No – say it and mean it

NWelcome back to the blog! Today for the A to Z Blogging Challenge I’ve got Beth Barany sharing about the word No and how it relates to getting your writing done.

Here’s Beth Barany!

Hello everyone! Thank you so much, Cindy, for allowing me to be blogging about the letter N.

I want to talk about Saying No and Protecting Your Creative Self.

No is a magical word as a novelist, though a difficult one.

On the one hand, we want to be open to the muses to write. So we say yes to our stories, and yes to our characters talking to us, and yes to the writing flow.

But to do this, I don’t know about you, I have to say, “No” to everything else that isn’t working on my story.

Right now I’m working on preparing the next three paranormal romance novellas in my Touchstone series: another Christmas Elf story; and two more Fairytale romances.

As I sit down to work each day, or nearly every day, I open to the muse and open to the meanderings of my spirit to prepare these stories.

But I have to say no to everything else. I say no to the day job, no to checking email, no talking to strangers (since I often work at cafes), no to the internal doubt, no to the worry about the story, and especially no to concerns of it being good or perfect, especially at the planning and drafting stages.

Some tools I use to help me say yes to the writing and no to everything else:

  • A spreadsheet to track my writing
  • A timer to keep me honest
  • A clear focus of the day’s writing focus
  • A clear deadline for the overall project, for the current stage
  • Trust in my ability to put words to page
  • Scrivener


What can you say No to so you can sit down and write? What tools do you use to stay on task? I’m curious to hear!

Brought to you by the letter N…

(BTW, I use my own curriculum to prepare my novels and novellas. I offer a home-study self-paced version of my course, “30-Day Writing Challenge to Prepare Your Novel” here:

Beth.Barany_MG_6971_500x500ABOUT BETH BARANY

Award-winning author, Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes in two genres: young adult fantasy and sweet paranormal romance. She loves creating magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible.

Also a Creativity Coach, teacher & speaker and NLP Practitioner, Beth is passionate about helping authors get their message out into the world, gain confidence in their self-expression, and discover how they can get noticed and sell novels to their readers.

In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira, reading and watching movies, and traveling, with her husband, author and singer/song writer Ezra Barany.

Beth Barany lives in Oakland, California with her husband, two cats, and over 1,000 books.

You can connect with Beth at her site: or on Twitter and Facebook

ABOUT HER LATEST BOOK: Touchstone Series: Romance Novella Books 1-4, plus a bonus short story

Travel to worlds where anything is possible—time travel to Medieval France; a cute Santa’s elf hiding in plain sight in San Francisco; a mystery under the city of Paris that only love can unlock; and, love, destiny, and a labyrinth.

Four romance novellas and bonus short story in the TOUCHSTONE series, by award-winning novelist, Beth Barany.

A time-travel romance. When a thunderstorm transports software expert Rose Waldman to thirteenth century France, she meets hunky stonemason Julien, who is secretly creating a gargoyle in defiance of his master mason. Can independent gadget loving Rose trust her life and heart to Julien, and can she really never go home again?

 – A Christmas Elf romance. What if falling in love put the life you cherished in jeopardy?

Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Stuck on how to complete the prototype, and working as a temp in San Francisco’s financial district with no time for love, will her Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?

Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life. He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks. Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss. His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party. Will Dahlia be a welcome distraction, or will she turn his life upside down?

A Fairy Tale romance. Sarah Redman, a bank project manager, wants adventure in her life. Trainer extraordinaire, Josh Kleine, needs to pull off a successful presentation at a Paris conference to land more clients and save his company. Together they may hold the key to the strange disasters striking the City of Lights. Can Sarah unravel the secrets of the city and of her heart in time to save them all?

 – A Fairy Tale romance. What if what you wanted got in the way of your destiny? French MBA grad Lili Grenault needs to succeed at her last pitch meeting to fund her international green tech business. But her grandmother tells her to drop everything, find her one true love, and embrace her magical legacy by Beltane, in one week, or chaos and failure in her life will ensue.

San Francisco investor Brett Barnaby wants to find his great-grandfather’s gravesite in Amiens, France, one of the primary battle sites of World War I. Family legend says that purpose, greater mission, and perhaps even untold riches, will be unlocked when he finds that grave. But his search in Amiens brings up fear, anger, and dire warnings about some wild Green Man. He turns to local Lily Grenault for help.

Can these two independent freethinkers work together to prevent chaos from triumphing and find love in time in the labyrinth of roses?

 – A time-travel-esque romance. Sexy Medieval stonemason Julien has to rely on his fiancé. Rose to adapt to a 21st century life, to learn English, and find his place in a modern world. Software expert Rose has no time to spare with two jobs to support her and her fiancé Julien in expensive San Francisco. Will a weekend getaway rekindle the spark so these two time-crossed lovers can fall in love again?



Cindy here again.

Great reminder about learning to say no. I need to do that more often.

Keep writing.


  • Joanne Guidoccio
    April 16, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Hi Beth, Thanks for reminding us that NO is a complete sentence. When we have that burning YES inside, it is easier to say NO. Joanne 🙂

    • Beth Barany
      April 16, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Joanne, You’re so welcome! No is a complete sentence, even to oneself! I love that you focus on the burning YES inside. Mine burns like a bubbling cauldron, except when I’m taking a break from stirring it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  • emilia m.
    April 16, 2015 at 11:43 am

    saying NO is one thing. making sure it is being respected… well 🙂
    Like you said – say no and MEAN it 🙂
    need practice in that “meaning” part 😉

  • Beth Barany
    April 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    we all need practice on the meaning part, emilia! I get my loved ones to help me stay honest and remind me when I forget. 😉 Thanks for stopping by! And good luck with making your NOs stick! 🙂

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