writing life

On Plagiarists and “Real Writers”

Holly Lisle in her writing tips newsletter today wrote about plagiarism and being a “real writer.” I put “real writer” in quotes not for sarcastic effect. I put those words in quotes because those are the words Holly herself used, and I agree with them completely. She talks about some would-be aspiring authors, as it […]

Gotta Write Who You Are

In How To Write Page-Turning Scenes, Holly Lisle tells the story of a writer who lived SF. He decided to write a fantasy-comedy, just because he thought he could sell it. And sell it he did. And then he sold another one, and then again and again and again… ten titles. Except it made him […]

A Kindred Spirit on Your Writing Journey

I’ve been writing fiction—or at least trying to—for about a decade now (plus or minus a couple years, depending on how you count it). After that span of time, most of what I now read, it touches me so profoundly that I have to put a fist through a wall just so I don’t lose […]

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Feedback as a Writer

I ran across this post about how important feedback is to a writer, by the pseudonymous “Frootbat31” on her blog A Writer’s Journey. She makes four stimulating points regarding criticism, and how to manage it as a writer. As someone who’s gone through a career cycle of first seeking feedback (as a beginner), then trying […]

Ever To Be an Aspiring Author

Lazette Gifford, author of Return to Redlin and other ebooks and novels, wrote a couple days ago about the most important writing rule: “You must be willing to learn.” She’s not talking about learning how to write. She’s talking about learning about life, about the world. Or what I call the spiritual side of writing. […]

Negative Reviews May Be Good for Your Book

Thanks to Bill Morris of The Millions for this link to a paper, published in Marketing Science (v. 29 n. 5, September-October 2010), “Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: Can Negative Reviews Increase Sales?” In this paper, researchers Jonah Berger, Alan T. Sorensen, and Scott J. Rasmussen scientifically demonstrate a truth that I’ve been asserting intuitively […]

Aspiring Authors: Quit “Aspiring” and Just Do It Already!

“So what do you want me to do?” I can hear you quip. “Get published? Just like that? Sorry, buddy, I’m trying, but it just don’t work that way. Some things are out of my control.” Now, getting published may be a fine route to authorship. But this post is not about getting published. Trish […]

Rejection Sucks

This morning, I replied to Sarah Allen’s latest post, about how very many editors have been rejecting her stories: I have been telling myself for years now that I’m good at rejection and that I’ve learned to take it like water off a ducks back, and I think relatively I probably do handle it okay, […]

Not Taking Criticism So Seriously

The stories we write are part of us. Like children, we nurture them and raise them. We identify with them. Then we push them out into the world and hope that they make a good name for us. This, I’m sure, is why some reviewers refuse to rate books that they can’t give at least […]

Novelist, Heal Thyself (Why Everyone Should Write)

So, I’m putting together a newsletter. That is, a paper newsletter, to send to friends, family, fans, and readers–Sorry, I couldn’t think of a synonym for readers that began with F–since I now have a solid list of people who would (probably) like to hear from me occasionally. The idea is to include a short-short […]