Music to focus by

The Brain Club is a monthly meeting in San Francisco founded by my friend Phil Dixon. Their presentations are video-streamed. Here is yesterday’s, by Will Henshall, on the subject of focus. More precisely, on the types of music that actually help you focus on the task at hand—say, the book you are writing—and the types that do not. Will, a musician and scientist, has founded a science-based company that lets you play the “right kinds” of music via your web-connected devices. Check out his site here.

Video streaming by Ustream

Word Trippers

Barbara McNichol has written Word Trippers, a short book that will help you distinguish between lie and lay, less and fewer, affect and effect, and more. Watch her brief promotional video (below), then head over to her site for more information. I, who am pretty good at such distinctions, get a lot out of Barbara’s book every time I dip into it.

To Write A Good Book, Answer These 3 Questions

1. What is the question my book answers? 2. Who cares? Who is seeking the answer to this question? 3. Where do I find that caring audience?  If you are writing a non-fiction book, it answers some question. “How do I play the guitar?” “How do I find the right midwife?” “What are some low-capital […]

Continue reading...

Note-taking for the writer

I’m listening to author Amy Tan being interviewed on City Arts and Lectures, on NPR. The wonderful interviewer–I missed his name–asked, “Why do you write?” To my surprise, she said she discovered that writing has enabled her to explore her life purpose. One kind of writing is note-taking–jotting things down as they happen, whether event descriptions […]

Continue reading...

Association of Independent Authors

AIA logo

It’s not very large, but I suspect it’s going to grow. For now, it is free to join as an Associate; there are also paid memberships, that offer more benefits. You don’t have to be published; you simply decide that you are an independent author, one who believes in self-publishing. Why bother? It’s another place […]

Continue reading...

My Kindle book is $.99 for the next six days

My publisher is participating in an Amazon campaign that puts my Kindle book at a discounted price for the next six days. You can check it out by clicking here. Actually, here’s a secret: If you are determined to write a good non-fiction book, you can do it without reading my book! Just remember: Structure […]

Continue reading...

Writing tools: Scrivener


Most aspiring (and actual) writers use Word. It’s got a lot of power–and a lot of complexity, much of which is irrelevant to the writer. But it is terrible at organization. It requires you to fall back upon the folder structure of your computer’s operating system. For some projects, this won’t matter. But if you […]

Continue reading...

What writers should read

All writers must read to improve their writing. But in the Internet age, what should they read? would be a good starting point.

Continue reading...

Gabriele Rico, inventor of clustering

I’m writing an ebook about clustering; it will be out soon, and I’ll post it here. So I thought I’d check on Gabriele Rico, whose “Writing the Natural Way” was my introduction to clustering. I still recommend the book to anyone thinking about writing; it is marvelous. Clustering changed my life–it’s a powerful practice. Googling her name, […]

Continue reading...

Tom Clancy, 66

Tom Clancy was 66 when he passed away a couple of days ago. I am 66. I had spent time with him some years ago, when we were both on the board of directors of a software company in North Carolina called Virtus. That company spun out Red Storm Entertainment, named for “Red Storm Rising,” […]

Continue reading...