Eight Characteristics Of Serious Writers: Enthusiasm

I still get excited about my writing. After seven years on the same set of books, that sounds crazy doesn’t it? Don’t the characters get stale? Doesn’t the world get boring? Actually . . . they do. Sometimes. I have days when I’m not excited about what I’m writing. We all do. In fact, I…

Eight Characteristics Of Serious Writers: Tenacity

One of the questions that I get way too often in my life is, “How are your books coming?” It’s understandable, actually. People know I’m working on a book series. They know I’ve been working on it for a long time—seven years, in fact. And most people aren’t aware of how slow the publishing industry…

Eight Characteristics Of Serious Writers: Empathy

When I was a teenager, I read a book with a main character that didn’t react emotionally to anything. His mentor died. His family died. Everything he had was torn away from him, and he was left running for his life from people who wanted desperately to either kill him or shove him into prison…

Eight Characteristics of Serious Writers: Curiosity

How excited am I allowed to be that we are starting a new series today? Better yet, how excited are you? Never mind, don’t answer that question. In this series, we are exploring the eight characteristics that make a good writer. I say eight, but I think we all know writing is more complicated than…

A Writer’s Life: Expectation

What keeps a writer going? That’s an interesting question. On the surface, it’s easy to rattle off a long list. Love of the story, dedication to their craft, or—as we talked about last week—determination. But I’m inclined to think that at the base of it all, whether we admit it or not, the driving force…

A Writer’s Life: Determination

If you were to ask me what quality has gotten me through eight manuscripts, a thousand edits, and seven years of ups and downs, I would immediately tell you one thing. Pure, cussed stubbornness. Or, if you want to be elegant about it: determination. In my case, they’re pretty close to the same thing. Determination…

A Writer’s Life: Waiting

No one likes to wait. Whether we’re in the movie theater, in line at the bank, or refreshing your email browser, no one enjoys that feeling. Some of us ease the wait by playing on our phones, bringing a book along, or daydreaming, but the result is the same. Time wasted. Stuck in a place we’d…

A Writer’s Life: Rejection

I’m going to confess something. My portfolio of rejection letters is still in the double digits. Under twenty, I think. Maybe even under fifteen. Probably under fifteen. Small potatoes, right? Of course, that’s not including the number of queries I’ve had go out that were simply . . . ignored. I actually had a mini…

A Writer’s Life: Discouragement

I’ve been writing for seven years. During that time, I’ve hit many, many low spots. The worst were moments of discouragement. I’m never going to make it. I’ve wasted my time. This book is never going to be published. Thoughts like these hit and hit hard when writers are burned out. It’s as if they…

A Writer’s Life: Joy

Writer, what makes you joyful? Like, singing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs joyful? So joyful that you just want to put on some crazy music and dance in your kitchen? Do you know? I actually had to think pretty hard to figure out what it was that made me that joyful. Spending quality time with people I love, flowers, music,…