Writing Advice

Revise a Manuscript

As a book editor, I have a front-row seat to an author’s revision process. The biggest mistake I see first-time authors make when they revise a manuscript: They go through draft after draft only “fixing” things here and there. They add some lines to clarify, insert a few details to a character description, sharpen verbs, delete sluggish passages, and—the most time-sucking culprit—tinker with typos and grammatical errors. Really, they’re procrastinating on big issues that need attention, like character arc or story structure. While all of this is essential in polishing a manuscript, these edits are superficial until later drafts. This method won’t lead the writer to a marketable story. So, what’s the best way to revise a novel? Focus on the craft, not the draft. Read on… Read More

Best writing Retreat in Nature

Like many beginning writers, you probably don’t know what to imagine when you hear the words “best writing retreat.” Is it a bunch of writers typing away on laptops? Is it a leisurely trip of discussion and instruction? Or, is it isolation from the outside world so you can finish your novel? Part of your confusion may stem from the many kinds of writing retreats. Some are hyper focused on craft. Some offer lots of solo-writing time. Others take a looser, more spiritual approach, aiming to unlock creative thinking. Some unfold like a class, with heavy guidance from instructors. Others balance of all these elements. Figuring out how to choose the right writing retreat can be overwhelming. No matter its style, any worthwhile retreat should… Read More

Updraft - Was Writing a Book Worth It?

Writing a book is hard. And doing it right is expensive. So today, as I launch the paperback version of my book Updraft: The Aerodynamics of Great Leadership, seems an appropriate day to assess whether all of the effort and investment has paid off. When I started this project, I made a very conscious decision to go top shelf all the way (which is why I worked with Diane). After all, my target audience is CEOs, executives and business owners and the final product had to appeal to that audience. My expectation wasn’t that I would necessarily break-even on book sales but that just one or two new clients or speaking engagements would make the whole thing worthwhile. I spent a few years in what… Read More