Free Workshop – How To Give Your Writing Space A Makeover

Free Workshop – How To Give Your Writing Space A Makeover

writers workspace
 
Join us for a special workshop  in the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple Facebook group on how to create and organize your writing space—whether it’s an actual office, or a corner of the dining room table.
 
Diane Thompson will present this special video workshop on Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. EST. If you can’t make it live, no worries. You can always watch the replay. The workshop will also be archived in Unit 8 of the group’s learning center, where you can catch up on all the past guest speakers. Diane wants to know what your biggest struggle is regarding your home office.

🙁1. Clutter

🙁2. Lack of focus

🙁3. Distractions

🙁4. Not inspired

🙁5. Lack of comfort

🙁6. My office is perfect

🙁7. Something else

Post a comment and I will pass on your feedback.

writing space ideas

 

Diane helps mom entrepreneurs and side hustlers to create and organize their shared home office spaces. She knows firsthand that working from the comfort of your living room, dining room, or bedroom has a unique set of challenges, and is on a mission to make working from home easier for you.

She is a chemist by trade and an organizer by passion and has been organizing other people’s stuff since middle school. Several impactful life events gave her the courage to finally build the business of her dreams. She loves home-cooked dinner parties and spending time with her family, music, and dancing! For more information on her services, visit her website and Facebook page.

Not a member of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook community? Head on over and answer the screening questions. Members can download the free toolkit 7 Simple Steps to Nailing Your Book Blurb, and you’ll get access to Diane’s free writers’ workspace workshop.

Managing Your Time In 2020: Announcing Time Management Boot Camp #10minnovelists #setthetimer

Managing Your Time In 2020: Announcing Time Management Boot Camp #10minnovelists #setthetimer


10 minute novelists

There has been lots of talk about time management in the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group lately. Writing excuses, distractions, lack of motivation—these are all issues that plague writers. Maybe you’re balancing writing with a full-time job or trying to write with kids underfoot. That’s why I’m delighted to share this guest post from the inspiring Katharine Grubb of 10 Minute Novelists. She has loads of tips to help you get that book done.

Katharine is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, aspiring MFA candidate, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. Katharine is hosting a Time Management Boot Camp that starts Jan. 20, 2020. I’ll let Katharine tell you about it below and explain what it means to be a 10 Minute Novelist.

time management for writers

By Katharine Grubb

Since 2006, I’ve called myself a 10 Minute Novelist. I called myself that because I had five children less than eight years apart, I wanted to homeschool, and I wanted to write. I believed working in short spurts, 10-minute increments, was better than waiting until the house was clean, the laundry was done and the kids were grown.

This worked for me! I’ve written novels, I’ve conquered Twitter, I’ve created and managed a successful Facebook group, I’ve blogged and I’ve marketed myself in new ways. I got accepted to grad school. In all of this, I still maintained my household. I fed my family, washed their clothes, and kept up with general administration. At this writing, two children are thriving in college, one goes off this fall and the last two are chomping at the bit to be full-time dual enrollment high schoolers.

I did it! I met my goals, but I have to tell you. It wasn’t always pretty. Over the years, I asked for more opportunities which I ran the risk of missing. I asked for more challenges and sometimes I stared at them, convinced I couldn’t rise to meet them. All of the wonderful, amazing things I’ve asked for came with more responsibility.

 So I had no choice but to become more disciplined in my time, my attitudes, and my margins. I also had to understand who I was well, so that the limitations I put on myself would enhance these responsibilities, not restrain them. In his book Getting Things Done, David Allen explained, “When you start to make things happen, you really begin to believe that you can make things happen. And that makes things happen.”

I believe that this is true. Once I decided to write in 10-minute increments, the rest of my life became more manageable. My success in these small victories created a fresh drive in me to stay organized and disciplined. I learned a lot and I created Time Management Boot Camp to teach others how to do this too.

time management boot camp

Time Management Boot Camp

Time Management Boot Camp is a 10-week systematic webinar designed to show you how you can be more disciplined in every area of your life so you can meet all your goals.

My friend, author Lee Nelson said, “This isn’t a nuts-and-bolts ‘this is how you organize yourself,’ but rather . . . requires you to participate in how you organize your time and energy. I’ve found many times when I had to stop and meditate on her advice and suggestions. I’ve found that it’s encouraging me to re-prioritize my time so that I find more meaning in my life’s activities.”

Every Monday from January 20 to March 23, I will be sending a video to your email inbox instructing you on how to organize a specific area.

Week 1: January 20: Introduction / Knowing who you are

Week 2: January 27: Your Attitudes

Week 3: February 3: Your People

Week 4: February 10: Your Time

Week 5: February 17: Your Habits

Week 6: February 24: Your Stuff

Week 7: March 2: Your Tools

Week 8: March 9: Your Margins

Week 9: March 16: Your Fails

Week 10: March 23: Your Total Life

My friend, editor Rebecca Miller said, “While others can benefit from her practical advice, Katharine’s niche is empowering moms to live their personal goals. “

Webinars will be recorded live every Monday afternoon at 3:30 pm, with a half-hour live Q&A session. You’ll also receive a .pdf with application questions to help you apply the principles to your own life.

Join me for Time Management Boot Camp and let’s make 2020 the best year ever! Sign up here.

Balancing Work And Family As A Writer Podcast Episode

Balancing Work And Family As A Writer Podcast Episode

I’m super-excited as I have lots of podcast interviews lined up to discuss all aspects of writing and editing. The first is now live, and I hope you’ll give it a listen.

I spoke with Erika Parker Price, host of the Ready Pause Go podcast. According to Erika’s website, 43 percent of moms take a career pause at some point. Ninety-three percent want to return, but only 73 percent succeed. Of those who return, only 54 percent return to full-time work.

A career pause is a choice you deserve, Erika notes. But you also deserve to return to your full potential. Erika has numerous resources to help women transform their pause into a powerful time for YOU, so you can hit the ground running when you’re ready. She provides this with success stories, tools, and a community to support you. Need resume help? Want to learn more about side hustles and working from home? Erika’s got some great freebies, and she also offers coaching services.

Her podcast has featured topics such as lightening the mental load of motherhood, carving a career from childhood passions, learning when and how to say no, going back to school, discovering what’s holding you back, and much more.

baancing work and family as a writerThe focus of our interview was the freelance life and balancing work and family as a writer. We chatted about my journey as a writer and how I’ve reinvented myself over the past 17 years as a freelance journalist, marketing writer, health writer, fiction author in several genres, developmental book editor, online course creator and founder of Shortcuts for Writers, all while staying home with my kids.

We talked about the ups and downs of the writing life, how to pull back when the work gets too overwhelming or life gets in the way, how to dial it up when more income is needed, and why I created my Book Editing Blueprint course. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or on the Ready Pause Go! website.

Have you ever taken a career pause? Tell me about it in the comments!

Free Motivation For Writers Workshop – Invigorate Your Writing

Free Motivation For Writers Workshop – Invigorate Your Writing

 
motivation for writers
 

Do you need to jump-start your writing in the new year? Special guest Hallie Avolio will visit the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple Facebook group Jan. 6, 2020 at 3 p.m. EST to share some motivation for writers. Hallie will present an interactive video workshop on How to Get Unstuck and Invigorate Your Writing

If you can’t make it live to this inspirational event for writers, no worries. You can watch the replay. The workshop will also be archived in Unit 8 of the group’s learning center, where you can catch up on all the past guest speakers.

Topics will include:

– Knowing your why
– Creating a safe space to think
– Creating an affirmation
– Having self-compassion
– Managing your time
– Finding balance
And much more!

To join the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple Facebook group, you must answer a few short admission questions.

Hallie Avolio is the president and founder of Sassy Healthy Fit, a lifestyle brand that empowers In Demand Women to prioritize themselves and unlock their sassy side without guilt. Hallie is a huge believer in the power of positivity, affirmations and taking action that is simple, sustainable and fun. She is the host of Sassy AF TV on YouTube, a writer, a speaker and a passionate leader for her growing community of In Demand Women. You can find her at www.sassyhealthy.fit and on social media @sassyhealthyfit.

Here are some questions Hallie would love for you to answer to help her gear the workshop toward the group members’ needs. Feel free to share your answers in the comments below.

✔️1. Where could you use the most support in shifting your mindset?

✔️2. What excuses do you have to avoid writing, editing, or working on tasks to further your writing career?

✔️3. What gets you the most stuck? Where do you need the most help getting unstuck?

✔️4. What questions would you like Hallie to answer?

 
Not a member of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook community? Head on over and answer the screening questions. Members can download the free toolkit 7 Simple Steps to Nailing Your Book Blurb, and you’ll get access to Hallie’s free motivation for writers workshop.
Join The Free Tarot Card Workshop – Inspiration for Writers

Join The Free Tarot Card Workshop – Inspiration for Writers

inspiration for writers

Intuitive coach Kerin Monaco is leading a tarot card workshop to provide inspiration for writers.

Would you like to decompress from the holiday craziness and get a special message from your creative muse? We’re doing something special in the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group today, Dec. 17, 2019. Come drop in for Tarot Tuesday led by special guest Kerin Monaco. She is going to do a tarot reading focused on inspiration for writers.

I met Kerin in another group, and when she offered to come visit us at Shortcuts for Writers, I immediately said yes. I’ve used angel cards myself and find them very insightful.

You will have an opportunity to intuitively pick one of three tarot cards in the morning, and then in the evening around 5 p.m. EST, Kerin will go live to reveal what your card means and how you can apply it to your creativity. The timing is extremely flexible. Just pop in to the group during the day and comment on Kerin’s post with your chosen card (left, right, or center.) Then you can either catch her live later in the day or watch the recording.

Are you reading this post past the Dec. 17 date and thinking, oh, no, I’m too late? No worries. It will be archived in Unit 8 of the group’s learning center, where you can catch replays of all our guest speakers. You’re welcome to comment with your card, or pick it silently to yourself, and then watch the video replay to see what it means. 

Kerin is an intuitive coach known for her ability to help women unearth their soul’s purpose and wild authenticity by addressing the spiritual beliefs that have kept them small. Those who work with her have shared that her connection to Source is “undeniable” and have experienced powerful shifts in love, business, confidence, and faith.

So, take a little break, focus on you and your creativity, and get some inspiration for the new year. If you’re not a member of the Facebook group, you’ll have to answer a few quick questions to gain admission.

You can learn more about Kerin’s services on her Facebook page.

I hope you will come check out our special Tarot Tuesday event and get some inspiration for writers.

25+ Unique Gifts For Writers That They Will Actually Use And Want

25+ Unique Gifts For Writers That They Will Actually Use And Want

Are you searching for useful and unique gifts for writers in your life? Or perhaps you are the writer and need ideas of what to ask for during the holidays or for your birthday or graduation. Maybe your family has a tendency to buy you literary-themed mugs, T-shirts, and socks, and while those novelty ideas were cute at first, now you want a gift for writers that you could use.

Below you’ll find 25+ Unique Gifts for Writers That They Will Actually Use and Want. I polled the members of the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple Facebook Group, did an inventory of my own favorite products, and combed the Internet for ideas.

I’ll update this gift recommendation list periodically and do some spin-off lists such as book gifts for writers and fun and frivolous gifts for authors, so feel free to post additional ideas in the comments. Ready? Let’s get started.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a purchase, then I will receive a small commission which I will use to help support this blog and my YouTube channel.

Desk Gifts For Writers

Hemingway Pencil CupThis typewriter-themed pencil holder will bring a smile to the face of a writer or aspiring writer. With a faux stone composite and ample room for pencils, it will add some style to their desk. Okay, maybe this a borderline novelty item, but we all need somewhere to keep our pens and pencils, right? So, it will get some decent use.

unique gifts for writers

TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp – How about a smart lamp to shed some extra light for a hardworking author? The LED reflects the light sideways and produces a strain-free light beam that doesn’t harm your eyes. The built-in iSmart USB charging port will power up your devices and keep them right within reach for extra convenience.

christmas gifts for authors

Coffee Mug Warmer – This earned high marks from members of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. This coffee mug warmer quietly maintains the optimal drinking temperature for hot drinks to 130 ℉ in 5 minutes. Writers tired of sipping cold coffee or hot chocolate will consider this gift an indulgent treat.

The Synonym Finder by J.J. Rodale –  This book features more than 1,000,000 synonyms in a simple alphabetical arrangement. It has been expanded to include thousands of new words and expressions that have entered the language in recent years. It’s a great resource for writers to keep within easy reach on their desk.

Planner Gifts For Writers

The 2020-2021 Self-Publishing Author’s Planner – This was highly recommended by a member of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. Here is a snippet from a customer review: “This is an excellent organizer to help keep track of the myriad of details of writing, editing, and marketing that are part of a writer’s life. The layout allows me to be non-linear when I need to brainstorm my plans, and still create the lists I have to check off as I work through them. “

Planner Pad: This is what I personally use. I’ve tried loads of planners, and this one has made me the most productive. I first heard about the Planner Pad from online marketing expert Amy Porterfield. I love how each week there is space to categorize everything you have going on in your life, such as writing, book promotion, social media, freelance work, family, chores, etc. Then you assign specific days for action and block out time to get things done. The company says that if you’re not more focused and organized in six months, you’ll get your money back. 

Word Count Stickers – Regardless of which planner you use, consider ordering word count stickers to help you stay on track with your writing goals. If you do a search on Etsy, several choices come up.

Tech Gifts For Writers


practical gifts for writers

Lap Desk for Laptop with Built-in Wrist Support, Mouse Pad, Cellphone, and Pen Holder – A lap desk is a must for authors who use a laptop. I asked my husband for this one as a Christmas gift this year as it is a huge step up from what I’m using now. This one caught my eye as it includes an ergonomic wrist support, a mouse pad for my new wireless mouse, a slot for a cellphone, and a pen holder as I’m always losing pens and highlighters. It’s a little pricier than other lap desks, but my tired wrists will thank me for the wrist support, and it will be nice to have a place for my cell phone and pens as well as a built-in mouse pad. If you don’t want the ergonomic wrist support, then this lap desk has all the other features. And if you just want a simple, no-frills sturdy lap desk, you could also check out this one which comes in assorted colors.

christmas gifts for writers

Laptop Computer Case with Shoulder Strap and Side Pockets – I use this roomy case to carry my Chromebook and other supplies when I go on vacation or to write at the library or in a coffee shop. It has plenty of room for power cords, notebooks, pens, snacks, and other items as well as enough padding to keep my device safe.

unique christmas gifts for writers

AmazonBasics Rolling Bag Laptop Computer Case with Wheels – A writer who travels a lot will appreciate this rolling laptop computer case. It fits under airplane seats and has an easy-access front pocket with compartments for smaller items like pens and notepads.

what to buy a writer

Chromebook – Writers who don’t have a laptop need to consider purchasing one as a laptop has made me much more productive. I love that I’m no longer tied to my desk and can write and work on the go. My favorite spot is my plush recliner in the living room. Personally, I prefer the simplicity of a Chromebook. I quickly adjusted to working on Google Drive, and appreciate that I don’t have to worry about installing anti-virus software like I do on my desktop. I set up my lap desk, flip open the Chromebook, and I’m ready to work. When I take a break, I can even watch Netflix on the screen. If you buy a Chromebook or another laptop, I recommend purchasing a sleeve case for it and a lap desk. Some writers may also prefer a wireless mouse to the Chromebook’s touchpad.

presents for authors

Laptop Sleeve Protective Case – I have this case in coral for my Chromebook  and love it. I use it for carrying my Chromebook around the house, or if am bringing it somewhere but don’t need a lot of extra supplies. It’s come in handy while my kids are at a birthday party or a karate lesson and I’m getting a little work done while waiting for them. Just pay attention to the measurements of both the laptop and the case so the fit isn’t too tight. For my Chromebook, I went with the 13-inch case. 

presents for writers

Wireless Mouse – Some people prefer using a mouse to a touchpad. That’s where a wireless mouse comes in. You plug it into the device’s USB port, and then it’s just like working on a desktop except without a long mouse cord. You can either buy a mouse pad to go with it, or a lap desk that has a built-in mouse pad like the one above.

useful gifts for writers

Ergonomic Mouse Pad – In the past, I’ve had flare-ups of wrist pain, so I now use an ergonomic mouse pad with a gel-filled wrist support at my desktop. I tried a couple of ergonomic keyboards, but they both stopped working relatively quickly. I found that the ergonomic mouse pad was just as beneficial, and family members sharing the desktop liked that much better than having to deal with the unusual layout and feel of an an ergonomic keyboard.

usefful gifts for authors

Gel Memory Foam Keyboard Wrist Pad – I also have this long ergonomic rest pad for my desktop computer. It comes with a small mouse wrist rest also, though I don’t use it as I find a large ergonomic mouse pad more comfortable. This product has an impressive Amazon rating, so most people are happy with the set.

best gifts for authors

Kindle Fire HD – All writers should understand what it’s like to read an e-book. Since many readers prefer e-books, it’s important for authors to be familiar with the technology so they can get a better understanding of their customers. At least, that’s a good excuse for buying one. Kindle Fires are also fun. You can read on it, choosing from millions of Kindle books and magazine titles. You can even borrow Kindle books from your local library. However, Kindle Fires can do a lot more than store hundreds of books. You can download apps, play games, listen to music from the Amazon Digital Music Store, watch movies and TV shows, check your email, and go on social media.

Tools For Writers

Aqua Notes Waterproof Notepad – Highly recommended by members of the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. Why should being in the shower slow down your creative muse? Capture and preserve your ideas on this waterproof pad.

best gifts for writers

Light Up Pen for Night Writing – Another recommendation from the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. These pens feature a bright steady light for writing in the dark. Since many writers get their best ideas overnight, this is a great tool. Pair it with a nice notebook like this leather journal.

games for writers

Storymatic Classic – A fun way to help overcome writer’s block. This kit has 540 cards with prompts, games, and suggestions. Here is a snippet from an Amazon review: “As an aspiring writer, I sometimes get stuck or hit a road bloack. Whenever this happens, I pull out a few cards and let my imagination go. Never in my wildest imagination would I ever write about a competitive eater, driver of an ice cream truck, or a person with wings at a class reunion talking about broken promises while looking at unflattering portraits of themselves in their yearbook…Yep, this all came from the cards.” 

what to buy writers

I always recommend that my clients print a hard copy of their manuscript for editing purposes. A pack of highlighters and retractable colored pens are helpful tools for making edits on a hard copy.

A nice set of retractable black ink pens will also be appreciated by any writer.

supplies for writers

Set of 1200 neon page markers – These flags help you find what you want on your manuscript’s hard copy exactly when you need it. Use the different colors to mark different types of edits you have to make such as description, point of view, internal thought, dialogue, etc. The secure, self-stick tabs offer quick and easy tabbing and indexing. They’re easy to write on and simple to remove, replace, or reposition.

great gifts for writers

Electric Pencil Sharpener – This idea was suggested on Facebook as an addition to this post. I don’t use pencils, but some writers do, and I’ll bet they would appreciate a nice electric pencil sharpener. We have this one in our house as my husband wanted one. He and the kids use it all the time. I do sharpen one from time-to-time, and this is so much better than our previous pencil sharpener.

good gifts for an author

Amazon Gift Card – How about a gift card to Amazon, or to an office supply store, so the writer can go on a shopping spree? 

Comfort Gifts For Writers

gifts for fiction writers

Real Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer – I have one of these and take it out when I need to relieve a tight neck and shoulders after a long day at the computer. You can use it while reading or watching TV. Looks a little strange, but it works!

unique gifts for ficiton writers

Neckbone Chiropractic Pillow – This chiropractic support pillow is great for traveling, sleeping, or just reclining after a long day at the computer. I’ve also given these as gifts to relatives who had neck pain, and they raved about it. They’ve even shown it to friends who were so impressed, they went and bought one for themselves. 

special gifts for authors

Back Buddy Trigger Point Back Massager – Okay, this one looks REALLY weird! My husband makes fun of me when I use it, but boy, does it work for relieving super-tight knotted muscles when he isn’t around to sweet talk into rubbing my neck and back. I use it along with The Trigger Point Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief.

gifts writers will love

Lumbar Support Back Cushion for Office Chair – I keep this on my office chair when working at my desktop, and have given it as gifts to family members with low back soreness. It relieves tightness in the mid-to-lower back from a long time sitting. My family members appreciated it and said it helped them, and I’m never in my desk chair without it.

Editing Software 

ProWritingAidUse my affiliate link to get a 20 percent discount! ProWritingAid is my favorite editing software, and is a grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor in one package. You can view my demo above or on YouTube. You’ll learn why ProWritingAid is a helpful spell and grammar checker and editing tool for writers, see examples of the strengths and limitations, and watch me do some informal, off the cuff line editing. ProwritingAid is an excellent supplement to my upcoming signature online course Book Editing Blueprint, and it’s a resource that I recommend to my editing clients. You can also read more about it in this blog post.

Conclusion 

So, there you go. I hope this list of useful and unique gifts for writers was helpful to you. As I indicated in the introduction, I plan to keep it updated and may do some spin-off lists, so I’d love to hear your gift ideas for writers and aspiring writers in the comments. 

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