How to Write a Book When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

I want to write a book. You remember when this big idea first hit, right? Maybe you were browsing for books, waiting for an author’s autograph, or sitting in stupefied awe after finishing a great novel. The idea took root and then, bam, you’re rushing to a stationary store to gear up, buying all the […]

before you quit writing

4 Things You Should Know Before You Quit Writing Your Novel

You began with high hopes. You envisioned a bestseller, imagined touring the country and meeting thousands of fans, even your own fawning relatives. But now you’re stuck and wondering whether you should’ve even tried in the first place. Maybe you ran out of story and have no idea how to salvage the mess you’ve created. […]

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 […]

4 Questions You Should Never Ask About Your Book

4 Questions You Should Never Ask About Your Book

“No such thing as a stupid question.” Sounds good, right? Sounds like, “Yay! Let’s be inquisitive and creative and learn stuff!” But here’s the problem: there is such a thing as a stupid question, and the bigger problem is that stupid questions are not just missed opportunities, they are actually counter-productive to curiosity, creativity, and learning. […]

5 Misconceptions About Writing That I Used to Believe

5 Misconceptions About Writing That I Used to Believe

Are we modern-day writers lucky or what? We enjoy unprecedented access to the wisdom of all the writers who have gone before us. I’m not kidding. the wealth of excellent information at our fingertips is insane. But you don’t get nothing for nothing, and the something we’re exchanging for all this great advice is a pretty hefty load […]

Good News! Writing Does Get Easier!

When Does Writing Get Easier? The 4 Steps to Mastery

“When does writing get easier?” This is one of the most common questions writers have asked me throughout my career. The bad news is that, all these years, I’ve been giving the wrong answer. The good news is that the right answer is pretty fantastic. In years past, when people asked me this question, I was as […]

Learn to Write: Top Posts of 2015

Learn to Write: Top Writing Posts of 2015

Time always blows by quickly, and this year seemed to blast past at record speed. For me, 2015 was mostly a year of keeping my head down and working on my fiction. Some of my highlights in 2015 included: Story Structure Database launch German translation of Outlining Your Novel (joining its Japanese and Korean brethren) A […]

The Lazy Author's Way to Identify and Overcome Writing Weaknesses

The Lazy Author’s Way to Identify and Overcome Writing Weaknesses

I have news for you: as a writer, you are failing. And that’s fantastic! Okay, maybe not the “failing” part so much. But the fact that you know you’re failing should have you break dancing in the living room. Why? Because if you know your writing weaknesses, then you’re halfway down the road to overcoming them. Nothing […]