Getting Good at Taking Feedback

Do you think you are good at taking feedback? You: “Hey, do these sentences look okay? Could you take a look? They’re from a work in progress: The Blue Arrow Gallery is a newish silver box with large windows in the front. It sits a half dozen blocks from downtown on the edge of the… Read more »

Life of a Writer: Episode 1: And So It Begins

I’m a writer. Not an author, mind you. A writer. And I have the life of a writer. This distinction was never more apparent until October 2018, when I overheard some colleagues in the English department office of the high school where I teach, talking about an article one of them had published in a… Read more »

The Biggest Misconceptions About the Publishing Industry

Whether you’re an author, a publishing pro, or just someone who hangs out on Twitter, you’ve probably heard — and likely internalized — certain stereotypes and misconceptions about the publishing industry. Some are easily disproved blanket statements, like “you can only succeed as a traditionally published author” and “no one actually reads self-published books.” Others… Read more »

The Importance of Authenticity

The impetus for this article arose from two decidedly different sources. Late last year, an Amazon reviewer of one of my own books posted, “Alfred has sunk too low. Fidelity and loyalty are paramount in my world.” Then, a couple of weeks later, a member of the DIY MFA family posted a question on Word… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Things That Saved My Novel From Oblivion

I was finally on my way!  I had started my Young Adult (YA) Fantasy novel over 20 years earlier, building the world, the characters, and the story in fits and starts on vacations or in between life’s daily demands, mostly surrendering to my reality.  Then in July of 2019, I retired and I promised myself… Read more »

How to Nurture Your Reader Community

Happy New Year, writers! Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about ways to build and grow an author brand–primarily focusing on you (your website, your social media presence, ways to make sure you’re being as authentic as possible, etc.)–but today I want to talk about an aspect of your… Read more »

Finding Your Voice

I’m often asked how I got published. I’ve given a lot of to-the-point answers as well as longer explanations that focus on hard work, determination, and luck. The more I think about my eight-year road-to-publication, the more I’m certain writers who succeed do something pivotal during the process of drafting, revising, querying, and submitting. They… Read more »

Must-Knows When Picking Comparable Titles

Do you have trouble finding comparable titles for your book? Are you confused about how to use comparable titles in general? Or understand what they are?  Comparable titles (also known as comps) can be extremely helpful when writing and pitching your book to a literary agent or editor.  They are also a huge way to… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Protect Your Finances as a Freelancer

Writers often struggle with fiscal matters. After all, few things are less creative or elegant than a calculator or a checking account. Even so, it doesn’t change the fact that a successful freelance career is dependent on sound finances. Here are five simple ways that you can care for your freelance finances without getting too… Read more »