Hey, Ninja Writer!

Forget winter. NaNoWriMo is coming! Are you ready?

Ninja Writers is hosting a NaNo Prep giveaway in September. THREE lucky winners will each get:

Click this link to join. Be sure to share the magic link you’ll get after you do with your writer friends. You’ll help spread the word about Ninja Writers AND get extra entries in the giveaway when they sign up.


It’s time for the second annual Blog-Your-Own-Book Challenge!

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Last June, I thought to myself — what if we challenged everyone to write a blog post a day for one month. That morphed into something more like what if we challenged everyone to write a blog post a day for a month and turn those posts into a book?

So, as often happens with me, a one-month challenge turned into a four month challenge we called BYOB or Blog Your Own Book. We’d all plan our challenges in July, write those blog posts in August, edit them into a book in September, and prepare them for publication in October.

Meet FRED . . .

Me and my FRED! (Photo: Author)

FRED is the folder for reaching the end of your draft. And he is magical.

This deceptively simple little tool keeps me on track, reminds me that I’m a real writer (when I need that reminder), and makes sure I actually finish my projects. He’s my accountability buddy— and he doesn’t expect a thing from me in return!

Meet him here:

Meet FRED Video.

You can download a free printable FRED here.

And if you want even more? Next Friday (February 26, 2021) at 2 p.m. EST, I’m hosting a live workshop all about setting tiny writing goals, using FRED…

How you judge success matters.

Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

Blogging isn’t a one-size-fits-all enterprise. There are all types of way to use the effort of blogging to build your writing career and no one way is better or worse than the others.

Understanding your writing archetype and leaning into your strengths (which will help you overcome your natural hurdles) can make a big difference.

Let’s start here:

What does blogging success look like to you?

You may (or may not) be surprised that success is not the same for everyone. What success means might be different for you than it does for me. …

Summer’s over. Do you need an autumn reboot?

Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash

I moved from Nevada to Pennsylvania in November of 2018. Because I lived in the desert or in Southern California for all of my life, it was a shock to my system to move (in autumn) to a place that isn’t particularly sunny.

That’s an understatement. Actually, that’s two of them. The first being that it was a shock to my system. The second being that Pennsylvania isn’t particularly sunny.

I got here right after Halloween and saw the sun again sometime in May.

It’s September now. The tail-end of summer is meeting the first blushes of autumn and I…

In answer to a critic.

Photo by courtney coles on Unsplash

I had a response, from a man named Doug, to my (sort of, but not really) tongue-in-cheek post about wearing a mask the way you wear pants. Consistently, when you’re out in public.

Here’s the response, in full.

Placebo: A substance or treatment which is designed to have no therapeutic value. In general, placebos can affect how patients perceive their condition, but have no impact on the disease itself.There are as many studies proving the commonly worn paper and cloth masks to be absolutely useless in the prevention of viral infection as there are studies that "suggest" masks "might" prevent larger water droplets from…

Consistently, when in public. Because we want your germs about as much as we want to see your junk.

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

Imagine the dude in the photo above is your child’s teacher. And he hates pants.

They constrict him. He’s had three infections under his balls just this year from wearing pants. They’re against his religion. And damn it, he’s an American and no one (no one) should be able to tell him what he has to put on his body.

He’s an anti-pantser. Loud and proud.

So he’s going to start teaching without them. Starting Tuesday, he’s going to come to class everyday, naked from the waist down. Just a dress shirt, a sweater vest, and a tie. …

Seriously. The hack of all hacks. You’re welcome.

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

The Internet is full of people (for whatever reason, mostly millennial men) who are beyond excited to share all kinds of hacks to kick all kinds of ‘pain points’ in the ass.

Writing Process

An exercise to help you learn to write with sensory details.

Photo by Solstice Hannan on Unsplash

Sensory writing involves (surprise, surprise) bringing all five of your senses into your descriptions. It’s an important part of drawing your reader in, no matter what it is you’re producing.

Well done sensory detail grabs your readers by the . . . nose. Or eyes. Or ears. Or tongue. Or their whole body. It drags them into the story (fiction or nonfiction) and puts them into it.

Pretty much every type of writing depends on the writer being able to call on the readers five senses. In other words, it’s far less about your senses and more about theirs.


Turns out it was way more about community than production.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

A big part of my work with Ninja Writers involves trying things, stepping out of my comfort zone (sometimes WAY out), so that I can teach you how to do things that might help you create income streams for your writing careers.

In January, I decided to finally give YouTube a real try.

I’d had a YouTube channel for several years, but had never really used it. I had one video that I recorded five or six years ago about making a physical plot board that had some views. And that’s about it.

To monetize your YouTube channel, you need…

Shaunta Grimes

Learn. Write. Repeat. Visit me at ninjawriters.org. Reach me at shauntagrimes@gmail.com. (My posts may contain affiliate links!)

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