Thursday, January 14, 2010

365 Tips for Writers by Dawn Colclasure

Beth's Erickson’s Hot Pick of the Week

Recently, I came across this post by Beth Erickson of Filbert Publishing ( I thought it worthwhile to share and requested Beth's permission to quote her.

"If your resolution is to write more, but you dislike facing that blank, white page, you need to check out 365 Tips for Writers.

"The Well Fed Writer, Peter Bowerman says, “This book is nothing but tips – ideas disguised as tips, really. And we writers just love ideas. Ideas are our lifeblood – the engine beneath our creativity. And the scope of these tips are…well, formidable.”
Now you can snag your copy as an instant download and get writing within minutes. These tips will expand your mind, work out your creativity, and exercise your writing muscles.

"Best of all, you'll have fun. Tons of it. Details here:

"With over 365 tips (journal writers... that’s more than one per day for a whole year) Dawn Colclasure has created a truly unique book that’s an essential addition to every writer’s library.

"Filled with inspiration, brimming with writing prompts and "Beat the Block" tips, this seemingly little book will revolutionize the way you approach the craft of writing.

"With her incredible uncommon "common" sense, Colclasure has created what may well become the book you’ll turn to again and again whenever you need inspiration, encouragement, and a sense that you’re not alone in this crazy profession called "writing".

"Plus, you'll receive not one, but two downloads. We're throwing in Dawn's bonus material including 52 pages of bonus tips, beat the block tips, an assignment form, character sketch form and more.

"You can pick up this valuable title and instantly download it for only $14.95
7 Tips (and Prompts) to Ignite Your Writing This Week, Dawn Colclasure

"Editor Note: Print this article and tuck it in your journal. Now, each day this week, pull it out, read the instructions, get writing, and apply the information to your writing career. It's that simple. :)

"Tip #8: Keep up-to-date on what’s out there.
A writer has a greater chance of being published by staying on top of what people are reading, buying and publishing. Subscribe to industry magazines such as Publisher’s Weekly, Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Journal, read what’s being published in the major magazines, read the bestsellers to see what kinds of books are selling and study writers’ techniques. By knowing what kind of writing people want now, this will filter through to your own writing and help you focus on what is getting sold.

"Tip #9: You are a writer no matter what or where you have been published.
Forget about the frustrations of not being published in a major newspaper or magazine. You are still a writer. Only an essay, short story or article in an e-zine to your name? You are still a writer. Only an essay published in anthology? You are still a writer. You don’t need to have X amount of work to be published or sold to “officially” be a writer. The very fact that you sit down to write every day makes you a writer. You are a writer no matter what you have sold or where you get published.

"Tip #10: Set aside time to write.
Take a look at your day-to-day business. Notice any unnecessary tasks in there? Things you don’t really need to do? Use this time to get some writing done instead. Today’s lifestyle can be demanding and chaotic. By prioritizing what we do in order to have time to write, more work can get done faster. It may take a series of trial and error, and it may change periodically, but try finding a way to squeeze in that time to write every day.

"Tip #11: Give yourself homework.
Remember going to school and groaning at the mention of homework? We didn’t want to do homework; we wanted to play baseball with our friends or talk on the phone. But homework was the challenge we needed to keep our learning skills sharp. Homework can also be the challenge we need to discipline ourselves to write each day and work on our skill with words. It will keep you from running into a rut and facing writer’s block. Some ideas for homework can be:
• Before you go to bed, write on a plain sheet of paper “I love to write because...” and write the rest of the page tomorrow.
• Assign yourself a query to write for a major magazine (just for practice).
• Describe a character in 500 words.

"Tip #12: You must be confident of yourself and your skill.
A lack of confidence can kill a writer’s chance of succeeding. Confidence is what guides you towards approaching a client, writing a query or submitting your story. You must believe that you are a writer worthy of being published. An editor will admire your confidence and it will also help you face rejection. Writers who are self-confident send the message to editors that they can write something with confidence. If you are not confident with your work, others will perceive this as a sign that just maybe you won’t be able to write something so great. There are a lot of other writers out there with more confidence they may end up turning to instead. No matter the project you face, be confident in yourself and in your ability to write well.

Tip #13
: Stories are everywhere.
Everywhere you go and everything you see is a story. A cafĂ©, bookstore, school, library and courthouse is a story. A woman who eats her food slowly, a child who marches instead of walks, a tree with no branches. All of these are potential stories for you to create, only if you are keen enough to look for them. A colleague at work may have a story to tell. Your parent, spouse or partner may have a story to tell. And even your child’s best friend might have a story to tell. You can get ideas for stories from magazines, newspapers, television, music, books, your dreams, your journals and even your little daily habits. The sky’s the limit when it comes to a writer searching for story ideas and, even then, writers can write about the sky.

"BEAT THE BLOCK TIP: Write about what matters to you.
In one paragraph or on one page, write about what matters to you. Be sure to include the reason why this particular thing matters to you, even if the reason is as obvious as love or obligation. For example, you may write something like: “Reading books for leisure matters to me because it gives me a chance to relax.” Spend as much time as necessary on each one and feel free to include as many reasons as you can think of.

"This has been an excerpt from 365 Tips for Writers. You can pick up all 365 (plus 52 bonus tips including “Beat the Block” tips) that's 52 pages of valuable information and instantly download it for under 15 smackers. Here are the details -"

Beth, thank you for allowing me to share this information. Please check out Dawn's book. It looks like it has some great tips to help us get back into gear when our muse is stalled.


  1. Penny,
    Thanks for blogging about this! I have to check this book out. I loved tip #9. It was a real ego booster since I haven't done a book yet...just ezines.

  2. Hi Deb, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.#9 also spoke to me. I think it's important for writers to remember they are writers, even if they haven't written a book!

  3. Penny, thank you so much for posting about my book. You are so wonderful to share this with others! I made a note about your blog post on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and will do the same for MySpace and my writing blog.

    I'm so glad you found my book to be useful to you and other writers. I sincerely hope it is enjoyed and helpful to anyone who buys a copy.

    And, Deb, thank you for sharing your thoughts on my book. I'm glad that Tip #9 was so meaningful to both you and Penny.

    I hope you enjoy my book. Happy writing!

    Best, Dawn Colclasure

  4. Dawn, thanks for stopping by and for sharing my blog link on your sites. We all need a prompt once in awhile :-)

  5. Hi Penny, thank you for posting about this book. All the shared tips were great but, tip #9 really hit home for me.

  6. You're welcome, Susanne. #9 seems to be hitting home for a lot of people.