Learning often begins with imitation or copying. As babies, we learn facial expressions and gestures by mimicking adults. Children learn to write their letters by copying them from workbooks. And can you imagine a musician learning their craft without first leaning to play other musicians’ songs? But we rarely explore the question of whether writers…Read More
Beta readers are people who read your manuscript before you polish it for publication or submission to a literary agent or publisher. Unlike editors, beta readers are unpaid volunteers who provide feedback that you can use to make improvements to your work. However, before you round up your beta readers, you should have a plan…Read More
There’s more to writing than pushing a pen across a piece of paper, and there’s more to being a writer than having written. These days, everyone’s a writer. We write emails, text messages, and lists. A free blog is just a few clicks away. Self-publishing has drawn tens of thousands of dreamers who have scrawled…Read More
Today I’d like to share an excerpt from my book 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. This excerpt is from “Chapter Ten: Community, Industry, and Audience,” which explains the benefits and importance of networking with the writing community as well as studying the industry and developing a reading audience. The chapter includes tips, too! “All…Read More
By now, you’ve probably heard that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything. There’s some debate as to the truth of the 10,000-hour rule, but there is definitely truth to the notion that nobody’s born a master at the craft of writing. It takes time, energy, and practice to become…Read More
There’s only one way to become a better writer, and that is through lots of practice. Some people are born with talent. Writing comes easily to them, but even the most talented writers have to work at the craft. After all, nobody’s born knowing how to write. Fostering good writing habits accomplishes two things. First,…Read More
Some writing experts say, “Write what you know.” Others say, “Make it up as you go.” Some say, “Write by the seat of your pants.” Other say, “No! Start with an outline.” With so much contradictory writing advice floating around out there, what’s a writer to do?
When I first started writing, it was just me, a ninety-nine cent pen, and a cheap spiral-bound notebook. Using those tools, I wrote dozens of poems, stories, and journal entries. These days, I’m surrounded by far more sophisticated writing tools: fancy pens and journals, a computer with writing software, a library of writing resources, and…Read More
Today I’d like to share an excerpt from my book 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. This excerpt is from “Chapter Seven: Feedback,” which offers tips for giving and receiving critiques as well as coping with public criticism. The excerpt I’ve chosen to share today explains how to use critiques to make your writing better,…Read More
Today I’d like to share a few excerpts from my book 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. These excerpts are from “Chapter Six: Process,” which examines methods, strategies, and other approaches to developing and fine-tuning a writing process that works for you.