5 Easy Steps to Overnight Success

This is the first installment in a new post series I’m trying out. Every-other Thursday I’ll be sharing a “Dear Word Nerd” letter that first appeared in the DIY MFA newsletter. If you’re already an email subscriber, you can help me select the letters that get featured here by replying to the emails you loved most. If you’re not on… Read more »


Publishing Industry Myths and Legends

When I first entered the lofty realm of book publishing as nothing but a meek little editorial intern, I believed all sorts of misconceptions about the industry. Not least the editors’ choice: “So you just read all day, right?” Haha, that hasn’t gotten old! . . . But over the years, I’ve discovered that’s just… Read more »


#5OnFri: 5 Tips for Writing Book Two

Congratulations!  You made it! Your first book is published!  And now…you get to write another one!  But you’re also marketing Book One and possibly even doing school or book club visits, even if you’re an introvert!  (Watch for the marketing-for-introverts post coming May 27!) So how do you manage to juggle it all?  Here are… Read more »


Game-Changer: A Daily Writing Habit

I used to talk about writing a lot. I’d get all dreamy and imagine my future career as a world-famous novelist. But it was always a hazy dream, filmed through Vaseline so you couldn’t see the harder realities of it: the actual work. It was “someday.” But I wasn’t doing anything to make it happen…. Read more »


Episode 92: Setting the Scene – Interview with C.J. Box

Hey there word nerds! Thanks for joining me. Today I’m talking with New York Times bestselling author, C.J. Box, author of sixteen Joe Pickett novels, five standalones, and the short story collection, Shots Fired. He’s also won numerous awards including and won the Edgar Award for Best novel for his first standalone, Blue Heaven. Off… Read more »


The Secret Power of Guest Posting

It’s easy to learn about the basic benefits of guest posting—articles about it are all over the place (including this particularly excellent one from DIY MFA, not that I’m biased). Guest posting is a great way to give your blog a boost in traffic and grow awareness for a website, book, or other project. These… Read more »


#5onFri: Five Ways to Steal 30 Minutes of Reading Time

Stephen King says, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” Most of us know that if we really want to improve our writing we need to read, a lot. But most of us also have day jobs, families, and adult responsibilities on top of… Read more »


Three Worldbuilding Lessons From Bestsellers

There’s nothing better than getting lost in the world of a book, swept up not just in the story but the rich setting, a place so real you could imagine yourself there. Whether it’s an actual time and place in history, the far distant future, a modern city or a completely imagined fantasy world, a setting… Read more »