Why Blogging Matters

In the many years that I’ve been blogging, I have had more than a couple discussions with other writers about why (and in fact if) blogging matters.

Why Blogging Matters

Yes, you hear all the time about how writers need to build up their platforms, blah, blah, blah. From what I’ve observed, if you start a blog to build your platform, you’ll last about a month. But, if you love writing (and if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you do), consider that your blog is a venue for you, by you. How cool is that?  Continue Reading →

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Submit Your Stories to the Right Journals

submit-right-journal-for-youIn a previous post, I shared my free, downloadable spreadsheet for keeping track of where you submit your short stories. But when you download it, you will find yourself looking at a blank sheet. No one can tell you which are the right journals for your story. You have to decide that on your own. But how do we decide, as writers, where to submit our work? Continue Reading →

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The Final Ten Percent

final ten percent editingIf you follow along, you know I am working on two novels right now. The first I began years ago as my thesis project for my masters in writing at USC. It’s actually not too far from done, but at the beginning of the summer I stuck it in a drawer just to take a break from it and get a little perspective (as per the advice of super-writer Mark Sarvas). Continue Reading →

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A Request for Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth GilbertI have long been a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing. I know people went all gaga over EPL (it was pretty great), but if you haven’t yet read The Signature of All Things you are missing out. That book is stunning. Seriously.

So I had to pick up Big Magic when it came out. I don’t usually go in for that kind of book, the I’m-a-big-star-now-I-can-tell-everyone-else-how-to-write, but this wasn’t that. I was totally charmed by the sincere, eager joy that poured off the pages. Continue Reading →

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Seven Tips for Getting Up Early to Write (Even if You’re a Night Owl)

5am writingFor many years, while I was working full time, I got up early to write before my kids woke up and things got hectic. As a die-hard night owl, adjusting to that schedule was rough. I’m not gunna lie. It took me a about eighteen months to settle in, but that was because I went about it all wrong.

If you’re a writer trying to eek out an hour a day, consider getting up early to write. Here are seven things I learned along the way that might make the process a little easier:

1. You don’t have to be a morning person. Continue Reading →

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Let’s Get Our Damn Books to Agents This March

writing motivationThis is a text exchange I had recently with a good friend and fellow writer who is determined to get her debut novel out to agents this March.

We both have novels we’ve been working on for a while. A long while. Every year we say this is the year. But so far, year after year hasn’t been.

For me, the process of writing this first novel has been an education in and of itself. I’ve lost count of the number of drafts, but this is at least the fifth. I have quite literally deleted thousands of pages. It is a completely different story than it was when I started and I am a much better writer.

So when is it done? Continue Reading →

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A Modern Literary Salon

Before Saturday, I had never been to a literary salon. I guess I figured they were a thing of the past. When I pictured a literary salon I saw Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and Lytton Strachey sitting around smoking cigarettes and drinking themselves stupid while they critiqued each others writing, which sounds fun and all, but I’ve got kids.

But in the past month, I’ve been invited to two, count them two, literary salons. I attended the first on Saturday and it was fabulous. It was hosted by Barbara Abercrombie, a teacher in UCLA’s highly respected writers extension program. We met when I took a seminar from her in July, and to be fair, I kind of invited myself. Once I heard that this was happing, I knew I wanted to join, and she very graciously looped me into her email list so I could attend.  Continue Reading →

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