Free Writing Course – And really, it’s a good one!

I’ve been waiting for this week for two years. There are few things more wonderful than free instruction, and one of those things is free quality instruction. During the summer of 2015, I took a chance on a couple of writing...

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Track Your Work, Grow Your Words

Writing, as a hobby, art, and profession, tends to wear dysfunction like a badge of honor. I don’t think it should. And neither should reading, come to think of it. Writers looking to improve productivity are a favorite target for...

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“Can I write about this?” – Yes, on one condition.

People love classifying other people. Our minds are happily oriented around patterns, but when it comes to making sense of others, especially those who are different than us, we get into trouble. Writers who want to tell a story...

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No Excuses. A year long writing course for free.

This will sound like a commercial. It sort of is, but it’s a recommendation made out of respect, gratitude, and a deep love for the Writing Excuses podcast. For the last three years, this crew of well-esteemed and staggeringly talented...

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Keep Readers by Using Variable Rewards

The big thing in entertainment today is addiction. The products we use – especially computer programs, games, and apps – are designed to hook users into habitual use, then encourage repeated purchases to fuel our investment of time. Before we...

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Writing Exercises: Why do we use them, and do we need them?

There are some great stories of writing exercises out there that have changed writers’ lives, styles, even dreams. Some are simply interesting, and a few make you wonder why we do these at all. In my final writing course, our...

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Marketing Using Facebook and Twitter Ads

by Brandon Varnell You’re a self-published author who now has a couple of books out. All of them are lovely, with gorgeous cover designs, quality formatting, are excellently edited, and—most importantly—best seller material. Unfortunately, you’re a self-published author, so nobody...

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How Digested is Your Reading Material?

How many people have touched your reading material? I’m not talking about germs on used books or the grimy bits hiding on the surface of your tablet. I mean how close to the source are you when you’re reading...

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Life is Like a Box Of Chocolates (so are anthologies)

While continuing our read of Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, I just wanted to share a bit of commentary on the subject of writers reading short stories. It’s been several weeks since I...

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Sure Growth and the Psychology of Practice

How to Become a Great Writer (no, seriously, this is how) This post is directly inspired by a recent Freakonomics podcast titled How to Become Great at Just About Anything. Tantalizing premise, isn’t it? Most of us have heard of...

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