5 Questions to Ask Your Family and Friends during the Holidays

How to Start an Engaging Conversation

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Holidays can be tough. It sounds counterintuitive perhaps, but it’s true. Sometimes holidays remind us of people or events that used to be here and now for whatever reason are not. Sometimes holidays bring us into such close contact with people who are important to us, just the closeness can create tension. Often the travel involved can be […]

How to Get Publishers to Beg for Your Book

Why Platform and List-Building Are So Important

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I’ve been reviewing book proposals for well over a decade, and I’ve noticed that for the most part proposals fall into one of two categories. Either publishers fight each other to publish your book, or they don’t give it much attention at all. That’s an oversimplification, but not as much as you might think. For […]

Answer This One Question and You Will Live a Better Story

Reflections on the Storyline Conference

"Ben stiller2" by Jerry Avenaim - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Why do we go to movies?” he asked the audience. “Escape!” someone shouted. “An experience!” “Yes,” the speaker said, “we go for those reasons, but we also go for clarity.” I’m here in Chicago for Donald Miller’s Storyline conference as I write this, and I think Don nails it in the above exchange. We go to […]

5 Reasons Christians Should Love Celebrating Halloween

photo credit: Happy Pumpkin via photopin (license)

Did you know Halloween is a religious holiday? It is! The term “Halloween” itself is a shortened form of “All Hallow’s Eve.” That word “hallow” is the same one that appears in The Lord’s Prayer: “hallowed be Thy name.” The noun form refers to a holy person or saint. All Hallow’s Eve is just a fancy way […]

16 Proven, Powerful Methods to Grow Your Email List

And Why List-Building Is the Best Way to Build Your Platform by Far

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I’ve got a platform,” writers sometimes tell me. “I’m on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve got a blog.” But here’s the litmus test for whether you have a platform: If a publisher sent a pallet of books to your garage, how many of them could you move on the strength of your own connections? This question puts […]

What if the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Writing Has Nothing to Do with Your Writing?

Why You Should Take an Ecosystems Approach to Your Writing

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We write who we are. Or at the very least, we write from who we are. In the same way that beautiful gardens and happy productive children don’t just happen, neither does good writing. All of these are products of an environment. How’s Your Writing Ecosystem? So what if you took an ecosystems approach to […]

How to Get Your Book Written Once and for All

7 Benefits of Writing a Nonfiction Book Proposal

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Do you have a nonfiction book idea? If you’re reading this, chances are you do. But here’s the thing. This idea you have is not guaranteed to become anything. If you don’t do something with it, in time your idea will fade away. And maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s not an idea you care very much […]

Give Me 79 Seconds — And I’ll Help You Stay Motivated on Your Passion Project

The Unique Power of a "Why" Statement

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Wait, what? We need to stay motivated on our passion projects? Yes! No matter how much we love what we’re doing, we get tired. Or we get distracted. Or both! In this 79-second video I share an essential tool for creatives…

Why Even New Bloggers Should Make Building a Team a Priority

Guest Post from Rebecca Livermore


If you’re fairly new to blogging, the thought of building a team may never have even crossed your mind. After all, blogging is a solitary endeavor, right? Well, yes, it is. Except when it isn’t. I contend that the best blogs – including brand new ones – are never built alone. They grow exponentially with the […]

How to Get a Book Deal When You Don’t Have a Platform

The Introverted Artist's Way of Getting Published and Other Advice for Writers

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When my wife read my blog post about the importance of platform and Google search ranking for writers, she replied, “It makes me sad. I wish platform/Google weren’t so paramount.” She spoke for legions of writers, I expect. “Why can’t I just write a good book?” “I’m a writer, not a marketer. Why do I have to be both?” […]