Writing

Knowing What We Don’t Know

When facing massive uncertainty, as exists in today’s highly interconnected global economy, it is essential to appreciate both what one does know as well as what one does not know.  ~Vikram Mansharamani Publishing has been operating in an atmosphere of uncertainty for years now. Right now we’re in a pandemic which has affected all businesses as…
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Write Like It’s 2020

Sometimes when I talk with writers about the guidelines and conventions that are expected in today’s fiction—for example, don’t go overboard with description, or… show, don’t tell—writers push back with the classic “classics” argument. They’ll say things like, “But what about Charlotte Bronte? What about F. Scott Fitzgerald? You’d probably reject THEM if they came…
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Write Another Book

Recently I had lunch with two writers, one published and the other not yet, but close. The most impressive thing about these two women is that they’ve each written more than a dozen books. Because of that, I think they both have strong writing careers ahead of them. I work with a lot of first-time…
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Are You a Reader?

Read. It seems obvious. If you’re a writer, you have to  read! I know most of you are readers. But I’m regularly surprised at how many writers confess to not reading widely in the genre they’re writing. Or any genre, for that matter. Read in the genre you want to write At one conference, I met with…
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Should Authors Stay in Their Lane?

These days authors are expected to have a “platform” and engage with others in the public space, which typically means online in social media, blogs and podcasting. In our current cultural climate — the first half of 2020 — the public space is noisy and combative with people sharing conflicting views on racial issues, the…
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Find What You Control, and Take Action

Here are some truths:  We are in the midst of a pandemic and everything is off kilter. Publishing is going to be affected and no one is quite sure what the future looks like. Even before the pandemic, it has always been challenging for writers to get their books traditionally published. With self-published books now…
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Should You Use Sensitivity Readers?

Sensitivity readers have been on our radar for the last few years, and in some circles they’ve even become controversial. Here’s a brief overview of what sensitivity readers do so that you can decide whether to consider incorporating them into your process. What do sensitivity readers do? They typically read unpublished manuscripts early in the…
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Resolved: No Resolutions!

With the holidays over, we’re rushing headlong into the new year, which for many of us means… resolutions. I’ve always loved the feeling of starting a fresh year and optimistically making a list of things I want to accomplish, so I usually spend quite a bit of time on this. I’ve read all kinds of…
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Do You Have a Holiday Writing Plan?

No getting around it, the holiday season is here. This week is Thanksgiving, families are gathering, and stores are already playing Christmas music. The joys, the stresses… here they come. What does this mean for writers? This season can easily lead to frustration for people trying to juggle a busy life on top of their writing. The…
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Does Age Matter for Writers?

Hi Rachelle, I’m 62 and about to retire; I’m preparing to dedicate my retirement years to writing full-time. I wonder whether “age discrimination” would enter into my efforts to get published. I realize the quality of the product is the most important thing, but do you think my age would detract from consideration of my…
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Target

Where Your Passion Meets the Market

Recently, I wrote a post about building a long-term writing career (Are You in this for the Long Haul?). In my list of things writers can do to develop a long-haul career, I said: Pay attention to where your passion intersects with the market. I want to expand on that because it’s so crucial. Most…
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Challenging Our Assumptions

I’ve noticed that when entering the writing and publishing journey, people have a lot of assumptions that aren’t necessarily true. Here’s a little true/false quiz to pinpoint some assumptions you may have. Do they need to be challenged?   True or False: The best time of day to write is the morning. In order to…
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Focus on Writing the Best Book You Can

It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing.  But I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work.  In January 2014, I posted a prediction for the coming year: “I think authors will re-focus on the foundational…
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Create a Compelling Book Title

I’ve been coaching several of my clients through the process of coming up with a good title for their book, so I thought I’d share my tips with you. Let’s start by acknowledging a few things. The publisher is usually responsible for the final decision on title, and in the query stage, it’s not that…
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I love words.

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