Kelly Flowers

writer


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8 Ways To Work The Writing Critique Group

Teenagers and Writing Critique Groups = Creativity Killersscared-face

Remember being a teenager? It seemed you had to hide any bit of individuality from the mob of your peers and their judgy-ness.

Maybe that was just me. It wasn’t weird that I quoted Shakepeare, danced to swing music and carried vocabulary flashcards in my purse. No. Not weird.

I have teenagers now and guess what? They’re still judgy! And I’m still weird. (I’m told this constantly.) But now, I like my weird. We’ve grown attached to each other. We clique off and snicker about our critics. In my head, we ARE the popular kids.

I’m all grown up now. But writing critique groups can kill creativity in much the same way as the high school mean girls can.

The first time I went to a writers critique group. I was young, not much older than a teenager, really. The group met in an adorable bohemian café that had ombre walls, sold forty different types of tea and had jam poetry sessions that packed the place. This is being a writer, I said to myself. How romantic! Continue reading


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Just Have Less Time – Stress, Day Drinking and Ninja Writing

The last 24 hours have been… well, let’s just say… I’m day drinking.  You want stress? Try herding 7 people, including an infant and toddler, through TSA airport security (only to have your 16 year old randomly pulled aside for secondary as she is EVERY time we travel. Profile a’ready. Just sayin’.) and onto a plane where everyone needs water, food, books and headphones all at once and you, (being the responsible traveller that you are) have them all packed in YOUR carry on.


Remember the scene in Home Alone where they leave the kid behind? I totally get that now.

So now, all 7 of us are turbulating (Yeah yeah. Not a word. Today it is.) over the country. The kids and bags are accounted for and everyone is either snoozing, watching frozen or obsessively playing solitaire. But not me. Nope. I have a sleeping 3 month old in my lap and one hand free so I am one-handedly (the left hand even) typing on my phone and glugging Cabernet.

Ninja writing like a boss! And you know what? I’ve been on fire this last week. My house is impeccable. My to do list is the shortest it’s been since… well… since the last time I left town. And I’ve managed to knock out the writing projects that keep getting pushed to the next list and the list after that because, what the hell, right? May as well leave with every ball out of my court. And besides schlepping two carts of luggage and a straggling crew through the entire terminal, I’d say I’m only a 6 on the stress Richter scale.

I think I’ve discovered a new theory on life management.

HAVE LESS TIME.

The last week wouldn’t have been as productive if I didn’t have an impending absence because I would’ve undoubtedly mosied through my list while intermittently snapchatting or trolling Instagram. (The jury is still out on whether these things can be considered productive on some level. How else would I know what “ish” is or what Gigi Hadid had for breakfast? Who gets to say which information is valuable?)

So yeah. Have less time. (Disclaimer: writer is unaware of long term affects of this theory. Please day drink responsibly.)

ninja


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A Cure For Your Wandering Eye – Be A Finisher

When I first started writing my book, it was intoxicating! I spent hours thinking about my characters and story and prattled on and on about it (…to my husband, because I was too much of a chicken to tell anyone else). I was excited, inspired, smitten.giphy2

Halfway through my first draft, the sparkle started to dull. Writing a novel became a chore; more of what it really is, which is damn hard work. And I started to cheat. I’m not proud of it, but I started giving my love, and spare time, to other projects.

I’ve always believed that there are two kinds of people: Starters and Finishers. I, along with many other right-brained, creative types, would consider myself a starter. That’s why business writing is a good fit for me. It’s generally served in bite-sized pieces.

With bigger projects, I begin with gusto, Continue reading


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Word Hoarding – How I Learned To Let It Go

Folkmanis-Pack-Rat-Puppet--pTRU1-6956404dtI’m a pack rat. But I’m an organized pack rat. Ok, Ok. I might also have a few hoarding tendencies. There. I said it. (Most pack rat/hoarders are also in denial. So, yay me.)

Luckily, because I am unwilling to part with my psychosis, I’ve developed techniques to manage it. For instance, I’m the master at Garage Box Tetris. I can fit more office supplies in a drawer than you would think possible. And closets, well actually, let’s not talk about closets.

It’s just that I still see value in lots of things I no longer need. And that counts for words too. Writing needs obvious focal points, right? The problem with word hoarders, like me, is that it’s hard to see the focal points because there’s too much junk in the way. You see where I’m going with this.  Continue reading