Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Writer's Blueprint: Guest Post by Ana Kenley

Happy Thursday!

I am delighted that another of the Dangerous Divas (my Savvy Authors NaNoWriMo team) is here to offer up another perspective on "what works for us".

I kind of think that one of the drawbacks of social media is that there are SO MANY choices when it comes to getting advice on how to write. But that is also one of the most awesomest things, too...there are blogs and websites and e-books and everything else out if what you're doing isn't working, go find something else to try.

But at the end of the day, it's all about the BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard), isn't it?

Thanks for being here today, Ana!  
A Writer’s Blueprint
By Ana Kenley

I wish being a writer came with a manual, or a blueprint, or instructions—anything that made being a writer easier. Unfortunately, there’s tons of workshops, worksheets, systems and software, that sometimes it’s hard to figure out what might work for you.

For me, I got so caught up in the process of writing that I wasn’t even really writing. So I had to take a long look at what was actually working and what wasn’t. Filling out character profiles isn’t for me. I get frustrated if I can’t answer what my heroine’s favorite flavor of ice cream is, and then I wonder how well I know her… because if I really knew her, I’d know she loves strawberry. And if I was able to complete the ten page profile, by the time I finished the plot outline I no longer wanted to write the book.

I didn’t need any more classes or worksheets, but to be accountable. I needed something—or someone—to answer to. So I began a mentorship. I’m getting my writing done, I’m going to be submitting it, and I’m learning as I go. It’s what works for me, but it might not work for you.

We all have things that work for us and things that don’t. Don’t get bogged down by the things that don’t work. Cut them out and use what is useful to you. There’s no right or wrong way and there’s no quick fix software out there. The only writer’s blueprint that will ever exist is to “sit butt in chair and write—or type”.

Ana Kenley is a young adult author who has recently completed her first novel, Forbidden. Ana is a member of Romance Writers of America and Savvy Authors, where she volunteers her time and co-writes a new monthly blog featuring industry professionals. You can find her at, on Twitter @authorana, and on Facebook.


  1. Ana, you're absolutely right--you have to figure out what works for you, and do it. Ultimately, the only way to be a writer is to write.

  2. Yah, fill in the blanks profiles don't work for me either. The only thing that works is doing the writing and sending it to crit partners--all of whom are published and carry red stick and know how to use it, lolol!

    Keep on writing!

  3. So true - find what works and exploit it! (*waves to my fellow DIVA's*)