Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Grist for the Mews

Meet the newest addition to the Grist for the Mews staff: Elvira. She's assuming the roles of Rodent Control Specialist, Attack Cat and Administrative Assistant But don't ask her to mail anything, answer the phone (although she does knock the phone off of the hook every once in-a-while), make copies, or file anything. She enjoys laying on top of the stackable trays on top of the filing cabinet, batting at inkjet cartridges trying to print, attacking computer cables, purring on your lap while typing, climbing on back of my chair and chewing my hair.

She is a sweet-tempered kitten with a constant purr. Who loves visits from the kids who find new ways to make her leap and jump around with various strings and kitty toys. I think that Ben wants to train her to do a trick to get her on America's Funniest Animals on Animal Planet. She is a hard working mews.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Thrill of Dreams

Spent the last two days at the Columbus Writers Conference where I always have a great time. There is so much energy in the room where kindred spirits meet, discuss their passions, exchange business cards, and then move on to the next person. The energy there is similar to a freshman orientation at college or maybe the first week of college where you are still absorbing everything, enjoying meeting everyone and classes haven’t started yet… so there is nothing but time to discuss your dreams, socialize, and maybe make a few new friends. I have a slew of business cards of people I’ve met, things that I need to follow-up on, and work to get done (the www.jumpstartjar.com site needs to be up and running within the next 24-hours... ARRRRRGGGH!!!).

I also met a couple of wonderful agents who I will keep in touch with. Both seemed to really like my next project idea: The 15-Minute Writer: How to Achieve Your Writing Dreams in Just 15 Minutes a Day, and this has given me the kick in the ass that I needed to get going on the book proposal that I've been too busy to start. They both loved my marketing idea for the book, which is to show how I wrote this book in 15-minute chunks of time and tracking it on a blog from the beginning of the project. Granted I’m not at ground zero, as far as starting the whole thing, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and I can do it… 15-minutes at a time. Check it out at

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Punching out the Inner Critic

Currently reading Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing, and he has a colorful metaphor for the power of frequency (or persistence).

“Muhammad Ali did not become heavyweight champion of the world by punching twenty people one time each. No, he became champ by punching one guy twenty times. By applying frequency to the poor opponent’s head, Ali was able to bring his message home.” Page 82.

I love Seth Godin. He knows his stuff and communicates clearly, and this was yet another great example of this. Check out Seth’s Blog at
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/. On paper, you’d think that marketing would be a dry subject, but Mr. Godin always seems to find a way to make abstract concepts clear through the use of metaphors like these.

So what does this mean to you as a writer? How many times have you started a project that you were REALLY excited about, only to run out of gas, or get sidetracked by another project? Sometimes projects need that extra push to get beyond the initial adrenaline rush when you start a new project… where you get that first questioning thought that asks you, “What the hell was I thinking when I decided that THIS would be a great project?” Sometimes you have to apply some frequency to the poor project’s head. Work at it just a bit longer when you are convinced that it is going nowhere.

This is your Inner Critic’s way of shutting down an idea if you ignored his initial grumbling at the beginning. He switches tactics and no longer blocks the individual words and thoughts, but attacks the concept itself, by making premature (and often unrealistic) expectations on the end result, when in reality you are still working through the details. If push through this resistance, you’ll be able to bring your own message home.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Hey there! This is the first posting of the Grist for the Muse blog, the blog that will get you writing and keep you writing. This blog will include writing exercises, writing book reviews, websites to check out, as well as the occasional article or rant.

There is also an advice column: Ask the Muse, where you can ask writing and publishing related questions, as well as anything else that might come to mind. The content of this blog will serve as the basis for the monthly Grist for the Muse newsletter, so stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I stumble around the blogging process.