Skip navigation
Previous Next


December 2009

Writing a Word a Day

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Dec 30, 2009

I must confess that I don't always feel like writing. Don't get me wrong, I love writing, but there are days I just don't feel inspired. On those days, I used to spend a lot a creativity coming up with excuses not to write. I know I'm not alone. I've talked to a lot of other authors and they experience the same kind of computer dread to which I'm referring. And when it gets the best of you, and you just can't drag yourself in front of the keyboard to pound out your words, the dread is quickly replaced by enormous waves of guilt. You feel as though you're sabotaging yourself.


I struggled with this for years until one day I stood at my office door and stared at my computer from a far. All I saw was the 1,000 words a day goal I had set for myself. It was daunting. I knew if I didn't hit my self-imposed quota I would feel like a complete and utter failure. I made a deal with myself right then and there. The 1,000 words a day quota was no more. I promised myself that I would sit down at the computer every day from here on out, and my only obligation was to write one word, one tiny little word. It seemed absurd at the time, but the computer dread immediately lifted. I sat down in my chair and I wrote that one word, and then another, and then another. I actually wrote over 1,000 words. Since then I have had days where I've done close to 1,500 and other days where I've only done 250 words, but I haven't missed a day. I've rid myself of the guilt of not writing. The dread is gone. If I can't drag myself into my office to write one word, it's time for me to find another passion.


I used to espouse the need to crank out 1000 words or more a day, and I did my best to "make" myself practice what I preached. But the minute it became a chore, I killed the creative process. I believe this new philosophy has made me a better writer because I'm not forcing pages just to meet my quota. Feeling computer dread? Can't drag yourself in front of your keyboard to write? Commit to one word a day. I think you'll find that words are a lot like potato chips. One is never enough.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

5,217 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, book, book, word, word, block, block, self-publishing, self-publishing, count, count, publishing, publishing, writer's, writer's

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.


Publishing/Writing Blogs


Does Social Networking Kill the Author Mystique? - The Huffington Post

Can an author become overexposed in today's web 2.0 world? Jason Pinter explores the dwindling mystique of authors.


When To Stop Revising - Indie-Debut

How do you know when it's just right? Amy Allgeyer Cook gives you 5 tips to help you decide when to stop rewriting.


The Shape of a Story, and Why We Tell/Read Stories - Writer Unboxed

Novelist and editor Ray Rhamey examines the structure of story using a formula introduced to him by screenwriter Brian McDonald.



Filmmaking Blogs


A Movie Deal Right Out of the Movies - Yahoo! Buzz Log

How Producer Fede Alvarez got a $30 million dollar Hollywood deal with a $300 YouTube Video.


Internet Evolving Filmmaking - 13 Benefits of the Web - Screenwriting Basics

Internet marketer Abhishek Agarwal looks at how the independent filmmaker has used the world wide web to gain traction in the film industry.


Seven Writer's Rules for Survival in Animation - Making Of

Screenwriter Robert Edwards shares his experiences as a writer on Disney animated films.



Music Blogs


Tweet My Song - We Are Listening

Here's an interesting new tool to promote your music on Twitter.


How to Make Extra Money With Your Music - MrBuzzFactor

Mr. Buzz Factor, Bob Baker, explains his out-of-the-box money making idea for musicians in this video blog.


Jaw Popping, Tired Voice? Here's help - Judy Rodman

Judy Rodman, professional voice coach, offers some advice for singers on how to combat too much breath pressure.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,609 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, selling, music, filmmaking, film, self-publishing, promotion, sales, blogging, publishing, writing, blogs

In surfing the net, I came across the tutorial video below How to Make Your Movies Look Professional, and I was extremely impressed. It was made by a young filmmaker named Nick (YouTube username is rosenchuck1). Nick walks the viewer through the steps he used to give his war movie that "cinematic" look. After watching the different stages of post production and then seeing the final scene cut together, I may have even involuntarily uttered the word, "Wow!" Give it a watch and let me know what you think. If you have educational material that you've found helpful or inspiring, feel free to leave a comment with a link to the original source.



5,198 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: filmmaking, film, tutorial, the, movie, a, cinema, making, look, craft

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.

Publishing/Writing Blogs


The Power of the "The Inciting Incident" -  Copyblogger

What bestselling author Steven Pressfield learned from screenwriting expert Robert McKee to hook the reader.


How to Pitch a Literary Agent at a Writers Conference - Wow! Women On Writing

Are you ready to pitch your book to an agent? Kerrie Flanagan, Director of Northern Colorado Writers, shares the tips and tricks on grabbing an agent's attention at a writer's conference. 


What's In a Name: All About Pen Names - Nathan Bransford

Curtis Brown Ltd Literary Agent Nathan Bransford weighs the pros and cons of using a pseudonym.


Filmmaking Blogs


Making the Sound of Star Trek - Designing Sound

Sound Effects Editor Mark Mangini describes the process behind creating sounds for technology that doesn't exist.


The 10 Commandments of Filmmaking: How to Work and Survive in the Film Industry - ActionCutPrint! Filmmaking Tips & Resources

Filmmaker Peter D. Marshall breaks down his 35 years experiences and delivers his survival tips for the film industry.


DIY Camera Stabilizer, Filmmaking Tips: Backyard FX - IndyMogul

The guys at IndyMogul tackle the problem of stabilizing a Digital SLR camera when using it as part of your film production.



Music Blogs


3 Best Kept Music Marketing Secrets - We Are Listening

The folks at We Are Listening reveal the best practices they have used to boost their own music marketing efforts.


Getting Past The 'But Artists Should Just Be Artists' Myth - Techdirt

Mike Masnick explains why musicians need to step up and become entrepreneurs.


4 Music Production tips to use now -

Music Producer and Engineer Arty Skye delivers some pointers to give your music that big budget sound.


Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,603 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, books, books, books, books, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, music, music, music, music, music, music, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, design, design, design, design, design, design, design, design, film, film, film, film, film, film, film, film, production, production, production, production, production, production, production, production, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing, publishing

In case you missed it, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award announcement hit the world wide web last week. The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is an opportunity for emerging fiction writers to join a community of authors, showcase their work, and compete for a chance to get published. For its part, the CreateSpace community did an excellent job of utilizing tools like Preview to workshop material for submission last year. Sponsored in part by Penguin Group (USA) and, the award launched in October 2007 and has helped a number of authors kick-off their publishing careers. CreateSpace will again host the contest entry platform. There are a few changes to this year?s competition worth noting.


  1. The competition is open to previously self-published books. This is great news for authors who have self-published their books with the hopes of migrating to the traditional publishing world some day. Entering your book into Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award gives you yet another opportunity to do just that.
  2. This year there are two separate categories; one for young adult novels, and one for general fiction. This means books will be judged against books intended for the same demographic, and it also means there will be two winners.


To find out more about the competition, click here to read more: CreateSpace Announcement. You can click here for official rules: Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest


Good luck!



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

2,747 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, amazon, self-publishing, createspace, publishing, writing, abna, contests, competitions, penguin

Whether you're writing a novel or a screenplay, the one device that seems to work over and over again to help keep a story moving forward is the race against time: a plot element that drives a character, or characters, to take action and create conflict. In most cases, if time expires without resolution, a major catastrophe transpires and all is lost. Outside of the slasher/horror genre, time very rarely expires. The protagonist is usually able to jump in at the last minute and avert the catastrophic event. The audience, or reader, sighs in relief and everyone goes home happy.


While you usually think of an action-oriented storyline using this device, it works equally well with drama and comedy.Dad, a 1981 novel written by William Wharton and later adapted for the screen in a 1989 film starring Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson, is a perfect example of a drama using the race against time plot device. In the movie, Danson's character is an overachiever more focused on his career than his family. When his mother is diagnosed with a serious illness, he decides to step in and become the caretaker for his aging father (Jack Lemmon). Lemmon's character is stricken with cancer and his death is imminent. Will father and son have enough time left to make up for lost time?


Saving the life of Lemmon's character isn't the driving force of the story. Life is finite, and because of his age and illness, his death is at hand. The motivation for the characters here is to create that lasting father/son bond that has always been missing from their relationship before Lemmon's character passes away.


The story is still driven by a need to beat the clock, but not to save the world from total devastation as is usually the case in the action/thriller genre. In this case, the characters are trying to save their relationship before it's too late.


There are some who look at the race against time device as a gimmick. I disagree. I'm a fan of having a simple story with subtle plotlines. This device does more than drive a story. It helps you explore and define character. Stuck on your novel or screenplay? Try the "beat-the-clock element" to get things moving again.  



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

2,047 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, filmmaking, film, movies, publishing, writing, plot, screenwriting, devices

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.


Publishing/Writing Blogs


What is the ideal page count for a first novel? - Ask a Literary Agent

Noah Lukeman, President of Lukeman Literary Management, addresses an aspiring writer's question about the appropriate word count for a manuscript.


43 Most Inspiring Writing Advice Posts of 2009 - Procrastinating Writers

Writer Jennifer Blanchard has compiled a list of her favorite posts on writing from around the web.


Author Seth Harwood on Podcasting to Print Publishing and Building Your Author Platform - The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn interviews author Seth Harwood about his use of podcasts to build an audience for his books.


Filmmaking Blogs


Handling Repeating Sequences -

Screenwriter John August addresses the use of repeating sequences in a screenplay. Should each appearance of the sequence use the same wording? Should you use an abbreviated description after establishing the initial sequence in detail? Should you use repeating sequences at all?


The $200 pilot that became a hit TV show - Filmmaking Stuff

Jason Brubaker of Filmmaking Stuff interviews one of the stars and creators of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," Charlie Day.


Essential Film Marketing CactusPix Screening Room

Susie Tullett shares some valuable insights on marketing a film on a tight budget.


Music Blogs


How to Mic Any Instrument Audio Tuts+

Mark Garrison, musician and recording engineer, describes the best practices to mic any instrument during a recording session.


Making music improves your health. Music Tools

Want to relieve stress, build muscle, feed your brain? Pick up a musical instrument and start making music.


GP Tips - Wires and Cables 101

Setting up your own studio? The right cable can make all the difference. Producer GP has put together a basic tutorial video on choosing the right cable.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

1,701 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, marketing, marketing, music, music, film, film, blogging, blogging, publishing, publishing, writing, writing, blogs, blogs, craft, craft, screenwriting, screenwriting

Maximizing your Expanded Distribution Channel potential


With the announcement of CreateSpace's new Expanded Distribution Channel (EDC), the possibility of getting into brick and mortar retail outlets is greater than ever before for CreateSpace authors. Keep in mind, just because your book is available to outlets through a wholesaler, it doesn't mean the retailer is going to automatically stock your book. Brick and mortar stores have limited shelf space, and they are reluctant to carry a large inventory of self-published books. They have to be convinced your book won't stay on their shelves very long.


The best way to convince them there is demand for your book is to show them by pulling in customers. There is no better way to demonstrate this than to arrange a personal appearance in their store. It is easier said than done, but it is possible if you persuade them that you are going to do everything you can to minimize their risk and boost their sales. Here are the essentials to setting up a personal appearance in a retail outlet:


  1. Setup up an in-person appointment with the manager, go to the store to make your pitch. It is easier to sell your idea in person and harder for them to say no.
  2. Make sure you practice the pitch before you talk to the manager. The more confident and concise you are the more likely they are to say yes.
  3. Dress appropriately. Treat it like a job interview. If you look serious, they are going to assume that you are going to treat the event seriously.
  4. Bring a copy of your marketing plan for your book and the event. Let them know that you are going to blog about it, tell your Facebook friends, blast it all over Twitter, send an invite to your local media, hand out flyers, etc. Show them that you are going to do everything you can to bring people into their store.


The bottom line is if you can prove that there is demand for your book retail outlets are going to be a lot more receptive to making room for your book on their shelves. CreateSpace's Expanded Distribution Channel will give them the means to purchase your book for resale - You will give them the reason... be professional, be persistent, and above all be enthusiastic.



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.



You may also be interested in...

The In-Store Event

Take Your Book on a Virtual Tour

7,790 Views 3 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, selling, bookstore, distribution, signing, into, sales, bookstores, and, setting, up, getting, stores, a, &, expanded, brick, mortar

They say the first post is always the hardest. We all want to be perfect in whatever we do. Whether we're writing a book, recording a song, shooting a film or writing a blog post, we want it to come out just right. Beyond our own self-satisfaction in accomplishing a job well done, we also feel we owe it to our audience. They deserve our best because they shared something with us that can't be replaced....time. So, in an effort to save and add value to your time, this first post is just a statement of purpose, what you can expect from us in this space. This blog, this social outreach, this conversation is for you; the writer, the filmmaker, the musician. Our sole goal is to share information, inspiration and insights from us and from other experts, artists and professionals to help you further your career and craft.


We are fortunate that a thriving community already exists here on the CreateSpace website. We hope and anticipate that the members that so readily participate on the message boards will help this blog fulfill its purpose. We appreciate the professional and respectful insight of everyone in the Community and sincerely hope that you all will feel free to join in on the conversation and help everyone succeed.


In a word, we want this blog to be useful. Whether you are in the beginning stages of your first project, or a seasoned veteran working on your tenth project, we want this to be a clearinghouse of valuable information and an opportunity for engagement. Thanks for letting us be part of your community and a resource for bringing your work to life. Don't be a stranger!



Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

2,859 Views 3 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: music, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, filmmaking, createspace, createspace, createspace, richard, richard, richard, blogging, blogging, blogging, publishing, publishing, publishing, writing, writing, writing, community, community, community, richard_ridley, richard_ridley, richard_ridley