short essay. Write a fictional account of a true event. Turn a bad day into a horror story. Take a warm moment and channel it into a poem. But please pick the one that feels a little bit challenging so you leave your comfort zone.

Oh, boy. I really don’t know what to do or what to pick. I’m instantaneously repulsed by the idea of turning a bad day into a horror story. Maybe I’ll pick that one. It’s just going to be a short fragment of stomething that could be expanded upon later. I’m going to combine writing a fictional account of a true event and turning a bad day into a horror story. 

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to hold my eyes open, fighting abject exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it sounds kind of bad, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a long, sleepless night. 

Our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs finally got quiet some time between 3:45 and 4:15, and then we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop. 

By the time we made it out there, whatever knocked our shelf of tools and racecar parts over was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan back window out of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places, and left dents in a couple more, and that was a damn bad way to start the day. The Camaro is my husband’s baby.

So, we got two hours of sleep, and he had to go to work, and I had to drag my exhausted ass to Mobile with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to properly do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through and stay awake, but my body at 26 just can’t bounce back from lack of sleep like it could when I was 16.

Then I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s ringtone. “Hello?” 

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I just wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was away at a job site.”

“WHAT?! Oh my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

“Cops say it looks like a Malitov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned completely up. My granddaddy’s truck, and some sorry excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they better pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I sure did.


Work It #13 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #13 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 13: Stretch Your Skills

  1. After you’ve strectched, answer each of these questions.
    • What’s your preferred form or genre to write in; i.e., the one you feel most comfortable in? Prose fiction, usually with strong genre influences, if not a clear genre. And my blog…I LOVE my blog.
    • What’s your next favorite? Short stories, but I don’t feel like my short stories have as much meaning or potential as my longer, more complex ideas. 
    • What’s the form or genre you’ve always been curious to experiment with but haven’t yet? Maybe memoir? I’ve always thought it might be cool, but I’ve never really studied memoirs or given any real thought to what I would include in one if I wrote one.
    • Which form or genre seems incredibly different or hard to you? I used to write poetry, but I don’t anymore. I don’t feel like I have the energy for it. If I had to choose a fiction genre that’s particularly hard for me, I’d have to say horror because I have an intense dislike for being frightened. I’m also not very into writing historicals. I love reading them, but I feel like it would require too much research to actually get one published. 

Can you guess where this is going? Give one of these new, scarier forms a try. I recommend you really stretch and go with the fourth entry in your list, but any will do.

2.  Try your hand at a short essay. Write a fictional account of a true event. Turn a bad day into a horror story. Take a warm moment and channel it into a poem. But please pick the one that feels a little bit challenging so you leave your comfort zone.

Oh, boy. I really don’t know what to do or what to pick. I’m instantaneously repulsed by the idea of turning a bad day into a horror story. Maybe I’ll pick that one. It’s just going to be a short fragment of stomething that could be expanded upon later. I’m going to combine writing a fictional account of a true event and turning a bad day into a horror story. 

I’ve had a hell of a day. By 8:00 this morning I was struggling to hold my eyes open, fighting abject exhaustion and trying to focus on what the physical therapist was saying about my husband’s grandmother’s rehabilitation exercises. I know it sounds kind of bad, but the harder I tried to focus, the more I caught myself nodding off after a long, sleepless night. 

Our black and tan coonhounds Bear and Bryant paced, bayed, and howled all night, as if there were a prowler in the yard, but every time we looked, we couldn’t see a damn thing. The dogs finally got quiet some time between 3:45 and 4:15, and then we heard a nerve-shattering crash out in the shop. 

By the time we made it out there, whatever knocked our shelf of tools and racecar parts over was gone. The shelf busted the Lexan back window out of my husband’s ’67 Camaro drag car. It gouged the crimson paint job in a couple places, and left dents in a couple more, and that was a damn bad way to start the day. The Camaro is my husband’s baby.

So, we got two hours of sleep, and he had to go to work, and I had to drag my exhausted ass to Mobile with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to learn how to properly do rehab for Granny. I tried to push through and stay awake, but my body at 26 just can’t bounce back from lack of sleep like it could when I was 16.

Then I got jarred out of my dozing off by my husband’s ringtone. “Hello?” 

“Babe…I know you’re at the hospital with Granny, but I just wanted to call and let you know that my truck burned to the ground today while I was away at a job site.”

“WHAT?! Oh my GOD! How the hell did that happen?!”

“Cops say it looks like a Malitov cocktail started the blaze. Everything that was in the truck is gone…burned completely up. My granddaddy’s truck, and some sorry excuse for a human being burned it to the ground. I don’t know who’d do something like that, but they better pray I don’t get my hands on their sorry ass is all I can say.”

He may not have known…but I sure did.


Work It #10 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #10 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 10: Break the Blocks to Creative Flow

For this chapter on breaking the blocks to creative flow, I’m giving you three different tasks, because your reason for block may not be the same each time, and also because sometimes it takes more than one method to slip inertia’s grip.

  1. MENTAL: Quickly take a look at the work you’re stuck on, or simply hold in mind the project you can’t start. Or if you have research materials or other info about the project, put it in front of you. Give yourself the goal of writing one sentence. That’s it, just one sentence. Now get up and do the physical activity in exercise two. Then come back. See if you can’t write just one more sentence. Then get up and do a physical activity. Come back. Write one more.

  2. PHYSICAL: A study done by cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colzato of Leiden University in The Netherlands revealed that people who exercised four times a week were “able to think more creatively than those with a more sedentary lifestyle.” But you don’t have to run marathons or even leave your house in order to engage in a creativity-stimulating form of exercise. Did you know that simply flapping your arms as though to simulate flying, which also gets your heart rate up, is enough to do the trick? If you can make yourself laugh in the process, even better.

    Make sure no one’s around, so you won’t do this halfheartedly. Pretend you’re a bird. Try to take flight. Even squawk. Maybe you’re a chicken. By now, you’re either laughing or flapping, and your heart rate is up. Your subconscious creative trapdoor just swung open without you even realizing it. Return to your desk and write one more sentence.

  3. EMOTIONAL: You may have heard about a somewhat dubious-sounding theraputic technique introduced in the seventies called primal scream therapy. This therapy emerged from the idea that sometimes all a person needs to do to shed emotional baggage is to have a good primal yawp at the top of his lungs. This couls also include pillow punching, phonebook ripping, and other feats of brute strength. Don’t worry–I’m not going to ask you to do this! I am, however, going to ask you to do a written version of it. Set a timer for fifteen minutes minimum, with no maximum. Whatever works for you. At the top of the page, write what you’re facing, whether it’s inertia or creative block, in as derogatory language as you can muster. “I can’t make progress on my stupid novel.”

    Below that, start a list called “Reasons I won’t/shouldn’t/can’t make progress with this project.” In psychoanalysis, this is called the “pro-symptom” approach. Rather than trying to talk yourself into something you don’t want to do, you sympathize with and embrace the discomfort, the part of you throwing its personal tantrum. See how long you can actually go on with this negative sympathy.

    When you run out of things to write, start a new list: “Reasons why I should/must/will finish this project.” Always try to end an exercise on a positive note.

For some reason, this Work It exercise feels more difficult than the others have been for me. I’m also incredibly distracted because my puppy is determined to interrupt me this morning, it seems. It’s like he’s perfectly happy to entertain himself until I sit down to write, and then he becomes the neediest puppy on the planet out  of nowhere. In any case, it’s time for me to turn my attention to the actual work of this Work It exercise.

I’ve been stuck on my novel, Frost, for quite some time now. I’m supposed to focus on writing just ONE sentence of this work. I have an outline sentence for the next scene I’m supposed to be working on. “Lauren, Tamara, and a bunch of volunteers take to the caverns because Adele doesn’t know about them, and they make the Linothorax in secret.”

So…one sentence in this scene. Let me see. Maybe “As Mack led me into the caverns, I was flabbergasted by the sheer number of volunteers waiting to help make the Linothorax.” It’s not profound, but it is the first sentence I’ve written on this project in about four months, now! That’s pretty freeing.

I’m having a momentary freakout because there’s a spider in my room, and I PROMISE you  I just did PLENTY of flailing and other hear-rate raising movements trying to get away from it. I hate hate HATE spiders, and I am 100% terrified of them, and I wish they didn’t exist. It did, however, serve the purpose of getting my heart rate up. On to the next sentence, then. “There were men, women, children, and elders all waiting to do their part to defend each other.”

On to the next part…the emotional primal scream thing. Right now, the thing I most want to scream about is that there’s a freaking spider in my room, and I wasn’t fast enough to kill it, and now I don’t know where it is and I want it DEAD. I can feel things crawling on me. I know it’s just psychosomatic, but UGH.

Anyway…here goes.

I seem to be incapable of making progress on this worthless, idiotic novel of mine.

Reasons I won’t/shouldn’t/can’t make progress with this project:

  • It’s changed so much over the past 10 years that I’ve been working on it that I just feel like I’m beating a dead horse into an unnecessary grease stain in the annals of history.
  • I should be working on my MTE school work instead. I should be prioritizing the moneymaking career over my writing. It’s stupid not to.
  • I should be cleaning the house.
  • I should be focused on making all the people who are important to me happy before I focus on myself. Me focusing on my writing is selfish and irresponsible.
  • I have no followthrough. Everyone knows it. I’ve been working on this stupid project for 10 years, and I’ve gotten nowhere. I don’t even know why I insist on trying to finish it.
  • I didn’t want this book to be Christian fiction because I was afraid that would limit its scope and marketability, but the story disagrees with me.
  • I need to make so many changes to it that I’m never going to finish.
  • I suck at writing “As If” and “SFDs” because I’m a perfectionist who’s completely unwilling to relinquish control of my brainchild. Everything should be perfect and fixed before I move on to the next thing.
  • It’s a lousy, stupid idea that nobody but me actually cares about. What’s the point of even putting it out there? It’s completely lame.
  • I hate myself for wasting so much time on a story that’s never really going to be successful. I don’t know why I can’t let it go and try to move on. The lives of everyone around me would probably be better if I just let the story die and learn to be a grownup with a real job and steady income.
  • If I were any good as a writer, I would already have cranked this book out, along with the two sequels planned for it, rather than letting them stagnate in my head.
  • It’s changed and evolved so much that I don’t know how to categorize it anymore.
  • I haven’t finished my research, which I need in this next scene. What’s the point of moving forward right now without it?
  • I feel like the cathartic value of this novel is gone for me. What’s the point? I’m just wasting everyone’s time.

Reasons why I should/must/will finish this project:

  • It has lived in my head longer than any of my other ideas. Ten years is far too much time for a story to be taking up mental real estate instead of living on bookshelves, where it belongs.
  • If I finish it and get it out there, that would make the people who invested in Frost very happy.
  • I know that there’s an important message in this story for people who share my feelings.
  • God wouldn’t have let me spend ten years on a story if I weren’t supposed to complete it and share it with the world.
  • There are plenty of people out there who have shown interest in Frost, even in its rough, original state. It’s incomplete and it still has over 4,000 +Votes on JukePop.
  • There is a message I’m meant to share in this book, and my soul won’t let me rest until I get it out there.
  • I love writing in the same way my husband loves fishing and drag racing. Why should I deny myself something that I enjoy so deeply, and that means so much to me?

 


Work It #10 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #10 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Chapter 10: Break the Blocks to Creative Flow

For this chapter on breaking the blocks to creative flow, I’m giving you three different tasks, because your reason for block may not be the same each time, and also because sometimes it takes more than one method to slip inertia’s grip.

  1. MENTAL: Quickly take a look at the work you’re stuck on, or simply hold in mind the project you can’t start. Or if you have research materials or other info about the project, put it in front of you. Give yourself the goal of writing one sentence. That’s it, just one sentence. Now get up and do the physical activity in exercise two. Then come back. See if you can’t write just one more sentence. Then get up and do a physical activity. Come back. Write one more.

  2. PHYSICAL: A study done by cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colzato of Leiden University in The Netherlands revealed that people who exercised four times a week were “able to think more creatively than those with a more sedentary lifestyle.” But you don’t have to run marathons or even leave your house in order to engage in a creativity-stimulating form of exercise. Did you know that simply flapping your arms as though to simulate flying, which also gets your heart rate up, is enough to do the trick? If you can make yourself laugh in the process, even better.

    Make sure no one’s around, so you won’t do this halfheartedly. Pretend you’re a bird. Try to take flight. Even squawk. Maybe you’re a chicken. By now, you’re either laughing or flapping, and your heart rate is up. Your subconscious creative trapdoor just swung open without you even realizing it. Return to your desk and write one more sentence.

  3. EMOTIONAL: You may have heard about a somewhat dubious-sounding theraputic technique introduced in the seventies called primal scream therapy. This therapy emerged from the idea that sometimes all a person needs to do to shed emotional baggage is to have a good primal yawp at the top of his lungs. This couls also include pillow punching, phonebook ripping, and other feats of brute strength. Don’t worry–I’m not going to ask you to do this! I am, however, going to ask you to do a written version of it. Set a timer for fifteen minutes minimum, with no maximum. Whatever works for you. At the top of the page, write what you’re facing, whether it’s inertia or creative block, in as derogatory language as you can muster. “I can’t make progress on my stupid novel.”

    Below that, start a list called “Reasons I won’t/shouldn’t/can’t make progress with this project.” In psychoanalysis, this is called the “pro-symptom” approach. Rather than trying to talk yourself into something you don’t want to do, you sympathize with and embrace the discomfort, the part of you throwing its personal tantrum. See how long you can actually go on with this negative sympathy.

    When you run out of things to write, start a new list: “Reasons why I should/must/will finish this project.” Always try to end an exercise on a positive note.

For some reason, this Work It exercise feels more difficult than the others have been for me. I’m also incredibly distracted because my puppy is determined to interrupt me this morning, it seems. It’s like he’s perfectly happy to entertain himself until I sit down to write, and then he becomes the neediest puppy on the planet out  of nowhere. In any case, it’s time for me to turn my attention to the actual work of this Work It exercise.

I’ve been stuck on my novel, Frost, for quite some time now. I’m supposed to focus on writing just ONE sentence of this work. I have an outline sentence for the next scene I’m supposed to be working on. “Lauren, Tamara, and a bunch of volunteers take to the caverns because Adele doesn’t know about them, and they make the Linothorax in secret.”

So…one sentence in this scene. Let me see. Maybe “As Mack led me into the caverns, I was flabbergasted by the sheer number of volunteers waiting to help make the Linothorax.” It’s not profound, but it is the first sentence I’ve written on this project in about four months, now! That’s pretty freeing.

I’m having a momentary freakout because there’s a spider in my room, and I PROMISE you  I just did PLENTY of flailing and other hear-rate raising movements trying to get away from it. I hate hate HATE spiders, and I am 100% terrified of them, and I wish they didn’t exist. It did, however, serve the purpose of getting my heart rate up. On to the next sentence, then. “There were men, women, children, and elders all waiting to do their part to defend each other.”

On to the next part…the emotional primal scream thing. Right now, the thing I most want to scream about is that there’s a freaking spider in my room, and I wasn’t fast enough to kill it, and now I don’t know where it is and I want it DEAD. I can feel things crawling on me. I know it’s just psychosomatic, but UGH.

Anyway…here goes.

I seem to be incapable of making progress on this worthless, idiotic novel of mine.

Reasons I won’t/shouldn’t/can’t make progress with this project:

  • It’s changed so much over the past 10 years that I’ve been working on it that I just feel like I’m beating a dead horse into an unnecessary grease stain in the annals of history.
  • I should be working on my MTE school work instead. I should be prioritizing the moneymaking career over my writing. It’s stupid not to.
  • I should be cleaning the house.
  • I should be focused on making all the people who are important to me happy before I focus on myself. Me focusing on my writing is selfish and irresponsible.
  • I have no followthrough. Everyone knows it. I’ve been working on this stupid project for 10 years, and I’ve gotten nowhere. I don’t even know why I insist on trying to finish it.
  • I didn’t want this book to be Christian fiction because I was afraid that would limit its scope and marketability, but the story disagrees with me.
  • I need to make so many changes to it that I’m never going to finish.
  • I suck at writing “As If” and “SFDs” because I’m a perfectionist who’s completely unwilling to relinquish control of my brainchild. Everything should be perfect and fixed before I move on to the next thing.
  • It’s a lousy, stupid idea that nobody but me actually cares about. What’s the point of even putting it out there? It’s completely lame.
  • I hate myself for wasting so much time on a story that’s never really going to be successful. I don’t know why I can’t let it go and try to move on. The lives of everyone around me would probably be better if I just let the story die and learn to be a grownup with a real job and steady income.
  • If I were any good as a writer, I would already have cranked this book out, along with the two sequels planned for it, rather than letting them stagnate in my head.
  • It’s changed and evolved so much that I don’t know how to categorize it anymore.
  • I haven’t finished my research, which I need in this next scene. What’s the point of moving forward right now without it?
  • I feel like the cathartic value of this novel is gone for me. What’s the point? I’m just wasting everyone’s time.

Reasons why I should/must/will finish this project:

  • It has lived in my head longer than any of my other ideas. Ten years is far too much time for a story to be taking up mental real estate instead of living on bookshelves, where it belongs.
  • If I finish it and get it out there, that would make the people who invested in Frost very happy.
  • I know that there’s an important message in this story for people who share my feelings.
  • God wouldn’t have let me spend ten years on a story if I weren’t supposed to complete it and share it with the world.
  • There are plenty of people out there who have shown interest in Frost, even in its rough, original state. It’s incomplete and it still has over 4,000 +Votes on JukePop.
  • There is a message I’m meant to share in this book, and my soul won’t let me rest until I get it out there.
  • I love writing in the same way my husband loves fishing and drag racing. Why should I deny myself something that I enjoy so deeply, and that means so much to me?

 


Work It #8 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #8 from Chapter 8 “Go Where You Are Welcome”

I highly recommend that you start a “synchronicity” notebook. You may call it whatever you wish: grand coincidences, goals that come to pass…it doesn’t matter how you frame it. Each day, record noteworthy events pertaining to your writing practice and goals. It could be something like “I picked up two books in a row today at the bookstore that shared the same name as my protagonist.” Or “As I was working on an essay about my mother’s death, I had this funny feeling to look through that box of old photos I’ve never opened; there I found a tiny diary she left behind that I never noticed or read before.”

The more you track these events and situations, the stronger your lens will become to look for signs that you’re moving in the right direction, and the more likely you will feel motivated rather than discouraged.

The first thing I’d like to take note of in relation to what Jordan Rosenfeld refers to as synchronicity is that she actually commented on my first post in this blog project series and encouraged me! How cool is that?

Working my way through this book, picking back up and pushing forward, has helped me immensely. Chapter 8, in particular, has helped me make a very difficult decision in my life. I was pursuing a MA in English/Creative Writing, and the program just wasn’t right for me or my writing life. Since I find myself between jobs again, it was also putting undue stress on my personal life, and reading Chapter 8 helped me to center myself long enough to prayerfully consider what I should do, and I have made a decision. I have decided to withdraw from that grad school program. I would rather focus on my marriage, being truly active in my writing life instead of stagnating in a school setting that was making me miserable, and completing my Medical Transcription Editing school by my July 9, 2016 deadline.

I’ve got that tingle. This decision feels like the right decision. I can’t wait to see where this feeling of rightness, this “synchronicity,” which I personally think of as God letting me know that I am on the right path, takes me.


Work It #8 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

Work It #8 from Chapter 8 “Go Where You Are Welcome”

I highly recommend that you start a “synchronicity” notebook. You may call it whatever you wish: grand coincidences, goals that come to pass…it doesn’t matter how you frame it. Each day, record noteworthy events pertaining to your writing practice and goals. It could be something like “I picked up two books in a row today at the bookstore that shared the same name as my protagonist.” Or “As I was working on an essay about my mother’s death, I had this funny feeling to look through that box of old photos I’ve never opened; there I found a tiny diary she left behind that I never noticed or read before.”

The more you track these events and situations, the stronger your lens will become to look for signs that you’re moving in the right direction, and the more likely you will feel motivated rather than discouraged.

The first thing I’d like to take note of in relation to what Jordan Rosenfeld refers to as synchronicity is that she actually commented on my first post in this blog project series and encouraged me! How cool is that?

Working my way through this book, picking back up and pushing forward, has helped me immensely. Chapter 8, in particular, has helped me make a very difficult decision in my life. I was pursuing a MA in English/Creative Writing, and the program just wasn’t right for me or my writing life. Since I find myself between jobs again, it was also putting undue stress on my personal life, and reading Chapter 8 helped me to center myself long enough to prayerfully consider what I should do, and I have made a decision. I have decided to withdraw from that grad school program. I would rather focus on my marriage, being truly active in my writing life instead of stagnating in a school setting that was making me miserable, and completing my Medical Transcription Editing school by my July 9, 2016 deadline.

I’ve got that tingle. This decision feels like the right decision. I can’t wait to see where this feeling of rightness, this “synchronicity,” which I personally think of as God letting me know that I am on the right path, takes me.


Work It #7 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

I think it’s rather obvious that I dropped the ball on this little blog project of mine. That happens on a fairly regular basis for me. I don’t juggle well. It’s very hard for me to shift focus successfully. But, here we are. I’m going to take a minute to reread chapter 7 of A Writer’s Guide to Persistence, and then I’m going to do Work It #7.

It is so wonderful to be reminded that ALL WRITERS STRUGGLE at times. I needed to reread the “Seek to Serve” chapter so badly. After reading it, I feel as if a massive, oppressive weight that has been bearing down on me for months is gone.

Anyway, here goes Work It #7:

What are some immediate ways you can use your writing to serve? Make a list in a notebook right now. Pick one way, and chop it into smaller goals. Say you’d like to host other writers on your blog; decide what themes and topics you’re interested in and how often you’d like them to guest post. When you’ve made this decision, put out a request via social media, e-mail, and word of mouth.

Or you can make a list of advice you’d give to a burgeoning writer who is on a path similar to yours. What would you tell her? What mistakes have you made that she could avoid? Is there someone you know in real life who would benefit from your advice?

Lastly, consider writing a blog post or essay that you can share, or post about a lesson you learned the hard way, how you got through it, and what you would do differently if you knew then what you know now. Focus on how you felt, if and when you became discouraged, and what you did to pull yourself out of a tailspin.

I definitely want to do all of the above! As for the guest posts, I think I want most of my themes to center around writers struggling, and the ways they found to overcome their struggles. I struggle a lot more than I would have cared to admit before reading this chapter, and the majority of my posts will probably center around those struggles and my choice to persevere, as well.

The biggest pieces of advice I want to share with burgeoning writers everywhere are these: 1. NEVER GIVE UP and 2. ALWAYS TELL THE STORY YOU WISH TO TELL! If you want your writing dreams to come true, never stop working for them, no matter what, and don’t let current market trends dictate your story to you. Tell the story you want to tell. Tell the story that you’re absolutely in love with, and don’t worry about whether or not it fits with the current trends. If you tell a story that comes from your heart, and you focus all your passion and devotion on that story, writing it will make you happy, and I guarantee you that there are readers out there who will love the story just as much as you do.

And now for the blog post! I cannot enumerate the ways in which rereading this chapter and doing this Work It Exercise have helped me today. I’ve been in a depressed slump for a while now. Why? I haven’t been sticking to my writing practice, and that’s made me miserable. I haven’t made the effort to keep to a schedule. I’ve been lazy, and that’s made me feel horrible about myself. This isn’t anybody’s fault but mine. I have done this to myself, and I had to be the one who decided to fix the problem. I allowed outside circumstances to dictate my internal reality, and that brought my writing practice to a grinding halt.

Now, however, I am choosing to use my time better, I am choosing to rededicate myself to my writing practice, I am choosing to have a writing schedule, and I am choosing to be a writer. If you’re in a slump like the one I was in, I highly recommend that you read A Writer’s Guide to Persistence  by Jordan Rosenfeld.


Work It #7 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

I think it’s rather obvious that I dropped the ball on this little blog project of mine. That happens on a fairly regular basis for me. I don’t juggle well. It’s very hard for me to shift focus successfully. But, here we are. I’m going to take a minute to reread chapter 7 of A Writer’s Guide to Persistence, and then I’m going to do Work It #7.

It is so wonderful to be reminded that ALL WRITERS STRUGGLE at times. I needed to reread the “Seek to Serve” chapter so badly. After reading it, I feel as if a massive, oppressive weight that has been bearing down on me for months is gone.

Anyway, here goes Work It #7:

What are some immediate ways you can use your writing to serve? Make a list in a notebook right now. Pick one way, and chop it into smaller goals. Say you’d like to host other writers on your blog; decide what themes and topics you’re interested in and how often you’d like them to guest post. When you’ve made this decision, put out a request via social media, e-mail, and word of mouth.

Or you can make a list of advice you’d give to a burgeoning writer who is on a path similar to yours. What would you tell her? What mistakes have you made that she could avoid? Is there someone you know in real life who would benefit from your advice?

Lastly, consider writing a blog post or essay that you can share, or post about a lesson you learned the hard way, how you got through it, and what you would do differently if you knew then what you know now. Focus on how you felt, if and when you became discouraged, and what you did to pull yourself out of a tailspin.

I definitely want to do all of the above! As for the guest posts, I think I want most of my themes to center around writers struggling, and the ways they found to overcome their struggles. I struggle a lot more than I would have cared to admit before reading this chapter, and the majority of my posts will probably center around those struggles and my choice to persevere, as well.

The biggest pieces of advice I want to share with burgeoning writers everywhere are these: 1. NEVER GIVE UP and 2. ALWAYS TELL THE STORY YOU WISH TO TELL! If you want your writing dreams to come true, never stop working for them, no matter what, and don’t let current market trends dictate your story to you. Tell the story you want to tell. Tell the story that you’re absolutely in love with, and don’t worry about whether or not it fits with the current trends. If you tell a story that comes from your heart, and you focus all your passion and devotion on that story, writing it will make you happy, and I guarantee you that there are readers out there who will love the story just as much as you do.

And now for the blog post! I cannot enumerate the ways in which rereading this chapter and doing this Work It Exercise have helped me today. I’ve been in a depressed slump for a while now. Why? I haven’t been sticking to my writing practice, and that’s made me miserable. I haven’t made the effort to keep to a schedule. I’ve been lazy, and that’s made me feel horrible about myself. This isn’t anybody’s fault but mine. I have done this to myself, and I had to be the one who decided to fix the problem. I allowed outside circumstances to dictate my internal reality, and that brought my writing practice to a grinding halt.

Now, however, I am choosing to use my time better, I am choosing to rededicate myself to my writing practice, I am choosing to have a writing schedule, and I am choosing to be a writer. If you’re in a slump like the one I was in, I highly recommend that you read A Writer’s Guide to Persistence  by Jordan Rosenfeld.


Work It #5 From A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

  1. Buy yourself an erasable whiteboard on which you can write your daily intentions. Don’t keep a long list of all your intentions in an overwhelming list in front of you. (You may have a master list you keep in a notebook, but hide it away.) Every day, erase yesterday’s intentions and copy only intentions from your master list that you can do that day. Try not to overachieve; instead strive to accomplish tasks in manageable chunks. Try to include “writing” on your daily intentions list every day, and remember to start with the most pressing task (anything that is deadline driven or that is driving you crazy) to get it out of the way.

I have the whiteboard, and I need to get my husband to put it beside my desk for me. (I also desperately need to clean off my desk so I once again have a designated writing area that I can actually WORK in. It is currently covered up with files and binders, and they’re piled so high I can’t even set my laptop down on the desk’s surface. I don’t know how I’m going to find time to do anything writing related now that I am working 41.5 hours a week. I am super grateful to have the job that I have now, as opposed to being unemployed, but getting used to the new schedule has thrown my usual poor sheduling abilities right into oblivion. When you add getting my Medical Transcription Editing certification classes and grad school on top of that, there’s hardly time to sleep, much less anything else. I’m hoping that once I get settled into the new schedule, everything will fall into place around it. I could use a little guidance and encouragement in this arena, apparently.)

2. Which of your goals seems more in reach after reading this chapter? Break down this goal into a series of smaller intentions or just the intentions you will set for your next session. What goals do you have that now seem worth pushing off to a later date?

Apparently, I need to reread this chapter! Before I started working (which I am intensely grateful for), finishing Frost on JukePop seemed attainable, but now I just don’t know. I’m hoping that everything will become a little clearer once I’ve gotten used to the new schedule. I welcome advice, input, etc. I was producing at least one chapter a week, but my writing has kind of come to a standstill in light of everything else I have going on (job, MTE school, grad school, trying to help my husband remodel our future home, etc.). I am, however, still 100% ecstatic to have a full-time job that’s making money, and 200% convinced that being married is the best thing ever (because my husband is MADE OF AWESOME and I love him even more than my writing)! So, we’ll see how everything works out. I really hope I can find a way to acclimate and juggle everything without having to drop my writing.


Work It #5 From A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

  1. Buy yourself an erasable whiteboard on which you can write your daily intentions. Don’t keep a long list of all your intentions in an overwhelming list in front of you. (You may have a master list you keep in a notebook, but hide it away.) Every day, erase yesterday’s intentions and copy only intentions from your master list that you can do that day. Try not to overachieve; instead strive to accomplish tasks in manageable chunks. Try to include “writing” on your daily intentions list every day, and remember to start with the most pressing task (anything that is deadline driven or that is driving you crazy) to get it out of the way.

I have the whiteboard, and I need to get my husband to put it beside my desk for me. (I also desperately need to clean off my desk so I once again have a designated writing area that I can actually WORK in. It is currently covered up with files and binders, and they’re piled so high I can’t even set my laptop down on the desk’s surface. I don’t know how I’m going to find time to do anything writing related now that I am working 41.5 hours a week. I am super grateful to have the job that I have now, as opposed to being unemployed, but getting used to the new schedule has thrown my usual poor sheduling abilities right into oblivion. When you add getting my Medical Transcription Editing certification classes and grad school on top of that, there’s hardly time to sleep, much less anything else. I’m hoping that once I get settled into the new schedule, everything will fall into place around it. I could use a little guidance and encouragement in this arena, apparently.)

2. Which of your goals seems more in reach after reading this chapter? Break down this goal into a series of smaller intentions or just the intentions you will set for your next session. What goals do you have that now seem worth pushing off to a later date?

Apparently, I need to reread this chapter! Before I started working (which I am intensely grateful for), finishing Frost on JukePop seemed attainable, but now I just don’t know. I’m hoping that everything will become a little clearer once I’ve gotten used to the new schedule. I welcome advice, input, etc. I was producing at least one chapter a week, but my writing has kind of come to a standstill in light of everything else I have going on (job, MTE school, grad school, trying to help my husband remodel our future home, etc.). I am, however, still 100% ecstatic to have a full-time job that’s making money, and 200% convinced that being married is the best thing ever (because my husband is MADE OF AWESOME and I love him even more than my writing)! So, we’ll see how everything works out. I really hope I can find a way to acclimate and juggle everything without having to drop my writing.


Work It #4 from A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

  1. Make a list of all the “possible” time slots in your day that you could devote to writing but aren’t. Or make a list of the distractions you have in place that could be pushed aside to make way for writing. Ignore the voices that say “It’s too hard” or “It won’t happen.” Now look at your list and pick two time slots in which you can write or two distractions you can replace with writing time.

Calendar — Day — 10-7-15 to 10-7-15

2. Select from one of these fantastic apps (list found on p. 38) that don’t allow you to access the Internet within set times or only allow access within certain parameters (such as allowing you to only access certain sites). This will prevent the temptation to go online to peruse your Twitter feed or a friend’s blog when you’ve committed to writing.

I have been using Write Or Die for ages, and I love it.


Work It #4 from A Writer's Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld

  1. Make a list of all the “possible” time slots in your day that you could devote to writing but aren’t. Or make a list of the distractions you have in place that could be pushed aside to make way for writing. Ignore the voices that say “It’s too hard” or “It won’t happen.” Now look at your list and pick two time slots in which you can write or two distractions you can replace with writing time.

Calendar — Day — 10-7-15 to 10-7-15

2. Select from one of these fantastic apps (list found on p. 38) that don’t allow you to access the Internet within set times or only allow access within certain parameters (such as allowing you to only access certain sites). This will prevent the temptation to go online to peruse your Twitter feed or a friend’s blog when you’ve committed to writing.

I have been using Write Or Die for ages, and I love it.


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