Monday, December 23, 2013

Picking a Pseudonym...Suzanne Tyrpak aka Zané Sachs

After reading my new book, Sadie the Sadist, beta readers tell me I need to publish under a pseudonym.


Because the book is shockingly different from my historical fiction--and I don't want readers to keel over from heart attacks. Also, the book's setting is similar to my hometown and Sadie works at a supermarket that resembles my current workplace...and I don't want to b fired. Like Sadie, I need the insurance. to come up with a pseudonym. Believe it or not, there's actually a site that generates pseudonyms. Most are bizarre, in my opinion. For example, just now I generated: Arni Risdon, Marleen Goffman, and Maxy Zajac. Granted, I haven't heard those names before...but I wanted a name that has some relationship to me.

A long time ago, when I was acting in New York, I considered using the name Suzanna Sachs, because a well known actress had my name, Suzanne Peters. When I married, I took my husband's last name and became Suzanne Tyrpak--a good name for an author, I was told, because it's unusual and fits easily on a cover. Now, in search of yet another name, I turned back to Sachs.

But Suzanne Sachs sounds a bit too proper for Sadie the Sadist. A good friend of mine calls me Zany, so I thought of Zany Tyrpak or Zany Sachs. He suggested Zane Sachs, and I added an accent for: Zané Sachssounds like...Hahahahaha. Perfect for Sadie. 

Here's a cool post about 8 Famous Authors Who Use SECRET Pseudonyms. They include (famous name in bold):

Agatha Christie aka Mary Westmacott

Agatha Christie: Mary Westmacott
Benjamin Franklin: Mrs. Silence Dogood
C.S. Lewis: Clive Hamilton and N.W. Clerk
Isaac Asimov: Paul French
J.K. Rowling: Robert Galbraith
Michael Crichton: John Lange, Jeffery Hudson and Michael Douglas
Stephen King: Richard Bachman
Washington Irving: Jonathan Oldstyle, Diedrich Knickerbocker and Geoffrey Crayon

I'd love to hear comments about your pseudonym, or pseudonyms of other writers.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Historical Fiction Sale

Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative (HFAC) is an international group of authors offering readers a selection of high-quality historical fiction e-books from many different time periods. Sign up to receive interesting articles and news from our authors.

This holiday season many HFAC authors are offering FREE ebooks when you purchase beautiful print editions of the books through Amazon's Matchbook program. This is a great opportunity to buy books as gifts and receive an electronic version at no charge. 

Ancient World
Elizabeth Storrs
Rebecca Lochlann
Suzanne Tyrpak
Martha Marks

N. Gemini Sasson
Sarah Woodbury
I.J. Parker

Early Modern World
Suzanne Alleyn
Karin Perkins
Suzanne Adair

Modern World
V.R. Christensen
Meg North
David Gaughran
M. Louisa Locke

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Explore Your Superpowers Through Historical Fiction.

Humans have always loved the idea of superpowers. The desire to fly has been around for a long time and is explored in the story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun.

If I could have one superpower I would choose the ability to time travel. If I could choose a secondary power I would be invisible. 


Because I'm interested in the way people think and act, and I'm curious to explore how we've evolved over time--if we really have. These superpowers would allow me to drop into private conversations, hang-out behind the scenes, notice how ordinary people lived and eavesdrop on the powerful. I don't care much about wars and politics--events that have been documented.  I'm interested in every day life and the roles women have played throughout history. That's why I enjoy writing historical fiction. And that's why most of my characters are not famous, documented people, but characters who grow out of possible situations. I also enjoy a tight story, so I lean to suspense. 

I found history in school dull, because it focused on war and politics. I got into history through acting. Part of exploring a role involves learning about time and place. For example, playing the Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi  by John Webster (writing in the 1600s), I needed to explore life during the Renaissance. This made the world of the play come alive for me.

 I became interested in ancient Greece when I read plays by Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles. One  of my favorite characters is Electra.Electra convinced her brother, Orestes, to seek revenge for the murder of their father. The play made me think about father-daughter relationships in ancient times, infidelity, the role women played. beliefs about the afterlife, religious beliefs. The Greek plays made mythology and the ancient world come alive for me. I became interested in philosophy and was amazed to discover that the thinkers of that time (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many others) still wield great influence on how western society views the world. 

Taking on a role is a form of time travel--you submerge yourself in a different time and place, ask yourself questions like: what did I have for breakfast today, how do I style my hair, what are the social norms, how am I breaking them--because, of course, the most interesting characters always come up against the boundaries of society. 

Writing historical novels takes this process a step further. As I writer, I get to play all of the characters. I rest my brain (or torture it) in the minds of kings, queens, slaves, prostitutes, serfs, merchants, sailors--anyone I choose. If that's not superpower, what is?

I invite you to play with time travel. Ask yourself, what would I be eating if I were in ancient Rome? What steps would I have to go through to take a bath in the 1700s (or would I bother)? How would I walk if this were Imperial China and my feet were bound and broken for the sake of beauty? What would be the remedy for arthritis, monthly cramps, a brain tumor (whatever you might suffer from) if I lived in ancient Egypt? England in the 1200s? (Ancient Egyptian medicine was far more advanced, by the way.) It's a fun game! And it's made me appreciate many things about my current, high tech life.

How do you play out your superpowers?


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What is Historical Fiction? Guest Post: JJ Toner

Today I'm pleased to welcome author JJ Toner. I met JJ through HFAC, Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative. It's a great place to visit if you enjoy all types of historical fiction. Historical fiction is a broad category encompassing fictionalized history, romance set in specific time periods, mysteries, suspense.

Today, JJ poses the question: What exactly is historical fiction? I know he'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.

What is Historical Fiction?

I have written 2 historical fiction books and I’m nearly finished editing a third, and yet I’m not at all sure how to define the genre. The book I’m reading at the moment, The Executioner’s Heir by Susanne Alleyn is firmly rooted in French history leading up to the Revolution. At the front of the book Ms Alleyn provides a list of characters, and only a few minor characters — a street urchin and some servants — are fictional; all the others are real historical figures. H/F = 80/20

On the other hand, Mary Louisa Locke’s mysteries set in late 19th century San Fransisco, are populated entirely by fictional characters. Her research of the period and the location are impeccable, of course, giving the reader a fully-rounded historical fiction experience. H/F = 40/60

Clearly, there is a difference between these two books. The first, I would call Fictionalized History, the second, perhaps Mysteries set in a Historical Context.

Phillipa Gregory’s books are all about real life people, kings and queens of history. Her books, though fiction, must be considered perilously close to pure history. I would class these books Fictionalized History. H/F = 90/10

My own book, The Black Orchestra, is set in Berlin during World War 2. I have followed the progress of the war from 1939-1942 with care, weaving the fictional story into the fabric of the historical record, and there are one or two historical characters included in the story, notably, Hans Oster and Reinhard Heydrich. I think the term Historical Fiction fits my book well. H/F = 45/55

Consider Fatherland by Robert Harris. In this book every minute detail of life in Nazi Germany has been meticulously researched, and yet the book is based on an alternative (fictional) version of history, where Germany has won the war. Still it qualifies as Historical Fiction in my view. H/F = 30/70

Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels are set firmly in and around Germany before, during and after the war. The books feature a number of historical characters and yet are fictional through and through. H/F = 25/75

Karen Perkins’ wonderful book, Thores-Cross contains two intertwined stories of the north of England, one a contemporary story, the other a haunting tale of social history from the 18th century. No real life characters are featured. Indisputably Historical Fiction, this one, with strong paranormal elements. H/F = 50/50

My new book, The Wings of the Eagle, is set in 1943 Germany, but I’m not confident that I could call it Historical Fiction. It’s more of an action adventure story with the Second World War as a backdrop. H/F = 10/90

Perhaps we should categorize Historical Fiction on a sliding scale (as above) depending on the historical content versus the fictional.

JJ Toner was discovered under a cabbage patch in Ireland with a pen in his hand. He finally started writing again in 1996, after half a lifetime of procrastination. Not that he was ever short of good excuses. For 35 years he worked with computers as a petroleum geophysicist, with medical and veterinarian scientists, accountants, engineers, and in a variety of industries, from health care through manufacturing to shipping. His work took him all over Europe and USA, and yet he somehow found the time to marry, built a home, father three kids, and get his golf handicap down to a respectable figure. A Maths graduate, he has been a full-time writer since 2007. He lives in Ireland with his wife and his youngest son. So far, JJ has self-published a book of short stories and three thrillers. The latest of these, The Black Orchestra, is set in Germany during the early years of the Second World War.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

5 Questions for The Fussy Librarian

March 6, 2014

Zané Sachs stopped by today. She's created a new blog: Zané Sachs-Going Downin anticipation of the release of her new book, Sadie the Sadist. The blog features forensic informationabnormal psychology, and Sadie's (questionable) recipes.

The interview didn't go as planned. Frankly, Zané Sachs is the strangest author I've ever met.

5 Questions:

Suzanne: Hi Zané. Why are you wearing that apron?

Zané: Hi. I've been in the kitchen--testing Sadie's recipes. Is that your first question?

Suzanne: Not really...what's that red stuff on your apron?


Suzanne: Really? It looks like blood.

Zané: Is that your second question or your third?

Suzanne: What inspired you to write Sadie the Sadist? 

Zané: Working in the corporate world. Specifically, a supermarket. Any day now, we're going to be replaced by robots. Seriously. While I was working, Sadie appeared--a full-blown character. She started whispering stuff to me, and I transcribed what she said.

Suzanne: Will you give us an example?

Zané: "Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill."

Suzanne: Kill who?

Zané: Just about everyone. That's your sixth question! You can read a chapter called SEX IN THE BATHROOM on my blog. Here's a snippet:

Sex in the Bathroom

Over the past few days a lot has changed at the supermarket.

The check stands have been moved so the contractors they hired for the remodel can redo the floor, plus they’ve rearranged the aisles again. Bandages are no longer next to macaroni; you’ll find them on Aisle 6 across from Oatmeal.

There’s this new guy in Deli. He’s about my age, not a kid, but not an old man either. His glasses make him look intelligent and I like his legs. They’re muscular and tan. I know, because he wears shorts to work. (We’re allowed to wear black, knee-length shorts from Memorial to Labor Day.) I met him on the freight elevator. I was bringing down the trash cart, after emptying all the garbage cans, when Ranger rolled in a U-boat of roasted chickens destined for the dumpster. His name is Richard, but everybody calls him Ranger. He helped me load my garbage into the compactor—the bags from the trash cans outside the store are especially heavy—and, in return, I gave him a BJ in the employee bathroom. It’s unisex, down in the basement, and the door locks.

Now the poor schmoe is in love with me. Women sense these things, and we lefties are intuitive. He’s obsessed. I feel his eyeballs on my butt whenever I walk past.

But blowing Ranger is not the big thing (no pun intended).

The big thing is: Justus is dead, and I’m not sure if I killed him.

Release date: April or May 2014

Visit Zané's blog, Zané Sachs-Going Down

Follow Zané on Twitter 

Like Zané's Facebook Page


It's a chilly Sunday morning here in Colorado. The usually blue sky is overcast, and only a few yellow leaves cling to the tree outside my window...great weather for reading. With thousands of books available, it's great to know I have instant access to my own librarian. The Fussy Librarian helps me select the perfect book for my mood--and she'll help you too. 

 My historical novel, Hetaera--suspense in ancient Athens, will be featured on the Fussy Librarian tomorrow, November 4th. I've put the book on sale for a week through Amazon's new Kindle Countdown Deal, so you can pick up a copy for just .99 cents (list price $3.99).

Jeffrey Bruner, who works closely with the librarian, was kind enough to answer 5 Questions:

1) Please explain the service The Fussy Librarian provides to readers.
We provide a daily, personalized ebook recommendation service to readers. You select from 30 genres, answer a few questions about your preferences regarding profanity, violence and sexual situations, and the computer does all the rest. All of our books cost $5.99 or less -- many are 99 cents or free.

2) How is this different than other services?

The Fussy Librarian is the first -- and only -- service to factor content preferences into the database that generates the personalized email. It makes a huge difference in the books you get in the email.

There's a lot of different types of mysteries, for example. With us, you can guarantee you only learn about cozy mysteries that don't have sex, violence or profanity if that's what you want. But if those things don't bother you, you'll hear about a wider selection of novels. The content filters make it easier to readers to try new authors with confidence that they won't get to chapter four and find something that really turns them off.
3) How has the ebook revolution changed reading and book buying habits?
For one thing, an ebook never has to go out of print. Ever! Think about the implications of that. Your choices are no longer limited to what's available on the shelf of your bookstore and that alone has enormous implications for American culture. Ebooks also dramatically lower the cost of publishing for authors and it frees them to write what they want. 

As for book buying habits, the only downside is the negative pressure ebooks have put on book prices. Americans have been getting so much for free in the digital era -- news, music, video -- that I think a lot of readers expect their books to be free, too. Those people need to put food on their tables, though. They're not living off of trust funds. I'm not arguing for going back to the $18.95 novel, but we do need to condition readers to accept $2.99, $3.99 and $4.99 as reasonable prices for something that might take an author a year or more to write.
4) With all the instant media available, why do you think people continue to read books?There's nothing more powerful than your imagination. I think books tap into that in a way that movies or television can never do.
5) Why are novels important?
People love a good story and a good novel takes your imagination to places and times that would otherwise be impossible. When you start to read a book, you're giving the author permission to start telling you a story ... and there's just something magical about that.

About Jeffrey: Jeffrey Bruner has been a film and theater critic and currently works as an editor for Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper company. Under the pen name Alex Adena, he has written one novella, Signs and Wonders, and one novel, Finding Grace. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with his wonderful wife, Stephanie, one goofy mutt and four bossy cats.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Jeffrey. You're providing a wonderful service for readers and writers.  I know you've received over a thousand books this past week. I'm sure you'll be receiving thousands more, and that's a lot of books to sort through. Thank you for your hard work!

Sign up for The Fussy Librarian newsletter here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Vestal Virgin on Kindle Countdown November 2-9

Kindle Direct Publishing has a new feature: Kindle Countdown, and I've enrolled Vestal Virgin--suspense in ancient Rome for a week beginning Saturday, November 2. So, if you don't have a copy yet, it will be .99 cents tomorrow. 

The price will keep increasing until the end of the sale on November 9. 

It's an experiment, and I'm interested to see how it goes.

Check it out!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wordcrafters Writers Conference in Eugene Promises to be One of the Best (I asked 5 Questions)

I had the good fortune to meet my friend and mentor, Elizabeth Engstrom, years ago when she was coordinating the writers' retreat at the Maui Writers Conference (now defunct)--a dream-come-true conference and retreat that was held in Maui, Hawaii. The conference featured amazing, NY Times Bestselling writers as speakers and teachers: Terry Brooks, Elizabeth George, Susan Wiggs, and many others.

Guess what?

They're back!

At the Wordcrafters Writers Conference in Eugene, Oregon--March 7, 8, 9, 2014 (There's a writing retreat the week before, but sign up fast, because space is very limited.)

If you can, I urge you to attend. I'm sure this will be one of the best writing conferences on the planet, and the retreat will be amazing. Find out more here

Eugene, Oregon

When I heard about the conference, I felt compelled to ask Liz 5 Questions. Here's our exchange:

Wow. The lineup for the Wordcrafters Writers Conference in Eugene is impressive! Terry Brooks, Elizabeth George, Susan Wiggs. And I love that you and Susan are offering a preconference writing retreat for twenty lucky writers. This reminds me of the magical Maui Conference—no longer in existence—an event I attended many times.
Truthfully, I have a lot questions for you, but I’ll limit it to 5:
1) Please tell me about Wordcrafters—when and how did it form?
First of all, Wordcrafters is more than a conference. We intend to pull together many literary events in the community, from poetry slams to summer teen writing camps, community-wide book club, to special presentations by authors, editors and agents. Wordcrafters is all about the craft of writing. Everything we do is geared toward improving the craft, with the Conference being the centerpiece. There will be no promotional programming at the conference: no agents, editors, pitch sessions, social media, self-publishing, etc. at all. In 2014, the focus is on fiction.
So to answer your question, the idea of a writer's conference in Eugene has surfaced many times, but suddenly a core of people came together in that synergistic way that sometimes happens, and boom, Wordcrafters in Eugene was born. This group formed an enthusiastic and talented board of directors, crafted a mission statement, and we were off and running.  Our first general interest meeting was in November, 2012. Now we have nonprofit tax status, the tireless Patricia Marshall as our Executive Director, Daryll Lynne Evans as our Volunteer Coordinator, and a wonderful lineup of events, both pre- and post-conference.
2) What inspired you to put together this conference?
I have missed being part of the conference inner workings since the demise of the Maui Writer's Conference. We did not want to compete with the San Francisco Writer's Conference nor the Willamette Writer's Conference, as they do what they do so well. So we created a very specific survey, which was sent far and wide, to find out what people wanted in a writing conference, and we designed the curriculum accordingly. We didn't want to reinvent the wheel, we just wanted to tweak it.
3) What can attendees expect to experience and come away with?
One of the things that was clear in our survey was that the attendees wanted a professional to look at their work. So in addition to the incredible lineup of speakers and presenters, we will have the Craft Lab, where every attendee will have an opportunity to sit one-on-one with one of the presenters to discuss their project. We'll have a couple of interesting social events to promote a little writer-to-writer networking. 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ken Kesey's Sometimes A Great Notion, and as Ken and the whole Kesey family is an integral part of our local literary heritage, we will have some events to honor that milestone in his career.
My vision for this conference is that everybody will get back to the love of crafting good stories. With all the emphasis these days on marketing and publishing and promotion, we hope to be a little oasis where it's all about the writing. Good writing.
4) You are an amazing writer and teacher; what is the best advice you can offer aspiring writers?
That's so nice of you to say. I guess my advice is to write every day, and don't expect that everything you write is worthy of being published. We have to practice our craft before we can become professionals.  But with dedication to learning the craft, and persistence in seeing your projects to completion, your best work can be out there for the world to appreciate, and it will be something you can be proud of.
5) Who has been the greatest influence on your writing, and why?

I grew up reading Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Silverberg, Theodore Sturgeon, Shirley Jackson, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and even Ian Fleming.  I read voraciously, everything I could get my hands on, and these early forays into great literature of our time had a profound effect on me. I always knew that I would write, and when I had enough life experience to have something to say, out poured a body of work that is clearly an homage to my early literary heroes. 

Thanks Liz. And thanks for organizing the retreat and conference. I'm sure it will be wonderful. I hope to attend!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Back from Turkey

The Spice Market
I returned from Turkey right before all the unrest. While there, I experienced an amazing country filled with history and seemingly endless resources. My trip began in Istanbul, a cosmopolitan city reminiscent of New York, London, Paris--with an eastern twist: the spires of mosques rising from the skyline, unexpected bazaars tucked into alleyways, palaces and art, great little outdoor cafes where you might enjoy a cup of tea or smoke a hookah.

Here are a few of my photos:


Istanbul is a city that spans two continents: Europe and Asia. It's possible to walk across a bridge from one continent to the other.
Crossing from Asia to Europe

Ceiling in the Grand Bazaar

Rich merchants would band together at caravan stops
on the silk road--and find protection from outlaws like
Ali Baba and his thieves.
The Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar are amazing marketplaces. Haggling is a must--especially at the Grand Bazaar. I did most of my shopping outside of Istanbul, because I felt overwhelmed by the intensity of bargaining in the big city.
Where the camels stayed

Caves of early Christians

Before the Roman Emperor, Constantine, 
declared Christianity the official religion, early
Christians lived in fear, hiding in caves carved 
out of tufa, like those above in Cappadocia. They
also dug tunnels--some ten stories deep. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Writer's Journal--On the Road to Istanbul

I've worked in the airline industry since late 1999. On March 25, I finally qualified for lifetime flight benefits, so I retired from the airlines and--before I begin new endeavors--I'm going to do some traveling. First to New York, then on to Istanbul.

I wouldn't be surprised if this adventure stirs new stories. Not only will I visit Istanbul, the heart of the Byzantine Empire, but I'll be traveling to the legendary site of the ancient city of Troy, the land Homer wrote about in the Iliad and the Odyssey. 


I'll also be visiting the ancient Roman City of Ephesus...

Artist's rendition of Ephesus

 where it's said the Virgin Mary died in this stone house that still stands there:

Mary's House

I can already feel the history, and I can't wait to see the caves in Cappadocia where early Christians lived, and where their frescoes still exist. 

I hope to post photos and thoughts on my blog, but internet access may be limited. So here's a video of the tour I'm taking with Gate1 Travel.  

Shalom...happy Easter, Oester, Spring.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

5 Stars for Rosy from Big Al's Books & Pals

The banter about Amazon's acquisition of Goodreads propelled me to that site this evening, and there I found a fabulous review for my recent release,Rosy: A Novel from Big Al of Big Al's Books and Pals. The review really made my day, especially since Al really "got" the importance of the music to the story. Every chapter is named (and linked) to a song from the 1970's--check out Rosy's Playlist on this blog to hear them all.

Anyway, thanks Al, for taking the time to read and review my book. You rock! 

Okay, I'm gonna brag now, and republish the review:

At its heart, Rosy is a tense tale of how one easy decision can set us down a path that is hard to reverse. Rosy is easy to like and I quickly became invested in seeing her meet and overcome the challenges she faced. It’s a great coming-of-age story with widespread appeal.

However, for this child of the seventies, the setting made this story even more enjoyable. Tyrpak captured the attitude and climate of the decade perfectly. A nice little touch were the chapter headings, each a song title or a snippet of lyric that summarized the chapter while evoking some musical nostalgia. As a music geek, a link to the song on Amazon made me happy, as 
I was able to quickly answer the question “who sung that” when I was stumped. Those who read the book on a suitable device should even be able to stop for a short musical interlude between chapters while listening to a sample of each song.

 Rating: ***** Five stars

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gail Harris--an inspiration

I'm extremely proud to know Gail Harris. She's an inspiration to me and countless other people. Gail doesn't know the meaning of can't. She's a visionary, a warrior with heart, and a humanitarian. Please check out this video:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Guest Post: Writing Uninspired by Ken Myers

Most writers have had the experience of writer's block: the words don't flow, the story is stuck, you stare at the page, do almost anything to procrastinate. Waiting for the muse to move you is not the answer--especially if you've got a deadline.

Writer Ken Myers has some great tips to jump-start your writing when you hit a wall.

What do you do when you don’t feel like writing? When you stare and stare at a page, hoping something will come to mind but nothing does? What do you do when inspiration does not seem to poke, not to mention strike? I am having one of those days today. It just seems like I have spent most of today staring at the blank screen, hoping for something to hit me upside the head and make me start writing. Well, here are some of the ways that I get writing anyway, even without inspiration:
      1. Just start – I find that if I just start writing (like I have today) I will get into the flow and actually accomplish something. Now this does not always work. Sometimes all I get out of it is a bunch of gobbled gook, but most of the time it works out okay for me. Just try not to force your brain into something it does not want to write about. Instead, let your fingers do the talking and write what comes.
     2. Edit later – A bad habit I have is when I am tired or uninspired I tend to pick at things. Maybe it is that zit on my face or that misspelled word, either way it will waste my time and just make things worse. Instead of editing as you write when you are barely inspired, wait until you finish to get rid of all those pesky red lines. If you stop now you will completely lose what flow you had and be even worse off than before.
         3. Get off social media – I admit, I do this a lot. When I don’t feel like writing I waste my time like crazy. I hang out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Nothing like a few billion photos to waste some time, right? Well, stop it! Shut down the social media and get back to your writing. You are in control of it, so use some will power and get back to work.
     4. Crank up the tunes – To inspire myself to write I often put on my favorite tunes and crank it up loud. It blocks out the defeatist vibes and gest me in a better frame of mind to write. Once I get going, however, I switch to instrumental or nature sounds to keep my attention on my work. Keep in mind not to waste your time with a playlist either. Have it ready to go and just keep writing.
     5. Shut off distractions – The phone is ringing, the texts are coming in, kids are screaming, coworkers want to chat and you have work to do. Turn it off! No one will have a hernia if your phone is off for an hour or two. Instead of chatting it up, tell them you are busy. No is a valid response.
         6. Have writing time – If I do not set aside writing time I get caught up in other junk. It is just as simple as that. Like saving money, you have to save time. Make writing a part of your schedule, like eating or bathing. If everyone knows it is writing time then they are more likely to leave you alone. Also your brain will get used to cranking things out at that time, making it easier to get into writing mode when it comes time.
     7. Keep an inspiration notebook – I am not inspired by my computer screen or my desk. I see that every day. Instead I am inspired by things I see when I am out and about and people I talk to. That is why I have started carrying a notebook with me to write down inspiration. Then when I get back to my desk I can sit down, open my notebook, and have tons of inspiration ready to go.
        8. Write stream of conscious – Instead of censoring yourself and trying to make your writing fit some kind of mould, why not just write. Some of the best things I have ever written were written fast and without thinking. I then look back on it and think how impressive it is that all that was inside of me. Don’t think. Just write.
     9. Take a nap – Sometimes you are just too tired to think clearly. Take a nap. Yes, I know you are not three years old or ninety, but that does not mean naptime is out. Curl up in your car, take a snooze on the couch or just find a quiet corner and rest your eyes. Even if you don’t sleep your brain will still get a much needed break. After all, how much quiet time do you really get to unwind and process your thinking?

     10. Take a break – Beyond just a nap, sometimes I am anxious. Not sleepy at all, a nap would send me to the moon. Instead I go for a walk; gets the blood pumping and my eyes focused on something beyond the end of my nose. A brisk walk, a jaunt down the stairs or even a few jumping jacks will get your blood to your brain and make you feel like you can sit and get things on paper.
     11. Drink water – Dehydration is a big deal. I know it sounds silly, but when I start getting that tired headache feeling I chug a glass or two of water. Sometimes that is all it takes to get me back on track. A little lubrication for the brain, right?
     12. Talk to someone – When I am really stuck for ideas it helps to talk it out. Now I am not a big talker. I’d rather write a letter any day, but talking is sometimes what it takes. Find a friend, find a pet, or heck talk to yourself. Just get the words out and your ideas flowing and you’ll be sure to find inspiration.

     13. Write outside your style – If you are still stick try thinking outside of the box. If you write fiction write nonfiction and vice versa. Try poetry or metered verse. Sometimes changing up your writing style can open your eyes to new ideas and get you inspired once again.

     14. Make an outline – The opposite of uninspired is sometimes just as hard to deal with. Have you ever had so many ideas that you didn’t know what to do first, so nothing came out? Yeah, we have all had those days. Instead of keeping that all trapped in your head write it down. Make an outline of what you want to write. A list works well too. Do not worry about order right now. Just get it out and then organize yourself later.

     15. Set time limits – When I am short of ideas and want to really motivate myself I set a timer. I give myself a few minutes or maybe an hour to get x amount of words written. I tell you, that is a great way to stress yourself out but it also helps me to get things done. Setting goals and limits helps to keep you on track even if they are just self-imposed.
These are just a few of the ways I get over writing uninspired. Not that inspiration always comes after all this, but at least I get something accomplished. Take it one step at a time and don’t worry about writing something worthy of Shakespeare. Instead, be thankful for what you get out and wait until you are in a better frame of mind to decide if it is good or not. Good luck and happy writing!

Author Bio:

Ken Myers is the founder of & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.