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My early training as an editor happened around the kitchen table and had nothing to do with books. My parents are both intelligent and loving people, but their brains could not be more different. My dad’s mind is a steady river; he thinks things through step by step and presents information in a logical order. […]

A male person in jeans and a turquoise shirt standing and bent forward at the waist at a 90 degree angle. Next to him is a woman lying on her back with her legs in the air. Another woman is horizontal with her chest on the woman's feet and her legs on the man's back.

The beating heart lives in the ear

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I just wrapped up an edit with a first-time author who impressed me with her curiosity about and commitment to the writing process. She used the craft book Dreyer’s English to help her think through grammar, punctuation, and style.  Disclosure: I haven’t read it. But I will now, especially because another writer wholeheartedly seconded the endorsement, saying […]

A pale blue, painted bookshelf. Some books on embroidery and needlepoint are stacked on their side with some writing craft books on top, and more writing and editing books are upright next to them. On top of the bookshelf, the bottom edge of an embroidery piece, two tiny wooden bowls, and several photographs are visible.

May your bookshelf runneth over

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Today’s #feedyourwritingfriday: This newsletter from author Alix E. Harrow (of Ten Thousand Doors of January fame) is marvelous writing in and of itself but also gives delicious food for thought on writing with/from bodies…or not. Read it here.

Cover of Alix E. Harrow's forthcoming story The Six Deaths of the Saints, with a hand and arm in armor visible between torn swaths of bright red.

Alix E. Harrow on bodies

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I had a great time today talking to amazing book coach Vicky Quinn Fraser about Feel Good Where You Write coaching, how bringing beauty into your workspace boosts your focus, addressing our shrimp-posture at our desks, and her amazing Microbook Magic course. Take a peep!

Secret focus fuel

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Today’s #feedyourwritingfriday: If you’re writing a nonfiction book and wondering how to get it traditionally published, start with this fundamentals guide from industry expert and generous knowledge-sharer Jane Friedman. What’s one question you have about the book proposal or publishing process? What’s one insight from this article—or your own experience—that you can share here to […]

The edges of a row of books, with stocked wood shelves of books in the background, implying a bookstore scene.

Book proposal fundamentals

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This #feedyourwritingfriday, I’m saluting writers and other creative thinkers for the bravery and effort inherent in making creative work an ordinary thing, a part of home. “People are wrong when they talk about how you need to be brave to get out of your comfort zone, travel, and see things. The travel and perspective–the escapism, […]

A mother kissing a baby's head while holding a mug in her right hand and sitting at a table with a laptop on it.

Making creative work an ordinary thing

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“I want authors to have a good time writing their book; I want authors to be compensated fairly; I want authors to enjoy bringing their books to market; I want authors to sell lots of copies.” A happy, gusty breath of relief escaped me when I read this. Community! Humanity! Pleasure! Collaboration! It’s all in […]

A dark red hammock suspended between two trees, overlooking a flat stretch of desert and a mountain in the distance. Photo by Leonie Fahjen via Pexels.

A dose of humanity in publishing

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I’ve been thinking a lot about rhythm and timing lately. I’m posing these questions simply as an invitation for you to think about them, too. It’s easier to imagine being inventive and playful with rhythm in fiction than in nonfiction, but why should fiction writers (and readers) get all the fun? What would this video’s timing look […]

Screen shot of a tweet by Jon Lawson, showing a video still of a train tunnel with two openings.


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For #feedyourwritingfriday, peep this Twitter thread by Allison K Williams on finding comps. It’s mostly geared toward fiction writers, but very useful for my nonfiction folks, too. What comps did you use, or would you use, for your book? I’m sharing bits of good writing, other folks’ wise advice, online courses, rich resources, and other internet tidbits to nourish your craft […]

White background and partial circles of cornflower blue around the text "Ever mysterious...ever less confusing...comps!"

How to find good comps

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Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your writing? Maybe you don’t move to the next paragraph until this one is just right, meaning you barely get words on the page every day. Maybe you endlessly revisit the wording of a particular idea until you aren’t sure what’s good anymore. Maybe you don’t write […]

Smiling man with dark hair and beard holding a notebook on his lap and a blue pen in his left hand.

4 Tricks for Letting Go of Perfectionism