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Author. Reader. Coffee addict.

Hilary Hahn, you are the woman.

Photo by Todd Rosenburg Photography via the Chicago Tribune.

At this point in my life, I don’t need to be inspired by another writer.

I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t drool over bestselling authors, starstruck by their fame. I’m not low-key jealous of “more successful” indie authors, who at this point in time just happen to have more (fill in the blank) than I do.

I’ve grown up. All the things I yearned for as a young writer I now have: a platform, novels to my name, positive editorial reviews, a blog that brings me joy and connects me with my readers. I know what I like and…

Photo by Michael Ainsworth via The Atlantic.

It sounds extreme, but there’s plenty of research to back it up.

Most of you reading this article are probably already passionate about reading, most likely writing, and possess an intermediate or advanced literacy level. This means that if you are a parent, you probably already read to your kid(s) and actively promote literacy in your home.

So What’s The Deal?

The COVID-19 pandemic completely altered the K-12 school experience of kids and teens across America. It also completely altered your work-life balance — if you were privileged enough to have a job that offered you one in the first place. How much “distance…

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When people think of the fantasy genre, they immediately envision stories of wizards, elves, or fairies, a heinous two-dimensional villain bent on destroying the world, and somewhere a naive “chosen one” is being sent on an epic quest. This standard fantasy trope was made popular by the works of J.R.R Tolkien, regarded by many as the father of modern fantasy. Others may disagree, but it doesn’t retract from the fact that passing notions of the fantasy genre land there first.

When I tell people I write fantasy novels, I get one of two reactions. Non-fantasy enthusiasts stare at me with…

It’s a well-known fact that making a snack to fuel your writing counts as writing.

Writers are often strange, reclusive creatures, but our food and drink fixations reveal something charming about us. They can throw off a reader’s general perception of who we are and make us appear more relatable and approachable.

While I prefer to write more thoughtful, serious blog posts, I wanted to craft a fun one about authors and the foods and beverages they consume while writing.

To accomplish this, I reached out to fellow Goodreads authors — household names and independent writers alike — to share…

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I’ve collected quotes ever since I can remember. It is an excellent habit; everyone should do it.

As a teenager, I compiled my quotes in sketch notebooks. When I found a quote I liked, I would devote an entire page to its inscription, often performed with a calligraphy dip pen in my most “artistic-looking” handwriting. Sadly, the passage of time and dozens of housing moves caused these notebooks to vanish. Some quotes I can still recite from memory; most have been forgotten.

For the past ten years, I have dedicated myself to the task of gathering quotes that accurately explain…

Enjoy this literary cartoon by Tom Gauld? See more here and support his work!

Like some dreadful Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, you can delve so deep into the “literature vs popular fiction” debate that you disappear entirely, only to reemerge as bemused as you were before. I shall by no means attempt to rehash the old argument; rather, this blog post attempts to point out the subject that is truly missing from it.

Is It Literature or Popular Fiction?

For those of you who have never explored this topic, it’s a core question for literary enthusiasts. Literary critics and academics classify works of fiction into two distinct camps: it’s either literary fiction or popular fiction — it can’t be…

And you’re not going to love their reviews.

One way to establish credibility as an author is to submit your book for editorial review.

An editorial book review is an unbiased, reader-focused review of your published or soon-to-be published book, often used on marketing material like book covers, posters, and on the “editorial reviews” section on their Amazon sales page. Editorial reviews usually come from recognized review sites, fellow authors, or experts in the author’s field.

If your book is any good and you’re confident in your work, you can hope to receive positive four and five-star reviews from said reviewers.

Thus far, Spirit of the King (2020)…

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Everyone can agree that producing a lot of material in a short amount of time does not guarantee success.

So why do writers and bloggers continually inundate the internet with articles and blog posts titled, “Write 100 Blog Posts.” Or, “Write An 80,000 Word Novel in Three Months.” “Write A Novel in a Month!” “6 Ways to Outline Your Novel Faster.” Mind you, these articles are not aimed at seasoned writers who are already established in their craft and have a writing schedule they’re comfortable with. They’re aimed at young, impressionable writers who desperately long to get their writing career…

What I hated learning most during my journey as an independent author. And it had nothing to do with writing.

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Find a day job you can tolerate. Or grow to appreciate. Possibly even love.

Wait, what?


That’s the lesson?


That’s not what I want to hear!

I know.

At this point, many writers will click out of this post, and I understand why. But I encourage you to read on. By far, it has been the most painful yet practical lesson of my life over the last ten years. The most tragic part of all is that it has nothing to do with writing. At least, not directly.

I will be upfront with you. There will never be…

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If you were born to write and you know it, you don’t need anyone’s permission to claim the title.

You are a writer because it is, and has always been, a part of the fiber of your being. You came up with stories in your head ever since you were a child. Your imagination transformed toys into heroes and villains, common household locations became extravagant settings, and bath time always featured vast aquatic landscapes. You pretended you were a newspaper journalist and documented the goings-on of your neighborhood, your friends, or what the weekly trip to the grocery store had…

Amy Hay

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