8 Rules to Become a Great Writer

There’s considerable pressure in writing a blog post that will land directly on a holiday. I have to confess I panicked momentarily when I realized I would be the Teatime blogger responsible for Christmas. I flirted with a take on the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas for a moment because the ideas amused me, but nothing really stuck. Eventually, I put everything on the back burner for a while and let my subconscious work on the idea until something popped to the forefront.

Gift boxI wanted my Christmas post to be something special for everyone. A gift of writing if you will, suitable to the holiday season. It was actually during a martial arts class that I realized I had the perfect “gift” to give all our readers here at Teatime. During the question and answer session after a particularly difficult kung fu workout, I realized that the rules to become a great martial artist actually apply to being great at anything you do, including becoming a published novelist. Best of all, there are only 8 rules to remember. Just eight. That’s it. Sharing them is my holiday gift to you all. (I hope you approve, Sifu!)

Happy holidays,

~ Jennelle ~

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The Secret Starting Point of Any First Draft


Drowning Under a Mountain of Paper by Christian Guthier

As we approach November, many writers, published or not, participate in National Novel Writing month (NaNoWriMo), “thirty days and nights of literary abandon” that, if we’re lucky, result in a 50,000 word first draft of a novel. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No. The key is knowing where to start, and I guarantee it’s not what you think.

Clean your desk and keep it clean for 30 days. Seriously.

Even if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, the truth is, most of us also work full-time jobs outside the home and our time is precious. For those of us still trying to make this passion of ours into a real career, we have to eek out writing moments wherever we find them. Free time, if we have any of it, is treasured, hard to come by, and simply cannot be squandered in the hunt for supplies, readying our space, or getting prepared. We simply must BE prepared already.

Here are the rules I’ve found most useful in waging a personal war on desk clutter and recapturing a desk when it gets completely out of control. I can’t guarantee that if you follow these rules you’ll compete that novel you’re writing for NaNoWriMo, but I can guarantee it’ll make writing any draft easier. Continue reading