• Expert Writing Tips from Author Elizabeth Gilbert

    Tweet I had the honor of attending the Wanderlust Festival on Oahu this week. It’s only my second time in the five years that we’ve been living here. Having gone again made me wonder why I don’t make it out there every year, and then I remember the price and how far the drive is. But this one was definitely worth it. While Wanderlust is primarily a yoga festival and I was in my yoga pants, I did not do a stitch of exercise. The most I did was walk near the ocean during our lunch break. But what I did do was a lot of mental stretching. Elizabeth Gilbert’s…

  • How I Balance Writing, Parenting and Chronic Illness

    Tweet Guest post by: Tara Mandarano I’m staring at the stain-glass tower on the church outside my bedroom window when my five-year-old daughter bursts in. It’s after school, post after care, and I am exactly where she so often finds me: lying in bed, curled up with pillows, painkillers and my rose-gold computer, writing. She is my muse and my teacher, challenging and charming at the same time, and I have been chronicling our lives together for over three years now. It’s not easy putting your private life out there for public consumption, but there is no better way for me to process everything than to get it all down…

  • Okay You’ve Been Rejected (Maybe Multiple Times) Now What?

    Tweet If you’ve noticed, my site has been dead as of late. See the tumbleweeds blowing? Okay so what’s my excuse? I don’t have any books to reveal or amazing opportunities to share. I’ve been busy getting rejection after rejection. And rejection takes a ton of work and time. It’s a full-time job this rejection thing. But I’m thinking if you found my site, you might be getting a few rejections too. So what do you do? How do you keep yourself motivated when you’re getting daily rejection letters for your manuscript or pitch?  I didn’t know either so I reached out to other writers in a Facebook writer’s group…

  • How to Know When Done is Done

    Tweet The question that comes a lot as you write is whether what you have is ready to be published, submitted and posted. How do you know when your piece is fully baked? Sometimes you don’t know until you send it off and realized in excitement you sent it off prematurely. Sometimes you wait too long until you’ve poked and prodded it so much that what you have is a shriveled shell of the original manuscript. This quick writing tip helps me in the words of Kenny Rogers: “know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em” It’s also the same rule of thumb I use on the rare…

  • Two Books That’ll Make You a Better Writer

    Tweet These two books are taking real estate on my nightstand. After finding so many gems, I wondered how I could have possibly grown as a fiction and nonfiction writer without it. If you’re looking for fresh reads to give you a new perspective on your writing, you might want to add these to your reading list. Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write with Confidence by William Kenower If you want to grow as a writer, at some point you’re going to need to get deep. This is particularly the case if you’re writing fiction or a personal essay. But frankly any piece that’s good requires a bit…

  • How Fiction Healed Me

    Tweet I’ve always been a storyteller. I should say, “I’ve always told stories.” This was to the chagrin of my elementary school classmates who hid from me because they couldn’t stand to hear yet another story. You would think this would clue me into my lifelong dream of writing fiction especially when I have a blog all about finding your purpose. But so it is with things that are precious to you. You build walls around it as you get older so no one can touch it. As I began taking writing courses to fulfill my degree in English literature, I started hearing the words of my classmates or people…

  • Local Hawaii Writer Turned Successful Fiction Author

    Tweet I’ve devoted a decade to nonfiction writing, but my love for reading and writing began with fiction. This is the first of what I hope will be many posts on the art of fiction writing. And it’s a good one! I’m pretty proud of this girl! I met her when I started my first local writing group and she’s been supportive, and helpful in her advice, feedback and edits. While other members have gone off to complete manuscripts, she is the only one I know who has not only finished a book, but published it in a short amount of time with amazing success. It’s climbing the Amazon charts…

  • A Writer Reader Q & A

    Tweet Once in awhile, I’ll get an email from a writer curious about the writing life. I thought this was a particularly good one and asked if I could share it here. Here’s her question and my thoughts on how she can build her portfolio while she’s starting out and what’s really blocking her from writing success. Q: I’m a novice writer and I found your website while I was looking for examples of good online portfolios.  I have the opportunity to have a web designer make a site for me by bartering my husbands services but I have no clue how to make it look nice and I’m getting…

  • How to Handle Criticism and Rejection

    Tweet I doubt any writer is immune to the vulnerability that comes with handing over your work to someone else. It’s a brutal business this writing thing. But it’s part of what you sign up for when you decide to be a writer. Recently, my rejections have dug deep into my heartstrings only because I’m getting closer to work that means a lot to me. I’m no stranger to getting rejected for jobs, articles and essays. In fact, my email inbox is flooded with them. But when you work on something that not only takes up a lot of time (time you sacrificed with your kids), and courage to share your…

  • Why Scrappiness & Grit Are Essential to Successful Writing

    Tweet I’m going to confess something I’ve never told another soul, except my husband. My entrance into being a columnist for The Writer magazine happened in a weird, kind of embarrassing and surprising way. My gateway wasn’t my writing. It was through cartooning. I’m not a cartoonist, as you can see in the cartoon I submitted below. Here are a few reasons why I think I wasn’t jilted for my lack of obvious talent. The editor at the time was kind and open to receiving cartoon submission from a non-illustrator. I was persistent. In fact, I didn’t stop at that first embarrassing submission. I sent yet another.  3. I was scrappy…

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