Nearly everyone who writes personal stories in any form has agonized over how much to share. Will writing about an issue from childhood break Mom's heart? Should I change the name of a high school teacher? The next-door neighbor? The dog? The children? Are the hyacinths blooming by the mailbox worth mentioning? We write. We worry. Is this naval gazing or … [Read more...]
You’ve Spotted Another Writer’s Typo. Now What Do You Do?
As writers, we spend countless hours crafting and refining our work to perfection. We labor over word choices, sentence structure, and the perfect flow. Despite our best efforts—even after a pass through Grammarly—typos slip through. We tend to spot them in other people's projects, even if we miss them in our own. How do you react when you spot a typo in someone … [Read more...]
Save Time and Headaches: Create Citations as You Write
Years ago, one of my clients updated me on her publishing journey. She turned in her manuscript on deadline, so that was a huge relief. Then her editor asked for one last piece she'd put off. "Ann, it took me two full weeks to track down everything for my endnotes. Two weeks!" This first-time author knew the editor would ask for endnotes, but she had not kept … [Read more...]
Find your muse in nature with this inspiring poetry prompt
Consider a lowly stick, memorialized by my friend: Little Y StickFragile, knobby crossroads in my fingersBring me eyes to see how God is in my midst.1 Jennifer Dukes Lee penned that poem after we chatted about a prompt found in poemcrazy, by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. Poemcrazy's Prompt In Chapter 31, Susan instructs us to find something in nature that … [Read more...]
From Idea to Contract: The Inspiring Story of a First-Time Author, with Merideth Hite Estevez
Gain inspiration from the journey of a first-time author who transformed her dream of writing into a reality by taking bold action. Merideth Hite Estevez's success story involved launching a captivating podcast and partnering with a coach (yep, that's me!) to develop a winning strategy. Her talent and tenacity helped her build a robust platform, create a winning book … [Read more...]
Trauma-Informed Writing Transforms You and Your Words, with Michelle Stiffler
Today we're exploring a topic that every writer is going to want to tune in and learn about: a trauma-informed approach to writing. To speak to that, I've invited Michelle Stiffler on the show to help us see how trauma-informed writing can transform both us and our words. This is one of the longest interviews I've published, but I believe it's one of the most … [Read more...]
What’s Your Christmas Reflection?
I hosted a virtual Christmas party in my membership program, Your Platform Matters (YPM). At the party I encouraged a writing exercise: Christmas Reflections. I asked these writers to close their eyes and go back in time to a warm and wonderful Christmas memory from their childhood. Rather than trying to capture a big, sprawling scene, I asked them to zero in on … [Read more...]
AI writing tools keep getting better. How can writers keep up? (Interview with ChatGPT)
AI writing apps, programs, and tools are all over the news. People are reacting. They’re writing articles and opinion pieces, they're recording podcasts, they're discussing it in Twitter threads. Some say don't worry, AI writing tools can't write like humans. Others claim this is an inkling of what's ahead—they're going to surpass our skills. You'll find articles … [Read more...]
Do You Need Stephen King’s Pencil?
People wonder about Stephen King’s pencil. Writers (including me) want to know what writing instrument he uses. Why? Maybe we all harbor a secret hope that if we get the same pencil as Stephen King, we'll end up as prolific and successful as Stephen King. Or if we discover what Annie Dillard writes with, we'll produce the same type of literary prose as Annie … [Read more...]
How to Make Time to Write and Develop a System to Take Notes, with Bryan Collins
Bryan Collins relies on a simple system that captures notes and ideas that flow directly into his projects when he sits down to write. His writing routine doesn't take all day yet achieves significant results. Find out how he works and test it out. When you combine that with his simple system for collecting inspiration for all of your writing projects, you'll be on … [Read more...]
Poetry as a Playful and Pleasurable Creative Practice, with Mark McGuinness
With inspiration from Mark McGuinness, you'll integrate poetry into your writing life as a pleasurable practice that elevates your prose. In this interview, Mark describes the vision for his podcast and his own poetic beginnings, and he urges writers (and readers) to simply enjoy poetry. You'll see ways poetry intersects with and impacts prose—you can even play a … [Read more...]
Try This Writing Prompt to Get the Creative Juices Flowing!
Writers working on projects that are destined to be published—to be read—can struggle with nerves. We edit our words before they have a chance to breathe on the page. We hold back our true feelings and opinions. We forget to play with language. Serious Writers Need to Play I tend to encourage my clients to move toward practical goals, to create work that is … [Read more...]
Prepare for Publishing with Insights from Literary Agent Lucinda Halpern
Literary agent Lucinda Halpern prepares us to navigate the industry and prepare for publishing. With her insights, we'll position our project—and ourselves as authors—to pitch agents and get noticed. She reveals what literary agents are really looking for when it comes to platform and clears up the concern about how much or how little to share of your book's ideas on … [Read more...]
What’s a Writing Coach (and what kind do I need)?
Have you ever wondered what a writing coach is? As you can imagine, I get asked this a lot. I mean, it is baked into my branding, and I love sharing insights I've gained over my years of coaching. Let's start with the simplest, broadest definition of what a writing coach is and does: A writing coach provides you with input and support designed to close the gap … [Read more...]
Find Your Book Midwife, Say “Yes” Before You’re Ready, Pitch to Build Platform, and Authentically Engage with Readers (interview with author Clarissa Moll)
For author Clarissa Moll, hiring a writing coach was like finding her book midwife, and she urges writers to seek that kind of intimate, knowledgeable support and input for their own writing and publishing journey. In this interview, Clarissa shares her approach to writing, platform, and publishing, like: make a list of 10 things whenever you're stuck or developing … [Read more...]
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