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Rube Tube

Author William Gibson has an essay on his web site in which he contemplates becoming “exactly the sort of introverted, hyper-bookish boy you’ll find in the biographies of most American science fiction writers … dreaming of one day becoming a writer myself.” It’s all interesting, even if you’re not familiar with his work, and he concludes with this compelling insight: “I...

Bum Glue

In her craft book Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life, Elizabeth George spends an entire chapter on the value of what she calls “bum glue.” She defines it as that which keeps one’s bottom firmly attached to the chair in which one sits while writing. Although bum glue goes by many different names, the vast majority of successful authors confirm – or, at least, confess – it’s the...

Heroes, Old and New

“When I talk of the triumph of Nietzsche, all I mean is that do-it-yourself morality, informed by personal passion rather than old-fogey morality, is the new norm.” Jonah Goldberg in “Empty Integrity,” in the November 17, 2014, issue of National Review.   This article has some ideological and religious references you can skip over because they aren’t particularly relevant to the...

Beat Your Muse with a Club

Inc. magazine has an interesting profile of the CEO of the country’s largest independent advertising agency in its November issue. Here’s what the reporter took away: Creativity doesn’t need a muse. It needs a drill sergeant. The article is good – worth reading – but doesn’t actually spend much time going into the counterintuitive nature of that headline (my thoughts on the...

Tick Tock

Author Jody Hedlund – a mom of five who home-schools them – offers solid advice on making time for writing. If she’s doing any, you know her advice must be spot-on: 1. Schedule writing time. 2. Prioritize our activities. 3. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. 4. Plan alone, extended and uninterrupted writing for once a week, if possible. 5. Get your family [or whomever has a claim on your time] behind your writing....

The 99/1 Rule, WOM, and Your Best Effort

One of my Facebook groups is discussing The Red Pen of Doom’s article “The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books.” The author, @speechwriterguy, posits an important point: “Twitter isn’t built to sell books. Or anything else.” I agree. His post, which is long, analyzes a range of variables in terms of mass media, name recognition, numbers of followers, etc., and arrives at a very challenging conclusion: “The new...

Everything you write makes you a better writer.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jane Friedman at a Writer’s Digest program; she’s since left that august publication and joined Virginia Quarterly Review. Lucky for all of us, she still offers terrific advice to writers on her web site. I found this post particularly useful as we head into National Novel Writing Month:   3 Steps for Using Prompts to Write Better & Get Published By Gabriela...

News flash: Economics applies to publishing, too!

Virginia Postrel has a great article on publishing and Amazon’s new lending library (which works sort of like Netflix for e-books) that’s worth reading in its entirety: click here to read it. Here’s the most important takeaway: A former publishing executive recently told me he simply didn’t believe that “if I really want a book for $9.95 I don’t also want it for $10.95 or $12.95.” People in...

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