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Why Publishing My Novel Is Not a New Year’s Resolution

Publishing my novel REALLY matters to me. So the last thing I want to do is make that a New Year’s Resolution. Roughly 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail within a couple of months. Note the word order in that sentence – it’s resolutions that fail, not people. Here’s why. New Year’s Resolutions are typically […]

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What’s the Point of Writing?

What’s your point? What’s your purpose as a writer? Why do you write? You don’t have to be able to rattle off your “artist’s statement” for someone else. You don’t even need to be able to clearly articulate it for yourself. But you do need a sense of why you write that will sustain you […]

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Prepare for a Writer’s New Year

The New Year promises a fresh start, but only if we truly bring the current year to a close. If you don’t resolve the physical and emotional “incompletes” in your life, January 1 will look remarkably like December 31, with the possible minor difference of needing to clean up after the party. One of the […]

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Halfway through the Dark

Take heart – we’re halfway through the dark. No matter how bleak it seems, we’re halfway through the dark. We are a nation divided, yet we are still a nation. We have been shaken to our Constitutional core, but we still have a Constitution. I won’t assume that you and I see the same causes […]

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Writers: If People Insist on Giving You Books… Get the Good Ones!

While there is a bit of debate about Albus Dumbledore’s claimed regret that “People will insist on giving me books” instead of socks, the truth is, books are not a bad gift. Especially not for writers. In fact, many of us have trained family and friends to give us books. (If you’ve trained complete strangers […]

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Kid-tested, Writer-approved, Surprising Gifts to Boost Imagination

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Of course books are outstanding gifts, but like Albus Dumbledore, I do think other gift options are underutilized. […]

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New Book Update: The Gift of Being Rejected

Thank you to the Loft Literary Center for offering and to agent Kelly Van Sant for teaching the online Query Comprehensive class where I revised (and revised again and again) my query letter. I wasn’t sure I needed a comprehensive class; after all, I knew the basics. But the timing was ideal — I had […]

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Five Reasons to Thank Your Resistance to Writing

How could you possibly be grateful for feeling resistance to your writing? 1.  Resistance Reveals Your Passion A student in my Writer’s Resistance class confessed “I thought I must really not want to be a writer since I’m not writing.” I reassured her that her resistance was a sign that she did want to write. […]

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Real Writers Plan Days Off

Next week is Thanksgiving: do you have your PTO (Personal Time Off) plan in place? When I was a wanna-be writer, I promised myself I’d write on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve. I saw all holidays, weekends and vacations as times when I should be able to write. Not surprisingly, I […]

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Random Scene Generator: 10 Steps to Solve the “I don’t know what to write” Problem

It’s day 10 of NaNoWriMo or November 10 for those of us not doing NaNoWriMo. So it seems like a good time to revisit this, my most popular post. Even if you aren’t doing NaNoWriMo, you can still play with the Random Scene Generator.  Random Scene Generator It takes about a half-hour to create your […]

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