Villa in Tuscany

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Day Seven

This is it, the last day. Time to go for that push. We hope this BIAW has been helpful. Putting our writing at the forefront of our day is not always easy, but it can be rewarding.

We will be doing this again next month. I find that if I participate in a BIAW, the effects spill over into the next week and beyond. Hopefully it will do the same for you.

When you post your final totals, mention how you found this BIAW helpful or if you found it hindered you.

Thanks for participating! Happy Writing.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Day Six

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest inspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they may lead."Lousia May Alcott

"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."Charles Horton Cooley

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken bird that cannot fly."Langston Hughes

"If you can imagine it,You can achieve it.If you can dream it,You can become it."William Arthur Ward

"Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks."Herodotus

"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."G.W.F. Hegel

"Sometimes when I consider what tremendousconsequences come from little things...I am tempted to think...There are no little things."Bruce Barton

Aren't these great quotes? Don't they inspire you? Well, if they don't, how about this?
or maybe this?

Or maybe this?

Pick your inspiration and run with it!!

DAY FIVE: BIAW - And Now, for Something Completely Different

I think some of us are struggling in our writing this week. I know I did yesterday. Every word I wrote felt like I was giving birth. Ok, ok, since I have experienced the agonizing miracle of giving birth, that's not quite accurate. But you know what I mean.

I want to share an article I wrote a few years ago that might remind you why you write. And you'll know this is from a few years ago when you read the line, "Grabbed a handful of chocolate." I don't get to do that anymore! ;-)

I Write, Therefore I Am

By Melissa Marsh

Tonight I sat down at the computer to do my daily (or sometimes nightly) freewriting session. I grabbed a handful of chocolate, watched my dog’s chest rise and fall in sleep (and wondered at the same time how he could possibly be comfortable sleeping on my shoe), and clacked away on the keyboard in between sips of cold water while I tried to shut out the bickering between my two kids. Pretty normal in this household (unless I am without chocolate, in which case, a tic develops in my cheek).

But this evening’s writing produced a wayward thought that struck me quite hard:

What would I do it if I didn’t write?

Writing has been embedded in my life since the sixth grade. Before then, I had dabbled with the notion of being a teacher or a lawyer. But once the writing bug hit me, I didn’t want to do anything else. I even wrote to my favorite authors, asking, “Must I go to college? I don’t need a four-year degree to write a novel!” Thankfully, they urged me to continue my education – all of it would be fodder for the writing mill.

I loved college. My undergraduate years were full of self-discovery – I became independent, responsible, and self-sufficient. I also developed friendships that I still cherish today. But there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about writing. Not a single day.

After I graduated, it didn’t matter what job I ended up at – I always knew it would be temporary. My goal was to someday become a published novelist and to earn my living as a writer.

Years later, I still have that goal. Sure, life happened in the meantime – college, dating, marriage, children, graduate school, buying a house, etc.

But always, underlying it all, is my compulsion to write. It is ingrained so completely within my soul that I cannot imagine not writing.

So what would I do if I didn’t write?

If I could completely eradicate writing from my brain, well, I wouldn’t be me. Who knows what path my life would have taken if God had not put this desire to write within me? He had His reasons and I’ve come to believe I just have to let Him lead the way.

Quite simply, I’m a writer. This is who I am. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Copyright 2004 by MMarsh

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Feel like you've had it up to here with your writing? Characters not cooperating? Plot going in too many twists and turns to handle?

Don't despair! Just keep writing.

And if you need some inspiration, read a few of the quotes below - then get back to that WIP!

"The best advice on writing I've ever received is to take it seriously, because to do it well is all-consuming." - David Guterson

"Don't think and then write it down. Think on paper." - Harry Kemelman

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." - Jack London

"Just get it down on paper, and then we'll see what to do about it." - Maxwell Perkins.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


"There is no perfect time to write. There is only now." —Barbara Kingsolver

"If the writer has a masterpiece within, he had better save it on paper. Otherwise, none of us will ever miss it." — Steve Martini

"When I start a book, I always think it's patently absurd that I can write one. No one, certainly not me, can write a book 500 pages long. But I know I can write 15 pages, and if I write 15 pages every day, eventually I will have 500 of them." — John Saul

"The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn't write."—Unknown

DAY TWO of BIAW: Just Write!

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." ~ H. Jackson Brown

"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else." ~Gloria Steinem

"The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." ~Mary Heaton Vorse

"Good work doesn't happen with inspiration. It comes with constant, often tedious and deliberate effort. If your vision of a writer involves sitting in a cafe, sipping an aperitif with one's fellow geniuses, become a drunk. It's easier and far less exhausting." ~William Hefferman

"When I sit at my table to write, I never know what it’s going to be until I'm under way. I trust in inspiration, which sometimes comes and sometimes doesn't. But I don't sit back waiting for it. I work every day." ~Alberto Moravia

Monday, August 14, 2006

DAY ONE: Get Ready...Get Set...BIAW

Ready to put your writing into overdrive? :-)

I'm excited by all those who are participating in Villa in Tuscany's First Annual BIAW! We're going to have a great time!

If you need to review what BIAW is all about, just scroll down a few posts until you find the links.

We'll keep this pretty simple - no need to clutter the muse with lots of rules, etc. This is pretty much the only rule you're going to need: when you've finished writing for the day, check in at Villa and leave a comment with what you did on the day you did it - whether it's two sentences, two paragraphs, two pages, it doesn't matter! If you're writing, you're doing great!

The biggest thing about BIAW is to turn your internal editor off and just write. I'll give you some great quotes to motivate you every day. And if you're struggling to get started, leave a comment and we'll try and help you out. We want this to be a fun, supportive, motivating exercise.

"If you write, good ideas must come welling up into you so that you have something to write. If good ideas do not come at once, or for a long time, do not be troubled at all. Wait for them. Put down little ideas no matter how insignificant they are. But do not feel, any more, guilty about idleness and solitude." -- Brenda Ueland

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sign Up for BIAW!

BIAW is an acronym for Book In A Week. In a nutshell, this is the chance for you to devote one entire week to your novel. My local RWA chapter has done two of these BIAW's and they've been highly successful at motivating us. There really aren't any rules - just that we write. And if we write an entire book in that week - which is really, for most people, writing the "skeleton" of the book - all the better.

Since I have been in the midst of projects whenever we have a BIAW, I use this time to focus all my attention on my current WIP. And let me tell you - it gives me the desire, the drive, and the motivation to write.

There are several ways to do a BIAW - you have to choose what is best for you. Here are a few links you can check out.

BIAW as explained by April Kihlstrom

Historical romance author Gaelen Foley talks about her experience with BIAW (scroll down toward the end of the article)

If you want to participate, please leave a comment stating so. Hope you can join us!

Monday, August 07, 2006

BIAW Set for August 14

Get your writing muscles ready! We're going to host a BIAW for the week of August 14.

Watch this site for tips and suggestions on how to make your BIAW a success! And if you can't make it this time, don't worry - we'll have another one in September!

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