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No, You Won't Be as Rich as Jay-Z (And Other Truths About Becoming a Published Author)

inc.com – Tuesday January 15, 2019

Becoming a published author is something a whole lot of people want to do--but very few people actually cross the finish line with a quality book they can be proud of.

Last year I wrote two novels. One has already been published by a small, independent publisher based in the Midwest. The second is another novel that will be published by a different publisher based in Austin, Texas.

Writing novels is a strange and incredibly difficult way to become a published author. There is no feeling more awkward than having to lie to your friends and family about what's based on real-life events and what isn't. That said, regardless of what type of book you write, writing books is really, really, really hard.

If you want 2019 to be the year you become a published author, here are a few things you need to know.

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5 Tips for Submitting Creative Writing

culturedvultures.com – Saturday January 12, 2019

A lot of people make New Year’s Resolutions to write more, and some even decide that they are going to submit for publication. Each type of writing has its own rules and norms when it comes to submitting to magazines and websites, but the more you practice, the better you will get at it. Here are our top five general tips for submitting creative writing and poetry – these apply to our Short Stories department here at Cultured Vultures, but they will also set you up for sending your work to all sorts of places.

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Does It Pay to Be a Writer?

nytimes.com – Saturday January 5, 2019

Writing has never been a lucrative career choice, but a recent study by the Authors Guild, a professional organization for book writers, shows that it may not even be a livable one anymore.

According to the survey results, the median pay for full-time writers was $20,300 in 2017, and that number decreased to $6,080 when part-time writers were considered. The latter figure reflects a 42 percent drop since 2009, when the median was $10,500. These findings are the result of an expansive 2018 study of more than 5,000 published book authors, across genres and including both traditional and self-published writers.

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5 Tips For Young And Emerging Writers

wamu.org – Thursday January 3, 2019

Writers: how often have you been told to “write what you know”?

Generic writing advice is so often repeated it’s become a joke in the New Yorker. But do young or emerging writers feel boxed-in when they hear the same lessons over and over again that prioritize certain kinds of writing styles? Today on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, we’ll explore what it takes to write fiction, and what resources the Washington region has for new writers. One of our guests, Zachary Clark, leads 826DC, a nonprofit chapter that provides writing support to young Washingtonians.

Check out Zachary’s writing advice, and leave your own in the comments section!

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60 Inspiring Quotes About Writing from the World's Greatest Authors

inc.com – Tuesday January 1, 2019

If you've been following my column you'll notice I like to write about the art and craft of writing. Most recently, I've covered topics such as freewriting, Stan Lee's advice for storytelling, strategies LinkedIn Top Voices uses to attract more readers, and my advice for breaking out of a creative rut and getting more writing done.

But if you're like me, you might find the need to dip into sources of inspiration from time to time, something to loosen your mental gears and limber up your writing limbs in the hope that you'll be able to write prose that inspires, educates, and, if that's your goal, entertains.

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7 Quick (and Free) Ways to Find Inspiration and Be More Creative in 2019

inc.com – Monday December 31, 2018

'Tis the season for setting fresh resolutions for the new year! 

A few days of downtime over the holiday season gave me the space to think about my writing and publishing goals for the upcoming year. Lingering in the back of my mind, however, was the gnawing awareness that, to achieve my goals, I'll need to grapple with a powerful but invisible force working against me. It's a force Steve Pressfield gave a name to in his classic book on creativityThe War of Art: the "Resistance."

"Resistance" can come in many forms: It can be procrastination, fed by an array of distractions, like social media. It can be the heavy gravitational pull of the day job that pays my bills and allows me to support my family. Or, sometimes, "Resistance" is the feeling that the well of ideas and inspiration bubbling in my mind that I draw from when I need to write something has simply dried up.

I've written before about this topic, and have offered all forms of advice gleaned from the pros I've spoken to on my podcast about finding creative inspiration, developing better habits, and becoming a more productive writer. While I still recommend dipping into those strategies -- reading books on the craft of writing, experimenting with freewriting exercises, committing to a time and place to write every day -- there are a few other personal hacks I like to use whenever I need to summon my creative muse and -- to put it less poetically --pull my reluctant body back into a chair and place my hands on the keyboard again.

So here they are: Seven quirky, quick --and entirely free --ways to find inspiration and break out of a creative slump:

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The Complete Comedy Writer, by Dave Cohen

chortle.co.uk – Saturday December 29, 2018

Dave Cohen’s book about comedy writing doesn’t have any of the answers. But it does have a lot of questions – and that is probably more useful to an aspiring scribe trying to figure out what’s wrong with their script or in need of a bit of inspiration.

For anyone putting ‘become a sitcom writer’ on their list of new year resolutions, there are plenty of pointers here to focus the mind: from considering the underpinning meaning of what the show’s actually about to figuring out the personality flaws of the central character which means they won’t get what they think they want - let alone what they really want.

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Happy Verbs

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Thursday December 27, 2018

Well, I don’t think the verbs are actually happy. I only said that to attract your attention. But verbs do have moods. And I used the word “moods” to draw your attention, too. But it’s true that verbs have moods, though we also call them modes.

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15 Books On Writing To Help You Get More Words Down In The New Year

bustle.com – Saturday December 22, 2018

If your New Year's resolution involves being a more productive writer, you're going to want to take notes. I've got 15 books to help you write more in the new year, and they're sure to help any kind of writer make good art in the next 12 months.

Writing more isn't one of the most common New Year's resolutions overall, but it does go hand-in-hand with reading more, which 18 percent of people wanted to do in 2018. Depending on your purposes for writing, your New Year's resolution might fit into the categories of "focus on self-care," "learn a new skill," "get a new job," or "take up a new hobby," which 13 to 24 percent of individuals wanted out of their 2018 vows.

The 15 books on the list below are an eclectic blend of writing reference guides, self-help titles, and creative journals, which means you'll have no trouble finding something that will help you write more in the new year. Regardless of the kind of support your writing habit needs, there's a book on this list that will help you fulfill your New Year's resolution in the coming months. So get reading — and more importantly, get writing.

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Don’t fret, aspiring writers: You’re more qualified than you think

pe.com – Monday December 17, 2018

“How do I become a writer?” Authors hear it often. This question bubbles up in workshops and literary Q&A’s. Ironically, the folks asking are often already writing poems, essays, screenplays, or novels but somehow doubt that the work is “real” yet, pending the verdict of some external authority.

When I’m asked, the boring answer I give (similar if not identical to an answer offered by most writers I have known and read) is to read a lot and write a lot, then repeat the process over and over. This un-glamorous response either disappoints or quietly thrills. I watch the expression of the person if we are talking face-to-face. She may give a curious nod, as if to humor me. Often there is an insistent followup: “Well, sure,” one might go on, “but how do I publish my book/poetry collection/this article/this short story?”

Ah. That’s a different question. Strategies for getting published shift constantly in the evolving field of publication. But one cannot publish at all without writing first. So back to the first premise we go.

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