Writer’s Log: How To Show Up For Yourself (+Happy Birthday To Me)

Hello everyone, and happy Saturday to you all ❤

I can’t believe we are at the end of this Writer’s Log series, wow… This was such a fun series to do (I hope you enjoyed it too) and this last post falls right on my birthday week 😉 is an amazing way of finishing the Writer’s Log ❤

My birthday was on Thursday 6.6 and it was a very normal day at home, we didn’t do anything special as I mostly like being at home, hehe. But turning this much was a huge change that started to ripple its effect on me. overall it was a good birthday, I’ve received a lot of birthday wishes that made me very happy and I got to rest a lot – which made this birthday just perfect, hehe 😀

Happy Birthday, Coffee n' Notes, Galit Balli, The Minions

For the last (almost) 5 years of blogging I’ve learned so much on how to be more consistent with what I choose to do and just by showing up to do it. But I’ve learned so much while doing this series of the writer’s Log (almost 2 months), more than all the 5 years of blogging, lol, wow.

I’ve made this series to build up my passion for blogging again while I’m in constant chaos around me and I am so happy I was able to bring that spark of joy and passion to this little corner of ours. But even more than that, I was able to bring back the conversation again, something that I’ve missed more than I thought I did. You showed me just how much I do miss writing, blogging and sharing my boring life with you all, hehe 😀

But you showed me that the conversations that made their way in the comments were something I truly missed here and I am looking forward to our conversations 😉

Now, let’s get back to our post…

Here my 3 tips on how to show up for yourself and do what you truly want to do:

Know what you want (your goal) and do it for a short time

This helped me a lot, to just have a true idea of how I see this happen. Saying that I wanted to try this but only for a small period of time. (It was 14.4-6.6, so 54 days) So I set my goal to try to blog mostly every day for 54 days. Now I was sure I won’t be able to blog every single day due to all the other things I need to do in my life, but I did try my hardest 😀 and this brings me to the other tip…

Set a realistic goal

As I said in my previous tip, set a realistic goal for yourself and a very realistic timeline. Just by knowing what you think you are capable you automatically can predict if the goal you set for yourself will really work. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to post every single day but in my head, I was aiming for about 3-4 times a week to meet my goal.

There were weeks that I was able to meet this goal but there were weeks that I couldn’t and this happens but I wasn’t bitting myself up for it because I knew that life could do that but I still tried every day. This leads to my final and most important tip which is…

Show up for yourself and for your work

Showing up for yourself, which means if you chose to blog every day, sit down next to your computer and write some posts, or going through your pics… every day. Even if you don’t post every day, you are still showing up for your passion/work and you are doing what you need and want to do. If it’s research, writing, editing. You are there, trying to make it and trying to work on that blog posts. Just by showing up you are already ahead of the game.

This is something very new that I’ve learned by actually doing. I always knew this rule but I let life push me where it went so in most cases I never did what I wanted to do. Now this series changed my pov (point of view) on the fact of just showing up

Saying goodbye to this series feels weird but I enjoyed doing this and I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait for the next one 😉

*** Btw, before I go… I am starting a new series over on my patreon so if you go and be part and click on your choice 😉

Patreon, Coffee n' Notes, Galit Balli

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Writer’s Log: June Goals

Hello everyone, and a wonderful Sunday to you all ❤

Wow, I’ve just noticed that we are closing in on the end of the Writer’s Log series, only 2-3 more posts… Wow 😀

So I think you may already know but I failed in 2 goals in May, but I am so happy that I had the chance to write, declutter a lot of things, edit and meditate… Overall, it was a good month. I still hope to do better this month 🙂

Waking up at 5:15 am

LOL, I can already hear your laughter in my mind. But I still want to try… Waking up at 4 am didn’t go so well, so I hope that waking up at 5:15 will be a bit easier 🙂

Write 15K

I am slowly getting back to my writing and to my editing which feels amazing. I am more determined and much more willing to give up on everything in order to just write, edit and finish these books. So as you’ve seen in my Building a Road Map (5-Year Plan), I didn’t plan on writing at all up until June, because I wanted to focus more on decluttering and organizing but now… Now I am ready to get back and write and my goal is to write 15K.

Finish Reading

I’ve still haven’t finished reading the books in my May TBR, so I want to focus on that as well and finish reading those books.

Keep Decluttering

I want to also focus on decluttering our home, as I am far from finished, hehe but I will do it slowly as I am more focused on my writing this month. I want to finish decluttering our big white closet this month.

Blogging

After my birthday and after we will be finished the Writer’s Log series, I will know better on how much to post in June. But if you want you can comment below if you liked me posting almost every day (and work more on every day) or 3 times a week or less.

Journaling

Summer is here already with days of 38 degrees Celsius and we are yet officially entered summer. I want to pick up journaling again because this summer I don’t know why but it’s becoming much harder for me to function in this heat, and I know that as we push further to the hotter days of 45-49 degrees Celsius, I know that my illness will act up and I am afraid I will lose my memory again, so I want to make sure that I am well organized and start journaling now my every day, so if something would happen, I will already have a good reference to look at and not get to stressed.

Well, that is it for my goals for this month, there are a few hard ones and a few easy goals, but I hope I will be able to achieve most of them 😀

What is your goal for June? Did you choose something to focus on this month?  let me know in the comments below

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Writer’s Log: Finally Writing

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday to you all. I hope you are having a good day ❤

If you been following these posts series of Writer’s Log so far then you know that I am working hard on decluttering our home as much as I can and try to more mindful of what I keep or throw and how much plastic I use, or even trying to figure out how to reduce our waste.

Since this Sunday I’ve decluttered over 2000 things from papers I organized to items we held onto for far too long and books. For my husband this process is a hard one, he really doesn’t like to throw out things (just in case he will need something, someday). I truly know how he feels because I was the same just a few months back, so happy that I am o longer in that place 😀

From time to time, our home is in complete chaos with all the decluttering that is going on, but I still feel lighter than before. I gave so many clothing items away, books and blankets that we already starting to having more space for the things that were left in our home. Finally, I can breathe, but I know that there’s much more to do. When we finally have every item in its own “home” he’s the right place then I will know that I get closer to what I want.

On the low waste department, I am doing better but not as much as I want. We got Brita the water filter to help reduce the plastic water bottle we buy each week, and today is just our true first day of using it.

Today I even wrote for a bit, and just jotted down ideas of some problematic scenes and it felt amazing. It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote or edited and I missed it a lot. It feels like a muscle just after a workout after a while that you didn’t work out, hehe. It was hard getting into it but after a few minutes, I was started to get into it and felt better after editing a few lines. With all the holidays, doctors and decluttering our home, I barely go sit and write or edit so having the opportunity to do that felt just right 🙂

Btw, almost finished reading Again but Better and so far I have mixed emotion about this book but I will let you know in this weekend in my review.

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Writer’s Log: The more you have the happier you are

Hello everyone and happy Sunday to you all ❤
Hope you are having a great day 🙂

While reading this post’s title, what was your initial thought? Bullshit? So true? IDK? Maybe? Not for me? Hell yeah, more means success…

Which one of these is more related to you? For me, as an adult, I realize that as kids most of our parents, teachers, society and social media did us wrong. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a 1 bedroom Apartment or have a 26 bedrooms house. If your basic needs are met that’s all you need.

In a world where everything needs to be better and bigger than what your friends have, know what truly brings you joy, happiness, and more importantly, fulfillment.

More is not equal to success, less is not equal to success… being fulfilled and happy is being a success.

I’ve learned that for me, more doesn’t bring me happiness, and even worse… It brings me sadness, disconnection and more stress to the already stressful life. Having bookshelves filled with over 500 gorgeous Books always been my dream, (to have a library in my own home) but now I’m there and I’m still not happy with my books.

Don’t get me wrong I love reading and the book smell should be a perfume for me, but having these many books, means having to clean them a few times a month (living in the dusty countryside) and doing that, just brings stress, anger and feeling annoyed to clean books, especially the ones I’ve read once and never want to read again, hehe. And this goes with other things like clothes, makeup, and even furniture.

I’ve learned that having more only keeps me away from my true passion, as I’m always stressing about cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing, again and again, every few weeks or months. What started as just a thought become a need and a journey towards a new lifestyle. I’ve realized this weekend that my writing always been connected to how stressful I feel and how I feel about my environment… No wonder I can’t write when I feel so cluttered.

However, I will end this with a great progress 😀 I started to rewrite some scenes that I was so stuck with them and now that my environment feels a bit better, my creative juices are already started to flow and I finally got out of the rut 😉 I wrote in two days about 4+K which felt amazing and the pages that I had major issues with finally looks amazing and the story finally feels like it’s going in the right direction.

Well, that is all for my ramblings in this post, I hope it wasn’t too much, hehe.

How is your week/month going?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Writer’s Log: May’s TBR

Hello everyone, happy weekend to you all ❤

My weekend was fine with some family time, and house chores but overall it was a good weekend. This week will be a busy one with lots of doctor appointments, holiday (Our Independence Day) and some friends visiting… As I said a busy week.

In today’s Writer’s Log, I want to share my TBR (My To BE Read) for this month. I only have 3 books I want to read/finish. I don’t know if I will review them all, but will see how it goes 😀

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence 

Blurb: I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

Evalene’s Number: The Number Series by Bethany Atazadeh

Blurb: Everyone in Eden is assigned a Number, tattooed on their neck, which determines their value and place in the world.
On her Numbering Day, Evalene Vandereth anticipates joining the élite. Born in an upper-class family, she knows exactly who she is and what she is worth. Even as the needle breaks her skin, she is blissfully happy. She never considers another outcome, until it’s too late.
Now 18-year-old Evalene lives in fear, struggling with her new identity, stripped of her freedom and basic human rights. Can she escape her Number? Is anyone else asking the same question?
Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will love Evalene’s Number and its incredible dystopian tale.

You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want by Sarah Knight

Blurb: Being yourself should be easy, yet too many of us struggle to live on other people’s terms instead of our own. Rather than feeling large and in charge, we feel little and belittled.
Sound familiar? Bestselling “anti-guru” Sarah Knight has three simple words for you:
YOU DO YOU.
It’s time to start putting your happiness first–and stop letting other people tell you what to do, how to do it, or why it can’t be done. And don’t panic! You can do it without losing friends and alienating people.

What are you reading this month?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Writer’s Log: I’m still sick

Hello everyone, hope you all had a wonderful Tuesday ❤

Today’s post will be very short 😀 If you’ve been following me on my Instagram then you know that I’m still sick for almost 2 months. I feel exhausted, hehe.  Tomorrow I’m going to my doctor to see what she can do about all of this (again), I do hope that she won’t give me more antibiotics, I’ve already taken too much.

Today my fever went up so I’ve mostly been sleeping and not doing anything else, I definitely wasn’t creative today, but there’s always tomorrow, right? 😉

Hope you all having a good day and that you are all taking care of yourselves, see you in my next post tomorrow.

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Starting Over: Hitting the Reset Button

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.
– John Dewey

It’s been a while, sorry for that. January was complete madness and February is a bit slower but still busy. Missed you all so much and this little corner of ours 💕

It’s been almost two months, but I am slowly getting organized an trying to catch up on all my to do’s. The good news is that I was able to have a few days here and there to write and edit (these revisions are killing me, hehe). Anyways… Happy to be back ❤

This post will be a bit longer than usual, so go grab a yummy hot drink, mine is caramel coffee and let’s talk ☕

Because January was such a crazy month, February feels like the start of 2019, I know it sounds a bit out there but for me, it’s the truth. February feels like a fresh start and only now I am able to think clearly about my needs, my goals and my dreams and only in this month I can see the road ahead of me and not get overwhelmed. Because all of these reasons I see February as the new start of 2019, I also see it as a great opportunity to hit that reset button and start fresh with new intentions and see things through the eye of an eagle.

“Hitting the reset button” is hard but for me, it was a necessary step, in order to climb out of this overwhelming haze that I was in. I listened to a few podcasts and everything got better, hehe… No, but it did help me realize that I was overwhelmed and too stressed.

I took a chill day, to just relax, listen to some music and breathe. I’ve inserted meditation to my weekly routines, but I was too stressed to really enjoy and get any benefits from that. So I took out a pen and a paper and wrote above a question.

“How are you feeling at this moment?” I took a deep breath and started mapping out everything that I felt… The good, the bad, everything (big or small). I didn’t want solutions, just to take out what was overwhelming me and put it on a piece of paper. After filling the entire page I saw all the chaos that was in me and the weird thing is that I was starting to feel better, my head started to think clearer.

I realized that no matter how much I wanted to I couldn’t show up for my goals and my own dreams because I was too busy and stretched too thin from helping everyone else and then things started to change. I started to go back to my old self, being more optimistic and even going back to my old “magic vibe” such as tarot and just tapping to the universe’s magic, showing up for small goals, tiny steps that someday will lead to something bigger 😀

I slowly showed up for my yoga practice a few times a week, at home. Started with just a few easy minutes and slowly getting into it with soft stretches, until I felt stronger and ready to push myself harder.

I also slowly started to reorganize and define my workplace, my home and what I truly envisioned it would look like after I achieve what I want and after I showed up for my goals. I got a plant from my mom that my husband named Nott The Plant (Nott from Critical Role) and I hope it will grow and thrive, I finally got the two decks of cards I wanted: The Universe Has You Back and the Animal Spirits  ❤

Nott the plant, Animal Spirit Deck, The Universe Has Your Back, Coffee n' Notes

With this new mindset of just showing up for my small goals helped me feel calmer and more ready to tackle the big goal that is my book revisions. Now, I am trying to show up for my weekly goals with the notion that I can always just take a deep breathe and push that reset button and start again.

I found that just taking the few moments and allowing myself to have that reset mindset helps me a lot with bring back my creativity, my magic and the entire flow of how I move, act and think of myself and with others.

For me what helped is taking some “me” moments or even a day to just be myself, without a deadline, tasks or anything else I need to do, just be. I know it sounds weird but for me, it helped a lot. Taking almost a full day by myself to think, relax and feel the creativity flow around me. Meditate, brainstorm ideas and dump all that is cluttered my mind to a piece of paper and lately I listen to a lot of music on Spotify and create playlists for any mood I feel, all to make me feel more connected to myself (and others) and to my dream and thrive.

With all these small but crucial changes that this small step of resetting our intentions brings to us a calmer mind, happiness, and the focus we want to be able to thrive and tackle the task we want and need to achieve. Know that you can start over (even each day), brings such a calm vibe and joy.

What are your steps and habits to reset your mind, body, and soul when life is too overwhelming?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Book Review: Amaskan’s Blood (Boahim #1) By Raven Oak

Author: Raven Oak
Pages: 441
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: October 15th, 2016
Publisher: Grey Sun Press

Raven Oak, Book Review

Blurb

Her name was Adelei.

She was a master in her field, one of the feared Order of Amaska. Those who were a danger to the Little Dozen Kingdoms wound up dead by her hand. The Order sends her deep into the Kingdom of Alexander, away from her home in Sadai, and into the hands of the Order’s enemy.

The job is nothing short of a suicide mission, one serving no king, no god, and certainly not Justice. With no holy order to protect her, she tumbles dagger-first into the Boahim Senate’s political schemes and finds that magic is very much alive and well in the Little Dozen Kingdoms.

While fighting to unravel the betrayal surrounding the royal family of Alexander, she finds her entire past is a lie, right down to those she called family. They say the truth depends on which side of the sword one stands. But they never said what to do when all the swords are pointing at you.

Amidst her enemies, in a land from the darkest reaches of her past, she must decide if she is to be more than another brainwashed puppet. No matter her choice, she must fight to do what is just and right to save the people of the Little Dozen.

Review
5 Stars

Amaskan’s Blood is an exciting epic fantasy filled with amazing adventures and wonderful characters. Everything is well planned and there’re so much happening in this book.

Adelei is the main character and she is y far my favorite character. She is such a strong character but not the perfect type, she is flawed but amazing at the same time.
The author did an amazing job with the world building and even more so with the characters. Each character brings a new complexity and uniqueness to the story, even the villain was written amazingly that you are always having your doubts about him, how amazing is this author?

The work that the author had put into this detailed world is astonishing. The author put so many details to everything that you can easily see yourself in this world, walking alongside Adelei. The first third of the book was a bit slow to read and hard to get into but I am used to this in Fantasy. However, trust me when I say that the rest of the book is worth the waiting, this novel is full of action, politics and memorable characters.

Also check out again the amazing cover, wow ❤ I love the cover so much, by itself you can feel the story.

Lastly, I will say that the strong plot combined with the strong characters makes a unique and amazing story to read, and if you like Fantasy you will LOVE this book. I am lucky I already have the next book to read immediately (yay) 😀

You can find the book over at:

Goodreads / Amazon

Go buy the book at Book Depository

I am a Book Depository Affiliate! If you buy books using my link, I receive a small referral commission, and I will be immensely grateful 🙂

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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P.S. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

November Goals

Hey all, I hope you’re having a great day and If you are participating in Nanowrimo, I hope you are having a good writing day ❤

Before we dive into this month’s goals I want to do a small review of how I did with my October goals, and I can tell you straight away, that I didn’t do that good.

My October Goals are:

  1. Re-organizing my summer to fall/winter closet. ❌ ((Didn’t even start on that, oops))
  2. Re-organize kitchen cabinets. ❌ ((Didn’t want to do it, hehe))
  3. Finish outlining the series. ✔
  4. Continue editing (2 chapters at least). ✔
  5. Prepare for NaNoWriMo (oh yeah, this year I am all in). ✔
  6. Finish all my commitments before Nanowrimo. ✔
  7. Read 8 books (OMG, yes… 8 books, hehe) 😀 ❌ ((Finished 7 books))

So as you see there were a few things I haven’t finished in October and a few I did finish.

November Goals & TBR

Here are my November goals:

  1. Win Nanowrimo (write 50K).
  2. Paint behind the stove. ✔
  3. Blog 2-3 times a week.
  4. Duolingo daily.
  5. Yoga 3 times a week.
  6. Declutter the closet room.
  7. Read 2 books.

Books I’m reading this month

I set a goal to read at least 10 books until 2019 and because I am doing Nanowrimo, I know I will not have much time to read, so I am planning to read only 2 books this month. One is fiction and the other is not.

You Are A Badass, Coffee n' NotesI’ve read lots of mixed review on Goodreads and youtube, so I wanted to give it ago. I usually don’t read the self-help books, but I want to try and read more of different genres and see if I like it or not 😀

Shadow of the Fox, Coffee n' Notes

This was in my October TBR and I didn’t have time to read it, so I added to my November TBR.

Kingdom of Ash, Coffee n' Notes

Bonus book if by chance I will have a bit of time or mood to read more. I really want to read this book.

What are some of your goals for this month?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Guest Post: Conception – Pulling Ideas out of Thin Air By Nicolette Stephens

I’ve been working on a series of writing exercises, and I’d like to take this opportunity to share the first in the series I’m calling “Quarks”.

Quark (noun: a theoretical subatomic particle.)

In physics, quarks are contemplated as being the building blocks of hadrons. Now, physics doesn’t really have much to do with creative writing, but quark is a great word to describe all the little bits and pieces that go into creating stories. Whether it’s flash fiction, poetry, novels or plays, telling a tale requires certain elements to complete it. Quarks take these elements and explore them in bite-sized chunks that, when put together, help you to understand and build a story from conception to the end.

In this guest post for Coffee n Notes, you’ll find some exercises for finding inspiration from the world around you and crafting stories even when you don’t feel inspired.

When you decide to tell a story, you’re making a decision to translate abstract thoughts into words that others will resonate with. Sometimes this is a fairly simple process, but often, writers find themselves at a loss.

There are many reasons why this happens, but mostly it’s ascribed to a lack of inspiration, fondly named Writer’s Block. There are a lot of different theories on what causes Writer’s Block, and even more, methods to get you out of it.

One of the most popular is that you may have run out of ideas. So in this quark, we’re going to look at where you can find inspiration, which are really just ideas pulled out of thin air.

Where to find inspiration?

Inspiration isn’t a whimsical fairy that strikes whenever she feels like it. Rather, it’s akin to a puppy, which can either be left to run wild and disappear after an interesting scent ignoring all your attempts to recall it or with training and patience, will become a loyal friend, responding faithfully to your commands.

As with puppies though, training inspiration is not a one-time task. It’s a continual process that continues with regular reinforcement.

When you are inspired to create something, whether it’s a piece of writing, art or a school project; it simply means that you’ve had an idea you want to make concrete. Thoughts and ideas are abstract, but when you use them to create something, you turn them into a concrete form that can be appreciated by others.

Good ideas are considered to be as elusive as inspiration, but in general, the only thing lacking in creating an inspired idea is a process that works the majority of the time. Not everyone will think and respond the same way to the same process – if you don’t believe me, just ask people how they interpret emoticons. While some of the expressions are universal, the way people use and interpret them are often very different.

The same holds true with processes designed to inspire ideas for writers. Writing prompts work fairly often, so they’ve become very popular with writers across the board. A Google search on creative writing ideas will give you a host of different resources you can use.

In this quark though, we look at something closer to home. Your immediate environment.

If you look around you at this moment, you are surrounded by objects, places, words, people and emotions.

Exercise 1 – Bits and bobs

In this exercise, I want you to list five of each of the above from your immediate environment as I’ve done in the example below.

Objects: Pencil box, owl statue, oil paints, handkerchief, yoga mat.

Places: Field across the road, shopping mall, neighbor’s driveway, abandoned railway station, lawyer’s office.

Words: Bottle, loquacious, train, noise, birds.

People: Shoppers, young child, train passengers, pedestrian, homeless man.

Emotions: Happiness, fear, curiosity, anger, grief.

You may find that you end up linking several of the categories without meaning to because your mind will automatically form associations between items. That’s okay, use the table and split them up in their categories, or keep them in the same row if you like the association between them.

Words and objects are very similar categories, but whereas objects are commonplace things found in your immediate surroundings, words can be anything you’ve seen, heard or thought about recently.

Wherever possible, try to apply your current environment to the list. Emotions, for example, may not be what you’re currently feeling, but maybe you’ve felt them in the last few days, or it’s something you imagine someone else would have felt when you saw them in a certain situation.

Your turn: List five of each… object, place, words, people, and emotions.

Exercise 2 – What’s the catch?

Ask who, what, where, why, when and how.

The object of this exercise isn’t to ask logical questions that can be answered with the most common response. Rather, it’s designed to engage the creative side of your brain.

So for example, don’t use “who” with the “people” category for your first round of questions.

Below is an example of a question phrased for one item in each category:

Object: Owl Statue.

Question: Where did the statue come from and why is it chipped on the corner?

Place: Lawyer’s office.

Question: Why is the exterior of the building so run down for what seems to be a profitable business, given that the car that’s always parked there is a top of the line BMW?

People: Pedestrian

Question: Where was he going in such a hurry that he didn’t see the car turning the corner before he stepped out into the road?

Word: Loquacious

Question: Who would use a word like that in an everyday situation and what do they do for a living?

Emotion: Curiosity

Question: What is it about curiosity that it seems to be as contagious as yawning?

Some of these questions may end up never being used – I don’t like the one I created about curiosity for instance, so I may try to think of something else to ask that gets me a response I’m excited about, but I will only do that later, when I’ve exhausted the answers to my first questions.

Your turn: Ask a question about each of the items on your list. You can choose one item from each category, or do it for all of them dependent on how much time you have available.

Exercise 3 – Seeking Answers

The third and final exercise is when you start the process of developing your story. Although the answers to the questions you asked in Exercise 2 are kept simple, they form the basis of your plot – the hook you use to reel in an audience.

There are different methods you can use to answer the questions, and it’s a good idea to switch between them regularly when doing these exercises. Sometimes you’ll find one that works really well, and it will become a habit to use that for everything, which may result in writing which follows a predictable pattern for readers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s not really a right or wrong in any form of art, writing included – but challenging yourself brings you out of your comfort zone and often inspires you. So don’t be afraid to try new things.

Below, I’ve used the question about the lawyer and a technique called word association to answer it:

Technique: Word Association. We’ve all played games where someone says a word, and you say the first word that pops into your head in response. This is similar, where each word builds on the last to slowly develop a story. When you run out of words, use the words you’ve come up with to piece together the full sentence.

Answer: Lawyer – criminal – defence – failed – arrested – innocent – broke. The lawyer is a criminal defence lawyer who failed to get his client acquitted. The client was actually innocent but went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. The lawyer is broke which is why his business is falling apart.

Expensive car – gift – client – wife of client – actual criminal – secret. The car is a gift from his client – the wife of the man who was wrongfully convicted. The wife is the true criminal and is sleeping with the lawyer who was a good friend of the couple’s before their affair. He knows her secret and is beginning to reconsider his actions.

Your turn: Choose a technique and answer the questions you asked about your items in Exercise 2.    

This brings us to the end of Quark 1 – Conception. I hope you’ve found it useful and would love to hear all about your experiences working through the exercises.

Why don’t you share an example of your own in the comments below?

Nicolette Stephens Bio

Nicolette Stephens

Dreams and storytelling have always been a part of my life, and as a writer, I know the pitfalls involved in trying to publish. This led to the creation of Chasing Dreams Publishing, where I aim to help other writers share their stories.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing a story unfold on the page, and even more so when it gets published! After years working in the corporate world, I decided it was time to strike out and fulfill my dreams of writing full time.

On a daily basis, I’m inspired by people who chase their dreams (whether or not they’re related to writing), and this inspiration translates to my stories, workshops and writing groups.

Jozi Flash is a product of this inspiration.

About the book

Guest Post, Coffee n' Notes

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons, to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

Goodreads / My Book Review / Chasing Dreams Publishing

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

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