Why You Should Write in Shorter Blocks[This article was written by guest contributor Lynda McDaniel, co-founder of The Book Catalysts.] Have you ever coveted a cozy writer’s garret where you could create brilliant bestsellers in long, uninterrupted writing sessions? Well, don’t. That fantasy can ruin your chances of becoming a successful author. Here’s why:

1. As long as you think that’s what it takes to write a book, you’re less likely to write.

“Oh, I don’t have time to write today,” you tell yourself because you don’t have several hours to spare. Or “It’s just too hectic to write today.” Excuses like these feed the procrastination beast, which seems to have an insatiable appetite.

2. Uninterrupted periods of writing can cripple your creativity and productivity,...

... according to Benjamin Nugent in the New York Times (February 2, 2013). He learned this the hard way while enrolled in a master’s program in fiction. Nugent isolated himself in a prairie town with no Internet, no TV, no iPhone so he could produce great literature. Only he didn’t. “The disaster unfolded slowly,” he writes.

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NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just around the corner. Authors all over the US will attempt to complete a 50k-word novel by the end of November. Crazy? Maybe—but it also might be just what the doctor ordered. Arbitrary deadlines and a sense of camaraderie with other writers may give someone the nudge they need to get started writing the next great American novel. By combining ambitious goals with a sense of fun, NaNoWriMo helps foster an atmosphere that is conducive to creating quantity AND quality. But that doesn't mean you won't have to call upon your inner resources (discipline, drive, determination—aren't those all the same thing?) in order to get things done!

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[Note: This post was written by guest contributor Beth Hayden, a social media expert and author of Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest.]

When I was writing a proposal for my recent book on Pinterest marketing for John Wiley and Sons, my prospective editor asked how quickly I might be able to write the manuscript.

I thought it over and came up with my most aggressive possible timetable: four months. In reply, the editor asked, “Could you do it in six weeks?” “Six weeks? To write a whole BOOK?” I thought. “Is she insane?” But if the editor of a major publishing house wants to give you a book deal — and you won’t get the contract unless you agree to a ridiculously tight timeline — you say yes. And then you figure out how to write a book in six weeks. So that’s exactly what I did. How did I write 35,000 words in six weeks? Read on for my best tips on writing under incredibly short deadlines.

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We’re one week into National Novel Writing Month! How’s your book coming along? Crafting perfect prose with a deadline looming isn’t easy. For those of you looking for a little extra encouragement or guidance, we’ve found a great article on CopyBlogger.com that should help keep things focused as the clock ticks down.

Some of the tips they share seem geared towards creating compelling informational/instructional writing, but the basic principles could just as easily be applied to fiction.

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