Author Archives: Coach Write

Writers Block Be Gone!

Writer’s Block: Don’t name it, Reframe it!

Instead of thinking of yourself facing a blank beige wall, unable to move forward, step back, or side to side, think of yourself taking elements of the writing project as if they are blocks, building blocks.

The next time you face a blank page, think beyond the white rectangle on the screen in front of you to the words you will type onto the space. Type nouns or verbs—leave the adjectives until later, and omit all adverbs for now.

Good verbs contain their own modifier, so adverbs are rarely necessary. The words “walk”, “crawl”, “run”, “dash”, “roll”, or “stumble” express movement from one place to another. Each expresses the quality of the motion Nouns have varying degrees of specificity, so use the most economical noun for your building block. For instance, the word “horse” covers a wide range of equine animals. Use “Arabian”, “Thoroughbred”, “Percheron”, “Shetland”, instead.

When I was growing up, before digital entertainment on road trips, there were travel books with missing words on each page representing a story. The reader would call out “noun”, “verb”, “adjective”, or more specifically “color”, and fill in the blanks. One book lasted for the longest trips, because the variations in heroes, villains, places, actions, or qualities were endless.
blocks

My initial answer on the FAQ Page is the fastest and simplest solution. If inside, go outside. If writing fiction, check out the news, factoids, or documentary subject matter. If writing fact, switch to music, colors, anything visual, abstract, or imaginary. When all else fails, clean the litter box, pick up the dog poop, change a diaper, or join me in the barn with a shovel and a sense of humor.

Thou Shalt Not…

Take all the creativity out of writing personally or professionally. If you are a technical writer, journalist, historian, essayist then accuracy, integrity, and attention to specific detail is part of the task. (Please note the absence of the word “job”.) The “work”, “task”, “assignment” refers to the challenge when a writer faces a blank page.… Continue Reading

Inspiration, Perspiration, or Priority?

There are as many reasons to put down a project as there are to complete them.   When you want to finish a project, you finish it.   Priority is one of my favorite words. When your project is a priority, it completes itself.   There are three steps to every writing project: Inspiration: Aha!,… Continue Reading

Courses = Cost = Accountability

“How to” courses have their place in every marketplace. The acceptable formats for submissions of articles, manuscripts, proposals, plays, screenplays are available in books, classes, videos, and courses. Take your work and yourself seriously, so take the strain, and submit your work in the appropriate format. Learning the format takes some time, effort, and energy.… Continue Reading

E-book or book-book or both books

You’ve finished The Great American Novel, or How to Survive Climate Change, or More than anyone wants to know about ME! And you seek a film deal, right? Sorry, I got ahead of myself. You’re exploring your publishing options. 1)The really good news is the blossoming E-book markets allowing anyone with something to say a… Continue Reading

HELL NO!

Never, never, never pay anyone to read anything you write in any form. PLUS a bonus just for you! Change nothing in your ms (manuscript) unless: You sincerely believe (notice I did NOT say think) it’s an improvement, you must BELIEVE it improves your work. The person making the suggestion has a dripping fountain pen… Continue Reading

Bad Agent is Always Worse than No Agent

Marty Shapiro, of Shapiro Lichtman Agency, Los Angeles California told me exactly that when he wanted to represent me in television and film writing. Believe me, he ought to know ☺ In writing for television or film, an agent is a necessary evil: because he or she validates the quality of your work, and can… Continue Reading

Sit down, Strap in, and Shut up!

By way of introduction, this blog is my blog and I’m loving every minute of it!   To be successful writing anything requires an ego, a willingness to share (and not in the nicest of ways), and the ability to shout “Incoming!” while ducking rejection slips* delivered by email, snail mail, or robo calls from… Continue Reading

My writing life…or the Word and I

Welcome to an experienced professional and still frustrated writer’s perfect venue for expression.   Living half way between Hope (Idaho) and Paradise (Montana) after 25 exciting years in La-la-land, I’ve discovered the freedom of writing what I want, when I want, and for no other reason than the process of putting words down on a… Continue Reading

Debra D, Licensed Occupational Therapist

I have been a client of Marty’s for 6 years. Multi-talented with razor sharp focus to assist those she mentors in the process of discovering their authentic voice, Marty passionately shares over 35 years of wisdom, creativity and talent as a writer, editor and producer. She takes time to understand a person’s purpose, truth and… Continue Reading