Guest Bloggers

Just be yourself.

The definition of marketing is connecting with people in a human way and doing it as authentically as possible. Writing can heal and transform lives. Guest blogger Bella Mahaya Carter shares her epiphany about newsletters and marketing. Sometimes I want to lay down my ambition, hit cruise control, and glide through life.  But as an author (and human being) there’s so much I don’t know and want to learn. Case in point: I had a wonderful experience publishing my memoir with She Writes Press. I’ve come close to selling out my 1000-book print run—except for a few boxes left in my garage, which remind me of this important fact: books don’t sell themselves.  The realization that I (along with most authors today) need to take responsibility for the business part of my writing life has been sobering—but also, surprisingly fun. I’ve been reading marketing books the way I used to read craft books as a young writer—inhaling…

Guest Bloggers

Tips To Unlock The Book Only You Can Write

Guest Blogger Jenn Gott writes about 3 Inspiring Ways to Unlock the Book Inside You. Does this sound familiar: You’ve always been drawn to writing and have a mind brimming with ideas. You’ve always loved the idea of holding a book you have written — but somehow, despite all your best intentions and New Year’s Resolutions, it just hasn’t happened. Or maybe you’re a writer who has started a thousand writing projects, only to abandon them all within a few pages. Perhaps you’re not even sure if you want to be a writer, but you’ve always wanted to write a children’s book for your kids. Maybe you’re a poet, or a copywriter, or a journalist, and there’s a book you know you could write, if you just find the right words inside you. Maybe, maybe, maybe. One day. The trouble with “one day” is that it doesn’t exist — each…

Book Reviews

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted And Other Small Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg is another well-written book by Elizabeth. This work of fiction opens with: “I began at Dunkin’ Donuts. I hadn’t gone there since I started Weight Watchers a year ago because I had to lose weight; my doctor made me go. I could have switched doctors, but who needs it with all the forms you have to fill out if you switch. You just wish there were a central headquarters with all your information that you write out once so that everyone who needs anything could tap into it.” Isn’t that the truth! The Day . . . gets better and better with each from-the-heart story. “The Day I Ate Nothing I Even Remotely Wanted” might be my favorite chapter. “I began with coffee and skim milk. So you know what drinking coffee with skim…

Guest Bloggers

Yes, you can write that book you’ve been wanting to write!

I read about author Kira Jane Buxton in the Breaking In column, Writer’s Digest, October 2019 issue. I especially appreciate what she worked through to realize “. . . letting go of outside expectations while writing Hollow Kingdom afforded me the freedom to take great risks.” Her advice for writers: “Just have fun with it. Write the thing that’s burning inside you.” I enjoyed reading about her writing journey. I hope you will, too. Kira Jane Buxton I had a solid ten years of professional rejection under my belt by the time I realized I wanted to be a writer. Ten years of trying to ignite an acting career and an art career, seemingly with a broken match and wet kindling. A creative writing class at Santa Monica College (a gift from my husband that I deferred for a year because I was petrified) got my blood pumping and made…

Guest Bloggers

Start Small

Today’s brilliant post is by Nancy Julien Kopp: I’m a proponent of starting with small projects and moving on, step by step, to the bigger ones. Many writers dream of publishing a novel or a full book memoir. Some will start out their writing journey by beginning the pursuit of that dream immediately. It’s fine to have a worthy goal, but diving in the deep end before you know how to swim can bring big problems. Start small. Write a personal essay or memoir about an occurrence, something that happened and had some meaning for you. Later, it might become a part of the book you hope to write. Those little snippets of memoir can grow into something much larger, as can your personal experiences that taught you a lesson, as we see in personal essays. Novelists can practice their skill by writing short stories before attempting a full novel….

Prompts

A Perfect Moment . . . Prompt #458

Write about a perfect moment. You can write this as a scene in a play, a TV show, or a movie with scenery details. Include characters in this scene and include location (a specific room, a certain place). You can include details about the weather, time of day or evening or night, time of year, the mood of each person or the emotional feeling of the people in this scene. Or:  Just write about a perfect moment. You can write fantasy or fiction. Or you can write about what really happened. A perfect moment. Just write!

Book Reviews

The Art of Mending

The Art of Mending is such a thought-full title. I like how it rolls off my tongue, offering hope for whatever needs fixing. Mending: An old-fashioned word. Who mends these days? And yet, it’s a comforting word much like the stories that Elizabeth Berg unravels, then pulls together with a satisfactory ending. Elizabeth Berg is skilled with weaving words together thoughtfully and with purpose, causing me to pause and enjoy the scene as it unfolds. I read slowly and savor her exquisite writing. “There are random moments—tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children’s rooms—when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged…