5 Ways to Create Accountability for Yourself and Your Writing

Do you want to be a writer? Do you dream of publishing a novel but struggle to find the time to write? Do you sometimes set writing goals for yourself, only to have life get in the way? When you get busy, is your writing time the first thing to go? You’re not alone. These […]

Don’t Worry — You Can Use It in Your Writing

Don’t worry be happy…And if you can’t be happy, you can at least write about it. All of us have things in life that we wish we could change. Even if you don’t have any regrets per se, most of us have had some bad life experiences: a horrible job, a horrible relationship, a harrowing […]

“I Would Love to Write, But…” (How to Quash This Cop-Out Phrase)

Being a writer isn’t like being an accountant. For one thing, when I tell people what I do, they actually want to know more about it. Usually, that conversation doesn’t end until people know what I write, how many books I’ve published, and where I “get my ideas.” We have this cultural fascination with writers, […]

7 Secrets to Writing True-to-Life Dialogue

Writing dialogue is one of my favorite parts of being a fiction writer. It allows a writer to communicate a lot of information seamlessly, and it’s one of the best ways to get to know a character. The right dialogue can speed things up or slow things down, and it’s excellent for creating impact. Good […]

How to Write While Traveling for the Holidays

The holidays are some of my favorite times of the year. I love Thanksgiving food so much that I served it at my wedding. I love to cook, and I love hanging out with my family while they cook. And nothing stirs my cynical dystopian writer soul quite as much as the She and Him […]

How to Write Faster

This post is part of a series dedicated to National Novel-Writing Month. If you’re participating this year, make sure you download my free NaNoWriMo workbook. If you’re abstaining, never fear. These posts will help you become a better writer no matter what (or when) you write. Whether you’re a beginning writer or a seasoned novelist, […]

Why You Must Write Your Novel

Or, a Treatise on Life, Death, and Dreams One fact that no one can dispute is that we all eventually die. We are already, in effect, dying — some of us faster than others. As our DNA replicates, mistakes or mutations occur. Our bodies are designed to fix those mistakes, but eventually more and more slip […]

The Essential NaNoWriMo Prep, Part 2: Nailing Down Your Novel

This post is part of a series I’ll be writing in honor of National Novel-Writing Month. If you aren’t participating in NaNoWriMo this year, you should. I have a free workbook available for download on the home page that will guide you through the process in a fun and accessible way. If you’re abstaining this […]

Writing in Times of Stress and Upheaval

Being a writer is the best job in the world. I can work from anywhere, write what I like, and I’m not restricted to a traditional 9-to-5. The only real downside (apart from having to explain what I do when I’m trying to get a bank loan) is that in order to maintain my livelihood, […]

Want to Write More? Stop Watching the News

As writers, one of the most important job requirements is to be a sponge: a sponge for stories, a sponge for places, and a sponge for people and experiences. The stories we read shape our prose and our understanding of narrative structure. The places we visit help us create realistic settings with astounding sensory detail, […]