Coffee & Scribes

Author Interview: Maureen L. Mills

The Importance of Showing Up

Lately, I’ve struggled with writing, finding inspiration, and connecting with my creative side. Because of this, when I came across this TED Talk again—I discover this wonderful talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, Your Elusive Creative Genius, a few years back—and I wanted to share.

If you’re struggling with your creative genius, and even if you’re not, take a moment to listen to this great talk about the importance of showing up. Continue reading “The Importance of Showing Up”


Make The Most Of Your Writing Group


Writing groups are an excellent resource for writers. Last year, while attending a writer’s conference, one of the speakers spoke about writing groups and getting the most out of your them.

Sharing your writing—especially when you’re starting out—can be intimidating and scary. The important thing to remember is we’ve all been there. We know how vulnerable you feel about putting yourself out there and this is part of the process of being a writer. If you’re still having a hard time sharing your writing, check out Susan Jeffers book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, for tips to help you move through your fear.

Once you’ve decided to share your work with others, the next thing to do is find a writing group. Continue reading “Make The Most Of Your Writing Group”

Five Things I Learned from Self-Publishing…

(or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Amazon)

Last December, I dipped a toe into the ocean of self-publishing with my short story, Hide and Seek. The world of publishing has been changing for a long time, thanks to the internet and that beautiful creature called social networking.

Through self-publishing, authors no longer need agents or publishers to get their work into readers’ hands.  This route also gives us a heck of a lot more creative control over everything from the actual content of the book, to formatting, to the way the cover looks.

There are pros and cons to each path, of course…but I’ll cover those some other time. Today I’d like to go over the five most important lessons that I learned on my first foray into this world. Continue reading “Five Things I Learned from Self-Publishing…”

To Outline or Not to Outline?


We all have our unique creative process. Outlines are helpful for many writers and for others, a more free-flowing, organic style works best. Whichever you style you use, the key is to make it work for you.

For me, no matter how hard I’ve tried to outline, my writing process is more organic (without an outline). Although this kind of process can take various twist and turns, get off track, and take longer to complete a project, sometimes a more organic approach can help you get to know your characters better. At least, that is how it has worked for me. However, I will admit that I’m trying to write from an outline—even if it’s more of a skeleton.

While exploring your writing habits and which system fits (and works best) for you, here are a few things to consider.

Continue reading “To Outline or Not to Outline?”

The Importance of Putting Yourself Out There


Writers tend to be introverts, I know I am, and, because of that, putting ourselves out there isn’t always the easiest thing. So, to branch out of my comfort zone, I attended a writing group earlier today. In this group, various speakers spoke up about attending writing fairs and how to market yourself as a writer. Continue reading “The Importance of Putting Yourself Out There”

Say What? Connecting With Your Characters


In my circle, my friends have gotten used to me talking about my characters giving me the silent treatment. For me, my writing style is very character driven and one where I let my characters do the talking while I watch (and write) the scene.

Every writer has their own writing process and the way they create and write their characters. If you’re writing a story that is heavily character driven, take a moment to get to know them better by interviewing them.

While you’re getting to know your characters, remember to not spend all your time on the interview process. Many writers get distracted by this and never get their stories written. Also, sometimes characters will start to reveal themselves as you move forward in your story. Continue reading “Say What? Connecting With Your Characters”

Writing Conferences in 2016


As writers—published or not—a writing conference is a wonderful opportunity. There are so many moments to meet other writers, learn new strategies, gain new ideas, and promote your book. If you haven’t attended a writing conference, I strongly recommend you check one out.

For 2016, here are some writing conference taking place which might interest you. Continue reading “Writing Conferences in 2016”

How To Discover Your Brand and Why You Need It

colored-pencils-374771_1920A few months ago, I was at a writing conference and one of the speakers spoke about the importance of creating your own brand or signature look. In his case, tie dye shirts are his staple of how he stands out from the crowd. While others have created some other kind of persona.

Personally, I’m not a stand out from the crowd kind of person. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my own brand. My name is my brand; and, I would say for most authors their name is their brand. But what does that mean? In a sense, who are you and what do you want your name to say about you? What do you want your readers to think when they hear your name?

As writers, published or not, have you taken a moment to decide on your brand? Perhaps you know what genre you want to write in, or have a few you are dappling in, but having a strong sense of who you are will help you as you put yourself out there more. Continue reading “How To Discover Your Brand and Why You Need It”

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