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Your Story Matters

What's My Story Really About Anyway?

My essay “The Subaru Should Have Been a Sign,” went viral on today.com.

I still can’t freaking believe it.

In case you haven’t read it yet, click on this link.

Barb from Subaru Customer Service reached out to say that her colleagues were in awe of the piece. “It really resonated with us,” Barb said. “Everybody at some point needs to take a big leap and follow their heart.”

My heart took a little leap at that moment, and I may have even gotten a bit choked up. Because isn’t that what we all want as writers? To know that our writing connected with a reader. That we touched someone’s heart. That they felt seen or known or less alone.

And the interesting thing for me—so far—has been that I’ve heard from at least as many straight readers as I have from readers in the queer community.

Because my piece wasn’t about being gay or coming to terms with my sexuality later in life. That was the...

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Choose A Working Title

book coach clarity title Nov 25, 2020

Watch the mini-show.

Choosing a working title is a clarifying exercise that helps you define your book idea before you’ve even written a single word of your manuscript.

Some quick dos and don’ts:

  • DO brainstorm your title. Try to come up with at least 15 possibilities.
  • DO narrow your list to your top 5, then do some research on Amazon. Are there other books with the same title in your genre? If so, can you tweak your title to be slightly different?
  • DO ask a few friends what they think about your top ideas. If there's consensus, adjust your list accordingly.
  • DO choose one title to be your working title—for now :)
  • DON’T get too wordy. One-word titles are super popular now. Think Untamed. Wild. Pivot. Platform. Educated. Caste.
  • DON'T choose something vague or confusing. If your title doesn’t communicate something central about your book idea or story, it probably isn’t going to be effective. Or if it makes you think the book is...
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The Number One Reason People Don't Get Their Books Written

Last week I shared "The 4-Step Solution to Getting Your Non-Fiction Book Out of Your Head and Onto the Page." Over the next four weeks, we're going to dig into each of these steps in detail.

Step 1: Narrow Your Focus

Last week, I had a working session with my book coach and mentor Jennie Nash,  which turned out to be a humbling, albeit clarifying experience. The reason I had scheduled the time with Jennie was to get clarity on which book I should pitch first: my memoir, which I thought was ready to go, or a self-help book, which was still in the early stages of conception. Another writer colleague had suggested I try to pitch the self-help book first since memoir can be hard to sell if you don't have a track record or aren't a celebrity.

Jennie had asked for my query letter, a synopsis, and the first 25 pages of my memoir. I sent them off to her, proud of my work. Those pages had passed through the hands of several beta readers as well as a...

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