Keeping the creative spark alive

Since March, I have been on 81 podcasts, assuming I have not miscounted. In every one, they ask me how I became a writer, and I’ve answered a lot of different ways, but the one I keep coming back to is that I never knew that wasn’t what you were supposed to do. When I

10 tips for to survive being unemployed

I was once unemployed for 99 weeks during The Great Recession, where I maxed out literally ALL of the additional weeks of benefit Obama gave to people. So, I know something about unemployment, if nothing else. So, here goes some UNEMPLOYMENT tips, which is different from work at home tips.   1 – Pick a

Focus on a single genre?

Question from a forum, and my response: Q: How important do you think it is to stick to a narrow genre as a writer? I’m looking at the next book and, somewhat annoyingly, it seems that the idea that keeps bubbling to the surface is a comedy/romance. I’m cool with that but do you feel

Become the type of person who walks through the door

It’s weird to be on panels and have other panelists say “Wow, you know a lot about this topic. How did you learn so much?” Once I get over my assumption that they are mocking me and realize it’s a genuine compliment, I think about how many thousands of hours I spent studying publishing, and

How to tell if your work is any good

The problem with being a creative human is that the act of doing a thing makes you better at that thing, so we will naturally think our work isn’t good enough forever, because we always get better in the making of it. Similarly, you will never be any good to most people, because most people

So you want to make $50,000 as a writer…

So you want to make $50,000 as a writer…

Let’s say you would like to make $50,000 as a writer in order to lead a happy life. This is after expenses, which include editorial, marketing, and everything else needed to run your business. $50,000 is what goes into your personal bank account at the end of the year. If you are lucky, you can run

Nobody is going to find you

Nobody is going to find you, at least not at the beginning.   You have to find them.   It’s hard. Brutally hard.   It’s exhausting. It’s time-consuming. Most days it feels like a waste of time. Many days it is a waste of time. And you have to do it for years and years, bashing

How to test if you should keep going

This is the best way to test if you should be a creative, any kind of creative, at least for a career. Say, “I’m going to take a year off from creating things.” If you can last a year, go find something else to do with your life. Seriously. Creating things is a long, lonely,

Don’t blame other people when they don’t buy your work

It is never somebody’s fault they didn’t buy from you. This is one of the hardest pills to swallow in this game, because we always want to blame somebody else for our misfortune, but the truth is that if somebody doesn’t buy, it is entirely our fault. Maybe we didn’t explain it right, or maybe

How to build a creative network of supportive fans

I have been able to gather a rather large group of creators who want to work with me, talk about my projects, and generally have positive things to say about me. People ask me how I have been able to build a large network in a relatively short time, so now I will tell you