The Three Writing Mindsets

in Writing Well

I write nearly every day and I have the hypothesis that there are three writing mindsets. Put simply: Raw. When I wake up from a dream, or share a meal with someone interesting, I have a surplus of ideas in my head. Often they’re strange, sometimes they’re interesting, occasionally they’re brilliant. In all cases they […]

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How I Decide What To Read

in ask berkun, Books, Writing Well

This month I’m posting every day, taking the top voted question from readers and answering it.  With 37 votes, today’s winner was: How do you decide what to read? From what I can tell, you are a voracious reader. Do you read just one book at a time, or multiple books at a time? Advantages or […]

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Why Writers Are Cranky

in Writing Well

I enjoyed this recent post, 14 Ways to Tick off a Writer, because many of these things have happened to me. My deepest thought however is that writers are a cranky bunch anyway. We’re arrogant enough to think the world needs our thoughts, despite all of the things about writing that make clear how far the […]

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Meeting the Street Poet of NYC

in On Tour, Writing Well

Selling books is hard. It’s a surprise for most writers, even experienced ones, how much harder finding people interested in your work is than writing books themselves. So last month while I was on book tour, feeling down on my luck as I walked from a lecture at the Foursquare office to another one at NYU, […]

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Working For Free: An Argument

in Business, Writing Well

Tim Krieder, author of the excellent We Learn Nothing, wrote in the NYTimes recently on why it’s a mistake to work for free, in an article called Slaves of the Internet Unite. I don’t agree with him and here’s my response: There are kinds of compensation other than cash. Exposure and experience are valuable forms […]

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The 7 things authors do before book launch day

in Writing Well, Year Without Pants

Authors lead odd lives. Most of what people know of us we control through blog posts and books. Behind the scenes things are different. As I wait for next Tuesday’s launch of The Year Without Pants, my fifth book, I know precisely how taxing this time can be. Psychologically this is the hardest time. I […]

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Should your book be a memoir or fiction?

in mailbag, Writing Well

Here’s a common question about writing memoirs from the mailbag: I just read a novel I loved and was inspired to start writing a book. And I actually did start. The problem is the idea I have is very personal, about myself and my family.  I think it is very interesting but I wonder what […]

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Best Book On Self Publishing: APE – Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

in Writing Well

I was pleased when I heard that Guy Kawasaki was working (with Shawn Welch) on a book about self-publishing. He’d written many popular business books and had a straightforward and no nonsense approach to most topics he covered, and I expected he’d an interesting perspective on self-publishing. I was right. This is the single book […]

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How to read an amazon.com book review

in Books, Writing Well

We read for different reasons, but we often write reviews as if everyone in the world is just like us. A review that says “I hated this book” suggests the book is bad, but if the reviewer is a Yankee fan and the book is about how awesome the Boston Red Sox are, it likely […]

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Should you self publish your first book?

in ask berkun, Writing Well

From Monday’s question pile reader Gutenberg Neto, who has one of the best names ever for questions about publishing, asked: After releasing books both with a publisher and also independently, do you feel like one of the approaches is overall better than the other one? These days, with so many distribution platforms available, it’s easier than ever for anyone […]

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My process for blogging

in ask berkun, Writing Well

From my Monday question pile, my friend Angela asked: As an active blogger and communicator, I’m curious your setup. Obviously love your content, but I’m interested in your process. I assume you’re a one man show, so I also assume you’ve got your process locked down because you’re soooo smooth, man! :) xoxo My answer is […]

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How To Write a Second Draft

in Writing Well

As I’ve been working on The Year Without Pants, I wrote recently about how to revise a first draft, including what I call The Big Read: where you sit down and read through the entire (first) draft in as few sittings as possible. The result of that big read is a manuscript that looks something […]

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Book Review: Good Prose – The Art of Non Fiction

in Book reviews, Writing Well

I gave a talk at WordCamp Seattle recently about writing. One point I made was the limitations for improving writing skills merely by listening or reading. For the same reasons reading about playing guitar or juggling knives is insufficient to learn how to be a great guitar player or fully limbed knife juggler, mere reading […]

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How Pulp Fiction was written (and rejected)

in Writing Well

From Cinephillia and Beyond, this comment from Roger Avary, who co-wrote Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction with Tarantino: We just took all the best scenes we had ever written, and we packed them up, and we went to Amsterdam. Quentin rented this apartment, and we laid them out on the floor and basically just started moving them […]

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Blog Community Panel: Summary (WordCamp Seattle)

in Writing Well

Thanks to everyone who attended our panel session at WordCamp Seattle, and to our panelists: Ariel M Stallings, from Offbeatempire.com, a niche lifestyle publisher, covering weddings, parenting, and home decor Steve Roy, from Disqus.com Michael Cyger, from isixsigma.com a B2B website that provides research and how-to knowledge for businesses (who took this photo) It’s hard to capture the vibrancy […]

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