From On Writing

Things I Suck At (Or, What I’m Learning From Working With an Editor)

I admit that the title of this post is click-bait, since I don’t really think I suck, but I AM learning a lot from my first go around with a professional editor. In preparation for self-publishing my first book this Spring, I am working with Nancy Cassidy, an amazing freelance editor at The Red Pen Coach. (Any suckiness in the finished project will be entirely mine, and not hers). Nancy has an impressive background in publishing and editing and is also an author, with erotica published under the name Lilly Cain, so I feel like she really gets it. She did a…

Author, Know Thyself! How your personality type shapes your writing

   An introduction to personality types (and a bit about me) Lately I’ve been thinking about how personality type affects my writing – specifically, how it can improve or hinder my word count. In my day-job-world, I’m currently enrolled in a management course that has afforded me the opportunity  to take all kinds of personality tests (I love this stuff). And when my writers’ group met last weekend, we were treated to a great presentation from the fabulous Linda O’Toole on how to harness our personality types to get the most out of our writing time. One thing I have learned…

When Life Gets In The Way – Writer’s Block and Creativity

Ever feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything you’d planned? Or worse, that there was enough time but you’ve squandered it, frittered away the hours doing God knows what when you could have been – should have been – writing, or reading, or doing anything but watching back-to-back episodes of The X-Files on Netflix? (Guilty as charged.) When I started this blog, I had the best of intentions. I posted something new every week, and I had no problem coming up with the time or energy to maintain the schedule I set for myself. The same went…

You Can’t Throw a Gavel Without Hitting a Lawyer-Turned-Author

Some of the jobs I’ve held include: short order cook, nanny, postmaster’s assistant, and “background talent” (read – extra in movies and commercials). But of all the jobs I’ve tried, the one that I’m least likely to write about is the one that I spent the most time training for – my current profession of lawyer. Although it sometimes seems like you can’t throw a gavel without hitting a lawyer-turned-authour, there are two main reasons you won’t catch me writing about my day job any time soon (though I’ll never say never): My source material would be pretty boring –…

On Writing: Life Hacks to Help You Write

What if a pill could make you rich and powerful? This is the tagline attached to 2011’s Limitless, a film about struggling writer Eddie Morra, who is able to access 100% of his mental abilities with the help of a mysterious, experimental pill. Predictably, mayhem ensues as the miracle drug turns out to be more than the writer bargained for. While Morra’s use (or rather, abuse) of the fictional NZT48 enables him to write like a fiend, attract women like Casanova, and speak new languages effortlessly, there is unfortunately no miracle drug in real life that can make us all…

On Writing: Educating Myself on Diversity in Fiction

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity in genre fiction – where to find it, how to write it, and what it means. In my own writing, I aim to include people of diverse backgrounds and histories, whether cultural, racial, sexual or otherwise, but like many authors, I worry about whether I’m “doing diversity right”. I worry that I will create stereotypes and tropes (commonly occurring devices) through ignorance, even as I try to avoid them, since diversity in fiction necessarily calls for writing about people whose cultures are foreign to me and whose experiences I haven’t shared. But I also…

To Write Is An Act of Courage

I recently came across an entry on style and body image blog Already Pretty that resonated with me. Entitled “What Could You Accomplish?”, the post discusses a conversation the author had with a female friend, who said that she would never run for office because of the scrutiny and criticism she would receive for her appearance. Apparently, the friend had worked in politics for years, loved public speaking, and was passionate about her beliefs. But she still hesitated to put herself ‘out there’ in public, in case she was dismissed for not being [attractive/stylish/fill in the blank] enough to be…