Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


A “Writer” Is…

Public domain

Public domain

Long ago and far away, when I was young and foolish – like last week – I had this image of what A Writer was or is.   A “writer” is  someone who keeps weird hours, drinks bad coffee, roams their own reality,  swings from euphoria to depression at the drop of a hat, and smokes Maduros like a chimney.  A writer is reclusive, creative, eccentric. Elusive. Can stand almost anything except being interrupted when on the cusp of a brilliant stroke of genius. Every five minutes. Has a spouse who understands that when I’m looking at the window, I am ‘working.’

Guess I better work on that Maduro thing.

What does “writer” mean to you?

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What Makes You a Writer?

If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less.

– Anna Rice

WordsDo you feel better about yourself when you’re working on an unfinished writing project, making progress?  When you’ve bagged that elusive characterization?  Nailed down that clever dialogue or subtle pacing?  I do.

A Day Without…

Someone once said, “A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine.”  I’ll go one further: “A day without writing is like a day without orange juice.”  And by “writing” I don’t mean 10,000 words every day (although if you can manage to whip that out on a regular basis, you may qualify for Guinness Book of World records status.)

 I mean have you:

– Jotted down a story idea or character?

– Outlined a new novel?

– Worked on your latest manuscript?

– Journaled?

– Blogged?

– Whipped a troublesome storyline into shape?

– Crashed through that writer’s block?

– Polished up a chapter?

– Re-worked some rickety dialogue?

What Doesn’t Count

Tweeting and updating your Facebook don’t count.  That’s not “writing,” – as in, expending mental energy and effort to create and communicate something unique, fresh, and relevant.  Tweets and Facebooking, although they have their place, are to writing what Cliff’s Notes are to Shakespeare.  There’s a difference.

If you need a friendly jump-start, check out:

34 Writing Tips That Will Make You a Better Writer

Seven Writing Tips from Stephen King

Books Are a Writer’s Best Friend 

(more on this in an upcoming post.)

Skipping the Tiramisu Cover 3To reiterate Rice, “Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less.”  To explore the concept more fully, grab a free copy of my ebook, Skipping the Tiramisu: Becoming the Writer You Were Born to Be.

How have you worked on your writing this week?


Up next: How to Avoid Sneezing By Email and Books to Grow By.


‘Like Coming Home’

I was born in a library.

Naw. Not really.  But I could’ve been.

Books prominently populate my earliest memories.  Lots and lots of books.  Enough to fill a library several times over.

I remember snuggling into Dad’s lap as he read aloud about a brown monkey and a man in a yellow hat.  I remember Mom reading and re-reading a perennial favorite, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.  Also stories about a runaway bunny. Ferdinand the bull.  Green eggs and ham.  A secret garden.  A spider weaving webbed words.  Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Cinderella, Aesop and Dorothy Gale.  So many others.

Age 1-1/2 years ... with a book, of course!

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