Why You’ll Never Arrive and What to Do Instead

Why You’ll Never Arrive and What to Do Instead

There are three words that can kill any dream before it leaves the ground: “As soon as …” As soon as I finish this course … as soon as I get noticed … as soon as I revise … as soon as I get a marketing plan in place … as soon as the kids are in school … as soon as I ride the glitter pony of creativity … and on and on.

Yes, it is helpful to have action steps that inform your forward motion, but for too many of us who want to do creative work, we’re waiting on something that isn’t really keeping us from our writing. Our real barriers are beliefs that tell us we have to wait for the right conditions, along with the false assumption that one day we’ll “arrive” at our goal of being a successful writer and the need to create will feel satiated.

Newsflash: those “right” conditions and that “perfect” moment are not coming.

Literary Crisis: Why a Crisis Will Make Your GOOD Story GREAT

Literary Crisis: Why a Crisis Will Make Your GOOD Story GREAT

So you wrote a story or a novel or a book. You’re proud. You’re excited. Visions of publishing dance in your head. Then you go back and read your story or novel or book, and you think, “Well, this is good and I feel proud of it. But it doesn’t match up to the stories/novels/books I know and love.”

You wrote a GOOD story, but not a GREAT one. Worse, you don’t know why.

How to Empower Your Writing With a Brilliant Epigraph

How to Empower Your Writing With a Brilliant Epigraph

The epigraph is simply a well-chosen quotation, set at the beginning of a text. Epigraphs can open essays, books, chapters of a book, or even each story in a book—any writing, really, which suggests its theme.

They can, however, do so much more.

After a short primer, just to get us on the same page with a working understanding of the epigraph, and a little confessional angst, you will have a couple of practice challenges to engage your new friends.

How to Survive the Second Draft of Your Book

How to Survive the Second Draft of Your Book

The next few months I’ve dedicated to finishing the book I’ve been working on for nearly two years. Inspired by Joe’s latest post, I’ve made the commitment to revise the second draft of my book.

I believe, though, the second draft is the hardest. Actually, it’s the worst. All the content of your book is sitting right in front of you like a huge slab of marble mined from your imagination, and you’re expected to take the formless hunk and turn it into Michelangelo’s David.

In finishing the second draft of three books and as I’m embarking on finishing this next one this fall, I’ve compiled these tips for the both of us. Here’s all I know about book editing and surviving the second draft.

Giveaway: Win Freewrite, the World’s First Smart Typewriter!

Giveaway: Win Freewrite, the World’s First Smart Typewriter!

How often do you find yourself writing . . . when suddenly, a rogue distraction interrupts you? You get a text. Or an email pops up in your inbox. You need to do some quick research to get this scene just right. Or you just have to check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, just for a moment. And forty-five minutes later, you come back to your story to realize you’ve barely written a paragraph.

That’s where Freewrite, the world’s first smart typewriter, comes in. Enter to win Freewrite today!

The Winning Mindset You Need for a Killer Writing Contest Entry

The Winning Mindset You Need for a Killer Writing Contest Entry

I’ve just signed up for a writing contest, and I turn on “Eye of the Tiger” as I sit down to pound out my first draft. This is it, I tell myself. This will be the story that finally wins. I light my creative candle called “Field of Dreams” and place a mug of freshly pressed coffee next to my laptop. A few finger exercises and I am ready to write the story to end all stories.

But what if nothing comes? Or worse, a story pours out and it’s terrible? What if I don’t win? How can I develop a winning mindset without reading an entire shelf of self-help books and further distracting myself?

Active vs. Passive Voice: The Complete Guide

Active vs. Passive Voice: The Complete Guide

You’ve probably heard people decry the use of the passive voice. “Avoid it at all costs!” they say. That’s a little misleading; the passive voice isn’t always bad.

However, you must understand what it is and learn to recognize it so you can choose how to use it effectively.