My friends Joe and Diane Mayes at Patchouli Joe's Books & Indulgences hosted the first (and long-awaited) Denton Writers' Roundtable on Wednesday at their insanely-popular bookstore on the square. And if you missed it, you really have to be there for the next one! The idea behind the event is to kick-start an inclusive writers' group in our community to share tips and tricks, learn from each other, hear each other's stories, and build lasting relationships. More importantly,
I found an article about writing and procrastination that suggested writers are the worst procrastinators. The author even admitted – or perhaps embellished for the sake of the piece – that she checked email 3,000 times and found herself engaging in numerous Twitter battles and other nonsense in the course of writing that one article. She's not wrong. Everyone procrastinates, whether with home, work, school, relationships, or something else. And that includes writers. After a
In January, a veteran journalist crafted a Twitter post telling other writers to stop recording most of their interviews. In her opinion, recording interviews with sources for your articles is both time-consuming and leads to an over-reliance on quotes. She called it her #journalismtipoftheday. Her tweet was met with wide-sweeping disagreement in the form of roughly 1,200 replies and nearly 2,500 quote tweets. I, too, respectfully disagreed. Recording your interviews: Ensures
I've always had a healthy respect for authors, but that admiration grew tenfold as I dove into writing my book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word. The hard work that goes into each chapter, including the emotions, pride, and pieces of ourselves that we pour into each syllable we type – I underestimated all of it. But I also embraced all of it. And when the time comes, I'll do it all over again! If you've been thinking about writing a book, do
There I was, sitting at a table by myself and wondering if anyone would show up. Only 10 minutes had passed since the start of my book signing for Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word, but what can I say – I was nervous. "It looks great," my wife said in response to a picture I'd just texted. "All I need is people," I said. Thankfully, someone did show up ... and then another person ... and then another. The next thing I knew, I had a successful
While watching a few author interviews several years ago, I couldn't help but marvel at how smooth the conversations were. It didn't matter what question was asked or which random direction the discussion went. They knew every inch of their book like the back of their hand. They recited specific passages from memory – as if they had the book open in front of them. They didn't stutter, stammer, or trip themselves up out of sheer nervousness. How could this be? Well ... beyond
It's not every day that I have the opportunity to be the spotlight author at a book signing. But here I am, thanks in no small part to my new book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word. It's a little more than a week away. And here's the best part: YOU'RE INVITED!
I am cordially inviting all writers and avid readers everywhere to my book signing from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, January 22! Patchouli Joe's Books & Indulgences in downtown Denton is gr
A friend told me the other day that he keeps getting in trouble at work for writing his reports in the passive voice. Granted, no one expects him to be a professional writer, but that hasn't stopped his boss from pleading with him to start writing in the active voice. My reaction when he told me was, "Good for your boss!" Everyone should know the difference between active and passive voice. With active voice, the subject in the sentence acts upon its verb. With passive voice,
What in the world am I doing writing about rejection right before Christmas? What a downer! But hear me out because not a day goes by where a new writer or a veteran trying something new isn't dealing with or worried about having something they've written get rejected by a publishing house, newspaper, magazine, online site, etc. Writers get told "no" a lot, which can be especially hard during the holidays. I wrote a few quick words on rejection in my new book, Write Like You
Writing my new book, Write Like You Mean It, wasn't as difficult as initially imagined. Finding a publisher who was just as eager to see the finished product – also not too difficult. Promoting my new book and getting it into everyone's hands? Well, that's a bit different. Friends have enjoyed teasing me for becoming that guy who walks around with a box of books on his hip ... a "traveling book salesman" of sorts. And they're not wrong. Without fail, I have them on hand every
When you're a writer, your goal is to get published. I know ... that's not exactly "mindblowing news," is it? That's like saying basketball players have a goal of putting the ball in the net, or a lawyer's goal is to win their first case. Of course, we want to get published. As I said in my book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word, "to write like you mean it also means to write like you mean it to be read." And that's true for any writer – reg
Since the day that my book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word, was published, I've had this irrational fear that no one will read the introduction.
Why read the intro? Just curl up by the fire and jump right into Chapter 1.
And then Chapter 2.
And Chapter 3.
And so on ...
I didn't always read book introductions when I was younger. And it was for the same reasons: I simply couldn't wait to dive into whatever it was that the author was t
I was approached recently by a gentleman who was writing a book about poverty. A few of his goals were to shine a light on the epidemic, pepper his first chapter or two with a slew of sobering statistics, and then dive into how he's been getting people out of poverty for good. As he handed it to me, he admitted that what he had so far was too clinical and certainly not something someone would read cover to cover unless they were forced to. It was missing something, and it was
In last week's blog, I wrote that my mom has always wanted me to write a children's book. And who knows ... maybe I will someday. I'm certainly not against it – it's just that now is not that time. Do you know who did, though? My father-in-law, Dennis. That's right. In 2018, long before I even thought about writing my first book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word, Dennis published a book he'd been sitting on for the better part of 20 years.
For years, my sweet, loving mother bugged me to write a book. She'd seen my Gamel Funny Farm blogs and laughed until her sides hurt listening to me and my wife share what was going on in our world with the kids. Naturally, she insisted I write a children's book. Now, I get it ... it's smart to say, "Yes, mommy," and follow through on anything your mother says. But not for this one. I mean ... maybe someday I'll write a children's book. But not yet. I had my eyes on nonfiction
Have you ever written something and been too scared to share it? Do you have what you feel are great stories sitting in piles of spiral notebooks that have never seen the light of day? Are you fearful of the 5,325,001 terrifying outcomes of letting a stranger read your work? You're not alone. Writers of all experience levels and walks of life are burdened by fear every day. We know it's simply part of the creative process, and yet, so many of us let it hold us back – time and
I've had more than a handful of conversations with aspiring authors since my book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word, was published last month. And everyone kept saying the same thing about writing their own book one day: "I've been told that I need to write a book but haven't taken the plunge yet." "I've got two or three books in me, I swear." "I've got an idea, but I'm just not sure if it's book material." Well, if I can write a book, so ca