Category: on writing

If you liked The Bachelorette, then you'll really like...

Every time you walk into a bookstore (or head over to Amazon) you are carrying a rose boutonniere in your hand. Millions of authors are lined up anxiously awaiting your decision. The big names are all in the front. Mark Twain. Sheryl Sandberg. Omarosa. I’m standing there in the way back like Joe the Grocer, hoping... Read more »

Medium Rare turns 200: I need to change my fuel

I was running late for work. We had a 9 o’clock meeting and I hopped on the Divvy bike at about 8:50. My bike ride, at best, is 15 minutes long; and that’s if I’m channeling my inner Lance Armstrong. Even then, I’d still be showing up ten minutes late. As I was riding down Halsted,... Read more »

John Rambo gave me writer's block

I have somehow managed to avoid writer’s block for almost three years. It’s something that I know exists, I’ve felt it before, and I fear it the way an athlete worries about tearing an ACL. The last time I had writer’s block was back in April of 2015. My solution at that time was to literally open... Read more »
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Fifty shades of fear: Why it took me so long to publish

I talk about spending eight to nine years writing my novel Toilet Bowl, but that’s not really accurate. It wasn’t like I was waking up every day for almost a decade putting in a consistent three hours of work. There were spurts, then gaps, then spurts again. Two years ago I developed more of a strict everyday... Read more »

Toilet Bowl took me nine years to write. Here's what I learned

Never listen to anyone who says writing a book is easy. That they have figured out a miraculous process that makes the whole experience quick and painless. That you could knock a novel out in a few hours of spare time. That type of advice is about as reliable as overnight abs or a recipe for the best-microwaved lasagna. The... Read more »

Who invented the urinal cake?

When I was a kid, I assumed the girls’ bathroom had couches, reclining chairs, and a butler carrying a tray of Capri Sun champagne flutes. Groups of girls would go in there, together, three, four at a time and stay behind that mysterious door for ten/fifteen minutes. Why so much time? My only conclusion: it... Read more »
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Writing has a marketing problem

Writing used to be easy. Remember in kindergarten, the teacher would say, “Just write a story.” And you’d sit down with a crayon and let it flow. The story would end up being ridiculous; it would jump around from a kid walking down the street in sentence one to a dragon in outer space by sentence three. Words... Read more »

Blog runs too long? Turn it into an ebook

I don’t understand how the internet works. I don’t understand why bananas give me heartburn, but Buffalo wings do not. And I still don’t understand why it’s a struggle to get Crash to eat his dog food, but yet he will lunge for every stray piece of goose poop on the sidewalk. Sometimes it’s best... Read more »

Literary Agents aren't dead, so here's what I'm gonna do

Because I’m still young and dumb, I’ll sometimes make young and dumb decisions at my job. Granted, these decisions are bold moves, and they haven’t blown up in my face (yet), but when I look back on my list, I feel kind of ashamed; like seeing an old Facebook post that I thought was a... Read more »
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Literary agents aren't dead: Shark Tank for books

The publishing landscape is rapidly changing. In the past, any aspiring author needed a publisher and landing a publisher almost always required a literary agent. This has changed with the rise of self-publishing, BUT it’s important to keep things in perspective. I’m writing this series (part one here) to give ideas to writers (including myself)... Read more »