Archive for the 'REAL WORLD' Category

How to Schedule Your Holiday Writing Schedule

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.

I heard you’re taking some time off to celebrate Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanza / Winter Solstice / Festivus. You might think it’s time to recharge those batteries and take three naps in front of the A Christmas Story marathon.

Go writer-caroling. Head door-to-door, full of Christmas cheer, reading your work to people. […]

When ‘There Are No Words,’ I Can’t Even

The Torre Uluzzo near Lecce, Salento, Italy. Image – iStockphoto: Piccerella

‘What This Loss of a Language Means’

“I can’t even.”

You know the phrase, right? Another day, another pop-media whine. “I can’t even” is credited to the bloggrs of Tumblr, who apparently can’t even find it in their hearts to give us an “e” before an “r.”

Call me Portr. I am so hip that I can’t even.

While basking in my coolnees, let’s face it. “I can’t even” is easily as insignificant […]

Do You Have The Clarity To Celebrate Success?

Image by Ram Reddy

Clarity. This is the word that underscores so much of what you do in connecting with and growing your audience.

Clarity of your own focus.
Clarity of voice.
Clarity of timing.
Clarity of who you want to reach.
Clarity of what resonates with these people.
Clarity of matching their need to the value you offer.
Clarity of what you should focus on, and what you can let go.
Clarity around what matters to you day to day.
Clarity of long-term goals that you reach slowly.

You’ll […]

Minimalism When Writing Fiction

On an evening in July 2014, along with my brother and another hundred perspiring attendees, I crowded into one of the few remaining indie bookstores in my hometown. We weren’t there for a rock star novelist, I’m sorry to say, but rather for two non-fiction writers. I’d been reading their blog for a few months and their message was already having a positive impact on my writing (and larger life). I was eager for an in-person reinforcement.

Have you heard of […]

The Lonely Writer

by Alice Popkorn

I feel lucky. I love being a writer and part of why I do is because it allows me to work alone, be alone. It’s not exactly that I don’t like being around other people (I do, kind of). But when I worked in corporate America, I couldn’t get away from people, couldn’t find time for myself. Maybe because I’m an introvert I love spending time alone. I am actually happiest alone and in my head.

But the […]

Even More New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

Two years ago I posted a set of New Year’s resolutions for writers, which was well enough received that I posted another set of resolutions the following December. This holiday season, since I’m all about tradition (as opposed to being all about that bass), I’ve assembled several more resolutions for writers to consider as the new year approaches.

Some of the resolutions I’m proposing might initially seem to be in conflict with each other, but if you read on, I think […]

What Your Writer’s Resume Says About Your Chances for Recognition

Lately, a new mantra has caught on: “There’s no better time to be a writer.” Not only has self-publishing helped open the doors to so many aspiring authors, but the online world has created more opportunities than ever before to build a platform, network and self-promote.

From a schmoozing and promotion perspective, anything seems possible.  We can have conversations with Jodi Picoult on Twitter, send Facebook messages to Paulo Coehlo and mingle with top agents and editors right here on Writer […]

Deadline Craziness

OK, I confess, this month I am not posting a well-thought-out piece of wisdom on the writer’s craft. Instead I’m flailing around the night before my post is due, trying to string together something meaningful. I thought of asking Harry to write this for me, as he’s provided a WU post before on the vexed topic of deadlines, and how the life of a writer’s dog becomes less comfortable the closer they get. But for reasons given below, Harry isn’t […]

Social Media the Second Time Around

image by Steven Depolo

As I’ve mentioned here before, my next book is coming out under a pseudonym — which is energizing and daunting in equal measure. One area where the chickens are really coming home to roost (or going elsewhere to roost, I guess) is in social media.

Because Jael McHenry has her own online world that she’s been building ever since online became a thing, but Pseudonym Me — let’s call her P.M. for short — had to start […]

Literary Hypochondria

It is daunting to be an unpublished writer amidst the stellar cast of this blog site’s regular contributors. It is even more so when in their actual presence. At the UnConference in Salem I recently had the pleasure of meeting a number of the regular blog contributors, and of hearing their insight, wisdom, and practical guidance for writing good fiction. Each of the sessions was valuable, each had a takeaway, each was enjoyable, and each was top notch. And yet, […]

Adding More White Space To Your Life

Photo by John Keogh

I take a nap every day.

That seems like something of a confession, because I find that there is a strange fixation in our culture of a certain kind of productivity. One where you have to be “always on,” always “crushing it,” always stressed, always available, always buried by email.

Too often, this creates the expectation that “overwhelmed” is the only reasonable state of being. That, if you aren’t overwhelmed, that somehow, you aren’t doing it […]

The Online Presence That’s a Natural Extension of Who You Are and What You Do. (Is It Just Fantasy?)

I’ve been reading with interest (and sympathy) the comments on Porter Anderson’s Unboxed post last week, where we see the familiar Sturm und Drang of writers grappling with the demands of online marketing—or how to be publicly communicative and chummy when it’s against our nature, perhaps even against our work.

This has remained a problem for a long time now, hasn’t it?

One of my favorite thinkers is Alan Watts, who once said, “Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be […]