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The terrible, inevitable subjectivity of rejection

If you are a writer, you will be rejected. Not once. Not twice or thrice. Hundreds of times over decades of writing your guts on a page. And sometimes the reason you are rejected is entirely subjective – the editor, the editorial board, the publisher, the agent – just didn’t like what you wrote. It […]

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There is no such thing as writer’s block

That’s right. I said it. There is no such thing as writer’s block. When writers become stuck in their process, the usual suspect causes are procrastination, fear, doubt, lack of research, lack of brainstorming, lack of idea-brewing time, lack of purpose, anxiety (about the subject matter, a deadline, etc.), diminished passion for the existing work, […]

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Need some editing help?

You’ve completed your masterpiece. An essay. A report. A story. A novel. A thesis. There are lots of documents that might qualify as your masterpiece. Now it’s time to revise and you feel your sternum seize up, a growing dread from your intestines to the deepest reaches of your brain. Paralysis takes over. Wait, wait, […]

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Knowing when to end the story

Knowing when to end a creative nonfiction story can be challenging. Most writers new to the form, especially those immersed for two decades in “academic essayist” writing, will end with a “moral to the story,” or some kind of explanation about the greater lessons learned. Don’t do that. Nobody likes to read a story that […]

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Write better emails at work

No matter where you work, if sending emails is a regular part of your job, then this post is for you. Especially if you respond to work emails from your smartphone. Professional written communication is essential to the hiring and promotion process. Send sloppy emails and your boss, clients, and co-workers won’t think as highly of […]

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Midweek Writing Prompt: Family Member as Character (11/19/14)

In my classrooms and workshops, I strive to create safe, welcoming writing communities where individuals feel free to explore ideas, stories, and concepts without judgment. After all, we need those spaces to get started. The judgment – of editors, professors, critical friends – will come later. But in the beginning, we need that soft, friendly […]

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So you want to be a freelance writer (part two): Be the go-to writer

One surefire way to be successful as a freelance writer is to be the go-to writer. So what is that? Basically, you need to become indispensable to your editors. How? Easy. You’ll have to set pride aside and treat your freelancing as the job that it is. You don’t have a boss standing over your […]

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Writing Consultation involves what?

If you are the owner of a business, the manager of a department, or an executive in charge of a team, chances are your employees write quite a bit in the course of the work week, communicating internally and externally for a variety of purposes. According to the National Writing Project’s Writing: A Ticket to […]

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