About the blog
All writers, aspiring and experienced, make mistakes. When starting out, it’s how we all learn. But some new writers are stifled by the fear of making mistakes, are embarrassed by them when they do make them, and lose heart when they’re told about them.
This blog is mostly about writing mistakes both large and small – and why each and every one is valuable. It’s about embracing those mistakes, learning from them, and converting weaknesses into strengths. It’s about appreciating that mistakes are better viewed as positives rather than negatives, and that each one has something fresh to teach you. Ultimately, it’s about writing great non-fiction for magazines, papers, the web and beyond.
The blog is supplemented with regularly updated market news, market listings, non-fiction competitions, and other useful resources – find these through the menu along the top.
To find what you’re looking for among the blog posts, use the categories section in the right hand column.
I’m Alex Gazzola, a writer with almost twenty years’ experience of working for magazines, newspapers and web. I specialise in health – specifically in food allergies and food intolerances – and am the author of several books in these subjects.
I am also a tutor for the Writers Bureau (albeit presently on sabbatical), and the author of two books of writing advice – 50 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make, and 50 More Mistakes Beginner Writers Make – available on ebook for Kindle.
Feedback, news and suggestions are always welcome… You can also contact me through my personal website here.
“Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.” Henry Ford
“If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing anything.” Susan Sarandon
“Give your mistakes the respect they deserve, learn what they have to teach, and they will propel you forward” Ralph Marston
“Sometimes all that saves me is being willing to make mistakes. There are projects that strike me as so beautiful, important, complicated or just plain big, that they convince me of my own inadequacy. This awful state of reverence leads to paralyzing brain freeze. Times like that the only way out is for me to decide, ‘To hell with it. I can’t do it right, so I’ll do it wrong. I can’t do it well, but I can do it badly.’ Sometimes, with luck, while I’m sweating to do it wrong, I stumble on a right way.” Katherine Dunn
Why don’t you cover fiction or poetry?
A few reasons. Principally, because there are many resources out there already for both, and I feel non-fiction is underserved. Over 90% of books published are non-fiction, and I expect a greater percentage of the material in newspapers and magazines is non-fiction too. Yet there are very few resources devoted exclusively to non-fiction and its writers. Also – I don’t write fiction or poetry and know little about either. I only tutor and write non-fiction.
That said, some of the resources, links and markets listed on this blog cover fiction too, so I hope that if these are additional writing interests of yours, you can find your way to the information you need.
Why is there nothing for North American writers?
There is a bit. A lot of the links and the resources given in the Finding Markets article are North American, and I do include US and Canadian non-fiction writing competitions too. Again, though, there are vast resources online for writers in this area, and I think Mistakes Writers Make would become to unmanageable if I tried to cover this vast market. Another reason is that most of my students are based in UK, Ireland, Europe, Africa or Asia.
A blog about mistakes – isn’t that really negative?
I hope not, no! It’s about the positives that come from the negatives, if you like.
Copyright in all written text material (articles, posts etc) belongs to me (excepting Guest Posts). If you’d like to quote short extracts on your blog, all I ask is you include a link and credit (and please let me know). A longer extract – please get in touch through my personal website here.
Markets and links and the rest are included in good faith – and are checked and updated regularly – but I cannot be held responsible or liable for mistakes or for material and information slipping out of date. Similarly, I disclaim liability for the content or functionality of external websites or products mentioned, and cannot compensate users for losses or damages related to the use of material on this website.
This is a personal blog, and the opinions and views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my various employers. The content is not intended to malign any group, organisation or individual.
I’m not responsible and cannot be held liable for material posted through other parties via the comments function. I reserve the right to edit or delete comments which I deem to be offensive, obscene, potentially libellous, or other nasty things.