November, 2009

This Month's Issue

Tips of the Month
Create Your Own Retreat
New at Nonfiction Writing Guide


Welcome to Getting it Write. If you are a new subscriber, you will find tips, articles and opportunities for improving your writing skills. Been with us a while? We're so glad you're here.

This month, we are focusing on creating a special place for writing. We'll also take a look at what's new on Nonfiction Writing Guide, including a brand new e-course only available to subscribers.

So, let's get started, shall we!

5 Tips for Setting Writing Goals

  1. Know what you want.
  2. Have a clear mental picture of the outcome you want to achieve with this goal.

  3. Write it down.
  4. Commit your goal to paper and make it real.

  5. Break it into steps.
  6. You can't eat a whole pizza at once. You have to take one bite at a time. Same goes with goals. You have to take one step at a time. Try starting from the goal and working your way backward to see what you need to do and when.

  7. Set a deadline.
  8. Use deadlines to keep yourself moving in the right direction. Share the deadline with someone who understands and isn't afraid to kick you in the pants if you need it.

  9. Celebrate milestones.
  10. Decide now how you will reward yourself for each step that you complete. Make the rewards worth the effort so that you are inspired to keep going even when it's tough.

Have you checked out the brand new FREE Article Magic Online Writing E-course?

Sign up to learn how to write strong, useful articles for the web - fast!

Create Your Own Writing Retreat at Home

Have you ever longed for a place to call your own. A place to get away from the stresses of daily life? Somewhere cosy and quiet to write in? As the mother of two, I have longed for such a retreat for years. Now I have one.

Did I win the lottery? Inherit? Get a book deal? No, I applied a little bit of creativity and frugality and created an oasis in my own home. For less than $50.00.

My retreat is a corner of my bedroom. In it are a comfy chair, a small table with a lamp and a radio. I have a small fountain there, as well as my favorite candles. It has no door, so no one can disturb me while I am there, yet it is closed off from the rest of the house. Sounds like a puzzle, doesn't it? It's not. And if such an oasis appeals to you, you, too, can have one.

The only condition is that you have to apply your own special personal style to your oasis, make it welcoming, peaceful and comforting. Those adjectives bring to mind different things in the minds of different people. I go for clean lines and serene surroundings. However, you might prefer a space filled with special items that inspire you. Or you may want to sit on the floor or a divan, rather than in a chair.

Before you start

Before you purchase anything, be sure you know what will make it an ideal getaway. Your special place should be just that, special, and a place you want to go to, love to be in and miss when you are away.

Do you know what would make the perfect retreat environment for you? Good. Let's get started.


The first thing you have to do is find a space for this writer's retreat. Mine is in the back corner of my bedroom. The space is approximately four feet by four feet. Just enough room for one person and her favorite book or laptop computer.

Do you want a larger space? Smaller? You have to decide what works for you. Once you know how large a space you want, figure out where it can be located in your house. I had to rearrange my bedroom in order to create the empty corner I needed. You may have to do something similar.


Once you have located your desired space and rearranged to accommodate it, you have to section it off from the rest of the world. This may be your first expense.

I wanted to get an oriental folding screen for my "wall". However, the cheapest one I could find was $130.00. Too much for my budget. Instead of giving up, I gave considered other options, short of building permanent walls. I considered hanging curtains or sheets from the ceiling, but it just wasn't the feel I wanted.

I visited a local home improvement store. I scoured the aisles there in search of my "walls". And I found them. Faux bamboo shades in the same green as our bedroom walls. I suspended these from the ceiling and pull them up when my space is not in use. I opted for the four foot wide, six foot long shades. This would block distractions, and give me plenty of room to relax. I purchased two shades and hung them from my ceiling at a right angle, forming my perfect little square. And they take up no floor space.

Personal touches

Once my shades were hung and tested, it was time to accessorize my space. First on my list was a comfy chair. I don't care about appearance. The most comfy chair I've ever owned was ugly, gold toned and leaking stuffing in many places. Unfortunately, that chair is no longer with us, so I had to find one to take its place.

This took a couple of weeks. But I finally found a blue overstuffed chair with flower print. It belonged to a friend of mine who didn't want it anymore and works perfectly in my space. It's great for cuddling up in with a blanket, a cup of hot cocoa and a good book or with my writing tools and a killer idea.


What I needed next was lighting. A trip to my local Goodwill store produced the perfect little table lamp for $10.00.

Now I needed something to put my lamp on. And my cup of cocoa. At a local hobby shop, I found small wooden crates being sold as DVD storage units for $5.00 a piece. I bought two, placed them on top of one another, secured them with wood glue and nails. Viola. Instant end table and bookshelf in one.

So, let's look at what my retreat has cost me. The shades cost $25.00 for two. The lamp was $10.00. The end table cost $10.00. The chair was free, since the friend was getting rid of it anyway. Many other decorative pieces were items I already had, such as the candles and the fountain. My total out of pocket expense was $45.00.

Now, I can go into my bedroom, pull down my bamboo shades, curl up in my chair and relax. This space is mine and mine only. My daughter knows that to violate this space is punishable by death or loss of phone privileges for a month (a fate worse than death for a teenager).

In this space, I can hang pictures on the wall, surround myself with pillows or stuffed animals, keep it spare and serene. Whatever. It's mine. My piece of peace in the chaos of a home with kids, dogs, husband and housework. And the best part is that it was cheap enough that I can afford to buy a good book to read there.

Don't forget to check out the our FREE Article Magic Online Writing E-course?

Sign up to learn how to write strong, useful articles for the web - fast!

This 7 part course teaching everything from finding an idea to completing a draft.

New at Nonfiction Writing Guide

Writing a Good Resume - 5 Tips Whether it's for you or for a client, knowing the basics of a good resume makes all the difference.

What is SEO Copywriting? Learn about SEO copywriting and how it is used to gain better ranking for ads, site content or directory articles.

Where to Find Freelance Writing Opportunities Looking for freelance work? Here's a guide to help you find opportunities that are satisfying creatively and financially.

Thank you for subscribing to Getting it Write, the free e-zine for Nonfiction Writing Guide. Next month, you will receive tips for writing during the holidays and tackling a book project.

See you next time!


Mary Klaebel