Improve your writing by revisiting past projects

Yesterday, I did something I never could have anticipated. When I hit a point in my current writing project where I felt stuck and stilted, I dug out a piece I put to bed a few weeks ago. I reread it.

It bolstered me. I felt awe in the creative process and appreciation in my ability to write what I meant to write. And then I wrote, wrote, wrote fueled by the proof that yes, I can do this. I've done it before. I'll do it again, and now.

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Will you commit to writing, at the bare minimum, once a week for a year?

What would happen if you committed to weekly writing? If you're anything like me, you'd find a million reasons to do anything except the hard work of meeting your most vulnerable self at your desk. That's why I created The 52-Week Project, for writers like you and me who need a nudge. This project is a free weekly email series. One writing prompt a week: That's all there is to it.

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Sneak peek of Fiction Workshop

Online workshops can be tricky to suss out. Are they going to solve your problem? Do they contain information you don't already know? Will they be worth your money?

The truth is education is ongoing, and when you've been out of the classroom, you're a lot less likely to keep up with your studies. That's one of the reasons I created Fiction Workshop: for people who are creative, know they can write well and want to write better. If you want to embrace and own your writing life, for once and for all, Fiction Workshop is for you.

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No more 2D characters in your stories (includes free worksheet!)

For longer creative writing pieces -- novellas and novels -- I find character profiles to be enormously helpful. They help give definition and breathe life into people who only exist on paper. If ever I'm unsure how a character might respond to his circumstances, I refer back to the profile I created to remind myself of who he is and what drives him. This profile acts as a blueprint for a fictional person.

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Distinguishing between your writing identity and the self

Creatives know how scarce and unreliable money can be, which is why so many opt for unrelated full-time employment so as not to put the stress of a relied-upon income on their passion. 

It’s the main reason I like giving away things for free. The 52-Week Project -- free writing prompts each week for a week -- has been a beautiful experience and so amazing to see embraced. Today, I’m really excited about another free venture: The One-Week Daily Writing Devotional.

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The #1 stumbling block in creative non-fiction

Journalists know the most important part of their writing process -- which is separate from finding subjects, scheduling interviews, asking the hard questions and researching -- is crafting a gripping lead. The beginning of a creative non-fiction piece should be enticing, provocative, a teaser, a foreshadowing and, so importantly, able to be supported by what's to come in your piece.

Once the lead is discovered, the rest of the story writes itself.

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