Most of the folks who follow this silly blog are creative types–novelists, editors, journalists, photographers and other brilliant, beautiful people.
So let’s talk about creativity.
Are the arts a habit? Or does the muse randomly descend upon your noggin, so long as you make the right sacrifices and entreaties?
Though my love for the muse is strong, I’m making the case for habit.
All the way.
Because writing–and other creative work–is a hell of a lot like running. Here’s why.
You can take classes about writing (or running), read books, watch videos and listen to experts.
In the end, though, there’s no substitute to getting off your duff and doing it.
And the more you write, or run, the easier it gets.
The first time you run a mile, or write something Serious, it’s painful.
Sometimes so painful that you question…
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Listen: romance novels don’t get enough respect.
Not for the amazing army of authors. Not for the editors and literary agents.
And not for the millions of loyal readers.
That should change. Here’s why:
If you care about ideas and words, you should care about books.
Newspapers and magazines are below books on the food chain of ideas and insights. I say this as a former journalist who bleeds newsprint if you cut me.
Only books give a writer enough space and time to truly dive deep into a topic.
Every library is an arsenal of liberty and each book is a foot soldier in the war against ignorance, apathy and hate.
We need books more than ever, with propaganda, misinformation and tyrants—or wannabe tyrants—one the rise around the world.
Books matter. When it comes to ideas, they are irreplaceable.
Oh, television and movies…
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Tackling a first draft can be a serious challenge! Here are six tips to help you power through and finish your draft–and maybe even have some fun too!
Here are my favorite of the 6:
Try again. Fail again. Fail better. –Worstward Ho by Samuel Beckett
Read all of the tips here:
There are just a couple of weeks left to submit your self-published books to this contest. The details are below.
4th year. Your self-published book can win up to $3,000 plus expert marketing services.
Please submit during February 15-June 30, 2018. Submit one or more self-published books in these categories:
- Mainstream/Literary Fiction
- Genre Fiction
- Creative Nonfiction & Memoir (definition)
- Poetry (new!)
- Children’s Picture Book (new!)
- One grand prize winner will receive $3,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $450 value)
- The top winner in each category will receive $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $150 value)
- One honorable mention in each category will receive $250
- We will publish online excerpts (1,000-6,000 words) from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges
Length limit: 150,000 words. You may submit a collection of short stories or essays as a single entry. No restrictions on age or country. No restriction on year of publication. All contestants receive a free PDF download of The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and free guides from BookBaby. Read about the winners of our third contest. The results of our fourth contest will be announced on February 15, 2019. Entry fee: $60 per book. Click the Submittable button below for full details.