Writing New Material Category

Special Post: So you’re going on the academic job market

This post is just for those of you in grad school or who are going on the academic job market this year. (If you are a fellow academic or a grad student, please share this widely. This advice is important.) (For the rest of you, academia has a “job season” and it’s right now through […]

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The Best Writing Advice Evah!

In response to my crowdsource request for “the best writing advice you have to offer,” here are the results, with a few of my own thrown in for good measure. Because advice is always best when passed along. 🙂 1. “Revising is easier than writing. Start somewhere. Anywhere.” 2. “Ever see the film A River […]

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Writing skills on the job

No matter what you do for a living, chances are extremely high that you write on the job. Did you know that companies spend over $3 billion a year helping their employees learn how to write better? That’s a lot of scratch. And just because your boss hasn’t brought in a pro like me to […]

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Spice up your prose with sensory details

Imagine reading your favorite novel or creative nonfiction book (Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, perhaps, or Terry Tempest Williams’ Finding Beauty in a Broken World) without any sensory details. In fact, I challenge you right now. Go pick up that book that you are reading. Flip to a page, any page. Now scan carefully for any and […]

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The importance of audience

When writing for publication (or just sharing), how often do you consider this question: “Who is my audience? Who is my ideal reader?” Think about who that person is, whether a friend, or a relative, or a spouse, or a co-worker. Thinking about who your ideal reader is can focus your efforts, especially if you […]

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How to be a better storyteller

Writers are storytellers. No matter the medium or genre, writers work hard to craft delectable stories for public consumption. And we all know that some stories are better than others. So what differentiates a fascinating, compelling, riotous story from one that is just okay? Strong start. Emotional appeal. Logical appeal. Sensory details. Action. Scenes. Anecdotes. Moments of […]

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Know when to quit

This is the season for resolutions. So many people resolve to create unrealistic expectations for themselves that they enter the new year destined for disappointment. When it comes to our writing practice, let’s think more realistically. Know when to quit. “What?!” You bellow. “I am a writer! I will NEVER quit!” That’s good, dear reader. But hear […]

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Three seats left in my Advanced Memoir workshop this January! :)

Fellow writers! You might have seen previous posts about this workshop and now it’s crunch time. I need a few more participants to fill the workshop – three seats. I suspect that at least three of you are working on a creative nonfiction project that would benefit from this intensive workshop weekend.  If you are […]

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