Stop Writing Nice Stories

You encounter your new next-door neighbor when you’re out walking the dog and they tell you how the movers still haven’t showed up, which meant they spent their first night in an unfamiliar house sleeping in their clothes on the floor, huddled together in their sleeping bags. Then the two of you talk about how…

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Three Ways Wordle is Like Writing

Have you caught the Wordle bug yet? Each morning The New York Times posts a new Wordle puzzle up on the internet and you have one day to solve it. The answer is a five-letter word and you get six tries. Each guess must be a valid five-letter word. After you type in your guess…

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The infamous work/life balance

We all know we need to calibrate our daily activities so we don’t allow work to overwhelm us and take over our world. At the same time, if all we’re doing is cooking exotic dishes and watching NetFlix instead of spending time doing stuff that pays the bills, sooner or later, we’ll get fired/lose that…

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Grab Back Control

There’s nothing worse than feeling as though your writing career is out of your control, that others are in charge of your fate. For many of us writing is our second career. In “real life” we’re lawyers, accountants, police officers, teachers, entrepreneurs, retailers, and scientists. For myself, I spent years as the CEO of a…

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How to Be a Top-Notch Podcast Guest

This month I hosted my 78th interview for Hear Us Roar where my guests are debut authors of women’s fiction, so it’s a perfect time to share some tips from the last 2+ years about using this medium as part of your book marketing package. As of February 2021, there are 1.75 million podcasts out…

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Diary of a NaNoWriMo Newbie – Part II

Last month I shared that I’d signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). I’d never done it before but thought I’d give it a try. So first things first. I WON (okay, hundreds of thousands of writers did but I was one of them). I wrote 50,111 words during the month of…

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Diary of a NaNoWriMo Newbie – Part I

I’d always scoffed at folks who diligently signed up every November to pound out a new novel. I mean, I was a writer. It wasn’t a hard job, not like piloting a plane or finding a cure for cancer. All I had to do was put my butt in the chair, turn on my laptop,…

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What If?

The two most powerful words in the writer’s toolbox have got to be “What If …?” What if the world we live in is simply a computer simulation- (The Matrix) What if certain people can travel through time but can’t control it- (The Time Traveler’s Wife) What if robots developed into sentient beings- (Ex-Machina) What…

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How to Take a Great Author Photo

There are so many things about your writing career you can’t control but there’s one big one that you can—your author photo. As soon as you declare yourself a writer, you’ll get asked for it. You’ll upload it to your author website. You’ll splash it across your social media platforms. It’ll be printed on your…

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Hey, Who Moved the Finish Line?

A year ago I signed with a small press to publish my debut.  I loved the acquiring editor and her “take” on my book. I felt comfortable with the owner, liked the fact that they’d do an actual print run (not just POD and E-book), that the press was run by women, and that I…

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