Know Your Enemy – Procrastination

Procrastination blocks productivity. Still, procrastination is better tackled when it’s understood. By definition, procrastination means “the act of delaying or postponing something”, more specifically “putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention”. You are technically only procrastinating in...

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The Five Pillars of Healthful Writing

Writing has incredible benefits, but like any activity your individual involvement depends on your interest. Some writers are happy with the hobby, writing for their own fulfillment with a pleasant dream of being published someday. Others have a goal...

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Self-Study Techniques: Supplemental Materials

Formal education has advantages for those who thrive in structured learning. With a large push toward cooperative learning and promoting teamwork in curriculum, some learning styles can be neglected. The art of self-teaching was once the popular method, and...

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4 Tips for Reviewing Test Reader Feedback

Writing communities and classes frequently recommend seeking feedback and constructive criticism from test readers. Taking criticism gracefully is another favorite topic in writing circles. It’s a challenge to get over the emotional and psychological hurdles of having fellow humans...

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Note Card Plotting: Unwrapped

One of the more recognizable plotting methods out there is Note card Plotting. The idea of physically carrying and rearranging ideas appeals especially well to hands-on or visual writers, though the specifics of the method vary. Note Card Plotting General Method:...

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Improving Writer Health “Bird by Bird”

One of the founding goals here at The Art of Stories has always been advocating writer’s physical and mental health. No, I don’t have a program for this or any kind of special diet or system I’m selling. There...

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This New Year, Resolve to Read Socially

It’s a new year and the traditional time to set goals! While we advocate checking in and making goals every three or four months, having a year-long view for writing projects is great too. Aside from the initial goals...

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Stress and Your Writing

Writing has an interesting relationship with stress. It would probably be more appropriate to say writers have a complicated relationship with stress. Stressors can help inspire creativity; writing can relieve stress; stress can create writers block. While removing stress...

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Project Distraction: Shiny Object Syndrome and Plot Bunnies

Writers, like all creative people, hope to never run short of ideas. Unfortunately, focus problems plus an abundance of ideas add up to distraction. There are several terms for this, including but not limited to the more popular two:...

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The Ugly Work of Writing

Writing is isolated work, performed within the mind, transferred to paper by simple mechanical means, and then finally shared only after it’s finished. Like any art, the stages of the project are most often hidden, and the artist is...

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