4 Ways to Learn How to Daydream Better

3 Ways to Learn How to Daydream Better

You wouldn’t think you’d have to teach a writer to learn how to daydream. After all, the reason you became a writer was likely a natural outgrowth of your daydreams. Too often, however, in the mad rush of life’s busy work, daydreams are relegated to the shadowy cellars of your mind. You’ll think about them “when you have time.” […]

How Writers Can Stop Procrastinating With One Simple Habit

How Writers Can Stop Procrastinating With One Simple Habit

“How writers can stop procrastinating” isn’t just a question of the writing life. Sometimes it’s the question. After all, if you’re not writing, then all the other good writing habits and knowledge you’ve collected are just going to sit in the back of your brain collecting dust. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix. Tell me if this sounds […]

Are You Called to Be a Writer?

Are You Called to Be a Writer?

Most of us write for simple reasons: We enjoy it. It gives us personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Maybe it earns us a little money. For most of us, those reasons are good enough by themselves to justify our pouring our time and thought and effort into what is largely a metaphysical pursuit. But at one […]

Why Word Count Goals Can Be Destructive

Word count goals are the trusted aids of many a writer. With the ever-present call of duties, relationships, and even just sweet inertia, it’s often comforting to have set word count goals every day. Write 1,000 words, write two pages, write one scene, one chapter—and you’re finished. You can abandon your writing for the day […]

How Writing Music Will Make You a Better Writer

How to Hijack Mind-Blowing Inspiration: Music for Writers

Music is arguably the purest art form. It’s a breathing of the soul, a perfect embodiment of emotion, a story without words. For the most part, we lowly writers can barely hope to tell as complete a story in 300 pages as can be found in almost any collection of musical notes. If you’re a […]

4 Reasons I Quit Writing Exercises

4 Reasons I Quit Writing Exercises

Creative writing exercises are a staple of workshops and a beloved tool of many authors, but are they really an effective use of time and energy? Writers are encouraged to keep writing journals where they spend at least fifteen minutes every day writing whatever pops to mind: story ideas, essays, stream-of-consciousness paragraphs, writing-prompt brain stretchers, […]

Punch Your Readers in the Gut!

Want to Take Your Story to the Next Level? Punch Readers in the Gut!

Writing is not only an intellectual endeavor for me, it’s also very much a physical one. When I’m on to the right story, the right location, the right situation, the right theme, my body tells me. I feel a surge of excitement in my solar plexus that literally sends the message Yes yes yes! to […]

Why You Should Be Writing Scared

Why You Should Be Writing Scared

It’s my belief that writers should be writing scared pretty much all the time. In fact, a constant state of terror would be optimal. When you sit down at your desk and extend your hands to your keyboard, a little tremble should shake your fingers. Your heart should be pounding just hard enough that you […]

Why Genre Writing Could Kill Your Career

Why Genre Writing Could Kill Your Career

The title of this week’s post is easily a very controversial, debatable, and in some respects downright wrong statement. After all, we have only to look at the latest copy of the New York Times to see that the fiction categories in its bestseller lists are inevitably headed by established genre writers. Very obviously, genre […]

Why You Should Stick With a Story

Thinking About Giving Up on Your Story: This Is the #1 Reason You Shouldn’t

There you are, staring at the computer, fighting the very nearly overwhelming urges to alternately smash your forehead against the keyboard, tear your hair out, and, eventually, weep inconsolably. The problem? You’re 30,000 words into your latest novel, and nothing is going right. The dialogue is as flat as week-old roadkill. The characters are either […]