Tag Archives: Writing Tips

Concentrating Where You Can

Write where you can. When you can. However you can. I admire folks who can continue to concentrate whatever the situation. In my many years as a journalist for a big newspaper I needed to be able to concentrate amid the noise of a newsroom (that noise is lessened now that most people arrange appoints […]

One Time At A Party . . .

“I once thought I should write a book about it,” Sarah said. My ears perked up in the midst of our New Year’s game of spades out at a central Texas ranch. “But I just never got around to it. It probably would have just been for me if I had,” she continued. “What did […]

A Ninja Writing Guide

Little arm hairs raise on end. Bumps form on my skin, desperately struggling to retain warmth. It’s freezing in this room as I type away on the computer. I want to be in bed! If only that guy standing next to the refrigerator hadn’t asked me to write a Ninja Writing Guide—– This one’s for […]

Stealing Time for Breakfast

Work threatened to snow me under. Demands crept closer to my little kitchen table. I’d just returned home from a business trip to consult with a new, long-term marketing client. It had gone amazingly well, but they were the 2nd client I had added in two weeks. My mind drowned in possibilities, responsibilities, and writing […]

Realizing the True Fruits of Your Labor

It took Susan Patron ten years to write her first novel, The Higher Power of Lucky (Simon & Schuster, 2006). When writing it, she would race home from work, grab a quick bite to eat, and then dive headlong into the nuances of character development until the wee hours of the morning. She also sacrificed […]

Why Would Anyone Want to Buy a Poetry CD?

The offer by a friend to record at his studio had haunted me for a year since the 2000 Hope Arts Festival, even though I had immediately dismissed it as lunacy. Finding ways to dismiss my work as something unimportant came easy to me, despite the continual suggestions of others to let the public see […]

Miracles without Inspiration

A metal-sculpted cat stares me down. I sit in an old, comfy chair, a yawning hole in one of its arms, punching my fingers on a keypad. Yellow light dulls up my laptop. “You can make anything interesting,” I always tell the kids in my writing workshops. “You can make anything spring to life and […]

Revealing the Vivid Unexpected

The Secret of Saying Too Little I will not dissect my own writing like a formaldehyde frog in the dim light of your monitor. But I will, for your benefit, gently press my scalpel into a paragraph written by England’s brilliant Roy Clarke: “The thing about growing up is that you get fewer scabs on […]

The Myanmar Syndrome—Part II

To see my previous post, The Myanmar Syndrome—Part I, click here. The “What If” Test For evaluating many things, there is often a “What If” test that can reveal the quality or the problems with something. So let’s do such a test for an imagined piece of writing. Now, what if all the writing experts […]