I Should/Could/Would Be Writing

I had a moment or two recently that brought to mind something I’ve been meaning to write about. Creativity and English’s subjunctive mood. Sounds pretentious, but that was going to be the title of the hypothetical post. Stick with me, and...

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Reviving An Old Project

  A book can get shelved before it’s finished, but not in the good way. Creative work can get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list when priorities shift or you lose interest for the latest shiny new idea. This doesn’t...

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The Creative Tribe: A powerful tool with a double-edge

I’ve recently taken a step back from my creative tribe. Still a card-carrying member (and officer in a few groups), but, after noticing unsavory patterns, I’ve had to reevaluate my expectations and dial down participation. Thanks to social media, the...

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The Sandlot Principle: Which Team Are You?

On a sticky summer day, two teams shouted each other down on a scrubby sand lot. Insults flew between the little league pitcher in uniform and the scrappy catcher in shorts. The catcher had enough. His face flushed red, his eyes...

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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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