P is for Piracy

P is for Piracy

P is for Piracy. Pirate. The word sounds sort of sexy. Pirates sail around in cool-looking boats, talking with funny, growling accents, and defying pompous prigs. They laugh a lot (yo, ho, ho), and they really know how to throw a party (that bottle of rum), and they’re portrayed in major motion pictures by big name actors. (Hello, Johnny Depp!) But in the writing world, pirates are scum. They’re thieves. They take authors’ work without paying,...

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O is for Organization

O is for Organization

O is for Organization. A writing career requires vast amounts of organization. Authors must be organized in creating their work, in promoting their work, and in running the day-to-day aspects of their business. Organization in Work Creation Different authors have different methods for writing a story. Some—usually called plotters—create detailed outlines, describing every encounter in each scene in each chapter of the finished book. ...

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Field Trip!

Field Trip!

The life of an author is often lonely–we work in private, staring at computer screens, occasionally “socializing” by way of electronic media. And then there are the field trips. Like the one I took last weekend, to Kent County, Delaware (home to Dover, Delaware.) Let me start at the beginning… Many months ago, I received email from Hilary Welliver, the Library Director of the Kent County Public Library. She invited me to...

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N is for Networking

N is for Networking

N is for Networking. Writing is one of the loneliest careers you can choose. You don’t report to an office. You don’t share meetings with colleagues. You don’t have a water cooler, a break room, any of the social trappings that most people are accustomed to finding in other jobs. Rather, you sit alone in a garret, scribbling away (for modern values of “garret” and “scribble.”) And yet, writing is hugely dependent on communication with others in...

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M is for Money

M is for Money

M is for Money. Do you write for money?  If you’re a professional writer, the answer is almost definitely, “Yes.” (Of course, if you’re writing to preserve a story for yourself, your family or your friends, you might not have any intention of earning any money. You’re also probably not reading this post as a writer.) “Money” is a dirty word in many circles. Most people are socialized not to talk about financial matters in public; we don’t share...

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