Writers, Poets, Misfits and Other “Weird” People: It’s Time to Stand Up and Own It!

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I have always felt like a complete weirdo. The label of “weird” has been alternately used to express confusion from others about my behavior or hurled as a coldly vicious insult. I grew up hearing it on the playground, year after year…after year. I got called weird in first grade and as a senior in college. I literally cannot count how many times I’ve seen a person freeze their expression, look me over and then say, “You’re really weird, do you know that?”

For years I had a love/hate relationship with my weirdness. In middle school I became hyper-observant about the dress, mannerisms, language and cultural codes of eighth-grade girls. I memorized them all and tried to imitate them. It didn’t work. My weirdness leaked out. In high school I tried to camouflage myself by joining dozens of different groups—Theater, Track, Yearbook Committee, National Honor Society. It didn’t work. I still said and did things that were undeniably weird. I still got the look. Continue Reading

For Those of You Writing a Book that You’re Scared No One Else Will Understand

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Why doesn’t my book look like the other popular books in my genre?

I get this question, in various forms, from my clients all the time.

Sometimes it’s an issue of genre-blending. For instance, up until a few years ago most of the Sci-Fi/Western writers out there felt like freaks, because this was a very small genre with a select audience and there was not yet a level of cultural acceptance that came with it. If you were writing Sci-fi/Western stories in the year 2003 you might have just given up altogether when you got back rejection after rejection from agents who didn’t really understand what you were writing or how it might sell. Continue Reading

Best Gift for Introvert Bookworms

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I’m not a huge fan of “last-minute gift guides” (or consumerism in general) but I do love the sparkly lights and warm vibrations of the holiday season. So in the spirit of sparkle and good vibes here’s a quick reminder that The INFJ Writer is a pretty dang good gift for that introverted, sensitive, intuitive and/or tortured writer in your life.

The e-book is and always will be $2.99 and you can gift it to a friend straight from Amazon. Paperback copies are $7.99 so you won’t break the bank if your writer friend happens to be an old-school bibliophile and prefers that new-book smell over a Kindle.

Happy holidays everyone and BIG LOVE to you!

We Are the Only Ones Stopping Ourselves from Truly Living as Writers

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As a writer in this brave new world of 2016 I have a lot of worries. I worry about what people will think about my book (particularly if certain family members or friends will read it and then think I’m a total weirdo). I worry about cover design (Is it eye-catching enough? Does it pull in the readers I want?). I worry about getting bad reviews. And I worry about the next book I’m writing.

These worries feel very big and real to me. Sometimes they even keep me up at night.

But then I’ll read a book by a writer who changes everything for me. Continue Reading

Want to Write Great Fiction? Stop Using the “Logical” Side of Your Brain.

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Every morning when I open my inbox a landslide of emails from the online writing community pour out. Blog posts, newsletters, classes and programs and retreats. And then I jump on social media and the wave continues: Advice and instructions on character development, plotting your plot, finessing the end and then going back to that first page and polishing your opening hook until it sparkles and shines and catches the eye of every agent with an email address.

The online writing community is built upon the giving of good advice. I totally get that. As a writing coach with a writing blog, I’m one of those writers handing out pieces of that advice. It definitely has a place, and it definitely can be helpful.

But… Continue Reading