604, 2017

25 Things I Learned About Writing in Italy

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I just got back from a fabulous 2-week vacation in Italy and loved every minute of it. I explored the history and sites of different cities, towns, and countrysides and, most of all, the people. Within the immense beauty of the land and cultural history, I came away with thoughts about writing and life, in general. Let me take you on a little tour of the lessons I learned about writing while I was there.

  1. Something well created lasts longer than those which were created fast. Iconic buildings throughout Italy took years or even decades to build. We can write a book in a week, but long-remembered books took time to develop and write. Powerhouse Margaret Mitchell took ten years to write Gone with the Wind.
  2. People are motivated by fear […]
2107, 2015

Get the “F” Out and Write!

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This week, I am honored to share a guest post from Carolyn Bennett-Sullivan, an expert on the subject of fear and author of Get the “F” Out.

Since my first book has been published, I’ve had countless people tell me that they’d like to write a book or start blogging. I ask them, “What’s stopping you?” Invariably I hear, “I don’t have time.” “Who would want to read it?” or “I’ll get around to it someday.” Really?

To be completely honest, I used to tell myself the same thing until a coach gave me a kick in the pants and told me to stop making excuses and just do it. What was holding me back? Fear, of course. Because when you don’t do something you keep telling yourself you want to do, […]

2606, 2015

We’re Not Worthy!

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As Wayne and Garth put it so famously in Wayne’s World, “We’re not worthy!” Writers, and artists in general, suffer from some version of that sentiment, whether spoken or not. Even if we know our writing is good, we often don’t take it to the next level to prove the point. So, how can writers (or artists or business owners, etc.) project an image that says “I am worthy?”

Speak it

Tell others that you are a writer. When you introduce yourself at a party, a networking event or to people you meet, let people know you are writing a book called Blah, Blah and it is due out in the fall or spring or next year. People are naturally curious and will lean in to ask […]

1305, 2015

6 Ways to Brainstorm a Book

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brainstorm a bookThe Goal

The brainstorming process helps to flesh out ideas about your main topic or story idea. The ideas generated will serve as the chapter headings, subheadings, and topics within each chapter. The initial goal is not organization or a perfect storyline. Write as many ideas as possible without regard to whether is it good or bad, perfectly relevant or superfluous. Include individual thoughts, stories, quotes, or facts even if you don’t have the exact words or numbers. Use one, two, or all of the brainstorming techniques to find the one that yields the best results. The examples here focus on non-fiction topics, but they can also be used, in a general sense, for fiction. Although you can use a […]

2204, 2015

101 Reasons Why Writers Write

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Writing transforms our thoughts into stories, lessons, and exploration. It challenges us to find the best way to teach, transport, transform, solve problems, and raise awareness through words and stories. It gives us the definitive power to express our thoughts to readers and to ourselves. Ultimately, writing makes our random thoughts something concrete and valid.

I asked hundreds of writers why they write. Here are just some of their responses (as they wrote them):

      1. If I didn’t, my head would explode from too many ideas. (also, it was a great way to spend my math classes in high school).
      2. To silence the demons in my head
1703, 2015

What is Your Author Brand?

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Build your author brandJust as you weave a plot and organize information in a book, you weave your author brand. You are the main character in your author story. What will you tell your readers to change their hearts and minds to get to know, like, and trust you? What is the journey for the reader? What is the destination? Here are 6 points to help you develop a successful author brand.


Be authentic. How do you view yourself? More importantly, how do others view you? Philip Martin of Blue Zoo Writers encourages writers to ask friends and others to answer that question. Are you loving, practical, and earthy or driven, particular, and classy? Would you rather […]

503, 2015

How long does it take to write a book?

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Write a bookMany people ask me how long it takes to write a book. The answer: it depends. There are a lot of factors that go into writing then publishing a book. I’ll give you some guidelines, but the real variable is you. As with any project, make a deadline and work backward to find what you need to do and write each week. Before you do, it is important to know what lies ahead of you beyond just writing the book. I’ve excluded the marketing aspect of publishing a book for the sake of simplicity, although it is an important part of the publishing process if you intend to sell your book to an audience wider than your immediate family […]

901, 2015

Self-Publishing in the News

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In anticipationHow to Self-Publish a Book of upcoming writing workshops, I was featured in both the Newark Post and the Cecil Whig this week. While my path to authorship is unique, we all share a common thread in our desire to write and share what we write with others. Choosing self-publishing was not only the right route for my writing goals, but has opened doors beyond what I had initially imagined. Whatever your path, go in with gusto.

How did you know you wanted to write? What prompted you to share your writing?


1512, 2014

3 Essentials of Book Marketing

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Even before your book is published, three things will be at the forefront of all of your marketing materials. Make it easy on yourself by taking the time and effort to make these the best they can be. Do it once and they will serve you during the long haul of book marketing and promotion.


One of the big mistakes I see from new authors is failure to grasp the importance of a professional headshot. Cropping your head from a group photo or using a photo with bad lighting or a random background won’t cut it if you want to be viewed as a professional. If you think about all of the places this photo is used in your marketing, the cost per use is relatively low. Check out the portfolio […]

112, 2014

Happy CyberMonday, Writers!

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How to self-publish a bookOk, so you can’t wait. In my last post, I told you about the Goodreads Giveaway for my book, The Self-Publishing Roadmap. But, that doesn’t end until December 27th and you can’t wait to find out how to self-publish your book. In honor of Cyber Monday, I am giving away copies of the ebook version via my book page on Amazon. Do you want to learn about formatting your book? Done. Do you want to learn about ISBNs, copyrights, how to upload your book onto CreateSpace, and how to market for maximum sales? Get your free ebook on Monday, December 1st.

Click here to get your copy of