Author MJ Pullen, the Distracted Writer

Posts Categorized: The Distracted Writer

Follow M.J. Pullen’s blog posts about writing and publishing. Geared toward beginning writers, pre-published authors. seasoned veterans, and authors attempting to navigate platform development on social media.

Relevant to self-publishing, traditional publishing, indie authors and hybrid authors.

YOU ASKED, I’M DELIVERING… Two of My Most Popular Workshops in Q1! I’ve taken a couple of years off from teaching publishing workshops for writers — not because I don’t love it, I do — I’ve just been busy with lots of other priorities (some of which obviously include my own writing). As I’m in  […]

Have you tried word sprints (or writing sprints)? For those unfamiliar, this is the practice of sitting down for a short, specific period of time to focus only on your writing and try to achieve a certain word count or other goal. I’ve done writing sprints for years, off and on. My “Draft Queen” partner  […]

You’ve probably heard the expression, “kill your darlings,” that common writer’s advice derived from the original “murder your darlings” in a 1913 writer’s guide by Arthur Quiller-Couch.* I recently re-read Stephen King’s On Writing, in which he referred to the concept this way: “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little  […]

In a conversation over in the Draft House Writer’s Studio this week, one of our members mentioned that she has a filing cabinet full of discarded attempts at fiction. She said this with a sense of discouragement I think is common among early-career writers. We think: I tried. I failed. This is hard. I may never be good  […]

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Will Durant I have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions. On the one hand, I’m the kind of girl who needs all the structure she can get. For those of us with disorganized brains, goals that are tied to  […]

I’m writing this on a chilly Georgia morning, the Monday before Thanksgiving, with my peppermint mocha coffee in hand. Like many of my American counterparts, my kids are off school this week and we are gearing up for family and turkey and major indigestion. I have a deadline next week, which is why my kids are enjoying  […]

Hi, writing friends — If you’re busy starting on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this week, close this browser and go get to work! You can watch this in December! If you’re not currently doing NaNoWriMo, have you considered it? Maybe heard the fuss and wondered whether it would really help you with your writing? Check out  […]

Any other early risers out there? Can I get a shout out? (Or maybe a whisper so we don’t wake everyone else)? Last year, when I had a full-time day job, I got up every morning around 4:30 a.m. to start my writing day (okay, sometimes it was more like 4:38 after the snooze button).  […]

About a week ago, some dude named Stephen Hunter (okay, he’s actually a Pulitzer-prize winning critic and multi-published thriller author) started an Internet kerfuffle among writers by publishing an article in The Daily Beast called, “If You Want to Write a Book, Write Every Day or Quit Now.” I’ve written on my mixed feelings about  […]

Well, I did it. Two weeks ago I took myself out of the running for an amazing training and development job, before the third round of interviews. The job was everything my Day Job Self was looking for: exciting, challenging, learning-focused. I’d have been working in a company known for its amazing corporate culture on  […]