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Writer: For Instruction and Encouragement, Read

Here’s an example. If you read the piece at the other end of that link, you will receive several blessings: You will meet Ann Patchett, whose wisdom about writing is exquisitely life-giving You will be introduced in passing to Maria Popova, mother of, and her contagious love of writing, writers, and you You will […]

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5 Reasons You Should Write a Book Now

I’ve probably told you this before, but so what? When did I ever learn anything from hearing it just once? Listen up, and absorb what resonates with you–and act on it: Credential. If you become an author, you become an authority. Notice “author” in the word “authority”? If you are an author, you are automagically an […]

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An embarrassment of riches for readers

For $10/month or less, you can get access to a library of hundreds of thousands of books. There are at least three such libraries: Kindle Unlimited (Amazon);; and All three let you try their service for a free month. I tried all three. There is lots of overlap among them, in terms of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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