Uncategorized

Next Table Please

The writer community is a lot like a high school cafeteria. Not because of the food (although your w.i.p. diet of Cheetos and Dr. Pepper does bring back fond and/or frightening adolescent memories), but because of the cliques. For the purpose of this blogpost, we’ll use a different term: Tables of Earned Privilege. Chances are you’re sharing a Table of Earned Privilege with Writers of Similar Experience. Let’s say you’re a self-published author. I mean the kind who hires an editor and a cover designer and a copyeditor and cares enough to produce something of quality, not the kind who…

Read More

Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

Exercising the Why

Let’s say you’re in a coffee shop. I think we can all agree that’s a reasonable assumption. A four-year-old girl walks up to you. She’s a precocious curly-headed moppet with curious blue eyes and a surprisingly accurate sixth sense about strangers. She knows you’re the non-dangerous type, despite the army of wrinkle-lines marching across your face while you sort through a particularly tricky plot point. “What are you doing?” she asks. Because that’s what a precocious curly-headed moppet with curious blue eyes does. She asks questions. She hasn’t learned filters yet. Thank God. Because you need her to ask these questions.…

Read More

The Publishing Process, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writing Encouragement

In the Company of Strangers

If you want to be a successful (i.e.: published, well-read, income-producing) writer, you’re going to have to get comfortable in the company of strangers. I’m not talking about the strange fictional people who inhabit your novel, I’m talking about the In Real Life kind. You know, those ugly bags of mostly water* you bump into while standing in line for your half-caff-soy-latte-with-a-double-shot-of-arsenic. If you’re anything like me (and I pray you’re not,  because this could lead to a sudden loss of cabin pressure), approaching strangers, let alone asking them for something, ranks right up there with public speaking, pregnant spiders,…

Read More

The Publishing Process, Writing Encouragement

Writing Is Belief

Every novel begins as an idea you believe in. Usually, a really good idea. Humility (real or manufactured: pick one) might keep you from calling it brilliant, but you’ve had good ideas before and this one is a thousand times better than all of those. This is the book idea that’s going to make you into the author you always knew you were meant to be: a successful* author. So you sit down (or stand at your standing desk if you’re an overachiever with strong calf muscles) and start writing. First sentence? Perfect. So incredibly perfect. (Nearly perfect. You’ll fix…

Read More

Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, Uncategorized

Spinning

The earth is spinning on its axis at 1000 miles an hour while it whips around the sun at  67,000 miles per hour. And I can’t keep up. I know what you’re thinking. I don’t need to. The earth is going to do its thing regardless of my thing and thanks to the magic of physics, we don’t even have to hang on. But I’m not here just for the ride. I want to stand on the leading edge and see the sunrise before it knows its colors. I want to stick my toes out as we cross into autumn,…

Read More

Editing, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

The Weight of Your Words

I love my computer*. Let me say that up front, in case it thinks otherwise and decides to unflash its memory. But I have fond (if only for the purpose of this post) memories of a time when writing hurt more than it does today. Oh sure, we have carpal tunnel syndrome and baked sperm syndrome (well, some of us, anyway), but those are fancy aches. Yesterday, a writer’s pain was blue-collar. It was immediate and visceral. Remember writer’s cramp? Now that was a pain you could feel. It started somewhere between thumb and forefinger, then exploded up the arm…

Read More