Stuff Writers Like

The Stuff

All of our stuff—plus the stuff we have to say about others’ stuff.



What Do I Blog About?

Blogging is a great tool for building an audience and connecting with readers—and other writers. We spend so much time typing out words and stringing together sentences. Knocking out a blog post or two each week should be no big deal, right?

Sometimes, thinking of something to blog about feels like hitting your head against the wall. I call this “blogging block.”

Next time you’re stuck for ideas, try blogging about one of these topics:

1. What You’re Reading

As writers, we draw a ton of inspiration from the books we read. We analyze books as both a reader and a writer, considering what the author did that worked. Try blogging about the book you’re reading, but don’t make it a book review. Approach it from a writer’s perspective. Do you like the book? Why? What techniques did the author use that’s helping you connect with the story (or not)? This can be a valuable exercise for your readers and for yourself. ...

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Create a Successful Author Blog

I’ve made some spectacular blunders in my blogging career. But since we learn from our mistakes, I’ve got a boatload of information now.

As Ruth and I say: “We made the mistakes so you don’t have to.”

The worst decision I made was trying to turn this blog into a monetized business blog. That lasted about six months—until my doctor said I was going to have to choose between blogging and living to see my next birthday.

This is the second anniversary of the beginning of that failed experiment, and I’ve been thinking over what I’ve learned.

My biggest mistake was that I didn’t see that an author blog has a different purpose and goal from a business blog. Author blogs aren’t about making money directly with ads or sales.

Instead, they provide a platform for your writing and a way to communicate with readers and fellow writers. An excellent one. In fact, a blog is still the best platform-building tool for authors, according to agent Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary.

The money comes later when we sell our books. The mechanics of those sales are best left to retailers like Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, etc. unless you have a huge franchise with twenty or more titles to sell, as well as mugs, t-shirts, etc.

Does that mean we’re giving away our work for free when we write for a non-monetized blog?


But. ...

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Spot the Online Writer

Twitter is the water cooler for writers. It’s where we go to socialize, procrastinate, and encourage each other. While every writer is crazy in their own special way, you may come across a few types of writers on Twitter:

1. The Word Count Crusher

This Twitter writer posts tweet after tweet about nailing insane word counts. “Wrote 10k words before breakfast this morning.” You’ll often find them hanging out at #writingsprints or #5amwriters. If you want to get some writing done, this is the person to follow. Seeing their tweets in your news feed will have you whipping out your manuscript and trying to keep up. ...

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Overcome Your Writing Demons

Every writer faces challenges. Writers don’t face off against other writers. There is no enemy or other team to fight, so the most difficult adversary is often our own emotions. To write a good story, we have to deal with our own egos, insecurities, and weaknesses. Conquering our own emotional challenges can be far more difficult than decoding style manuals.

To help us onto the right track—and to remind us we’re not alone—Become a Writer Today has put together an infographic of how 11 great writers overcome their demons. ...

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Give Up These Writing Habits

Every writer has tendencies that distract from the most important thing: the story. These habits appear over and over agin …

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Fill Your Plot Holes

As much as I am in love with my current work in progress, I am aware that it has a few major problems.  This novel truly is my tester novel, where I am making every writer mistake out there from spending too long on the first draft to under-developed characters to impressively poor world building.

Now that you all want to hire me to market your novels as well as I am marketing mine, let’s continue.

I have learned so much from making these mistakes, and though it is taking me some time to work through this novel, I know it will be worth it in the end.

My most recent round of editing has focused on filling potholes.

I mean, plot holes….see what I did there?..?..?  Okay, moving on.

Since I initially wrote this story without an outline (big no-no, I would not recommend this) my plot was holier than a nun at a golf course.  There were small plot holes, large plot holes, confusing plot holes and plot holes with the potential to turn into plot twists.

After navigating the treacherous plot road of my novel and carefully filling all the holes I could spot, I’ve learned quite a few techniques that I want to pass on to you wonderful readers. ...

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