Category Archives: Writing Challenges

For the Love of Bringing Books to Life: Write, Publish, and Be Known

How Your Lack of Credentials May Be Your Greatest Author Asset


Kari Vernon, a participant in my Bring Your Book to Life Program, called today to thank me for facilitating several breakthroughs this week while she’s been on retreat working hard on her book. “But I still feel I have to make up for not being an expert in my field. I’m thinking I need a logo, marketing materials–and I need to make them really good to make up for my lack of mainstream credentials.” So, I told her a story about when my husband needed back surgery. I secured him an appointment with the top doctor at one of the[...]


How to Write a Book: How to Get Started and Other Beginner Challenges

book writing teleseminar

Wow, we had TONS of fantastic questions for Tuesday’s Jump Start Your Book Call (224 questions and comments all together). Today’s Topic is How to Write a Book: How to get started and answers to other beginner challenges. You can also read my earlier post answering questions on how to write a memoir. If you don’t find your question here, feel free to ask again below as a comment. Please hold questions on publishing, book marketing, promotion, editing, etc. as I will answer them in a forthcoming post. For now the topic is how to get started writing a book[...]


Ayad Akhtar Shares Advice for Writers at URI Ocean State Summer Writing Conference

author writer ayad akhtar

What a treat to attend the University of Rhode Island’s Ocean State Summer Writing Conference as both participant and panelist this past week! Dr. Mary Cappello‘s moving introduction of the first keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright and Novelist Ayad Akhtar, included a twenty-year-old piece of homework she had saved from when Ayad had been her student at URI. She’d been moved by the depth of his work diagramming a poem–in far more depth than the assignment had called for.  Akhtar’s advice for writers included: – Write Every Day: Find a word count to live by. Akhtar pointed out that[...]

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No Book Clarity? No Audience? No Platform? Do Not Overlook Your Gifts!

Tropical Island Paradise

A strong theme this week has been clients bemoaning their lack of… * Platform * A catchy title * Clarity on tone or direction …only to realize the incredible potential that lay beneath the surface—and in each case, the amazing foundation they had in place to build upon: *  The client who bemoaned she had no platform and sent me a mock up for a website unlikely to draw many fans due to a lack of focus: I discovered that she had a 20,000 person mailing list for her “other business” and pointed out a way to merge an event[...]

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Happy Spilled Milk Day?


There’s Earth Day, Grandparents Day, National Pancake Day—but did you know that today happens to be National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day? What does this have to do with writing a book? Spilled milk:  accidents happen—no need to stress. And as a writer, I’m sure you have your share of days where you feel you’ve made writing mistakes: My editor told me I have the wrong target audience…” My outline is too short… My book has already been written… I wrote the wrong book… After all that polishing, this chapter doesn’t fit in the book anymore… The good news[...]

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