#amwriting Despite Myself

#amwriting Despite Myself

By Natalie Bright

Self-doubt. I hate when that snarky voice in my head creeps into my work about the time I’m gung-ho in the middle of a new project. The fear of judgment. Is this good enough? Will this book appeal to readers? I can’t write this.

Sometimes it’s impossible to type THE END because of my self-doubt and the battle raging within my own mind. Its so senseless and aggravating, causing your daily word count to come to a screaching halt. Does that ever happen to you?

“Now that I have given myself permission to let the raw side of me loose on the page, I’m finally finding my true voice.” So admits Joanna Penn in her book



I want to share these words with WordsmithSix peeps and how this book has re-energized my goals in regards to my writing. I keep reading the highlighted portions over and over. Ms. Penn covers all of the horrible things that crowd our mind when we should be using that brain power and creative energy to write. She gives readers a glimpse of her own struggles by sharing portions of her personal journals.

Ms. Penn states the problems most writers face and the antidote in clear, concise common sense language. It’s an eye opening read for any writer and a must for every writer’s reference library.

Find out more at the thecreativepenn.com



An artist is typically a being that is filled with so much passion, love, or pain for certain lands, people, ideas, or images that all they can do with that overflow is bleed it out by creating. And with this type of art, the energy will be shifted from the depths of them and into the depths of the audience to be felt. It is a dance. A transference. An intimacy. It is to touch and awaken another human in a place they hadn’t know was aching, or sleeping. Both are opened. Both are nourished. Both are transformed.


Story Craft: Book Themes

Story Craft: Book Themes

By Natalie Bright

Throughout the art of story craft, you may have noticed common story threads or themes that are used over and over. This is most often observed in movies. Multi-published writers that I’ve talked to usually have an overall theme that might not be that obvious to the reader, but it helps keep the plot line consistent to the end.

A NYT bestselling author told me that she used a common theme for her main characters, as well as applying it to sub-plots and minor characters. For example, the pain of loss was a theme of a recent book. Every major and minor character had to deal with loosing something or someone.

A theme for books can be used in both fiction and nonfiction. It keeps the author on track and prevents them from deviating from the basic story structure.

For example, the hero’s journey is a popular theme that is used in a lot in books and movies. The hero is reluctantly called to adventure, faces insurmountable obstacles, and ends up saving the day. There are several excellent books on how to craft a story using this popular theme.

Listed below are some other examples of overall themes for books:

*Cinderella: down trodden girl is rescued from her dull existence and finds true love with her prince.

*Perseverance: characters never give up, even when faced with impossible obstacles.

*Honesty: always tell the truth, no matter what the cost.

*Kindness: generous, considerate, friendly characters, even when treated differently.

*Acceptance: differences and beliefs are overcome and characters find respect for each other. Or, maybe it’s an acceptance of love lost, crushed dreams, or life’s path.

*Romeo and Juliet: star-crossed lovers against the world.

*Loyalty: trusting each other, friends to the end or trusting yourself and your heart’s desire.

*Cooperation: a problem is solved or a goal is achieved through everyone working together.


Happy writing and thanks for following WordsmithSix!


By Natalie Bright

One of the notable things that many successful writers have in common is that they read. If you find interviews by some of your favorite best-selling authors, they usually reveal their reading lists. And more often than not, they’ll have a few books that they’ve read over and over.

William Faulkner wrote, “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.” 

One of the WordsmithSix writers told me she reads Stephen Kings’ THE SHINING every year around Halloween. It’s one of her favorite books because of the psychological intensity, and of course written by one of the masters. My goal this year is to read that book in October. It’s already on my eReader.

Which comes first: the writer or the reader? For me personally, I can’t answer that question, but one bookshelf holds several of my cherished childhood picture books. And I can vividly remember my hometown library, Rhoads Memorial Library in Dimmitt, Texas.

Located on the same block, and just around the corner from the Laundromat, I spent most Saturdays there.  While my mother did our weekly wash, I whiled away the time with characters and discovered places I’ll never forget. Mrs. Howell usually had books ready and waiting for me. With a cheery “Good morning. I think you’ll enjoy this,” she’d hand me a stack of treasures.  The feel, the smell of the pages, the tingle of excitement; I couldn’t wait until I could bury my thoughts into the story.

One of the happiest days for my mom, and probably one of the saddest for me, was when my dad backed his pickup truck next to the front porch and unloaded a new washer and dryer. That was the Saturday I didn’t get to go to the library. And perhaps that was the day I started writing the stories in my head.

Who influenced you to become a reader?


Book Review: Writing Down the Bones

Book Review: Writing Down the Bones

By Natalie Bright


Over the holidays I read Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg, poet, painter, book author, and creative writing instructor on the Zen practice of writing. I’m so thankful that I did not read this as a newbie writer; it wouldn’t have meant so much way back then.

The Why isn’t Important

Presented in short chapters covering varied topics, Goldberg makes the point to dig deep into your writing. It’s an intense process where the writer has to step outside of themselves and just write, and it’s enough that we want to. Just do it. Psychologists can sort out the why—wow! Thank you, thank you Ms. Goldberg. Isn’t that a relief to know? And she gives us this great Hemingway quote: “Not the why, but the what.”

Don’t be a Goody Two-Shoes

One paragraph in particular really made me rethink this crazy process. In the section titled “The Goody Two-Shoes Nature” Goldberg talks about the age old rule of writing every day. She points out that some people go through the motions and follow this rule religiously, but does their writing improve? Is this a waste of time and energy if you stress yourself over staring at a blank screen? Instead, Goldberg suggests you are allowed to stay away, if your heart’s not into writing. Come back when you’re on fire for that WIP, when you’re “hungry to say something.” Don’t just put in the time, but put some heart into your effort as well.

Finding the Fire

I’ve been working on a picture book idea, which isn’t many words but every single word must be the absolute right word. I’ve read it a zillion times. Instead of staring at the manuscript every day during the holidays, I watched movies, cooked, re-arranged Christmas decorations more than once, and made a huge dent in my TBR pile of books. When I finally got a quiet morning to sit down at the keyboard, I was on fire for that story. It had been simmering in my head for several weeks and I stayed with it most of that day. That was a productive writing session and wow, what a great feeling. Writing is fun! I can hardly wait for critique meeting, so I can get everyone’s opinion.

If you read any story craft book in the new year, this is the one. You MUST add this to your writing reference library in 2015 and ASAP.

Hope you have a happy and productive 2015, and thanks for following us on WordsmithSix!