So, you’ve got that Great American novel inside of you, just itching to get out … or that how-to book that will change the lives of millions … or that screenplay that would be perfect for Hollywood. Now all you need is the time to commit your words to paper. But where, how do you find it? Let me give you a hint: It’s right in front of you! Seriously. Time isn’t some mysterious, elusive […]
Before you write a bestseller, write a book. Before you write a book, write a chapter. Before you write a chapter, write some paragraphs. Before you write some paragraphs, know what you will say. Before you know what to say, pinpoint what you WANT to say. Before you pinpoint what you want to say, ask yourself why you want to say it. Before you ask yourself why you want to say it, listen to the […]
1. Understand and recognize the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. The former may not make you comfortable, but it does make you think and ultimately act to improve your writing. The latter saps you of energy and confidence, setting up hurdles and blocks that slow or halt your personal or professional growth. Constructive criticism is to be embraced, destructive criticism is to be ignored. 2. Don’t ask if you’re not willing to accept. Criticism, […]
When we talk about creating a writing space, we’re really talking about two kinds — a physical space and a mental space. You need both in which to work. Sure it would be great to have a fantastic office with a great view, but if you can’t keep others out of it or get yourself into it, it won’t do you much good. Let’s start then with mental space. You lay claim to it through […]
Being able to listen is essential to your writing; ditto for making conversation. Here are some listening tips, many of which I’ve excerpted from my book The Confident Schmoozer. Keep Your Trap Shut It’s hard to do, of course. You’re one of the world’s most fascinating creatures, not to mention its most intelligent. You know everything about everything, be it politics, movies or the differences among coffee beans, and you gladly share that information with […]
1. You have something to say and don’t feel like keeping it to yourself. Call it stubbornness or drive, but you don’t want someone else to determine whether or not you speak, let alone when and to whom. That someone, of course, is a publisher. Publishers are not bad folks, however. Like all of us, they’re doing their job, and it’s a challenging one. Mergers, acquisitions, downsizing—all affect the industry. Add in soft sales, rising […]
Gone are the days when we referred to women as gals or by marital rank. No longer do we describe women as women doctors, pilots or athletes. Our language, at last, reflects our values … or at least political correctness. Or does it? Vestiges of the past still slip by. We’re all guilty. It takes time to break old habits and, for some of us, change our perception of others. The challenge is none the […]
Join me each month as I share a myth from my book The 9 Biggest Writing Myths (and how to move beyond them). This month we’ll explore the myth about having to love the project you’re working on. Myth #3 Beginning a writing project is like entering a marriage. You willingly make a long-term commitment to have and to hold till publication do you part. You begin your relationship with an idea that makes you all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. […]
If you’re a writer, you know how your heart aches to express itself.
Want to write a book? Follow this advice.