What is Detail, What is Plot: Deciphering Writer’s Block

Planning a story should produce a strong outline. That outline, made up of interesting and interconnected scenes, ties your ideas together into a cohesive and engaging plot. Faced with a pile of potential scenes to organize into a story,...

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Creativity and Mental Illness

Some time ago, a member of one of my online writing groups shared an infographic to the group feed that stated, “Writers are 121% more likely to suffer from mental illness than the general population.” Folks with an even temper...

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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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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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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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Know Your Enemy – Procrastination

Procrastination blocks productivity. Still, procrastination is better tackled when it’s understood. By definition, procrastination means “the act of delaying or postponing something”, more specifically “putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention”. You are technically only procrastinating in...

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The Five Pillars of Healthful Writing

Writing has incredible benefits, but like any activity your individual involvement depends on your interest. Some writers are happy with the hobby, writing for their own fulfillment with a pleasant dream of being published someday. Others have a goal...

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Self-Study Techniques: Supplemental Materials

Formal education has advantages for those who thrive in structured learning. With a large push toward cooperative learning and promoting teamwork in curriculum, some learning styles can be neglected. The art of self-teaching was once the popular method, and...

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4 Tips for Reviewing Test Reader Feedback

Writing communities and classes frequently recommend seeking feedback and constructive criticism from test readers. Taking criticism gracefully is another favorite topic in writing circles. It’s a challenge to get over the emotional and psychological hurdles of having fellow humans...

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