Expertise vs. Humility – A Writer’s Battle Royale?

[caption id="attachment_8284" align="alignright" width="300"] Expertise or humility?[/caption] You’re an expert on something. Maybe that’s one of the reasons you started writing. Unfortunately, experts tend to be a bit self-promoting and arrogant, and arrogance is a sure way to lose your readers. The opposite approach won’t work either. Timid, non-confrontational storytelling doe...

5 Steps to Telling Engaging Stories on Your Blog

The best bloggers on the planet do three things very well. I call them the 3 E's. The first two, educate and engage, are the easiest to master. But the third E, entertain, is the one that will set a blogger apart from the masses. The best way to entertain, to keep your reader glued to your page, is to tell a story. What makes a good story? The famed writer Flannery O'Connor said that a...

Does Writing Make you Feel Like a Failure or a Fraud? (How that Can Boost Your Creativity)

If writing makes you feel like a fraud or a failure, you may have experienced T. S. Eliot’s version of hell, where “nothing connects with nothing.” Good! No, I’m not crazy. And I’m not kidding. It is good. Turns out these negative feelings are an essential part of the creative process. So go ahead and wallow in them—at least for a little while. Here’s why. Be...

Amazing Advice for Aspiring Writers by Neil Gaiman

Every once in a while we get to hear great advice from someone who's actually done what we hope to do--achieve extraordinary writing success. So check out the video below. In what has been described as "one of the best commencement speeches ever, " author Neil Gaiman shares his thoughts about how build a creative life. Gaiman started his unconventional career as a jounalist and then went ...

I Paid For This?! Surviving the Editorial Letter

A guest post by Lisa Kilian of What Not To Do as a Writer There comes a time in every writer’s life when the plot is adequately twisted, the characters are adequately developed, and all the typos have been eliminated with a laser gun. You think. Actually, you’re not sure if any of that is true because you’ve been staring at the same document on your computer for so long you’re kind o...

What Helps YOU Be a Better Writer?

Photo by MontanaRaven By Mary Jaksch As writers, we're always trying to improve. Well, at least I am. Maybe you're already perfect... I'd like us all to collect a list of everything that helps us to become a better writer. Please write in the comments what helps you, or what has helped you in the past! Mary Jaksch is Chief Editor of Write to Done. You can read more articles by Mary on...

The Art vs. Craft Gap – a Writer’s Paradox

A guest post by Larry Brooks If you want to see a room full of writers go ballistic, right up there with a lynch mob on the hysteria scale, tell them there really is a formula for writing a novel.  A list of elements and criteria that define the nature of the work. They probably already know that stuff exists for screenwriters, but novels? No, novels are art.  Everybody knows that, and if ...

Five Tips (and a Bonus!) on How to Write a Fantastic About Page

By James Chartrand of Men with Pens If you're going to put your words on public display, it's your job to make that content compelling, intriguing, entertaining or informative. If it's boring... well. Suffice it to say that very few readers are going to be interested. That's why your About page has to be just as good as every other piece of content on your site. A well written About page is ...

Three Tips to Avoid Being a Boring Writer

By Mary Jaksch Do you want to be a boring writer? No, of course you don't! But how to avoid it? Do you sometimes read a piece that moves at an agonizingly slow pace? I do. Well, let me be honest here - I tend to read only the first paragraph, and then I put the boring book aside or flick over to another website. Boring is bad. Boring is slow. Enter Sol Stein. A master-editor who knows a ...

Writing Workshop: What are YOU writing?

Photo courtesy of moriza What are you working on right now: A bestseller? Your best article ever? A film script? Maybe you've just finished something you're really proud of? Or you just can't tell whether it should get a Pulitzer or be thrown into the trash? Here's your chance to share and discuss with each other what you are writing about. Remember the fantastic first writing workshop we h...