• Reading Resolution: April Showers (of Men)

    By on May 3, 2016 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments 7 comments

    33rdAfter a rather lackluster March — three books, all dudes — I picked it up a little in April.

    Except for the “all dudes” portion: Five books in April, all by men. Three of them are technically for work, so that’s part of it. And also I’m partway into two books written by women, and given a few more days, they’d have made this list.

    But they didn’t. So I’m at 19 books on the year, 12 by men. Clearly I am lagging.

    The other half of the bet is going better: 11 of the 19 fit the minority and/or translated writer bill. Still, I’m not exactly killing it.

    (Here are January, February and March, if you’re new to this and curious.)

    What are you currently reading? And how is your reading resolution going? Let us know below.

    And now for the books. read more

    When Your Family Doesn’t Understand Your Writing Pursuits

    By on April 27, 2016 Posted in Strategies     Comments 23 comments

    writing pursuitsWe’ve fielded an awful lot of questions and complaints lately from writers whose families and friends don’t understand their writing pursuits and/or are unwilling to take them seriously.

    Here’s one, drawn from a comment on a recent blog post:

    “I was three chapters into my psychological thriller, and needed feedback and encouragement. I reached out to family and friends, and generally made it known that I was going to achieve my dream, however long it was going to take. I might as well have said I was going to adopt an elephant. Many of [them] believe that writing is an impractical pie-in-the-sky hobby, and my announcement was met with indifference and eye-rolling. … My own mother said she would not read my book even if published because it was not ‘her kind’ of book.”

    It’s a common complaint because it’s a common trait; people often don’t understand interests/passions outside of their own. Think of the overly macho failed-jock dad who forces his kid to attend basketball camp even though the kid really wants to go to space camp.

    You want to go on a writing retreat. Your family says “Get a real job.” It hurts your feelings. What do you do?

    read more

    April 20, 2017: Your Writing Goals & You

    By on April 20, 2016 Posted in Inspiration     Comments 12 comments

    Here comes a sentence so abhorrent that I suddenly feel the need to write it in verse so that I can have a break between the awful bits:

    Monday morning

    I stood on line

    At the post office

    For a “certificate of mailing”

    To send our quarterly taxes to the

    Internal Revenue Service.

    (N.b. In the Midwest we stand in line. Here in NYC, we stand on line. Is that a dominance thing? In line, you’re at the mercy of the line. “Get in line with the rest of us sheep and wait your turn. That’s right, all the way in the baaaaaaaaaaaack.” [Ugh, I’m so sorry about that.] On line, it’s like you’ve got things under control; you’re the one giving the mercy. “I choose to remain on line for now, but if I wanted to, I could skip all you turkeys and go to the front because I have that privilege and you all should thank me for not exercising it.”)

    (N.b. I still think the plural of turkey should be turkies. Turkies & monkies.)

    Well great, we’re right on track, as usual. read more

    Reading Resolution: March Report

    By on April 12, 2016 Posted in WBN News & Events     Comments 6 comments

    TombstoneMarch was a real bummer of a month for me, reading-wise: three books, all dudes, which doesn’t help much in keeping me ahead of pace on the reading resolution I told y’all about.

    Public shaming is imminent.

    Not only that, two of the three books were disappointing, to the point that I almost didn’t finish them.

    If not for this resolution thingie, and how it forced me to forge ahead, I probably would have read in full only one book this month.

    Let’s start with the one I did enjoy: read more

    The Writer’s Dilemma, Part 2: Friends, Family & Leisure

    By on April 5, 2016 Posted in Strategies     Comments 6 comments

    BalanceLast week we talked about some strategies for fitting more writing — or thinking about writing! — into three of six of the main aspects of life: career, exercise and sleep. Today we’ll cover three more, the closely intertwined friends, family and leisure.

    Remember, clocking in every single day is the key. You probably won’t always produce words; few writers actually write every day, despite what they may say. But if you can find some way, every day, to advance your WIP, even when it doesn’t involve pen to paper, then you’re doing the necessary work.

    But today’s strategies will be as much about creating more time as they will be about using your time differently.

    So here is the second half of our series of tips you’ve probably already heard but have likely forgotten. read more

    The Writer’s Dilemma, Part 1: Career, Exercise, Sleep AND Writing

    By on April 1, 2016 Posted in Strategies     Comments 11 comments

    TightropeSome people can walk a tightrope between two skyscrapers. Others have trouble walking a straight line on the sidewalk. For many people, any type of balance — physical, emotional, mental — can be difficult to achieve.

    For writers especially, balancing career, exercise, sleep, family, friends and leisure, and still finding time to write, can often feel like an impossible task.

    I don’t have a magic solution. And if I did, I wouldn’t be giving it away for free.

    But here’s what I am giving away for free, right now, today, a one-time-only act-now offer: Some tips you’ve probably heard before!

    Because sometimes we need a reminder that fitting writing into your daily life doesn’t have to be so difficult.

    This is your reminder. read more

    Micro Fiction Challenge: Poetaster

    By on March 22, 2016 Posted in Micro Fiction Challenge     Comments 7 comments

    PoetasterThis month’s Micro Fiction Challenge (“poetaster“) has a great chance of being less scatalogical than last month’s (“break of poop“).

    It also has a great chance of being less eschatalogical — an alarming number of you  had death on the mind, offering grave stories about people and puppies sliding off of ships and into the dark and unforgiving sea. Lots of flotsam in our fiction. Or is it jetsam?

    The Word

    We are all acquainted with at least one inferior poet. That is, we all have our own personal poetaster.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, nobody sends you more of his/her own poetry than your personal poetaster. And nobody handles criticism with less grace than your personal poetaster. read more

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