General, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, The Publishing Process, The Writer's Life

7 Writing Myths I Just Made Up So I Could Debunk Them

Yes, there are lots of actual writing and publishing myths out there worthy of review. But everyone else writes about those. Surely you’ve stumbled across a post or two debunking such common myths as “literary agents are out to kill your writing dreams” and “first-time novelists don’t have a chance in hell of getting published.” You don’t need yet another post about those myths, do you? No, you don’t. What you do need is this post in which I make up some writing and publishing myths of my own. Just so I can debunk them. Isn’t this more fun anyway?…

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General, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, The Publishing Process, Writing tips

Writing Advice You Should Definitely Ignore

The title of this post is not some clever reverse psychology trick. You really shouldn’t listen to this advice. It’s bad for you and it goes against everything you’ve ever heard from all those lovely and wise literary agents out there. The Chips and Nathans and Janets and the rest. (I’m not being sarcastic here. All the agents I’m thinking of are completely lovely and incredibly competent and smell like cupcakes.) So why am I writing this post? Because sometimes advice that’s perfect for The Many is perfectly wrong for The Few. I’m not saying it’s bad to be among…

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General, My Thoughts, Self-editing Tips, The Publishing Process

When Editors Go Bad

If you’ve been reading my little blog for any length of time, you already know that editors aren’t prefect. [Yes, I just wrote “prefect.” Squirming yet?] As evidence of this, I present to you some of the most common mistakes editors make. By “editors” I mean me. And by “mistakes” I mean errors in judgment prompted by sleep deprivation, excessive drinking, lack of confidence in the job, or plain ol’ incompetence. I’ve given each of the editorial screw-ups a title, but these are only my made-up titles and are not the terms officially sanctioned by the National Governing Board of…

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My Thoughts, Writing tips

The Delirious Ecstasy of Getting Lost

The other night I took a break from an editing marathon to watch a movie. This will not surprise anyone who knows me. I love movies. Especially movies you haven’t heard of yet. Like this one. Phoebe in Wonderland. It’s the story of 9-year-old Phoebe (brilliantly played by the other Fanning, Elle) and her apparent Alice-in-Wonderland-flavored struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (which turns out to be something else but I’m not telling because I think some of you are going to rent this movie now that I’ve mentioned it and it’s always more fun to discover Important Plot Points in the…

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About Me, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

Why Are You Reading This?

Most blog posts save the Really Important Lesson for the last paragraph. I’m just going to cut’n’paste it right here: I write not because I “have to,” but because I want to be read. Thanks for reading. Skip to the bottom of this post and you’ll see the very same words. Are you still reading? Why? Anything written between the first and last word will merely be used to support the Really Important Lesson noted above. You won’t be surprised to discover that I have a few theories on why you’re still reading. Feel free to skip these: You think…

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My Thoughts, The Publishing Process, The Writer's Life

Inspiration, Perspiration and Aspiration

Thomas Edison is famously known for coining the oft-quoted phrase, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Some folks hovering in the shadows of the publishing industry have glommed onto this quote as a rallying cry for aspiring authors. “It’s not about talent – it’s about hard work,” they say. Well, they don’t actually say “it’s not about talent,” but the implication of Edison’s statement when recklessly applied to creative genius is that anyone with even a penny’s worth of an idea can work hard enough to someday achieve their publishing goals. Nope. Not true. I’ll wait while…

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My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

I’m Good at Drawing Frogs

When I was 10 years old, I liked drawing almost as much as writing. And though I dabbled in the drawing of reptiles, particularly snakes (which are actually a bit more complex than one might assume, despite their limbless design), I became particularly adept at frogs. If you wanted a drawing of a frog, you came to me. I enjoyed drawing frogs. I mean, frogs are definitely the sort of creature boys ought to draw if they draw at all. Well, frogs and spiders. (Though if you ask me, spiders are more about math that art. Can you count to…

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