Writers Horoscope December 31: A familiar question wells up…

Maybe you took Austin Kleon’s 30-Day Challenge. And you nailed it.

And then that question: What’s next?

Consider this thought from Ian Svenonius, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group:

You will never know exactly what you must do, it will never be enough… no matter what change you achieve, you will most likely see no dividend from it. And even after you have achieved greatness, the [tiny number of people] who even noticed will ask, ‘What next?’” **

And so the question: What next?

boy-on inner tube in ocean

This is not to dismiss what you might have accomplished in the last month…or year…or decade. Or to evoke dissatisfaction.

Instead, use the question as a prod to pursue new projects, skills, friends.

Or maybe I’m just nudging myself in that direction.

Either way, have an adventurous–and fulfilling–2018.


**got Svenonius quote from a blog post by Austin Kleon

Note: The link for Svenonius’s book is an affiliate link. It doesn’t raise the price on the book, but it will bring me a very small amount of money.

Writers Horoscope December 30: Why not you?

Why Not You Rocketbook 2

Wanted to keep toying with alternative tools for creation. I write directly in the Rocketbook and, using its iOS app, simultaneously photograph and send the image to Google Drive. I added the annotations on the computer.



Writers Horoscope December 29: Tethered to your work?

If not, latch on to another tidbit from Joel at LifeHack…

If you’re not on a tight deadline, walk away
and do something completely unrelated.

nonnas biscotti reduced

Like biscotti, for instance.

First of all, more than a few of us are never on a tight deadline. [A common obstacle to productivity, by the way.]

So, when inspiration from pen and keyboard is lacking, well, what is more unrelated than Nonna’s Biscotti?

As I shared with a friend tonight: Writing just doesn’t feed the soul like mixing sugar, flour, and eggs and seeing something concrete [and tasty] emerge, as opposed to something abstract and lifeless [my writing].

Note: My wife’s eyes lit up when I suggested that there was no reason half of these raisin-walnut cookies couldn’t be dipped in chocolate.

Another note: I don’t use almond extract. To put it bluntly, yick. Just seems too fake. I’d just as soon add extra vanilla. Or, as the recipe includes, brandy.



Writers Horoscope December 28: You assume a new identity.

Author as spy.

spy eye through opening in wall

Are you the type?

Interesting read from The Economist’s Prospero blog.

Some takeaways:

“In a sense, all writers function like spies—observing the people around them, studying character types, becoming flies-on-the-wall for the purpose of their art.”

“Writing is a means of decoding experience, of piercing through the surface of things to get at the truths beneath. Hemingway, in particular, was obsessed with the idea of concealment—so much so that he embedded it in his very style of writing.”

Here are a few other noted authors who crossed over from spydom.

And for the time being, keep your eyes and ears open.

Writers Horoscope December 27: Voices from the past beckon…

Voices of the experienced, however.


A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work
will die without putting a word on paper.”
E.B. White

On this December 27…

So what if you’re feeling like an overstuffed recliner?

Or you’re too bloated to escape your overstuffed recliner?

Reach for the nearest writing implement [finger dipped in cranberry sauce?] and writing surface [one of the recliner arms?] and compose!

And if you’re desperate for material [and you opt for mobility], consider ‘authorial espionage’. [Dec. 28]

By Cornell University senior photograph. Uploaded by w:user:cornell2010. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Writers Horoscope for December 25: A gift arrives…

…yet more wisdom and experience from others.


Jeff Goins’ very manageable process [The System I Used to Write 5 Books and Over 1,000 Blog Posts] really makes so much sense.

  1. Bucket #1–Ideas
  2. Bucket #2–Drafts
  3. Bucket #3–Edits






Here’s wishing you the most enjoyable of holidays.


Writers Horoscope December 24: Today, experiment randomly.


Yet another tip from Joel at Lifehack from 201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity.

Today’s random experiment: A video-based writing prompt.


Writers Horoscope December 23: Emptying your head…revisited.

From a favored source of inspiration…

Another rejuvenating tip from Joel at Lifehack:

Do an info-dump so your head is clear enough to create instead of worry.

empty your head

I’ve referred to Julia Cameron’s ‘morning pages’ before, but they are well worth revisiting. Quote from Cameron: “There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–
they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.'”

Srini Rao, in his Why I Write 1000 Words Every Day, advocates this approach as well.
Quote from Rao:
“By getting incoherent thoughts out of your head and onto a blank page, you make room for coherent thoughts and better ideas.”


Note: Joel at Lifehack also suggests singing in the shower. I held off on sharing that with you, but that was one serious In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida I recently belted out.

Writers Horoscope December 22: You call off the pity party…


A friend sends you a link about these courageous people and suddenly, whining about having to rewrite a paragraph, chapter, or book seems a little pathetic.

So, go forth–feeling fortunate–and put your literary gifts to use today.