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What NOT to Do When Starting a New Writing Project (Plus Prompt)

It can seem spectacularly impossible hard to insulate yourself in your writing bomb shelter when working on a new project, but for the sake of your mental health and the well-being of your work, might that be a solid path to follow? Publishing insider Patricia Holt shares her thoughts in the Top 20 Tips From WD in 2009 series:

No. 4: Dodge the News
“The most demoralizing thing to do when you’re starting a book project is to keep abreast of book industry news. Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Shelf Awareness, Publishers Lunch, mediabistro.com and others don’t report on routine publishing matters. What makes news for them are big advances, breakthrough campaigns and startling author bios—all of which are irrelevant and distracting (and, in some awful way, diminishing) to you now. So the first thing to do is get away from the madness that publishing has become.”
Patricia Holt, from the July/August 2009 Publishing 101 issue (click here to check it out).

Of course, we at WD mag are guilty of reporting on publishing homeruns, too—and Patricia’s advice is something we try to bear in mind when fleshing out how we frame different topics in each issue (and penning our own work).

To kick off Thanksgiving week, a special thanks to WD superstar Brian A. Klems for updating the blog—with, appropriately, a Thanksgiving prompt—when I was out of town last week. (And I’m not sure if meat is your bag, but I’m getting pumped about some holiday eating and writing as the bird approaches…)

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WRITING PROMPT: The Artifact
Feel free to take the following prompt home or post your response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings (a comment from the last month will be picked at random Wednesday!).

Your boat rocks back and forth, and you peer over the edge, catching a glimpse of something you thought was gone forever.

Michigan Quarterly Review: Market Spotlight

Michigan Quarterly Review: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Michigan Quarterly Review, the flagship literary journal of the University of Michigan.

Desperate vs. Disparate (Grammar Rules)

Desperate vs. Disparate (Grammar Rules)

This post looks at the differences between desperate and disparate with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

What Is Pastiche in Literature, and Why Is Sherlock Holmes Perfect for It?

What Is Pastiche in Literature, and Why Is Sherlock Holmes Perfect for It?

What has made Sherlock Holmes so adaptable and changeable throughout the character’s original inception? Author Timothy Miller explains.

How to Write Through Grief and Find Creativity

How to Write Through Grief and Find Creativity

When author Diana Giovinazzo found herself caught in the storm of grief, doing what she loved felt insurmountable. Here, she shares how she worked through her grief to find her creativity again.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Our Brand-New Digital Guide, 6 WDU Courses, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce our new “Get Published in 2022” digital guide, six new WDU courses, and more!

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

The occasional bump in the writing process is normal, but it can be difficult to work through. Here, author Genevieve Essig shares five ways to keep your writing rolling.

From Script

How to Write from a Place of Truth and Desire and Bending the Rules in Screenwriting (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with screenwriter Steven Knight (Spencer), Mike Mills (C'mon C'mon), and David Mitchell (Matrix Resurrection). Plus, how to utilize your vulnerability in your writing and different perspectives on screenwriting structure.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is forgetting to read.

Tapping Your Memories for Emotional Truths on the Page

Tapping Your Memories for Emotional Truths on the Page

Sharing even a fraction of our feelings with our characters will help our stories feel more authentic. Here, Kris Spisak explains how to tap into our memories to tell emotional truths on the page.