when writing how do you know when enough is enough

When Writing, How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?

Last month, I invited you to tell me what topics you’d like me to write about. You flooded my inbox and comments section with suggestions. (I scheduled this as an “easy” post that wouldn’t require much maintenance while I was in the midst of the a big move. When I logged on that first day to […]

what writers can learn from making a movie2

4 Things Writers Can Learn From Making a Movie

I’ve been a book editor and a writer for a number of years now. As an author, I have one published novel in The Listeners; as an editor, I’ve worked on more than seventy. I’ve written screenplays that were optioned but never made, and I’ve sat at book signings to which no one showed up. […]

How to Judge Less, Trust More, and Create

Judge Yourself Less, Trust Yourself More, and Write Better Stories

When we think of creativity, we usually think of light and color, happiness and freedom. That’s the upside of living the creative life of a writer. But there’s a dark side too—one we don’t always like to talk about. And that dark side can be encapsulated in two words: judgment and perfectionism. There’s a controversial […]

5 Logical Ways for Writers to Grow

How to Grow as a Writer: 5 Logical Steps

Writers are students. Sometimes this is the result of nothing more than sheer necessity: we seek answers for our questions because writing has turned out to be far more difficult than we anticipated. But often, writers are students first and writers second. If this is you, then concentrating on how to grow as a writer […]

5 Damaging Beliefs Writers Should Overcome

5 Lies Writers Believe That Are Holding Them Back

There are many lies writers believe that hold them back. When you think about it, this is kind of ironic. After all, aren’t stories stories lies that serve to tell the truth? I think the reason most writers get a perverse chuckle out of that last idea is because, as humans, we are hard-wired to […]

7 Frequently Asked Writing Questions

7 Frequently Asked Writing Questions

The amazing thing about being a writer is that you get to be part of a writing community. Especially now, in the Internet age, you have access not just to the writings of the great minds who have gone before, but also to the shared wisdom, common sense, commiseration, and encouragement of all your contemporaries. If […]

4 Tips for Writing to the Right Audience

Here’s my somewhat radical idea: Writers don’t need to know who their audience is. And, yes, I know this goes entirely against popular advice, which encourages (even insists) that beginning authors must know their audience. I’ve probably even said basically that somewhere or other on this site. You’re supposed to go so far as to write […]

4 Ways for Writers to Become Better Readers

4 Ways for Writers to Become Better Readers

Anyone can read a book, right? We all become better readers just by reading, right? Learning to put letters together into words and understand what they say—learning to read—that’s a learned skill. But once you’ve pretty much mastered that by fourth grade, you can read anything. There’s no skill to reading a novel. What is there […]

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2017

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2017

We’re hurtling toward the end of the year, which means it’s time to hit pause, amidst all the winter festivities, and take a look back at 2017. For me, this has been a vastly different and vastly important year. As I talked about in the post “6 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Protect Creativity,” […]

5 (Not-So-Little) Additions to the Great Novel-Writing Checklist

5 (Not-So-Little) Additions to the Great Novel-Writing Checklist

Learning how to write a successful novel is largely a matter of memorizing and mentally tracking the vast number of “parts” that make a story run. Honestly, this alone is sometimes the hardest part of the entire job. There’s a lot to remember—which is why, today, we’re going to look at the second part of our […]