15 Famous Rejection Slips

Rejection slips are part of a writer’s landscape. All authors get them at one time or another, and they usually reflect the opinion of one particular reader — often an…

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Writing with a tomato

The Pomodoro Technique is a method of time-management many writers find useful. It was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s and takes its name from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer…

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Check your popularity with n-grams

Y’all know about n-grams, right? Wikipedia nails ’em: … an n-gram is a contiguous sequence of n items from a given sequence of text or speech. The items can be phonemes,…

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Reasons for not writing #5: I meant to, but I got distracted

The problem: You’re looking at it! In some ways, computers with word processors are the best writing invention ever. Until quite recently, writers wrote by hand. Imagine War and Peace,…

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Reasons for not writing #4: I Don’t Feel Like It!

It’s Monday morning, you had a great weekend, but you’re a bit tired. You call your boss and say you won’t be in today. ‘Oh, why not?’ she asks. ‘I…

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Reasons for not writing #3: Never finishing

This reason’s a variation of Reason #2 (endlessly rewriting), but it’s a little more subtle. By never quite finishing, you’re never in the invidious position of having a finished manuscript…

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Reasons for not writing #2: Rewriting

What do you mean by “writing”? It’s a serious question. Think about it for a moment. Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours “writing”. (Notice the inverted commas.) In fact,…

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Reasons for not writing #1: I Don’t Have Time!

“An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession of many, and grows inveterate in their insane breasts.” — Juvenal (circa 100AD)   I have some bad news for you. If you…

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Bad writing for beginners

Toby Litt on bad writing: Bad writing is mainly boring writing. It can be boring because it is too confused or too logical, or boring because it is hysterical or…

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Five quotes on writing from Ian Rankin

I still think most writers are just kids who refuse to grow up. We’re still playing imaginary games, with our imaginary friends. I don’t have many friends. It’s not because…

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