Do Expectations Hurt Brainstorming?


As a writer, one of my biggest weaknesses is brainstorming. What should be the most fun, natural part of the novel writing process has turned into a big headache for me this year. In preparation for NaNoWriMo, I've spent a lot of time these past few weeks trying to come up with ideas for my project. Last year, I had one idea I developed for months. A week before November, I decided that I hated it and scrapped it Continue Reading

The National Day on Writing, and Why I Write

image description

Today is the National Day on Writing. It was established by the National Counsel of Teachers of English. Pretty cool, huh? It's even approved by Congress. From their website: "Why a National Day on Writing? In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is Continue Reading

Planning vs. Pantsing: The NaNoWriMo Conundrum

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

For me, the beginning of writing a novel seems to go one of two ways: I’m completely stuck and unsure of where to start, or the prose seems to spill out onto the page out of nowhere. I've found that when I plan and outline like crazy, I always fall into the first camp. All those ideas seemed so clear in my head, but once I start writing the novel, I actually have to get them down in a creative and captivating Continue Reading

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo 2011


For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a novel (or at least 50,000 words of one) in 30 days. NaNoWriMo takes place every year from November 1-30. There's no fee to participate and no real prize to win if you finish, aside from a cute banner for your website, the satisfaction of completing the challenge, and all that pretty new writing for you to edit Continue Reading

How to Structure Your Memoir


First of all, the winner of the Publish This Book giveaway is Dawn! Thank you to everyone who commented on my interview with Stephen Markley. I hope to make author interviews a regular feature of this blog. If you're an author interested in doing an interview, please let me know. I welcome both indie and traditionally published writers. Now, onto today's overdue blog post: Structure can be one of the most Continue Reading

An Interview with Stephen Markley, Author of “Publish This Book”


I first read Stephen Markley's memoir, Publish This Book, shortly after graduating college. Stephen's book chronicles the unique journey that he took in becoming a published author. Stephen was only 26 when he started the project, and has since added himself to the growing list of talented and accomplished young memoir writers. I found Stephen's memoir to be incredibly funny, honest, and inspiring. It really Continue Reading

Music and Memoir


Music is powerful. Songs have the ability to transport us back in time, to stir up long lost emotions and memories. Music can also be an amazingly helpful tool to use while writing, particularly when it comes to writing memoir. A while back, I decided to go through my iTunes library and make a few playlists for my memoir. I created a playlist for each couple of years of my life that the memoir would be including Continue Reading

Five Awesome Memoir Blogs

I was going to call this a Top 5 list, but since I'm always discovering new and wonderful memoir blogs, I want to leave room for additional compilations in the future. Here are five awesome memoir-related blogs. If you have a memoir writing blog/site or know of a great one I haven't listed, feel free to leave a comment with a link! 1. Brevity's Nonfiction Blog - Updates on the world of creative nonfiction, Continue Reading

The Lost Art of Shutting Up


An article called "The Problem With Memoirs" came out in the New York Times back in January. Neil Genzlinger begins the piece by saying: "A moment of silence, please, for the lost art of shutting up." Genzlinger goes on to talk about how, back in the good old days, only famous, remarkable, or accomplished people wrote memoirs. However, as a result of our age of "oversharing," everyone in the world now feels Continue Reading

Indie Publishing vs. Self-Publishing: What’s the Difference?


After doing some more research, I've realized that my first post about self-publishing should actually have been called "Taking the Plunge into Indie Publishing." But why? Aren't self-publishing and indie publishing the same thing? Well, yes and no. The problem with the term "self-publishing" is that it harkens back to the days where people who couldn't get their work picked up by a major publisher paid tons of Continue Reading