NaNo Go or NaNo No?

National Novel Writing Month is starting in just a few days. I’m wondering, are you in this year? Or are you out? I used to dive into NaNoWriMo haphazardly—it was a given I’d participate. Now I consider more carefully whether NaNoWriMo will serve me. This year, to make my decision, I thought about things like … Read More

Start at the Beginning

Today’s message is a simple one: start writing your story. Worrying too long and too hard about how to start a story can make a writer freeze up. Stop worrying. Stop overthinking. Start writing. There’s a difference between a work’s beginning and starting to work. –Twyla Tharp I mean, it matters immensely how you start. … Read More

The Power of a Plan

Last week, I wrote about setting goals for your writing and mentioned a famous quote from Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” A man, a plan, a canal—Panama. This is much more than my daughter’s favorite palindrome. It’s a blueprint for success. When Theodore Roosevelt dreamed of … Read More

Woman sitting cozy on her bed in a sweater and socks, with her tablet, a mug of milk, and cookies.

Writing from Prompts

A half dozen Christmases ago, my daughter Melissa gave me a book called 642 Things to Write About. At the time, I had never used writing prompts, except once during a dark November when I was seriously stuck and in danger of falling far short of my NaNoWriMo word count. The prompt I used then … Read More

Me and My Big Ideas

Before I started writing regularly, I used to be afraid I would run out of words. It’s weird, I know, but that fear is one of the things that kept me from writing for many years. I wasn’t confident I had enough ideas, enough interesting things to say, let alone many interesting things to say. … Read More

Plan A

About ten years ago, I asked myself, “What would you be willing to do, what would you be willing to give up, to create the life you’ve always dreamed for yourself?” The answer, in the past, appeared to have been, “Not much.” I was a writer who never made time to write. I was a … Read More

What Is a Book Coach?

If you’ve come to this post, you probably have some questions about what a “book coach” is. I know I was curious the first time I heard someone call herself a book coach. So I looked into it, and I found out that, although the term is a relatively new one, book coaches have been … Read More