Blog Archives

Warning: You May Be Trashing Terrific Stories (and Leads)

You probably haven’t gone completely paperless. I still like to page through magazines. I get the Wednesday and Sunday newspapers. Even if you don’t subscribe to magazines, you may receive some from a hobby club you take part in or your insurance company or auto club. Some are available for free in stands around town.

Wrapping fish isn’t the thing to do with yesterday’s news. (Click to Tweet This!)

Don’t toss those magazines yet either.

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How to Spark Writing Ideas While Watching Television

You want to believe it, don’t you?

Or maybe you don’t. Perhaps you think that good ideas can only come through hard work. Nope. That is how the article, book, or story comes to life. Ideas come from everywWriting: Shorts and Statshere. You probably have a notepad by your bed, and carry one when you go somewhere. Why not include having one while watching television?

News

At one time,

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What Difference Do Your Words Make?

 

In my last post, I said words are alive, and what writers do matters. I believe this. But others could say it’s simply my opinion. I won’t argue. I will present a few people, both past and present, which are also quite opinionated about words and writers. Below each quote are a few humble comments of my own.

writing fixed blank page

 

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me,

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Being Comfortable in Your (Writer) Skin

Lots of books cover being comfortable in your own skin. They center on being content with who you are and what you do. As a writer, or someone who is required to write frequently, you should know this: Authors of any kind sometimes get misread (pun intended).  I hear some interesting opinions about writers. My responses to these misconceptions concerning them are in italics.

Writers are anti-social

If I avoided people,

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What is Successful Writing?

A recent post, titled Success is in Your Hands, on the HeSo Project site started me thinking. What is my definition of writing success?

Fame:
Writing - hooks - starDo I want to be famous? Not really. I kind of value my privacy. I don’t think I want to be a household name like Duck-brand tape or Starbucks (both of which can become unhealthy addictions).

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Not Writing? Get a Better Excuse Here

Writing - Dog - SchnauzerThe schnauzer puppy (from my very first posting) ate today’s post. Who hasn’t tried some variant of this age-old excuse? In print it dates back to at least 1964, when a Connecticut newspaper reported on a train passenger who said to the conductor, “I’m sorry, my dog ate my ticket.” The conductor replied, “Then I suggest you buy him a second helping.”

In the short time I’ve been blogging I’ve seen many posts that begin with,

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Writing in All Kinds of Weather

Recently our weather has consisted of snow, sun with 80-degree temperatures, and then back to bone-chilling winds, all in the same week. Writing can be like this. You’re in the moment and words are raining down faster than your fingers can type and the next minute it all stops and you’re left trudging through sludge.

Cities that expect snow purchase plows. Towns prone to flooding invest in water pumps, sandbags, and emergency plans.

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Receiving and Rising Above Rejection

Peter-computer-smallSomehow, I inherently realized that not everything I wrote would be a success. I understood rejection was part of the process. I was also stubborn – I mean persistent. It’s still difficult to receive a standard, “This does not meet our editorial needs.” I’ve learned to celebrate my victories and make them shine brighter than multiple rejections. In this post I am referring to shorter pieces, but many of the thoughts may apply to books as well.

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The Writing That Can’t Be Fixed

writing fixed blank pageHave you noticed any horrendous writing lately? You may be skilled at spotting a split infinitive at 50 yards. Poorly worded and badly punctuated sentences might make you cringe, but there is a more objectionable kind of writing – non-existent writing. You know about it only because a person talks it up, but they never get around to doing the work.

My friend Thomas Smith often says,

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How to Eject Your Enemies

Writing - EjectDo you know who your real enemies are?  If not, how can you fight and overcome them?

We all have external antagonists such as Cousin Eddie or Aunt Josephine, who taunt us about our writing endeavors.  But they are simply distractions. The real enemies that threaten to slow us down or stop us altogether are internal.

You might think that some of your characteristics are who you are.

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What is Writing?

"A writer looks at a screen or piece of paper like a canvas. They see a country unexplored, a picture unpainted, a tale not told. They dare to venture into the barren land, explore its dark corners, and paint its pictures. Then they unveil the epic with the goal of compelling people to visit their newly discovered territory.”
Peter D. Mallett

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