The emotional journey of writing someone else’s memoir

The emotional journey of writing someone else’s memoir

Writing is soul work. It forces you to explore squishy, emotional areas that most people try to avoid. It’s highly personal. Memoir-writing amplifies that. And, if you're writing someone else's memoir, there's a whole lot of extra pressure that goes along with it...

Hey 80% of Writers: Your Verbs Are Boring

Hey 80% of Writers: Your Verbs Are Boring

The most exciting plot twists or action scenes can be slowed down by dull verbs. Don't let it happen to you! Here's why verbs are important and HOW to make them SHINE.

3 Clever (and 3 completely ordinary) Ways Of Keeping Up Your WRITING MOMENTUM

3 Clever (and 3 completely ordinary) Ways Of Keeping Up Your WRITING MOMENTUM

The excitement of a new writing project can buoy you for a while. You are pushed forward by the thrill of embarking on a new adventure, a brand new path. But, after a while, you may find yourself slowing down...How do you keep up your momentum?? I explore 6 ways...

Understanding the Editing Process

Understanding the Editing Process

Writing is a lot like building your dream house. Maybe you find yourself over budget, and you need to trim back on some details. Out goes the fancy copper sink. Or maybe the contractor left a gaping hole in the roof. Or a tiny crack in the drywall. They better patch it up before the rain comes in and wrecks the whole structure. Part of the writing process is learning what to trim and what to...

How to Write Your Shitty First Draft

How to Write Your Shitty First Draft

If you have ever tried to write anything, you know that voice. The one that tells you that you aren’t good enough. The doubting nag that whispers tales of failure before you’ve even begun. Better go do the dishes, fold the clothes, put in the roast. Chores never sounded so inviting. Anything to avoid finding out what’s really in that brain of yours, waiting to seep onto the blank page. Procrastination is easy. Writing is hard, but there are ways to...

What's your motive?

What's your motive?

What is the driving factor that motivates you to write a story? WHY do you want to do it?

This why should be at the core of your writing. When you’re feeling aimless, hopeless, or you’ve had one too many negative critiques from your writing group, return to your motive.

Right now, you might be thinking: Okay, great. But what in the ham sandwich is a writing motive? 

Give yourself the energy to write

Give yourself the energy to write

Writing takes energy. Sometimes, just putting fingers to keyboard feels like the most momentous task in the world. How can you find that energy? I learned a lesson from my time in Japan that has helped energize me for writing...

Visualizing Your Dream House: Prepping to write your outline

Visualizing Your Dream House: Prepping to write your outline

When you build a house, you have a good idea of the outcome before you begin.

You’ve decided on a style; you know what features you want your home to include; you’ve drawn up a blueprint that you’ll utilize as a construction guide.

THE SAME PRINCIPLES CAN BE APPLIED TO YOUR WRITING PROJECT.

Before you write your first word on your first page, it’s a good idea to have some kind of roadmap to guide you through your writing. Sure, you can wing it, but your end result might look as higgledy-piggledy as someone who bought a bunch of 2X4s and started nailing them together without any idea of what they were building...

What song do you sing? (Developing Your Writing Voice)

What song do you sing? (Developing Your Writing Voice)

Your writing voice is the unique language that makes your writing yours. It’s what sets your zombie story or memoir or romance novel apart from all the others. It’s the humor/wit/sarcasm/intellect that defines you as a writer. If you’ve ever read something by Toni Morrison or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you know how alluring a writer’s voice can be. If you’ve ever read David Sedaris or Tina Fey, you understand how a writer’s voice can be laugh-out-loud funny.

So, here's the big question: How, exactly, DO you develop your writing voice?

Ghost writing: Learning to love the shadows

Ghost writing: Learning to love the shadows

Ghost writers get very little public credit.

As a ghost writer, you can't have a big ego. You can't point to your hundreds of blog posts (I lost count after 500), newsletters, eBooks, and website copy and scream at the world, "Hey everybody! Look! That's mine!" It just doesn't work that way. If it did, you would just be a plain ol' writer, sans the ghost.

So, how does a ghost writer deal with so much misplaced credit?

Freelancers are their own I.T. department

Freelancers are their own I.T. department

It's great being a freelancer for a lot of reasons, BUT there are also a bunch of disadvantages people don't necessarily consider. How can you incur unexpected costs as a freelancer? Oh, let me count the ways! Let's start with the computer meltdown incident that made me wish I had the backing of an I.T. department (or at least a level-headed co-worked to talk me out of DIY-ing my problem!)

Being a "Yes Person" Isn't So Bad

Being a "Yes Person" Isn't So Bad

A yes person is someone who says yes, regardless of whether they have the skills, time, or inclination to do the task at hand. It is a person who boldly plows forward, like a pet troll on a leash, bumbling forward when its master tugs.

Is saying yes really that bad? I argue that it isn’t.

What I Learned from NOT Writing

What I Learned from NOT Writing

Sometimes life happens and finding time to write becomes challenging. This happened to me recently and I learned a few valuable lessons from NOT writing, such as how to overcome my writing dry spell. Read on!