The Curse of the First-Time Author: Ugly Drafts

Has this ever happened to you? You’re a first-time author with an idea for a story, a book, an article, a blog post, and in your head it sounds perfect. All your ideas come to you with lightning speed. You’ve really hit on something! Not wanting to let the idea get cold, you rush to type the brilliant sentences filling your brain. You write and write, only to discover that what came out on the page is awful — truly horrible — something a third grader would be ashamed of. So what happened between the brilliant idea in your head and the clunky prose laying like road kill on your page?… Read More

5 Unexpected Book Proposal Mistakes That = Instant Rejection. Decoding the Rejection Letter

It’s a fact of life for all writers who aspire to get published ⎯ you will be rejected. Of course, by you I mean your work, even though it can be hard not to take a rejection letter personally. While the impulse is to toss all rejections in the recycling bin, if you know how to read them right, they can offer you valuable clues to help you get one step closer to getting published. Here are the 6 most common rejection letters, from the “worst” to the “best”… Read More

5 Steps to Clutter-Free Writing

Are you a word hoarder? Recently I’ve become hooked on reality shows such as Hoarders and Peter Walsh’s Enough Already. Now, I’m not a hoarder and though I am constantly battling clutter (aren’t all writers?) it has never reached epic proportions. But, writers often hoard their words, cluttering up their prose with verbiage that either doesn’t serve their story or message, or that actually detracts from their writing. Telling them to let go of their words is like telling a hoarder that she really doesn’t need the fondue pot “just in case.” So how do you stop yourself from becoming the literary equivalent of a crazy cat lady? 5 steps to clear clutter from your writing… Read More