What Points Does My Current Project Hit on the Sweet Spot Map?

More than a few, which is surprising since the story idea came together before I ever did my first sweet spot map. This was a fun exercise, and it got me thinking in some interesting directions. One of my biggest issues in a lot of cases is a lack of worldbuilding, and doing this gave me a few new interesting ideas along those lines.

Continue reading


What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

A fun little forum game meant to help address our irrational fears in the silliest way possible. I thought you guys might get a chuckle out of my results. 🙂

What is the worst thing that could happen if I finish my book?

…It might be terrible, even after revisions.
…My friends and family will want to read it.
…It might get published
…At which point I won’t be able to stop my friends and family from reading it.
…They might hate it.
…The reading public might hate it.
…I could be crucified by reviewers.
…My book could gain notoriety and fame for the sheer BADNESS of it.
…It could be mocked by comedians, published writers, and Steven Colbert.
…My husband could leave me because he can’t handle the stigma of being Spouse of Famously Bad Writer.
…I would stop leaving the house to avoid all the unwanted attention.
…And spend so much time in my computer chair that I’d fuse with it and put down roots through the house foundations to sustain myself.
…But someone would catch a glimpse of me through the windows and call the government.
…At which point my house would be quarantined and my mutated body studied by scientists in hazmat suits.
…During all of this, the aliens secretly orbiting our planet and deliberating on the fate of humanity will have acquired a copy of my book.
…After reading it, they’ll decide that humans aren’t the sort they’d like to keep around after all.
…And blow our planet to smithereens.

But probably not.

Sweet Spot Map

While the first lesson centers around some serious self-examination, this one is all about cutting your right brain loose and letting it have some glorious, messy fun.

Disclaimer: Apparently if you’re heavily left-brained, this is about as fun as pulling teeth. Luckily not an issue for me!

Lesson 2 is where you build your Sweet Spot Map. It’s a way to dig up the things you’re passionate about; the things that make you cringe, the things that make you laugh, the things that make you sit up straight and say, “YES! That.” You’re giving your subconscious permission to tell you everything that makes it sing.

The result? Is some pretty cool, strange, and occasionally unexpected stuff.

These are the things that are going to make your writing fly, because these are the things that matter to you.

I’ve already done a Sweet Spot Map, made when I started the course about a year and a half ago. I debated skipping out this time around since I already had one, but then decided it might be better to start from scratch and compare the two. See how much changed, and how much stayed the same.

Continue reading

More Barriers

Still working on the thinking barriers, and I thought I’d share the results of one of my worksheets. This one is all about identifying the specific barrier-related issues plaguing you now, and to find the opportunities hidden in those problems, because there are always opportunities if you’re paying attention.

Continue reading

Breaking Barriers

The amount of activity this journal has seen is pretty much a direct corollary to the amount of writing I’ve been doing.

That is to say, not a whole lot.

This is where I’d make the usual excuses: Work, familial obligations, computer trouble, abduction by aliens. But true or not, excuses are excuses. (Except for the alien one. No matter how much I asked, they refused to provide me with any sort of writing implements. Jerks.)

Stalling out has been one of the biggest issues in my writing since my twelve year-old self started scribbling bad Mary-Sue ridden Dragonlance ripoffs. I’ve been writing seriously for about eleven years now, less-than-seriously for fifteen, and in that time I’ve completed precisely ONE long piece of fiction.


I do, however, have more two chapter false starts under my belt than I can count. It’s a clear-cut case of self-sabotage, and one I’ve been struggling with since the day I decided to try my hand at this book writing thing. Acknowledging the problem hasn’t led to much success overcoming it, however, so maybe it’s time to accept that there may be a little more to my writer’s neurosis than I originally thought.

I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I started taking Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways writing course about a year and a half ago. It’s good stuff, damned good stuff, but I never got all the way through it because despite all the good intentions in the world, I still stalled out. I started thinking that maybe I had to beat this paralysis of mine before I’d be able to put her course to good use.

Then she announced that she was doing a walkthrough of the course while writing her next novel, and taking her students through it step by step.

Hello, opportunity.

The Four Thinking Barriers I Should Have Paid More Attention To The First Time Around