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…

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….

Guest Bloggers

Creativity as magic

Michael Shapiro’s latest book is a winner. Below is an excerpt from the introduction of The Creative Spark: How musicians, writers, explorers, and other artists found their inner fire and followed their dreams. It reminds me of an important message for every one: We are all unique and have our stories to tell. No one else can tell your story. Only you can. From The Creative Spark by Michael Shapiro Something magical happened as I completed this book. One evening just before sunset I was in our backyard watering the planter boxes. On a stem of parsley I noticed a startling pattern of color, concentric rings of orange and black dots. Looking closer I saw the segments of a swallowtail caterpillar and could identify its tiny feet. For the next few days the caterpillar chomped on the parsley plant, absorbing energy for the next stage of its life. I placed a stick…

Guest Bloggers

Perfection vs Good Enough

Guest Blogger, David Moldawer, is the author of The Maven Game. He writes weekly essays for writers. Perfection vs Good Enough Take the old quote:   Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire might have been the one to say it in this form, but the idea of “good enough beats unattainable ideal” has been around much longer. In fact, it warrants its own Wikipedia entry, if you’re curious to trace its history. However it’s expressed, it’s good advice for a writer. But is it perfect? (See what I did there?) I’ve often said, “remember, perfect is the enemy of good,” to people stuck in the trap of perfectionism, but over time I’ve come to question the effectiveness of simply saying the words. If you’re working on a solo project with no genuine deadline, more can be done to improve it. And even more. There is always a better solution to…

Guest Bloggers

Reflections after a year of travel

Guest Blogger Alisha Wielfaert encourages us to work through the difficulties rather than be stuck in the mud. This excerpt is from her December 4, 2017 blog post, with her epiphany about her year of travel. The glowing orange moon rose over the cypress swamp as we drove home with tired limbs, hungry bellies and full hearts after a long day of kayaking. I had almost bowed out of this trip before it even started.  Maia called me on my last trip to DC before I left for Paris and said, “We’re camping at Carolina beach and taking a few of my students to kayak the three sisters swamp to visit some of the oldest cypress trees in the world.  Can you join us?”   Maia, full of energy and excitement, just isn’t someone you tell “no” even though I knew saying yes meant two days away from home after only…

Guest Bloggers

Bookstagrammers & Influeners

Hello from Marlene, host of The Write Spot Blog, I originally read the post below by Julie Valerie on Anne R. Allen’s Blog with Ruth Harris. Today’s guest blog post is longer than my usual posts. Take it in small bites. There is a lot of content here. All good stuff. I learned so much I didn’t know about things such as bookstagrammers and influencers (the book kind). Guest Blogger Julie Valerie: From Book Blog to Book Deal Julie asks: Does a book blog still land a book deal? Of course they do. Great writing and great content will always find an audience, and where there’s an audience, especially a sizable one, there’s typically a book deal waiting to happen. Think Julie Powell, Candice Bushnell, Jen Lancaster, and Jenny Lawson. Not to mention, entire empires (with books launched along the way), have been built on the humble foundations of blog…

Guest Bloggers

Manifest with Brad Yates

Today’s Guest Blogger is Brad Yates. In Manifestation 101 (& Taking Likely Action) Brad talks about a five-step process for manifesting what you really want. 1. Create It 2. Clear It 3. Live It 4. Let Go 5. Likely Action Step One: Create It Decide what you really want.  Write it down. Start with something like: “I am so happy!  I have . . .” Then list the qualities and features of what it is you want (as if you already have them). It’s important that you write it in the present.  If you write “I want this,” then you are vibrating at a frequency of want – and the wanting of it is what you will continue to attract. You want to be vibrating in harmony with already having it. Write positive things, stating the positive aspect (what it has), rather than what it doesn’t have. If you write, “My…

Guest Bloggers

FAD: Feeling-Action-Dialogue

Today’s guest blogger is Nancy Julien Kopp. Her blog, Writer Granny’s World features tips and treats about writing. Her brilliant August 20, 2019 post (excerpt below) focused on how to use action with dialogue. Fingers flying across keyboard, Marlene types, “On with the show, Nancy.” How to show action when writing dialogue. I see writers putting action after dialogue. That’s backwards. Examples of action with dialogue. A.  “Stop that!” Sally slapped his hand from her arm. B.  Sally slapped his hand from her arm. “Stop that!”  C. “Stop that!” Sally said. Sally slapped his hand from her arm. Which is the best? The worst? I think B is best. And C is the worst. In B, we see the action, then hear the words that go with it. In A, would Sally say the words, then slap his hand away? Note from Marlene: This would be a “delayed reaction.”  Sally…