Live Life; Practice Writing

New writers tend to run from structure, but structure is essential for a successful story. To the experienced writer structure is an old friend, a calming pill, a money spinner. This post presents a free-form approach to structure that will appeal to both pantsers and planners. Continue reading

At this time, I do not plan to self-publish, but there are a number of writers who do self-publish. I think it’s important to keep a finger on all parts of the publishing world. You never know what tomorrow is hauling behind it. I decided to present the experiences of some self-published writers. I think writers can always benefit from the experiences of other writers.

Note these six points the author stresses; you will see them again:

  1. Unknown, self-published authors don’t get a lot of respect.
  2. There is more to publishing a book then telling a good story.
  3. You must hire an editor
  4. Proofread, proofread, proofread
  5. The work does not end when the book is up for sale on Amazon.
  6. Despite what your friends sister-in-law’s brother does; most writers do not make a lot of money from self-published work.

Remember your self-published book is competing with books produced by the big publishing houses. When you put your book on Amazon you are competing with Dean Koontz, Steven King, J.K. Rowling and any and every author you ever admired.

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If you like good stories, read this. If like Science Fiction, read this. If you like revisionist history, read this. If you like television, read this. If you like 50s era stuff, read this. Read it because it is wonderful to discover a new writer and then say, “I read him when…”

“The 13 Lives of a Television Repair Man,” is a story of a son’s relationship with his mother and how he learns to cherish her.  It unfolds in the world of television repair and contains both old and new technology. Continue reading

There are many commonalities between fiction writers and playwrights. One is struggling with the first draft.

I found this quote in the book, “The Playwrights Process: Learning the Craft from Today’s Leading Dramatists,” by Buzz McLaughlin. The brilliance of the book is Buzz doesn’t tell you how to do it, he interviewed many successful playwrights and had them tell you how they go through the process. Continue reading

Everyone can use a good laugh. This Facebook post by Jesse Newton with his wife Kelly McQueen Newton brought laughing tears to my eyes. I had to share it.

Some people see this as a reason not to get a Roomba, but the response from Hammacher Schlemmer, the sellers of Roomba, makes me want to purchase one. They stand behind their product. I can’t imagine calling and telling them this story.  

Although I did reach out to Jesse Newton for permission to repost his story, I did not hear back from him. The title Roomba Poop is mine, the rest is Jesse’s including the art work.

Lastly, this is a good piece of humor writing and it’s National Dog Day! Enjoy! Continue reading


Most writing books and most writers say the key to success is discipline; sitting down every single day and writing. But no one tells you how to do it. You do it by forming a writing habit.

I am great at hitting daily word goals if there is a deadline with a paycheck looming over my head; but, if it is self-imposed, I’m not so good. I can promise myself any number of rewards and it has no effect.

Does this sound familiar? “I’m going to get up at 5 AM every single morning and write for 2 hours before I go to work. Starting tomorrow.” The alarm goes off the next morning and you hit snooze. It is a daily battle for many writers.

Have you ever seen the movie, “What About Bob?” It contains a good goal-setting technique that is helpful in forming a writing habit. It is also a hilarious movie and one of my all-time favorites. It is a great example of two characters pursuing their wants in direct conflict to each other. More on that in another post.

In, “What About Bob?” Psychologist Dr. Leo Marvin, played by Richard Dreyfuss; in order to get the world’s neediest patient, Bob Wiley played by Bill Murray, out of his office gives Bob a copy of his book, “Baby Steps.” He explains to Bob that baby steps are,

“Small reasonable goals you set for yourself one day at a time. One tiny step at a time.”

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