Nancy's Books

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Let’s get motivated, part 2

Commit to your writing. Decided how much time you can devote to writing and stick with the plan. Keep track of the time spent writing per day until it becomes routine. Make writing a habit. You may want to begin by writing an article for a local newspaper or a magazine. Seeing your work published is a strong motivating factor.

Everyone has distractions, whether it’s checking email, Facebook, Twitter, phone, TV, washing clothes, or a million other things. Remove as many of those as possible. Any of them can whittle away the time you intended for writing. Find a place where you can write with as few interruptions as possible.

Join a critique/writing group. Share ideas with other writers. Talking with others who have similar goals whets the appetite and spurs on the writer inside each of us. Everyone wins when ideas are shared.

Be realistic. If you can’t find the time to write every day, and most of us cannot, write when you have a few minutes available. Some people have written novels with twenty minutes of writing per day.

Try different techniques to figure out what works best for you in creating a story and to stay motivated to finish the manuscript.

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:Magic Dragon. Writing – Work should be neatly printed or typed. If you type it, please double-space. Stories and essays can be up to three pages, poetry up to 30 lines. It is ok to send writing that you have also illustrated. You can write about anything that is important to you; it can be serious or funny, true or fiction. If you send originals and want them returned, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Art – You may send original art or a copy. If you want original art returned, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope big enough for it. If you send a copy, be sure it represents fairly the original work (colors are the same, lines are clear, copy looks just like the original). Your name should appear somewhere on the artwork. You may also tell us how you created it; for example, is it made with crayon, watercolor, paper sculpture, or some other way.
Submissions guidelines at
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Chicken Soup for the Soul. Listen to Your Dreams 
When we are asleep, we dream. Are dreams a connection to the unconscious mind? Are they omens of things to come—both good and bad? Dreams are often the way we tap into our own inner wisdom. Sixth sense, gut feeling, premonitions, instinct. Whatever you call it, sometimes we have no logical reason for knowing something—but still we know it.
Submissions guidelines at

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 50+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK. 
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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Let’s get motivated!

      2020. A brand-new year. A new start.

      Writers reward yourself with motivation to finish that manuscript you’ve set aside or begin the one you’ve dreamed of penning. Don’t just dream it, write it. NOW is the time!

Almost weekly, people ask how I stay motivated to write. Writing is never easy. It’s a struggle, some days more than others, because external and internal factors keep popping up.    Time is often difficult to find for many. When we do have the time, we sometimes lack the drive to spend hours on a writing project that may never be read, published, or earn one cent. We might write for days and have little to show for our seemingly endless hours of brain-drain concentration. No wonder we struggle with motivation.

      I spent almost ten years before holding my first book. Here are some things I do to stay motivated:

      Utilize BIC (behind in chair) on a regular basis. When I held a full-time job, I had not a single ounce of creativity in me by the end of the day. To combat this, I crawled out of bed early and wrote the next morning when my brain was energized. This system probably works better for early birds. My mantra: The book won’t write itself.

      Creating deadlines keeps me focused on the task of completing research or another page of writing. I set realistic deadlines, and each time I check off a completed task, I considered it one step closer to getting a book contract. Sometimes, I set word counts, such as 300 words to write that day or number of minutes.

      In my next blog, I continue with more motivational tricks.

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

Hanging Loose.  Send all work to High School Editor, Hanging Loose, 231 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Please also send us a note identifying yourself as a high school age writer, and telling us your age. Include an email address—and include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient return postage. Otherwise, your submission cannot be returned. Be sure your name and address appear on each page of your work.

Send up to six poems or short stories, or an equivalent combination of poetry and prose.

Submission guidelines:

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

Hanging Loose. As a rule, send up to six poems or one story at a time. We rarely publish non-fiction, but there are exceptions. We do not publish reviews. Manuscripts must be legible and be sure that includes your name and address. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope of adequate size or we cannot reply. If you don’t want your work returned, please make that clear. Cover letters are welcome if they contain pertinent information, but they are hardly a requirement. Because we read all submissions carefully, please allow up to three months for an answer. That’s also why we will not consider simultaneous submissions. We also cannot accept submissions by fax or e-mail. We never have contests or theme issues.

Submission guidelines:

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 50+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK. Check out her blog at