As I explain in “Goal Setting With the Help of An Accountability Buddy” (December 29, 2016), there are real advantages of having someone regularly push you to stay on track. I’ve never worked with a creative partner this way so I welcomed the idea when a friend asked me if we could goal-set together. Having had our first weekly call this Monday, here are my thoughts: Creating my “to do” list to share with someone else takes time but it forces me to seriously reflect about macro and micro objectives, decide how many hours I ought to allocate to each activity and rank what has to get done first. It feels good to be able toRead More →

Anyone who attends workshops or reads articles about becoming a better writer has no doubt heard the message that word goals and schedules are important. You need to write before you have something you can sell. How you get the magic to appear on paper is another issue altogether with variations aplenty. Some outline. Others see where the first words lead them. Night owls say goodnight as the larks commence their morning workout at the typewriter. Some folks write here and there. Others throw themselves into a project for months at a time.  Some are calm.  Some are frenetic. The important thing is to discover what makes sense for you, acknowledging that yourRead More →

A recent trip to the beauty salon turned out to be an exercise in frustration. Instead of relaxing in between deadlines, I found it impossible to tune out two loud customers. Droning on for several hours, they chatted as if they were catching up on twenty years instead of just a few days. Believe me when I say I learned much more about their lives than I ever cared to know. What made things even worse was their nearly constant use of what speech professionals refer to as the “vocal fry.” If you aren’t sure what I mean, check out this two minute video starring comedian Faith Salie. Be warned. Your ears will hurt. AccordingRead More →

Credits to Plato who coined the phrase that “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” While true that what I find pleasing may differ from others’ opinions, there seems to be a school of thought that every book should have at least one villain. In other words, a beauty is insufficient without a literary beast.  A “baddie” does not necessarily have to be a person. As Randy Ingermanson shares on his website, www.advancedfictionwriting.com, “It’s perfectly OK to have society be the cause of all your lead character’s ills. It’s perfectly OK to have the environment be the ‘villain.’ It’s OK to have your protagonist be his own worst enemy.”Read More →