What is your writing goal?

What’s your writing goal for the coming month?

The clearer you are about a goal, the easier it is to envision the outcome—and achieve it.

For example, a writer might say, “I’ll work on my novel as much as I can this month.”

That’s not a goal!

But “I plan to have 1,000 words written” is a lot more specific. It’s also a lot more actionable (you know exactly what you need to do to get there: write the words) and measurable (just look at the word count to see if you made it).

By the way, if writing 1,000 words sounds like a goal you’d like to set, join us in the Page-a-Week Writers Club. It’s a great way to make steady progress on your book, even with life getting in the way!

And don’t be afraid to set more ambitious goals—if you have some extra time on your hands and you’re charging full speed ahead, your goal might be “I plan to write Chapters 1–3 this month.” Or “I plan to have my entire novel outlined and be ready to start writing.”

Both are specific. Actionable. Measurable.

So, what’s your goal for the next month?

Feel free to share your answer with us below!

Writing prompt, anyone? Let’s get that river of creative energy raging

Today’s visual writing prompt: Your favorite character somehow ends up in this setting. What is he or she thinking (or saying) right now?

For inspiration, think about how your character would react to a setting like this, the events that may have led your character here in the first place, or any surprises that await.

Photo credit: Ales Krivec

You can write as much as you want, but 35–40 words is plenty. Why only 35–40 words? I want to give you a taste of everyday life in the Page-a-Week Writers Club.

Post your response below, and star any others your like!

Then, find out more about the soon-to-be-launched Page-a-Week Club:

Struggling to find time to write? Join the Club

Want to make steady progress on your novel but feel like you don’t have the time? Then the Page-a-Week Writers Club is just what you need! It’s a writing club reserved for busy writers who don’t have tons of free time.

All you need to do is write 250 words each week.

Manageable? Absolutely.

That’s just 35–40 words a day—but the beauty of it is that you don’t even have to write every day if you don’t want to, or can’t.

It’s all about making small, incremental gains, feeling great about it, and having fun in the process.

In other words, taking the pressure off.

The Page-a-Week Writers Club officially launches in June, and you can be the first to know when registration opens!

Learn more and get updates:

As a member of the Page-a-Week Writers Club, you’ll get:

  • Motivating e-mails to encourage you to write each week
  • Badges for achievement you can show off on your blog
  • Writing prompts to get those creative juices flowing
  • Feedback on your work, if you desire
  • Your own author page to showcase your writing
  • Opportunities to be a featured author
  • Automatic word count tracking

And it’s free! This is a great way to show that you’re serious about writing a book.

The biggest benefit of all?

That sense of productivity and accomplishment you’ll feel each week, despite your chaotic schedule.

Get more info and get in early:

For award-winning writer Dacia Arnold, there’s no place like home

Author Dacia Arnold

Dacia Arnold describes herself as “an annoyingly chipper morning person.”

That’s why, in the pre-dawn darkness, you’ll find this award-winning novelist cozied up in her living-room writing nook—right in front of a large window—putting pen to paper.

The window is slightly ajar, and the sound of a rushing creek drifts in. With the first rays of light across the Colorado sky, cottonwood and aspen trees come into view. It is against this backdrop, steaming coffee mug in hand, that Dacia invents her worlds.

Other times, she just zones out.

Sometimes, I do not even write. Sometimes I hold my coffee with two hands, lean carefully back in my soft but unstable chair and I muse. I let my mind step out of the window and float amongst the leaves of the trees, fall to the water and chase the rapids between rocks. I think of other places and who I would find there. I put them in situations and create their reactions. I allow myself to feel emotions that belong to others and make note of their progression.

Despite being Busy with a Capital B, Dacia’s love of writing—and the hope that one day it will become her full-time profession—compelled her to participate in our 10,000-word writing challenge during the month of March.

She buckled down, worked hard, and got it done.

“I have an insatiable need to be home with my children. I work and miss them so much, it drives me to write more so that one day I might be able to stay home.” —Dacia Arnold

And that hard work paid off. For her novel-in-progress, Apparent Power, Dacia was the recipient of our “Most Buzz” Award.

Meaning she’s got a lot of fans.

And for good reason: Apparent Power is a fast-paced, epic, post-apocalyptic thriller, and is currently at #2 (2!) on the ChapterBuzz charts.

Not that she lets any of her success go to her head. There’s simply no time.

Between her day job, spending time with her family, and blogging regularly, it’s amazing she’s making any progress on her novel at all.

Coffee plays an integral role, though. “It brings me from the fog of sleep into the world that I have created on the screen,” she says. “Sometimes the two intertwine in my dreams, other times I require the liquid motivation to bring me back to the place where it started.”

Whatever you’re doing, Dacia, keep doing it, because it’s working. Congratulations!

Support Dacia’s writing journey

How best to support Dacia in spreading the word about Apparent Power?

Head on over to her ChapterBuzz page, and share it using the social sharing icons!

Or settle in for a good read, and start “buzzing” her chapters as you read them. This will get her book poppin’, and hopefully propel her to the #1 spot on the charts!

Award-winning author Barry B. Wright: “Fear is somehow not part of my journey”

Author Barry B. Wright

If you were to head up to Brampton, Ontario—which is near Toronto—and ring the doorbell at the home of award-winning author Barry B. Wright, he might not answer right away. In fact, he might not even hear it.


Because this prolific thriller novelist is probably holed up in his study at this very moment, tapping away on his keyboard. Currently in the midst of what can only be described as an all-out writing and publishing blitz, Barry has just finished one novel, plans to finish the next before the summer is out, begin yet another in the fall and finish it by spring, and very soon—perhaps without even pausing for a breath—trot out the first chapter of a fantasy novel for feedback and suggestions.

And in between all this, the short stories.

“While I’m writing novels I always take time for short story writing,” he explains. “Why? Often to test new ideas, challenge me in a different way, keep my writing skills sharp and just to provide variety to my day.”

“As an author, I bring to life characters, stories and worlds that would otherwise not exist without me. Every time I sit down to write, I feel like a child beginning a new adventure.” —Barry B. Wright

It should come as no surprise, then, that Barry somehow found time to win the “Challenge Choice” award in March during the ChapterBuzz 10K Writing Challenge for his novel-in-progress, Angel Maker.

How is he able to maintain such a grueling writing schedule?

One reason could be his bold approach to novel writing: “I don’t meticulously outline a book, then sit down behind my keyboard and begin writing,” Barry explains. “That’s just not my style of writing. I like that sense of mystery that comes from not really being sure what’s going to happen.”

That spontaneity, he says, “often leads to unexpected surprises.”

Or perhaps his success can be attributed, at least in part, to the determination and grit he brings to his craft.

“Fear,” says Barry, “is somehow not part of my journey. Wide eyed, excited, and full of enthusiasm, I venture on.”

Be sure to stop by and read Barry’s award-winning book, Angel Maker.

And please help support Barry and his writing by using the sharing buttons below!

Self-publishing? Use this 2-step trick to instantly name your publishing imprint

Ever notice on the back of books, they put the name of the publishing house?

I’m sifting through some books here, let’s see…

Penguin Original Fiction. Yep, big name.
Simon and Schuster. Heard of ’em.
Willow Creek Publications. Good old Willow Creek.

Wait—Willow what??

It just so happens that Willow Creek Publications is the publisher listed on the back of my mom’s self-published memoir.

And it didn’t exist until the day she made it up.

Did you know that when you self-publish a book, you get to do the same thing? It’s called an imprint, and you can name it anything you want.

But how to name it? Let me share my 2-step trick:

Step 1. Take the name of a location in your novel, the name of your blog, or the street you grew up on.
Step 2. Add “Press,” “Publishing,” or “Books.”

It’s as simple as that. What did you come up with?

Mine would be Quinn Avenue Press.

Comment below with your imprint name, and be sure to download my free guide to publishing to simplify your journey to becoming a published author!

Writer’s block? This picture might help

Thursday off to a slow start? Here’s something fun to get the creative juices flowing.

Your challenge: write the first paragraph of a hypothetical novel based on this picture, and post it in the comment section below so we can all read it.

Any genre is fine!

Not sure how? Here are some tips for writing an introductory paragraph:

Go for it! Post your paragraph below, and be sure to “star” any others you like!