The Meditative Pep Talk: Call It Freedom

Kate Evans

Years ago—via the work of Gabriele Rico, Natalie Goldberg, Anne Lamott, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—I learned about the right brain vs. left brain, the creator vs. the critic, the writing of the shitty first draft, the generative power of flow. These concepts helped me a lot as a writer.

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Forgiving Somaly

by William Kenower

September 2014

In October of 2008 I shot an interview with Somaly Mam following the release of her memoir The Road of Lost Innocence. I had never heard of Ms. Mam or her organization. I was the Editor-in-Chief of Author, then a fledgling online magazine for writers and devoted readers, for which I conducted three to four interviews a month. Her publicist called me directly and asked if I could fit her into my schedule. I had already booked my interviews for that month, but, after hearing the skeleton of her story, agreed to squeeze her in.

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Back at Work: How to Cope with a New World and Bounce Back into Work after a Hiatus

by Devyani Borade

September 2014

I’m taking a sabbatical to have a baby!’ I announced to my editors, publishers and writer friends.

After the initial wave of congratulations, well-meaning advice ('Ice cream is great for reducing heartburn!') and jokes ('A writer going out of circulation for a change, ha ha!') had subsided, conversation turned to the inevitable question. ‘When are you planning to return to work?’ they asked.

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Let's Kill "Me and"

by Cherie Tucker

August 2014

You will hear people talking about “Me and” in conversations all around you.

Me and Jim went to the game last night.

Me and my dad had lunch at the new restaurant.

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The Power of Lightness: On Being Your Own Parachute

by Jennifer Paros

August 2014

Recently, I met up with a large spider in my bathtub drain. I preferred showering alone but didn’t wish to squish, vacuum, or rinse away the visitor. So I fetched a cup and piece of paper, carefully made the transfer to the bathroom window, and set him free. As he fell to the grass below I realized how light he was, and it occurred to me it was as if he were his own parachute

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Millennial Marketing and Asking for the Sale

by Kristen Lamb

August 2014

One misconception is that social media’s purpose is to sell books. Yes, and no. Social media is for networking, creating community, and generating word-of-mouth (much like book signings once did). When we use social media to create authentic connections, sales will organically follow.

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Why Not Us?

by Noelle Sterne

August 2014

Football, and especially last season’s crowning game, Super Bowl XLVIII, may be only a chilly memory as the summer baseball season swings forward. At Super Bowl, chain beers drowned football fans’ shock at the performance of the disappointing Denver Broncos and their star Man Peyton Manning. Fans’ whining about the boring score that kept the Seattle Seahawks piling on the points to 43 and the Broncos unbelievably paralyzed at 8 have faded into reruns of greater games.

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Determination: Finding the Feeling of Success

by Jennifer Paros

July 2014

I’ve always thought of determination as a fierce mental decision-making stance, witnessed in a kind of stand off between my desire to lie around and my desire to get up – with the getting up part winning. Determination seemed like victory of will - moving me through space and time up that mountain.

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How I Overcame Writers Block

by Laura Yeager

July 2014

Three years outside of breast cancer, I can look back on the experience and finally talk about it. Surprisingly, the worst part of cancer was not the chemo, not the double- mastectomy, not the six-weeks of radiation, but the writer's block.

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Who Said That?

by Cherie Tucker

July 2014

Most writers know how to write dialogue. Each new speaker gets a new paragraph, even for a single word. That’s how the reader knows the voice has changed.

“You told me you cleaned your room.”

“I did.”

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Make Your Writing Come Alive with Specific Details

by Laura Yeager

June 2014

I teach beginning writing to college freshman. It's the ole Freshman Composition routine.

There are several things I try to convey in a single semester, including how to organize an essay around a thesis statement; use the patterns of development to create paragraphs; organize paragraphs in the most productive,

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Reading Pollutes Writing

by Noelle Sterne

June 2014

We’ve all heard the venerable advice: to learn our craft and hone our skills, read, read, read. Granted, when we first start writing, reading other writers’ work can show us many approaches and techniques, enlarge our sense of unthinkable subjects, and give us models for daring to write what’s burning in us.

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Five Ways to Combat Fear

by Ingrid Schaffenburg

June 2014

Fear is something all writers encounter, and it’s no wonder. We willingly plunge into the depths of our souls on a daily basis, which can be a scary thing at times. The very thing that lures us to this profession, that makes us feel more alive than others, is also the very thing that can stop us in our tracks. So how do we handle fear when it crops up in our work? Here are a few strategies I’ve found helpful over the years.

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The Drifter: Seven Billion Secrets to Success

by Jennifer Paros

June 2014

Lately, I’ve been feeling drifty. I have projects waiting for me. And I do think they’re waiting. These aren’t just passing fancies; these ideas stick around no matter how I neglect them, in full anticipation of all that they will become. I even have a novel—a couple finished drafts of it—I still want to complete. I have two other stories in progress. They’re like conversations I left mid-sentence. It’s as though I said, “Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom” and have yet to return.

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One of Two

by Cherie Tucker

June 2014

Let’s review of some of those pesky close-but-no-cigar uses that can mar your brilliant writing. Check these out to be sure you are using them all correctly:

Any more/Anymore: The first means additional items; the second refers to additional time.

If you don’t have any more to add than that I look fat, I won’t bother you anymore.

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Call Bill

by Cherie Tucker

May 2014

In today’s paper, a quote ended with:

“Therefore, we’ve fallen flat on our face.”

When a sentence like that came up in one of my classes, someone asked if it shouldn’t be “flat on our faces.” The conversation then continued like this:

“How many faces do they have?”

“Maybe they shared one.”

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How to Create Engaging Characters

by Jenn Scott

May 2014

What are people interested in more than just about anything else? Other people! The human mind is a storytelling mind made to weave various pieces of information together into a complete picture that helps us understand the motivations of the “characters” in our lives.

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