The secret to writing, even when you don’t want to.

Side of building, says: If not now, when?
Side of building, says: If not now, when?
.Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

The past few weeks have been challenging. As we all adjust to the new normal, sitting and staring at the television isn’t going to move you closer to your goal of finishing your writing projects.

This is the perfect time to dig into your emotions and let them pour into your manuscript.

We all have hopes and dreams. The question is, are you still interested in yours? Don’t let the stress of the latest news stop you from achieving your goals. Don’t use it as an excuse. Don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis. …


Banish boring words

pen on book, next to cell phone
pen on book, next to cell phone
Photo by Felipe López on Unsplash

There are certain words that do you a disservice. The worst part is how they taunt you, showing up in most of your writing. They lurk beneath the surface. Your eyes glaze right past them. They sneak in and weaken your overall story.

Words like that, knew, and thought. There are more. Felt is a big offender. I rely on it too often, then fight back my flabby words come edit time. She felt. She knew. She thought. This plays into the famous show, don’t tell advice writers hear all too often.

But what about words like that? What other…


Desperate to save his life, Richard pleads with his wife…

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

…to stop the painful, slow torment she’s putting him through. They used to be happy, but that was years ago. Now that she’s discovered his affair, everything’s changed. It had to. Who’s laughing now, Richard?

Her voice was raspy and familiar. “I’ve often wondered what it would be like to scoop an eyeball out of its socket with a spoon. Will it be messy? Maybe it would just pop out with enough force.”

Her shadow filled the room, but I could only focus on the instrument that hovered inches above me. Weight sat on my chest like a lazy elephant.


Online courses and website resources

Photo by Davide Boscolo on Unsplash

I’m a certified course junkie. Prior to the web, I dutifully hit the library week after week to gather stacks of books. The bookstore was another true and tried stop on my path, though it got costly after a while!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an insatiable need to keep learning. There’s just one exception, it had to be something I was interested in. Lack of interest in a topic, meant it was like pulling teeth to get through a subject. Give me something I want to know, and I get hyper-focused. …


Motivational and Inspiring Quotes

Photo by Bobby Johnson on Unsplash

When you stumble upon a motivational quote that speaks to you, it’s amazing how your perspective can take on an entirely new direction. It was just past Christmas when I saw a quote that spoke to me. It was like a hammer smacking me over the head. I stopped what I was doing and reread it three or four times. It resonated on a level nothing else had recently.

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you aren’t.

— Denis Waitley

A short phrase. I read scads of articles and…


SEO strategies made easy

scrabble tiles, choose your words
scrabble tiles, choose your words
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

You keep hearing about SEO and know you’ll need to tackle it sooner or later. Basic SEO tips and strategies are easier to tackle when you know what’s involved. Don’t let the thought of search engine optimization overwhelm you. I’m going to break down the basic SEO tips in easy bite-size pieces, so you can tackle them one step at a time.

SEO isn’t a game you win overnight. It’s a slow process, but one that pays in dividends.

By doing things the right way, your website or blog will thrive over time, giving you a…


How long a chapter, scene, short story, novella, or novel should be

pages of books
pages of books
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When you participate in a writing community or message board, it’s amazing how many people ask the same questions. How many words are there in a story? How long should a chapter be? How many pages are in a chapter? How many words in a novel? How many words in a novella?

It’s asked repetitively, in one form or another. Whether beginning writers ask for story length, chapter length, scene length, it’s as if they’re seeking a definitive answer when there isn’t one.

How about a rough estimate? What I can do is give you some guidelines so that you…


Why I’m so damn polite

Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash

I joined a social network recently for potential writing opportunities. Within days, I’d been hit on by somebody from another country. If you’re a woman, this won’t come as a shock. It happens more than it should. Here’s the fun part, I’m an average looking woman in my fifties. Now, imagine what younger, more attractive women go through on a regular basis. It’s an onslaught of unwelcome attention that you didn’t ask for.

I signed on and connected with a few digital marketers and writers. It was a means of communication for business purposes. …


How to use power-driven conflict in a flat story that will make your reader sit up and take notice

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

While many articles talk about different types of conflict, they focus on the four overall story conflict ideas: man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. nature, and man vs. self.

Instead, I’m going to delve into character conflict through internal conflict and external conflict as the basis.

Conflict is the guts of the story, the heart and soul, and quite frankly the reason your character thinks and acts the way do. It’s the driving force that keeps your reader turning the pages.

By showing you examples of different types of conflict, you’ll be able to see your story in…


How to create better writing habits

notepad and pen
notepad and pen
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Stuck? Maybe it’s time to get to create better writing habits. If you’re waiting for inspiration to strike, you could be there for a while.

I hate to break it to you, but you need to find that place inside of yourself that’s willing to push beyond your lack of words.

Get out of your comfort zone of simply talking about writing. The habit of writing only becomes a habit when you create a pattern.

Are you in search of your writing style? Thinking if you have a special technique it will be easier? Writing doesn’t work that way.

There’s…

Deb Schwabe

Writer with a crush on words. I write both fiction and non-fiction (digital marketing). You can find more articles at WritingSmarter.com.

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