Archive for the 'Business' Category

Musings on Genres, Shame, and Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I don’t tell my ‘academic’ colleagues that I write fiction. I don’t talk much about my non-fiction writing to my fiction-writing community. I LOVE e-readers because they don’t reveal whether I’m reading a steamy romance, popular history, angst-ridden literary novel, nineteenth-century article on hospitals, or an idiot’s guide to something technical that even my nine-year-old […]

Becoming a Student of Your Own Creative Process

How do you best create? How do you best write, collaborate, increase the quality of your work, improve your ability to focus, or increase the quantity of output? What actions are you taking to build a body of work that is both meaningful, and powered by a sense of momentum? Each of you will have […]

The Sundance Kid

Last month I went to the Sundance Film Festival for the first time ever because, against all odds, I had a film premiering there. The film is a documentary called Misery Loves Comedy, and it basically asks the question, “Do you have to be effed up to do stand-up, or does doing stand-up eff you […]

5 Digital Media Resources for Every Writer’s Toolbox

Since 2010, I’ve been actively teaching students of all backgrounds about using digital media for creative endeavors, whether through traditional university courses or through online classes. I also send out a (not quite) monthly newsletter introducing writers to digital media tools. The following resources have surfaced again and again as the most valuable. If you […]

How to Nurture Your Fan Base

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. Fans are one of the greatest rewards of being a writer. It wouldn’t take much, since there’s so little money in publishing, but still. A loyal […]

If the ‘Elastic Mind’ Snaps: A Lenten Lullaby

    This will be my last post until Monday, April 13,2015. No, not me.  (You wish.) No, that’s a colleague, the memoirist Kathy Pooler. She’s a good, cold-weather Catholic, mind you, so Lent means a lot more to her than it does to troppo Protestants like me. Following a retreat with some author-colleagues, Pooler has […]

Navy Commander Rick Campbell Makes Waves by Penning Military Thrillers

Unboxeders, I hope you’ll join me today in welcoming retired Navy Commander Rick Campbell to Writer Unboxed for a brief interview about his writing. For more than twenty-five years, as we slept on pillow-topped queen-sized mattresses, he claimed a rack aboard one of four nuclear submarines, working to keep us safe. On his last submarine, […]

How To Create A Promotion Plan “Story”

Let’s say a friend of yours has just finished writing a mystery novel, and he asks you to read it before he submits it to agents, or publishes it himself. You asks, “Why does the protagonist care about figuring out who murdered his neighbor?” He shrugs. “I don’t know. It’s just the right thing to […]

Monotasking: The Forgotten Skill You (and I) Need to Re-Claim, ASAP

This isn’t an easy post to write, because I’ll need to admit to something that’s a little embarrassing. Lately, at times, it’s been difficult for me to read. Yep, read. Not because I’ve forgotten how or because I lack the desire to do so, but because my mind leaps to Else as soon as I […]

Why Email Newsletters? To Become an Enthusiastic Respite in the Lives of Your Readers

Last summer, I talked about why writers should consider creating an email newsletter to better engage with others. I proposed the following reasons: Email is a less crowded channel Email is a communication channel people actually check, and they’ve given you permission to communicate Email is a proven sales tool That post prompted some great […]

The Hacks for Hacks Guide to Writing Awards

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. Let’s talk literary awards. Specifically, your tragic lack thereof. It happens. Vonnegut never won a Nebula. Nabokov got snubbed so many times he had to create […]

So Shall You Reap? Success and ‘Investment’ at #DBW15

Shot Out of a Cannon I’m told that there are people who find the holidays restful. I have yet to meet one of these extraordinary creatures, but I think they would find holding the publishing industry’s first grand-slam conference of the year in the second week of January to be a dandy thing. Bright-tailed and […]