I wrote my first short story in a day. Not that I planned it that way. I’d always wanted to try my hand at short fiction so I signed up for a week-long class at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, only to discover this wasn’t a series of lectures where I’d learn the fundamentals. No,…

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GoodReads has a whole section on quotes about writing from household names like Stephen King and Annie Dillard and Mark Twain.  Hemingway and Faulkner and Salinger jump in, too. Some quotes are wise, like Sylvia Plath’s assertion that “the worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt” and some are blunt like Wendig’s “try very hard not…

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The other day I got a note from a writer friend saying how much they appreciated how I supported my fellow authors, that I seemed to always be posting about other’s new releases, their accomplishments, their milestones. In fact, I host a podcast that’s centered around that very idea. Hear Us Roar, a program sponsored…

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Six Things I’ve Learned About Writing While Binge-Watching Reality TV We writers, along with everyone else, are hunkered down at home with time on our hands and yet many of us are finding it difficult to put words to paper. Instead we’re hauling out puzzles, posting pet videos, and inventing recipes based on whatever we have in…

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Okay, maybe Oprah won’t welcome you with open arms onto the pages of her magazine, but you’ll still want endorsements from influencers before your book hits the shelves. BookBub and others have shown book descriptions featuring blurbs by reputable authors receive 30% higher click rates on selling platforms, so it’s a definite plus, particularly for first-time novelists.…

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The woman in your choir read your debut and identified with the main character’s challenges. Your child’s homeroom teacher raved about your ending, said it made her cry. Your aunt brags to all her friends about her talented niece, the novelist. Problem is, not one of them has ever written a review and posted it…

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I can read your mind.  Oh, no, not another social media platform I have to learn. Spare me. Hold that thought while I share a few facts from the Pew Research Center. There are 500,000,000 users of Instagram (IG). That’s not five million. FIVE HUNDRED MILLION. And 300,000,000 of those are active users, meaning they show…

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The email arrived at ten o’clock last night. It was from my best writing buddy with the subject line HELP!  A week had gone by and she hadn’t produced any new work. Not a single chapter, not a single paragraph, not a single sentence. But she was a pro—she knew what to do. So she walked…

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I have a confession: I’m a writing conference junkie. I love attending seminars, workshops, and gatherings with other writers and I’ve got the lanyards to prove it. I’ve put Fire in my Fiction with Donald Maass. I’ve let Story Trump Structure with Steven James. I’ve Written By the Lake in Madison. I’ve gotten myself Unboxed in…

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