Best writing advice ever? Compare yours with this.

As I’m sure most of you know, Quora offers a wealth of knowledge and personal experience [and bias] on a wide range of subjects.

So let’s dig for some writerly wisdom…much of it coming from folks like you and me…

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-writing-advice-you-have-received

I hope you find something helpful and/or affirming.

Derek Sivers: 6 links re: a very interesting guy

Derek Sivers offers mountains of value at no cost to you.

Check out his notes on books he’s read.

More specifically, writers, here are his notes on the classic, On Writing Well.

And this blog post: $250K books sold. $250K to save lives.

Here are Goodreads comments on his book, Hell Yeah or No: What’s Worth Doing. I don’t see the book listed on Amazon, despite the Amazon link on the Goodreads page. It didn’t turn up in Apple Books either, so I think he’s simply selling it on his site. Sounds good to me.

Even better than the comments, here is his overview of the book. (Feels more like the entire book. Hey, I’m not complaining.)

I should be writing. Instead, drifting…toward chocolate cake.

  1. Raise your hand if:
  • you’ve ever left a measuring cup in the bag of flour or sugar.
  • you’ve intentionally left a measuring cup in the bag of flour or sugar for the next baking venture.
  • you skipped the ‘firmly pack the brown sugar’ step and instead just poured in an extra tablespoon or two of the stuff.
  • you would consider breaking off a hunk of this cake rather than resorting to a [pinkies up!] utensil. Recipe below…Note: Feel free to overdo both the chocolate chips and the cocoa.

2. Best way to get rid of the redolent odor of wildfire smoke in your kitchen? Four batches of roasted tomatoes, with generous supplies of garlic chunks, rosemary sprigs, etc. [It ain’t pretty here in Oregon right now…]

3. And then there’s this: Do you think dogs lying peacefully on the floor know the difference between our giving them half our attention [one hand scratching their chin and one hand clicking links or entering a passcode] vs. our full attention? Do we send out a ‘semi-distracted’ vibe when we are, in fact, semi-distracted?

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

**

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

**

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 TBLSP cocoa

**

  • 3 six-inch long zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Cream first four ingredients together in large bowl.
  2. Add next three ingredients and stir well to mix.
  3. Measure next six ingredients into sifter; then sift into bowl of other ingredients.
  4. Finely grate zucchini into bowl; stir until blended. 
  5. Fold in half of the chocolate chips to mixture.
  6. Pour into greased 9″ x 13″ pan –or- two 9″ cake pans.
  7. Sprinkle rest of chocolate chips on top of batter.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. [Check it about the 37-minute mark. Hey, different ovens, right?]

*Cutting the oil in half barely changes the final result.

Authors interviewing characters: 9+ examples

When I get bogged down in a story, I often resort to talking with my characters.

Books By Women features that very strategy, among plenty of other resources.

Here is a link to the first page of authors interviewing their characters. Click further to find additional interviews…of both characters AND the writers.

Free course for writers-as-marketers

David Gaughran is respected for both his expertise and his advocacy for all aspiring writers willing to put in the work.

Here is a link to his free course Starting from Zero.

It includes two free books:

  • Following [A Marketing Guide to Author Platform]
  • Let’s Get Digital [How to Self-Publish and Why You Should]–now in 4th edition

The word cloud above shows the course components.

A favorite destination of the AOK Writing Project

Click above for a quick tour of loveforourelders.org.

More on the AOK Writing Project:

  • You will have an authentic audience for your writing.
  • With fewer volunteer opportunities due to the pandemic, you can ‘do good’ from the comfort of your home.
  • You can join a community of like-minded writers.
  • You might/will learn a few tech tricks to doll up your work.
  • Your creative impulses will be strongly encouraged.
  • You can choose to contribute some/all of your work and experience and ideas to a digital gathering place and to collaborative pieces. [A mosaic or collage of excerpts, for example.]

By the way, who am I?

Let me know below if you’re interested in the free mini-course.

Curation Corner: Erika Dreifus’ Practicing Writer

I’ve followed the work of Erika Dreifus’ work for about three years, further proof of what a slacker I’ve been for not passing it along to you folks sooner.

And so, still in ‘slacker’ mode, I’ll let her monthly newsletter’s table of contents do my work for me:

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. Editor’s Note: What’s New
  2. Success Stories
  3. Featured Resource
  4. Upcoming/Ongoing Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities (NO ENTRY OR APPLICATION FEES; PAYING OPPORTUNITIES ONLY)
  5. Submission Alerts!!! (NO SUBMISSION/READING FEES; PAYING CALLS ONLY)
  6. Blog Notes
  7. Newsletter Matters

You can sign up for the newsletter here.

A new project: AOK Writing

Believe it or not–before the pandemic even started–I pitched my Act Of Kindness Writing’ idea to the local community college.

And then came mid-March.

And then came a July email from the college’s community education folks.

They were interested.

Here’s a 50-second video pitch they asked me to produce.

And then, even though I’m a little slow on the uptake, I decided…

Why not create a version
to test the project’s appeal and value to others?

And then I decided to stop opening paragraphs with ‘And then…’

More on the project:

  • You will have an authentic audience for your writing.
  • With fewer volunteer opportunities due to the pandemic, you can ‘do good’ from the comfort of your home.
  • You can join a community of like-minded writers.
  • You might/will learn a few tech tricks to doll up your work.
  • Your creative impulses will be strongly encouraged.
  • You can choose to contribute some/all of your work and experience and ideas to a digital gathering place and to collaborative pieces. [A mosaic or collage of excerpts, for example.]

By the way, who am I?

Let me know below if you’re interested in the free mini-course.