Level up your writing (by reading books)

  I’ve got a great analogy for you guys. When I was young and in shape and totally not dorky or weird at all, I rode dirt bikes every day. My dad would pick up my sister and me from school, bikes in the back of the truck, and we would head out to the dirt bike track and ride around until it got dark. It was the BEST! But then eventually I made some friends and started realizing my fun putting around didn’t really match up. I was slow, and they were fast. I wanted to be faster. I…

Using Instagram as a Writer

If you’ve been following me for more than five minutes, you’ll know I’m a huge believer in being a person online. I absolutely can’t stand the mindset of an author marketing themselves in the form of spam on every social media outlet. If someone wants to buy your book, they will. Asking them 10 times a day in the form of a Tweet or post will not make them buy your book. The best way to connect with readers and other writers is simple: be a person. Just a living, breathing, book loving, book writing, person. The old adage to…

How to Wait

I once read an article that estimated that humans spend one third of their lives waiting. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for service, etc. If you’re a writer, you wait longer than that. You wait in the query trenches, you wait in the submission trenches, you wait for your book to be published. You wait for ideas to come to you and you wait for plot holes to work themselves out. So how do you get through the waiting without letting it drive you crazy? I’ve made a handy list. How to Wait Know before you go into…

How I outline a novel

Admittedly, I started out as a pantser, (one who writes by the seat of their pants, with no regards to outline or planning) but that was many years ago, and I am now firmly an outliner. Some authors argue that outlining a novel strips creativity away and leaves no room for making up some magic along the way. To that I say: writing a book is really freaking hard even if you’ve previously decided what happens in each chapter and trust me, there’s 70+ thousands of words for you to add some magic during the process. Okay, let’s begin. I follow…

On Writing and Publishing

Recently, my writer/vlogger friend Avianne was asking me questions about writing & publishing, and since they were pretty great questions, I got her permission to use them for a blog post. Check out her lovely blog here: http://www.xoavianne.com and I’d like to thank her for letting me ramble on about myself, seeing as that’s one of my favorite things to do. 😉 Onto the questions! What does a average day consist of for you?  I’ve been a full time writer for 1 year and 6 months. (And yes, I’m counting! It was the greatest job transition of my life.) The absolute best…

Naming Characters in Unscientific Ways

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a book is coming up with all of the names. Character names, town names, store names. I wanted to write a blog post about how I go about this process, but after thinking about it, I realized I have no scientific method for naming. As so many creative endeavors go, it’s all just stuff I think up randomly. So here’s your advice: There is no advice! (Kidding, sort of.) I still remember writing my first book, Motocross Me, in 2008. The main character’s name, Hana, kind of came to me instantly, so I went…

Writing with an Alphasmart

I’ve posted a few photos of my Alphasmart Neo on social media lately and many authors always ask about it. Some have even said they like the idea of one, but it seems too hard. Seriously, it can’t get any EASIER than the Alphasmart. So I made this post to show you all how it’s done. The Alphasmart Neo is a typing device. That’s all it does. You type on it and it saves your text (up to 10,000 words) on up to 8 files. Then, you upload it to your computer. Most people have seen these in elementary schools…