Scoops and Swoops Issue One Oct 2009

Scoops and Swoops Newsletter Issue One October 2009
Barbara Martin

Heya! Celebrate this inaugural issue with me!!!

You probably know from your own experience how heart warming it feels to find an appreciative and discerning audience for creative work, whether it’s writing, painting, acting or something else altogether. Thank you again for subscribing to Scoops and Swoops from Reptitude. ( )

I ‘d expected this would be ready to go in early to mid-October, but fear held me back.
Fear and procrastination make a natural pair. The fear can come in many forms, but the resulting delay is maddening nonetheless. Maybe you have experienced this fear?

So here we are at the absolute last minute of the month and I’m just now hitting “send” and hoping you remember you subscribed at the blog. ( ) Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing you subscribed and reinforced that public deadline. You are on a par with a paying editor!

I don’t think I’ve ever missed a deadline for an editor, or back in the day for a client or a boss. That’s hundreds and hundreds of professional pieces I’ve written to a deadline, plus this one. And it’s still thrilling — and scary as heck.

Now I’m laughing at myself. “All it really takes is sitting in the chair and typing.” Besides having a sense of humor, I think it’s important to be sympathetic, yet firm.

Does a public deadline work for you? Do you play games with yourself to get creating? What makes you tick? You can let me know, if you like. should do it.

November is a big month in creativity circles. NaNoWriMo happens. That’s National Novel Writing Month wherein crazy people try to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days flat. I’ve both done it successfully, and I’ve attempted but failed at it. I’ll be posting at to offer a few tips and tricks for getting through the darn thing. Yes, the experience is worth the hoopla and the free price of admission! And yes, you can still sign up, even a couple of days late. It begins at 12:01 AM November first. Go to for the official deets.

Art Every Day Month Challenge
Lest you think this month is all writers all the time, you might also enjoy the hugely supportive Art Every Day Month Challenge with Leah Piken Kolidas. Participants include artists and writers and Leah welcomes creative pursuits of all kinds.

Off the Highway
And if you think 30 days is a challenge, consider 100. My friend Mavis Penney in Labrador, Canada and her painting partner, Patricia Scarborough in Nebraska, worked together to produce Off the Highway, a blog about creating a series of 100 paintings in 100 days. Besides engendering technical improvement through the steady practice, the challenge led them to interesting observations about themselves and their art and their gumption and what it means to be so rigorously productive. Read their final summary, interim notes and check out the paintings at

Daily Writer Notes
Finally, in honor of NaNoWriMo and writers everywhere, I’ve developed the hot off the press (and free) Daily Writer Notes. These are simple short emails sent every morning to stimulate and nourish your inner writer. Because a daily practice is a good thing to develop and we all need a little nudge from time to time. The notes are from me to you, you may use them as prompts if you like but they aren’t intended as such. Just little notes to encourage and ease your creativity into action, shifting you through the inertia hump so you get the first word down and begin the first sentence of the day.

But lest you think these are saccharine little inspirational notes, or cheery bits of fluff, no they are emphatically NOT that. Hey, I made them up! (And I’d love to know what you make of ’em!)

Sign up for the Daily Writer Notes at

That’s it for the inaugural edition of Scoops and Swoops from Reptitude.

Thanks for reading! Barbara Martin