Take your writing to the next level with Le Guin’s book “Steering the Craft”

Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

Last year, I compiled two articles sharing writing exercises from famous authors. Writing exercises give you a fantastic way to strengthen specific skills through deliberate practice. They can also help you spark new ideas for stories or memoir essays or blog posts (very helpful if you’re struggling with writer’s block!).

In response to the articles, a reader asked if I had ever read Ursula K. Le Guin’s book Steering the Craft, saying it was filled with a powerful set of writing exercises too.

(That’s my Amazon affiliate link above — I’ll make a small comission if you buy a copy…

On taking the leap and sharing your writing with the world

Foxes in my sketchbook, photo by Nicole Bianchi

This past year, I finished writing a novel. Back when I was working on the first draft, a fox somehow got into the second chapter. I hadn’t planned it. He appeared for only a few fleeting paragraphs before darting off.

I wasn’t sure why he was in the story, but I decided to keep him. And I ended up writing him another appearance in the final act.

Fast forward many months later and many drafts later. I was debating whether I wanted to eventually self publish the novel or first try to get it traditionally published. …

Letters from J. R. R. Tolkien, Zora Neale Hurston, Louisa May Alcott, and more

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

“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).

You can get all the details about it on this page (and discover why an email…

Set yourself up for success in 2021

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

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. …

Hey there,

Happy December! I hope you’re having a lovely holiday season. I have two things to share with you today.

  1. Powerful Strategy for Fighting Writer’s Block (Video)

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.

If you enjoy the video, it would be awesome if you could give it a thumbs up. And make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see more videos like this one…

Fun, Unique, and Useful Gifts to Give a Friend or Yourself

Photo by Joshua Lam on Unsplash

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.


Three ways to use the challenge to motivate yourself and boost your creativity

Photo by Dhru J on Unsplash

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…

A peek at the Sherlock Holmes creator’s writing process

Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash

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…

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

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. …

Nicole Bianchi

Writer, Copywriter, Storyteller. Get my newsletter for exclusive articles & resources on how to craft compelling words: www.nicolebianchi.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store