10 Essential Quotes on Becoming a Writer (plus one of my own)

Don't-be-a-writer

I first wanted to become a writer because I read those great books (you know the ones: Great Expectations and Harry Potter and Les Miserables and On the Road) and thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do this all day, to spend your afternoons having conversations with interesting characters and dealing with the deep challenges of the soul?”

How to Become a Writer: 3 Simple Steps

how to become a writer

So you want to become a writer.

Perhaps you write because it makes you feel alive. Perhaps you read a book that made you think, “It must feel amazing to write something like this. Maybe I could be a writer.” Perhaps you feel like you can’t not write.

So then, how do you do it? How do you become a writer?

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals for Writers (and Those Who Love Them)

black friday for writers

Black Friday evokes the best and worst of humanity. It’s a day of generosity, when people sacrifice their sleep, their time, and their sanity to get the best gifts possible for their friends and family. It’s also a day when people get trampled to death (sometimes literally) by mobs of crazed consumers.

Luckily for those of us who prefer to steer clear of the mob but still want to treat the ones we love (and ourselves!) to the best, there are plenty of deals to be found online. In this post are a few great offers we’ve found for writers and those who love them.

I’m Thankful for Writing. How About You?

thankful typewriter

It’s nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S. If you’re like me, every time you go on Facebook, someone is posting what they’re thankful for, the thirty days of thankfulness I believe it’s called. In the spirit of the season, today, I want to talk about one thing I’m very thankful for: writing.

10 Writing Tips from Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin writing quote

At the National Book Awards a few nights ago, Ursula Le Guin was honored with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a fancy sounding award that basically means she’s the bomb (she really is).

10 Questions to Find Your Unique Writing Voice

Why is it that when you love someone’s writing, you want to read every book they’ve ever written? Why is it that some readers will buy all of J.K. Rowling’s books, even if she’s writing in a completely different genre than the Harry Potter series? And for us writers, how can we go from “unknown writer” to “published author”?

It’s all about your writing voice.

3 Tips to “Show, Don’t Tell” Emotions and Moods

show, don't tell

If you’re like me, one of the main reasons you read is to receive an emotional transference from the author. You love books that don’t just make you think, that don’t just entertain, but that make you feel something.

It’s the magic of reading: that an author can arrange a series of letters in a certain order and that these letters can affect our emotions.

As a writer, how do you develop mood in a short story or in the chapter of your novel without telling? Is it possible to build up emotional language without saying what the emotion is? In other words, can you make people feel something without writing like Stefenie Meyer or E.L. James?

Want to Write Faster for NaNoWriMo? Try This Trick

write faster for nanowrimo

If you’ve downloaded our nifty NaNoWriMo calendar then you know that by the end of today, November 3, you should have already written 5,000 words. Depending on how fast you write, that could be a very intimidating number.

How do you write faster for NaNoWriMo? In this post, I’m going to share a trick I’ve used to help me write four books and over 600 blog posts.

12 Thoughts On NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Are you thinking about participating in it? Do you know what NaNoWriMo even is?

Here are 12 reasons you should (or should NOT) participate in National Novel Writing Month…

3 Reasons You Should Write Ghost Stories

ghost stories

Ghost stories have a rich literary tradition, but for most of my life, I dismissed them. I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’ve seen enough horror movies to know I’m not interested in seeing another. However, I just finished Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, a finalist for the Pulitzer, and was surprised to see a very moving account of a ghost.

It made me realize how many ghost stories are in the literary canon. There’s Poe’s The Raven, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, basically all of Nicolai Gogol’s work, and more recently Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days, among many others I’m forgetting. We love ghost stories!

So here are three reasons to write a ghost story: