7 Ways to Make It Easy for Publishers to Offer You a Book Contract

Because . . . Why Make It Hard?

Recently my wife texted me while I was at work just after a snow storm. “We started to shovel,” she said, “but it’s too much. Can you blow it?” “I’d love to!” I replied. I wasn’t being sarcastic. I love operating my snowblower, not least because it makes an otherwise grueling job a relatively simple one. […]

The One Crippling Fear Every Writer Faces

What It Is and How to Overcome It

What’s your deepest fear?” That’s the question I asked in a recent survey of writers and other creatives, and following were some of the responses: “That people will see the real me and discover it’s not all that great.” “That my voice (in writing) will not be valued or desired. “ “The fear of rejection […]

Why Every Artist Needs a Confession Booth

Naming Our Truths as Creative People

You’ve just stepped into a confession booth, but don’t worry: I’m not a priest, and you don’t have to share your sins with me. This is a different kind of confession. I want to know your deepest fears and greatest hopes as a writer, artist, musician, leader, designer, or other creative role. What’s your deep […]

How the Right Mindset Leads Writers to Success

And How the Wrong Mindset Is Bad for Everybody, Especially Writers

Recently we had to send out the dreaded “OP” letter again. It goes something like this: Dear Author and Agent: We are writing to inform you that due to low marketplace demand for your book, we have decided to discontinue keeping it in stock. Sincerely, The Publisher “OP,” in other words, stands for “out of […]

Everything You Need to Know about Listening to Music While Writing

Sharing the Results from my “Writers and Music” Survey

First of all, thanks so much for your willingness to fill out my “Writers and Music” survey. (If you haven’t yet and you’re willing to help writers everywhere with two minutes of your time, click here.) This survey and blog post were born of my own curiosity. I regularly listen to music while I’m writing, […]

How to Write Your Book and Blog at the Same Time

7 Strategies for Succeeding at Both

Think of a drummer in a rock band. Somehow she manages to keep that bass drum going while rat-a-tat-tatting on all the snares and cymbals above. That’s what we want to do with our blogs and books. We want to keep our blogs dynamic and lively, releasing new posts regularly, while at the same time […]

4 “Aha!” Strategies for Enhancing Your Writing

Simple Steps for Creating Epiphany Moments for Your Readers

Few videos are more mesmerizing to me than those that feature people who go from not being able to do something to suddenly doing it. In the following video, for example, an older colorblind man puts on special glasses and is able to see color for the first time. This is a beautiful example of […]

5 Ways Stories Can Make Your Writing Irresistible

Discovering the Many Forms of Narrative

The one thing all good writers have in common is the ability to tell stories. Stories draw us in. And when we read good stories from a particular author, we want to go back when that author tells more stories. It’s as if a transaction is always occurring just below the surface between author and […]

5 Ways Writing Can Increase Intimacy between You and Your Spouse

Inviting Your Spouse into the Creative Process

My friend and coworker started off our premarried class by proclaiming to a room full of optimistic but naïve engaged and dating couples, “MARRIAGE IS HARD, AND YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!” While the chances of death for each of us continues to clock in at a solid 100 percent, all married couples know the […]

3 Questions to Help You Bust Through Creative Blocks

A Little Story about Choosing to Do Your Art

Last summer a friend and I went to an outdoor concert at Frederick Meijer Gardens here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have an amphitheater there, a large stage up front with a leaf-shaped canopy and terraced grass-covered seating for a thousand or more. A lovely venue. The local band was pretty good, but I don’t […]