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Writing Craft

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part Four

By: Ginger | Posted on February 15, 2019

Over the past four weeks, author Ginger has been addressing the practical and tangible issues that can prevent a writer from putting words on the page. In this final part of the series, he examines the external factors that can affect aspiring writers and offers suggestions about how to address them. You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or, rather, you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love. I started this series with an Ernest Hemingway quote, so perhaps it’s fitting that I end it with one as well. Over the past four weeks, I’ve written about the real-life, tangible issues that impact your ability to get pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write.  After all, you’re a writer. A writer writes. You might do other stuff as… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part Three

By: Ginger | Posted on February 8, 2019

In this third installment of our series on overcoming the hurdles to writing, Ginger explains the importance of having a routine and building habits – and then goes through some proven techniques on how to make those part of your own life. It’s another step towards breaking down the barriers keeping you from putting words down on paper, and moving you closer to achieving all of your writing goals. In the first post of this series, I discussed how there are a host of practical and tangible issues that can get in the way of a successful writing career – and they go much deeper than just writer’s block. One of the most important steps you can take is to acknowledge your frustration, but hold yourself accountable to finding a solution to it. In the second part of the series, I wrote about how you can supercharge your focus and productivity… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part Two

By: Ginger | Posted on February 1, 2019

Overcoming writer’s block is one thing – but sometimes there are more tangible obstacles to getting your writing done – like taking care of your body and mind. In the second of a four part series on overcoming the hurdles to writing, Ginger continues his plan to get you focused on writing and clear your path to success! Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. So said John F. Kennedy, 35th President, an avid reader and (unknown to many) once a respected writer for Hearst Newspapers. It’s a thought shared by many creative people – and some of the most successful writers have managed to get that way by understanding that their body isn’t just a sack of meat they inhabit, but a living, breathing machine that can play an important part… Read More >

5 Books Every Aspiring Author Should Read

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 29, 2019

We’ve compiled a list of five carefully-selected books perfect for any aspiring writer. With the advent of self-publishing there are now hundreds of titles about how to become a successful writer – but sadly if you look at a lot of the reviews and the rankings for many of these books, you’ll suspect that the authors aren’t quite as smart about the subject as they promote themselves to be. Having said that, there are some gems out there about the art and craft of writing, and we’ve taken a little time to separate the wheat from the chaff and come up with five books about writing that you can’t help but learn from. The Elements of Style: Simplified and Illustrated for Busy People by William Strunk Jr. and Virginia Campbell First written in 1918, The Elements of Style is often considered to be America’s seminal work on writing in the American English… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part One

By: Ginger | Posted on January 25, 2019

Anything that gets in the way of putting words down on paper is destructive to a writer’s career, but if you find yourself in this boat you can at least take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Most authors go through it at some point, but the successful ones find a way to overcome these mental and practical hurdles.  In the first of a four part series, Ginger lays out a plan to get you focused on writing and clear your path to success! “He was always trying to work. Each day he would try and fail. He laid the failure to Paris, the town best organized for a writer to write in that there is.” In my last post, I mentioned that I’d been on a bit of a Hemingway bent recently – and that quote from A Moveable Feast – in which Hemingway describes F. Scott… Read More >

Ginger’s 2019 Reading List (With Tips for Creating Your Own)

By: Ginger | Posted on January 18, 2019

Despite knowing how important it is, or how much we love it, many of us find it hard to make regular time for reading. That’s why one of the best strategies is to start your year off with a reading list of books you want to get to, and commit to reading at least those. How many you add to your list isn’t nearly as critical as figuring out which books are important or interesting enough to include, so here are some tips from Ginger on creating your own reading list, along with plenty of his personal picks for 2019 in case you need some inspiration!   “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”    With those words, in his brilliant On… Read More >

Field Trip – a Visit to the American Writer’s Museum

By: Ginger | Posted on January 11, 2019

Sometimes it helps to look at the past to find inspiration, which is why self-published author Ginger recently took a visit to the American Writer’s Museum in Chicago. The trip helped him refocus on his own writing goals for 2019, and if you ever decide to visit it yourself, it may do the same for you. Read on for his quick run-down of the exhibits so you’ll know what to expect if you’re ever nearby and considering a visit. This New Year, I teamed up with a buddy of mine to visit Chicago. He’s an architect, and was there to make a pilgrimage to the home of the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright. I wanted to visit the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway, and check out the famous American Writer’s Museum, on North Michigan Avenue. The museum is, as you can imagine, dedicated to American authors – intended to “celebrate the enduring… Read More >

Silence Your Inner Perfectionist – Before They Kill Your Book!

By: Ginger | Posted on January 4, 2019

Author Ginger is back today with some more advice about the craft of writing – namely, that if you constantly revise and rewrite your book, striving for perfection, you’ll never get it published. Sometimes you have to just make like Elsa and “let it go…”  What are your thoughts on the subject?  Let us know in the comments below after you read what he has to say about it! One of the best pieces of life advice I ever received was attributed to the Chief Operating Office of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. In her 2013 book Lean In, she argued that women trying to balance personal and professional lives should live by the mantra of ‘done is better than perfect‘ and like many pieces of wisdom, this is one that’s not just relevant to women. I’ve found it especially powerful in writing – and it’s one of the first pieces of… Read More >

How to “Show, Not Tell” with Emotions

By: Ginger | Posted on December 21, 2018

Author Ginger is back today, with some tips about how you can show, not tell, by using descriptions of body-language to convey your character’s emotions.  He even provides a few examples to get your creative juices flowing, but if you have some other favorites sound off in the comments below! One of the most oft-repeated pieces of writing advice is to ‘show, not tell’ – which means that you use instinctively-identifiable actions to explain events and emotions rather than just describing what happens. When it comes to demonstrating a character’s emotional state, this advice holds up especially well – even more so when you pair it with some advice I suggested a couple of months ago to ‘stop saying said.’ Trends in writing shift and change, but one shifting preference that seems to remain headed in the same direction is the use of dialogue to push a story along. Back… Read More >

Kindle Select – Are Page Reads Good or Bad for Authors?

By: Ginger | Posted on December 14, 2018

Since the introduction of KU, authors have argued about whether it’s a good deal or not, given the ever fluctuating payouts and Amazon exclusivity they paid as a price for participation. On one hand, it does seem like more and more authors are going wide, but on the other hand, the KU program continues to grow and authors like Ginger have an overall positive experience with it. Here are some of the pros and cons about the program, as well as how Ginger has used it to enhance his own career as a writer. Amazon pays self-published authors on it’s KDP Select program in two ways – royalties from book sales, and a share of ‘page reads’ from Kindle Unlimited subscribers. But is the fluid and unpredictable nature of the Page Read payout a good thing, or a bad thing for authors? When I first moved to America, two things… Read More >