A couple summers ago I decided to make a video series for teens who wanted to write novels. It was a free program and we had over a thousand students. But I realized, actually, it’s probably my best summary of all my writing advice and ideas, because I *tried* to keep things simple and organized.
I planned to spend my summer indoors quietly catching up on my backlist of YA fantasy and scifi novels and maybe doing a bit of book editing. But I’ve also been wishing I had a way to help out more and share my expertise. I practically grew up at summer camps, spending 3 months a
I made this video in the last few days of Thailand, while in the process of reviewing several dozen applications to write with me – to be fair, none of the samples we received “sucked” … some were infuriatingly “good”, but didn’t hold my attention, were too wordy, trying too hard, overwritten and...
Last year we visited the Charles Dickens house in London, which is when we found out there was a movie about the author’s life called The Man Who Invented Christmas. I only watched it recently – it’s available on Amazon Prime – and then I watched it again and took notes. These are tips based on
For years I’ve been wishing for some kind of automated, daily accountability to keep me inspired and motivated – and I’ve heard a lot of other authors asking for the same thing. The problem is, writing can be a very personal goal, and sometimes it’s hard to self-motivate, especially if nobody else really cares about
What’s Pronoun and what does it matter? Today was supposed to be the day I share testimonials from students and start wrapping up my course launch – but instead it’s important to comment on what’s going on with Pronoun. If you haven’t heard of Pronoun yet, it’s an ebook distribution platform like...
Porto and Harry Potter This month we’ve been travelling through Portugal, seeking out JK Rowling’s favorite writing spots for inspiration. Rowling started planning Harry Potter in Porto, and it’s easy to see the connection. The university students wear black capes, and Porto is home to the “most beautiful...
Last night I searched for how to fix a boring book, because I was stuck and frustrated. I’ve been procrastinating for weeks and just couldn’t get into the flow… which is totally normal when you’re in the middle of the book and realize you don’t have enough story to get to the end. I was
It’s almost November, which means Nanowrimo (national novel writing month) is coming. The rules are simple – start and finish 50,000 words of a new project in 30 days. Although it’s supposed to be fiction, many people use the momentum for non-fiction or to edit previous projects. As I mentioned in this article I wrote
One of the things authors always ask is “How can I find more time for my writing?” But what they mean is, “How can I just write all the time, write what I want, and not do any marketing?” The question usually comes up from either a long-term inability to finish their book; insecurity about
I hear this from authors and clients all the time: That author is making tons of money, with terrible books. My book is way better, so I should be able to make at least that much. There are several things wrong with that logic, but the one that irks me the most is this: It’s condescending
I met a lot of people this week with excellent book ideas, they’d been sitting on for a year or more. I told them to get it done, so they can use it to build their platforms and traffic. And that they should finish this week. It’s much easier than you think, doesn’t have to take