On Writing

self publishing podcast

My friend Steve Scott, author of more than 40 books, just launched a new podcast for writers who are self publishing podcastinterested in self-publishing. Each episode is a gem – short, to-the-point, and totally BS-free. Questions range from using pen names to building an author platform – and almost everything you can think of in between.

Follow the information below to subscribe (free) to the podcast and to submit your own questions.

Here are a three ways to get started with this podcast:

#1. Check Out SPQ on iTunes

SPQ is live on iTunes with 12 episodes ready to go.  Here’s the direct link to the content:


If you like the content, then please take a minute to do the following:

Vector comic book explosion elements for your design

Over the years I’ve tried many things; some were successful, others were disasters. But none were a waste of my time. As writers, we all want our writing to be beautiful and our books or other writing projects to be a success. But over time, some things are going to fail – and I think it’s important to realize that those “failures” are really successes in disguise because each is a valuable experience. Plus, you’ll never find the success you dream of unless you’re willing to take risks – and that’s what this post is all about.

Years ago I was an avid Mah Jong player. The mother of one of my friends used to live in Singapore and when she came back to the States she brought us all Mah Jong sets and taught us how to play Singapore style. Because the audience for Singapore-style Mah Jong was so huge (ha!) I wrote and published a newsletter titled The Wriggly Snake – the name based on one of the “fancy hands” of the game. I think I had four or five readers. Fun to write, but a commercial flop. Crash and burn.

My writing friends – I’ve decided to use each Monday as an opportunity to post a thought-provoking quote and write a few words about how I see the idea coloring my writing week. Let me know what you think about this idea.

creativity and writing

I’ve written a lot of really bad stuff over the years, and tossed the majority. I’ve also come to understand that allowing myself to make mistakes (or, as one of my readers said: allow yourself to be terrible) is a more valuable piece of advice than I could have predicted.

I remember sitting on the steps of my patio years ago, reading the opening paragraph of an article I was writing for Astronomy magazine.  As I reworked and reworked the graph, I realized that the only thing I had accomplished was editing the heart out of the piece. The words were perfectly fine and perfectly correct, but the feeling – the “getting it” – was gone. I had allowed myself to make mistakes but I hadn’t known which of them to keep. By discarding all of the words, I’d thrown away the blood.

I worked hard to get some creativity back into the opening paragraphs and this is what I ended up creating. (It was written about visiting Meteor Crater in Arizona)

flash non-fiction

Sometimes we need to back away from a project, plan, book, idea . . . and give it time to be.

I recently spent two weeks working on a rough draft for a mystery novella. At the end of the two weeks I thought “this is such crap, what was I thinking?” Guess what? I re-read the draft two weeks later and thought “hey, this isn’t half bad!”. It was the same writing, the same approach, the same talent . . . why the difference?

Time and distance.

If you’re feeling like your work isn’t good enough . . . be a little like those sea gulls and just float away. You can return, but not today.