5 Steps to Set Writing Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

5 Steps to Set Writing Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

It’s that time of year again. The holiday parties are done, visiting family has gone home, and normal life has resumed. Coming back makes us question, “Is this really what I want my life to look like?”

So we set New Year’s resolutions. We tell ourselves, “This year, it’s going to be different! This year I’m going to write more, finish that book, put out a short story a week, finally edit that manuscript, etc. . . .”

It’s not enough just to say that things are going to be different. If we want to see real change in our lives, we need to be disciplined and strategic about the changes we make.

Why You Should Write Poetry in the Midst of Tragedy

Why You Should Write Poetry in the Midst of Tragedy

In the midst of struggle, writing is a powerful way to express your emotions. Journaling is great, but a poem, no matter how awkward it might feel to write, taps into our what our heart is feeling at the smallest and deepest level.

Try writing a poem around the tragedies that have crashed into your heart.

Vote for the Winner of the Winter Writing Contest

Vote for the Winner of the Winter Writing Contest

This week, nearly four hundred writers submitted their stories to the Winter Writing Contest. Right now, our panel of judges is reading through each story, looking for the ones that will make it to the winners’ circle. But this contest, I have an invitation for you, too.

I’m inviting you to step over to the judges’ side of the submission table. I’m inviting you to try reading like an editor and decide which story you would choose as the winner of the Winter Writing Contest.

And then, I’m inviting you to vote on your favorite. That’s right: this contest, we’re offering a Readers’ Choice Award.

The Best Gift a Writer Can Give

The Best Gift a Writer Can Give

The word “gift” has several meanings. Your writing is a gift. A natural ability, and something to give away without payment.

You can give gifts; socks, pencils, toys. Socks will get holes in them, pencils will wear down, and toys will break. Words can create images and bring back memories that will never wear down or break.

Write with intent. Give someone you love a story about how much they mean to you.

3 Tricks for Getting Unstuck During the Holidays

3 Tricks for Getting Unstuck During the Holidays

In order to succeed, one thing writers need is stress-free time to work and think, which is why the holidays can be hard for us. With all the added parties and present buying and family events, it can be easy to feel stuck and unable to write.

Yes, writing can be particularly challenging during the holidays. But that’s no reason to quit trying altogether. Instead of giving up and not writing for a month, try these writing tricks to get through the craziness of the holidays.

Why It’s Okay to Fail

Why It’s Okay to Fail

It’s only been ten days since NaNoWriMo finished and I ought to be celebrating. And I am, but in a different way, and not for the reasons you’d think. For the first time in eight years, I did not complete my word count goal. I failed NaNoWriMo.

Being the perfectionist and goal-oriented person that I am, I found myself to be surprisingly okay with November’s outcome. So I’d only written 20,000 words. So what? It’s okay. Do you want to know why? I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Parentheses: How to Use ( ) Correctly

Parentheses: How to Use ( ) Correctly

People ask me all the time (and by all the time, I mean never), “Liz, what is your favorite grammatical/punctuational structure?” It’s hard to narrow it down to just one (although you’re probably already aware of my love for the Oxford comma), but if I happened to be in a life-or-death of language situation, it would probably be the parenthetical statement.

I bet you already figured that out.

4 Engaging Ways James Baldwin Captures Emotion

4 Engaging Ways James Baldwin Captures Emotion

Recently my publisher recommended I read the novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin.

Baldwin is known by many for being a political writer during the Civil Rights movement, but what struck me about Beale Street was how he conveyed this emotion. He does such a great job making me feel Tish’s love, desperation, etc. throughout the book such that I found myself thinking, “how did he do that?”

How did Baldwin so successfully evoke emotion in Beale Street? Here are some of the answers I came up with.