Stop Comparing Yourself

How to Be Happy as a Writer

This week, let’s make ourselves a pact. I’ll stop comparing myself to other writers – and so will you.

Regaining Momentum

Writing after a dry period is really hard, but there’s no secret to getting back into it. There are only a few simple steps.

Learning From Those Who Came Before

We write our stories, and we do the best we can. For many of us, that means we write from perspective born of backgrounds we didn’t control, educations we weren’t aware were cheap, and information we didn’t know was dated.

Stop Thinking About Marketing

The reason we feel the need to hold baby creations up to some 30-year pro’s for comparison is because our culture teaches us to judge all art according to salability – but salability is not the point of art.

Writing Fatigue (and what to do about it)

This month is not about producing something publishable. It’s about teaching yourself to just keep writing, to ignore the inner editor, and to let yourself just spill words onto the page.

Goodbye, Stan Lee

Fellow creatives, Stan Lee left big shoes to fill. We have some work to do.


Do Your Words

“Do your words” may be the most important words ever for writers.

Here's your sign

Here’s Your Sign

Hey. Creative soul, I’m talking to you.

This is your sign not to give up.

Patience is a long, long road

Your Trajectory Is Not Fixed

Here’s a lie I’ll bet you’ve been told: “You have to figure out what you want to do before it’s too late.”

Stop wishing. Start doing.

Keep Going (Just Like Pixar)

Two of my favorite go-to videos when I’m feeling down about writing. Take a few minutes and watch. Your heart will thank you.

You can do this: head into the tunnel

You Can Do This

Bad Crap is happening. No matter where any of us fall on the political spectrum, we can see that. It’s frightening. It hijacks imagination and energy, leaving only fear. So what’s a creator to do?

Finding Time to Write

Finding Time to Write

Bad news: you will never FIND time to write. Good news: there is still hope for you, struggling writer.

The doubting writer's manifesto

The Doubting Writer’s Manifesto

Bad thought-habits are hard to break.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with them. For all of us who must deal with poisonous doubts spewing from our abused subconscious, I present the Doubting Writer’s Manifesto.

When Writers Freeze

When Writers Freeze

Writer’s freeze: when you know where you need to go, and maybe how to get there, but when you sit down to write it, your brain just stalls.

Location as a character

Location As a Character

Your location affects your other characters and plot every bit as much as your protagonist, antagonist, awesome sidekicks, eponymous heroes, or sarcastic love-interests.

It's all right to be a beginner

Arm Yourself: You’re Allowed to Be a Beginner

Bear with me. As I write this post, I’m more than a little mad. And I don’t mean “crazy,” either. I encountered a fellow the other day who spoke things so poisonous, so deadly to the creative mind, that I suspect he’s already left a battalion of writer-corpses in his wake.

And I’m not staying silent about it anymore.

Only You Can Tell Your Story

No One Can Tell Your Story But You

Writing is a strange thing, filled with emotional roller-coasters and storms and deserts. Who would ever put themselves willingly through this? Well, you (and me). Why? Because you have something to say. The only person who can tell your story is you.


Why You Need to Write What Scares You

What would you write if you knew you couldn’t fail? I promise I’m not setting you up for failure. There is a very good reason I’m asking this question.

Confront Your Fears

Let’s Talk About Fear

According to last week‘s responses, failure is the number one fear that writers face. Maybe we should start by defining it.

How do villains justify THAT?

How Did They Justify THAT?

Why does this matter? Because if you’re not writing your villains with the awareness that in their head, they’re not the villain, you may be writing a flat, 2D character.

Why I Left Smashwords

I’ve made a scary Indie-pub decision: I’m leaving Smashwords. Let me break down precisely why.

GeekGirlCon 2015

GeekGirlCon 2015

Hi, friends! We had so many requests for the resources from our panel that I decided to put them all online.

Ten Steps to Perfect Cover Design

Follow these ten steps, and your cover will look professional. Whether your cover looks good depends on the photos and fonts you choose, but if you follow these steps, your readers will thank you!

Loneliness and Books

I took bookworm and made it mine, decided that geek meant smart, and tried with all my heart to transform the sorrow and pain and rejection and mockery and bullying into a badge of honor.

I Freak Myself Out

I assumed I must be crazy, which I think is the default for any of us who go through something and keep it to ourselves.

Are You Exceptional?


Of course, to answer that, you’d have to define the term.

Editing Cake

Nobody (except for crazy people) ever said editing was easy (unless they meant, “easily drives you crazy”).

Entire scenes have to be rewritten, whole chapters gutted and sewed into new shape, and characters you thought you knew suddenly up and move to a different zip code of emotions without telling you why.


Success is not a secret – and failure isn’t what you think it is.

Interview With Jeff Goins

Do the hard thing — that’s where we grow. If you do that, you’ll never have to worry about restlessness or feeling like your life has a purpose.

How to Make Third-Person Perspective More Personal

Having trouble making your characters seem less distant? This will help.

This tip is nifty. This tip is seriously, unrepentantly nifty. To make your third-person point of view sound more personal, you have to remove the filter words.

How to Find Confidence

It’s like some kind of old-timey riddle: name a thing we all wish we had, yet hate when we see it in other people?

Yup, you guessed it: confidence.

Dealing With the Word “No”

Each time you get a “no,” it can really feel like that was it – the end. You will get another chance. I’m going to share two really simple (though challenging) things that kept me going through all the “no’s,” until I finally had my “yes.”

Beating “Mediocrity”

For a long time, I refused to write because I was afraid of being mediocre. I was afraid that if I tried my best, my very best, it would turn out to be not-very-good. And then, I wouldn’t have any more hope.

See, in my head, as long as I didn’t try, I had the possibility of being good, and then I could hope. Does that sound familiar?

What Makes a Compelling Story, Pt. 4

So you’ve developed your characters, answered all the important questions, and your readers love them. You’ve developed your world, made it rich and full and extremely real. What’s next?


What Makes a Compelling Story, Pt. 3

It affects YA authors, who tend to be considerably older than the people they’re writing about. It affects fantasy/sci-fi authors, who are responsible for creating something that feels new and different but still relatable. It affects everything. But it isn’t impossible to do.

What Makes a Compelling Story, Pt. 2

Unlike the character concepts in part one, you may think wordl-building doesn’t apply to you. But even a modern, magicless YA has world-building, and if you do it wrong, your readers can tell.

What Makes a Compelling Story

There are two key things to a damn good story: 1. You can’t put it down. 2. When you finish, it won’t leave your head.

The Roaring Secret

What is a roaring secret, you might ask?

It’s not hidden at all. It’s something said over and over again by those who understand it, vocally, publically, loudly: Persist, no matter how long it takes.

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