• Blog

    It’s a week until NANOWRIMO 2020, let’s get ready!

    Nanowrimo 2020 badgeHey there,

    It’s almost time for NanoWrimo – National Novel Writing Month where people try to write  a 50,000 word draft of a novel in a month. I’ve taken part at various times all the way back to 2011, I believe.

    In 2012, I did a series of posts about prepping that hold the test of time and they’re linked below. I migrated my, website a year ago and not every image made the journey but the content is solid and worth a read).

    My life is so different now to then. I don’t have a young family to juggle and I have written a lot of books since. These days it’s not unusual for me to write 50,000 words several months a year but I love the participation and community of Nano and I love getting that final novel for the year done. December is crazy, we all know that and I tend to ease off on the writing in favour of Christmas lunches and drinks with friends.

    I still know a few things work for me:

    1. Get a big count early.

    I love writing a new book. LOVE IT! So the beginning is the easy part. To stay o track for NanNo you need to write 1667 words a day. I like to start with  few 3,00 even 5,000 word days and then I’m ahead and the pressure is off.

    1. Round up.

    Don’t stop at 1667 at least get to 2000 words. You’ll thank yourself mid-month.

    1. Sprints

    That’s where you set a timer for 20 minutes or 30 and just write. Three of those a day and I will make the 1667 easily.

    1. Plotting

    I don’t always plot my books. I’m a weirdo who sometimes just writes, sometimes plots an entire novel and sometimes gets to 15k and plots the rest. Heck, sometimes I make bullet points and just plot the next chapter. The bullet points mean I won’t start at the screen for an hour…I always have a scene I can write.

    1. Remember, it’s a draft.

    This is not what gets published, it’s your first draft so it’s okay to write – add description later, check this character’s name/hair/eye colour, insert sex scene, research this bit and -MOVE ON. You can fill all that in later but don’t let it stop you from continuing to write.

    1. Write something fun – especially in 2020.

    It’s going to be work regardless but don’t put yourself in a zone of misery before you begin. We all know this year has been and continues to be tough, so don’t set yourself up for misery and/or failure. Pick a story that will excite you and write that.

    So there’s some advice…I do recommend you read the post below, especially if you’re a Nano newbie.

    Let me know if you’re signed up for this year in the comments.

    From the 2012 Archives

    Preparing for NaNoWriMo – Part 1 Plan the Writing


    NaNoWriMo – Planning your Life

    NaNoWriMo – Planning your Life


    How to survive NaNoWriMo – Part 3, Organise Your Writing Life

    How to survive NaNoWriMo – Part 3, Organise Your Writing Life


    NaNoWriMo Planning Series – Part 4 – Plan to care for Your Body


    My 2017 Advice

    Preparing for NaNoWriMo the 2017 edition

  • Blog

    Preparing for NaNoWriMo the 2017 edition


    NaNoWriMo 2017 Participant Badge

    Way back in 2012 I did a series of blog posts about how to best prepare for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

    NaNoWriMo, if you don’t know, is global online challenge where people commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. According to their website I’ve succesded 5 out of the last 6 years so I guess I’ve learned a thing of two along the way.

    You can look at the tips I shared back then. I divided them up into weekly topics and I just reread them all and I stand by the advice I gave so take a look.(Heck I even created a meal plan for you!)

    They were:
    Part 1 – Plan Your Writing
    Part 2 – Plan Your Life for NaNoWriMo
    Part 3 – Plan the month of Writing – or tips to
    Part 4 – Plan to Care for your Body ( A Guest post from physiotherapist & author Terri Green)

    All these years later I know the key tips for my own success are:
    1. Get a lot of words down on day one – this year I launching a book, hosting an online book party, going to my writing group and lunch for a writing friend (I think we can all agree if I get my 2,000 words down I should be happy).

    2. Try and do at least 2,000 words a day so that you’re never behind and you have some words in the bank. I know for me Christmas celebrations seem to start in November so my social life gets nutty as the month moves along – it helps to be ahead.

    3. Let people know so then when you turn them down for something you can say “Remember I have a 50,000 word novel to write” and also I like to be accountable. I’m not a fan of public failure.

    4. Don’t fly blind – I’m not much of a plotter but even a few notes help. Write down even five or six scenes you think you want to include..and add to the list as you go. Cross one off and add one.

    5. Sprint. A writing sprint is where you set a timer for a set amount of time , for example 30 minutes, and you write. I find 30 minute 45 minute and 1 hour sprints work for me. With a couple of sprints I can make my daily word count.

    6. Don’t reinvent the wheel – this may not be true for others but the years I failed I switched to a cozy mystery and a women’s fiction novel. The slightly different styles of books were harder for me than chicklit and romance and I struggled.

    I know some people think this is a ridiculous exercise and no one can write a decent novel in a month. What I say to that is – who knows what someone else can achieve in a month? Who knows what they might create or what joy it might bring them? Who knows what they’ll learn about themselves, about their writing style or the lessons they’ll learn that they can take with them into 2018?

    It may not be for everyone but I love the challenge, the sense of achievement and the annual lesson on how much time I waste the rest of the year.

    My final advice is to have fun. Seriously – if it’s not fun you’ll quit. If you’re not enjoying it that will come through in your writing and that’s no good either.

    Have fun, get writing and let me know how you go.

  • Blog

    Time flies and you can’t get it back…


    NaNoWriMo 2015 Participant BadgeSo, wow, I just thought – I must do a blog post and honestly I had no idea it had been so long. Short of when I take a vacation this may have been my greatest blogging dry spell since I began.

    For those couple of readers who wait with baited breath (What does that even mean – breath that smells like bait – ah no thanks, have a Tic Tac) I apologise.

    I guess I got busy doing #NaNoWriMo which I did win/complete and then I just got distracted. Sometimes I feel blindingly efficient and then I look around and I think I’m the least competent human on the planet. I’m sure the truth lies firmly in the middle.

    And sometimes life doesn’t go to plan – like the computer just ate half this blog post for a start…that really doesn’t help.

    Anyway, we’re all just doing the best we can. So my November release will now come out in December and that bumps everything back a month but at the pace life moves it seems more important to be present for people than meet an arbitrary deadline because you never know.

    I’ve spoken to several people who have lost people they loved this December and I think that gives you perspective – people need out time and our attention while we can give it to them…if a deadline is bumped or a blog post or two skipped….that’s probably just fine.

    Any Way You Want It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original Cover

  • Blog

    Getting ready for #NaNoWriMo2015


    Time to get ready for National Novel Writing Month
    Hearts AfireHearts Afire http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009V2UKWQ
    I woke up in the middle of the night last night and realised it was less than two weeks to November which means National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.

    I’ve written lots of blog posts about it over the years including a series on how to prep for the month that went from the practical – preparing your home and meals in advance and your health – to the more emotional aspects of story writing and stamina. Here is a link to the post I did last year which is very comprehensive – 2014 #NaNoWrimo blog post.

    I think this is my 7th time participating in #NaNoWriMo. Not all of the books have been published but Hearts Afire was my first book I wrote during National Novel Writing month and it remains one of my favourite novels I’ve written (and I think lots of readers agree).

    I haven’t quite decided what I’m writing in November – part of the cold sweats last night. I’m either writing a seventh book in my series that ties everything up in a neat bow, a novel from the series I write under a pen name or a chicklit novel set at my local beach. I have a feeling the last one will win out. It means I can take my laptop down to cafe’s and write and call it research. I’m kind of loving that idea right now.

    Also I think it might be a nice change to take a break from the characters who have occupied so much of my time the last couple of years. A working holiday if you will.

    I’m a pretty disciplined writer these days. Not in October I haven’t been but I’ve stuck pretty faithfully to my #1000wordsaday challenge this year but I really like the commaraderie of National Novel Writing Month. Also because Christmas arrives hot on it’s heels and life seems to lose any sense of rhythm in December and January I enjoy knowing I’ve accomplished something.

    So with the two weeks to go it’s time I followed some of my own advice:
    – pre-make some meals
    – decide on a story and come up with a plot (this one is key I think – all the frozen meals in the world won’t help without this)
    – tell the people in my life I’m doing #NaNoWriMo so they know where my free time is going
    – get ready to say no to a few things
    – set the DVR for any shows I want to watch

    So are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? If so what will you be writing?


    10/30/2015 04:16:24 pm

    Hi Monique, thank you for passing by!
    I’ve enjoyed reading through your NaNoWrimo prep too! Definitely good tips, this is my first time trying this challenge so it will be a real challenge for me. Good luck to you!

  • Blog

    Q&A with Isabella Louise Anderson author of The Right Design


    Isabella Louise AndersonWhat was the inspiration for your novel? I was inspired to write “The Right Design” when I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), for the first time. I had no outline or idea about what the book would be about, but when I started typing, I didn’t stop because I really wanted to write a book in thirty days. While it was a little scary, on day thirty, I was proud that I could say that I’d written a book in a month!

    When did you take up writing? I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but didn’t start taking it seriously until I signed up for an online writing course at Gotham Writers’ Workshop, in 2010. Since then, I haven’t looked back.

    How important is setting/place in your writing? For some books, I think it’s very important (like in the Sci-Fi genre), but for my books (definitely not Sci-Fi), location isn’t as important as the timing of the events that take place.

    Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel? In my upcoming release, “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” I would have to say Connie Albright. She meant to resemble the character, Amy, from The Big Bang Theory. She’s frumpy, odd, but is so lovable, and while she sends herself bouquets—oh, did I mention she’s a hopeless romantic—her character really comes to life when her dream man comes into her life. Connie’s character was so much fun to write, and I hope my readers really like her as much as I do.

    What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given? “Just write the first draft.” Once I heard that, it really hit home, and that was my goal. I wasn’t focused on time, I was just focused on getting it completed. That particular book is currently in my slush pile, but maybe I’ll pick it up someday…who knows?!

    Do you have a schedule for writing? I wish I did, but I don’t. However, when I’m on a deadline (ones that I give myself), I use the Pomodoro Technique. It’s amazing how productive I can be, and usually try to give myself six to eight sessions a day.

    Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it? Both! I was a panster with “The Right Design,” but for “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” I was a planner. I have a feeling that for each book I write, my system will be different, and I’m okay with that.

    Can you name three of your favourite books? 1. “Wideacre” by Philippa Gregory (thanks, Mom, for encouraging me to read Historical Fiction), 2. “Blogger Girl” by Meredith Schorr, 3. “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Beth Harbison.

    Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now? I’m currently editing “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” working on notes for my third book, and when I’m needing a break, I work on my Scentsy business (wickless candles and more)!

    What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on

    their journey? Participate in NaNoWriMo! Seriously, by doing this, it change my life. Not only did I learn about my writing skills, I learned about dedication, determination, and that I wanted to be an author more than anything else. If you don’t complete it in thirty days, don’t stop—just keep on until you have that first draft. Then, the following November, give it another shot, and this time, I bet you won’t be disappointed.

    Excerpt from The Right Design
    The Right Design - Cover
    After a long pause, Carrie finally spoke. “Fine. Yes, I’m seeing someone.” And when she said those words, she smiled because sticking it to him felt good. Damn good!

    Roger stood up, walked toward her and kneeled down in front of her.

    Carrie held her hand up to stop him, closed her eyes and took a breath.

    “Does he know you like I do? Does he know how you like your eggs in the morning? Does he know how you have to sleep with socks on every night? Does he know you read magazines from the back to the front?”

    She turned her head so she wouldn’t have to face him. “Roger, please leave.” Carrie couldn’t take it anymore.

    Roger reached for her, grasping her arms and bringing her attention back to him.

    “Get the hell out of here. Now!” Anger shot through Carrie as she raised her voice.

    “Does he know how you like to be kissed?” Roger stared at Carrie as he caressed her cheek with the back of his hand.

    While his hand had once been a source of soothing touch for her, it now stung. “Leave! We’re over! Get the hell out of here,” she yelled, pointing to the exit.

    Suddenly, Roger grabbed her shoulders and pulled her tightly to him, catching her by surprise.

    “I can’t do this,” she said trying to wriggle out of his arms, but his grip didn’t loosen. When they made eye contact again, she began to speak, but before she knew it, Carrie felt Roger’s lips on hers. For a moment, Roger had her paralyzed, as their lips reacquainted with one another. Kissing him felt familiar and for a half a second, it was as if nothing had changed between them. Seconds later, when she heard her door open, she immediately pushed Roger away, this time with more force, and saw Brad staring wide-eyed at the two of them. “Brad!” She ran toward him, but he held his hands up to stop her.

    “Don’t bother,” he snapped and stormed out of her office.

    Carrie quickly brushed past Roger and followed Brad down the hall calling his name, but he didn’t respond, and his pace quickened. “Brad, will you please just listen to me?” Carrie begged again as they quickly walked past Elaine’s desk and out the door. “Please let me explain.” When they made it outside to Brad’s car, he finally stopped and faced her. She tried to reach out to him, but he pulled away.

    “What do you want, Carrie?”

    Her eyes burned as tears ran down her face. She didn’t know where to start or what to say while memories of the last two days ran through her mind. “I’m so very sorry,” she said, wiping her tears away. “I didn’t know he was coming here.”

    “He who? Who is he?” His voice was filled with dismay and spite.

    “He’s my ex,” Carrie quietly confessed.

    He gave a sarcastic laugh. “Of course he is.”

    “We were together for six years, he cheated on me, and then I moved here to get away from him and start over. That’s when I met you.” She hoped that giving him the short version would satisfy him for now. Carrie just wanted things to get back to the way they were before Roger came to Florida.

    “Why didn’t you tell me?”

    Of all the many conversations, exes weren’t discussed on either of their parts. “He never came up in conversation. We never talked about our exes.”

    “Fine, but how can you not mention someone you were with for that long? That’s kind of a big deal, don’t you think?”

    “You and I have only known each other for a few weeks. Besides, at least I don’t zip in and out of women like you do,” she said. “Nor do I have flings with my assistant.”

    “Danielle and I were together for only a short time, and that was years ago.”

    “Well, geez, I’m sorry I didn’t follow proper Palm Beach etiquette and give you a history of my previous romances,” she fought back, but then realized that she was practically yelling. After taking a breath, she said, “I didn’t mean that, Brad. I’m sorry. I just want us back together.”

    “You have a really funny way of showing that. Do you want to be with him?”

    She shook her head. “No. I want you.”

    He pointed toward the entrance to Ocean Designs. “That’s not the way it looked in your office.”

    “I…” she began, but Carrie was at a loss for words. She buried her head in her hands. She’d been caught kissing her cheating ex and now was fighting to be with the man who she’d started to love. She looked up at Brad and began to cry harder.

    “I guess I have my answer,” Brad said as he unlocked his door. “Oh, and don’t worry about finishing the project. I’ll have England take over.”
    Blurb of “The Right Design”,

    Do business and pleasure mix?

    In the author’s debut novel comes a story about picking up the pieces, letting go of the past, and finding love along the way–even if morals are tested!

    Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life.

    Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job–Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be caddish.

    But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him–something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist.

    Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one?


    Purchase links – The Right Design is on sale for $0.99, until August 3rd 2015:

    Amazon US (Kindle): http://amzn.to/TUmZNX

    Amazon US (Paperback): 

    Amazon – Canada: http://amzn.to/1o8nxYw

    Amazon – UK: 

    Barnes & Noble (Paperback and Nook): http://bit.ly/1AfWkcm

    Author bio Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing. Isabella Louise Anderson created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies! She loves featuring authors and their books. She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading. Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

    Isabella Louise Anderson’s links:

    Isabella Louise Anderson: http://bit.ly/1j5AyWF

    Author Facebook “Like” page: http://on.fb.me/1t6PAzC

    Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1rv8Ipm

    Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1n0XlCL

    Twitter: http://bit.ly/1ze5rgg

    Chick Lit Goddess Links:

    Website: http://bit.ly/1n0Yryk

    Chick Lit Goddess “Like” page: http://on.fb.me/1o8qxE8

    Twitter: http://bit.ly/1j5D0MT

  • Blog

    The Value of being accountable, blog tours and more


    The value of being accountable
    Any Way You Dream It Promo 2015
    This month I completed another 50,000 word challenge. This one was run under the auspices of the Romance Writers of Australia. I used the month to do a first draft of the 6th book in the Upper Crust Series.

    I finished a little ahead of schedule with story all written (obviously with holes to plug and rewriting to do).

    These sorts of challenges work well for me – not because I’m a super fast writer, not because I’m super organised but because I like being held accountable.

    I’m a pretty reliable human being (tediously so). I’m punctual, I don’t forget stuff, I never stand people up and I meet deadlines (pretty much all the time). I’m also a shocking procrastinator, SHOCKING! What I can postpone of put off astounds even me.

    I let myself down on a daily basis but I don’t let other people down. So if I tell you I’m going to sign up and do something with you, you can be reasonably certain I’ll do it. It could be that being a tragic people-pleaser comes in handy for something.

    For me being part of a group and meeting deadlines is easier than doing it alone. So CampNaNoWriMo, which happens again in July, NaNoWriMo and this 50k challenge are great motivators for me. Setting up the #1000wordsaday group on Facebook has also kept me writing this year. I feel I must show up and so I do.

    I know this doesn’t work for everyone. Some people find these things have the opposite affect on them. It’s a matter of finding what motivates you and what destroys your creativity. But if like me, you won’t quit in front of a crowd or let the team down (even if that’s metaphorical) you may find these challenges motivate you.

    In other news I am currently on a blog tour for my novel Any Way You Dream It.

    Stop by and see the reviews for the novel and you could also win an Amazon Gift Card for your trouble.
    29 – Sinfully Good Reads – Excerpt
    June 29 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
    June 30 – Caroline Fardig – Guest Post
    June 30 – Celia Kennedy – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
    July 1 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
    July 1 – Polished and Bubbly – Review
    July 6 – Living Life With Joy – Review & Q&A

  • Blog

    Crossed the 100,000 mark in my #1000wordaday challenge this #MusicalMonday


    100,500 / 365,000 words.
    I do love a challenge

    It is a strange thing because I’m basically not a very competitive person. I compete with myself but not with others.

    So if you want to beat me there’s every chance I’m going to let you. I hate team sports because the competition makes anxious. I don’t even like to watch team sports because I feel like the worst player on the team is beating themself up and feeling embarrassed.

    As the parent of a child who quite enjoys sports I have come to learn that the worst player on the team often believes themselves to be a star. I’ve watched children who can barely catch correct the play of other children on the netball court,

    In fact I would go so far as to say this has been one of my great failings in life. If you say “I’m better at this than you”, I will probably believe you. I will bow out of the race and let you have it. I have some wonderful examples I could share but on the off-chance I offend someone I shall refrain.

    However, if I set myself a challenge, I will usually embrace it.

    It’s why being self-employed works for me. It’s why I enjoy #NaNoWriMo and it’s why the #1000wordsaday challenge I started this year is a good one for me. I’m doing it with others but I’m running my own race.

    So today I did a little happy dance when I crossed that milestone.

    Meanwhile Book 2 in the UpperCrust series came back from the last reader before it goes to the editor this week. She suggested some changes which I’ll be making in the next few days. Which means a mid-May release!

    Book 3 is out with the BETA readers and I’m hoping to start the re-write on it next week.

    And as part of the #1000wordsaday challenge I’m working on Books 4 and 5. Lots to do.

    Monique McDonell Upper Crust Series Banner
    And finally for Musical Monday here is a song by Vance Joy with reminds me of Chloe and Tom on Book 5 (which has no name yet).

    In fact it is these lines that remind me of these two. “I could easily lose my mind, the way you kiss me will work each time”.

  • Blog

    Writing on Wednesday – 5 ways not to feel isolated as a writer


    Photo Booth Pictures - Photo booth fun at RWA 2014!We all have the image of the starving writer, sitting in an attic on the Left Bank of Paris, wearing a beret and living on coffee and red wine.

    The truth is most writers would be starving if they only write for a living and most can’t afford to get to Paris so they’re living on mac and cheese or Vegemite toast (and coffee and red-wine) in their country of origin. That image is correct in as much as writing is a lonely and generally solitary existence and people who talk to the characters in their head for fun can get a little bit nuts.

    Lucky for us in the 21st century there are lots of ways to write and curb the loneliness are isolation.

    Here are five suggestions for anyone starting out or anyone just sitting at home pulling out their hair strand-by-strand.

    1. Join a writers’ group
    The truth is a writers group is the very best way to connect with other writers. It seems like a really scary thing to do and it takes courage to leave your home with your precious novel, poem or play and go share it with complete strangers and it is. On the other hand these are people who love writing, love reading and know exactly what you are going through.

    So how do you find a writer’s group in your area?

    In Australia every state has a Writers Center and there are also several regional centers. They host writer’s groups and they have lists of groups you can join and get in touch with. (Check out my Writing Resources page for a few of them).

    There are also wonderful writing organisations that offer writing groups and critique partners such as The Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of Australia. Find a group and take a chance.

    Not every group is a good fit for you, but don’t be put off if the first one you try isn’t right. Your people are out there.

    2. Attend a writers’ conference and oragnisation
    The first time you attend a writers conference is terrifying but the opportunities you gain far out-weight the vomit-inducing fear. Every weekend all over the world there are writers conferences taking place. Some are genre specific, which is perfect for many, but lots are not and there really is a conference for everyone.

    Not only will a conference help you feel less alone because you will be surrounded by writers you will learn new skills, hone your craft and make friends. Of course you won’t make friends if you hide in your room mainlining coffee so go mainline coffee in the breakout rooms.

    I know lots of people who have met their best friends, writing partners and literary soul mates at writing conferences. You could too.

    Even if you don’t do a conference first off most writing organisations offer great workshops, newsletters, online resources and other opportunities for you to work on your craft and be in contact with others.

    3. National Novel Writing Month
    This is an event that takes place every November where like-minded people across the globe all endeavour to write a 50,000 word novel.

    There is a vibrant online community you can join who will help encourage you, plug plot holes and answer your research questions. More than that they hold local events such as write-ins, overnight parties and other gatherings. You can meet writers in your genre and in your hometown. That’s got to be a good thing.

    4. Facebook Groups
    Social media is supposed to be social. Those cat and dinner photos are fantastic but that’s not really the idea. There are thousands of Facebook groups just for writers and they’re a great way to connect with others. Whether you write chicklit, speculative fiction, historical romance or thrillers your tribe is out there on Facebook wanting to help you. Do a search and you’ll be surprised who you find.

    NB. Some groups can be full of trolls (though that hasn’t been my experience) so just read for a few days before diving in if that is a concern for you.

    5. Twitter
    Do you love a #hashtag? Well, then your people may well be on twitter. There are lots of very popular hashtags where you can connect with others. #amwriting, #amreading, #amblogging for example. Most writing groups have their own as well. If you’re twitter savvy you’ll have no trouble finding a hastag where you can connect with people.

    These are just five very easy ways. If you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear them.

  • Blog

    Musical Monday – singing and dancing our way into 2015 #1000wordsaday


    Metallic Copper ShoesIt is my first Musical Monday post for the year. Sorry I have been so remiss. I figure my Australian readers were laying on a beach somewhere and my American and UK readers were busy riding (or I hope reading) out the winter.

    January 12 and I’m happy to report I’m at 13,000 words in my #1000wordsaday challenge. I’m pretty happy about that.

    One of the issues I have as a writer, and let’s face it a lot of writers have, is that was stall easily and we get blocked. It really is better to keep going, to just write a bit every day in order to push through the blocks and keep your head in the story. I have periods where I’m great at that but then I finish a project or publish a book or just plain lose momentum. I’m really hoping I can break that habit.

    The truth is I’ve spent some long, luxurious days out on magical Sydney Harbour taking in the sun, drinking wine and laughing with friends since January began. I love those days and normally I don’t write in January at all. I say to myself that I don’t need to, that I get the month off. The thing is I usually give myself December off too, in a post-NaNoWriMo celebration and because December kicks my butt anyway.

    That’s all very lovely but that’s 8 weeks lost. I’m simply trying to maintain the energy while enjoying summer. I have skipped days but I’ve made them back. Now I’m ahead. Ahead works for me psychologically better than behind. it works during NaNoWriMo and I suspect my momentum will pick up in the next couple of days if I can move further ahead. We’ll see.

    Meanwhile I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. (Yes I do take most of my life lessons from stop motion animation, thanks for asking!).

    And because not everyone likes their music to come from their childhood. Here is a song that reminds me of the characters in the second book in my Upper Crust series which I’ve just completed. I love this song and the video, oh yeah and the messages – Love, success, persistance and standing tall.


    1/11/2015 02:30:46 pm

    Thank you very much for the music video share. I had heard this song, but had never taken the time to watch the video. The message is deeply impactful. I’d like to think that his time machine worked in the end, taking him back to his family’s fire where he could save them. If only we could all be so single-minded and focused in our passion. Indeed if only we could all know so thoroughly what our passions are! Good luck with your writing challenge!
    1/12/2015 07:22:03 am

    It is a really lovely video isn’t it, Katie? I too believe he gets the happy ending. He deserves it.

  • Blog

    #1000wordsaday in 2015 – or the New Year’s resolution post


    Electric Keyboard and Coffee CupYou know what the end of December is – that lovely time when we make New Year’s resolutions and then, in many cases, cross our fingers and hope they’ll stick.

    As a writer always goal-setting. I often fall short of the goals I set myself but by having the plan and the goals I get more hits than I do misses. Still, writing can be lonely and finding motivation is hard. I’m lucky that I have a lovely writer’s group here in Sydney and I am a member of some great online groups for chicklit authors as well.

    Still sometimes the motivation to focus on the writing slides.

    After doing #NaNoWriMo yet again in 2014 I looked at the lessons that I could learn from that and I decided that I really could find time to write 1,000 words a day. Not all of those words would be brilliant and many will get the chop later but I could put pen-to-paper or fingers-to-keyboard and write them.

    Thus, I decided to make that my writing resolution for 2015. 1,000 words a day or 365,000 words across the year (That sounds scary but 1,000 words a day doesn’t).

    Then this week I thought about what motivates me and I realised the group force of #NaNoWriMo was another of its strengths so I set up a Facebook group for writers who also want to write #1000wordsaday.

    Here it is if you would like to join:

    Or if you would like to follow my progress you can follow the hashtag #1000wordsaday on Twitter or sign up for my newsletter for regular updates.

    My next post will be looking back a 2014 and forward to the year ahead.


    Isabella Louise Anderson
    12/31/2014 07:57:13 am

    What a great idea, Monique! Good luck to you!
    1/1/2015 10:09:49 am

    Thanks Isabella. So far I’m off to a good start!