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Category: My Thoughts

Absent Brilliance ?>

Absent Brilliance

Brilliance isn’t something you can buy for yourself. You can only receive it as a gift. Some writers – I’d call them The Lucky Ones except for the fact that their brilliance is usually accompanied by a corresponding (and non-returnable) insanity – are granted the gift by the gods. Or The God. Or the universe. Or fate. (Pick one.) They’re born with it. They can’t deny it. They can’t escape it. It is woven into their being. Tell them to…

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Saturation Point ?>

Saturation Point

Sit down, we need to talk. Recently I’ve been observing some rather disturbing patterns in your behavior. It all started out innocently enough. You had an idea, then a dream, then a plan. You were going to be a writer. In the beginning, you wrote. And verily, your writing was crap. So you started hanging out in a dimly-lit bookstore, trying to look casual leaning against the shelf while stealing secrets from books on writing. You fully intended to buy…

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Listen ?>


A good writer is always listening. She listens to the voices of the long-dead, straining to hear writerly wisdom that only time and tide can reveal. She leans a little closer to Hemingway to discover the curious power of understatement and word economy. She plops down next to Dostoyevsky with her moral compass in hand and looks for truth in the floating needle that only points north when Fyodor tells it to. She listens to the voices of the successful….

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Something About Success ?>

Something About Success

Maybe you’re like many aspiring writers. Maybe articles like this one by Amanda Hocking (or the revelation that she recently signed a publishing deal with St. Martin’s Press) simply inspire you. Perhaps this sort of news taps you on the shoulder, offers a sly smile and whispers, “you’re next.” If so, you don’t need this post. Go write a bestseller. I don’t mean that sarcastically. I mean it sincerely. Be encouraged and write brilliantly and sell a squillion books (e-…

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10 Reasons Someone Else’s Novel Shouldn’t Have Been Published ?>

10 Reasons Someone Else’s Novel Shouldn’t Have Been Published

Admit it. You’ve stared, slack-jawed at an open book in Barnes & Noble, stunned by the horribleness of the writing. You’ve whispered your frustration to the universe, a few choice obscenities that brought an audible “harrumph” from a blue-haired woman browsing the nearby Christian Inspiration section. How is it possible this hack of a writer got a publishing deal and your (almost brilliant) novel can’t even get a literary agent’s attention? The universe isn’t fair. You accept that. But really?…

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Do the Best You Can With What You Have ?>

Do the Best You Can With What You Have

There’s little need for a post here. If you’re pressed for time, just read the title again, let it inspire some brilliant application for your writing life, then jet off to Nova Scotia to see a total eclipse of the sun. (Yes, I’m talking to¬†you.) Of course, if you want to spend a few more minutes in this space (and who wouldn’t; don’t you love how the gray header matches the cloud of uncertainty that’s giving your muse black lung?),…

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Give Up Your Publishing Dreams ?>

Give Up Your Publishing Dreams

If title of this post makes you nervous, you probably shouldn’t read it. Or maybe you should. Before we go any further, I’m going to have to ask you to place your publishing dreams in the box marked “misc” at the back of the room. Be sure to leave all your unfinished queries and How to Get Published books & blogs and all those publishing-related inspirational quotes you taped to your bathroom mirror. Yes, even the quote that says J….

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