Creativity vs. Distraction: 13 Tips for Writers in the Age of the Internet

I was twelve when I learned how to use my first hand-me-down computer. It ran Windows for Workgroups and played games like Crystal Caves and Commander Keen. Getting that computer was a life-changing experience. In some ways, it was probably the event that truly fated me to be a writer. Although I had written stories […]

Critique: 7 Possible Hooks for Your Opening Chapter

What are some good hooks for your opening chapter? This is a question every writer must ask at the beginning of a story. How can we introduce the story and the characters in a plot-pertinent way that also deeply interests readers? A good hook sets your book apart. It promises readers you’re going to deliver […]

Need a good book editor? Top Recommendations

Need a Good Book Editor? Top Up-to-Date Recommendations

Where do I find a good book editor?  This is without doubt the question I receive most frequently from fellow writers. It’s a hard question to answer because, while finding an editor is easy, finding a good book editor is something else again. I originally published this post a few years ago after asking other […]

15 Productive Tasks You Can Still Do Even When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

Don’t feel like writing right now? Or maybe you don’t have the time? Or maybe you’re just blocked as all get out at the moment? Whatever the case, there’s no reason you can’t still use what time and motivation you do have to feel productive about your writing—because “writing” is really about a whole lot […]

4 Ways Writing Improves Your Relationship With Yourself

Writing—especially the writing of stories—is ultimately a relationship with oneself. It is true that we write to communicate with others. Perhaps that is even the foremost conscious motivation sometimes. But communication itself necessitates a relationship, and what we are trying to communicate is ourselves—that unfolding inner dialogue between the Self and the self, the observer and […]

How to Get Some Writing Done: Discipline vs. Enthusiasm

Sooner or later, most writers discover that the most difficult part of writing isn’t dreaming up characters or perfecting our sentences or learning story structure. No, the hardest part of getting some writing done is just… doing it. Procrastination is a hot topic (and a self-deprecating joke) among writers for the very reason that almost […]

7 Ways Writing Saves Us When Life Is Hard

Tick-tock. The clock rolls on—marking time for all of us who are in the day-by-day progression of processing our understanding of and reaction to the nearly global and mostly voluntary quarantine in response to the startling arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. My own emotions have been all over the map—from a rational and pragmatic outlook […]

8 Challenges (and Solutions) When Writing From Home

In these last few weeks, writers everywhere have experienced major changes in their daily schedules. If you were used to writing from home, now you may be accustoming yourself to writing with kids or other loved ones in the next room. If you were used to squeezing writing in around the edges of a day […]

The Power of Hopeful Stories in a Stressful Time

What is your story putting into the world? I mean that question literally. Every story takes up space in the world—and not just on a bookshelf. Every story you read or watch becomes a part of you. It changes you. Your brain physically changes to make space not just for the memories of this story, […]

5 Questions About How to Balance Multiple POVs in Your Story

The opportunities and pitfalls offered by multiple POVs are both the joy and the bane of the writer’s life. On the one hand, using multiple points of view to tell a story seems like it makes the job so much easier. No limits—woohoo! But on the other hand, once you start trying to juggle multiple […]