What to do if you like the idea of writing daily but can’t seem to make it happen

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I always wanted to be the kind of person who keeps a journal. I’ve played with journaling online and writing in a notebook, but it never seems to stick.

When I read Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, I took her suggestion to write “morning pages” to heart. For several…


Surprising ways to discover plot opportunities hiding in plain sight

A frog almost entirely hidden in a patch of green clover
Photo by J A N U P R A S A D on Unsplash

One of the most common complaints I hear from writers is, “I don’t know what should happen next.” Often when writers struggle with plots, it’s because we are overlooking hints and clues in our own work.

A plot is just a series of events and the order in which those…


A novel is more than just a bunch of stuff that happens, and your outline should capture it all

Black and white “outline” image of an open book among many novels. Pen nearby.
Image created by author via Canva.

Writers often ask me, How much is too much in an outline? How much is too little?

The answer is, of course, “it depends”. (Isn’t that always the answer?) It depends on the book. It depends on how you plan to use your outline. …


Don’t judge yourself for your “small” problems

Woman looking sad as she sits near notebooks. Her gratitude journal has made her sad.
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Conventional wisdom holds that a gratitude journal is a great way to alleviate sadness and refocus your mind on what you have instead of what you don’t have. But gratitude journals can have unexpected negative consequences. If you’ve ever tried to keep one only to find yourself wondering, Why isn’t…


It’s all work. It’s all life.

Image of a stoplight in purple wash, so that the red light appears blue.
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Every few years, we go through a cycle in which major news outlets carry stories about work-life balance. Usually, these stories are about how people have none or are seeking ways to find more.

These articles always separate work and life as if work is work and life is going…


I think I’ve already done it—all I need is a deadline.

Screenshot of author’s manuscript dashboard on Bookflow.
The top half of my Bookflow dashboard, image by author.

For almost two years, I’ve been posting weekly articles on creative writing, everything from plotting to poetic devices. I use Bookflow to plan the core idea of each blog post and then compose the full post later.


It’s the best motivational tool I’ve ever discovered

A woman seated at a table writes herself a letter.
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Sometimes we need to hear from the right person

Both my husband and daughter hate going to the doctor because they are terrified of getting shots. For my daughter, this often means miserable sobbing and — sometimes — physically avoiding the shot by shrinking away, moving across the room, etc.

No reassurance from me will convince her to sit…


Well, I guess I learned something.

Two hands touching in a high five
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This morning, my article explaining five ways that warmup writing helps prepare your mind for work was published in a publication I enjoy. It got one clap, which is always baffling.

Don’t get me wrong—I appreciate it. I like to imagine it as a high-five. But given that people *can* clap fifty times, it feels disappointing.

That single, lonely clap would be a bit sad if it weren’t also funny.

We write these articles and release them into the wild, hoping to inspire and connect. Sometimes we manage to do that. And sometimes we get the sad trombone sound. It’s a good reminder of how little control we have over the response to our work.


Spend a few minutes loosening up to reach your highest writing potential

Image of fairy lights in a bottle on a blue background, representing the magic of warmup writing
Image via Canva.

My senior year English teacher was one of those amazing people who can change lives with the power of her passion for a subject. She loved reading poems, books, and stories, but most of all, she loved writing. …

Lisa Papademetriou

Helping writers craft better plots. 🖋 Founder, Bookflow. 📚 Sign up to get my free novel outlining guide and 36-scene template. https://bit.ly/2YBOKSt

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