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Stop standing in your own way.

April 8, 2014

A while back (quite a while, now that I think about it), I saw a quote and photograph on Humans of New York that really resonated with me. I’ve written about Humans of New York before, and how valuable this blog is not only for people looking to better understand the human condition, but for writers looking to understand how to create real characters in their novels. Anyway, I digress. The photograph and the quote below come directly from the Humans of New York blog: This image and this quote stuck out to me more than the average HONY story because it was more to me than an interesting exploration into an individual person: it was a real, personal connection. I look at this man, I read this quote, and damn, I understand what he’s going through. I write professionally for my clients, and when I have to have something finished by Thursday, you can bet your ass it gets […]


Writers can’t keep secrets.

April 4, 2014

This is going to sound bad, but from my experience, it’s actually pretty true: writers are some of the worst people for keeping secrets. I know I definitely have this problem. It’s awful, really, but not awful in the way you’re probably thinking. When I say “writers are bad at keeping secrets,” I don’t mean that a writer will take your deepest, darkest, most guarded thoughts, feelings, and experiences and share them with the world. We’re not going to get on Facebook and flaunt your dirty laundry to everyone with an internet access. But you know what we will do? We will take those secrets and work them into our stories. So, in a roundabout way, your secrets get spilled through our fiction, through our characters, totally unattached to your name and yet still shared publicly, because we’re writers, and we can’t help but to write about the dirty, juicy things we see, hear, and experience firsthand. But it’s more […]


Writers are weird–but maybe not as you expect.

March 25, 2014

Writers are weird. It’s kind of a thing we’re known for. Seriously, it seems like some of the most memorable parts of different writers are the quirks that made them uniquely them. There are the alcoholics, obviously, like Hunter Thompson and Tennessee Williams. Emily Dickenson was a shut-in. Edgar Allen Poe had all kinds of oddities about him. Think about it. There are a lot of weird writers out there. Sometimes, though, I feel like we as writers believe there is a “right weird” to be. There are certain opinions other people have put on us about what it “means” to be a writer. Many of us feel like we’re supposed to be reclusive. We’re supposed to drink. We’re supposed to be exceptionally introspective and borderline depressive. There’s this concept that depth comes with tragedy and we can’t really write insightful fiction (or nonfiction, for that matter) without having some issues. Sure, this still defines us as “weird” by the […]


8 great habits for fiction writers.

March 11, 2014

There are a lot of different opinions out there about what writers need to do to be successful. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert. Sure, I think I have a damn good idea, but really, it depends on the people involved and the stories they’re writing. However, as a fiction writer, there are a few great habits I think other fiction writers should strive for in their everyday lives to improve their craft, broaden their minds, and open themselves up. These are things I try to do every day, whether I succeed depends a lot on my mood, my workload, and whether or not I ever changed out of pajamas. You know, we all have those days. Anyway, I sat down and thought about the habits I think help me most in my writing. I came up with eight. Write a little bit every day. It’s important to simply work. I have this blog, which keeps me […]


Why writers lose steam.

March 6, 2014

I’ve been writing a blog post a day for the last two-hundred days now. That doesn’t include all the writing I’ve done for Martyrs, the writing I’m doing for my job, and the writing I’m doing for other various projects I’m working on, including another blog for my husband, critiques for friends, and–well, I think you get the point. I’m burnt out. Things have been stressful the past few weeks, and I’m getting worse and worse at writing my blogs the day before. Instead, I’m scrambling to get them finished in the morning, or worse–after my usual-post time. This has got to stop. Like all other writers before me, and all who will come after me, I am not immune to running out of steam. There are days when it takes a LOT just to get me writing, and those days are tough. They’re even tougher when they happen three or four or twelve times in a row. There are […]

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