About Me, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

What If?

Usually it goes something like this: What if I’m a terrible writer. Or (gasp) a truly average writer? What if all the kind words people offer about my stories are nothing more than polite lies accompanied by fake smiles because they want to avoid hurting my feelings? What if my dogged pursuit of traditional publishing is a fool’s errand? What if there are exactly zero literary agents interested in the kind of stories I write? What if the only thing I learn from querying is how poorly I handle rejection? What if I self-publish and the book just sits there on the virtual shelf, impervious to my attempts to find…

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My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

Self-Talk for Writers

Writers are notorious self-talkers. We have to be. All of our employees live in our head. Self-talk is our way of motivating them to do their jobs. But not all our self-talk is helping. Some of it is de-motivating those employees. Yes, it’s true that there are a few uniquely-wired writers who seem to be genuinely motivated by de-motivation. If repeating “I’m a loser!” inspires you to greatness, well…good for you. (And be sure to tip your therapist.) But be careful. Negativity (and also just plain wrongful thinking) leaves a residue that can poison your writing life. The solution seems…

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About Me, The Writer's Life

The Buoyancy of Words

Fair warning: I’m going to stretch a swimming metaphor well beyond my non-metaphorical comfort level. Feel free to believe that this discomfort serves some greater meta-metaphorical purpose. Then let me know what it is so I can say “yeah, I meant to do that.” Writers spend a lot of time going nowhere. We start out strong enough, with a perfect swan dive into the ocean of ideas. [Already the metaphor is causing me gastric distress.] But after a few weeks or days or hours of swimming in a Direction We’re Absolutely Sure Of (Until Suddenly We’re Not), we find ourselves…

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My Thoughts, The Writer's Life

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- or otherwise). The rest of you? Have a seat on the floor. I’d offer the couch, but it’s much too…

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About Me, General, My Thoughts, Other Writer's Words, The Writer's Life

Chasing the Flame

Note: I am a writer as well as an editor. Sometimes I wear my writer’s hat when blogging. This is one of those times. When the source of his fiction was autobiographical, Eddie could write with authority and authenticity. But when tried to imagine – to invent, to create – he simply could not succeed as well as when he remembered. This is a serious limitation for a fiction writer… But Eddie would make a living as a novelist, nonetheless. One can’t deny him his existence as a writer simply because he would never be, as Chesterton once wrote of…

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About Me, General

First Things…

Question: Do we really need another blog about writing? Answer: Probably not. Question: Then why are you here? Answer: Because I like it here. I know why you’re here. You’re curious about this little writerly blog and wondering if there is enough practical wisdom or entertainment value in it to merit regular reading. (Either that, or you’re related to me. Hi, Mom.) If you came here hoping to find a blog written by a famous, widely-read author who might, in the course of sharing his writerly journey with practiced humility and choreographed candor, accidentally let slip the carefully-guarded secret to…

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