How To Make Your Writing More Engaging

attract and keep your audience If you build it, he will come.Field of Dreams You want views, and reads, and fans for your writing. We all do. You’ve been posting for a while now, but not seeing the results you want. You’re not too discouraged yet, but you definitely...

5 Easy Ways to Plan Your Blog Posts & Novel

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Benjamin Franklin Are you a meticulous planner, or do you let your ideas and characters drive your novel? I have written posts in the past about the perfect structure for a post. Although I follow this, I don’t...

Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t – A Book Review

Looking for a credible guide to the ins and out of writing?  Interested in learning some helpful tools from a 30-year veteran of the industry,  so you can be on your way to writing the kind of captivating work that people love to read? The name of the book? “Nobody...

1 Reason Criticism Crushes Writers

Sometimes criticism crushes me. A one-star review wrecks my day. An online barb served up via Twitter knocks me off course. A comment via email throws me for a loop. Why do I get stuck so easily by random strangers and their words? Because I’ve confused my art with my...

Three ways to begin writing again after taking a break

For the last two months, I have been beyond the far-reaching tentacles of the internet. In West Java, Indonesia rice is found and eaten in equal abundance, flourishing tea plantations are plentiful yet internet connection only thrives in sparse patches. I chose this...

Can You Write With No Heart

I’m not able to write fiction if my emotions are shut off.My Gold Mine As a Writer? Emotions!Can one write fiction when emotions are absent?medium.com I’m not a robotic human, with a frozen heart. I feel (profoundly, sometimes). I’m made of amazement, joy, anger,...

A writer’s wanderlust

I enjoy using my own personal books on writing for lesson ideas in my middle school writing classes. One of those books is Bill Roorbach’s Writing Life Stories. It’s a book I ordered for myself a year or so ago to find ideas on memoir and biographical writing. There...

How To Blog Your Way To A Career

Blogging has been a widely known concept for quite some time now.  While they may not know the technical ins and outs of how it works, most people have heard about blogging in pop culture. Julie and Julia is a good example of this. It’s a movie that originated from a...

How to be a Top Writer on Medium

And you don’t need to write brilliant articles every day for this. I discovered it quite by accident, a little more than a year back. I was a struggling writer in Medium then and my invisibility as a writer was dissipating at a snail’s pace. Some posts did well. Some...

Be Part of the Solution in a Gender Equal World

How to neutralize gender bias through your writing. Gender equality is a fundamental human right. Despite this, unconscious bias continues to form an invisible barrier to equal opportunity affecting those we care for most in life — our families, friends and...

Stop Thinking, Start Doing

You’re a filthy liar. You know it and I know it. You claim you’re content with life. “I have a decent job, a home, and a family who loves me, what more could I ask for?” The answer is…a hell of a lot. I don’t write about personal development because I believe in being...

Give Yourself The Gift of Done

There is good reason that the Publishous community has touted and embraced the talent and work of Jon Acuff . Acuff is a New York Times bestselling author of six books! That’s right, of six books! The name of his most recent book?  “ Finish: Give Yourself The Gift Of...

5 Reasons Why Writing a Novella Makes You a Better Writer

The Power of the Novella “The advantage of the novella is that you can hold the whole thing structurally in your mind at once.” — Ian McEwan What do A Christmas Carol, Animal Farm, Wool, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Fahrenheit 451 and Of Mice and Men have in common? They...

If It’s Worth Sharing It’s Worth Finishing

Have you ever started a big project and lost steam midway through it? I have. Lots of times. If you’ve ever written a book or developed a course, you know what I mean. If you’re looking for hope to carry on, I’ll offer you some in this post. First, let’s look at...

To My Followers: Thanks for Your Belief in Me

As authors, we are nothing without an audience. On Medium, our core readership is a self-identified group: followers. It is they who make our words mean something. Otherwise, it's "one hand clapping." So one thing right up front: To all my followers, old and new:...

The Making of a Great Story

Stories are a wonderful escape from the real world. Even if someone is recounting part of their day, if it is done correctly, I can be drawn in, wanting to hear every detail. It’s the sharing of experiences and the emotions and revelations of the characters. The...

Let’s Kill The Listicle

)They’ve attempted to seduce you. )They’re so orderly and neat. )Everybody is doing it. )Why shouldn’t I? )I’ll just put a numbered list together of…. )Things. )Yes, an ordered list of things. )I’ll be sure to put “Top 5 ways to do — something” in the title. )People...

That Post-Post Feeling

Do you feel it too? The post-post feeling, that is. It’s a small high and sense of achievement that hits you just after you’ve clicked on “Publish”. The Victorian hunter posing, rifle over shoulder and a foot proudly planted on a trophy text. Yes, this could surely be...

Am I Addicted To Writing Or Claps?

It’s been 4 months since I walked through the pearly gates of ‘Disney Land for writers’- MEDIUM. It’s been well ……..quite a roller coaster, actually a roller coaster that I can’t get myself off……unless there’s a power blackout! How I Stumbled Upon MEDIUM I am a...

Never Ask This Question When You Start Writing A Book.

Want to make sure you never finish your book? Want to cripple your creativity at the start of a new project? Want to ramp up your anxiety and hinder your true writing voice? All you have to do is ask one question as you start writing a book. Here it is: “Will this...

Finding Inspiration

You have to write? Writing is the one thing you ever wanted to do. You opened your laptop, you took in your hand the pen and paper, but wait! You feel like you have no story to tell? Maybe your last piece is already finished and you have no Idea what to write next, or...

Claiming my pen

In 12 step recovery circles, there is an expression people use sometimes: “I’m here claiming my seat.” It speaks to paying one’s dues through surviving addiction, as well as the fact that you are a member of the community just by saying you are. In the writing world,...

How to Reduce Stress on Your Writing Schedule

Sometimes less is more. Over the months I have spent time publishing to both Medium and my website, growing a good following. Although I am pleased with this progress, I have been completely ignoring my novel. I was told off by my partner this week, who said I should...

One Word to Change Your Writing Life

You know you’re stretching yourself a bit too thin. If you’re not right now, you soon will be. It’s the nature of being a writer (and pretty much everyone else) these days. But one there is one word that can completely change feelings of overwhelm and distraction to...

The Art of Persuading the Digital Reader

How to get readers of digital content to keep reading The explosion of digital content available for the voracious consumer of words has been one of the hallmarks of the last decade. Although writing has been available for readers to read online almost since ‘online’...

I Still Have Hope for Medium

But it’s fine with me if you give up. Medium, like the rest of the Internet, is a rapidly changing environment. Trends (read: cryptocurrency this summer and, this week, bashing on Amazon) sweep through like wildfire and take over our home-pages, then move on....

Excerpt from my NaNoWriMo

Many years ago, breathtaking beauty covered the whole Earth. There were majestic mountains many miles high, the peaks of which touched the sky. From these mountains flowed fresh water in streams so crystal clear they seem to defy reason. Everything was bathed in the...

Why I’m Grateful for Publishous

Non-stop Gratifeels It’s the season for gratituding. I’m a weirdo. I think differently than most. I teeter between seeking psychological help and wondering why everyone is insane. Knowing you have a problem is half the battle. The other half of the battle is the...

Why Tropes Are Not Bad and Why They Work

They get a lot of hate, but at the end of the day, they are nothing else, but tools. You know what I am talking about. Tropes. “A literary trope is the use of figurative language, via word, phrase or an image, for the artistic effect such as using a figure of speech....

The 3 Easiest Ways to Find An Agent

If you want to publish traditionally, you will probably need an agent. But how do you find an agent? In my experience, there are three ways: 1. Read Writer’s Market This is like a printed version of a swap meet for all things writing. They have hundreds and hundreds...

The Fermentation Theory

— A personal take on creative production Preface Have you ever sat down to write something, a story, a blog post, anything — and found that your mind is completely blank? If you have, you’re not the only one, as nearly every writer finds themselves facing writer’s...

A Reintroduction, A Break, and A Lesson Learned

A small reflection over the last couple of months without posting. Hello again! It has been almost two months since my last entry here. Yes, I have been away for a while. In internet time two months is almost like an eternity. Two months is long enough for a casual...

How To Be Better in Writing Every Day

“Writing is the socially acceptable way of getting Naked in Public” “And in Writing getting naked is all about shedding your inhibitions, learning from SELF, learning from GREATS and charter a path along the road less traveled” Those were the golden words from my...

Do You Want to Be Traditionally Published?

I want to share something of great importance with you… I self-published a book in 2016, Goodbye, Regret: Forgiving Yourself of Past Mistakes. I gathered a launch team who stood behind the project and shared the heck out of it. The book is still selling and I’ve given...

Fame and Fortune As A Writer Are Waiting For You

Stop trying to hide your light To be a writer all you need to do is write. There is no need to publish anywhere, no need to share your writing with your friends and no need to do anything except write down your thoughts somewhere. Many writers, though, want something...

Why it’s time to add fiction to your reading list

You are missing out: Extolling the virtues of reading FICTION — Part II It always intrigues me when I meet and read about people, writers included, who are proud to proclaim they don’t read fiction. It’s almost as if they stomp their feet on the inside, hollering, “I...

Has Someone Already Written Your Book?

The second you sit down to write a book, a voice of doubt in your head will say, “Someone has already written this book.” Not just someone, someone smarter with a bigger platform, more influential friends and better hair. Every writer feels this way, but what if part...

The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Written

As writers, we are sometimes called to write things a little more difficult than we’re used to doing. We have to go outside our comfort zone and find something deeper within ourselves. We have to challenge ourselves to write that one thing we didn’t think we could. I...

Why I Like & Don’t Like Traveling…

I had absolutely no reason to put this image right here. I just like it and wanted to use it someday. And I have! Traveling Definition — Google Search to go from one place to another, as by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip; journey: to travel for pleasure. to...

How to Become a Better Writer Without Writing

sometimes more writing isn’t the answer You’re a writer. You gave yourself permission, put your bum in the seat, and started cranking out words. They’re not perfect yet but that’s okay because you read advice articles that tell you how to do it better. You’re on your...

How to be a More Creative Writer

Writing is Better when it is done in Handwriting It’s Messy, and it takes a lot longer. It can also look sloppy and unclear.  And an hour’s worth of spending time on it doesn’t hold nearly the same crispness and efficacy of a double-spaced page of sentences set in...

Struggle with the Full-Time Job and Writing

There is one uncomfortable truth, about the journey to becoming a writer. It’s freekin hard. We all hear it before, but most of us thought: Not by me. Cognitive bias. We all know those bad things can happen, but we think it happens to those others, not to us. It is...

How To Start Writing Again In 4 Easy Steps

It’s been a while since you’ve put words on the page. Maybe you were sick or traveling. Maybe you just needed a break. Whatever the reason, you know it’s time to start writing again… It’s been a while, and you know it’s time to start writing again. It’s a bit awkward,...

Dreaming Of Publishous!

Literally! Last night as I was reading through Medium and other SM platforms, I caught up on the answers from last week’s #pubchat for Publishous. I’m still a rookie to some social media, as I deemed it unnecessary before…until somewhat recently, that is. Before...

The Fear of The Empty Page And How to Deal With It

Blank Page. White screen. It seems to you like all those 26 letters, don’t want to bind them self in words and sentences. These are those moments when those questions pop up in your mind. Where I should start? What should I write about? A nightmare? Disease? Nearly...

3 Tips to Speed Up Your Writing

If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all There is absolutely no denying that writing can be a dreary and draining task. Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer, Anne Tyler, once said, “If I waited till I felt like writing,...

How to Succeed by Deciding to Fail

At a recent writer’s conference (Jeff Goins’ Tribe conference), I heard a speaker, Joseph Michael, author of the online course Learn Scrivener Fast, say he was thankful for his failures. I’d always known intellectually that failures are good for you. As long as you...

Practice Makes Prolific

That’s Why I’m Grateful for It To a writer, not much is worse than writer’s block. I rarely have writer’s block, though. I’m open to the notion that it could be because I’m not an actual writer, but it’s not something I dwell on. It’s probably just another futile...

What You Need To Do Before You Even Sit Down To Write

The act of writing is meant to be smooth and fluid. In other words, once you start writing, the words should spontaneously be typed out and you should be expressing yourself clearly and with flair. There is very little brainstorming or analysis during the writing...

Do You Want to Share Something that Will Make People Weep

TRIBE Conference 2018 Take-a-Ways and Then Some… I did something new last week. At 56 years old, I flew away on a plane by myself for the first time. Well, there were other people on the plane of course, but this was a new milestone for me. I’ll tell you why… My...

A Writer Doesn’t Need A Wingman

I work in a world of collaboration, I’m sure you do too. Teamwork is the ‘new black’ of our age. We’re told over and over teams are important. Companies spend countless dollars converting their offices so they’re wide open spaces with no walls. Consultants and other...

10 Ways to Become a More Productive Writer

81 percent of the U.S. population wants to write a book, but in the end, only two percent of that number end up accomplishing that goal. This speaks volumes concerning the fact that to be a writer there is much that is required of you. I have come to understand that...

11 of the Best Quotes from Jeff Goins’ Tribe Conference

Tribe Conference will take a writer’s life from good to great. It will change your life if you let it. I’ve been in attendance for 3 years running, and I’ve already purchased my ticket for next year too. If you want to purchase a ticket for next year you can do so...

A Very Short Guide to Writing Like an Anarchist

Are you ready to break the rules? The way he carried himself showed that he had the presence of someone that has been through some rough s**t, and… …that he was just inches away from a much-needed retirement. Like always, he slowly walked into the class — expensive...

Don’t Procrastinate to Write Your Story

Every individual has some kind of fear in starting a new task or continuing an existing task. A kid fears to go to school alone, a sportsperson feels the proverbial “butterflies in the stomach” before going to the arena, an astronaut feels anxious prior to his launch...

The Factual Job of the Independent Writer

It’s a Tough Gig to Put Yourself All in With no Idea Whether You’ll Sink or Swim Monday, 3:00 AM, Iowa time. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air as flames dance in the fireplace. The glowing glare of my laptop monitor stabs into my sleepy eyes. I feel...

How to Make Your Ideas Count

An analogy from everyday life It’s getting dark outside. You and your family are lounging on the couch, watching TV, and playing on your smartphones and tablets. Your stomach growls, sending you a message you can’t ignore. “Who’s ready to eat?” you ask. After all,...

How Trump brought me to Medium

I was ill earlier in the year - I’m back to perfect health now and stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been, thanks for asking. I know you didn’t ask, but I’m assuming you’re a kind and caring person and are happy to hear of the well-being of others. Anyway, as a...

How to Get Back in the Game When You’ve Been MIA

Writers are often a temperamental lot. It seems any change can take us off course, like changing winds blowing a yacht off-course. Things — frustrating things — seem to crop up. Out of nowhere, you can have your time misdirected by others (though this is not always...

I’m “Too Sensitive” For My Writer’s Group

From the beginning, I had a major problem with him. You know the type, the guy who dominates meetings because he thinks his words are more valuable than anyone else’s. He’s the guy who makes you feel small so he can feel bigger. He’s more important than everyone in...

How To Unlock Your Best Novel

Do Something Smart With That Stack of Notes You’ve Been Collecting You’ve been scribbling down notes, collecting thoughts and crafting worthy phrases for how long? Weeks? Months? Years?  Thinking. “Some day I’ll do it... Some day I’ll write my novel.” Well, it’s not...

Why Writers Lose Friends

Hint: It’s not your love of writing. Writing is an inherently solo act. It’s not like gaming, where you can concurrently play with millions of other people in-person or online. You can’t write with someone else at the same time. It’s not like drinking, where you can...

Hi, My Name is Andy & I Like to Blog

I’ve created well over 20 blogs in the last 8 years, but it’s on Medium where I’m getting my biggest audience. Late in the afternoon on July 1, 2010, I was sitting alone in the Seattle home of some friends. They were away on vacation and Melinda, my wife, and Chloe...

You Are Going To Click On This Article

Because this is a Clickbait! I was about to write something on perseverance and all. About how Medium was hiding away our articles only within a day or two. But we needed to battle it out and emerge and all that stuff that you’ve heard earlier! I had even thought of a...

3 Reasons Why Writers Need to Travel

“Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.” — Anthony Bourdain A few months back, I sat down in a coffee shop, cracked open my laptop, and Googled “Most underrated places worth...

The Magic of “The End”

It’s the gift that keeps on giving Yesterday while working on a novel, I typed “The End.” Those words are magic, aren’t they? They mean you’ve completed a marathon. A project you’ve been slaving over for months, maybe even years, is finally done! You have a whole...

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Part of me thought it would be easy to sit down and crank this out. But as I tried to come up with a list of 10 things I found it took a little more brain power. Thank you, Jack Heimbigner, for the challenge! Hopefully, this will give you a glimpse into who I am, why...

3 Ways to Dominate Any Newsfeed

As writers and creators, and even as individuals, we live and work in an attention economy. The easiest place to see this is on social media. But lest you think that’s where it all started, it isn’t. We want people to notice us at work, at church, and at our social...

I’m A Happy North Korean

I signed into Medium to check on my story statistics recently. I’m sure this is an activity the average Medium writer does frequently. When I did I saw something that stunned me. There is a column on your statistics that says lifetime earnings. I usually never pay...

COURAGE TO WRITE

All things REALLY do work together. I’ve been a writer all of my life, but I wrote secretly. No one read any of my work with the exception of an ex-boyfriend or two. I was terrified at the thought of others reading my work. I could totally relate to the opening line...

This is What I Learned from Writing Bad Screen Plays

“You got to stand being bad if you want to be a writer, cause if you don’t, you’re never going to write anything good.” — David Mamet Some of my first screenplays were so bad my friends didn’t even know where to begin with their feedback. My first attempt at getting a...

5 Lies Writers Love to Tell Themselves

Are you getting drunk on your ideas? We all our lie to ourselves sometimes. We make excuses. We come up with rationalizations for why we aren’t doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We have a skewed view of our own personality. It seems as though creatives suffer...

How To Blog Your Way To A Second Income

Who wouldn’t like to blog for a living? Imagine sitting at your desk in the morning, typing away and making a great living while everyone else is fighting traffic or their boss. Can you really make money typing about your favorite topic and putting it out there for...

What To Do When You’ve Got A Million Reasons Not To Write

The house is dirty. The kids are sick. You’ve got bills to pay, so you’re working overtime. You’re not sure what to write. You’re afraid. You’re tired. If you feel like you’ve got a million reasons not to write, you’re not alone.  The truth is, all writers feel this...

How to Become a Prolific Writer

What would your writing career look like if you’d published 500 posts by now? Do you dream about having your writing read widely? Are you anxious to build an audience of people who love your work? Are you still stuck in the starting gate without getting the traction...

Why Do You Write?

Some write to get famous and make a name for themselves. Others will write as a form of art — the pen or keyboard is their paintbrush. Some are just storytellers. If they lived in ancient times, they would be the member of the village sitting by the fire and telling...

3 Simple Ways to Write a First “Ugly Draft”

“To write is human, to edit is divine.” — Stephen King A few years ago, best-selling author Ann Hanley wrote a terrific book called, Everybody Writes. The book is a great start for anyone looking to produce stronger and more consistent content. Here are just a few...

How to Side Hustle Your Writing Career  #7: Publishing

Part 7: Navigating Your Way Through Publishing Your Work What do you want to achieve with your writing? Do you want to become known as an expert (on Medium) about a specific topic? Do you want to publish a book? Do you want to set up a successful blog? The reason I...

My life: escaping a bland existence

Ten things you probably didn’t know about me I’m a sucker for a dare. It’s better not to tell me, “it can’t be done.” I may be hardheaded (and foolish) enough to try it anyway. One day, it may be my undoing. (Did I mention I’m impulsive?) Not long ago, several writer...

Say It With Love

Not With Marketing Gimmicks When writing, I don’t think too much about audience. Does that shock you? It might, given how often you’ve read about the importance of knowing your audience and targeting your writing accordingly. You’re led to believe that you’ll never...

How to Keep Writing (Even if You Feel Like a Fraud)

Admit it, you feel like a fraud. You have dreams of building a writing career you love, but when you compare yourself to real writers, you can’t help but feel like you’re just pretending to be one. Sure, you write every day, but it doesn’t compare to the writers you...

The 2 Simplest Ways to Get Ahead With Your Writing

Doing These 2 Things Every Day Will Help You Achieve Consistent Growth “You can have it all… Just not all at once.” — Oprah Winfrey I’ve written about it before and so have many other authors. Consistency is key to get ahead with anything. Whether you want to start a...

Writer’s Block is a Myth

And I’m Not Going To Run Out Of Ideas When I started writing (for real), the only thing that used to terrify me was the writer’s block. But anyways, I started. I had to. Whenever I used to fear writer’s block, I would console myself by telling, “We have a lot of...

Writers: Stop Writing!

One writer referred to his craft with something to the effect of cutting open a vein and letting the juices flow directly out. It is a striking piece of imagery, one which I feel poignantly displays the power and weight of the written word. But it shall also serve as...

I Believe

When you get knocked down, get back up Have you ever hit a place where you found it difficult to believe in yourself? I had a set back that hit me harder than it probably should have. I got not 1, but 2 rejections in the matter of a few hours. One was a simple brush...

The Ultimate Guide To Writing Your First Book

Note: This beast of a guide is 4,500 words long. To download a pdf version to read later, click here. Think you have a book in you? We’ve all heard the overly quoted statistic. 81% of the population wants to write a book, but only 1% actually does. In 2016, writing...

7 Things You Must Give Up to Become a Successful Writer

Can you hear that? Pop. It’s the sound of me bursting your bubble. I started a blog to help other writers because I know it’s possible to succeed. Encouragement helps, but sometimes a cold splash of truth is what it takes to get people in motion. I’m going to tell you...

10 Things That Might Surprise You About Me

#8: I’m fond of playing around with my state of consciousness 10 Things That Might Surprise You About Me #8: I’m fond of playing around with my state of consciousness Source Usually, I want to write things that create value. What I’m sharing today has no such aim. I...

Don’t Quit it on a Bad Day-Quit it on a Good Day

Struggles of creating something of your own You want to be a writer, a business owner or create something of your own? It’s hard work. People don’t know how hard it is to work hard and what that actually means. Take writing, for example, write every day for the rest...

My Golden Mine As a Writer? Emotions!

In this virtual world, mainly on Medium, I read writers advise and strategies on the craft, or stories about their writing process. I found we all have this in common: to write (fiction), we have to be emotional. If we’re empty of emotions when we sit our but on the...

How writing has liberated me

Yes, it’s true. Writing has liberated me. Now, this is the moment where you probably would ask yourself: How? Well, it all began way back when I was my last year in public school. I was young and really had no plans, I was basically just living life. Then again, I...

A Simple Guide to Surviving and Thriving on Medium

The Essential Do's and Don't's all in One Place Generally speaking, I receive more emails, notifications, and messages from Medium and it’s wonderful members and readers than I can sufficiently manage. Between story responses, mentions, readers reaching out via...

How To Make Money Writing Kindle eBooks

Writing and selling Kindle eBooks on Amazon.com has become a very popular way to earn extra money. At the high end, there are authors that routinely make over $100,000 per month. If you’ve always wanted a source of income that can conform to your hectic schedule,...

The Power of the (Hand) Written Word

A recent internet outage has prompted me to laugh in the face of adversity by doing my daily writing by hand. Oh, the shock and horror! Now, being an avid personal journal writer, I am quite used to lengthy handwriting. However, in this internet age, some of us may...

I’m a Danger To My Blog

Warning: I just entered the dashboard. Over the years, I’ve made many blogging blunders, from blowing a deal with a content syndicator for writing a post called Polish Spam (they said was too offensive), to breaking the footer on my blog (which hurt me more than my...

Medium is Therapy

As a newly divorced individual, determined to get on with my life, I am seeking out various tools to heal. Being a former Public Health practitioner and the progressive millennial that I am, one of the first things I did was sign up for therapy. In addition to...

Do creatives need a fitness journey?

Terrible stomach pains woke me in the morning hours before the alarm was due. I looked in the mirror and knew something in my life was off. I wanted to write. I wanted to be creative. But I was too tired. My stomach had rebelled for months, I haven’t slept enough and...

Lessons Learned from Flash Fiction

And writing prompts, too. For the past two years, I’ve been regularly writing flash fiction based on photo and word prompts. The experience has taught me several things and fostered my growth as a writer. You’ll see how and why in a moment. But first, some background....

The Secret Instrument to Faster Typing Speed

A tabla recital BG music could set your speed to turbo As soon as Zakir Hussain was born in 1951, his father, the late Ustad Alla Rakha crooned Tabla notes to the newborn’s ear. Legend has it that Zakir remembered these notes as soon he was initiated into Tabla...

10 Simple Ideas To Become a Respected Writer on Medium

Do unto others The simplest way to find readers who appreciate your work is to be a good reader yourself. Writers are a fragile bunch. If you want to read great writing and have others read your awesome stories it’s important to be respectful. Authentic writers leave...

I Hate A Blank Page

I hate a blank page. It’s so hateful. Screaming at me. Taunting me. Reminding me that it’s still naked. Nothing there to cover it. Nothing there to hide the shame of being exposed. Nothing but white. The problem isn’t in covering it, it’s in what to cover it with. It...

If You Want to be a Writer…

Writing — or any form of creation for that matter — is not a magical enterprise. Writing is work. Like every other thing worth doing. You don’t hear the doctor say she’s not inspired to prescribe medication. Why? Why not? She has studied. She knows what works. She...

Hook Or Crook Won’t Work

(Note:- I haven’t written this article to demotivate people. Just wanted to share my experience. 😊) Recently, I’ve started receiving followers faster than ever on Medium (enough exaggeration!). But I see no claps. Well, waiting for the claps to roll in is another...

You See That Squirrel Over There? Write About It

I attended my undergraduate college years at Oregon State University. I remember the first time I had ever visited campus. I submitted my application to that school initially because they wouldn’t leave me alone. No, I’m being so serious it’s not even funny. Their...

The Difference Between Good and Bad Writers

You’re currently living in the best possible time in history to be a writer. You have no excuses. With an internet connection and a keyboard, the power is in your hands to spread your message as far and wide as possible. Just a decade ago, self-publishing was a joke....

3 Things You Can Do To Withstand Any Algorithm Change

Today I got accepted into Facebook’s “Ad-Break” program. It’s a very prestigious program — only pages with 10,000+ likes can join. Basically, they’re allowing me to put ads in my videos and make money. It’s super great news, and it would be super easy for me to go...

How to Find Inspiration for Our Writing

Finding ideas to write about is a struggle for most writers. Ideas though are infinite and everpresent in our midst. In the past, I have written about the torment of the blinking cursor; nagging at us to come up with something lest it annoy us for some interminable...

Every Great Story Starts With an Idea

Or is it a character? Does every great story start with an idea or a character? Yes. Sort of. Actually, it depends on whose shoes you’re in when you answer. For writers, it’s ideas, except when it isn’t. Most often you get an idea and have to find a character to fit...

Read-cations VS. Your Writing

Why You Need One More for the Other Anyone that knows me, or has read some of my other Medium pieces, absolutely knows without a doubt that I advocate for reading. If you haven't read any of my other pieces and this is your first time getting to know me, it’s time I...

What Happens When You Start At The End?

I love this quote from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland”, not because it tells us where to begin, but because it highlights one of the problems facing fiction writers, particularly writers of short fiction. “The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I...

How I Get My Writing Momentum Back After A Break

When summer arrived I knew I’d be traveling too much to spend a lot of time writing, so I adopted a few practices to keep the momentum going. A couple of things worked so well that I’ll continue them through fall and the busy holiday season, when life again whittles...

Before Life and the Prime Blogger

According to the Countdown app on my phone, that plane that takes off in 2 Days will take off in 3 days. More specifically, 3 Days, 7 Hours 24 minutes, and 37 seconds. I should just count hours now since the number of days remaining depends on the time of day. Writing...

Making the Most of the Freelancer’s Day

Controlling your day for maximum writing efficiency In November 2016 my work in the ‘normal’ world of work was dealt a cruel blow. Working with a Christian charity, I was struck down with systematic and hard-to-control micro-sleep events. By the time I finally managed...

12 Lessons on Writing by Stephen King

What I Learned from Reading the Master of Suspense’s Memoir “What is writing? Telepathy, of course.” — Stephen King When I was young I was infatuated with the book Misery. Annie Wilkes haunted me in my nightmares. Stephen King is one of the most read authors in the...

Writing is Listening

This is part of Shayne's Summer in Spain series. Follow more of the adventure here.  I have a couple things I feel I should admit to you following this saga. Even though I composed 6 Days Before Takeoff yesterday, even though the most recent document in my Countdown...

5 Reasons Why Writing Short Stories Makes You a Better Writer

Why You Should Write Short Stories “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” ― Ray Bradbury Previously I posted an article about why you should read short stories. In this article, I’ll argue why you should write short...

When You See Your Work Payoff

No matter how small the reward, a win is still a win. I have been humbled beyond all rhyme or reason. I read a post today — a story — that was created from an idea I had in my brain. Am I upset at this prospect? Absolutely NOT!!!! It makes me so proud to think someone...

Do You Write for Money or for the Love of Writing?

Raise your hand if you’re on here to earn money… ✋ (me) Anybody else? Okay, maybe not just to earn money. I personally really enjoy writing and I’ve been learning that from over a decade and a half of doing it. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to have any sort...

10 things follow up

Why do we like lists? Why do we like to read lists about other people? Here are a few thoughts. Saturday I wrote “10 things about me,” which was inspired by someone else who had done the same thing and issued a challenge. I usually ignore challenges, but this one...

Think One Way Write Another

Have you zigged when you thought you would zag? Have you ever entered a coffee shop fully intending to try the brand new Fandangled Frappuccino only to have your mouth independently and confidently request, “grande dark roast with room, please”? You Thought I Was...

When Was the Last Time Writing Was Enjoyable?

Relearning how to write and create by embracing chaos I call myself a writer (it’s the unimaginatively consistent refrain to all of my personal profiles), and I do write for a living. But sometimes I feel like a total fake. The ultimate proof for this is an...

What Working 52 Days In A Row Will Do To A Person

Is being burned out a real thing? I woke up at 6 o’clock this morning and went to a business networking event so that I could promote my Blog and writing skills to the business owners that were in attendance. I then went straight to my day job and worked a 7 1/2 hour...

I earned a whopping $0.13 my first month writing on Medium

And here’s why I’m thrilled. No, seriously. “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” –Ayn Rand A Tale of Stats and Claps An email notification popped up on my mobile screen, informing me that Medium’s...

It’s Time — Are You Ready To Face Jesus?

Are You Ready to BE a Writer? Spoiler Alert — No Religious Content. There comes a time in every creative’s life when we have to make a choice. Are we going to keep trundling along, head in a paper bag, trying to pretend we’re not different? How long will we keep...

3 Ways You Can Become a Better Writer Starting Today

This community of creatives here on Medium has blown me away with the support that each writer gives others. There is also some seriously good stuff here that just never sees the light of day anywhere else. As a connoisseur of good writing I can say that I have now...

How Something As Simple As Writing Saved my Life

THUD. THUD. THUD THUD. I was at work in the middle stall of the men’s room trying to avoid the mundane work ahead. My heart felt like it was beating harder and harder, like at any moment it was going to fly out of my chest. Rewind a few weeks back. In the morning I’d...

The Adverb is Not Your Friend

A writer friend of mine is slaving over a novel. He asked that I read the first page to see if it grabbed my attention. It did — but the wrong way. I counted 17 adverbs. On the first page. I found myself focusing on the adverbs — not the story. Then I had to tell him...

Do You Do It For Love, Money or Applause?

The reasons we write, I mean… And Why Should We Care? We slip on our dancing shoes. We step into the spotlight and strut our stuff. We take it all off — bare our souls to the world. Why? Some days we share the easy stuff — the how-to-do-something-better stuff, or the...

8 Things You Gotta Know About Writing A Book

You know you want to write a book. You’ve started writing a few times and then you stopped writing. I totally get it. I’ve been there and it sucks. If you’re completely honest, you know you’re a bit stuck. There are a lot of steps in the book writing process — at...

Blogging in an Evening Gown

Blogging on a WordPress site feels so formal. I have to put on a fancy dress to write. While on a Blogger blog, I just throw on a pair of jeans. Excuse me as I readjust my push-up bra. Better, but my Spanx is so constricting, I can hardly think or breathe although my...

I Can’t Stop Writing Even When I Stop

After a few months of writing something every single day (that is writing every day, but not necessarily posting every day), I sort of mailed it in last week. I had a rough week in my personal life (it’s not anything I’m going to air out here), and writing took a back...

3 Tips to Starting Out as a Freelance Writer

If you are reading this and you are a Cubicle Cowboy or Pavement Pounder, I have some good news for you. And, if you have always dreamt of earning some money while exploring your passion for writing, I have some good news for you, too! There is a light at the end of...

A Surefire Idea to Instantly Improve Your Writing

Years ago, when my children asked me to review their papers for school, I always responded with the same question: Did you already edit it? In the beginning, they always insisted they had. And then I proceeded to circle simple typos and grammatical errors that I know...

Becoming a Better Writer Through Reading

My11th grade English teacher was in over her head. While she qualified for her job as a high school English teacher she somehow got this raw deal where she only taught two classes a day, each in a different room because she didn’t have a classroom of her own. She was...

5 Remarkable Ideas Only Great Writers Will Understand

Words have souls When you embark on your writer’s journey, the ticket seller doesn’t tell you anything about the cruise you’re going on. He just takes your money and points you in the direction of the gangplank. After that, you’re on your own. It’s up to you what kind...

Write and publish when you have something to say

That’s a trick headline Never in the history of the world has there been a time in which it has been easier to write and publish than right now. God bless Tim Berners-Lee and all the folks at CERN for starting the internet down the road to its present format. Most...

Obsessed About How to go Viral

Are You Desperately Trying to Figure Out How They Do it? Nothing succeeds like success, but sometimes, as creatives, we fall into the big internet trap. Trying to suss out how “they” do it so we can do it, too. We spend most of our time reading articles on the...

Writing From Flow & The Grind: You Need Both

“The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.” — Augusten Burroughs I have this post I’m...

This is Where I Wrote Today

It Can Be Anywhere, Really There seems to be a whole Pandora’s Box of tricks and tips to becoming the best writer you can be. One of the most common is making a ritual for yourself. Write at the same time every day, in the same place with your favorite Bath and Body...

Write Because It’s Fun, and Let Me Work the Promotion

I do social media because it’s fun. I get a thrill out of this. And, if you want someone to promote you, then you want me. My husband said to me, “I only write because it’s fun”. He wanted to know if he should submit a piece to Publishous as a paid piece. I...

What Do I Get Being Popular as a Writer on Medium?

Why should I blog on Medium? Hey Okon, your comment piqued my interest. I’ve taken the liberty to pretend I am an expert on the topic. We both know I am not. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone. Your questions are valid. With the rate at which content is created, what is the...

How To Write All The Time

Sometimes you aren’t able to write an entire post, you know? I’m not going to lie: Medium has a great Mobile App. It’s clean, it’s easy to write on the go, it allows you to do (most) formatting…it’s pretty sweet. (I wish I was being paid by medium to write this, but...

How Being Vulnerable Makes the Best Writers

What happens when people open their hearts? They get better. — Haruki Murakami I recently hit a personal milestone. I’ve written and published an article every weekday for a month. I’ve improved, but I’ve got a long way to go. I don’t always know what to write about...

The Secret to Unbridled Creativity

How to schedule the Muse and make it do your bidding Every artist faces a creative drought sometimes. Maybe you call it writer’s block. That’s when you feel you’ve got no good ideas. No matter how hard you wrack your brain, they’re just stuck in there somewhere out of...

How to Keep Going When You Want to Quit

In writing and in life It’s important to understand that when you first start, you are not posting these for your audience-you’re posting them for you. Eventually people will start to follow, but initially it’s so you can discover your voice. -Russell Brunson, Expert...

Try This One Thing to Improve Your Writing

Break out of your shell! I bet that if you’ve been in a writing slump for a while, you haven’t thought of trying just this one thing that could make all the difference to improve your writing. It’s a simple and easy idea — expand your boundaries. *Write in a variety...

3 Ways to Trust You Have Something Worth Writing About

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” — Scott Adams The 18th century writer and statesman Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times.” At least that was the...

Why the Struggle With Crabgrass Makes Me a Better Writer

There’s nothing like weeding to focus the mind. There is something about doing battle with crabgrass that is remarkably zen. You can get into the flow, just like with writing. Crabgrass sits there in the sun, tenacious and resistant, in all its crabby glory. It mocks...

Why do writers have such unrealistic expectations?

We all fall into this trap. We’re going to write a book. Not only is it going to be published but it’s going to be a bestseller. If I decided to learn the violin I not would expect to be performing at Carnegie Hall or The Proms. If I decided to start making my own...

Envious of the freedom of musicians

I’m a little jealous of musicians. I think they have this whole self-acceptance thing down better than we writers do. Even Musicians Want to be Accepted Every artist wants to be accepted, praised, and paid very well. We all want to be regarded as a great artist and to...

The Night My Life Flashed Before My Eyes

What I Really Thought When That Truck Hit Me It was an otherwise quiet night. July 4th here in America came and went without a hitch. That morning my family and I lounged a bit, played a game, and had lunch. Afterward, we visited my parents for dinner, swimming, and...

If You’re A Writer You Need to Follow These Bloggers

I didn’t get serious about writing until I started writing for The Christian Post and Stand Firm Magazine. I didn’t get serious because I was writing for them. I got serious because I really wanted to write. Let me explain. I called myself a writer but I didn’t write...

Writers, You Need to Do This to Set Your Dreams Free

How writing something you shouldn’t liberates you Have you ever imagined yourself doing something you shouldn’t? Have you ever wanted to do something you’re not allowed to do in civil society? We all have entertained such thoughts from time to time. What if we had a...

Transform Yourself Through Strength and Commitment

At My Largest (Just Over 245 Pounds) I was out on a run with some friends and we all got to talking about my former self, that guy that weighed 245 pounds when I started running and what it took to lose 70 pounds and be where I am now. As we ran along we all passed...

My book cover was murdered

Here’s the autopsy from the book marketing coroner. You know there’s trouble when the doctor says, “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.” My book cover and subtitle were sick. It turns out it was a case of “Self-Inflicted Marketing & Design...

The Easiest Way Ever to Spice Up Your Writing

And you can do this right now Ever have one of those mornings where it’s hard to even get out of bed, much less write? I have. If you’ve read some of my stuff lately, you know I put in an insane amount of hours at work. My employer is in growth mode and that is just...

The Most Important Thing About Writing

No, it’s not grammar Of all the tips and tricks people give about writing, there’s only one that really counts. You must care deeply for what you write about. If you do, people will read what you write. They will find it, share it with their friends, clap or like it,...

The Most Important Thing About Writing

No, it's not grammar Of all the tips and tricks people give about writing, there’s only one that really counts. You must care deeply for what you write about. If you do, people will read what you write. They will find it, share it with their friends, clap or like it,...

Why I Unsubscribed From Your Emails

Shocking Revelation Ahead In general I am a pretty positive guy. I like what I do in the world. I create and publish self-improvement and writing programs. It’s a lot of fun and is frankly the best gig I have ever had. I have an email list of people who I send...

How To Keep Life Simple And Enjoy Everything More

By choosing what you want to pay attention to. There’s only so many hours in the day. In the brave new digital world, lots of our time and attention is spent online. In fact, for some people, the majority of the time that really counts is spent online. Many have jobs...

The 7 Secrets of Power Persuasion for Writers

How to bypass resistance and win over readers Last year I decided I wanted to go full-time as a writer. It’s an appealing dream, isn’t it? Picture yourself on the deck of your beach house, your laptop on a picnic table in front of you, as you feel the gentle sea...

The Secret Sauce of Irresistible Writing

Hook your reader from start to finish You pour your heart into every blog post. You wait for the crowds to come — but they don’t. Sure, you share your work. You post links on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But still, you only get a ripple despite your best efforts....

If you don’t start, you’re never going to finish

You must be willing to suspend your disbelief We all have ideas we are never going to act on, and we know it. The real issue is if we have ideas that we are going to act on. In fact, the majority of entrepreneurs have a thousand ideas for each one they actually follow...

Gardening & Writing: What You Need to Know

Here’s what you need to know.  If you’re a writer and a gardener, maybe you already know it.  There is great similarity between writing and gardening. More than you might think. Superficially, of course, they are not at all similar. Gardening is, most often, more...

Do This And You Won’t Run Out Of Ideas

Do This And You Won’t Run Out Of Ideas A reminder to all writers… You are at a cafe having your routine breakfast. You look out through the glassed-window and observe the rays of sunlight bouncing off the faces of everyday commuters while you sip your hot coffee,...

Are you limiting your writing because of fear of WWPT?

There are infinite reasons why writers struggle with their work, but one, in particular, has plagued me for decades. It rears its ugly head every time I’m about ready to write anything remotely personal in nature, whether it’s a blog post about what I’ve done recently...

3 Reasons Writers Should Connect with Publications

Come write with Publishous! You are a writer and you want your work to be noticed. It’s hard to do when you’re just starting out. You work hard to craft the best piece possible and hear crickets in return. It’s disheartening and many writers quit just before they are...

How to Avoid Being Ordinary In A World of Automatons

I’m trying to do my life different now. I've spent most of my career working with the same organization, International Students, Inc. It’s been a fantastic experience. The people and experiences I’ve enjoyed as a result of this decision two decades ago have colored my...

10 Reasons Why Writing Is Therapeutic

“You’re going to need to find a way to exercise your mind. Pain is zapping all your mental and emotional energy and you’re going to need to work at keeping your mind sharp.” These were the words of my pain management doctor when I was first diagnosed with Reflex...

The Critic

My editor recently became outraged at a writing critique I privately received from a person involved in a book club. This person was critical of my book, A Good Bunch of Men, because of a bathroom scene. She was incensed, couldn’t believe it. She asked, “Do you know...

How and Why We Need to be Part of Jesus’ Story

How God Can Speak Through Art Challenge: My art challenge (thank you Meg Konovska) is to draw with only 33 dots to start. Eyes closed I put 33 dots on the page. I open eyes and draw a contour — without crossing any lines. And then see what I can see. Outline of the...

Getting it Right: Technical Advice for Novelists

Police and detective stories have withstood the test of time, and they are not going away anytime soon. When writing crime novels, you should consult experts so that you write it correctly. Most crime writers have no personal experience with the crimes about which...

Do You Want to Expand Your Readership on Medium?

Yesterday was my last day of posting 30 days in the 30 Day Challenge by Tom Kuegler. How did I do it? How did I post for almost 30 days straight? 7 Strategies for Consistency in Posting on Medium Join a Free Email Course I joined a Free Email Course by Tom Kuegler....

How a Writing and a Painting Challenge can Speak Truth

How to Push Beyond Reality to See the Truth A challenge to write and a challenge to paint. This is my last day of a 30-day writing challenge with Tom Kuegler. Check out his post about this challenge. My Powerful 1 Hour Routine for Quick Success on Medium. I did it. I...

3 Simple Ways to Boost Your Read Ratio on Medium

Get people reading all the way to the end It’s no fun to write to nobody, is it? If you’re like me, you get excited when you see the little green circle light up on your Medium stats. That means somebody is looking at what you’re writing. The evidence comes by: People...

Do This First and Your Ideas Will Spread Like Crazy

The key to content that gets tons of shares Zig Ziglar said this years ago, and it’s still applicable today: You can get everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want. First and above all else, be helpful. That sounds simple...

Why You Should Keep Writing When You Just Want to Quit

You could be 3 feet from gold I almost gave up writing back in 2011. My blog was full of musings I’d published for five years. It felt good to do it. And I hoped someone would care. Outside a handful of friends, no one did. So I quit. It bothered me all night every...

What This Painting Taught Me About God

The challenge to write — the challenge to paint. This is day 24 of a 30-day writing challenge with Tom Kuegler. Check out his post about this challenge. My Powerful 1 Hour Routine for Quick Success on Medium. As for painting, I have been challenging myself by trying...

The Most Powerful Motivator You’ll Ever Find

How Motivation Really Works Every New Year’s Eve my brother-in-law throws a party — outside. Sometimes it can get pretty cold. Knowing that, he builds a bonfire. If you’ve ever built a fire, you know it takes work. It takes more work to keep the fire going. If you...

How Does the Creative Process Begin with You?

This is what I think “Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.” Wayne Dyer CREATIVITY AT...

How One Person’s Words Can Change Everything

Encourage others to be remarkable with your words Mrs. McClure was my favorite teacher in high school. She was short, always wore a warm smile, and had an enduring love for English that was completely contagious. I grew up loving words. I spent my leisure time playing...

8 Nonfiction Author Conferences to Attend in 2018

Conferences geared specifically toward nonfiction writers are not always easy to discover. Sure, there are a plethora of general writing conferences, but most of these only offer a single breakout session on the craft. Let’s face it: fiction writers and nonfiction...

Write About the Mess

“It’s like you’ve been reading my mail,” a reader wrote. “How is it that you always seem to know exactly what to say to stir up my heart?” I love it when God does that…whether it’s a graphic I create and share on social media or a blog post on my website…I get excited...

Why You Need to Work With a Group

I read a cute story today about a group of hedgehogs who, during a bitter winter storm were very cold — so cold that they might die. They joined together to find warmth.  However, because of their quills they pulled apart. But the cold was so great that they joined...

What’s Your Name Worth?

What's Your Name Worth? I recently watched an interview with multi-million-selling music producer, David Foster. David tells the story of completing production on one of his first records and giving a copy to his mentor, Quincy Jones, (a multi-bazillion selling music...

Why Do We Write?

As a child, I loved to write. One of my first prized possessions was a diary…you know the kind, with a lock and key intended to keep your younger sibling from reading your deepest darkest secrets, but so flimsy a squirrel could probably open it. In that diary, I wrote...

5 Promises When Writing is Hard

Deadlines were looming, but the words weren’t coming. Sometimes, writing is hard. We’ve all heard about the debilitating “writer’s block.” Yet over the years, I think the dearth of words when we wordsmiths need them most can usually be attributed to fear, doubt, or...

3 Amazingly Powerful Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out

The New Writer’s Marketing Manifesto According to Mediakix, there are more than 440 million blogs in the world as I write this. Worldometers has a running meter of blog posts per day. At just 9:30 am EST, this is what I saw: And the number increases like a spinning...

What Excuses Do You Have Not to Write

There is one big reason — but God can help us I think you all will agree with me that writers face many obstacles. As writers we tend to work in isolation. Unless you are a writer who is a journalist where you get to get out to interview real people, we writers tend...

The Secret Sauce of Irresistible Writing

Hook your reader from start to finish You pour your heart into every blog post. You wait for the crowds to come — but they don’t. Sure, you share your work. You post links on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But still, you only get a ripple despite your best efforts....

Seven is Certainly the Number of Ways

Do you like your job? That question has a lot of answers. Do you like what you do, where you do it and with whom you do it? Do you like the commute there and back? Do respect those for whom you work? Can you the word whom into one paragraph three times? Answering any...

The Power of Words

A challenge I was doing this weird running challenge where you ran four miles every four hours for forty-eight hours and somewhere along the fourth or fifth one my mind started really drifting. I mean with the freezing cold weather we were having, between 0 and -7...

God, what are Your plans for this year?

A different look at goals for the coming year It’s a New Year and people start talking about goal setting. We hear, “What are your new year’s resolutions?” I think a better approach might be to ask God what are His plans for this year. Listen to Jeremiah 29:11–12 in...

When Santa Fails

An unexpected lesson in effective marketing Last week at work, we had a Secret Santa gift exchange. If you’re not familiar with how that works, I’ll explain. Should you choose to participate (if you don’t, people will think you’re Ebenezer Scrooge reincarnated),...

When the Test Comes: Your Moment in the Fiery Furnace

I opened my Merriam-Webster© Dictionary app today and the word of the day, CRUCIBLE flashed at me in psychedelic neon. (I made that last part up.) OK, it may well be in black and white, but the effect on my brain was the same. The definition, ‘a severe test,’ enhanced...

What I Have Learned in One Month About Being a Writer

“What do you do?” I hesitated for a moment, not sure how I wanted to answer. Seconds felt like several minutes. “I’m a writer.” Awkward pause. There, I said it. It’s out there. I’m exposed. Does saying it out loud make it real? True? I started blogging one year ago in...

The Scientific Way To Finding Your Creative Voice

Over a year ago, I was invited to a friend’s house. This friend is a creative arts teacher and was preparing one of her first big presentations. She wanted to test it on a couple of friends, and I was one of the guinea pigs. The evening was designed to explore...

5 Things I Have Learned As A Self-Published Author

I published my first book in November of 2016. I still can’t believe it has been over a year since I pressed the “submit” button on Createspace. In that time, I have sold a little over 200 copies of Made For More, and have gained some insight in the process. Alright,...

Are You Sending Mixed Messages With Your Writing?

Why you should avoid the trap of spreading yourself too thin You have probably come across a number of well-meaning advice all gravitating around one nugget of wisdom: Clarity is king. If you want to achieve great results and be perceived as an authority in your...

How Can Something Familiar Confuse Me

A lesson in paying attention Sometimes things are too familiar. I find I get into a routine and then I do things without thinking and without checking. Yesterday that happened. I knew I wanted to write a post for Five Minute Friday. I have been trying to write for...

15 Reasons Why Moms Make Fantastic Writers

Does this sound like you? You sit down to write after a long day of chasing the kids, kissing their toes and cleaning tiny butts. A rock falls into your belly as you realize you didn’t write today. Yet. How are you ever going to get that article written, let alone a...

Are Your Dreams Big Enough?

One Writer’s Dream Partially Realised Through the Storms and Fires of Life One Year Ago Our jacaranda sapling, late November 2016 Today a dream is partially realised. Writing at my desk, I see a jacaranda tree swaying in the breeze, metres away. It’s a symbol of hope...

The New Author’s Guide to Writing a Bestseller

Write the book your readers are BEGGING to buy Every writer wants his name on a bestselling book. It’s what we all live for. The bestseller tells the world the author is an expert, an authority. The sales figures prove it. That’s powerful — and real. You’re reading...

The Secret Of Moving Through Writers Block

It happens to all of us Writers' block is completely normal. It happens to all of us. You sit down and the words don’t come. You wait and listen to the muse, and she is silent. In those moments, it’s easy to come up with phrases like ’the well is dry’ and “I can’t...

Why Your Calling lsn’t Obligated To Pay The Bills

Don't Quit Your Day Job Author Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir ‘Eat Pray Love’ sold 10 million copies. But what many people don’t know, is that she was a paid writer before that book. Maybe not to the degree that she is now, but still relatively successful. But even so,...

7 Ways Every Writer Can Think Like an Entrepreneur

If you’re a writer and you don’t see yourself this way, you will after you read this. I can remember the day I finally called myself a writer. For years, I’d written. As a kid, I designed magazines. Nobody read them but a few friends. I used construction paper and a...

How To Keep Your Soul In The Age Of Platform Building

Authenticity and Integrity Authenticity has become a bit of a buzzword recently. It was originally about integrity and honesty in our lives and work. Now the word is becoming more and more like jargon. Every time I hear it, or discuss it on Twitter with others, I’m...

A 12-Step Program for Stuck Writers

Hi, my name is Becky and I am a stuck writer. They say admitting you have a problem is the first step toward freedom. Here are the 12 steps to go from stuck to strong. 1. Use your full name. There is no need for anonymity in this journey. Desiring such is a symptom of...

NaNoWriMo for Rebels

How I’m making National Novel Writing Month work for me. I love the idea of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). There is just something about being a part of something that hundreds of thousands of other people are doing at the same time that is so motivating...

Writing with Emotional Power. 15 easy to follow ways.

Your rationale brain is overwhelmed. Researching-thinking-writing-editing-designing exhausts your brain power. What if connecting with readers’ emotions didn’t spiral your mind through a black hole? Removing the mystery of adding emotional qualities to your writing,...

What’s Stopping You From Writing Every Day?

Here’s What to Do If Your Story is Holding You Back We tend to think that we’re incapable of writing every day. That we don’t know enough to write. That we’re not capable of creating work that brings others to tears. But we are capable of all that and so much more....

I Am Not My Best Work

But I never was. I felt myself shaking as my finger hit the publish button. I was excited because I’d just written a great piece and I couldn’t wait for the rest of the world to see it. “What if this is the post that finally gets me the attention I deserve? What if...

Are You My Avatar?

I got some great advice last week. I got it from people who know their — stuff. I really want to say the other word, but I’ll say stuff. It was a round table full of people who are hugely successful at this and obviously know what they’re talking about....

Dispelling The Myth Of ‘Proper’ Writing

A while back I was involved in a little discussion over on Facebook about ‘proper’ writing and how my daily writing for a particular day wasn’t ‘proper’ writing but was still writing. Now you’re thinking lots of different things I’m sure. Proper writing? Do I mean...

Great Joy in the Middle of a Brutal Week!

What a week! During this seven day stretch: two friends died, my mother is in the hospital, my wife had surgery (and I do all the housework, laundry, meal preparation and so on until she is fully recovered) and I am dealing with a persistent and sometimes debilitating...

11 Effective High Value Gifts for Attracting More Leads

You have started a blog or a social media fan page where you want to attract more followers. How do you do that? Whether it’s building your e-mail list or simply getting more likes, it all comes to one: VALUE. You do not want to simply rob your audience by selling...

How to Create a Sense of Community

Some basic concepts exist to create a sense of community. There has to be something more than a “feel good” feeling that pulls people together and keeps them coming back for more. It’s kind of like a pep rally before a big game. It’s a high energy, high engagement fun place to be.

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