27 Reasons You Aren’t Writing the Book You’re Meant to Write

1. You’re letting people tell you that you should be doing other things with your time because writing isn’t a “real job.” 2. You haven’t decided to treat your writing seriously and so no one around you treats it seriously, either. 3. You haven’t made yourself a writing space, either physically or mentally, that isContinue reading “27 Reasons You Aren’t Writing the Book You’re Meant to Write”

Asking Only Myself

One of the most important things that I try to teach my mentees is that the only person whose opinion matters when it comes to your art is yours. Now I say this advisedly because I’ve met a lot of (mostly white, male) writers who won’t listen to any criticism and they think they areContinue reading “Asking Only Myself”

How to Think About Queries

A query is a business letter. It isn’t your application to college. It isn’t the ONE thing that’s going to make the difference between publishing your book and not publishing your book. It’s a query letter that is presenting a business proposition to a business person. Yes, it should be well-written. No, you should notContinue reading “How to Think About Queries”

First Pages

Sometimes writers spend months just on the first page of their manuscript. They do this because editors and agents often remind them that they stop reading after the first page, if it isn’t good enough to keep going. And truthfully, readers often do the same thing. If they don’t get grabbed by the first pageContinue reading “First Pages”

When Is It Ready?

I had a conversation recently with a mentee about when you know your manuscript is ready to be sent off to either beta readers or to be queried to editors. I’ve always had a simple rule of thumb about this: when I’m fiddling with commas, then it’s time to get some other eyes on theContinue reading “When Is It Ready?”

Brain Slowdowns

One of the things I warn my memoir clients about in particular is brain slowdowns or the sense of being constantly distracted. When you go back to events that are difficult to process, a traumatic childhood or a life-changing event, and you try to piece it back together, either just using memories or using oldContinue reading “Brain Slowdowns”


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