Announcements and an Excerpt from This Isn’t A Writer’s Guide

Just a few announcements this week. The excerpt from my upcoming book will follow.

  • My first book about writing, publishing date TBA
    • Title: This Isn’t a Writer’s Guide (It’s a Writer’s Machete)
    • For: new or returning writers
    • Idea: There’s a lot of information out there about how to be a better writer, but very few actually talk about the gritty reality all creatives face. Finding time to write, coming to terms with the idea versus reality of being a writer, the seemingly never-ending debate of self-publishing versus legacy publishing, not to mention what readers expect from writers in the year 2016 – all of these topics, and more, will be addressed in my upcoming book. Excerpt below!
  • New Event – Navigating the Narrative: Making the Most of Character Arcs
    • Link: WoP Event Calendar for Navigating the Narrative
    • Date: October 16, 2016; starts @ 1 pm (EDIT: originally started at 11:00am – now starting at 1)
    • Location: Philadelphia, PA – Walnut Street West Philadelphia Free Library (40th and Market)
    • This is a FREE event open to any writer who can make the trip to the Walnut Street West branch of the Philadelphia Free Library. There will be a seminar, a Q&A session, and also a chance to meet fellow writers.
  • NaNoWriMo Municipal Liason
    • Last year was my first year officially being an ML for the Philadelphia NaNoWriMo Region (I’d been an active assistant to the previous MLs for over 3 years), and I’m happy to announce that I’ve been reaccepted for November 2016 alongside Peter Dawes and Elayna Mae Darcy. The Trio is open for business!


In lieu of a full blog post this week, I’m sharing the begging of This Isn’t a Writer’s Guide. This book is still in development, so feedback is welcome!

Excerpt from Chapter One: Help! I Think I’m A Writer

Step 1: Celebrate, You are Awesome

Writing is a creative pursuit, one form of artistic expression. No matter what you hear, the world needs more writers. It needs more creatives in general. Telling stories, drawing pictures, photographing the world, playing or composing music, even coding video games… There can never be too many of us.

I think it’s important to note that your stories can’t be told by anyone other than you. Every person – writer or not – experiences this world in a way that is unique to them. No two writers can develop identical stories in the same way that no two people could live an identical life. Your stories matter.

There’s no test for being a writer. The only prerequisite is being able to communicate in writing, which has nothing to do with skill, experience, or even vocabulary. Presumably, you’re reading this book, which means you are versed in some version of the written language, this one being English. That’s pretty much the only thing you need to know going in.

It’s worth noting before you read further that this book is for fiction writers. I’m sure there are some useful tidbits that apply to poets or non-fiction writers too, but my target audience isn’t quite that broad. (There’s a vocabulary chapter that will explain terms like ‘target audience’ on the chance that their meaning isn’t entirely clear from the usage context.)

Now that you’re on board for accepting the idea that you might be a fiction writer, let’s talk about what that means, exactly. Moving on to step two…

Step 2: Panic, Quietly

You’re a creative! That means needing to buy a new artsy wardrobe, drink lots of coffee, and possibly secure a therapist for all the torturous experiences you’ll have needed to experience to be able to claim that title.

Or you could just be you.

Writers come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. There will be other writers who have your background, but none of them are you. Some might have advantages – like good schools, maybe even a college degree in fine arts – but none of those things are necessary to becoming a writer.

Being a writer is an uphill battle because being a creative is an uphill battle. There are commercial ways to making a living as a creative – journalism, technical writing, graphic design, event photography, to name a few – but most of them are not what we refer to when talking about being a creative.

What is the most common question you have about writing, editing, or publishing? Is there a particular topic that you’d find helpful for me to address? Have you been writing over the summer months? Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo? The comments are always open, and feedback is encouraged. Thanks for reading!

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