Currently Browsing: Writing

Six minutes to live

  If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster. ~~Isaac Asimov, science-fiction writer, 1920-1992   .... read more

7 secrets to writing for children

Let me share with you now a cold, hard truth: writing children’s picture books is infinitely harder than writing for adults. Here are a few tips to help get your kidlit published.

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The top 5 mistakes new writers make

Do you know the five easiest ways to keep yourself from getting published?

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Free retro typewriter fonts

Using a typewriter brings back powerful, tactile memories of my first desktop publishing days. These fonts do it to me, too.

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Clamoring to become visible

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~~Vladimir Nabakov, Russian novelist, 1899-1977 .... read more

How to make 100% sure you never get your big break as a writer

  Indie publishing queen Zoe Winters, who keeps accidentally inspiring me to write these mondo-long blog posts when I’m innocently trying to procrastinate by reading her blog in the first place, spoke today about the myth of The New York Gatekeepers of Publishing. From Zoe’s post: There is a lot of hullabaloo about “good writing” vs. “bad writing”. And how do you know if you’re a “good writer” or not? The sad truth is that you can’t. I think one of the reasons the gatekeepers hold SUCH strong sway over unpublished authors is that they NEED to know if they’re good or not. And the reason they need to know, probably more than other types of artists, is that EVERYBODY thinks they can write. Whether they can or not. Everybody believes they have a book in them. It’s not like other forms of art like painting and sculpting and film where people seem to have some basic grasp of whether or not they suck. So many writers don’t have enough self-confidence. And those that do often end up being the ones everybody mocks for self-publishing crap. So people are afraid if they have self-confidence it must mean they suck and are just deluded. So much ego is wrapped up in the act of writing. When a NY publisher says: “Yes! We will buy this work!” They are validating you. They’re an authority figure. To many writers these gatekeepers mean more to them than end readers. She’s right. Validation is a slippery thing. I’ve found more trouble dispelling that crazymaking need for outward validation than any other aspect of the illusionary writing life. Every time I thought my big break was imminent, something always came along to knock me back down to my comfortable place on the bottom rung. Usually, it was me. And before you say, “Well, I don’t care what other people think, I’m writing for myself,” let me tell you: writing to publish “for yourself” as an end goal is impossible emotional level to hit and score against. Here’s why. As a naive college kid, I remember thinking, “I’ll be a professional writer when I send out my first query letter to a major publishing house.” Then I did just that, and it turned out to be not that big of a deal. My family was unimpressed that the Highlights editor hand-penned a couple of words on one corner of my green form letter. If I remember... read more

Fairy tales are getting stupider

Humpty Dumpty? Apparently, according to the BBC, he can’t break now. He ends up happy and superglued. The old lady in the shoe? She now gives kisses instead of whippings.

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