Dina Friedman's Monthly Writing Advice
Vol. 1 # 11, May 2002 - BLOCKING WRITER'S BLOCK
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* This Month's Tip: Blocking Writer's Block
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THIS MONTH'S TIP: BLOCKING WRITER'S BLOCK
I really want to write a book. But I can't seem to bring myself to
sit down and write. Somehow, whenever I clear space on my calendar or
on my desk, I end up dusting the cabinet shelves and doing piles of
laundry. How can I get rid of this writers' block?
Dear Mr. Clean,
Writer's block is a common problem. It may be that you're expecting
too much of yourself. Writing a book, if you've never written one
before (even if you have) is daunting. Try setting smaller, more
manageable goals: a short story, perhaps, or a chapter in a
nonfiction book. Give yourself a period of time in which to write
that doesn't feel too overwhelming--thirty minutes or an hour, rather
than the whole morning. Celebrate if you've completed a page, a
thought, a paragraph. And build in no more than 15 minutes of
procrastination time before you get started. (Set a timer if you need
to, and when the timer rings, stop what you're doing and get off to
work. Also, in my own experience, writing frequently, even just
freewriting for small amounts of time every day, works better than
setting aside a day of week to work on the Great American Novel.
Like exercising, if your writing muscles are already loose, there'll
be less time wasted in creakiness.
A final tip: set conditions that will work best for you. Paganini
could only compose with a blanket over his head, but he wrote great
NEED ASSISTANCE WITH A WRITING OR MARKETING PROJECT? Dina and Shel
Can Help You!
We consult on writing and publishing, help you tighten your
manuscript, write marketing materials for you, and help you get to
the next level.
Visit http://www.accuratewriting.com and see for yourself. Or call us at 413-586-2388/800-683-WORD
ADMIN/SURVEY: The Future of Free Newsletter Lists
Welcome to the beginning of the sixth year doing these tipsheets!
I've certainly enjoyed it, and I hope to continue to bring them to
However, I see some signs that the existence of free list management
is in jeopardy. The third-biggest provider, Listbot, closed some time
back. Topica, where this list is hosted, as been pushing its paid
model more and more aggressively, which is probably a prelude to
forcing everyone to switch to a paid "option." And Yahoogroups has
eroded user confidence by selling the names of participants; as a
result, many lists have left Yahoogroups. (If you have an account at
Yahoogroups, you'll want to go to your account page, click on edit
marketing preferences, and turn off all the boxes that say they'll
send you special offers-and please do not ask me questions about
this, for I will not have time to answer them. If you have questions,
So -- If it becomes untenable in the future to use free list software, I would need to support the tipsheets through some other method. I am hoping this is several months down the road (never would be nice!) but just in case, I need to be prepared. And I'd like your input.
Of course, ad sales are a possibility-but the reality is that most
of the ads I've run have been exchanges with other publishers, and
most of the ads Topica runs are so general as to be useless to my
readers (and thus unlikely to buy an insertion from me directly).
That leaves subscriptions and donations as the most likely choices.
I would like you to please take 30 seconds and tell me, *honestly,*
what this newsletter is worth to you. Please use this link:
NEW AT FRUGALFUN.COM/FRUGALMARKETING.COM
I'd like to draw your attention to some of the recent press coverage
I've received for my books. The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live
Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook was praised in ThirdAge.com
and received a fabulous rave review from Arising Arts--so good that I
invite you to go to their site and read it in its full glory:
http://www.arisingarts.com/horowitz.html Media quotes about the book
can be found at http://www.frugalfun.com/pphtoc.html
Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World has also been
highly praised recently. Today's Librarian called it thorough and
comprehensive, Get Published said it was "a must," Home Business
Journal also wrote it up, and Wahmpreneur Premium (a print
newsletter) gave it a three-page rave review.
Other new content includes:
Global Travel Review http://www.frugalfun.com/travel.html
* Tales of a Terrible Review (this is a rebuttal to the Travellady
article about a terrible trip to China)
Down to Business http://www.frugalfun.com/dtb.html
* The Copy Optimizer
* How to Rapidly Build E-Zine Subscriptions
* Have You Hugged Your Guru Today?
* A PR Pro Reinvents the Business--And Himself
* 6 Tips to Shock Your Global Customers: It Works for Madonna
Marketing Page http://www.frugalfun.com/marketing.html
* Roman Marketing, Or How to Build Your Own Empire in 5 Easy Steps
Peace Page http://www.frugalfun.com/peace.html
* Marching in Gandhi's Footsteps
SUBSCRIBER DISCOUNTS CONTINUE ON PENNY-PINCHING HEDONIST AND
MARKETING WITHOUT MEGABUCKS
The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a
Peasant's Pocketbook, slightly scuffed and dinged. All of them are
perfectly readable, and the bindings seem to be in good shape. While
supplies last, we're selling them for just $10, plus shipping. Buy 10
or more-pay only $8 apiece plus shipping.
Marketing Without Megabucks: How to Sell Anything on a Shoestring: $5
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If you buy one of each at the same time, you get 664 pages of
money-saving information and pay only one shipping fee ($3.50 in the
US or $10 elsewhere, for a total of just $18.50/$25.00). At these
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tell you they've received rave reviews and will save you many times
Order at http://www.frugalfun.com/secureorder.html --
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Preview PPH at http://www.frugalfun.com/pphtoc.html and MWM at
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Dina Friedman, M.S.W., has worked with
individuals and groups on issues for thirteen years. A
published fiction writer, poet, playwright, and journalist
and winner of several awards and honors, she coordinates
academic writing workshops for Mount Holyoke College. She
has taught rhetoric, English Comp, and creative writing at
the University of Massachusetts, Holyoke Community College,
and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
You can use our expertise for what you
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started or get through the stuck places, a thorough edit,
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