About This Book


No matter the genre, no matter the medium, the writing process is hard! But you will find inspiration, encouragement, and advice in these 101 stories from others who have stuck with it, through the setbacks and struggles, and successfully went from dreaming about writing to being a writer. Whether you're an aspiring author, a blogger, or a bestselling writer, this book will motivate and energize you.

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Five Tips to Help Writers Write

Based on Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark and Susan M. Heim

The very existence of Chicken Soup for the Soul is inspiration for writers, given Jack and Mark’s struggle to publish the first volume in the series, which went on to become one of the bestselling and most influential books of all time. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, May 21, 2013, 978-1611599091) contains 101 stories from people who have successfully chased their writing dream. Here are five tips taken from this book to get yourself writing.

1. Find an accountability partner. Every time Samantha Ducloux Waltz felt tempted to sleep in or procrastinate, her cat Naomi would keep her on task. "Naomi stalks through the door and over to my desk. She’s a drill sergeant disguised as a seven-pound feline," Samantha writes. "She’s also right. The house will be quiet for another hour or two before my retired husband gets up. It’s a perfect time to work on the story circling in my head." With this supervision, Samantha never strayed too long from her writing. After one attempted break during a writing block, Naomi had scolded her and Samantha returned to her office. "She follows me in and jumps on my desk with a throaty whir," she writes. "'This is where we belong, isn’t it?’ she seems to say."

2. Trust your instincts. At a crossroads in their writing careers, Lorri Carpenter and her mother teamed up to write and publish a novel. They settled on romance – the current popular genre. But after two failed attempts at selling book ideas, and a disheartening romance writers’ convention, they were ready to give up. "Maybe we ought to look where we’re going," Lorri said to her mom. "We’ve taken our eyes off the reason we started writing together, and we’ve strayed off course." Once they realized their hearts weren’t in writing romances, they decided to follow their writers’ instincts and wrote a book they would like to read. Now they have a young adult novel published!

3. Use every spare minute. For busy mom Diane Stark, the day-to-day tasks of caring for her home and family left her with little writing time. Or so she thought until she sat down to write while her husband watched the last few minutes of a football game. "This game is far from over," she had heard him say. "Just a few short minutes can change everything." That caught her attention. In less than thirty minutes she had finished a first draft. "Just those few short minutes had made a difference," she writes. "I thought about all the other little blocks of time in my life that I thought were too short to use. Now I realized they were too long to waste."

4. Eliminate distractions. Life was getting too hectic for novelist Arlene Rains Graber to find the peace and space to write. Phone calls, e-mails, and surprise visitors constantly broke her concentration. "Something has to give or I’ll never complete the novel," she writes. Then she heard about something called a writing getaway. She called a fellow fiction writer and they made plans for their own retreat. "It works. By the end of the weekend, I have rewritten a solid hundred pages, edited several chapters, and polished the synopsis," she writes. Two years later, they still go on retreats. "And when I re-enter my house, with its phone calls, doorbell, Yahoo Messenger, and other unexplained noises, I calmly mark my calendar. It’s only three months until my next retreat."

5. Look and listen for inspiration. When writer’s block hit Mary Z. Whitney, she ventured outside hoping for inspiration. As she walked through town, she heard laughter from an open store window. Walking in, she saw a gray-haired woman behind the counter chatting with a customer. "Pretending to rummage through secondhand items on aisle after aisle, I shamelessly eavesdropped, feeling my senses come alive as I listened to her humorous, adventuresome tale," Mary writes. The story had made her smile, and inspiration suddenly filled her. "With a spring in my step, I hurried home, eager for the first time in days to jot down my thoughts. And that, my friend, is when it hit me: It wasn’t writer’s block I’d experienced at all. It was, in fact, ‘listener’s block.’"

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