Writing Craft Hack: Edit in Layers

Here’s my nerdy little secret: I love editing. It’s sooooo much easier than writing. Editing means that someone else has done the heavy lifting of imagining and I get to pick all those words and paragraphs apart and put them back together–better, faster, stronger. I love a good critique. With practice I have become a very good editor. If I do say so myself. Editing, or any other component of the craft of writing, is not about talent. Editing really and truly is a skill you can practice and perfect.

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The One Reason Writing Time is Never Wasted

Writing can feel like a colossal waste of time. Certainly there are better things you could be doing. Like dusting the blinds, clearing your inbox, or picking off your gel nail polish. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Similar to home improvement, writing inevitably takes at least three times longer than we think it should.

Just because writing can take a long time, does not mean that the time is wasted, or frittered, or lost.

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Get Paid to Write in 2018

Are you ready to turn your scribbles into something more?

I’m a believer that once you get paid to write, you’ll write better and more often. Cash money has a way of motivating us like that.

In addition to simply giving you more practice, writing for money, on deadline, to spec, also develops your ability to connect with a specific audience and slant your content in different ways. Writing for money helps you see your work as something you do not something you are, which can be an important distinction when trying to shut down that Dark Chatter that whispers we can’t.

We know we can. So let’s DO in 2018.

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Who Do You Think You Are?

I’m pretty sure you have something to say. Why else would you spend your most valuable resource– your time– wiggling your fingers over the keyboard, searching for just the right way to express the latest thought trying to get out of your head?

If you are drawn to write, or speak, or post, or update, there’s a reason. Just because you don’t yet fully understand that reason yet does not make it any less real or important. Have a little faith that your desire to write is not a curse, but a blessing you will figure out.


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Everything Starts with Your Wild & Crazy Why

Writing is hard. No point in denying it. Writing is lonely, messy, and ultimately terrifying when you finally put your words out into the world for all to criticize.

Not to mention, writing can be really boring. For every clever turn of phrase and brilliant-if-I-do-say-so-myself word choice, there are dozens of hours battling with the blank page and wrangling complex ideas into line. The editing never ends, especially not after you’ve hit publish on a post or committed ink to paper.

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Are You a Dreamer or an Author?

Only a select few can be writers and authors. That’s true, but not for the reasons you might think. Writing and publishing a book doesn’t take much talent, as some reviewers of my books would agree. What it takes is commitment and effort. Writing a book takes good old fashioned work ethic, and the courage to face your insecurities. Aside from that, it’s all just the wiggling of the fingers.

Do you have a message to share? Or just a dream you can’t shake? Here’s how to go from dreamer to author.

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2017 Writing Goal: Commitment

writers workshop

I’m really good at setting a goal and achieving it. Especially a writing goal. Last December I decided I wanted 2016 to be all about writing, actual writing, the act of writing. I wanted a more consistent practice because even when I don’t know what I’m writing exactly, I know good things come from my writing. Even when those good things seem to have nothing to do with writing.

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Take the Shot


I ran a 5K last month. It was one of those gorgeous October Sundays that remind me why I love Arkansas.

In the romantic amber glow of the early morning, I kept my pace, watching the cows watch me. During the first mile I saw several perfect photo opps– trees, baled hay, broken down fences. In that light, everything is prettier. Slowly pushing forward, I understood why my dad likes to sneak off with his camera before dawn. He catches scenes like this just after sunrise, when the light is like magic, casting everything in hope.

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Spiders and Blank Pages


When I was four years old, we had chickens and I collected the eggs. One morning when I got to the coop, wet up to the knee from dew on the tall grass, I met the Most Terrifying Beast. There was no way the eggs would make it into my pretty Easter basket with that sparkly web and its horrifying inhabitant hanging around.

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