READY TO GET UNSTUCK? TAKE THE QUIZ!

Your Story Matters

So You Want to Write a Book? Join the Club!

An astonishing number of Americans say they want to write a book someday. The most often quoted statistic comes from writer Joseph Epstein who said that “81 percent of Americans feel that they have a book in them — and should write it.” 

How he got that number, I have no idea. I’ve even seen 90% thrown around as a statistic. Regardless of the precision, it’s fair to say that a lot of people say they’d like to write a book someday.

Maybe you are one of them.

Let’s consider why this number is so high. There’s something romantic about saying you are an author. Exotic. Prestigious. People look at you differently. All of a sudden, you have risen in the ranks. You have authority.  You may desire to raise your profile in the world—perhaps your goal is to be viewed as a thought leader, which will help you grow your business and make more money. Did your ears perk up at the mention of money? I'll be...

Continue Reading...

Deadlines Are Your Friend

The dreaded deadline

I'm working on two books with two book coaches and have two deadlines to meet in the next four weeks.

Part of me wants to scream "I CAN'T DO IT!" and plead for an extension. Part of me wants to retreat to the couch and binge-watch Queer Eye. And there's that part of me that knows this is the only way I will ever get the work done.

Speaking of work, I have a lot ahead of me. For Book #1, a memoir about self-trust, my coach is asking for a draft of an "inside outline," a tool developed by book coach Jennie Nash that helps writers marry their plot story arc with the protagonist's internal journey.  For Book #2, a self-help book about grief, my coach is asking for me to revise my "Blueprint for a Book," another Jennie Nash tool that helps writers build a firm foundation for their books before they begin writing.

Why I have two books going on at the same time with two different book coaches is a story for another day, but suffice...

Continue Reading...

Writers Write Better With Support

Finding support is the final step in my 4-Step Solution to Getting Your Nonfiction Book Out of Your Head and Onto the Page.

Writers are better with support, and this is especially true for writers working on a book-length project. Writing a book is a marathon, and writers are more likely to get to Mile 26.2 if they aren't going it alone.

Image: Two women sitting side-by-side looking at computer

Types of Support

Writers can benefit from various types of support.

Editorial Support

Here we are talking about support on the writing itself, ie., feedback on the page.

Who to Seek Editorial Support From

Family and friends: Just say no! Although it's tempting to ask family or friends to read and comment on your work-in-progress, this is almost always a bad idea. Even if people near and dear to you have experience with critique, it's difficult, if not impossible, for them to be objective.  

Writing groups and critique partners: These two options can be effective...

Continue Reading...

Writers Need Community

Writing is solitary and it can be lonely. You spend lots of time in your head, perhaps wondering if anyone will even care.

While you are the only person who can put your butt in the chair and get your words on the page, your writing life will improve if you can find your people.

This is Step 3 of The 4-Step Solution to Getting Your Nonfiction Book Out of Your Head and onto the Page: Seeking Out Community.

Find your people

Here are some ways I have found my people:

Writers Conferences: In-person writers' conferences have been a huge source of writing community for me. Of course, they are mostly on hold now due to COVID-19, but when they return (and they will!), find one that speaks to your writing interests and fits your budget. When I was just starting out as a memoir writer, I attended the Southampton Writers Conference where I workshopped with luminaries such as Mary Karr and Roger Rosenblatt. As awesome as those experiences were, what was even more valuable were the...

Continue Reading...

What Makes a Writer

Writers Write

Full stop.

Writers are not people who simply talk about writing, dream about writing, think about writing, or plan to write.

They write.

A simple concept for sure, but for many aspiring writers, a ridiculously difficult one to execute.

Two weeks ago, I shared "The 4-Step Solution to Getting Your Non-Fiction Book Out of Your Head and Onto the Page," and last week, I dug into Step 1: Narrow Your Focus. I called out lack of clarity about a book's point as the number one reason people don't get their books written.

Truth be told: Step 2: Put Your Butt in the Chair is a strong competitor for that #1 slot.

If you don't put your butt in the chair, it doesn't matter how clear you are about your point. If you don't write, you aren't going to get your book written.

Why We Avoid Writing

Writing is hard. It's "creation," which means making something new. It's scary. It's vulnerable. It brings out our insecurities, our fears, our doubts.

What if my writing...

Continue Reading...
Close

Just fill out the details below and you'll be good to go. Please note, your information is safe with me, and welcome!