Category Archives: Uncategorized

10 Best Things About Writing Cozy Mysteries

A tabby cat in front of a black background is on the right hand side of the photo and the post title, 10 best things about writing cozy mysteries, is superimposed on the left.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I like reading many different kinds of books. Everything from biographies to literary fiction and classic literature interests me.

But for writing, I’ve been sticking with cozy mysteries. There are a few reasons for that.  For one, I’m pretty well branded as a cozy mystery writer and that’s what readers are looking for and expecting from me. For another, it takes a whole lot more effort and research for me to switch to another genre (although I’ve done that…once.)

The biggest reason, though, is that writing cozy mysteries is so much fun.

Here are the 10 best things about writing cozy mysteries: Continue reading 10 Best Things About Writing Cozy Mysteries

Keeping Organized as a Writer

Colorful paper and folders are in the background and the post title, 'Keeping Organized as a Writer' is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Being a writer can involve a lot of clutter.

And I don’t even print things out. I’ve trained myself by this time to work as well on the computer as I used to on paper (that way I don’t have the time-consuming process of transferring notes or manuscript text to the computer later).  But there’s a lot of computer clutter.

I’ve found if I can keep my files organized, it helps me to write a lot faster. That’s because I can quickly access the information I need and keep writing my story without getting distracted by something else on my computer (hello, internet).

Here’s my (current) method, using Word.  I’ve gone through a bunch of different iterations and I’d be interested in hearing how you’ve set your own files up. Continue reading Keeping Organized as a Writer

Keeping Motivated

A young man plays basketball and the post text is superimposed: "Keeping Motivated."

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I lurk in a lot of Facebook groups and while there are always writers who are pumped up about writing and promoting (yes, really, there are those writers!) I notice that there are just as many who seem frustrated or discouraged: either with their writing progress or with their lack of sales.

Sometimes they’ll be at least making steady sales and then will get completely undone by a terrible review.

Sometimes they say that they don’t really have family support for writing or feel as though they have to make a ton of sales to justify their writing.

Sometimes their life has turned upside down with medical issues for themselves or for people close to them. Or it’s turned upside down for other reasons.

In these circumstances, it’s really tough to keep going.  There’s a lot to be discouraged about and sometimes it’s hard to be creative or motivated when faced with a lot of discouragement. Continue reading Keeping Motivated

Art in the Everyday

Storm clouds are in the background and a suburban row of homes is below them. The post title, 'Art in the Everyday' is superimposed on the photo.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I was looking for a movie to watch and stumbled across “Paterson” on Amazon Prime Video (free to Prime customers).

The description of the movie reads:
Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, he writes poetry into a notebook; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

It was, I think, the quietest movie I’ve ever watched. Because of its R rating, I kept expecting some sort of horribly violent or upsetting incident to take the film in another direction.  But there was nothing violent or especially upsetting (except, well, maybe for writers. I won’t give any spoilers here).  I discovered later that the R rating was because of language, although I didn’t even remember or notice bad language–a sign that it must have been slipped in very naturally.

Although I’m not a poet (at least not a good one), I loved the way that poetry was woven into the everyday (repetitive, routine, and rather boring lives) of the main characters.  I’m a subscriber to Poet.Org’s Poem-A-Day newsletter, which sends me a poem to read each day (frequently accompanied by the poet’s thoughts on the poem and a bit of bio).  As critic Kate Taylor wrote for The Globe and Mail: “Everyone, it appears, is capable of art.” And: “…The sameness of it all only serves to underline that the creative act belongs to all of us every day.” Continue reading Art in the Everyday

Back Up Your Work

Aerial view of hands typing on a keyboard with a white mouse in the upper right. Superimposed on the photo is the post title, "Back Up Your Work."

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Every so often, I run a variation of the same post.  It’s a public service announcement to back up your work.

I have heard so many horror stories from writers about lost work that I truly believe their stories account for the white hairs I have cropping up.

The most harrowing tale is from long ago.  Hemingway lost months of work because his wife, who was bringing the stories (and, sadly, also the carbon copies) to him in Switzerland. She left the overnight bag unattended to get water before the train pulled out. When she returned, the bag, and his work, were gone.  More about this episode here on the Hemingway Project site (including a recorded interview with his wife, Hadley, on the subject). Continue reading Back Up Your Work