Hiring an Editor

I decided to try something new with my latest book, Turn Your World Around in 80 Days, by hiring a professional editor. This particular project is near and dear to my heart, and I wanted it to be as good as it could possibly be. It took several weeks of research to find an editor that charged a reasonable price and possessed the expertise to do justice to my subject matter. I sent a sample of my manuscript and received such great feedback that I immediately moved to the next step.The init […]


The Benefits of a Good Outline

A good outline can save you hundreds of hours of effort that would otherwise be spent rewriting. Knowing exactly how the individual pieces of your book fit together can give you clarity and direction, strengthening the final result.Plot and structure problems should be resolved in the outlining phase, before the writing begins. Then you’ll know exactly what to write about each time you work on your book, and after each successful session you can begin thinking about the next.A non-fiction […]

Stepping into the Arena

Some artists remain undiscovered until after they die, yet they live prolifically creative lives. This can happen because they choose not to disclose their creative talents, as in the case of Emily Dickinson. It can also happen when an artist feels the call to create, yet is so bold and innovative in comparison with contemporary works that the public is unsure what to think. Vincent van Gogh and Gustav Mahler fall into this category. Their art was poorly received at first, but they were m […]

Write Forward

Several years ago a good friend of mine decided to write a novel. I was excited when she showed me the first few chapters, but quite quickly her progress began to slow. She was making major revisions as she wrote, changing characters and key plot elements along the way. After several rounds of major changes, she lost steam and her novel remains half-finished.To avoid a similar fate, when I started writing I used a technique I call “write forward” to create my rough draft. The idea of “wri […]

Infinite Inspiration

Years ago, before I had the skill or will to write, ideas came to me only occasionally. They were fleeting things that I could rarely hold onto, and it was even more rare for me to take an idea and turn it into a finished product. I was dissatisfied with this state of things, so I decided to spend a year learning about creativity. The knowledge I gained through books and experiments gave me the courage to move forward, and ideas were soon flowing so quickly I couldn’t keep up.Creativity i […]

The Art and Craft of Writing

Writing is both an art and a craft. The art is in the story you tell, and the craft is in the way you tell it. Learning to separate these two things can help you understand and accept any criticism you receive from an editor, whose ultimate goal is to improve the overall quality of your work.Some authors are too close to their work to accept any kind of criticism. They take it far too personally, and suggesting ways to improve their writing is seen as an insult.The best authors are able t […]

The Perils of Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a disease, not a virtue. It is ultimately rooted in fear and brings creative efforts to a halt. It has nothing at all to do with the pursuit of excellence or a desire to create a quality product. When I am working on the rough draft for a new book, I do my best to suspend judgment so that I can focus on the task in front of me: creating my narrative and telling my story. The mindset required during this phase of a project involves trusting myself and my instincts, feeling […]

Just Write

Many people have grand ideas that never take tangible form. Their desires are disconnected from their actions, and their professed goals are never pursued.You can avoid this trap by walking the talk. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to write by making an offer on your unfinished (or unstarted) novel. Give YOURSELF permission by writing daily, if you can, or as frequently as your schedule will allow. If you’re not sure what to write about at first, describe the struggle to com […]

Your Idea Factory

You are an idea factory, turning raw materials into finished books through the power of your mind and hands. In order to successfully create, it’s important to keep every aspect of this process functioning smoothly.Every factory, and every writer, needs raw materials to work with. These raw materials are inputs to the creative process, and without them everything eventually slows to a complete stop. Your raw materials might include communing with nature, going to concerts and art museums […]

A Successful Book Launch

Successful book launches begin long before a book is released. They start in the conception process, when the idea first arrives. Authors who ask questions about the identity and needs of their audience BEFORE beginning to write are more likely to craft a message that resonates with readers.During the writing process, social media can be used to generate excitement for your book in progress. It may feel a bit uncomfortable to talk about something that isn’t yet complete, but a side-effect […]