“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”
— Blaise Pascal
I love reading the journals and correspondence of famous writers. It’s a wonderful way to get a peek into their writing process and often you’ll discover exquisite gems — fantastic advice you can use to become a better writer.
That quote attributed to Blaise Pascal is one example. It’s an excellent reminder to examine your writing and see if there are any parts you could leave out — unnecessary repetition, irrelevant tangents, etc. Unfortunately for Pascal’s friend, Pascal didn’t have time to edit his letter…
To kick off the new year, I’m excited to announce the release of my new online course: “Email Marketing for Writers: Grow Your Email List Fast.”
A few years ago, I wrote a little eBook about how to grow an email list. But a lot has changed in the marketing and blogging world since I published that book.
So I’ve updated and expanded it and turned it into a brand new course (now with a section on how to make money from your list).
2021 is right around the corner and for most of us it can’t come fast enough. We’re ready to turn the page on 2020 and start afresh.
However, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and put these past twelve months in perspective. At the end of each year, I do that by writing up a personal year-end review.
This exercise helps me set myself up for success in January. I reflect over what I achieved during the year, what obstacles I faced, and what lessons I learned. …
Happy December! I hope you’re having a lovely holiday season. I have two things to share with you today.
I recently started making YouTube videos. In this video, I share a powerful strategy that will help you overcome writer’s block and fear of the blank page when you sit down to begin a writing project.
Happy December! Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner, and that means the gift-giving season is here.
Maybe you’re looking for a special gift for a friend or family member who is a writer. Or maybe you’re looking for a gift for yourself. After all, it’s been a crazy year, and you deserve something special too.
In today’s post, I’ve put together a list of lots of different gift ideas that would be perfect for writers. I haven’t used all of them myself, but after reading the reviews, I am considering adding several to my own Christmas list.
November is only a few days away, and that means that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo!) is nearly here.
If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo before, it’s a month-long event where writers challenge themselves to pen a 50,000-word novel (about the length of novels like The Great Gatsby or Fahrenheit 451).
The goal is to begin writing on the first of November and finish by midnight of November 30. You can plan and outline your story as much as you like beforehand, but the actual writing of the story can only be done during November.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Whoa, that…
This month I’ve been watching Granada’s “Sherlock Holmes” television series from the 1980s starring Jeremy Brett.
While I’ve enjoyed numerous different screen adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s mystery stories (including Cumberbatch’s modern spin on the detective), I love how this series seems to bring the stories to life exactly as Doyle envisioned them, including his Victorian England. Jeremy Brett is absolutely fantastic as Holmes, portraying him to the letter.
Here’s a clip from one of the episodes (you can find many of the episodes on YouTube).
I also love how this show makes me want to dive back into the…
September 22 marked the beginning of autumn, and it reminded me of this wonderful quote from The Great Gatsby,
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
As the quote repeated itself in my brain, I wondered what part of the book it came from. There are so many quotes like this one that people lift from books and share across Instagram and other social media sites, devoid of their original context.
So I went in search of the quote and found it on page 107 of my edition of The Great Gatsby. …
A few months ago, I wrote an article sharing several writing exercises from famous authors.
Just as pianists practice scales to strengthen their skills like rhythm and timing, writers can sharpen specific skills through deliberate practice.
Since publishing that original article, I’ve been searching for more creative writing exercises, and I discovered four more gems that I’m excited to share with you today.
Struggling to write effective dialogue? Or craft vivid descriptions? Or maybe you’re facing writer’s block?
These creative writing exercises will help you overcome those obstacles.
Let’s dive in.
(Please note that links to books on Amazon might…
A few months ago, I wrote a review of award-winning editor Jack Hart’s book Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction.
(That’s my Amazon affiliate link above — I’ll make a small comission if you buy a copy at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)
Storycraft is one of my favorite books on the craft of writing (I share several of my other favorite books in my article here). Even though Hart aimed his book at writers of nonfiction, I believe there is much that writers of fiction can glean from its pages too.
In fact, there’s one chapter…