Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blog Site is Moving


In anticipation of the Sept 18, 2010 release of LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Bringing Your Craft Into Your Daily Life (Adams Media), this blog is moving to:

Between now and September 18,  if you leave a comment on the new blog, send an email to, or *like* my fan page on Facebook (@Author Kelly L Stone), you will receive a copy of the 1st chapter of Living Write free!

Hope to see you over there!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Daily Writing

There is power in daily writing. When you write every day, even if it's just for a few minutes, you build momentum. You begin to embed the concept of 'writing' into your subconscious mind. Writing becomes a habit, which is a critical component of success.

You do not have to make a long-term commitment to daily writing. For example, you could try daily writing for 7 days, 30 days, or 90 days. At the end of your commitment period, observe how writing has become an integral part of your day. Experiment and see if you can keep that momentum going for another day, and then another.

The power of daily writing is the first chapter in my upcoming book LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Inviting  Your Craft Into Your Daily Life (Adams Media), coming September 18, 2010.

How can you make daily writing part of your routine?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Break Out of Your Writing Rut with Change Guru Nancy Christie

 Please welcome change guru Nancy Christie, author of The Gifts of Change and a freelance writer and speaker. Nancy gives us tips on how to break out of a writing rut and get those words flowing again!  

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of THE GIFTS OF CHANGE. Drawing will be held 4/5/10, and Nancy will announce the winner here tomorrow morning, so check back to see if you won!

Although writing is, by definition, a creative process, it is still possible to become “stuck in a rut.” That can happen when we write only on the same topics or in the same genre, when we work only for the same magazines or clients, when our writing routine is set in stone (only in the morning, only in the coffee shop, only on weekends).
Being in a writing rut can be detrimental to our creative spirit and our self-confidence. When we restrict our imagination to the same track, it becomes evident in the finished process. We use the same phrases—the same verbal layout, so to speak—that worked the first time, and the second, and the third and often don’t notice it until someone else calls attention to it. (When a friend of mine read an early draft of my first novel, he pointed out that two of my characters used the same phrase—“truth be told”—and that I needed to decide once and for all who “owned” it!)
Our work becomes stale, boring and repetitive because we have gotten lazy, complacent and unwilling to challenge ourselves.
What’s worse is the insidious effect a writing rut can have on our self-confidence level. Many times, we avoid taking risks with our writing—exploring new writing forms or subjects—because deep down inside we are afraid: afraid we can’t pull it off, afraid that our ignorance will become evident to the whole world, afraid, in short, that we will fail.
We stick with what we know because we believe subconsciously that that is all we can know, return to what we have done in the past because that might be all we can do in the future.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with establishing a reputation as a health journalist or a novelist or a marketing writer, we should push ourselves outside those self-defined limits periodically to see what else we are capable of becoming.
And it doesn’t matter whether we succeed or fail. As Dame Sybil Thorndike once said, “One should never be sorry one has attempted something new—never, never, never!” It’s the effort that is important, not the outcome. It’s the challenge that strengthens us as writers and as individuals.
Nancy Christie

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Use Your Intuition To Access Your Subconscious Creativity

"Women’s intuition” can be a useful tool for aspiring women writers, and men too, because it’s a link to your inner resources of creativity and wisdom. Intuition is your subconscious mind attempting to communicate with you and get creative material or guidance into your conscious mind. You might experience hunches, flashes of insight, or feel you should take some action. Your dreams may give you characters, plot ideas, or entire stories. Some people get a “gut” feeling. You may be guided to do something unusual. The late photographer Dorothea Lange got a gut feeling that she should turn down a deserted road in California while driving home from work one day. Even though she was exhausted, Lange yielded to her intuition and discovered a starving woman and children whose haunting photo became the face of the Great Depression.

Intuition springs from your subconscious mind, and there are several ways to connect to this part of yourself that often goes unheeded and unexplored. You can direct your subconscious mind to give you a dream solution when you find yourself in a spell of writer’s block. Keep a notebook by your bed and tell your subconscious mind before you fall asleep to allow you to dream about the next section of your story. Don’t be surprised if you wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden burst of inspiration. That’s what the notebook is for.

You can also induce the hypnagogic state to get in touch with your subconscious resources. The hypnagogic state is a naturally occurring phase of sleep that is characterized by altered consciousness; some people hear their name being called, others see flashes of light. What’s important for writers is that ideas that are not normally connected are seen as associated in this state. It’s a time fertile with creativity. To access it, lie down and hold one arm straight up while you attempt to doze. The tension in your arm required to hold it up will keep you on the verge of wakefulness even as your mind slips into an alpha state, which is conducive to creativity. Again, write down in your notebook any ideas or insights that come to you.

Stream of consciousness writing is a good way to access your subconscious mind. I used it while writing my novel, Grave Secret (Mundania Press, Sept 2007). One day, after a period of several difficult writing days, the character of Billy Powers simply walked on to the page. This character was not known to my conscious mind; he sprang from my subconscious. As it turned out, he was so integral to the plot that his appearance saved the story.

Heed your intuition because it is the golden key that opens the gate to your vast subconscious mind. Your writing will thank you for it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Interview on How to Find Time to Write

When Kelly L. Stone interviewed bestselling author Cathy Maxwell for her books -- THINKING WRITE: THE SECRET TO FREEING YOUR CREATIVE MIND and TIME TO WRITE: MORE THAN 100 PROFESSIONAL WRITERS REVEAL HOW TO FIT WRITING INTO YOUR BUSY LIFE -- she never thought the tables would be turned on her, here at Romance Radio! Cathy is going to talk to Kelly about the instructive book and her constructive advice about how to use the power of our subconscious mind to maximize our creative output and attain all of our writing aspirations. So - aspiring readers, this is one episode of Romance Radio you DON'T want to miss!

Click here to listen to the interview; it's about 20 minutes:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Creativity Tip: Using Sudoku as a jumpstart to Writing

Please welcome my friend Walt Mussell, an author who has a unique creativity tip to share.

Ten Minutes in the Morning

When I read Kelly’s book, Time to Write, one of first things I did was to make myself a schedule, trying to find pockets of time to write. The result was that I had time in the morning before I went to work. However, as I started rising early, I realized one thing: I wasn’t “ready” to write at that hour. I struggled to put words on the page, I would check e-mail or surf the net. It wasn’t a productive way to spend time.

Finally, I discovered something that let me get my brain in gear, even quicker than taking coffee via an IV…sudoku. A math puzzle may seem like the oddest way to spark one’s creative side, but I’m a total left brain. I have degrees in physics, finance, and accounting and I gravitate to numbers. (In the spring of 2009, I was a contest finalist for about two minutes, and then the contest coordinator read me my scores. Hopefully, one day, my writing skills will exceed my ability to do math in my head.)

To start, I bookmarked a website ( and I visit nearly every day to do puzzles in my head. There are five levels on the site. With a pen and paper, I can do the hardest ones, but I don’t want anything that challenging. Instead, I use a lower level puzzle as I want to be able to do it on-line without having to write things down. This is enough for me to get going. Also, I only want to take ten minutes on the puzzle because I want to get to actual writing. The website I use has a timer, so you can keep track of how long you’ve been at it. Finished? Unfinished? It doesn’t matter. After ten minutes, or if I finish the puzzle in less than ten minutes, I start writing.

As I’ve gotten better at sudoku, I’ve increased the difficulty level of the puzzle I do in the morning. However, I don’t go beyond my pre-set time limit. This may not be the best way for some people to get started, but it does work for me. It also seems especially geared towards editing.

I’m currently reading Kelly’s second book, Thinking Write, and trying to find better ways to tap into my creative potential. I’ve set a dream log next to my bed and started writing things down. (Being male, or just really left brain, I chose not to decorate it.) However, as I continue with my sudoku in the morning, I wonder if my current morning kickstart isn’t my version of a “mirror,” “pendulum,” or “arm in the air” as a way to focus. Hopefully, Kelly will respond on that.

Walt Mussell
"Walt's Place" (Auburn football: Sun)
"Daddy Needs Decaf" (Parenting: Tues & Fri)


Sudoku is one of those games that stimulates *right brain* alpha state creativity. It is similar to using the *arm in the air* technique that I write about in Thinking Write as a way to get in touch with the subconscious.

What games similar to sudoku have you found to rejunvenate your creativity? Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing to win a $5 dollar off coupon to one of Kelly's future online classes.