Who Believes In You?

“Someone must have really believed in you.” I was at a family reunion this summer when one of my relatives said this to me. We were talking about writing and how ten months ago I quit my stable corporate career to become a full-time writer. A fellow creative, my relative said he understood how hard of a decision that must have been and how, in order to make it, someone must have had a lot of confidence in my writing abilities. I thought back to...
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Do What Scares You

Above is the Chinese word for crisis. The first character, 危 or wei, means “dangerous.” The second, 機 or ji, means “opportunity.” Put those two words together and you have crisis. I learned this word while I was living in Beijing last year. It was risky moving to...

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I’m Back and with Big News!

Why have I been MIA for the past three years and what have I been up to? Oh you know, I just changed jobs EIGHT times (reorgs, not my fault!), moved six times, traveled to nine countries, picked up jujitsu, moved to China for nine months, and got married (during COVID...

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How to Make Your Book’s Beginning Stand Out

What do Harry Potter, Princes Bride, Game of Thrones, and Leap Year all have in common? No, only two of them have cult like followings… The correct answer is they were all filmed in Ireland! Never been there? Its dizzying 300 foot cliffs, ancient fortresses, battle...

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What Scandinavia Can Teach You about Writing

What do Sweden, Norway and Denmark have in common? If you guessed they’re all absurdly beautiful, expensive and cold… you are correct! Maybe it’s just because I live in Texas and therefore have zero tolerance for cold but when the Scandinavians say, “It’s a lovely...

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What the Wishing Trees of Denmark Won’t Tell You

I took this picture yesterday while exploring Denmark. Me and my two travel buddies had just walked four or five miles trying to find our way out of the rundown labyrinth of Freetown Christiana. Never heard of the place? I’ll let my little friend do the explaining. I...

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How to Write Amazing Action

It’s hard to write believable action when the most exciting thing you’ve done this year is spike your cat’s water bowl. I say this because I’ve had a pretty action packed life and the action I’ve lived, I can write. One of my most infamous memories is of being...

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The Best Writing Advice I Ever Recieved

I once spent a year learning the art of chopping in China. Why you ask? Why not! Actually it was a misunderstanding as I was under the impression I’d be learning to make Chinese food. You can imagine my horror when my teacher brought in a live duck and slit its throat...

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How to Start a Story From Scratch

I was talking to a friend a couple weeks ago about writing. One of the first things she said is that she had been planning on writing a book for some time but hadn’t. When I asked her why, her answer was “I just don’t know where to start.” In today’s post, I’ll be...

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The Essential Guide to Writing Your First Draft

You’ve sat down, know your characters, have a plan for writing, the plot is nailed down, and you’re itching to get started. The first sentence comes out and…. sounds like a preschooler wrote it. You try again, delete your second attempt, and then switch to paper and...

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