Think Like a Writer

When I was a college student, a series called The Paper Chase was in reruns on some cable channel or other, and my mom and I enjoyed watching it together. It chronicled the lives of several Harvard Law students (and was much less glamorous than Legally Blonde makes law school out to be). The famously strict, buttoned-up Professor Kingsfield was known to tell his students on the first day of class, “You come in here with a skull full of mush … you leave thinking like a lawyer.”

I don’t know if Katharine Grubb had that line of dialogue in mind when she titled her newest work, and she’s certainly not the strict-professor type, but she and Professor Kingsfield have one thing in common: they know how to give people the thinking skills they need to do the work they want to do.

Katharine knows how to teach, and she knows how to teach writers. Here’s her cred: she’s a homeschooling mom of 5 (1 college grad, 2 college students, 2 current high-schoolers), a novelist, and author of three books for writers:

I’ve read, and would recommend, all of these — and I’m not even a novelist! (There was plenty of helpful information in Write a Novel for any writer, regardless of genre).

Today Katherine’s newest book for writers releases, and it’s packed with that same wise, funny, (sometimes) strict, “I get it” kind of advice that characterizes her other books. It was a privilege to get to read an advance copy of Think Like a Writer

TWEET: Set yourself up for success as an author by learning how to think like one – in 10 minutes a day: new book from @10MinNovelist

From the introduction to Think Like a Writer:

All successful authors, back in the beginning of their careers, to a mental leap and first saw themselves as writers. They set up their lives, physically and emotionally to achieve their writing goals. They all, for lack of a better term, had a writer mode in their settings, either analytical or emotional (or a combination of both) and tuned into it as they worked on their projects. 

How do you get into this “writer mode” Katherine speaks about? There’s definitely a lot of self-discipline involved — even if you only get 10 minutes at a time to work. She notes,

We can be better equipped to manage our lives around our art. I believe that time, tools, and habits can be organized in such a way that interruptions are minimized. Note that I did not say eliminated. I said minimized.

Massive success does not require massive action. What will make a difference, in the long run, is little work on a regular basis.

If you want to learn the power of small, manageable habits in your success as a writer (or your professional success in any sphere), Think Like a Writer is for you.


Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Images courtesy of Katharine Grubb. All rights reserved.
I was provided a free advance review copy of this book, but no other compensation, for this review. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.
Purchase links in this article are Amazon affiliate links. Your purchase through these links benefits my work.

Monday Recap: 4/27

Recap logo There’s been a whole lot of cooking (and writing about cooking) going on this week! I have a bunch of new recipes up.

At Cook and Count

Collage Monday Recap 42715

Spicy Orange Chicken is a healthier take on a takeout favorite. Since it’s not fried, it’s also much less messy to cook.

Don’t miss this shrimp dish: Garlic Shrimp with Peppers and Onions.

On the Grill: Luau Chicken Thighs: These are delicious with a side of grilled pineapple slices.

Shrimp Tacos: A speedy-to-cook seafood dinner.

On the side, try some Sesame Green Beans.


dexcom g4My Tech Talk discusses the reason I’ll be abandoning Team Android at upgrade time.


Right Here at Franciscanmom

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800I linked up with’s Small Success Thursday




write a novel at 10 minutes a dayGot writing dreams? Learn how much you can accomplish in Ten Minutes a Day.

Ten Minutes a Day

write a novel at 10 minutes a dayI’m not writing a novel.

But I need this book.

Author Katharine Grubb took a break after drafting her third novel to write a nonfiction book, Write a Novel in Ten Minutes a Day.

But the subtitle is where the action is: “Because your dreams are worth 10 minutes.”

In addition to detailing all the things an author needs to think about when crafting a novel (and there are a lot of things), Katharine has included 9 chapters of advice that any writer, regardless of genre, can use.

This is a writer’s workshop in book form. And it’s useful to any writer with a book in her heart.

Part One is the part I need to concentrate on the most right now:  “Arranging your writing around your life.” As Katharine Grubb observes in chapter one,

I knew that if I looked for big chunks of time or perfect conditions, they would never come. My theory was that ten minutes were better than none at all. And if I did this six times in one day, I would have written for an hour. An hour devoted to writing seemed like a luxury. (p. 5-6)

Want to learn why Katharine considers the party game “Two Truths and a Lie” an important soul-searching exercise?

Want to know the time-management strategies she employed while writing a novel as a homeschooling mom of 5?

Want to know how to write a book when you don’t have a private island, a year at a writer’s retreat, or even a garret?

You’ll find all this–and more–in the first 3 chapters of this very thorough guidebook.

I’ll be working through Chapter 2, “Organizing Your Time,” in great detail. Because my dreams are worth 10 minutes.

Full disclosure: I was privileged to read this entire book in unfinished form, as a “beta reader” for Katharine Grubb, in exchange for my honest feedback. I’m amazed that she asked me to read the book, because she knows that while I read loads of fiction, it’s not what I write.

Links to Write a Novel in Ten Minutes a Day in this post are  affiliate links. That means that if you purchase this book through my affiliate link, you don’t pay extra, but there’s a little cha-ching that goes toward my blog hosting costs.