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Pros and cons to the “edit as you go” mentality.

November 5, 2014

When I write, especially when I’m working on creative pieces like short stories and novels, I have this habit of editing as I go. This is one of those things you’ll hear a lot of other writers say you should never, ever do, as, they claim, you’ll never finish a book that way. Since I’ve finished four books that way (and one of them I’ve rewritten four times), I’m going to say that they’re lying and it’s absolutely possible to edit as you write and finish your novel. I even did this when I was doing National Novel Writing Month last year, and not only did I manage to hit the 50,000 word mark, I managed to finish the book entirely at over 80,000 words. (We’ll ignore the fact that I realized toward the end that I had been following the wrong character the whole time and I’ll need to redo the whole damned outline to address this mishap. I […]


6 healthy habits for writers.

September 3, 2014

If you’re like me, when you get into a “writing zone,” you pretty much sit your butt down and just write until the words won’t come anymore. When I was finishing up the first draft of Martyrs back in 2009, I was literally writing from ten PM to four AM for several weeks on end. That’s… quite a bit of time in front of a computer screen. Needless to say, most of us aren’t exactly practicing healthy writing habits. That’s right, guys. Today we’re going to talk about how to not kill yourself when you’re getting down to it and seriously writing. Write with good posture. Due to the abundance of desk jobs and chiropractors in the world, we hear a whole hell of a lot about posture. I’d like to say it’s all a bunch of hogwash, but seriously, guys, it’s a big deal. When you write for hours on end, you’re usually crunched over your computer keyboard (or […]


Take responsibility for your mistakes.

June 14, 2014

So, it’s pretty common that I help a friend with his or her writing through critique and commentary. Sometimes I offer editing as well, but since that takes up way more time than just reading and discussing a piece, usually what we do is just talk about the work. It’s insanely useful to have this kind of relationship with another writer. Writers can give some of the most valuable critique (that’s not to say non-writers don’t also give really valuable insight, but that’s a topic for another day). That being said, even with how often I talk to people about their work, I’m blown away by the number of people who come up with excuses about something. Whether it’s in an essay or a novel, a short story or a piece of creative nonfiction, I hear excuses all the time. “Oh, that scene? Yeah, I wrote that at one in the morning so I wasn’t really on top of my […]


Make your weaknesses your habits.

June 12, 2014

You’ve probably heard the popular myth that it takes about twenty-one days to form a habit. There are others (like my business partner) who claim it’s more like twenty-seven days. Even then, several studies have shown that there is a big variety in how long it takes to develop a habit, from eighteen days to eighty-four days. Either way, it’s pretty much agreed, in order to form a habit, you need to consistently do whatever it is that you want to become a habit. That’s one of the big reasons I started writing a blog every day for this website–because I wanted to make writing the blog a habit instead of letting it fall to the side and waste away, which is what I’d been doing before. One of the only ways to improve at something is to do it all the time. This works for everything–if you want to get better at keeping your house clean, make a habit […]


How I decide to buy a book.

May 27, 2014

I’m pretty picky when it comes to buying new books. First, it comes down to the fact that I’m pretty picky in what I like to read, so I don’t really want to spend money on a novel I’ll just lose interest in after chapter three. Additionally, I don’t have a whole lot of time to read as it is, so I want to make sure the time I do spend reading is time well spent instead of, you guessed it, losing interest after chapter three. I like to be challenged by the books I read–I want books that make me consider writing and storytelling in a new way. I like books like motivate and inspire me, so I work really hard to find those books. When it comes right down to it, there are five things I take into consideration when I decide to buy a book: Referrals First and foremost, referrals are everything. I have a few friends […]

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