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Tips, Inspiration, & Resources

7 Myths About Novelists

[Image courtesy of The British Library, from The Novels of Captain Marryat, page 208]

Let's bust up the seven biggest myths about novelists. If you're a novelist, an aspiring novelist, a devourer of novels, or all of the above, may the following illuminate, encourage, and inspire you.

 

I spent much of my life buying into all those "Truths" about novelists. Some of them were assumptions I made over a lifetime of reading novels, and others I picked up from various books and blogs on writing.

 

When I started writing, I figured that if I didn't fit into one of those so-called Truths I'd read about, there had to be something wrong with me. It took me a long time to realize that it wasn't a question of right or wrong; rather it's that what works for another novelist might not work for me, and vice versa. Read More 

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Writing Your Author Bio Without Blushing

Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

Most of us have no problem telling others, in detail, about what our dearest friend has accomplished. We can easily help that friend write a resumé or a dating profile or even rattle off their perfections while introducing them at a gathering. When it comes to singing our own praises, however, we can get tongue-tied. It may embarrass us. It may confuse us. It may leave us with absolutely nothing to say.

 

And then there's that author bio we're supposed to write for our book proposal. And the shortened form of it that's supposed to go on our agent query letters. How do we break through the wall of resistance and write a bio that expresses who we are and why we are the right person to write this book, that shows we are a promotable, passionate author with something to say? Read More 

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The cure for writer's block: Embracing the "I don't know"

Not knowing is supposed to be a bad thing. However, with storytelling, not knowing can be the best thing that ever happened to you.

 

Because if you surrender to the "I don't know," then anything can happen.

 

Suddenly, you're in a magical world of endless possibilities.

 

You are a kid in a playground. A park. A candy shop. A toy store. You're in a place where you can have anything you want, be anything you want, go anywhere you want, travel to any time you want. It's one big game of pretend. No limitations.

 

HOW DO YOU DO IT? HOW DO YOU GET PAST THAT BLOCKED, SCARY PLACE?

 

 

Rule number one: Don't freak out.

It'll just waste your time and make you feel worse. Know that whatever you are going through is temporary. Tell yourself that you WILL get yourself out of that blocked place. Tell yourself you have nothing to lose by trying the methods in this post. 

 

Rule number two: Step away from the vehicle.

Stop trying to turn over that engine in your head. It's flooded with too much analytical, know-it-all thinking. The know-it-all is not your friend. The know-it-all is not going to get that sentence, that page, that chapter written. Because you are going to step into the land of "I don't know." Willingly!

 

Rule number three: Decide that you are in the wonderful land of "I don't know," where magical answers appear without any effort.

If you're saying to yourself, "yeah, right," with a big dose of sarcasm, tell that naysayer voice inside to take a hike. Tell yourself that it costs you nothing to believe in the magic of "I don't know." Go ahead, just give it a try. Allow for the possibility. Suspend disbelief. You don't have to tell anyone. And what do you have to lose?

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