Publishing Lessons from Julia Child’s My Life in France

You can’t mention Julia Child without thinking about Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you’ve seen the film Julie & Julia based on Julie Powell’s memoir, you’ve already seen much of Julia’s story from her autobiography with Alex Prud’homme My Life in France. The surprising part for some admirers may have been that Julia… Read more »

The Secret Formula to Author Newsletter Joy

Newsletters seem to have a way of intimidating many authors. If they don’t get tripped up over what to say, then it’s the commitment to a frequent schedule, or even the lack of a jump in Amazon rankings after each new issue. Many lose themselves to the drone of obligatory promotion blasts once a month… Read more »

Trust Your Gut: My DIY MFA Story

Seven summers ago, I walked into a small conference room at the Writer’s Digest Conference, wondering what I was doing there. The topic was YA literature, and while I was interested in YA, the novel I was working on was for adults. I think it’s safe to say that if there had been anything more… Read more »

The Negative Balance of Writing

When I taught Comp I, I was always surprised by how many students deemed my class unnecessary. They would scoff and say, “I never write except when I have a paper.” But they do – we all do. We write tweets and Instagram captions and Facebook updates that are way too long. We write emails… Read more »

Boost Your Creativity

Since the start of our first COVID-19 shutdown in DC back in March of 2020, it’s felt like everything has existed in a constant state of freefall. Though I have tried for a consistent daily routine, I haven’t had a traditional 9-5 working schedule since leaving my communications job at the end of 2018. Prior… Read more »

Resolving to Doodle On

When I began to write for DIY MFA, my second post, “Resolving to Draw More,” welcomed the New Year (remember 2019, that sweet time when small annoyances seemed important and everyday joys passed by unappreciated?). It included this fact: “You need three things to draw: paper, pen and ink. Or just two, if you use… Read more »

Making Goal-Driven Publishing Decisions: Wide vs. Select

After she’s written her manuscript, after it’s been edited, formatted, and proofread, an indie author makes a goal-driven publishing decision: wide or select? There are plenty of good reasons to choose either pathway, but it’s important to consider your long-term author goals before you decide. What does “wide” mean here? What is “Select”? “Select” means… Read more »

The Words That Shaped 2020

Thank [insert deity here] 2020 is almost over! When we look back on everything that shaped our world this year, it’s difficult to boil it down to just a few words. But that’s exactly what Oxford Languages does every year. Their Word of the Year is awarded to a term they deem has “lasting potential… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Talk About Writing with Nonwriters

Call them what you will. Nonwriters, Muggles, Philistines. Just kidding. We know them. We love them. They’re our parents, our friends, our partners and significant others. They’re the people in our lives with whom we share everything.  But sometimes we aren’t always sure how to share this one thing with nonwriters. You know, one of… Read more »