Inspiration

Believing in the Muse

Whether you believe in The Muse is actually not important. It is important, however, that you believe that writing, when it’s going very well, is fun, enlivening, curiously effortless, and surprising.

5 Writing Perspectives to Be Thankful For

Every day at Writer’s Digest, I’m particularly thankful that I get to read about writing and edit some really skilled teachers and experts. The varied perspectives, voices and authorities on the craft keep me on my toes and enrich my experience as a writer and a reader. Today, I pulled five...

Develop Daily Writing Resilience to Succeed

“Writing is so difficult that I feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.”—Jessamyn West The dead aren’t supposed to walk among us, but they do. I’ve seen them—writers frazzled from publishing’s frenetic pace, spirits dead from unfulfilled and stressful career demands—empty shells, comatose like...

Ditch Microsoft Word for Scrivener. Now.

How many times have you wanted to throw your laptop across the room when Microsoft Word started moving slower than a three-toed sloth with a bad case of vertigo? If you’re like me and your manuscript is over 100,000 words, it probably happens on a fairly regular basis. I’ve had it...

5 Ways to Combat Author Anxiety

It turns out Author Anxiety is a Thing. It’s not just me. I discovered this on the eve of publication of my debut novel, DECEPTION ISLAND, when I was silly enough to Google my shiny new title. Up popped a Netgalley reviewer live-tweeting as she read it. Only she was hating...

Self-Care Makes Better Writers

I've been more curious about myself, which, I believe, has directly led to seeing other people more clearly. This also translates to character writing: in my new book, my characters are more accessible to me, though no less complex. I find I write with more joy. It's the self-work that has...

Train Your Brain and Make Writing a Priority

Finding the time to write is a universal struggle for writers. Day jobs, kids, pets, presidential elections, to-do lists…there are a million things that require our time and attention before we can give anything to writing. When I was in college, I wrote a terrible young adult novel. I worked on it...

3 Imperfect Rules for Writing

I’ve been thinking a lot about perfection recently. As a creative writing teacher, I often hear statements about the writing process from my students—statements that involve one of my least favorite words: should.

5 Ways to Get Into Character

It’s been said that great authors act as stenographers, jotting down thoughts and actions as their characters dictate. Whether you’re focused on a single protagonist or penning a novel with multiple points-of-view, you must know your characters, so that when they talk to you, you’ll recognize their voices. But how do...

The Kama Sutra of Getting Published

Put yourself in these three publishing positions to maximize your chances. I wrote my first book-length manuscript at the foolish age of 19 and thought it would set the New York publishing houses ablaze. A few dozen rejection letters and no blaze later, and I came to understand what we all...

One Day a Week, One Scene at a Time

I’ve read that ideally a writer should write each day during a designated period lasting a few hours, if at all possible. And that sounds about right as ideals go, and I don’t doubt that such a regular daily routine hones one’s writing skills and keeps the creative juices flowing. However,...

Writing Requires Perseverance

Beyond the obvious need for a writer to have talent and a fruitful imagination, he must also have perseverance to become a published author. Occasionally, a writer’s first novel is extraordinary, or he writes a masterful proposal, and his book lands on the fast-track to getting published. But most first attempts...

Confessions of a Chronic Genre Shopper

**GIVEAWAY! Evangeline is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks** Debut author Evangeline Denmark, CURIO (Jan 2016, Blink), shares her forays into several genres before finally arriving at YA Steampunk Fantasy.

6 Steps to Seeing Your Book Published

Step Five: Breathe. Take time to walk away from your masterpiece and breath. Get a fresh perspective from a trusted adviser. Take time to vent about your long writing journey. And take time to walk away for entire days, hell maybe a week or two. Time when you have left your...

Need Ideas or a Writing Boost? Read Your Newspaper’s Obituaries

For an author, obituaries provide a wealth of story material. I’ve gotten character names from reading obituaries and story ideas. I’ve learned things I didn’t know and came across connections I would have never made otherwise. Try these on for size: -- Donald Doutrich raced against Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough. -- Jeanne...