Think / Pro: Overcoming Writer’s Block, part 1 of 3

Writer’s Block doesn’t exist.

Writer’s Block doesn’t exist?  Yes, I’m speaking heresy when I proclaim that.

If you’re following us, the previous blog provided a brief quiz.  At this linkI natter on about the reasons I believe that writers are buying into a great big lie.

After all, if you can write words at all, you’re not truly blocked.

Continue reading “Think / Pro: Overcoming Writer’s Block, part 1 of 3”

Think Pro: 5 + 5 Essentials for Writers

Think Like a Pro:  New Advent for Writers

Advice for the Week:  Looking for the Essentials?  Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel.  Learn from those who have gone before.

Who’s gone before?  Aristotle.  An ancient geeky Greek philosopher.  Aristotle rocks for writers struggling with character.

This week we start looking at 5 + 5 Essentials for Characters that the ancient Greek Aristotle first offered.

 

Summer Challenge

Summer challenge time!

2 versions available ~ beautiful flowers or the guiding task lamp

Are you ready to transform?

If you’ve dreamed of writing professionally–making $$$ from your words–the time is now.

But how?  What are the steps?  How do I avoid distractions and the dreaded writer’s block?  Where can I find creative exercises?  When do I know I’m no longer a hobby writer and that I am a pro?

Who can help?

Well, bud, you help yourself, but here’s a manual that can help you Think like a Pro.

Think like a Pro guides your growth through 7 lessons.  From deadlines to multi-tasking, Think like a Pro gives advice, tips, and tricks.

  • The # 1 lesson for success
  • A mantra to keep bum in chair
  • Choosing a plot
  • Essentials for characters
  • Conquering Writer’s Block
  • Sparking Creativity
  • Healthy Habits for projects, for yourself, and for the money you earn

Stop procrastinating, and achieve your dream.  Like the writer M.A. Lee, in three short years you can become a published writer of more than 12 novels.

Purchase the beautiful flowers version here.

Purchase the guiding lamp version here.

Also available is the Think / Pro planner, a daily companion to keep your goals on track.

With an undated layout, you can start anytime and skip any vacation weeks.  The two-page weekly spread offers progress meters, word count trackers, healthy habits monitors, and monthly, seasonal, & yearly reviews and previews.  Record your victories.  Analyze your challenges.  Determine your productivity.

The Think / Pro planner and the Think like a Pro book will encourage your transformation from hobbyist to professional writer.

Declare your Independence

Declare your Independence with the Think / Pro Planner

Available Now!

The Think / Pro planner with the beautiful cover  of flowers is Live on Amazon.

8 x 10 size, about a 1/2 inch, very lightweight.
Here’s the raison d’ etre.

Want to be published?  Think / Pro can help.

Think / Pro, a Planner for Writers, available now

Do you start stories but never complete them?  Do you wait on your muse while she hides behind trees and in caves?

Do you know how to write, but the mountainous novel seems insurmountable, with too many words and too few days?

Do you keep telling yourself “Carpe Diem”, but days speed by before you grab several hours to write?

Time to change “Seize the Day” into “Seize the Dream.”  For success, you need to Think/Pro.  This planner can help.

The Weekly Spread

A two-page week keeps you focused on three tasks, with room to record your day-by-day focus as well as a word count tracker for daily and accumulating totals.  The Progress Meter, divided into writing stages and blocks for each ten percent of that stage, is a visual representation of your growing achievement in reaching your writing goal.

While daily word counts are important, I now advise writers to take one day off each week.  Reserve that day for planning as well as completing a creativity exercise.  On a back page is a list of 13 exercises to choose from.  Reminders of the four basic Healthy Habits (walking, water intake, sunshine, and diet) offer daily fill-ins for those who like habit trackers.

Each week also showcases an inspirational quotation from a famous writer.

Analyze your Progress with Reviews and Previews

In addition to the weekly spread are Monthly Reviews & Previews and Seasonal & Yearly Planning pages.  The planner begins with a brief look at your yearly goals, on the following page.

The Monthly Review has a Productivity Tracker and a Progress Meter as well as places to jot down Business Contacts and Expenses.  Once tax time arrives, you will have compiled the necessary information in one location.  And a Tax Tips for Writers lists on a back page the expenses you can record.

In planning, we sometimes neglect to consider obligations beyond our goals and objectives.  On the Previews is a reminder of those commitments that keep us sane.

Seasonal Previews ask you to polish the nuts and bolts of your projected words per week and sharpen up the time remaining before your deadline.  All the Reviews ask you to record your victories and consider your challenges.

The purpose of any planner is to keep us on track as well as to give us a look ahead.  In this fast-paced world, it helps to have a physical reminder, one that is not dependent on the five and more tap-clicks that it takes to access the electronic calendar on a smartphone.

Grab a pen and this planner, and quickly jot down reminders and notes.  As the Think/Pro planner is undated, you can start at any time of the year.

Purchase here!

Think like a Pro: Lesson 3 C: Best Plot Method

The Best Plot Method

When plot methods abound, how do newbie writers know what the best plot method is?

How do newbie writers learn anything?

Drill and practice?  The first million words are simply to be thrown away?  Surely not.

To transform from hobby writer to professional writer, we have to teach ourselves.  We have to learn so many things.  Learning the best plot method for novels is just one step in the process.

Here are the three big questions that newbies ask ~

How do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?  How do we change the mindset that our writing is for escape or entertainment?  If our goal is professional writer, how do we become a disciplined Pro?

In our long “Winter of Discontent” with our writing, we need to follow the example of the crocus:  emerging from frozen snow to new life.

To help newbie writers achieve that goal, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  Like a two-hour seminar, these lessons will seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.  Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea.  This One Latin Phrase means “no days without lines (writing)”.

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

 

Think like a Pro: Lesson 3 B :: 4 of 5 Plot Methods

Plot Methods:  4 of 5 Models or Patterns

Adequate for Short Stories.  Inadequate for Novels.

Writers often talk about this plot method or that one.  All have a purpose and are seemingly interchangeable.  Plotters like to sift through the methods while Pantsters ignore them completely.

But all plot methods are not the same.  And the mark of a professional writer is to know the differences among the plot methods and carefully select the best fit for the story waiting to be told.

How does a hobby writer learn to think like a pro?  How does a hobby writer learn the ins and outs of the nuts and bolts of the writing profession?

More importantly, how do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?

Continuing the third lesson, Plot It, we look at 4 of the 5 Plot Methods.

To help newbie writers become professionals, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  Like a morning seminar, these lessons seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.  Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea.  This One Latin Phrase means “no days without lines (writing)”.

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

 

Think like a Pro: Lesson 3 A :: Plot It

Plot.  According to Christopher Booker in his 7 Basic Plots archetypal study, only 7 types of Plot exist.

Learning the models and patterns of various types of Plot can help newbie writers transitioning from hobby writer to pro writer.

How do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?  How do we change the mindset that our writing is for escape or entertainment?  If our goal is professional writer, how do we become a disciplined Pro?  The third lesson is that Models and Patterns, especially for Plot structures, help us.

In our long “Winter of Discontent” with our writing, we need to follow the example of the crocus:  emerging from frozen snow to new life.

To help newbie writers achieve that goal, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  These lessons may seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.   Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea.  That One Latin Phrase means “no days without lines”.

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

 

 

Think like a Pro: Lesson 2 :: Plan the Work

This information comes from Think like a Pro: New Advent for Writers, by M. A. Lee, available on Amazon Kindle.

Planning the Work and Working the Plan  is Lesson 2 in Think like a Pro.

This is the only way that Writers can Work Every Day.

How do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?  How do we change the mindset that our writing is for escape or entertainment?  If our goal is professional writer, how do we become a disciplined Pro?  The first lesson is Deadlines.

In our long “Winter of Discontent” with our writing, we need to follow the example of the crocus:  emerging from frozen snow to new life.

To help newbie writers achieve that goal, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  Like a two-hour seminar, these lessons will seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.  Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea.  This is One Latin Phrase that greatly helps writers.

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

 

Think like a Pro: Deadline on a Dream

Deadline on a Dream

Dream the Plan / Plan the Dream

Three years ago, when I made the decision to Think like a Pro, the approaching deadline for one of life’s major transitions drove me to consider it.

Life’s transitions include job changes, marriage or divorce, moving, children, taking on the fulltime care of a parent, and retirement.  Making a commitment to live a worthy life, changing diets to gluten-free or vegan, deciding to avoid all plastics, turning a dream into reality:  these are also life transitions. Continue reading “Think like a Pro: Deadline on a Dream”