September is known as “back-to-school month” here in the United States. Remember those trips to Kmart for pencil boxes and protractors and colored pencils? That mixture of anticipation for a new school year balanced with those feelings of “Aww damn it, summer’s over already and now I have to sit in social studies again”?
August has also, in a way, been back-to-school month here at WBN, with our emphasis on coaching, its educational and practical value. Because in its own way, coaching is a form of school. A coaching session is a scheduled hour designed to help you learn how to become a stronger writer — and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than an MFA. Hell, you can even look at the writing you produce between sessions as homework. (But only if you want to!)
In fact, one of my coachees signs off on his emails with “Your Student.” And at the end of each session he says, “OK, so what’s my assignment this week?”
This past week, on top of the standard homework, we asked some of you to share with us your favorite aspect of coaching.
Think of it as a sort of “My favorite part of summer vacation.” read more
It’s uncomfortable to talk about money: who has it, who needs it, how we spend it and why. But in my experience in both writing and life, the uncomfortable conversations are the most important ones to have (the birds and the bees, et al.).
So, in the spirit of productive discomfort, today we’re going to tackle a crucial issue that comes up daily here at WriteByNight: the cost of writers’ services.
Let’s be real: services cost money. Whether you’re having your car detailed, your apartment cleaned, your hair cut, or your health checked, you pay to access the expertise of another. This is specialization in action. You know how to do certain things, and don’t know how to do others. Thankfully, there’s someone out there who knows what you don’t.
Intellectually we all know this, but our emotions are another story, and boy, are our feelings powerful. We can convince ourselves of all kinds of things to avoid spending dough, even when it’s on stuff we need — maybe especially then.
What follows are the top five reasons writers don’t want to pay for writers’ services and — you guessed it — why it’s so important that you do: read more
In the seven years we’ve been providing one-on-one coaching services, we’ve heard an alarming amount of anecdotes from writers about other writing coaches they’ve hired and — for good reason — fired.
These bad experiences are usually due to one of several writing coach monsters, four of which we want to identify today.
How do you spot them and how do you avoid them? Read on to find out. If you’re brave enough. read more
I’m taking a (second) whack at the Harry Potter books, a series I enjoy immensely and one which I’m hoping I can finish this time, after making it through only four and a half of them in my last attempt, 2012 or so.
I’m up to No. 4, The Goblet of Fire, and the beginning is a solid grabber, a fine candidate for our ongoing “Great Beginnings” series.
So use your wand to draw up a chair, read the first paragraph, and then join the discussion. read more
Today we’d like to introduce you to the colorful and talented Sam Severn, our latest addition to the WriteByNight ghostwriting staff.
Sam comes to us from Snohomish, Washington, where, he tells us, he has “continued my holy quest to remain positively the lamest heavy metal guitar player still alive.”
He may be lame with a guitar, but he’s anything but when it comes to consulting with writers. Among the best-selling books Sam has been involved in are Tears for My City and Serafina and the Twisted Staff. read more
In our continuing mission to provide writing coaches and consultants who best suit your writing needs, we’ve added three new accomplished writers to our staff, and today we want to introduce ’em to you.
Bridget Apfeld has taught writing courses and run fiction workshops at UNC-Wilmington, where she received her MFA. Her work has appeared in journals such as Dislocate, So to Speak, Prick of the Spindle, and Verse Wisconsin. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Bridget got her start as a writer by … not writing. “I spent most of my childhood narrating stories in my head or drawing single-page illustrations,” she tells us, “each with their own elaborate, unwritten drama.”
She began writing seriously in college: “Once I took my first workshop,” she says, “I was hooked, and never wanted to do anything else.” read more
Readers don’t need to write, but writers sure do need to read.
Our wonderful writing coaches and consultants set a fine example: they’re all voracious readers, and they love to share their favorite books, as well as books they’ve learned from as writers.
When we bring on new staff here at WriteByNight, we always ask ’em what book they’re currently reading and what they think of it. Here are answers from a handful of them. (Click on a coach’s name to read a full Q & A with him or her.) read more
Manuscript Prepartion: How to Do It Right
Finding a Writing Space in Your Home
3 More Cover Letter Don'ts
Conquer Your Fear of Writing ... By Writing
When Should I Stop Rewriting?
Worst. Advice. Ever.
Writings From a Past Life: David Foster Wallace
- Today's your last chance to win the Texas Observer short story contest. Prize: $1,000. Judge: Amelia Gray. https://t.co/FQfnA9258d