WIP Wednesday - building up writing muscle

Happy to say Red Thief is progressing nicely. Still don't know my word count because I haven't typed anything up yet.  My short story class will be over with the final next week and I'll have a free couple weeks before my last class starts, in which to work on it.   Yes, I have one more class left and I will have my Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies.  I'll still debating whether I want to go after a Masters in Fine Arts or just take some writing classes. 

I just received "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, the inventor of morning pages. It is a 12 week course in "discovering and recovering your creative self".  My goal this week is to just read through the book and familiarize myself with the whole program.  The morning pages are working for me currently and seem to be helping my memory, which is a good thing, plus keeping me on track with working on my WIP in the mornings, rather than sluffing off. 
With the end of January, came the end of the 31 days to Better Writing Habits from which I learned quite a bit and will be useful in the future.  Something that I had never thought about was toxic language.  One of the topics was how toxic language can hinder your writing.  Words such as can't, should, have to, impossible or need to are considered toxic because they take away your power.  They are negative and limit you. 

Use “Can” Instead of “Can’t”–You can do anything you want to do. You can do anything you set your mind to do. It’s been proven over and over and over again. So say “can.” “I can be a writer” and “I can write this novel.”
Use “Want to” Instead of “Should” “Have to” or “Need to”–When you use the phrase “want to” you’re making a choice. It’s no longer being forced on you, you are choosing it. There is power in the phrase “want to” because it shows you have a desire to do something. So say “I want to be a writer” and “I want to write this novel.”

Telling yourself you should do something is taking away your choice. Telling yourself you have to do something is extra pressure and most folks when you tell them they have to do something, will do the opposite. Do you need to write or do you want to write. You don't need to, you don't have to, but you want to. You are making a choice to write because you want to. Getting rid of the toxic language gives you back your power.  I had never thought of that, so taking out the toxic language and replacing it with more positive - I want, I can, I will.

My goals for the next week:

1) continue morning pages
2) write one page a day
3) Read through and preview  "Artist's Way"
4) Post review of Forsaken by Shadow 

How are you doing with your goals?  Click here to see how everyone else is doing.


  1. Fantastic! I did the course a few years back and it was one of those life-changing things. I'll be curious how you feel about the course once you're done.

  2. @365andme - Really! Good to know. It should be interesting.

  3. Sounds like some solid progress. Keep going!

  4. I think a lot of us are finding out that being strict with ourselves just doesn't work. I like having goals - but more importantly, I like them to be fluid so I know I can switch things up and adjust what I'm doing. Anyway, good luck in February, so glad Jan is over!

  5. @Craig - thanks you and thanks for stopping by

    @C.Farrell Definitely. It's great to have goals, but remain flexible.

  6. Thanks for those better writing habits. Those are great to remember for more active writing.

    And thanks for your comment about my progress. I've been hunkered down with this particular project for some time and it would be nice to have some good news about it this year. :)

  7. I really like your comments about toxic words. I've never thought of it that way before but you're right. You've given me something to think about. I'll be listening carefully to my choice of words.

  8. @Karen - the better writing habits have certainly helped me.

    @margot - Interesting huh! Never stopped to consider how they could be toxic - in all parts of life.

  9. Thanks for the kind words about THE FIFTH SERVANT. I appreciate your insights.

    If anybody's got a book group out there that would like to read and discuss it, I'd be happy to talk to them in person (in the NY tri-state area) or by speakerphone (longer distances).

    Ken W.


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