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Treat writing like a job.

December 30, 2013

When it comes down to it, I actually am a professional writer. I literally write for a living. My income is directly tied to the fact that I write content. In fact, my prowess in writing is why my business partners brought me in on this endeavor. You could say it’s the only thing I’m good for. Just kidding. I’m also hilarious. However, just because I’m a professional writer doesn’t mean I always treat writing like a job, even though I know damn well I should. I think a lot of writers, especially creatives who are working as waitresses or retailers to make ends meet, fall into this dangerous way of thinking. It’s not that they consider writing just a “hobby.” Many of them, like myself, consider writing a passion. What they don’t do is treat it like a job. If you want to make it as a writer, if you want to eventually get paid to write, you absolutely, […]


I am addicted to rewriting.

December 29, 2013

If you read an article I posted earlier this month, you already know I’ve started a(nother) rewrite of Martyrs. And even then, if you’ve been keeping track, you’ll know this will be the fourth time I’ve written this novel. That’s right. I’ve now rewritten Martyrs three times. Let me break this down for you. I started Martyrs almost nine years ago. Jesus Christ, that’s insane. Anyway, when I started Martyrs, I didn’t use an outline. Again, if you know me, that’s really, really weird. When I turned eighteen, I realized the book was crap and wasn’t going anywhere. I developed a massive outline (at that point, only four books long) and totally rewrote the book according to the outline. Jump ahead another few years. I had put Martyrs more-or-less down for a while. I had written the second book in the series, but other than that, I hadn’t touched it. A lot of things came up. I was going to […]


5 stages of revising a book.

December 26, 2013

Once I’ve finally rewritten a piece and I’m ready to revise it, there are a few stages I go through. I don’t always go through them in this order, so don’t think it’s important to be “right” about how you revise. In fact, you don’t even have to revise this way if it’s not up your alley. However, in my experience, I’ve found going through and revising three or four times, focusing on different elements of the story, can really make things go more smoothly. If you’re focusing on certain elements, after all, you don’t get bogged down by the others. This comes up now because I’m on my gazillionth revision of the latest Martyrs draft. As I reread this beautiful book (I am so fucking happy to be working on this piece again), I figured it would be nice to let you guys know a bit of my process. Hopefully it comes in handy. If not, c’est la vie. […]


Music and Martyrs.

December 23, 2013

I have a good friend going to school in Texas, in one of the best music programs in the country, and the other day she texted me to ask me a super unexpected, but super awesome question: would I mind if she wrote a series of music to my book Martyrs? Of course, as though there’d be any doubt, I said, “FUCK YES!” I believe all art is pretty interconnected, which is why I spend a lot of time drawing my characters, as well as writing them, and I have series of music that inspires me to think about my characters and my storyline. In fact, I have a ”Martyrs” playlist on my iPod full of songs that relate to my book. It’s kind of a problem. (A 70-song problem.) You can be sure that, if I could write music, I’d be writing my own custom pieces for my book, but since I can’t, I settle for picking out the […]


The 4 “effs” of art.

December 16, 2013

There’s a river that runs through a park downtown, and today, half of that river was frozen. I say “half” because the river diverges around a central “island” and runs in two separate paths for a while. One half of this path, and the bulk of the shore on that side, were so solidly frozen my husband and I could walk across it without worrying about falling through. (Though, of course, I did worry about falling through, because that’s how people die in movies.) I brought along my camera and my absolute favorite lens: my 1:1 macro. It’s beautiful. It takes amazing pictures. You may remember them from the Mendocino adventures. As I was editing them last night, instead of writing a blog post I knew I had to write, I realized something: All art, basically, looks at the same core structures. In my undergrad, I studied another art form besides creative writing: photography. I used to tell people that, […]


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