The Sizzlers Welcome Kelly L. Stone, Author of LIVING WRITE

Today the Sizzlers continue our Anniversary Celebration with one of our favorite former guests. Not only is Kelly L. Stone a great fiction author herself, she has written a series of three nonfiction books that can really help you get your time, your head and your life all straightened out and ready to draft your masterpiece. And because she is such a great person, she has agreed to give the first chapter of her new book, LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Bringing Your Craft Into Your Daily Life to not just one lucky commenter, but to everyone who leaves a comment today. So type away kids, ‘cause if you haven’t read any of Kelly’s books, you are in for a treat. With her guidance, even real people, who have lives and dayjobs and families and all the rest can make their writing dreams happen!

BIO: Kelly L. Stone ( started a successful writing career while working a full time job. She is a licensed counselor and author of the TIME TO WRITE series, a set of inspirational and motivational books for writers designed to help you achieve all of your writing dreams. The third book in the series, LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Bringing Your Craft Into Your Daily Life (Adams Media) will be released on September 18th.
SS: Welcome back! You’ve been busy since we last talked, with the most recent of your Time to Write series about to be released. What can you tell us about Living Write?

Thanks so much for having me here! This is one of my favorite blogs!

LIVING WRITE is about how to capitalize on the power of small steps to achieve big writing goals by creating a daily focus on writing. This can be through actually writing every day or in some way “touching” your writing every day, such as reading a craft book, editing your own work for a few minutes, or adjusting your writing goals.

SS: How is this book different from the earlier books in the series, Time to Write and Thinking Write?

TIME TO WRITE demonstrated how to make time to write no matter how busy you are. THINKING WRITE teaches you how to capitalize on the power of your subconscious mind to maximize your writing and creative efforts. LIVING WRITE anchors all the concepts presented in the first two books by showing you how to bring writing more and more into your daily life so that you can become the writer you want to be, and achieve your writing goals over time. It’s about incorporating the craft of writing into your day to day life.

SS: I have loved using the CD from Thinking Write in my own writing. Is there a CD in your new book?

Yes! I’m really excited it. There are 4 guided meditations for writers, and they incorporate some of the unique techniques that I teach in the book. There is a track called “Get Ready to Write” that you can use before every writing session to get into the zone, and another on how to create subconscious mind guides or what I call Writing Counselors. There are also two tracks that help you set clear, do-able goals as well as define your overall Vision of Success.

SS: Your books are always full of practical ideas we overworked working mom-authors can use. Can you give us a hint or two of some of the advice contained in Living Write?

Sure. One suggestion is to write every day for 90 days. Just carve out some time daily for 3 months and write. At the end of that 3 months, see how you feel about your writing. One effect you cannot escape is that you will have ingrained writing as a habit; also, writing will have suddenly become a very important part of your daily life. You may not stick with daily writing, but your attitude toward your writing is forever changed. Give it a try. It’s a neat experience.

SS: Since you are the authority on making writing a part of one’s everyday life, hit us with your best shot. What is the best piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers?

Write on a schedule! Whether it’s 15 minutes every morning before the family gets up, for an hour after your kids are in bed at night, on your lunch break from work, for 2 hours every Saturday…whatever. The key is to make a schedule and then stick to it! Don’t let yourself off the hook when that time rolls around. Discipline yourself to write when you said you were going to write. Reward yourself with some chocolate or a cup of tea or a glass of wine or a date with your hubby or 30 minutes of your favorite soap opera every time you complete that writing schedule. That is called positive reinforcement and it will build writing as a habit; once writing becomes a habit, you’re home free. Just like you don’t go to bed at night without changing into your pajamas, you also won’t let a day or week pass without thinking, oh yeah, I’ve got to write tomorrow morning or whatever. A writing schedule also gives you permission to say “no” to tiny, daily distractions, which are the bane of the aspiring author. When someone calls asking you to go to the movies, and it’s your writing time, you’ll be able to say with a clear conscience that you have something else to do. And then go do it!

SS: And the opposite – in your opinion, what conventional wisdom should we disregard? In other words, what is the least helpful advice writers get?

Well, at the risk of sounding like I’m contradicting myself, one piece of advice I think doesn’t necessarily work for everyone is that of writing every day. While I certainly advocate daily writing, and I usually write every day and a lot of writers I know write every day, and I believe there is power in daily writing (that’s the first chapter of LIVING WRITE, for heaven’s sake!), I also think that if you can’t make that work for you it does not mean that all is lost. You have to find the writing schedule that works for you and your life and go with that. Some writing is better than no writing. So if you can only write once or twice per week, but you do that consistently every week for months at a time, you can still get your books written. It’s just a slower process.

SS: So what is next for you? More how-to books, back to your own fiction, or what?

Right now I have turned my focus to fiction and have a paranormal romance in the works; I also have a non-fiction book that is not writing related that I want to tackle. After that, there may be another book in the TIME TO WRITE series. I guess TIME will tell, no pun intended. 

Thanks so much for having me here!

SS: So, am I right (or, write)? Isn’t she fantastic? If you would like to meet Kelly in person, she is going to be speaking at the Moonlight and Magnolias conference hosted by the Georgia Romance Writers October 1 – 3, 2010. Get her books, get inspired, and get to work on that WIP!!!

The Sizzle Interviews: Kelly Stone

Today we are interviewing Kelly L. Stone, author of the fabulous new Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind (Adams Media).  First of all, I have to say thanks to Kelly for giving me the ability to take a long, hot bubble bath with a glass of Pinot Grigio and some Aretha on the ipod without feeling mom-guilt. I’m not being lazy, I’m pursuing the muse through my hypnagogic state!  Now this is only one of the valuable tips you can learn from her book, gentle reader. Just a single idea like that would it worth your while – but it is chock full of ‘em!

      Let’s hear from Kelly about how to use our subconscious mind to jumpstart our writing and take us to the next level:

 SS: Kelly, tell us about your day-job and education, because I know that explains why you are the perfect person to write this book.

 Kelly:  Thank you so much for having me as a guest today! I have a master’s degree in counseling and am a licensed mental health therapist. I’ve been working in the field of psychology for 20 years.

 SS: And that leads us to Thinking Write. What is the premise of the book?

 Kelly:  I wrote THINKING WRITE as a companion to TIME TO WRITE, a book in which I tell aspiring authors that no matter how busy they are, they can always find time to write. After I finished that book a lingering question remained in my mind about how to best use the limited writing time people have available.  Everyone is so busy these days, and we all have to accommodate very limited writing periods around very busy lives.

 As a licensed mental health counselor, I have an understanding of how the mind works, and I wanted to know if I could translate that knowledge of the mind into a program for writers that would help them get into a creative state of mind quickly and easily in order to make the most use of sparse writing time.  The answer was yes, and that’s the premise of  THINKING WRITE –ways to quickly and easily access your subconscious mind, the seat of all creativity, for writing purposes.

 SS: What are these three different parts of the mind, and how do they affect our writing?

 Kelly: The conscious is your every day, thinking mind. It’s the part of your mind that is reading this blog right now. The conscious mind can only attend to one thought at a time. The preconscious is the second component to mind and it’s between the conscious and subconscious. It’s where the “anti-writer™” resides.  The subconscious is a vast, unlimited portion of your mind that is like a giant computer with multiple input sources. The subconscious mind’s ability to store all the details of your life, even those that escape your conscious mind’s field of attention, is what makes it such a powerful tool for writers.

 SS: So the subconscious is like a huge memory-bank of ideas, sensations, and emotions just waiting for us to use it.  Are there things we can do to get in touch with our subconscious mind while we write? Can you give us an example?

 Kelly: THINKING WRITE is chock full of ways to get in touch with the subconscious mind, and there is a CD included that helps you practice some of the techniques. One example of how to get in touch with the subconscious mind while you write is to write to music that is 60 beats per minute, such as Baroque music. Music that is 60 beats per minute has been documented to put the mind in an alpha state, which is conducive to creativity.

 SS:  I mentioned it already, and I think the hypnagogic state is vital to a writer. I’ve been using it without knowing what to call it!  Can you explain what it is and how we can work with it?

 Kelly: The phase just before full sleep is called the hypnagogic state; it is characterized by periods of fleeting altered consciousness in which, among other things, subjects that have no relation are perceived as associated. Many writers keep paper and pen beside the bed as a way to capture this unique material.You can also hold one arm straight up while dozing, too. The tension required to keep your arm up will keep you in that state between wakefulness and sleep.  When you start to drift off, roll over and write down whatever was going on in your mind at the time. It will usually be something very creative and unique.

 SS: Now, in reading the book, I found out about this “Anti-writer”. Can you tell our readers what it is, and how do we avoid it?

 Kelly: The anti-writer is in the preconscious, which is between the subconscious and conscious minds. It can actually thwart your goals at becoming a successful writer unless you control it. It manifests in the form of thoughts and feelings of negativity related to your abilities as a writer. One way to combat it is by keeping a notebook and writing down all negative thoughts you have about your abilities as a writer.

Write down all the ways you sabotage your own writing efforts–maybe you set aside time to write but when you get to your desk, you consistently draw a blank and don’t write anything, and never get a manuscript finished.  That’s your Anti-Writer™ at work.

After you have identified patterns of your Anti-Writer™, create on index cards countering statements to your Anti-Writer™ thoughts. For example, if something you think a lot is, “I never have time to write,” a countering statement can be,  “I know there is time in my day to write, and I will find it.” 

 SS: What is the CD that is included with Thinking Write?

 Kelly: The CD is four meditations written and performed by Robert M. Stone ( (no relation to me)– Robert is an expert in subconscious mind communication. The CD has 4 guided meditations that help you learn the various techniques in the book; one is on visualizing yourself giving the perfect pitch to an editor.

 SS: The book is fabulous, and I have been using some of the techniques you discuss already with my WIP. Any last thoughts about Tbinking Write to share with our readers?

 Kelly: Thank you! I’m so glad it’s helping you.  Some of the techniques in Thinking Write are very unique– I encourage everyone to try them all and then use the ones that resonate with you and enhance your creativity the most. There are a lot of different exercises in the book, so there’s something for everyone!


So there you have it, dear ones.  Straight talk from an expert about how to get at all those wonderful resources right there in your brain. So go get her book and get started!

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