Archive for the 'Inspirations' Category

The Point of Writing

Flickr Creative Commons: Jason Eppink

There’s a lot of talk these days about getting yourself a presence on social media, upping your profile, selling yourself, marketing your work, using every angle and every connection in order to “get out there,” hustle your product, hit the bestseller lists, make a splash.

This post is just to remind you that none of this is what writing is about.

Writing is about finding out who you are, what you have to say that is not […]

Lessons from the UnCon: I Surrender. I’m Finally Ready to Be Naked

Method Writing (and Eating) with Brunonia Barry at the Witch’s Brew Cafe–photography credit Mike Swift

If you attended the inaugural UnCon in Salem, this post is an attempt to recreate a bit of its inherent magic. If you couldn’t attend, this is one explanation of why you’ll read reviews like this paraphrased quote: “What have you people done to me? I’m forever changed and so is my writing.” 

Several decades ago, an excessively young, naïve, and nervous version of myself began […]

Your NaNoWriMo Road Map

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.

Happy National Novel Writing Month! At this stage of the process, you may feel like you’re sinking in a morass of flat characters and plot holes. This is completely natural. Lucky for you, I’m here to guide you the rest of the way with a daily regimen that will keep you on […]

Pantaphobia: THAT’S IT!

Robin LaFevers writes: One of the hardest things about being a writer can be the sense of isolation we experience–the sense that we are the only ones to feel a certain way. Especially when those feelings are not happy or joyful ones. That’s why fellow writers’ honesty is such a gift. Today I am honored to share with you such a gift–a guest post by YA author Myra McEntire. It is a raw, honest look at some of the hardships […]

On Not Giving Up

This week, my new adult novel, first in a big new series called Trinity, is coming out.

I’m going to be celebrating even more than usual, because this one’s had a long hard road to publication, with nearly four years and several rejections before it was accepted. Even though I’m a well-established author with many books to my name, it looked like this one was fated to remain homeless. ‘Too different’ seemed to be the verdict. A mix of urban fantasy, […]

Keep the Faucet on: Slow and Steady Fills the Ocean

By Steve Johnson (Flickr CC)

Louis L’Amour has a quote I love: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” I use this quote often in my classes. I even have this quote posted on the bulletin board in my office.

Why, then, why why why do I need to re-learn this at least once a year?

This fall has been an overwhelming, but exciting time for me. I combined households with the love […]

On Reviews and How (Not) to Take Them

I got the call from my husband two weeks ago, the one you never want to get. While at the park, our oldest daughter (age 7) had fallen and broken her arm. (My girl is something of a tree-climbing-roller-skating-bike-riding daredevil. Yet she managed to get a fairly spectacular compound fracture–her first–falling less than 4 feet off the toddler section of the playground. Really? Yup).

She was absolutely incredibly brave about the whole experience, from the ambulance ride to the hospital to […]

The Un-Con Begins Tomorrow! (Plus, How to Un-Con on Your Own, Even If You Can’t Make It to Salem)

The first Writer Unboxed Un-Conference begins tomorrow! (Applause, shouts of joy, cheers, hugs, panicked rummaging through clothing when you realize you have nothing to wear.)

The Un-Con promises to be unlike other writing conferences. It focuses on the writing part of being writer—developing our craft, building our inner strength, and actually writing and telling stories. There will be networking, yes, but no pitching, no marketing lessons, no sliding copies of your manuscripts to agents under bathroom stall dividers. (Please, please, don’t […]

Writing the Story of Your Heart: Even When the Odds Aren’t in Your Favor

By Flickr’s Sergiu Bacioiu

Today’s guest is Aisha Saeed—an author, mama, lawyer, teacher, and maker and drinker of chai. She is also the Vice President of Strategy for We Need Diverse Books™. While Aisha loves writing about a variety of topics, her main passion lies in channeling her inner teen. Her debut YA novel Written in the Stars will be released in 2015 by Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books. When Aisha isn’t writing or chasing her two little boys, you can find […]

The Despair and Wonder in Every Moment

One exquisite moment

On Sunday morning, I drove through town to have coffee with a friend. It was one of those exquisite fall days that sometimes arrive just before winter settles in—the aspens and cottonwoods are all bright yellow clouds of leaves contrasted against the cloudless blue sky and blue mountains—just dusted with snow—in the background. I had the same thought over and over, “It is such a beautiful fall day! I love the way that hillside looks! Look at […]

Forget Heroes: Why Heroines Are Important

Photo by Tomás Peñalver

Today we’re thrilled to have Martha Conway with us. Her latest novel, THIEVING FOREST (Noontime Books), is the story of seventeen-year-old Susanna Quiner, who watches as a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin. With both her parents dead from Swamp Fever and all the other settlers out in their fields, Susanna makes the rash decision to pursue them herself. What follows is a young woman’s quest to find her sisters, […]

Celebrate yourself

photo by Luca Moglia

When I was in the midst of writing my first novel, I gave up. I’d never written fiction before. I had never even taken a class on how to write fiction. I had no idea what I was doing, and I knew I would never get published. I explained all this to my husband.

“You know, even if you never get published,” he said, “It is a huge accomplishment just to finish an entire novel. How many […]