5 Questions for Tackling Big Issues

"Write about something you feel strongly about." "Write about what disturbs you." "Don't shy away from writing something difficult." This common piece of advice appears phrased dozens of ways. The first time I heard it was from a middle school English teacher 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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Note Card Plotting: Unwrapped

One of the more recognizable plotting methods out there is Note card Plotting. The idea of physically carrying and rearranging ideas appeals especially well to hands-on or visual writers, though the specifics of the method vary. Note Card Plotting General Method:...

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Writing Conference Basics

For some ambitious writers, the New Year is a time to check out new and exciting writing conferences. This is a tangible way to invest in your personal development, and a great way to open up your professional network....

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Improving Writer Health “Bird by Bird”

One of the founding goals here at The Art of Stories has always been advocating writer’s physical and mental health. No, I don’t have a program for this or any kind of special diet or system I’m selling. There...

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This New Year, Resolve to Read Socially

It’s a new year and the traditional time to set goals! While we advocate checking in and making goals every three or four months, having a year-long view for writing projects is great too. Aside from the initial goals...

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Stress and Your Writing

Writing has an interesting relationship with stress. It would probably be more appropriate to say writers have a complicated relationship with stress. Stressors can help inspire creativity; writing can relieve stress; stress can create writers block. While removing stress...

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Reading for Writers: Input and Output

Reading, for a writer, is the primary method for staying on top of news in their profession. Others’ work provides an insight into competitors’ methods, a lesson in new skills, and an endless supply of raw material. Sometimes, however,...

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