My Workspace

I always love seeing writer’s workspaces. You see those old photographs of the master’s workspaces like Rhod Dahl, Steven King, and Mark Twain.

When I lived in Australia and when I lived at home I did posts with pictures of my workspace/office.

Today, I want to share with you my home office and work area with you. This is the first time I’ve been an entrepreneur and so I’d like to share my work space with you so you can have a peek into my life on the other side of the screen.

This work place is still a work in process, but I’m very excited about it. Johan and I have lived in this new townhouse for about two months, so we haven’t been here long.

My work space is in a loft. How exciting that our home has a loft. I love it.

Welcome To My Workspace!

my workspace, office, devin joubert

I love books. That might be easy to see. As well as my office cat! His name is Loki! 😛

When I was little I loved watching “The Beauty & the Beast.” I was enamored by the beast’s library. Someday I’d really love to have a wall of books since I probably can’t have his exact library. I am happy about what I currently have.

workspace, office, devin joubert

Besides all the books, this is also the print zone and where I keep a lot of my art supplies.

Now For The Writer’s Desk

A writer’s desk is quite important. This is the desk I’ve had since middle school. A lot of big thinking has been done there.

“Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter” – Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

workspace, office, writer, devin joubert

This is my sitting writing desk. I’m currently looking at getting a standing desk as well, but I haven’t gotten that yet. When I have a standing desk, that’ll go into the guest room, which is actually where I have all my Mary Kay business stuff.

Isn’t this artwork amazing?

workspace, office, writer, devin joubert

I’m really looking forward to reading in this chair in our guest room. It looks quit inviting doesn’t it?

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I love my place.

I absolutely love the fact that this is my best working space. It’s not sitting 24/7.

How To Stand Against The Status Quo

Johan and I recently took a big step.

Entrepreneurship is filled with dreams, possibilities, and risks.

Throughout my life, I’ve never wanted to live cooped up in an office. I’ve always wanted to be out and about. On an adventure, to make an amazing life for myself and others. So in this post, I want to share how to go against the status quo and how when you do, people won’t understand your reasoning. Stand strong and chase your dreams. Mine was freedom.

life against the status quo, Devin Joubert

How To Stand Against The Status Quo

I recently chatted with a traveling freelancer and she said that many times people will ask her “where are you traveling now?” or “When are you getting a real job.” Things like that really sting.

[Tweet “Don’t you just love being asked, “When are you getting a real job?””]

I guess I’ve always been against the status quo, because what’s so amazing about following some trail that a million others have walked in front of you? Yeah, sure it will bring you to a safe destination. I’d rather get off the well-tread paths and bushwhack.

You see so much more anyways. It makes me think of a time that I went GeoCaching in Glacier Montana with my dad and brother. We left the trail and followed the coordinates. Yes, at some points we felt like we were lost, at other points we saw amazing views we’d never have seen if we hadn’t left the trail in the first place. Continue reading “How To Stand Against The Status Quo”

Our Choice For Chasing Freedom As An Entrepreneur

I’m excited to share this news with you. I’ve been dreaming about the day that I’d get to say this for a long time.

I’m an entrepreneur now!

[Tweet “We only have ONE life. I’m not going to waste it.”]

Entrepreneur Life, Entrepreneur, life, Devin Joubert

When I originally wrote this, I had just recently put my resignation letter in at my day job, so I can chase my goal of being an entrepreneur. My husband and I came together about it and prayed. We felt that now is the best time to go after it.

I know, if you are like any other NORMAL human being you might be wondering, “Why though, did you quit your day job? People always warn against that.”

I know. But this is why… Continue reading “Our Choice For Chasing Freedom As An Entrepreneur”

Character Conversations #5: A World Of Saints & Sinners

This is the fifth installment of the Character Conversations series. If you haven’t read the other installments, that’s totally fine. You can read them here: convo #1, convo #2, convo #3, convo #4, although they will make sense if read out of order.

We live in a world with beautiful things and horrendous things. It’s a world of beauty and pain. It’s filled with saints and sinners. You can find that out by just stepping outside into the real world or by watching the news at any given moment.

[Tweet “Our world is a world filled with beauty and pain,  & saints and sinners.”]

Last month, Johan’s grandpa passed away. It was really sad. He went in for a surgery and made it through that just fine, but all of a sudden when he was in the healing process, his heart just stopped. It was so tough, especially since Johan was here and the rest of his family was in South Africa.

a world of saints and sinners

In that same week, our town was hit by a horrendous crime that made everyone very uncomfortable and took away that safe feeling that a small community has. A pregnant woman went missing. And then they found her body. Continue reading “Character Conversations #5: A World Of Saints & Sinners”

My Favorite Novel Writing Tips

There have been countless times that people have asked me what I do to plot my writing. In this post, you’ll learn what my favorite novel writing tips are when it comes to plotting.

Ever since I was little, I struggled with outlines. I tried writing them in high school and didn’t do so well, teachers tried making me do them, I tried again in college, and even again while trying to find a good method for getting a little more organized when it comes to writing my books, so I end up with a cleaner 1st draft!

I struggled to find something, because I was not an outliner. I was what you’d call a pant-ser.

[Tweet “These are my favorite novel writing tips when it comes to plotting.”]

But now, I’ve found something that’s really helped me, well actually two things! Here are my secret novel writing tips:

novel writing tips

 

The Novel Writing Tips That Helped Me The Most

The first novel writing tip is from the Snowflake Method. A friend mentioned it, when I was writing my first book, which I had to edit a thousand times. (Not exactly, but close to it. It was a MUCH MESSIER first draft than the book I just wrote using my new method.)

[Tweet “When I didn’t use a method to keep track of my plot, my first draft was a lot messier.”]

So what is my new method? (Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to get your download so you can try my new method.) Continue reading “My Favorite Novel Writing Tips”

Character Conversations #2: Create A Character From Yourself

Have you ever read a book and noticed the main character or one of the characters having similar characteristics with the author?

I know I have!

And I’ve created characters who have similar characteristics to mine.

This can be a super useful form of inspiration when creating characters. Look into yourself. There is a ton of information in there.

In this blog post, you’ll learn about creating characters from your unique characteristics, likes, dislikes, and more.

Create a character, character conversations, Devin Joubert, Berglund

First off, let’s do an exercise.

Step #1. List Your Characteristics, Annoyances, And Likes

  • What characteristics are unique to you?
  • What annoys you?
  • What kind of things do you like?
  • What are some rants of yours?

Write out your answers to all of the questions from above. You might even think of your own questions, as well.

Here is my list:

  • Dislike for people with certain names because I’m always disappointed with how they turn out to treat me. It’s like a name curse. As soon as I meet them and they say “Hi, my name is….” and I am secretly thinking “Great… here goes another ruined friendship or failed opportunity.”
  • Dislike it when people don’t reason and think about things before they speak.
  • Hate how negative and full of lies social media is.
  • Hate the US vs THEM mentality of today’s society.

Step #2. Now Pick One Of The Characteristics

Use that one characteristic to inspire you to write a paragraph in first person, from a person who is fully focused on that specific topic.

I’m picking the first one.

It really bothers me that certain names are just a mismatch for me. It’s like the universe keeps handing me bad apples in the form of people. People with these same names never seem to fail — they disappoint me.

Step #3. Answer These Questions About Your Character

When I was little, my dad told me about these 5 magic words you can insert in front of any sentence to get people talking and answering questions. Which are “Who, what, where, when, and how.”

Here are the questions to ask of your characters:

  • Who are they?
  • Why are they so annoyed with this?
  • What do they love?
  • What is their job?

Step #4. Now Write A Paragraph Creating Your Character

Here is mine:

It’s my first day as an intern at a my dream job. The lady who is going to train me, steps out and offers her hand. “Hi, my name is Shelia (Name is not name I hate… I am not sharing that here.) My stomach lurches and does somersaults as soon as her name leaves her lips. The last time I met a Shelia, which carved this hatred for the name, was when Shelia was convicted of murdering my aunt.”

So, see what I did there? I took something I hated “that name curse” I mentioned above, and then spun it into a story about a character starting as an intern at a company she wants to work at. Then you find out why she hates the name.

*Note: I don’t dislike the names that I mentioned above, for a matter such as my character’s above. I made that all up.

Please share the character you created below in the comments section.

How To Create A Mini Desk Vision Board

I feel like art and the fit life have a lot connected to each other. Art, creativity, and inspiration inspire me to be a better person and when I work out and do the things that make me a better person, I feel more creative. I also feel like accomplishing more.

Today I want to show you how you can create your very own Desk Vision Board. It’s going to be something you can set on your desk at work to remind yourself of who you want to become and to keep your vision and goals fresh and on your mind throughout the day. This can be for fitness or projects you are working on. The one I made for example is to keep my story on the top of my mind. It will remind me to keep writing.

What you’ll need:
what you'll need devin joubert writing vision planning

  • Mini canvas + easel (I got mine at Hobby Lobby. The canvas and easel came together.)
  • Paint
  • Modge Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Cut out pieces of magazines, newspapers, print outs from Pinterest, and more.
  • Permanent Markers

Step #1: Think About Your Goals.

  • What are your goals?
  • What’s your vision?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you want to accomplish? (Fitness and in life?)

Step #2: What Will Represent Your Accomplished Goals?

What will show your goals as though they’ve been accomplished? For example, I want to lose weight. For that, I’d find a picture of a healthy looking person. Or even some words that stand for the fit life I’d like to live. Or for my example, I want to finish writing this book, so this will serve as a reminder to get it done.

art create a fit life devin joubert devin berglund

Step #3: Start Creating Your Masterpiece.

Put some Modge Podge onto your canvas and start decorating it with different things. When you are finished let it dry.

After letting it dry, you can come back and add more to it. Or you can add words and phrases with a permanent marker.

There is no limit on this. This is your masterpiece and it’s meant to inspire you to be the best you. Also to accomplish your dreams!

Step #4: Decorate Your Desk With It

art book creating a fit life book club vision board writing fitness

Did you create one? If so, I’d love to see it. Share a picture on Instagram and tag me: @devinberglundjoubert

Character Conversations #1: An Introduction To Character Conversations

Back when my husband was visiting from Australia (before we were married) we were driving in the hot desert outside of Las Vegas. We were talking about different ideas and one came up about creating characters and showing people how to create their own from the examples.

I feel like some of the best ideas come while on road trips. There is just something so magical, freeing, and inspiring about going someplace new. Our whole conversation got me thinking, and I’ve decided to start a blog series on this, called Character Conversations.

First off, I want to start with some important tips for writing characters and then I will share my first Character Conversations character with you all.

In each Character Conversations post, I will share with you, how I created the character. What I used as inspiration and ideas so that you can turn around and implement those tips to help you create your own characters.

Each writer has an area of strength and I’ve talked to a few who have asked me about my detailed descriptions and my characters. So, I know this is something that people struggle with. Especially if you are more intrigued about writing plot driven stories instead of character driven. I love writing stories that are driven by characters and editors/agents/readers love a story with a strong character—good or evil.

4 Things To Keep In Mind While Creating Your Characters

  1. Your characters are real. Give them real wants and real flaws.
  2. People watch with a pen and paper in hand. Go someplace with a notebook and pen. Sit down and watch people. Just spend some time writing physical descriptions down. Write down facial expressions, clothes, confidence, and anything else you can see.
  3. Ask yourself the right questions. Many writers go to the character sketch before they even know their characters. I’ve never really liked that about character sketches. If you don’t even know your character yet, how are you going to answer those questions? So instead I opt for you asking yourself the right questions to start off with.This makes me think of a time when I was in Australia at a Character workshop and there was another lady there who was participating in the class and she asked, “So who is really talking when you write through your characters. Is it you? Or your character?” So you can see how there is a bit of confusion when it comes to characters.But if you take a little time to wonder and think about your character you’ll have a lot less trouble when it comes to soaking into her or his shoes when you are writing. Take your character notebook with you to your writing desk and ask yourself “How can I combine these physical descriptions and features into a character for a story or book?
  4. A word of caution. Be careful if a real person inspired a made-up character. I’ve heard of writers who have been sued over things like that. So if you want to write a character who might have similar characteristics as a person you know, then be sure to change it up enough that they would never know it was them.

Now, since we have the tips out in the open, let’s create a character.

I went out and did a little people watching as well.

Step #1: Come up with the character list.

This is the list I came up with: (remember, when you do this, you might be watching one person or many people. Take ideas from everywhere.)

  • frizzy hair tied up in a short pony tail that sticks out of her head like a palm tree in the back.
  • rough skin
  • eye-glasses on the tips of her nose.
  • shifting eyes
  • a secretary
  • a fan of gossiping

Step #2: What story do you want to tell?

(Write a character story sentence. This will tell who she/he is, what they want, and what their purpose is in the story.)

With this character, I can see her being the Demon Secretary In Hell. She takes her job extremely carefully, and she loves hearing the juicy gossip to tell the Office Demons she works with. She is the Devil’s secretary, except he could care less.

Once you write down your character story sentence, you can start writing.

Step #3: Start writing your character.

Edith Blackridge took her job seriously as she scribbled in her scrawling handwriting on the H.E.L.L admittance forms. They’d been getting plenty of new members. A glob of slime fell from the cavernous ceiling above and onto her desk with a splat. She humphed while pushing her glasses up further onto her greenish nose. Her hair was a knot of grey and black hair.

This was happening more than it wasn’t and she’d complained about it already. That janitor better get better at his job or else the boss isn’t going to be happy, she grinned while turning to look at the office door behind her. A sign hung on it, with blood red writing, which said: Satan.

Now, it’s your turn!

Step #1: Come up with a character list.

Step #2: What story do you want to tell? (Write a character story sentence. This will tell who she/he is, what they want, and what their purpose is in the story.)

Step #3: Start writing your character.

Each time you do this, you will come up with a different character and if you are using this exercise to come up with characters in a book that you are currently writing, think about what the purpose for the character is in the larger scheme of things.

How will they either help or cause more pain for your protagonist. There has to be a reason to have the character on the page.

Did you do the exercise? If so, answer the three questions in the comments section below. I’d love to see what you come up with. 

P.S. If you like my blog, please take a moment to fill out this poll. It will help me come up with more great content to help you be the writer you’ve always wanted to be. ALSO, you’ll have a chance to win an Amazon card. 😀

Having Your Own Writing Retreat

Quick note from Devin: Today is my Mom’s Birthday! Check out her site here and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Last weekend I declared that I’d go on a writing retreat. Really that writing retreat consisted of staying at home and writing. I really believe that as writers we need to be doing that more.

So here are some tips for having your own writing retreat. I am planning on doing that again next weekend.

Writing, Writing Retreat, AmWriting, Devin Berglund

Continue reading “Having Your Own Writing Retreat”

You Know You Are a Writer When…

schedule, finished my novel, Laura Smith, Writer, Springtime Writing, Writing, Devin Berglund, Nanowrimo, Devin Berglund, North Stradbroke Island, Finished my book

  • You keep your phone next to you when you fall asleep, just incase you get a great idea to write down in the middle of the night.
  • You plan on writing all night, but decide once you get home from work to watch TV. fail.
  • Your search history could scare someone or bring the FBI to your door.
  • Your dreams are so vivid and you find yourself thinking mid-dream “Wow, that would make a great story!”
  • You have certain pens you work with and certain ones you hate.
  • Teachers told you “You daydream too much.” as a child.
  • You love writing, but hate it in the same breath.
  • You fight the urge to sit down and write.
  • You constantly think about stories. You breath, sleep, and eat stories. They are your air.
  • Your go to writing clothes are either your PJs or your workout clothes!
  • You don’t get enough time to read ALL the books you want to read.
  • You’ve heard one of these questions (or all of them) before, “Are you done with your book yet?” or “When are you going to be published?”
  • You either HATE editing or revising or you love it. I hate it. How about you?
  • Your overactive imagination scares you when you are home alone.

Add some of your own “You know you are a writer, when…” scenarios in the comments.