5 Things to Help Keep Your Works-in-Progress in Progress (and Avoid Overcommitting to Other Projects)


IMG_4191.JPGIf you have been listening to the podcasts, you may have heard that I’ve got a few ideas percolating in the brain. This week, with the close of the summer rapidly approaching, I’m looking at the following projects:

  • Various short stories for the final season of Tales from the Archives
  • A novella for a special collection of science fiction, available only at RT 2016
  • A new fantasy epic, co-written with Pip
  • The fifth novel in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series
  • An urban fantasy novel (that has been sitting on a back burner for WAY too long…)

These works-in-progress are just that: in various stages of progress. That sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Five projects, and today I got an invitation from this guy… Continue reading

Endless Possibilities Blog Tour 2014: Cindy Brookshire on Death, Taxes, and Accountability

Alongside my renewed commitment to be a better blogger, I’m still hosting the talented people of Write by the Rails in the Endless Possibilities Blog Tour. Today, I feature the fearless leader of our merry band of writers, Cindy Brookshire. She’s bringing her own daily affirmation and accountability on getting the words down on paper, and meeting that daily word count.


iStock_000021621315XLargeI just spent 10 hours slogging through six award applications for a client by a 5:30 p.m. deadline. It’s the nature of my work – think fast and tune out distractions.

But working on my book? That’s another matter. I balk. I make excuses. I wait for the perfect chunk of time. It never comes.

I finally took my friend, North Carolina writer Barbara Presnell’s advice and got a writing accountability partner. She’s author and Huffington Post contributor Laura Collins Lyster-Mensch. Laura and I email each other every Monday. Once a month we do a face-to-face at the Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton or Caribou Coffee in Bristow. Talking to an accountability partner is like talking to a 12-step sponsor. You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.

Has it worked? Yes. In all honesty, I’ve set a kitchen timer and forced myself to do more work on my book than I’ve done in years. I’ve also produced some great magazine articles, and helped to build a thriving network of writers in Prince William through the non-profit Write by the Rails.

Laura has been quite effective, too, though under duress – she was able to work with her friend, Charlotte Bevan, to complete the book, Throwing Starfish, before Charlotte’s death.

Oh well, deadlines and taxes will always be with us.  Or is it death and taxes?

I think I’ve earned another episode of House of Cards…..

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklinin a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789


Cindy Brookshire is the fearless leader of Write by the Rails. She blogs at http://cookies4nataka.wordpress.com/