An Organisation Helping Support #Writers and #Authors: Please Pass On

bfblogoEvery day, one in three authors will prepare to work, just to discover that they have run out of coffee. Medically, this leads to a short-term, debilitative state known as cafea ademptus. Long term, it creates a serious cultural vacuum in literature. Beans for Books is a non-profit initiative, which aims to stop this loss by providing community awareness, prevention strategies and research into eliminating cafea ademptus.

The effects of cafea ademptus aren’t limited to physical impairment, it also causes distress and is responsible for great losses to the International literary community. For example, it is a little known fact that Mahatma Gandhi, despite the encouragement of Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy, never got to write his thriller, “Dark Nights in Natal.” Historians have linked this loss to a voluntary lack of coffee consumption. [Ref] We have to ask ourselves how many other great treasures have been lost, as a result of coffee deprivation.

Know the Symptoms of Cafea Ademptus:

  • Weakness in the extremities.
  • Ability to sit steadily and upright in a chair.
  • Nausea
  • Confusion and an inability to concentrate, or focus.
  • Dizziness
  • Chewing on empty coffee packets, chewing on used spoons, or licking the inside of used cups.
  • Irritability
  • Feeling hopeless or depressed.
  • Reduced productivity and decreased in goal seeking behaviour.
  • Aggression or argumentative behaviour; sometimes leading to theft, violence and the abandonment of all morals to obtain a ‘hit.’
  • Loitering around coffee retailers, or being known by name, by their employees. This is especially serious, if Starbucks employees spell clients names correctly on cups.
  • Excessive need for sleep or other sedentary activity.

Cafea ademptus can become worse around peak periods of coffee use, such as days after public holidays or weekends, when suppliers have been closed for business; during November (which in many literary circles is related to NaNoWriMo phenomena), and April (A-Z Challenge); or late at night when deadlines are approaching.

Warning Signs of the Approach of Cafea Ademptus:

  • The level of coffee in the bag, or tin, is less than one third of the package weight.
  • Rationing coffee in a panic, as supplies are getting low.
  • Fighting over how many cups other members of the household or office, have consumed.

Medical authorities and sociologists have presented a number of draft strategies for bringing the problem under control. While these still require formal study, the suggestions for avoiding cafea ademptus involve simple tasks such as buying double quantities; socially focussed solutions such as being aware when friends are about to hit peak periods and checking their supplies; and in providing counsellors who can tailor organisational strategies to individual needs, to ensure all coffee related needs are met in a timely manner. Door to door rescue services are also being considered.

At this time, the only cure is a measured, regular coffee intake. No substitutions or medications have been able to replicate the effects of coffee, though chocolate has been tried with some hopeful outcomes. More research needs to be undertaken.

You can help cover the costs of research.

Donate by calling 1700-GIVE-A-BEAN to stop literary loss today.


The factual information in this post is provided by idiotsRus, as part of a non-profit initiative to take the woe out of Mondays.

Warning: if you try and ring that number to donate, your telco will probably laugh at you. Or you will donate to, I have no idea who. Don’t do it.

Disclaimer: I think Ghandi was awesome. No harm or offence was intended. He did meet with writers and adopt a severe diet for spiritual purity. Oh and Cafea Ademptus is Latin for coffee deprive. (Loosely)

This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

All images used in this post (except the logo), are sourced from and are suitable for non-commercial use.

Free #NaNoWriMo Motivational Badges for Your Blog

Everyone uses the NaNoWriMo badge, which is great, but if you’d like something additional to give yourself a motivational boost, you are welcome to use these. They are for social media, web sites and blogs and can be shared, adapted, whatever you’d like.

Click on them to get the full size copy, or right click on the image to save to your computer.

Good luck Nano’s! We’re all cheering you on.





This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

NaNoWriMo, Should You or Shouldn’t You? A Balanced View

My current planning for my next novel. I need time to put in all those plot points which are mapped out. I just can't get this, work and health commitments all in sync and completed in a month!
My current planning for my next novel. I need time to put in all those blank plot points which are mapped out. I just can’t get this, work and health commitments all in sync and completed in a month!

Each November, my blog visit stats drop as everyone focusses on their plans for National Novel Writing Month. Then later in the month, the visits pop up again as the dream of winning NaNo is abandoned or hijacked my real life. So should you sign up? I won’t be. I tried it a few years ago and stressed right out. I need more flexibility. Some of us need a push to get into gear, some of us need creative time and space. I am the latter.

Last year I wrote a post on how to assess whether or not initiatives such as NaNoWriMo are suitable for you, individually, or not. If you want an alternative to NaNoWriMo, try the links below. They are far, far less stressful and will suit those of you who don’t fit the “full steam ahead, hell or high water” mould.

Don’t forget that October is OctPoWriMo, October Poetry Writing Month: Write 31 poems in 31 days.



ROW80Logocopy~ A Round of Words in 80 Days: There are 4 rounds of 80 days a year. Rounds start in January, April, July and October, but you can participate in as many as you wish. ROW80 is the challenge that champions the marriage of writing and real life where you post your own goals, check-in twice a week and can change your goals as needed. Join at any time.

~ Creative Every Day: This is a low pressure, all-inclusive, year-long adventure for bloggers. You can join at any time.

~ #writemotivation by K.T. Hanna.  This initiative runs periodically through the year. You need to sign up, make a realistic list of blogging goals for the month, check-in once a week and visit your team mates to encourage them.


November also has these two challenges:

LeNoWriCha: a “rank-and-reward system is to provide an escape from the “success/failure” paradigm that seems to evolve from NaNo.” Started by David Shelverman Grimes and accessible through here:

WNFINNOVWrite Non-Fiction in November: “Challenges nonfiction writers to spend the month of November writing and completing a work of nonfiction. It also discusses nonfiction writing and publishing and provide a way for nonfiction writers to comment on their writing experiences during November each year. This is not a contest!”



Surviving Blogging and Writing Challenges: Wise Choices


The aim of this blog is to equip, encourage and empower writers. I pass on as many resources as I can, including writing and blogging challenges which appear sound.

We have NaNoWriMo, OctPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo, JuNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Wego Health Bloggers Challenge, the A-Z Blogging Challenge, Story A Day, Script Frenzy, NaPoBloMo, ROW80, NaNoEdMo, Story of my Life Blogathon, Word Count Blogathon, Creative Every Day, #writemotivation, Blog Blitz, Write Non-Fiction in November, more Wego Blogging initiatives, commercial authors such as Jeff Goins have their own… and each time I look at Twitter there are more!

There is something for everyone and that’s not a bad thing… however… exhaustion and creative burnout beckons: the time requirements are absolutely deadly on some of those challenges. When considering getting involved in these challenges, don’t follow the crowd. Please ask yourself:

  • blog post ideasWhat are my time, family and energy constraints?
  • Is it flexible enough to encompass the goals I need to work on.
  • Is the “encouragement” given in this challenge cracking the whip too hard, making me feel pressured or guilty?
  • Is the stated time period without rest days? (This is deadly to your mental and physical health: ask any counsellor, psychologist or balanced life coach.)
  • Will this take me away from my work in progress which is my top priority?
  • Will this actually increase my skill as a writer? Am I just ticking a box that I blogged?
  • Will this make me feel good or bad at the end, as I aced it or failed miserably?
  • Can I take the inspiration and do my own version, at my own pace?
  • Are the social requirements too much or too tempting as a distraction?
  • Will the time it takes to read other’s posts and check-in be too much time away from what I actually need to be doing?
  • If you are not feeling motivated to write, are you using this challenge as a crutch to get motivated? If so, don’t use the challenge as a magical remedy to put you on track. It won’t. Especially if your issue is lack of confidence, time shortages or exhaustion.
  • Am I relying on other’s around me in challenges for affirmation, rather than working on my own self-esteem as a writer?

Sometimes when we feel exhausted as writers, it is because we simply need a break to re-charge our batteries. Like any body part, your mind needs rest. If you over-use any muscle in your body, it will become strained, painful and you won’t be able to work. If you are simply over it, maybe the best remedy is time-out before you burn out. Don’t get to the point where you go months without writing again.


This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.

NaNoWriMo: Planning and Tracking Tools


I was involved in NaNoWriMo last year. These are some of the most useful tools people were looking for in the lead up to the big month. I hope you find them useful.

If you’d like inspiration on novel planning, here are two excellent Youtube videos from writer, Johanna Harness. I loved the second one, but both are inspirational and full of useful ideas. Please visit her at:

This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.

Twitter Tag Use and Tweet Scheduling for Writers: Accidental Misuse is Too Easy

When I was first learning to use Twitter, I found a master list of 140 hashtags for writers: it was a goldmine! In it were tags such as #mywana, #nanowrimo, #row80 and #writemotivation. In my ignorance I thought that those were simply tags you freely placed on posts, so they would grab the attention of readers in those areas. I messed up. These are community tags which should not have been used that way. I should have researched each of these tags properly before use. I had placed myself at risk of being reported for spam and being liberally blocked.

I received this wake-up call when I found this post on Twitter this week.


If a tag belongs to a community, you do not use it for promotion. If you do, you are spamming. That is against Twitter rules. It is also deeply offensive to that writing Community.

I have just spent a crazy amount of time going through my scheduled posts removing all offending tags. On thinking and reading further, I realised that there were other Twitter spam areas I was bordering on:

  • Putting out a majority of posts that had urls in them and weren’t person to person contact.
  • Excessive retweeting: which I do as I pass on resources for writers, that is what I am all about. However, that is also what the spammers do and can be seen as suspicious.
  • Bulk unfollowing of people. I had unfollowed several hundred the other day who weren’t following me, just to keep my stream manageable. If you do that too often, you call negative attention to yourself. Again, it’s a “fishing” spammer technique.

Twitter is serious about this. I went looking for tweet schedule services during the weekend, so I could better organise my feed by covering all time zones. (Being in Australia has some disadvantages). This is what I found:

future tweets

Other nasties I am seeing coming up in my new “followers” are people setting up multiple Twitter accounts and posting the same posts to them all. I see the spammers do this a lot and have recently seen writers do it, in the names of their book characters. I try and check all new followers to eliminate these accounts. You can be reported for spam.

I personally believe automation should have limits. I find it downright rude when I receive a direct message from someone I have just followed saying “thanks for the follow, we followed you through auto-followback” or whatever they use. I know I am now part of their numbers game. They have never visited my profile and they don’t know I exist.

Let’s get back to what this is all about: making connections with real people.

For a list of safe hathtags for all authors, please visit this post:

 Here is a direct link to the Twitter rules relating to what I am sharing with you. Please make sure you don’t fall foul of them by mistake.

This blog post by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share and adapt it.