Category Archives: Encouragement

Why a Coronavirus Journal Could Make You a Better Writer

Discouraged-Writer-2The Coronavirus has taken possession of the media causing writers all over the world to say they can’t settle their thoughts enough to write. Maybe you can relate. You sit down to write a piece of fiction, but the words won’t come. That’s okay! There’s something you can do right now to improve your fiction writing in the future:

Start a Coronavirus journal.

In fiction writing, thoughts lead characters to act. Your thoughts right now are likely all over the place! But if you can organize them and work through them, you can apply  what you learn to characters in your stories and write better fiction.

Use the following questions to guide each journal entry. Dig deep with your answers. Try to get at the roots of your thoughts and feelings. Think about how you can shift negatives to positives.

What thoughts are playing through my head today? Am I facing a problem? What is it?

What emotions am I feeling? Can I identify the cause of my emotions?

What is one thing I can do today to stay grounded?

What is one thing I can do today to solve my problem or to feel better?

What is one thing I can do today to shift my negative mindset to positive?

When your head is clear of the Coronavirus, see if you can apply some of your thoughts and emotions to write great characters who your readers can connect with emotionally.

A key phrase connected with Coronavirus is “We are all in this together.” But while we are in this together, we face different battles. Some battle depression. Some fight the virus and win. Some lose the fight. Everyone’s story is different.

Journal your Coronavirus story today. Then bank it. Store it away for that time in the future when things begin to feel normal again.

mp,550x550,matte,ffffff,t.u3You will write again, and you will write well—
better than before you ever heard
the acronym CoVid-19.
Believe that!

Be well, my friends, and stay well.


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Filed under CoVid-19, Encouragement, Uncategorized, Writer's Block

The Effect of Coronavirus on Writers


Hello friends!
So, here we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. 
What effect will it have on writers?

If, like me, you are self-employed and working from home, it’s business as usual. Our clients who work in publishing are scrambling to transition from working in the office to working at home. That might slow communication a bit, but, for the most part, not much has changed.

For other writers, most are self-isolating at varying degrees.

Here are a few things to think about.

Being forced to stay at home provides coveted time to dig into works in progress. If you fall into this category, use the time wisely. Write . . . write . . . write!

1666876422-503bf999abcff5c540c1612599c1e9e1If you have time to write but the Coronavirus distraction makes it difficult for you to concentrate on your work in progress, write just for fun. Pretend to be Ogden Nash, Dr. Seuss or Erma Bombeck. Write something humorous. A fellow author, Steve Goodier, said:

“A sense of humor helps us to get through the dull times, cope with the difficult times, enjoy the good times and manage the scary times.”

If you feel too stressed to write, try journaling. Your thoughts and feelings during this time might be key to what you write in the future. Some of our best literature came from authors who lived through times of war, economic depressions and illness. I put the apostle Paul in this category. If anyone weathered a multitude of storms, it was Paul!  Thirteen New Testament books are attributed to him. In them, he shares his wisdom, thoughts and feelings, words passed down through generations and just as relevant and applicable today.

If you can’t write during this difficult time, read—Read to learn or to escape for awhile from reality. Read the Bible and pray.


We are all in this together—the whole world—not just our country, but most other countries great and small. That alone is amazing. We isolate at home and maybe feel some loneliness and disconnect. But the big picture is WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. We aren’t alone. Every family, every individual, every writer is in this. We are united and we are strong. Together we will get through it. We’ll celebrate when “normal” returns and we are either too busy to write or too busy writing to do much else.

Be well. Hold tightly to faith and hope.
Better days are coming.


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and inspiration for writers.


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Filed under Encouragement, Uncategorized

You Are Never Too Old to Be a Writer

You got mail Granny writing message to her grandchildren through the Internet
A friend said to me recently, “I wanted to be a writer when I was young. I even studied journalism, but then life got in the way. Now, I’m too old to write.”

This woman is, let’s just say, older. We’re about the same age.

“You’re not too old to write!” I said. “I’m older—and I write.”

“But you’ve worked in publishing your whole adult life. It’s your career.”

Age should never deter a person from pursuing a dream. Whether it’s writing or anything else. But age might require a dream to be modified. As our conversation continued I asked if she wanted to write for fun or for publication.

She said, “I’d love to be published.”

“That’s possible,” I said. “But first you should write because it’s fun and it’s something you want to do. There are no age limits on creativity. In fact, now that you’re older, you have more experience to draw from and that can mean richer content.”

She had reached an age when she didn’t need to juggle her writing time with raising kids and a job and other life-gets-in-the-way things. I pointed out that now she had time to write and finally pursue her dream.

“Don’t allow age to be your enemy, ” I said. “Don’t listen when it says, ‘You’re too old to write’. Just write because you love it—but if you want to get published, you’ll have some work to do.”

We talked a lot about technology. She had slipped behind keeping up with the software writers use not only to write but also to edit and track changes. She didn’t know about the vast array of online learning opportunities. She wasn’t familiar with social media and how to network there. She hadn’t considered the ways the publishing business has changed in the decades since she’d studied journalism or that most publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts.

“Whether you want to self-publish or go the traditional route, you’ll need to dig in, learn, and get up to speed,” I told her. “Writing is a creative art, and it requires mastery. Write because you want to write, but then be willing to learn how to write even better. You’re never too old to take classes, to join a local writers’ group, to get on social media and connect with writers of all ages . . . and you’re never too old to get your work published.”

Maybe, like my friend, you are older and thinking about writing for publication. You are more prepared for the journey now than your younger self might have been. You are better equipped to use skills you’ve honed with age, skills like patience, perseverance, good judgment, problem solving, self-motivation. Add those to your talent and creativity.

Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty when she was in her 50s.

Laura Ingalls Wilder made notes and started writing her Little House books when she was in her 40s, but it wasn’t until she was in her 60’s she published.

Frank McCourt after retiring from a teaching career wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes. He was in his 60s.

Richard Adams told bunny stories to his daughters. They asked him to write the stories down. Later in life, those stories amalgamated into a book, Watership Down, published when Adams was in his 50s.

istockphoto-850836736-612x612Bump up your confidence level. Dust off that old dream. Decide how to modify it to align with where you are right now at your present age.

Don’t allow age to become an issue, instead use it to your advantage. You are much smarter and wiser now than you used to be. Do your best to think and act young, because if your writing does get published you will likely be working with editors younger than yourself. Stop saying you’re technologically challenged and feeling overwhelmed by it, instead commit to learning the technology one step at a time.  “I’m too old to write,” is an excuse. You are never too old to be a writer, and it’s not too late to get published—if you are willing to do the work.


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and inspiration for writers.


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Filed under Aspiring Writers, Encouragement, motivation, older writers, Uncategorized