by Melissa Stoller
Where I live, September represents the end of summer and back to school mode. To me, the calendar change signifies an opportunity to create new writing practices. Whether you have children in school or not, try these ideas to help you find time during your day to create new writing routines:
Take 15 minutes to free write. Start a new draft and just write without editing your thoughts or the actual words. See what sparks your imagination.
Take 10 minutes to review a draft. Pick an old subject or something new that needs attention. Look at big picture components like story arc, pacing, and voice.
Take 5 minutes to read a new book or portion of a book. Jot down a few notes about what you like about the story and any language that particularly resonates.
Take 2 minutes to scan a manuscript for line level edits like grammar, lyrical language, and word choice.
Even if you only have one minute, set a timer and brainstorm as many ideas as possible. Think about your childhood and any memories about going back to school. Maybe a new idea, title, or character name will pop up!
I hope this time-based challenge for September helps keep you motivated as we head into fall. Happy writing and creating and let me know about your progress in the comments.
Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush; Ready, Set, GOrilla!; Sadie’s Shabbat Stories; and Planting Friendship: Peace, Salaam, Shalom. Her latest picture book, Building Bridges: Peace, Salaam, Shalom (co-authored with Callie Metler and Shirin Rahman, illustrated by Kate Talbot), releases from Clear Fork Publishing in October, 2022. Melissa is a Blogger and Course Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Rate Your Story judge, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, and a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs. She also interviews authors on her blog, This Writing Life, and offers book tips and resources. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and Wordle!
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with editor/art director, & CBA Director Mira Reisberg PhD who is handing her Mondays over to awesome former now tradtionally pubbed students to widen their audience.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.