How To Win At Writing After A Conference

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The writer’s conference: There’s little more exciting than the thought of surrounding yourself with a hundred or more people who love words and books as much as you do, and getting to spend anywhere from an afternoon to an entire week learning about the business and how to become better at your craft.

For me, anyway, there’s little more exciting than a good conference. What’s never so good is the re-entry afterward. The introverted side of my personality starts kicking back in, my brain is happy but also exhausted from all of the information I’ve squished into it, and I usually just want to sleep for a few days.

From what I’ve heard from many other writers, this isn’t uncommon. And while it’s enticing to curl up in a cave and hide, the time right after a conference is golden, and we should do what we can to use it well. So here are my best tips for re-entry. Continue reading

How To Super-Charge Your Story With Energizing Word Sprints

Mondays.

We all have them. They’re those days when it’s hard to even drag yourself out of bed, much less write all the words you know you need to write.

Sometimes, ‘Mondays’ don’t even show up on Mondays. But you know them when they come creeping up on you. So, how do we fight them? By exercising our creativity, even if it’s against our will at first.  Continue reading

The North Texas Teen Book Festival: 2017

endless signIf you ever doubt that today’s youth are into reading, all you need to do to is attend a book festival like this last weekend, where over ten thousand teens from all over Texas came to hear their favorite authors, ask them questions ranging from what inspires them to how they come up with their complex plots; sign hundreds of books, get the latest on booktubing from the pros, win prizes, buy swag, and of course, hear the answer to that age-old question: Can I be a writer, too?

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“What I Learned from a Writing Fiction College Course” by Teen Staff, Noah Dingman

What I learned from a Writing Fiction College Course

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Currently, I am enrolled at Edmonds Community College as a Running Start Student, which means I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Sadly not the fun kind of writing I wish I was doing, just a bunch of boring academic essays. I know, gross. Word of advice, when signing up for your first quarter of college classes, don’t pick two five credit English classes; since nobody told me that, that is exactly what I did. I picked the basic English 101 course, and English 161, or a Writing Fiction class. Needless to say I was excited to have an excuse to write fiction for school, but the class I got was much different than I expected. Here’s some things I gleaned from my experience.  Continue reading

Reset: A No-Stress Approach for a Great New Year

Welcome to 2017, Pen Friends!Reset: a No-Stress Approach for a Great New Year

Once the confetti has been swept up, and we’ve all recovered from staying up too late, it seems like the dawning of January only has one thing to declare: New Year’s Resolutions!

But let me be honest: I’ve never really cared for New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe it’s my Myers-Briggs type talking (I’m an INFP), but I can’t stand being made to create a long list of things I need to improve in my life, and then be made to feel guilty about it if I don’t follow through on them all. I realize that’s not the actual point of resolutions, but that’s how they’ve always felt to me–like that one-size-too-small, itchy sweater your mom’s second cousin gave you for Christmas: uncomfortable, yet you still feel obligated to wear it. No, thank you. (Sorry, Cousin Cate!)*  Continue reading

Know Yourself: How Many Worlds Do You Live In?

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Writing fantasy is fun. Why else would so many people do it? Why would so many read it? There’s more than a monetary investment when a reader picks up a fantasy novel. They are taking on faith that the world the writer has created is going to engage them and spark their imagination. As an author, you have to think through more than loving your own world and story – it has to be easily comprehended by a reader so that they don’t get fed up and abandon the attempt to enter into your written world.

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3 Ways to Celebrate the Post-NaNoWriMo Crash

coffee-coffee-cup-cup-cafe-162793Congratulations! You have made it to the end of November. And if you’re in certain parts of the globe, you’ve already arrived in December.

I don’t know about you, but between writing like crazy this month, and getting caught up in the flurry of the holiday season, I’m already exhausted. Happy, but exhausted. Honestly, I can barely function after pulling a crazy marathon writing day yesterday in order to finish NaNoWriMo, so I’ll keep this short. 🙂

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1 Year Milestone Giveaway

Pen Friends ~ It’s our birthday. We want to celebrate by giving YOU a gift! 

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During our first year we have tried, succeeded, failed, learned, grown, improved, written a lot, won contests, interviewed authors, reached goals, lost, gained, laughed, cried, made friends, built a community of writers, inspired other writing communities, and oh boy, not only did we survive, but we are stronger and plan on sticking around! Continue reading

Guest Post: What do you do with Failure?

Where are you in your writing journey? Are you NaNoing? Writing? Querying? On sub to publishers? In the midst of revisions? Taking time to read and improve your craft? Nurturing the seed of an amazing idea that’s taking root in your imagination?

Whichever of those things you are doing, or if you’re in a completely different place all together, I would like to take a minute to talk about something a lot of people would rather avoid.

FAILURE.failure
No one likes to experience it, and a lot of us hold back on our dreams to shelter ourselves. But you know what? I’m a huge advocate for failing. I say let’s fail. Let’s fail BIG TIME.

Let me tell you a quick story. Continue reading