This is a blog about writing from the words you can’t get out to the bits you polish and publish.

Welcome to the slush pile of my life…

 

Read to be a better writer

Posted by on Nov 9, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Read to be a better writer

Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” To be a writer, you need to read. Read often. Read widely. Read what you know you’ll love. Read what you think you’ll hate. Fill your head with the rhythm of words and stories until it all can’t help but come pouring back out on the page. Reading makes you a better writer. Even when you’re only reading for fun, you are learning how to craft a story, develop a character, and...

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Should you write what you know?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Should you write what you know?

Write what you know? It’s hard to think of a writing cliche more prevalent than, “Write what you know!” The problem is that it’s not well understood and that confusion has lead many a would-be writer astray. Should you write what you know? Well, yes and no. Write what you know The roots of this expression come from the poor writer with no idea what to write, desperately scrounging around for a topic. Along comes a friend with sensible comfort: Write what you know! Make it easy on yourself and dig into the wealth of...

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Why is my writing so bad?

Posted by on Nov 7, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why is my writing so bad?

I have talked to so many would-be writers whose writing dreams stalled before they had begun and all for the same reason: when they started writing, what they wrote was so bad they just couldn’t continue. What if they just weren’t good enough to be a writer? What if they were doing it wrong? It stopped them in their tracks and arrested any forward progress they were making on their dreams. What I tell these writers is the same thing I will say to you: you will write poorly. It is a natural part of the writing life. There is not...

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Writer jealousy and book deal envy

Posted by on Nov 6, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Writer jealousy and book deal envy

Comparisons and competition Back in school, what were you told every time you took a test? Eyes on your own paper! And yet, as we test the waters of our writing life, we can’t seem to resist taking a peek at what our neighbor is doing. Your favorite books have been through hundreds of rounds of editing and revision in the hands of professionals. It’s ludicrous to compare them to the first draft you just finished. A writer who’s been at it longer has built up writing experience and honed skills you can’t realistically...

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8 Advantages to Increasing Your Writing Speed

Posted by on Nov 5, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Uncategorized | 0 comments

8 Advantages to Increasing Your Writing Speed

How fast do you write? Do you know your actual your words per minute? It’s worth figuring out for setting deadlines and planning projects. It’s particularly handy for when you see an opportunity you want to submit to because you can figure out whether you can realistically finish something on time for it or not. If you’re only writing for yourself, then your writing speed doesn’t matter. You can take your time and revel in the words and work at whatever pace is the most comfortable. But if you’ve got your eyes...

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What does Butt in Chair mean?

Posted by on Nov 4, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration | 0 comments

What does Butt in Chair mean?

What does Butt in chair mean? A bit of writing advice you’ll see a lot is, “Butt in chair!” But what the heck does that mean? I can do a heck of a lot of things with my butt in a chair that have nothing whatsoever to do with writing! I also do a fair amount of writing without my butt in any kind of chair at all between dictation and my standing desk. The expression Butt in Chair means you have to show up. Spend the time you set aside for writing actually writing and not checking Facebook or taking the perfect #amwriting...

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Make Writing a Priority

Posted by on Nov 3, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration | 0 comments

Make Writing a Priority

Once you’ve given yourself permission to write, you’ll realize that’s not enough. Because it’s one thing to say, “Yes, I will write!” and another to do it. You’ve already got a whole life crammed into 24 hours a day, and there are zillions of things vying for your attention. Writing has a lot of competition. Prioritize writing If you’re going to add this new element into your life, you must commit to it by making it a priority. Take a minute, and list everything important to you ranked, and...

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“It’s not as good as in my head!”

Posted by on Nov 2, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration | 0 comments

“It’s not as good as in my head!”

“It sounds amazing in my head but when I write it down, it’s terrible!” Does this sound familiar? You’ve got this fantastic scene in mind, the whole thing is just RIGHT THERE fully formed in your head, and all you need to do is write it down! You rush to your preferred writing implement, start to write and… things don’t go quite how you pictured. You expected your beautiful gazelle of an idea to leap directly from your imagination. Instead, you’ve got this newborn fawn lurching around the page. The...

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Writer’s block? Can’t start? Skip the beginning!

Posted by on Nov 1, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration | 0 comments

Writer’s block? Can’t start? Skip the beginning!

It starts somehow Sometimes you sit down, butt in chair, just like you’re supposed it and… you’ve got nothing. Or you’ve got something, but it’s stuck in your head, and you can’t seem to get any of the words down the page. And all the while, the blank page just sits there still so empty, mocking you. Even after years of writing and hundreds of projects started and finished, I still get that same gulping fear when I open a blank page for the first time and start something new, and I want to share a silly little...

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Do you consider yourself a writer?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2019 in Evergreen, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), On Writing: Craft and Commiseration | 0 comments

Do you consider yourself a writer?

Do you consider yourself a writer? Do you feel comfortable calling yourself one now? One of the most common mental hang-ups I’ve seen in beginning writers is this reluctance to call themselves a writer… “yet.” There’s always some arbitrary benchmark they’ve set up in their head for when they’ll be worthy of the title, something that designates when they are a Real Writer. Often, this benchmark moves as they progress in their career so it’s always just out of their current reach. But, the thing is, all...

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