Archive for the 'REAL WORLD' Category

In Retreat

I recently returned from my first writers’ retreat where I was lucky enough to spend five days (not long enough!) in the company of three other very talented writers.

You see, my life is … hectic. I still work as a lawyer (I am a partner in a law firm), and I write books in my spare time (the answer to the question you are asking yourself is: robots). Since my first publication in Canada in 2010, my books have been [...]

Creating Capacity

Photo by Horia Varlan

What is your capacity to create?

Many people I know tend to express some aspect of their lives as being OVERWHELMED, and that they wrestle with ANXIETY on a daily basis. In developing your craft as a writer, in publishing a body of work over time, in connecting with your audience in meaningful ways: how do you create greater capacity for these things to happen?

How can you create more expressions of accomplishment (“I am working on [...]

What Are You Afraid Of?

There is an Elizabeth Gilbert post making the rounds this week dismissing fear as boring. Which it is, in a way, and I get the point of the post, but it strikes me as something we need to talk about sometimes.

What are you afraid of? Some writers are afraid of not being good enough. Some are afraid of fading into obscurity. Some are afraid that people will judge them, that they will lose love when people see through the words [...]

Generate More Income by Diversifying Revenue Streams

Screw Diversity by Martin Kenny on Flickr

The savviest and most successful of today’s authors diversify their revenue streams. The days of authors generating a living wage solely from Big Five royalties are long gone (if they actually ever existed). Thanks to publishing and ecommerce tools provided by super-sized and scrappy service providers, authors are empowered to sell more stuff, and make more money, than in years past.

Diversifying your revenue stream means creative and nimble thinking, iterative content [...]

Advice to My Newbie Self

Photo by Evan Leeson

Today, we’re excited to have Steve P. Vincent with us. His first novel,  THE FOUNDATION (Momentum), was just released on September 11. It’s the story of a corrupt think tank, The Foundation for a New America, that enlists a Taiwanese terrorist to bomb a World Trade Organization conference. The US and China are put on the path to war and star journalist Jack Emery is pulled into a story far more dangerous than he could have imagined.

John [...]

“Visionaries on the Decks”: Storytelling

 

“To Declare Your Story’s Intent”

There are things important to you. You hurt. You know stuff. I don’t. You see things that I cannot…You have everything you need, including the courage to declare your story’s intent.

— Donald Maass, Writing 21st Century Fiction

Not for nothing am I looking forward to the November 3-7 Writer Unboxed “Un-Conference” in bewitching Salem, Massachusetts. The final day, a Friday, as you might know, is given over to our good WU colleague Don Maass, who’s going to [...]

Why You Don’t Need to Rush Your Writing

The truth can be told at last: I am the world’s worst dilettante.

In my life I have learned to rock-climb, ski, speak French (all badly). I was deputy press secretary for New York State in Dukakis’ bid for the presidency in 1988, a job I got through volunteering in hopes of meeting a nice single guy.  I worked at The New York Times back when the presses were still in the basement of the building on 43rd Street, was fired [...]

Wanted: Grim Reaper As Writing Coach

The Grim Reaper by Trish Steel [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Last month, through pure serendipity, I stumbled across an intellectual exercise which I’d like to recommend to all my fellow writers.  I believe it will be of particular benefit to those of you who  a) are overwhelmed with life and yearn for a reset button b) wish to clear away the cobwebs of smugness and complacency, or c) like me, write genre fiction that others might call “quiet” or, in [...]

On Rejection and Renewal: A Note to Aspiring Novelists

Photo by Scott White

Our guest today is Warren Adler, best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. Adler’s international hit stage adaptation of the novel will premiere on Broadway in 2015-2016 (to be produced by Jay and Cindy Gutterman). Adler has also optioned and sold film rights for a number of his works [...]

Everything You Need to Know About the @Reply

photo by Steve Snodgrass

Okay, tweeps and future tweeps! So far in my column we’ve covered getting started on Twitter, the retweet, the #hashtag, and basic Twitter etiquette. Today I’m going to go over the ins and outs of another Twitter staple: the @reply, also known as a mention. (Still not sure if this whole Twitter thing is even for you? This post might help you decide.)

Terminology

First and foremost, what’s that at symbol for? The at symbol (@: read as [...]

The Surprising Importance of Doing Nothing

Photo by Alice Popkorn (Flickr)

Pop quiz! Studies have shown that creative people are known to:

A) Daydream. A lot.
B) They lose track of time.
C) Have wandering minds.
D) Stare at the wall. A lot.
E) All of the above

If you picked E, you are correct! Successful creatives spend much of their time so deeply immersed in their own internal worlds that, in the eyes of the world, it often appears that they’re doing nothing.

But of course, we know how very untrue that [...]

On Stage: Talking about Writing

Some time ago, at a literary festival, I was in the authors’ green room talking to a new writer whose first public appearance as an author was that very day. She was clearly very nervous, though trying hard to look as blasé as the rest of us more experienced speakers must have looked to her. (This of course was far from the truth—most of us still get stage fright to one extent or the other). Finally, she burst out with, [...]