writing life

Writing as a Spiritual Walk

One of the core human needs we seem to have is to make a difference in the world around us. This is what some have called “spiritual need.” We envision something that doesn’t exist, something we haven’t done, and we instinctively long to turn the dream into reality. We seek to fine-tune our perceptions, to […]

Top 10 Reasons (Not?) to Be a Writer

Alan Baxter posted this list last week, and it’s still making the rounds. “And before anyone accuses me,” Alan writes, “of being all jaded and defeatist, I prefer to look at it as arming myself with the truth in order to beat that f***er down and prove every point on this list wrong.” He’s talking […]

The Need for Better Writers’ T-Shirts

Okay, not all writer’s novelty T-shirts are that bad. Browsing the ones on CafePress, some of them are downright witty, such as “I write, therefore I am,” “I’m plotting against you,” and the always-applicable “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel.” But some of the best writer’s T-shirts actually come from the filmmaking category: […]

The Myth of the Thick-Skinned Novelist

Some years ago, when I was a fledgling storyteller still puzzling through the basics of what makes a story work (or not), I frequented a certain writer’s forum, now defunct. One of the writers there made it very clear that when we critiqued his work, we should be positively nasty about it. He didn’t want […]

Starting a Novel without a Title (but with a Cover)

I usually start a novel with at least a working title. Not this time. However, I am starting with a working cover design. This is in preparation for my next novel-writing month, which is February—FebNoWriMo?—part of my New Year’s resolution to publish 4 original books during the next year. (UPDATE: Obviously, that didn’t happen. Instead, […]

Battling the Post-Revision Blues

I’ve experienced the same thing, as a musician, whenever I give a big musical performance. As you prepare for the big event, you practice, you plan, you’re running on adrenaline. The big night comes. You perform beautifully. The burn of the spotlights, the adulation of the crowd, the feeling of accomplishment. You’re floating on air. […]

The Best Thing You’ve Ever Written

Yesterday, I posted a status on Facebook about my new novel I’m working on: “This is a tear-jerker. Possibly the best story I’ll have written so far.” That got me to thinking whether I’m conceited or deluded, to say that I’m now writing the best thing I’ve ever written. After all, who am I to […]

I Wanna Write like Nora Roberts: 7 Tips for Prolific Writers

As you may know, I’ve never been able to get through a Nora Roberts novel. I’ve always gotten bored or otherwise lost interest. So then why would I say that I want to write like her? It’s not a joke. I seriously admire Nora Roberts as an author, even though her fiction is not for […]

Literary Rambles: An Interview with Writer-Blogger Casey Mccormick

I was touched by this short interview with Casey Mccormick, the author of Literary Rambles, a blog about writing YA fiction. The interview went up a month ago at Beth Revis’s blog Writing It Out. In it, Casey talks about her blog and the features she provides through it, including a weekly “Agent Spotlight,” which […]

Interview with Humorist Kevin Cummings

I have the pleasure of welcoming humorist Kevin Cummings to BeTheStory.com today. Hello. As you can see, what I’ve written is in italics, and what he’s written is in normal type. Today, we’re going to talk about humor, about writing on a schedule, and about his new book Happily Domesticated, just released and hot off […]