Writers are made, not born. Girl on Fire!

The old adage, ‘Writers are born, not made,’ is something I believed, well…until I didn’t. And I’m taking this statement literally as in that newborn baby snuggled in an isolate could write something amazing if he could get to a laptop. I’m sure there are people who are born to write, but I think it’s …
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How To Stay Motivated Without Deadlines or Money

A little backstory on me… I have not worked a regular, paying job this past year. I used my savings to quit everything and just write a novel. I’ve had many friends ask me how I stay motivated without the threat of deadlines or reward of money. This is how I do it… 1)   Schedule. …
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Build a Platform. Then Jump Off!

In the olden days (maybe five years ago?) an author relied on the publisher/agent to promote and market their book. It was part of the package deal and could be hit or miss. Some books were marketed aggressively, some not. Not exactly sure why. The advent of social media has revamped the landscape and the …
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The Question is? The Elements of a Great Query Letter

Learning how to write a great query letter is almost as important as writing a must-read manuscript. If you don’t have a fabulous query letter the chances of ever hearing those wonderful words: “Send me your full manuscript!” are just about nil. When I finished my first novel, I searched the Internet for a query …
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Strike Three! You’re Out! Throwing the Perfect Pitch

Sometimes I think I’ve hurled more pitches than a major leaguer. And I’ve struck out nearly as much. Only that’s a good thing for a pitcher, not so good when you’re trying to sell a manuscript. There are two ways to pitch: in a query letter or in person. Of course a query letter is …
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Secret benefits of NaNoWriMo

Last week I said I’d write about NaNoWriMo, that whirlwind of writing activity centered around churning out a novel in 30 days. A year ago I actually pulled it off without registering, as I wanted to see if such a thing could be done, if I could do such a thing. At the end of …
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*Non-Movie Star Ennui: The Lonely Life of the Writer

I’m suffering from a serious case of ennui, which is the French word for boredom and the result of having retired from my “real job” about seven years ago. It should make me feel better knowing the French have given it such an elegant name, but it doesn’t. Honestly, I awoke the other morning and …
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Into the Wild Part II

In the last few weeks, I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about nature. And zoning laws! And bureaucratic stupidity. Well maybe not stupidity, let’s be kind and call it arrogance, or kinder still, ignorance. Can sugar-coating turn a bitter truth into candy? Or change how we as a species, deliberately, with planning and …
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The Stink of Blue Jasmine: Writing the Protagonist

2013 has turned out to be a really bad year for me, physically that is. First, I broke my left ankle and then a few months later broke the right. Perhaps a little investigation into bone density is in order? The first one wasn’t so bad because after six weeks of no-weight bearing I could …
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10 Tips To Survive The Starving Artist Lifestyle

I’ve been living the life of a starving artist for a decade and a half. I’ve never had a steady salary job. I don’t have a trust fund. My average income is $20,000/year. Basically, I work just enough to get by and spend the rest of my time writing. Which will pay off. It already …
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