Writing at the time of coronavirus

No, it is not the “ideal” time to be writing, nor one when there is suddenly “no excuse” to not be writing. Neither is it the only opportunity you’ll get to finish that novel, nor the time to be “making the most” of a lockdown by willing creativity to flow from your fingertips and chastising …

Ebook distribution services

Not for the first time in my freelance career I have writing advisor and author Simon Whaley to thank! It was he who suggested, in a previous post on his brilliant The Business of Writing blog, that writers who’ve self-published ebooks through Amazon should consider widening their distribution through other networks. The prospect of doing …

Should you compile your own index?

These last few days I have been indexing one of my health books. Actually, I have been re-indexing it, because I have updated the 2015 version of the book for a brand new second edition to be published in 2020, and the addition of new material and an amended layout has resulted in more pages, …

Knobbly monsters

Do you know what a knobbly monster is? Having just a few weeks ago come across the term, I’m not ashamed to say that until then I hadn’t a clue — and this, two decades into a career in journalism and writing. So on the basis that surely I can’t be the only one, here’s …

A trilogy of writing error …

I’d long been envisaging an eventual collection of four books in the Mistakes Writers Make series …. followed in future, perhaps, by a sequence of more specific titles written by other writing advisors — such as 50 Mistakes Travel Writers Make, 50 Mistakes Parenting Writers Make, and so on. More about those future titles later …

Lists of writing competitions

My list of writing competitions for non-fiction writers had been getting a little unwieldy of late, so I decided to separate it into three distinct lists: * one dedicated to UK / Ireland / Europe — click here;* one dedicated to US / Canada — click here; * and one dedicated to Australia / New …

Rejection for writers

In the first of my writing guidebooks, 50 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make, I wrote the following: Rejection means you’re doing things — you’re writing ideas, you’re writing articles — and getting them looked at. It means you’re getting out there … And a line or two later: Rejection isn’t winning, I know, but it isn’t …

When can you call yourself a writer?

When I tutored writing students, I would get asked this question regularly. When can I call myself a writer? It’s not a straightforward one to answer. Yet on social media, I periodically see established writers be bluntly dogmatic about it: “If you write you’re a writer!” they insist. “End of!” Except no, not ‘end of’ …

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