• Motivation,  Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Love Your Writing: a Writer’s Self-care

    by Joanna Maciejewska From my experience, people who claim writing is easy either haven’t written anything yet or don’t treat their writing seriously. Sure, the process of transferring one’s thoughts to paper or digital document can be extremely simple… Making them flow, engage the reader, and evoke emotions isn’t. Getting one’s story right might bring about frustration, depression, self-doubt, and obesity when the former are remedied with cake. That’s why writers need to remember about self-care, and one of the basic ways is to love your writing. Love your writing, love your job Unless you’re writing as a hobby, only when you feel like it, you’re likely to be treating…

  • Inspiration

    Filling Up That Uninspired Empty Feeling

      Feeling empty as an artist? When people say that you need to fill up, they are tapping into a well-loved metaphor about the artist. The artist, we’re going to assume, has a lot to say. They have emotions and connections, stories and accounts, worldviews and interpretations,  images and sentences. An artist pours out their art for the benefit of the hearer, the viewer, and the reader. But in order for them to pour themselves out, they must have something in their heart, mind, and souls first. They need to be filled up before they can empty themselves out into their art. Where do they get their inspiration? Currently, I’m…

  • #EthicalAuthor

    Are You An Ethical Author? Take This Quiz!

    Why in the world would authors need to be ethical? Don’t they make up stuff for a living? Are you one of those writers that does whatever it takes to get a sale? Are you the kind that responds publicly to a bad review? Do you manipulate your public numbers to look better than you really are? Do you neglect excellence in your writing for the sake of a fast buck? Of course, you’re not. But you probably know someone who is. Even if you haven’t, you see this kind of writers everywhere. You read about their bad behavior. You nudge the author next to you and say, I can’t believe they did…

  • Craft

    Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Writing

    You want to improve your writing? It’s oh, so easy and oh, so hard. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you are reading this blog then you are a writer. Even if you don’t think you can call yourself that, you probably have aspirations for literary greatness, fame, or fortune. The right kind of greatness, fame, and fortune only comes from those writers who spend their time improving their craft. How do you get better? Glad you asked! Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Writing 1. Read, read, read. Read in your genre every chance you get. Try reading the Classics. Read your writing buddies’…

  • Beautiful Words,  Uncategorized

    10 Ways To Make Your Words More Beautiful

    April is National Poetry Month. Today I celebrate beautiful words. Regardless of tastes, preferences or trends, I believe the beautiful calls to us. There is something inside of us that longs for symmetry, for rhythm, for thoughtful curves. Often we can appreciate delicate images that spurn our emotions, that bring out in us the good and noble. We all enjoy art for a variety of reasons, but no one can deny how well-crafted art serves a purpose. Art can point us to the good in humanity, echoing ancient truths. Beautiful art feeds our souls. As we write, we can organize our words in such a way that their patterns, their meaning, their rhythm, their…

  • Craft,  Inspiration,  Self Talk

    Top 10 Ways To Respect Your Art As A Writer by Katharine Grubb

    Thank you, Internet!  Because of you, I have to do so little work to expose myself and my family to the works of the world’s greatest artists. Gone are the days when we have to pay for parking at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Now, all we have to do is click the mouse a few times and we are seeing, perhaps not perfectly, the art of the masters. I appreciate this as a writer because I clearly don’t have enough distractions as it is. But I also can appreciate it because I believe that writing is an art. I also believe that like the great painters of western civilization,…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Creativity

    What’s Wrong With Art? (A Complaint by Author Katharine Grubb) for #MondayBlogs

    Art! Hey, ART! What is wrong with you?  From someone on the outside, you  like something simple. And yet the closer I get to you, the more complicated you are. You’re like a first love, you’re like adolescence, you’re like a cat. I’d like to think that my art comes from  words. I’d like to think that my ultimate goal is to have something beautiful at the end of all the thinking and rewriting, like a sentence or a novel or a blog post. But more often than not, I stumble into the task. The words slip through my fingers like sugar and all I have is a sticky mess.…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Beautiful Words

    Beauty, Truth, and the Power to Transcend: A Guest Post by Carolyn Astfalk

      Sometimes we recognize beauty on sight. Where beauty exists in the natural world, it’s often easily discernible. Other times, we have to dig to see the beauty or observe from a different perspective to grasp its intricacy or totality. Whether we readily recognize beauty or not, its creation isn’t a slapdash affair. It can be a complicated, messy process that requires deliberate planning, execution, and revision. However difficult it may be to infuse our art with beauty, it is critical to its acceptance and appreciation. Truth and beauty create transcendence, and it’s transcendence that resonates with readers. Beauty, in its universality, becomes personalist. “In so far as it seeks…

  • #MagicalMarketing,  #SellingMySoul,  Marketing,  Publishing,  Self Talk,  Self-Publishing

    Top 10 Signs You Aren’t Ready To Market Your Book

        For the last two-ish years, I’ve had books to sell. I’ve learned a lot about, but certainly not everything, about marketing. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I think a good marketing author is always prepared to talk about their books, but timing is everything. You may not be ready to market. These are the top 10 signs you need to put your marketing plan on hold for a little while. 1. Your book may not be that good. Do not assume that because you got it on paper that it deserves to have readers. If you have put shoddy work on the marketplace you are being disrespectful of…

  • Beautiful Words

    Polishing Your Beach Rocks: All Beautiful Words Start Out Plain — A Guest Post By Christine Hennebury

    ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ – Theodore Roosevelt Have you ever read someone else’s work and been struck by the sheer beauty of their words? Did you then turn to your own work in despair because it could never match what the other writer had produced? Did the comparison take the joy out of your writing for you?  Anne Lamott, one of the great philosophers of our time, often warns us against comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.  She’s usually speaking in a more general sense of personal well-being but it applies to our writing as well.  When we compare our messy drafts with someone else’s published work,…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Uncategorized

    How The “There Are No Rules” Rule Can Set You Up For Failure & Mockery

    I’m not sure who started the “there are no rules in writing” rule. It certainly wasn’t an English teacher. There ARE rules. Rules for grammar, spelling and punctuation bring order and dignity to our language. There are also rules for storytelling, rules for submissions, rules of common sense, rules of general communication that YOU MUST follow if you want to be taken seriously.  If you are a writer then your job is to communicate  to your reader. If you are deliberately being sloppy, apathetic or lazy then the message you’re sending to your reader is “I’m above the rules” or “You’re too stupid” or “Conventions aren’t for geniuses like me.”…

  • Craft,  Discipline,  Self-Publishing

    Why You Need To Practice Writing Long Before You Publish

    It’s really too bad that we don’t have a Quality Control Department for the written word. And Amazon Reviews, sadly, aren’t enough.  Writing is cheap — anyone can type out a sentence — and because of this cheapness, many people may not think that it’s worth much. Anyone and their dog can publish a book,  so the general public can easily accept shoddy workmanship. Perhaps because I can, with a click of button,  download hundreds of free books, I may have lost my respect for the carefully crafted story. Easy accessibility does not encourage the practice of good craftsmanship.   Craftsmanship is never helped when stupid phrases like “there are…

  • Beautiful Words,  Craft

    How Do You Discover Your Writing Voice? A Guest Post By Ally Bishop

    How do you discover your writing voice? Sounds like a crazy question, especially if you’ve been writing for some time. But I recently worked with an incredibly talented writer who hadn’t quite nailed down her voice, and when she asked what I meant when I said as much, I realized that it’s something that we rarely discuss in writing circles, nor do we define its hazy boundaries. So what’s this elusive voice of which I speak? I’m so glad you asked. Think about the last time you dove into your favorite book series or discovered a tome in the used bookstore by an author you used to love. As you…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Craft,  Work-In-Progress

    How Thinking Like A Sculptor Can Help You Write Your Novels 

      When I was a new writer, I had a lot of misconceptions of how writers wrote.   I had a mental image of a writer sitting in front of a typewriter with a stack of blank paper next to them. I thought that was how all writers worked. I thought that the first sentence I read in a book was the first sentence that the writer wrote. I thought that the first thought was the best one. I thought that writers had to have everything in their story figured out long before they sat down to write it. I thought writers who were good enough to be published never…