Category Archives: Self Publishing

NANOWRIMO comes to an end

Today is the final day of NANOWRIMO, the month-long challenge to pen a novel. While I didn’t participate, I had loads of fun cheering others on and such. Did you meet your goals? Tell me if your did.

If you’d like, tell me what your novel is about. I’d love to help. And now that you’re done, check out my posts of querying… you know, after you revise heavily. Again and again and again and again and did I mention revise?

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Why Is It Important to Read the Masters

I recently looked on Litreactor.com, thinking about enrolling in one of their highly effective creative writing classes which include lectures and critiques from the country’s top authors. Unfortunately, it costs $395, a jaw-dropping amoung for an online class. In my opinion, anyways.

Who needs fancy smancy classes when you have books, though, right?

There’s a reason you spend hours and hours deciphering the writing styles of classics. You can use those same skills to analyze the styles and techniques of other writers you like. And yeah, USE them. Now, that doesn’t mean copy the style of your favorite author. But certain techniques are universal and can only be learned. You learn to write well by reading well.

Read good books. Write good books.

This works just as well any writing class.

If you convince yourself that by reading, you’re actually “working,” you feel less bad about reading all day and night. It has actually vastly increased my reading time. Now I can comfortably read and feel like I’m working on perfecting my craft. Which I, in fact, am.

If you’re a blogger only, read other people’s blogs. Subscribe and comment. And if you’re feeling especially generous, start with mine?

NANOWRIMO: Stop Writing!!!! Just… Stop.

It’s almost that time of year again! When all of your friends say “Hey, I should write a novel!”

Naturall, National Novel Writing Month… or NANOWRIMO: http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Obviously, it’s my favorite time of the year because I lose my superiority of being the “writer” type among my friends. During the month of November, everyone is a writer.

The best thing to do, obviously, is dissuade every young person from writing. Because, honestly, there are too many writers and books, already, right? Why can’t we just take some time off from writing books? There are already too many to read. We can resume in thirty or forty years.

For the next thirty days, I challenge you to discourage your friends to write! No, seriously! Whether they have a blog or are working on a novel or even if they were poets… discourage them from making any literary progress at all. You too should stop writing. Just stop.

No… just stop writing. There are probably so many books already published that yours won’t even matter. It won’t make a dent in anyone’s life. It will sit anonymously, lonely on a shelf in some rundown used book store. It will sell out of print and not be re-printed. Haven’t we exhausted the explanation of the human spirit by now? I mean, really? Haven’t we?

If you are an aspiring writer, I implore you with a full heart to stop trying. Put down your pen, close your laptop, burn your journals, shred your poems, forget your stories.

Why don’t you go do something more productive? Where will writing get you?

You could catch up on Season 15 of South Park instead. You could weave a basket:  aren’t baskets better than books? And believe me, you will have an easier time selling a basket than a book.

Well, there is an off-chance you’ll write something semi-good. And sure, it won’t change the world, but it might change one person. It might speak to just one little human being. What you write about, how you write, they might be affected by that. They might finally be able to verbalize their feelings through your immaculate paragraphs.

But you should probably not even try. It might not get you anywhere. Sure, you CAN change the world, but what’s the point, right?

Failing Math? On the Bright Side…

How I Write

Poem: Confessions of a Teenage Slacker

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Fun With Poetry

Skinny Dipping with Strangers: Hip-Hop Remix

Derek Berry’s Collected Works: Coming Soon

Poem: Ode to the ‘Stache